The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to Archdeacon Walls - 3


LONDON, OCT. 20, 1713.

I WRIT to you immediately upon receiving your former, as I do now upon your last of the tenth instant. As to the business of being prolocutor[1], I will tell you the short of my story. Although I have done more service to Ireland, and particularly to the church, than any man of my level, I have never been able to get a good word; and I incurred the displeasure of the bishops, by being the instrument, sine qua non, of procuring the first-fruits: neither had I credit to be a convocation man in the meanest diocese of the kingdom, till poor dean Synge, who happened to think well of me, got me to be chosen for St. Patrick's; so that I think there will be a great change if I am chosen prolocutor. And yet, at the same time, I am so very nice, that I will not think of moving toward Ireland, till I am actually chosen: you will say, "What then must the clergy do for a prolocutor?" Why, I suppose they may appoint a vice prolocutor, until my coming over, which may be in ten days. But this perhaps is not feasible: if not, you may be sure I shall not so openly declare my ambition to that post, when I am not sure to carry it; and if I fail, the comfort of mecum certasse feretur, will not perhaps fall to my share. But I go on too fast; for I find in your next lines, that the archbishop says there will be an indispensable necessity that I should be there at the election. Why, if the bishops will all fix it, so as to give a man time to come over, with all my heart; but, if it must be struggled for at the election, I will have nothing to do with it. As for the bishops, I have not the least interest with above three in the kingdom: and unless the thought strikes the clergy in general, that I must be their man, nothing can come of it: we always settle a speaker here, as soon as the writs are issued out for a parliament; if you did so for a prolocutor, a man might have warning in time; but I should make the foolishest figure in nature, to come over hawking for an employment I no wise seek or desire, and then fail of it. Pray communicate the sense of what I say to the archbishop, to whom I will write by this post. As to my private affairs, I am sure they are in good hands; but I beg you will not have the least regard or tenderness to Parvisol, farther than you shall find he deserves. I am my gossip's very humble servant; and the like to Mr. Stoyte, his lady, and Catharine, and Mr. Manley, and his lady and daughter.

I am,

Your obedient humble servant,

I wrote lately to Dr. Synge; twice in all.

I think you should force the St. Mary ladies[2] to town, toward Christmas.

My duty to the bishop of Dromore.

Dr. Synge wrote me word a month ago, that Rosingrave, our organist, was at the point of death. Is he dead or alive?

  1. The convocation did not meet in Ireland, after the year 1710.
  2. Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Dingley.