The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Jonathan Swift to Henry Temple - 2
I AM desired by one Mr. Curtis, a clergyman of this town, to write to your lordship upon an affair he has much at heart, and wherein he has been very unjustly and injuriously treated, I do now call to mind what I hear your lordship has written hither, that you were pleased many years ago, at my recommendation to give Dr. Ellwood a grant of a chamber in the college, which is at your disposal. For I had then some credit with your lordship, which I am told I have now lost, although I am ignorant of the reason. I shall therefore only inform your lordship in one point. When you gave that grant, it was understood to continue during Dr. Ellwood's continuance in the college; but, he growing to be a senior fellow, and requiring more conveniences, by changing one room, and purchasing another, got into a more convenient apartment, and therefore those who now derive under the doctor, have, during the doctor's life, the same property as if they derived under your lordship; just as if one of your tenants should let his holding to another, during the term of his lease, and take a more convenient farm. This is directly the case, and must convince your lordship immediately; for, Mr. Curtis paid for the chamber, either to the doctor, or to those who derived under him, and till the doctor dies, or leaves the college, the grant is good.
I will say nothing of Mr. Curtis's character, because the affair is a matter of short plain justice; and, besides, because I would not willingly do the young man an injury, as I happened to do to another, whom I recommended to your lordship merely for your own service, and whom you afterward rejected, expressing your reason for doing so, that I had recommended him, by which you lost the very person of the whole kingdom who by his honesty and abilities could have been most useful to you in your offices here. But these are some of the refinements among you great men, which are above my low understanding. And whatever your lordship thinks of me, I shall still remain
Your lordship's most obedient
and most humble servant,