The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to Charles Mordaunt - 5
TO THE EARL OF PETERBOROW.
I NEVER knew or heard of any person so volatile and so fixed as your lordship: you, while your imagination is carrying you through every corner of the world, where you have or have not been, can at the same time remember to do offices of favour and kindness to the meanest of your friends; and, in all the scenes you have passed, have not been able to attain that one quality peculiar to a great man of forgetting every thing but injuries. Of this I am a living witness against you; for, being the most insignificant of all your old humble servants, you were so cruel as never to give me time to ask a favour; but prevented me in doing whatever you thought I desired, or could be for my credit or advantage.
I have often admired at the capriciousness of tune in regard to your lordship. She has forced courts to act against their oldest and most constant maxims; to make you a general because you had courage and conduct; an ambassador because you had wisdom and knowledge in the interests of Europe; and an admiral on account of your skill in maritime affairs: whereas, according to the usual method of court proceedings, I should have been at the head of the army, and you of the church, or rather a curate under the dean of St. Patrick's.
The archbishop of Dublin laments that he did not see your lordship till he was just upon the point of leaving the Bath: I pray God you may have found success in that journey; else I shall continue to think there is a fatality in all your lordship's undertakings, which only terminate in your own honour, and the good of the publick, without the least advantage to your health or fortune.
I remember lord Oxford's ministry used to tell me, "That, not knowing where to write to you, they were forced to write at you." It is so with me; for you are in one thing an evangelical man, that "you know not where to lay your head;" and I think you have no house. Pray, my lord, write to me, that I may have the pleasure, in this scoundrel country, of going about, and showing my depending parsons a letter from the earl of Peterborow.
I am, &c.