The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to George Lyttleton - 1
TO MR. LYTTELTON.
YOU treat me very hard, by beginning your letter with owning an obligation to me on account of Mr. Lamb; which deserves mine and my chapter's thanks, for recommending so useful a person to my choir. It is true I gave Mr. Deane Swift a letter to my dear friend Mr. Pope, that he might have the happiness to see and know so great a genius in poetry, and so agreeable in all other good qualities; but the young man (several years older than you) was much surprised to see his junior in so high a station as secretary to his royal highness the prince of Wales, and to find himself treated by you in so kind a manner. In one article, you are greatly mistaken: for, however ignorant we may be in the affairs of England, your character is as well known among us, in every particular, as it is in the prince your master's court, and indeed all over this poor kingdom.
You will find that I have not altogether forgotten my old court politicks: for, in a letter I writ to Mr. Pope, I desired him to recommend Mr. McAulay to your favour and protection, as a most worthy, honest, and deserving gentleman; and I perceive you have effectually interceded with the prince, to prevail with the university to choose him for a member to represent that learned body in parliament, in the room of Dr. Coghill, deceased.
I have been just now informed, that some of the fellows have sent over an apology, or rather a remonstrance, to the prince of Wales; pretending they were under a prior engagement to one Mr. Tisdal; and therefore have desired his royal highness to withdraw his recommendation. A modest request indeed, to demand from their chancellor, what they think is dishonourable in themselves, to give up an engagement! Their whole proceeding, on this occasion, against their chancellor, heir of the crown, is universally condemned here; and seems to be the last effort of such men, who, without duly considering, make rash promises, not consistent with the prudence expected from them.
I can hardly venture the boldness to desire, that his royal highness may know from you the profound respect, honour, esteem, and veneration, I bear toward his princely virtues. All my friends on your side the water represent him to me in the most amiable light; and the people infallibly reckon upon a golden age in both kingdoms, when it shall please God to make him the restorer of the liberties of his people.
I ought to accuse you highly for your ill treatment of me, by wishing yourself in the number of my friends: but you shall be pardoned, if you please to be one of my protectors; and your protection cannot be long. You shall therefore make it up, in thinking favourably of me. Years have made me lose my memory in every thing but friendship and gratitude: and you, whom I have never seen, will never be forgotten by me until I am dead. I am, honourable sir, with the highest respect,
Your most obedient and
obliged humble servant.