The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to John Stanley - 1



DUBLIN, OCT. 30, 1736.

I HAVE had, for several months, a strong application made me, by a person for whose virtue, honour, and good sense, I have a great esteem, to write to you in behalf of one of your tenants here, whose case I send you enclosed; and if he relates it with truth and candour, I expect you will comply with his request, because I have known you long, and have always highly esteemed and loved you, as you cannot deny: I know you will think it hard for me, or any one, to interfere in a business of property: but I very well understand the practice of Irish tenants to English landlords, and of those landlords to their tenants. Yet, if what Mr. Wilding desires is rightly represented, that he has been a great improver, his offers reasonable, his gains by no means exorbitant, and his payments regular, you neither must nor shall act as an Irish racking squire. I have inquired about this tenant, and hear a good account of his honesty; and that worthy friend, who recommends him to me, durst not deceive me: so I fully reckon that you will obey my commands, or show me strong reasons to the contrary; in which case I will break with that friend, and drive your tenant out of doors, whenever he presumes to open his lips again to me on any occasion.

I have one advantage by this letter, that it gives me a fair occasion of inquiring after your health, and where you live, and how you employ your leisure, and what share I keep in your good will. As to myself, years and infirmities have sunk my spirits to nothing. My English friends are all either dead or in exile, or, by a prudent oblivion, have utterly dropped me; having loved this present world. And as to this country, I am only a favourite of my old friends the rabble, and I return their love because I know none else who deserve it. May you live long happy and beloved, as you have ever been by the best and wisest of mankind. And if ever you happen to think of me, remember that I have always been, and shall ever continue, with the truest respect and esteem, sir,

Your most obedient and

obliged servant,

I know not the present state of your family; but, if there be still near you the ladies I had the honour to know, I desire to present them with my most humble service.

I am now at the age of blundering in letters, syllables, words, and half sentences, as you see, and must pardon.