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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From William King to Jonathan Swift - 12

DUBLIN, MARCH, 17, 1710.11.

IRETURN you my thanks for your's of the 8th instant. I do not wonder, that you were in some confusion when you wrote it; for I assure you I read it with great horrour, which such a fact is apt to create in every body, that is not hardened in wickedness. I received several other letters with narratives of the same, and saw some, that came to other hands; but none so particular, or that could be so well depended upon. I observe, that, among them all, there is no account of the matters laid to Guiscard's charge, of his design, or how he came to be discovered. I suppose those are yet secrets, as it is fit they should be. I do remember something of this Guiscard, and that he was to head an invasion; and that he published a very foolish narrative[1]; but neither remember exactly the time, or under what ministry it was, or who were his patrons. It seems convenient, that these should be known; because it is reported, that Mr. Harley and Mr. St. John were those, who chiefly countenanced him, and he their peculiar favourite. One would think this should convince the world, that Mr. Harley is not in the French interest, but it has not yet had that effect with all: nay, some whisper the case of Fenius Rufus, and Scevinus in the 15th book of Tacitus, accensis indicibus ad prodendum Fenium Rufum, quem eundem conscium et inquisitorem non tolerabant. Mr. St. John is condemned for wounding Guiscard; and had he killed him, there would not have wanted some to suggest, that it was done on purpose, lest he should tell tales.

We had a strange piece of news by last packet, that the address to her majesty met with but a cold reception from one party in the house of commons; and that all the lords, spiritual and temporal of that party, went out when it passed in the lords house. But I make it a rule, never to believe party news, except I have it immediately from a sure hand.

I was in hopes to have heard something of our first-fruits and twentieth parts; but I doubt that matter sleeps, and that it will be hard to awaken it.

You will expect no news from home. We eat and drink as we used to do. The parties are tolerably silent, but those for the late ministry seem to be united, keep much together, and are so wise as not to make much noise: nor have I heard any thing of their sentiments of late, only what has happened on this accident. I heartily recommend you to God's care. I am, &c.

  1. 'The marquis de Guiscard's Memoirs were published with a dedication to queen Anne, dated at the Hague, May 10, 1705.'