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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Robert Cope - 5

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


JUNE 1, 1723.

I WROTE to you three weeks ago; perhaps my letter miscarried: I desired you would let Dr. Jinny know that I intended my journey in ten days after my letter would reach you; and I staid five or six more, and do now leave this town on Monday, and take a long southern journey, and in five or six weeks hope to get to the bishop of Clonfert's. My letter to you was very long, and full of civilities to you and Mrs. Cope, and it is a pity it should be lost. I go where I was never before, without one companion, and among people where I know no creature; and all this to get a little exercise, for curing an ill head. Pray reproach Dr. Jinny soundly, if you received my letter, and sent my message; for I know not where to direct to him, but thought you might hear of him once a week. Your friend Ford keeps still in Ireland, and passes the summer at his country house with two sober ladies of his and my acquaintance. If there be time after my being at Clonfert, I will call at Loughgall; though I wish you would come to the bishop's, if Mrs. Cope will give you leave. It seems they are resolved to find out plots here when the parliament meets, in imitation of England; and the chief justice and postmaster are gone on purpose to bring them over, and they will raise fifty thousand pounds on the papists here. The bishop of Meath[1] says, "The bishop of Rochester was always a silly fellow."

I wish you many merry meetings with Tisdell. The graziers will be ruined this year. Praised be God for all things! Bermudas[2] goes low. The walk toward the bishop of Clonfert's is full of grass. The college and I are fallen out about a guinea. We have some hangings, but few weddings. The next packet will bring us word of the king and bishop of Rochester's[3] leaving England; a good journey and speedy return to one, and the other, is an honest whig wish. And so I remain, ever entirely yours, &c.

  1. Dr. John Evans; whose urbanity may be estimated from his conduct to Dr. Swift in 1721.
  2. Alluding to Dr. Berkeley's project of founding a university at Bermudas. This excellent divine, by Dr. Swift's recommendation, went to Sicily with lord Peterborow, as secretary and chaplain. —— His letters to Mr. Pope from Leghorn and Naples (see that poet's works) make us regret that there are only three of them. One letter to him from Mr. Pope is in Mr. Duncombe's collection. — During Dr. Berkeley's absence, Trinity College, Dublin, of which he was then one of the senior fellows, created him, in 1717, D. D. by diploma. He returned to Ireland in 1718, and in 1721 was advanced to the deanery of Derry; where he was no sooner settled than he formed the benevolent plan which he published, in 1725, under the title of, "A Proposal for the better supplying of Churches in our Foreign Plantations, and for converting the Savage Americans to Christianity, by a College to be erected in the Summer Islands, otherwise called the Isles of Bermuda." Having obtained a royal charter, dean Berkeley set sail for Rhode Island in September 1728. But, not finding himself supported in this laudable design, by those who alone could render it effectual, he returned to England in 1731; and, in a sermon preached at Bow church, Feb. 18, 1731-2, before the society for propagating the Gospel, gave a full account of his pious labours. He was promoted to the bishoprick of Cloyne, March 5, 1733; in which high station he steadily persevered in his truly patriotick endeavours to benefit the community, as appears by some valuable tracts in the volume of his miscellanies, 1752. The earl of Chesterfield, when lord lieutenant of Ireland, offered him a richer see; which he with great modesty declined. He died at Oxford, in the 73d year of his age, Jan. 14, 1753; having settled there a few months before, to superintend the education of his son.
  3. Dr. Atterbury embarked at Dover, June 18, 1723. See the epistolary correspondence of that learned prelate, vol. II, p. 274.