The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to George Faulkner - 4

DUBLIN, JAN. 6, 1737-8.

I HAVE often mentioned to you an earnest desire I had, and still have, to record the merit and services of the lord mayor, Humphrey French; whom I often desired, after his mayoralty, to give me an account of many passages that happened in his mayoralty, and which he has often put off, on the pretence of his forgetfulness, but in reality of his modesty: I take him to be a hero in his kind, and that he ought to be imitated by all his successors, as far as their genius can reach. I desire you therefore to inquire among all his friends whom you are acquainted with, to press them to give you the particulars of what they can remember, not only during the general conduct of his life, wherever he had any power or authority in the city; but particularly from Mr. Maple, who was his intimate friend, who knew him best, and could give the most just character of himself and his actions.

When I shall have got a sufficient information of all these particulars, I will, although I am oppressed with age and infirmities, stir up all the little spirit I can raise, to give the publick an account of that great patriot; and propose him as an example to all future magistrates, in order to recommend his virtues to this miserable kingdom.

I am, sir, your very humble servant,