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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Edward Harley to Jonathan Swift - 6

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 12

FROM THE EARL OF OXFORD.


GOOD MR. DEAN,
MARCH 4, 1729-30.
 


IT is now above a whole year and six months since I have had the favour and pleasure of a line from your own self, and I have not troubled you with one from myself; the answer that you would naturally make is very obvious, Why do you then trouble me now? I reply. It is to join with my friend Mr. Pope in recommending the person concerned in the enclosed proposal to your favour and protection, and to entreat that you would be so good as to promote his enterest. I have not sent you any of his receipts; but will when you please to let me know what number you can dispose of: I believe that your bishops have more learning, at least would be thought to have more, than our bench here can pretend to; so I hope they will all subscribe. The person concerned is a worthy honest man; and, by this work of his, he is in hopes to get free of the load which has hung upon him some years: this debt of his is not owing to any folly or extravagance of his, but to the calamity of his house being twice burnt, which he was obliged to rebuild; and having but small preferment in the church, and a large family of children, he has not been able to extricate himself out of the difficulties these accidents have brought upon him. Three sons he has bred up well at Westminster, and they are excellent scholars: the eldest has been one of the ushers in Westminster school since the year 1714.

He is a man in years, yet hearty and able to study many hours in a day. This, in short, is the case of an honest, poor, worthy clergyman; and I hope you will take him under your protection. I cannot pretend that my recommendation should have any weight with you, but as it is joined to and under the wing of Mr. Pope.

I took hold of this opportunity to write to you, to let you know you had such an humble servant in being that often remembers you, and wishes to see you in this island. My family, I thank God, is well: my daughter had, last summer, the smallpox really, and in the natural way, and she is not marked at all. My wife and daughter desire that you will accept of their humble services, and say that they want much to see you.

I obeyed your commands, and did Mr. Whalley all the little service I was capable of: it was little enough that was in my power, God knows. He comes again before us soon after Easter: he seems to be in great hopes, I wish they may be well founded.

I think it is now time to release you, which I will not do until I have told you, I may say repeat to you, that I have a house for you, or houseroom, come when you please, provided you come soon. I am, with true respect and esteem, your most obliged and most humble servant,


Your lord lieutenant would do well to encourage this poor man; he deserves it better than Bulkeley.