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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to Elizabeth Germain - 4

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MADAM,
JUNE 15, 1736.
 


I WRITE this letter to your ladyship, in the employment you have chosen of being a go-between the duke of Dorset and me. I must preface this letter with an honest declaration, That I never proposed any one thing to his grace, wherein I did not chiefly consult his honour and the general opinion of the kingdom. I had the honour to know him from a boy, as I did your ladyship from a child; and yet, excepting great personal civilities, I never was able to obtain the favour of getting one church preferment for any friend, except one too inconsiderable to mention. I writ to, and told my lord duke, that there was a certain family here, called the Grattans, and that they could command ten thousand men: two of them are parsons, as you whigs call them; another is lord mayor of this city, and was knighted by his grace a month or two ago. But there is another cousin of theirs, who is a Grattan, though his name be John Jackson, as worthy a clergyman as any in this kingdom. He lives upon his own small estate, four miles from this town, and in his own parish; but he has four children. He only wants some little addition of a hundred pounds a year; for he has laid out eight hundred pounds, to build upon his own small estate in his own parish, which he cannot leave; and we cannot spare him. He has lain a weight upon my shoulders for many years; and I have often mentioned him to my lord duke as a most deserving person. His grace has now an opportunity to help him. One Mr. Ward, who died this morning, had a deanery of small value: it was a hedge deanery, my lord duke will tell you what I mean; we have many of them in Ireland: but, as it does not require living there, except a month or two in the year, although it be but of forty or fifty pounds yearly rent, it will be a great ease to him. He is no party man, but a loyal subject. It is the deanery of Cloyne: he is well acquainted with the bishop, who is Dr. Berkeley: I have reasons enough to complain of my lord duke, who absolutely refused to provide for a most worthy man, whom he had made one of his chaplains before he came over: and therefore, if he will not consent to give this poor deanery to Mr. John Jackson, I will fall out with him for ever. I desire your ladyship to let the duke know all this.

Somebody read a part of a newspaper to me the other day, wherein your saucy niece is mentioned as married, with five and forty thousand pounds to her fortune. I desire to present her with my most humble service, and that we may be friends for the future. I hope your ladyship still preserves your health and good humour. Your virtues I am in no pain about; for you are confirmed in them by your education and birth, as well as by constant practice. I pray God preserve you long, for the good you do to the world, and for your happiness hereafter.

I will (notwithstanding your commands to the contrary) be so bold to tell you, that I am, with the greatest respect and esteem,

Madam,

your ladyship's

most obedient and

obliged humble servant.