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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to John Carteret - 2


JUNE 9, 1724.

IT is above a month since I took the boldness of writing to your excellency, upon a subject wherein the welfare of this kingdom is highly concerned.

I writ at the desire of several considerable persons here, who could not be ignorant that I had the honour of being well known to you.

I could have wished your excellency had condescended so far, as to let one of your under clerks have signified to me that a letter was received.

I have been long out of the world; but have not forgotten what used to pass among those I lived with, while I was in it: and I can say, that during the experience of many years, and many changes in affairs, your excellency, and one more, who is not worthy to be compared to you, are the only great persons that ever refused to answer a letter from me, without regard to business, party, or greatness; and if I had not a peculiar esteem for your personal qualities, I should think myself to be acting a very inferiour part in making this complaint.

I never was so humble, as to be vain upon my acquaintance with men in power, and always rather chose to avoid it when I was not called. Neither were their power or titles sufficient, without merit, to make me cultivate them; of which I have witnesses enough left, after all the havock made among them, by accidents of time, or by changes of persons, measures, and opinions.

I know not how your conceptions of yourself may alter, by every new high station; but mine must continue the same, or alter for the worse.

I often told a great minister, whom you well know, that I valued him for being the same man through all the progress of power and place. I expected the like in your lordship; and still hope that I shall be the only person who will ever find it otherwise.

I pray God to direct your excellency in all your good undertakings, and especially in your government of this kingdom.

I shall trouble you no more; but remain, with great respect, my lord,

Your excellency's

most obedient and

most humble servant.