The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From John Arbuthnot to Jonathan Swift - 3

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I HAVE talked of your affairs to nobody but my lady Masham. She tells me, that she has it very much at heart, and would gladly do it for her own sake, and that of her friends; but thinks it not a fit season to speak about it. We are indeed in such a strange condition as to politicks, that nobody can tell now who is for who. It were really worth your while to be here for four and twenty hours only, to consider the oddness of the scene, I am sure it would make you relish your country life the better.

The dragon holds fast with a dead gripe the little machine[2]. If he would have taken but half so much pains to have done other things, as he has of late to exert himself against the esquire, he might have been a dragon, instead of a Dagon. I would no more have suffered and done what he has, than I would have sold myself to the gallies. Hæc infer nos. However, they have now got rid of the parliament, and may have time to think of a scheme: perhaps they may have one already. I know nothing, but it is fit to rally the broken forces under some head or another. They really did very well the last day but one in the house of lords; but yesterday they were in a flame about the queen's answer, till the queen came in, and put an end to it.

The dragon showed me your letter, and seemed mightily pleased with it. He has paid ten pounds for a manuscript, of which I believe there are several in town. It is a history of the last invasion of Scotland, wrote just as plain, though not so well, as another history, which you and I know, with characters of all the men now living, the very names, and invitation that was sent to the pretender. This by a flaming jacobite, that wonders all the world are not so. Perhaps it may be a whig, that personates a jacobite. I saw two sheets of the beginning, which was treason every line. If it goes on at the same rate of plain dealing, it is a very extraordinary piece, and worth your while to come up to see it only. Mr. Lockhart, they say, owns it. It is no more his than it is mine. Do not be so dogged; but, after the first shower, come up to town for a week or so. It is worth your while. Your friends will be glad to see you, and none more than myself. Adieu.

  1. Endorsed, "affairs still worse."
  2. His treasurer's staff.