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

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 11

NOV. 30, 1708.

I RECEIVED a letter from you the Lord knows when, for it has no date; but I conceive it to have been a month ago, for I met it when I came from Kent, where, and at Epsom, I passed about six weeks, to divert myself the fag-end of the summer, which proved to be the best weather we had. I am glad you made so good a progress in your building; but you had the emblem of industry in your mind, for the bees begin at the top and work downward, and at last work themselves out of house and home, as many of you builders do.

You know before this the great revolution we have had at court[1]; and that Dr. Lambert is chaplain to the lord lieutenant: the archbishop of Canterbury, several other bishops, and my lord treasurer himself would needs have it so. I made no manner of application for that post, upon certain reasons, that I shall let you know, if ever I have the happiness to see you again.

My lord Sunderland rallied me on that occasion, and was very well pleased with my answer, that I observed one thing in all new ministries: for the first week or two they are in a hurry, or not to be seen; and when you come afterward, they are engaged. What I have to say of the publick, &c: will be enclosed, which, I suppose, will be shown you, and you will please to deliver as formerly. Lord Pembroke takes all things mighty well, and we pun together as usual; and he either makes the best use, or the best appearance with his philosophy of any man I ever knew; for it is not believed he is pleased at heart upon many accounts.

Sir Andrew Fountain is well, and has either writ to you last post, or designs it soon.

Dr. Pratt is buying good pennyworths of books for the college, and has made some purchases that would set you a longing. You have heard our mighty news is[2] extremely dwindled in our last packets. However, we expected a very happy end of the campaign, which this sudden thaw and foul weather, begun here yesterday, will soon bring to an issue.

I am, &c.

  1. On the 25th of November, 1708, the earl of Pembroke was made lord high admiral, the earl of Wharton lord lieutenant of Ireland, and lord Somers lord president of the council.
  2. On the 11th of November, 1708, the duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene obliged the elector of Bavaria to raise the siege of Brussels.