The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From William King to Jonathan Swift - 8
I RECEIVED of the 23d, by last packet. I was aware of what you observed, when the letter to his grace was signed; but it was before I received of the 4th instant, wherein you tell me, that the business was in effect done; nor could I have any certain prospect that it would be done from any intimation that I had before from you. You must know, that this was not the only thing displeased me in the letter; it was drawn and signed by some before I saw it. I looked on it as a snare laid in my way; nor must you wonder that some are better at making their court, than serving the church; and can flatter much better, than vote on the right side. Those that had rendered themselves justly obnoxious by deserting his grace's friends and interest in notorious instances, think they have salved all by this early application, and perhaps it may prove so.
But if the matter be done, assure yourself it will be known by whom, and what means it was effected.
In the mean time, God forbid you should think of slacking your endeavours to bring it to perfection. I am yet under an obligation not to say any thing of the matter from your letter; and while so, it would be hard for me to refuse to sign such a letter as that you mention, or find a pretence for so doing: but when the business is done, the means and methods will likewise be known, and every body have their due that contributed to it.
I shall reckon nothing done till the queen's letter come here. You may remember how we were born in hand in my lord Pembroke's time, that the queen had passed the grant; which, after a whole year's expectation and solicitation, proved only a mouthful of moonshine. But, if it succeeds better now, we must owe it, next to the queen's goodness and bounty, to the great care of the great man to whom you have applied, and to your management. It is seven or eight years since we first attempted this affair, and it passed through several hands; yet no progress was made in it, which was certainly due to the ill methods taken to put it forward; which, in truth, instead of promoting, obstructed it. At the very first motion, it was promised, and in a fair way; but the bishops here, out of their abundant deference to the government, made the same wrong step they would have done now; and we could never make the least progress since, till now, and I pray God we have not put it back again.
You must not imagine, that it is out of any disaffection to you, or any distrust of your ability or diligence, that the bishops here were so cold in their employing you: but they reckon on party; and though several knew what you were, yet they imagined, and some vouched, that you were looked on at court as engaged on the other side; and you cannot do yourself a greater service than to bring this to a good issue, to their shame and conviction. I heartily recommend you and your business to God's care.
I am, &c.