The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to M. Adelmar Cæsar - 1


AMONG a few little vexations, such as beggary, slavery, corruption, ignorance, want of friends, faction, oppression, and some other trifles of the like nature, that we philosophers ought to despise; two or three ladies of long acquaintance, and at a great distance, are still so kind as to remember me; and I was always proud, and pleased to a great degree, that you happened to be one, since constancy is, I think, at least as seldom found in friendship as in love.

Mrs. Barber, when I see her, is always telling me wonders of the continual favours you have conferred on her, and that, without your interposition, the success of her errand would have hardly been worth the journey; and I must bear the load of this obligation, without the least possibility of ever returning it, otherwise than by my best wishes for the prosperity and health of you and your family: for, in spite of all your good words, I am the most insignificant man of this most insignificant country. I have been tied by the leg (without being married) for ten months past, by an unlucky strain, which prevented the honour and happiness I proposed to myself of waiting on you often during this last summer: and another year at my period of life is like an inch in a man's nose; yet I flatter myself, that next spring I may take one voyage more, when you will see me altered in every disposition of body and mind, except in my respects for you and all that belong to you. There is one part of Mr. Pope's compliment which I cannot make you; for I could not with the strictest search find one letter too many in any of your words, although I found a thousand words too few in your letter; therefore, I accepted and understood it only as a billet just writ while Mrs. Barber stood by in her hood and scarf, just ready to take her leave and begin her journey: and what is worse, I suspect that she was forced to solicit you long, because she wanted a certificate under your hand to convince me that she was not an impostor.

I will not say one word in Mrs. Barber's behalf, for she will always continue to deserve your protection, and therefore she may be sure you will always continue to give it her.

I hope Mr. Caesar is in good health, and desire he will accept the offer of my most humble service, with my hearty wishes for your whole family.

I am, with true respect, madam,

Your most obedient, and

most humble servant,

  1. Miss Long, a lady of very great fortune, was married in Oct. 1729, to Charles Cæsar, esq., descended from the Ademars, a very ancient and honourable family, allied to Charlemagne, and member of parliament for the borough of Hertford, who was committed to the tower of London, Dec. 19, 1705, for some reflections in the house of commons, on the earl of Godolphin, then lord high treasurer of England; and in 1711 was appointed treasurer of the navy. This lady was remarkable for her good sense, friendship and politeness, and much esteemed by the nobility and gentry, and all people of taste, genius, and learning. She was mother of Julius Cæsar, a brave soldier, and in 1762 a general in the service of his Britannick Majesty.