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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to William King - 2

LONDON, FEB. 5, 1707-8.

I HAVE been above a month expecting the representation your grace was pleased to promise to send me, which makes me apprehend your grace has been hindered by, what you complained of, the clergy's backwardness in a point so very necessary to their service; and it is time ill lost at this juncture, while my lord lieutenant[1] is here, and in great credit at court, and would perhaps be more than ordinarily ready to serve the church in Ireland. If I have no directions from your grace by the end of this month, I shall think of my return to Ireland against the 25th of March, to endeavour to be chosen to the living of St. Nicholas, as I have been encouraged to hope; but would readily return, at a week's warning, to solicit that affair with my lord lieutenant while he stays here, or in any other manner your grace will please to direct.

Your grace knows long before this, that Dr. Mills[2] is bishop of Waterford. The court and archbishop of Canterbury were strongly engaged for another person, not much suspected in Ireland, any more than the choice already made was, I believe, either here or there.

The two houses are still busy in lord Peterborough's affair, which seems to be little more than an amusement, which it is conceived might at this time be spared, considering how slow we are said to be in our preparations; which, I believe, is the only reason why it was talked the other day about the town, as if there would be soon a treaty of peace. There is a report of my lord Galway's death, but it is not credited. It is a perfect jest to see my lord Peterborough, reputed as great a whig as any in England, abhorred by his own party, and caressed by the tories.

The great question, whether the number of men in Spain and Portugal, at the time of the battle of Almanza, was but 8600, when there ought to have been 29600, was carried on Tuesday in the affirmative, against the court, without a division, which was occasioned by sir Thomas Hanmer's oratory. It seems to have been no party question, there being many of both glad and sorry for it. The court has not been fortunate in their questions this session; and I hear some of both parties expressing contrary passions upon it. I tell your grace bare matters of fact, being not inclined to make reflections; and, if I were, I could not tell what to make, so oddly people are subdivided.

I am, my lord,

your grace's most obedient

and most humble servant,