Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/9

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TO THE

SIR,
Dublin in Ireland, Nov. 2, 1719.
 

IT is now about sixteen years since I first entertained the design of writing a history of England, from the beginning of William Rufus to the end of queen Elizabeth; such a history, I mean, as appears to be most wanted by foreigners, and gentlemen of our own country; not a voluminous work, nor properly an abridgment, but an exact relation of the most important affairs and events, without any regard to the rest. My intention was to inscribe it to the king[2] your late master, for whose great virtues I had ever the highest veneration, as I

  1. He married the widow of Elias Derritt, esq., deputy of the great wardrobe, niece to John Allen, esq., of Gretton, in Northamptonshire. Her daughter, miss Derritt, was afterwards created countess Gyllenborg, and married baron Sparre.
  2. Charles XII. king of Sweden, who was unfortunately killed by a cannon-ball at the siege of Fredericshall, Dec. 11, 1718. Immediately after his death, baron Gotz, his prime minister, was arrested, tried, and executed at Stockholm, being charged by the senate with all the oppressive measures of the late reign. Having been deeply engaged in the Swedish conspiracy against George I., in the year 1716, baron Gotz, at the desire of that prince, had been arrested at the Hague, and at the same time count Gyllenborg was seized, and sent out of England.
Vol. XVI.
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