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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Jonathan Swift to William King - 43


I HAVE an account by this post that your grace intends in two or three days to go for England. I heartily wish you a good voyage, and a speedy return, with a perfect recovery of your health, and success in all your undertakings for the service of the church. I lately applied myself to some persons who I thought had credit with your grace, that they would prevail on you to consent that Mr. Dopping should have St. Nicholas, and that Mr. Chamberly, upon surrendering a sinecure (fallen by the late promotion) to Mr. Wall, might succeed to St. Luke's; and having heard your grace was not disinclined to this scheme, I thought you had authority enough to make it go down with Mr. Chamberly, who would be a gainer by the exchange, and, having already a plentiful fortune, would have as good an opportunity of showing his abilities in one parish as in the other. I should add my humble entreaties to your grace to consent to this proposal, if I had not so many reasons to apprehend that it would succeed just so much the worse for my solicitation. I confess, every friend I have, discovered long before myself that I had wholly lost your grace's favour, and this to a degree that all whom I was disposed to serve were sure to thrive the worse for my friendship to them; particularly, I have been assured that Mr. Walls would not have failed of the prebend of Malahiddart, if he had not been thought too much attached to me; for it is alleged, that according to your grace's own scheme of uniting the prebends to the vicarages it would almost have fallen to him of course; and I remember the poor gentleman had always a remote hope of that prebend whenever Dr. Moor should quit it. Mr. Wall came lately down to me to Trim upon that disappointment, and I was so free as to ask him, whether he thought my friendship had done him hurt; but he was either so meek, or so fearful of offending, that he would by no means impute his misfortune to any thing beside his want of merit, and some misrepresentations; which latter I must confess to have found with grief, to have more than once influenced you against some, who by their conduct to your grace have deserved a quite different treatment. With respect to myself, I can assure your grace, that those who are most in your confidence make it no manner of secret, that several clergymen have lost your grace's favour by their civilities to me. I do not say any thing of this by way of complaint, which I look upon to be an office too mean for any man of spirit and integrity, but merely to know whether it be possible for me to be upon any better terms with your grace, without which I shall be able to do very little good in the small station I am placed. The friendship I had with the late ministry, and the trust they were pleased to repose in me, were chiefly applied to do all the service to the church that I was able. I had no ill designs, nor ever knew any in them. I was the continual advocate for all men of merit without regard of party; for which it is known enough that I was sufficiently censured by some warm men, and in a more particular manner for vindicating your grace in an affair were I thought you were misrepresented, and you seemed desirous to be set right. And upon the whole, this I can faithfully assure your grace, that I was looked upon as a trimmer, and one that was providing against a change, for no other reason but defending your grace's principles in church and state; which I think might pass for some kind of merit in one who never either had or expected any mark of your favour. And I cannot but think it hard, that I must upon all occasions be made uneasy in my station, have dormant prebends revived on purpose to oppose me, and this openly acknowledged by those who say they act under your grace's direction. That instead of being able to do a good office to a deserving friend, as all my predecessors have been, it is thought a matter of accusation for any one to cultivate my acquaintance. This I must think to be hard treatment, and though I regard not the consequences as far as they are intended to affect myself, yet your grace may live to lament those which from thence may happen to the church.

When I was first made dean, your grace was pleased, in a very condescending manner, to write to me that you desired my friendship: I was then in the service of the ministry, and the peace was made; and if I had any share in their ill designs I was then guilty, but I do not know that I have ever done any thing since to forfeit your good opinion: I confess I lost many friends by the queen's death, but I will never imagine your grace to be of the number.

I have given your grace too long a trouble. I humbly beg your blessing, and shall remain ever with the greatest truth and respect, my lord,

Your grace's most dutiful

and most humble servant,