The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Jonathan Swift to John Evans - 2

MAY 22, 1719.

IHAD an express sent to me yesterday by some friends, to let me know that you refused to accept my proxy, which I think was in a legal form, and with all the circumstances it ought to have. I was likewise informed of some other particulars, relating to your displeasure for my not appearing. You may remember if you please, that I promised last year never to appear again at your visitations[2]; and I will most certainly keep my word, if the law will permit me: not from any contempt of your lordship's jurisdictions, but that I would not put you under the temptation of giving me injurious treatment, which no wise man, if he can avoid it, will receive above once from the same person.

I had the less apprehension of any hard dealing from your lordship, because I had been more than ordinary officious in my respects to you from your first coming over. I waited on you as soon I knew of your landing. I attended on you in your first journey to Trim. I lent you a useful book relating to your diocese; and repeated my visits, till I saw you never intended to return them. And I could have no design to serve myself, having nothing to hope or fear from you. I cannot help it, if I am called of a different party from your lordship: but that circumstance is of no consequence with me, who respect good men of all parties alike.

I have already nominated a person to be my curate, and did humbly recommend him to your lordship to be ordained, which must be done by some other bishop, since you were pleased (as I am told) to refuse it: and I am apt to think you will be of opinion, that when I have a lawful curate, I shall not be under the necessity of a personal appearance, from which I hold myself excused by another station. If I shall prove to be mistaken, I declare my appearance will be extremely against my inclinations. However I hope that in such a case, your lordship will please to remember in the midst of your resentments that you are to speak to a clergyman, and not to a footman.

I am, your lordship's most obedient,

humble servant,

  1. "Successit Joannes Evans [Episcopus Bangorensis], consecrationis ritibus initiatus, quarto Januarii 1701; anno 1715 ad Episcopatum Meidensem in Hibernia translatus." Godwin, de Præsulibus Angliæ, Cantab. 1742, fol.
  2. See a subsequent letter on the same subject, July 5, 1721, in vol. XII, p. 53.