The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to Robert Harley - 6
TO THE EARL OF OXFORD.
IT may look like an idle or officious thing in me, to give your lordship any interruption under your present circumstances: yet I could never forgive myself, if, after being treated for several years with the greatest kindness and distinction, by a person of your lordship's virtue, I should omit making you at this time the humblest offers of my poor service and attendance. It is the first time I ever solicited you in my own behalf; and if I am refused, it will be the first request you ever refused me. I do not think myself obliged to regulate my opinions by the proceedings of a house of lords or commons; and therefore, however they may acquit themselves in your lordship's case, I shall take the liberty of thinking and calling your lordship the ablest and faithfullest minister, and truest lover of your country, that this age has produced: and I have already taken care that you shall be so represented to posterity, in spite of all the rage and malice of your enemies. And this I know will not be wholly indifferent to your lordship; who, next to a good conscience, always esteemed reputation your best possession. Your intrepid behaviour under this prosecution astonishes every one but me, who know you so well, and how little it is in the power of human actions or events to discompose you. I have seen your lordship labouring under greater difficulties, and exposed to greater dangers, and overcoming both, by the providence of God, and your own wisdom and courage. Your life has been already attempted by private malice; it is now pursued by publick resentment. Nothing else remained. You were destined to both trials; and the same power, which delivered you out of the paws of the lion and the bear, will, I trust, deliver you out of the hands of the uncircumcised.
I can write no more. You suffer for a good cause; for having preserved your country, and for having been the great instrument, under God, of his present majesty's peaceable accession to the throne. This I know, and this your enemies know; and this I will take care that all the world shall know, and future ages be convinced of. God Almighty protect you, and continue to you that fortitude and magnanimity he has endowed you with! Farewell.