The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Henry Temple to Jonathan Swift - 1

A related letter appears in Volume 12: From Jonathan Swift to Henry Temple - 1.

JAN. 15, 1725-6.

I SHOULD not give myself the trouble to answer your polite letter, were I as unconcerned about character and reputation as some are. The principles of justice I hope I have learned from those, who always treated you in another manner, than you do me even without reason.

You charge me with injury and injustice done Mr. Curtis; he is still in his chamber; till he is turned out, none is done him, and he is satisfied with my proceedings, and the issue I have put it on. Your interest with me (which if ever lost, such letters will not regain) procured Dr. Ellwood the use of that chamber, not the power to job it. Your parallel case of landlord and tenant will not hold, without Dr. Ellwood has a writing under my hand; if he has, I will fulfil it to a tittle; if not, he is as a tenant at will, and when he quits, I am at liberty to dispose of the premises again.

Whoever told you Mr. Stanton was dismissed, because you recommended him, told you a most notorious falsehood; he is the young man I suppose you mean. The true reason was, his demand of a large additional salary, more than he had before my time; so he left the office, and was not turned out.

My desire is to be in charity with all men; could I say as much of you, you had sooner inquired into this matter, or if you had any regard to a family you owe so much to; but I fear you hugged the false report to cancel all feelings of gratitude that must ever glow in a generous breast, and to justify what you had declared, that no regard to the family was any restraint to you. These refinements are past my low understanding, and can only be comprehended by you great wits.

I always thought in you I had a friend in Ireland, but find myself mistaken. I am sorry for it; my comfort is, it is none of my fault. If you had taken any thing amiss, you might have known the truth from me. I shall always be as ready to ask pardon when I have offended, as to justify myself when I have not. I am, sir,

Your very humble servant.