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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From William King to Jonathan Swift - 23

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I READ yours of the thirteenth instant with great satisfaction. It is not only an advantage to you and me, that there should be a good correspondence between us, but also to the publick; and I assure you I had much ado to persuade people here, that we kept any tolerable measures with one another; much less, that there was any thing of a good intelligence: and therefore you judged right, that it ought not to be said, that in so many months I had not received any letter from you.

I do a little admire, that those that should be your fastest friends, should be so opposite to acknowledge the service you did in procuring the twentieth parts and first fruits: I know no reason for it, except the zeal I showed to do you justice in that particular from the beginning. But since I only did it, as obliged to bear testimony to the truth, in a matter which I certainly knew, and would have done the same for the worst enemy I had in the world, I see no reason why you should suffer, because I among others was your witness. But be not concerned, ingratitude is warranted by modern and ancient custom: and it is more honour for a man to have it asked, why he had not a suitable return to his merits, than why he was overpaid. Benefacere et male audire is the lot of the best men. If calumny or ingratitude could have put me out of my way, God knows where I should have wandered by this time.

I am glad the business of St. Nicholas[1] is over any way: my inclination was Mr. Wall; that I might have joined the vicarage of Castle-knock to the prebend of Malahidart; which would have made a good provision for one man, served the cures better, and yielded more then to the incumbent, than it can do now, when in different hands. But I could not compass it without using more power over my clergy, than I am willing to exert. But as I am thankful to you for your condescension in that affair, so I will expect that those, with whom you have complied, should show their sense of it by a mutual return of the like compliance, when there shall be occasion. Such reciprocal kind offices are the ground of mutual confidence and friendship, and the fuel that keeps them alive: and I think nothing can contribute more to our common ease, and the publick good, than maintaining these between you and me, and with the clergy.

We have a strong report, that my lord Bolingbroke will return here, and be pardoned; certainly it must not be for nothing. I hope, he can tell no ill story of you. I add only my prayers for you, and am, sir,

Your most humble servant, and brother,

  1. The dean and chapter of St. Patrick's are the appropriators of that church, and have the right of bestowing the cure on whom they please.