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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From William King to Jonathan Swift - 4

DUBLIN, SEPT. 16, 1710.

I RECEIVED your's by the last packets, of September the ninth; and because you have missed the two bishops, I send you, with this, the papers relating to the first-fruits, and twentieth parts. I send them in two bundles, being too big for one letter. The bishops, so far as I can learn from the bishop of Ossory, have not made any step since I left London. I will endeavour to get you a letter from the bishops to solicit that affair. In the mean time, open the letter to the two bishops, and make use of it as occasion shall serve. The scheme I had laid for them is crossed by my lord treasurer's being out; though, perhaps, that would not have done; but her majesty's promise I depended on, and I had engaged the archbishop of York in it. When he comes to London, I will give you a letter to him. I can likewise find means, I believe, to possess my lord Shrewsbury and Mr. Harley, with the reasonableness of the affair. I am not courtier enough to know the properness of the thing; but I had once an imagination to attempt her majesty herself by a letter, modestly putting her in mind of the matter; and no time so proper, as when there is no lord lieutenant of Ireland, which perhaps may be soon; but this needs advice.

There are great men here as much out of humour, as you describe your great visitee[1] to have been; nor does the good news from Spain[2] clear them. I believe, however, they are glad at it, though another would have served their occasions as well.

I do not apprehend any other secret in all this affair, but to get whigs out of all places of profit and trust, and to get others in them. As for peace it must be on no other terms than the preliminaries; and you'll find a tory parliament will give money as freely, and be as eager to prosecute the war, as the whigs were, or they are not the wise men I take them to be. If they do so, and take care to have the money well disposed of when given, they will break the king of France's heart, and the whigs together, and please the nation. There's an ugly accident, that happens here in relation to our twentieth parts and first-fruits: at Midsummer, 1709, there was ready money in the treasury, and good solvent debts to the queen to the value of 70,000l. Now I am told, by the last week's abstract, there is only 223l. in the treasury, and the army unpaid, at least uncleared for a year; and all others, except pensioners, in the same condition. Now the great motive to prevail with her majesty to give the clergy the bounty petitioned for, was the clearness of the revenue here; but if that be anticipated, perhaps it may make an objection. I will add no more, but my prayers for you. I am, &c.

  1. 'Probably the earl of Godolphin, who was, perhaps, much visited by his friends and party, after the resignation of his staff of lord treasurer.' This conjecture of Dr. Birch was very ingenious. The archbishop's allusion, however, related only to the private visit of Dr. Swift to his lordship, which he mentions in his letter September 9. N.
  2. 'Probably of the battle near Saragoza, in which king Charles of Spain gained a complete victory over his competitor, king Philip, on the 10th of August, 1710.'