The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Robert Hunter to Jonathan Swift - 1

NEW YORK, MARCH 1, 1712-13.

I THINK I am indebted to you for two letters, and should have continued so, had it not been for the apprehension of your putting a wrong construction upon my neglect. My friends being few in number, I would not willingly, or by my own fault, neglect nor lose those I have. The true cause is this. My unhappy circumstances have so soured me, that whatever I write must be vinegar and gall to a man of your mirth. For the better understanding of which, be pleased to read them in the words of one of my most renowned predecessors: Quando pense venir a este govierno a comer caliente, y a bever frio, y a recrear il cuerpo entre sabanas de Olanda, sobre colchones de pluma, he venido a hazar penitencia, como se fuera Ermetanno, y como no la hago de me volontad, penso que al cabo al cabo, me ha de uevar el diablo. This worthy was indeed but a type of me, of which I could fully convince you by an exact parallel between our administrations and circumstances, which I shall reserve to another opportunity.

The truth of the matter is this; I am used like a dog, after having done all that is in the power of man to deserve a better treatment, so that I am now quite jaded. Male vehi malo alio gubernante, quàm tam malis rectoribus bene gubernare.

The approaching peace will give leisure to the ministry to think of proper remedies for the distracted state of all the provinces; but of this more particularly, the importance of it by its situation being greater, and the danger by their conduct more imminent, than that of the rest. I have done my duty in representing their proceedings, and warning them of the consequences; and there I leave it. Neque tam me ευελπιςια consolatur ut antea quam αδιαφορια, qua nulla in re tam utor quàm in hac civili et publica.

I have purchased a seat for a bishop, and by orders from the society have given direction to prepare it for his reception. You once upon a day gave me hopes of seeing you there. It would be to me no small relief to have so good a friend to complain to. What would it be to you to hear me, when you could not help me, I know not. Cætera desunt, for the post cannot stay. Adieu.

I am, very sincerely, your's,

  1. Brigadier Hunter, governor of New York and New Jersey, who was afterward appointed governor and captain general of Jamaica, in the room of the duke of Portland, who died there, July 4th, 1726.