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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Mr. Faulkner - 1

MARCH 29, 1732.

WITHOUT the least regard to your wager, I do assure you, upon my word and reputation, that I am not the author of one single line or syllable of that pamphlet, called, An infallible Scheme to pay the Debts of the Nation; and, as it is a very unjust, so it is equally an imprudent and fallible proceeding, to pronounce determinately on our taste and knowledge of style or manner of writing, where very good judges are often deceived; and in this case, few men have suffered so much as myself, who have born the reproach of many hundred printed papers, which I never saw. I do likewise protest in the same manner, that I did not write the epigram upon Taylor[1], nor heard of it until Mr. Pilkington showed it me in manuscript. Therefore, pray desire your wagerer, from me, to be more cautious in determining on such matters, and not to venture the loss of his money and credit with so much odds against him.

I am, your humble servant,

If this fancy should hold, of taxing me with all the papers that come out, and at the same time I should take a fancy to be a writer, I shall be discovered when I have no mind, for it will be only to catechise me whenever I am suspected.

  1. The famous oculist.