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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Robert Cope - 2

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TO ROBERT COPE, ESQ.


DUBLIN, MAY 26, 1720.


IF all the world would not be ready to knock me down for disputing the good nature and generosity of you and Mrs. Cope, I should swear you invited me out of malice: some spiteful people have told you I am grown sickly and splenetick; and, having been formerly so yourself, you want to triumph over me with your health and good humour; and she is your accomplice. You have made so particular a muster of my wants and humours, and demands and singularities, and they look so formidable, that I wonder how you have the courage to be such an undertaker. What if I should add, that once in five or six weeks I am deaf for three or four days together; will you and Mrs. Cope undertake to bawl to me, or let me mope in my chamber till I grow better? Singula de nobis anni prædantur euntes. I hunted four years for horses, gave twenty-six pounds for one of three years and a half old, have been eighteen months training him, and when he grew fit to ride, behold my groom gave him a strain in the shoulder, he is rowelled, and gone to grass. Show me a misfortune greater in its kind. Mr. Charleton has refused Wadman's living; why, God knows; and got the duchess to recommend his brother to it; the most unreasonable thing in the world. The day before I had your letter, I was working with Mr. Nutley and Mr. Whaley, to see what could be done for your lad, in case Caulfeild should get the living which Mr. Whaley (the primate's chaplain) is to leave for Wadman's. Because, to say the truth, I have no concern at all for Charleton's brother, whom I never saw but once. We know not yet whether Whaley's present living will not be given to Dr. Kearney[1]; and I cannot learn the scheme yet, nor have been able to see Dr. Stone. The primate[2] is the hardest to be seen or dealt with in the world. Whaley seems to think the primate will offer Caulfeild's living to young Charlton. I know not what will come of it. I called at sir William Fownes's[3]; but he is in the county of Wicklow. — If we could have notice of any thing in good time, I cannot but think that, mustering up friends, something might be done for Barclay; but really the primate's life is not upon a very good foot, though I see no sudden apprehensions. I could upon any occasion write to him very freely, and I believe my writing would be of some weight, for they say he is not wholly governed by Cross[4]. All this may be vision; however, you will forgive it. I do not care to put my name to a letter; you must know my hand. I present my humble service to Mrs. Cope; and wonder she can be so good to remember an absent man, of whom she has no manner of knowledge, but what she got by his troubling her. I wish you success in what you hint to me, and that you may have enough of this world's wisdom to manage it. Pray God preserve you and your fireside. Are none of them yet in your lady's opinion ripe for Sheridan? I am still under the discipline of the bark, to prevent relapses. Charles Ford comes this summer to Ireland. Adieu.


  1. Treasurer of Armagh.
  2. Dr. Thomas Lindsay was made bishop of Raphoe, June 6, 1713, and translated to Armagh, Jannary 4, 1713-14. He died July 13, 1724.
  3. An alderman and lord mayor of Dublin, father of Mr. Cope's lady. He was author of "Methods proposed for regulating the Poor, supporting some, and employing others, according to their Capacities. By sir W. F. 1725." 8vo. — And see a letter of his to the dean, September 9, 1732, on the great utility of founding an hospital for lunaticks.
  4. Rector of St. Mary's, Dublin. — To this note, which is by Mr. Faulkner, Mr. Deane Swift adds, "Reading the name of Cross in this page gives me reason to apprehend the letter is misdated; for Crosse, who had been chaplain to the Smyrna company, was not rector of St. Mary's until the year 1722; nor do I believe he was at all known in Ireland, further than, perhaps, by name, until his arrival there, when, by the virulence of party rage, dean Francis, an old tory, father to Mr. Francis, who translated Horace, was most spitefully turned out of the rectory of St. Mary's, which he had enjoyed for eighteen years. Crosse was so universally detested for accepting a living, which had been absolutely refused by two or three others of the clergy (particularly by Dr. Cobb, who lived to be promoted several years after to the archiepiscopal see of Dublin) that I am sure Lindsey, who was an old and high tory, would scorn to be acquainted with him. My real opinion is, that Crosse, in that passage, is no more than a pun. D. S.