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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to James Butler - 1


JULY 17, 1714.

I NEVER expected that a great man should remember me in absence, because I knew it was unreasonable, and that your grace is too much troubled with persons about you, to think of those who are out of the way. But, if Dr. Pratt has done me right, I am mistaken; and your grace has almost declared that you expected a letter from me; which you should never have had, if the ministry had been like you: for then I should have always been near enough to have carried my own messages. But I was heartily weary of them: and your grace will be my witness, that I despaired of any good success, from their manner of proceeding, some months before I left town; where I thought it became me to continue no longer, when I could do no service either to myself, my friends, or the publick. By the accounts I have from particular friends, I find the animosity between the two great men does not at all diminish: though I hear it is given out that your grace's successor[1] has undertaken a general reconcilement. If it be true, this will succeed like the rest of his late undertakings.

I must beg your grace's pardon, if I entreat you, for several reasons, to see lady Masham as often as you conveniently can: and I must likewise desire you to exert yourself in the disposal of the bishopricks in Ireland. It is a scandal to the crown, and an injury to the church, that they should be so long delayed. There are some hotheaded people on the other side the water, who understand nothing of our court, and would confound every thing; always employed to raise themselves upon the ruins of those characters they have blasted. I wish their intermeddling may not occasion a worse choice than your grace approved of last winter. However, I beg you will take care that no injury be done to Dr. Pratt, or Dr. Elwood; who have more merit and candour than a hundred of their detractors. I am, with the greatest respect, my lord,

Your grace's most obedient,

and most obliged humble servant,