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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From William King to Jonathan Swift - 16


LISSENHALL, JULY 28, 1711.


SINCE my lord duke of Ormond's arrival, I have been so continually hurried with company, that I retired here for two or three days. The preliminaries of our parliament are now over; that is to say, addresses, &c. and I find the usual funds will be granted, I think unanimously for two years from Christmas next, which is all the duke of Ormond desires. I do not see much more will be done. You will observe several reflections are in the addresses on the late management here, in which the earl of Anglesey and I differed. If we could impeach, as you can in Great Britain, and bring the malefactors to account, I should be for it with all my endeavour; but to show our ill will, when we can do no more, seems to be no good policy in a dependant people, and that can have no other effect than to provoke revenge without the prospect of redress; of which we have two fatal instances. I reckon, that every chief governor, who is sent here, comes with a design to serve first those who sent him; and that our good only must be so far considered, as it is subservient to the main design. The only difference between governors, as to us, is to have a good natured man, that has some interest in our prosperity, and will not oppress us unnecessarily; and such is his grace. But I doubt, whether even that will not be an objection against him on your side of the water: for I have found, that those governors, that gained most on the liberties of the kingdom, are reckoned the best; and therefore it concerns us to be on our guard against all governors, and to provoke as little as we can. For he, that cannot revenge himself, acts the wise part, when he dissembles, and passes over injuries.

In my opinion, the best that has happened to us, is, that the parliament grants the funds for two years; for by these means we shall have one summer to ourselves to do our church and country business. I have not been able to visit my diocese ecclesiatim, as I used to do, the last three years, for want of such a recess. I hope the parliament of Great Britain will not resume the yarn bill while they continue the same. The lords have not sat above four or five days, and are adjourned till Monday next; so we have no heads of bills brought into our house as yet: but if any be relating to the church, I will do my endeavour to give you satisfaction.

Our letter is come over for the remittal of the twentieth parts, and granting the first-fruits for buying impropriations, and purchasing glebes, which will be a great ease to the clergy, and a benefit to the church. We want glebes more than the impropriations; and I am for buying them first, where wanting; for without them, residence is impossible: and besides, I look upon it as a security to tithes, that the laity have a share in them; and therefore I am not for purchasing them, but where they are absolutely necessary.

We shall, I believe, have some considerations of methods to convert the natives; but I do not find, that it is desired by all, that they should be converted. There is a party among us, that have little sense of religion, and heartily hate the church: these would have the natives made protestants; but such as themselves are deadly afraid they should come into the church, because, say they, this would strengthen the church too much. Others would have them come in, but can't approve of the methods proposed, which are to preach to them in their own language, and have the service in Irish, as our own canons require. So that between them, I am afraid that little will be done.

I am, sir, yours, &c.