The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Jonathan Swift to Henrietta Howard - 8


MY correspondents have informed me, that your ladyship has done me the honour to answer several objections that ignorance, malice, and party have made to my Travels, and been so charitable as to justify the fidelity and veracity of the author. This zeal you have shown for truth calls for my particular thanks, and at the same time encourages me to beg you would continue your goodness to me, by reconciling me to the maids of honour, whom, they say, I have most grievously offended. I am so stupid as not to find out how I have disobliged them. Is there any harm in a young lady's reading of romances? Or did I make use of an improper engine to extinguish a fire that was kindled by a maid of honour? And I will venture to affirm, that if ever the young ladies of your court should meet with a man of as little consequence in this country as I was in Brobdingnag, they would use him with as much contempt; but I submit myself and my cause to your better judgment, and beg leave to lay the crown of Lilliput at your feet, as a small acknowledgement of your favour to my book and person. I found it in the corner of my waistcoat pocket, into which I thrust most of the valuable furniture of the royal apartment when the palace was on fire, and by mistake brought it with me into England; for I very honestly restored to their majesties all their goods that I knew were in my possession. May all courtiers imitate me in that, and my being, madam, &c.

  1. This letter must have been written about the end of the year 1726.