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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to Joseph Addison - 1

MAY 13, 1713.

I WAS told yesterday, by several persons, that Mr. Steele had reflected upon me in his Guardian; which I could hardly believe, until, sending for the paper of the day, I found he had, in several parts of it, insinuated with the utmost malice, that I was author of the Examiner[1]; and abused me in the grossest manner he could possibly invent, and set his name to what he had written. Now, sir, if I am not author of the Examiner; how will Mr. Steele be able to defend himself from the imputation of the highest degree of baseness, ingratitude, and injustice? Is he so ignorant of my temper, and of my style? Has he never heard that the author of the Examiner (to whom I am altogether a stranger[2]) did, a month or two ago, vindicate me from having any concern in it? Should not Mr. Steele have first expostulated with me as a friend? Have I deserved this usage from Mr. Steele, who knows very well that my lord treasurer has kept him in his employment upon my entreaty and intercession? My lord chancellor and lord Bolingbroke will be witnesses, how I was reproached by my lord treasurer, upon the ill returns Mr. Steele made to his lordship's indulgence, &c.

  1. In the Guardian, No. LIII, Mr. Steele says, "Though sometimes I have been told by familiar friends, that they saw me such a time talking to [[w:The Examiner (1710–1714)|the Examiner; others who have rallied me for the sins of my youth tell me, it is credibly reported that I have formerly lain with the Examiner. I have carried my point; and it is nothing to me whether the Examiner writes in the character of an estranged friend, or an exasperated mistress." — By the first of these appellations, Dr. Swift is to be understood; by the latter, Mrs. Manley, authoress of the Atalantis, who frequently contributed to the writing of the Examiner. N.
  2. See the eighteenth volume of this collection.