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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From John Arbuthnot to Charles Ford - 3



I SEND you the scrap of a letter begun to you by the whole society, because I suppose you even value the fragments of your friends. The honest gentleman, at whose lodgings we wrote, is gone for France. I really value your judgment extremely in choosing your friends. I think worthy Mr. Ford is an instance of it, being an honest, sensible, firm, friendly man, et qualis ab inceptu processerat, &c. Though, by the way, praising your judgment is a little compliment to myself, which I am apt to fall into of late, nobody now being at the trouble of doing it for me. The Parnellian, who was to have carried this letter, seems to have changed his mind by some sudden turn in his affairs; but I wish his hopes may not be the effect of some accidental thing working upon his spirits, rather than any well-grounded project.

If it be any pleasure to you, I can assure you, that you are remembered kindly by your friends, and I believe not altogether forgot by your enemies. I think both is for your reputation. I am told, that I am to lose my little preferment: however, I hope to be able to keep a little habitation warm in town. I cannot but say, I think there is one thing in your circumstance, that must make any man happy; which is, a liberty to preach. Such a prodigious privilege, that if it did not border upon simony, I could really purchase it for a sum of money. For my part, I never imagine any man can be uneasy, that has the opportunity of venting himself to a whole congregation once a week. And you may pretend what you will, I am sure you think so too, or you do not judge right. As for news, I never inquire about any. Fuimus Troes, &c. Sed nunc ferox Jupiter transtulit omnia ad Argos.

My present politicks is to give no disturbance to the present folks in the due exercise of their power, for fear of forcing them to do very strange things, rather than part with what they love so well. Untoward reports in the country will make elections dearer, which I am sorry for. The dragon, I am afraid, will be struck at. Adieu, in haste.

I must not forget to tell you a passage of the pretender's declaration, to this purpose "That he had, &c."[2]

  1. Written on the same paper with the last.
  2. Here the words in p. 431 are repeated.