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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to Robert Cope - 6

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 13



I WAS just going to write to you, when your clerk brought me your note for thirty-six pounds, which was more by a third part than I desired, and for which I heartily thank you. I have been used since my illness to hear so many thousand lies told of myself and others, and so circumstantially, that my head was almost turned; and if I gave them any credit, it was because one thing I knew perfectly, that we differed entirely in our opinions of publick management. I did and do detest the lowering of the gold, because I saw a resolution seven years old of your house of commons of a very different nature, and have since seen tracts against it, which to me were demonstrations; and am assured, as well as know by experience, that I have not received a penny except from you. However, although I know you to be somewhat of what we call a giber; yet I am convinced by your assertions that I was ill informed; and yet, we differ so much in the present politicks, that I doubt it will much affect the good will you formerly seemed to bear me. I grant, that the bishops, the people in employments of all kinds who receive salaries, and some others, will not lose a penny by lowering the money, because they must still have their pay; and, if your estate be set much under value, you will be no sufferer; though I, and thousands of others, will soundly feel the smart, and particularly the lower clergy, who I find are out of every body's good graces; but for what reasons I know not. I hear your house is forming a bill against all legacies[1] to the church, or any publick charity, which puts me under a great difficulty; because, by my will, I have bequeathed my whole fortune to build and endow an hospital for lunaticks and idiots[2]. I wish I had any cerainty in that matter. You mistook me in one expression; what I said was, that I wished all who were for lowering the gold, were lowered to the dust; and I might explain it, so that it would bear the sense of causing them to repent in dust and ashes.

I am, sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

  1. The bill did not pass.
  2. The dean drew up a petition to the house of lords in Ireland, to be excepted in the heads of the bill for a mortmain act, then in agitation; that he might be at liberty to fulfil his benevolent intention: but the bill did not pass. The hospital (endowed by Dr. Swift's legacy of above 10,000 pounds) was incorporated by charter, in August 1746. By a printed state, in 1770, it appears, that, by the addition of other legacies, the trustees were enabled at that time to admit thirty-four patients on the establishment; and had also sixteen boarders under cure, at the rate of thirty guineas a year for each.