The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Philip Stanhope to Jonathan Swift - 1

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HAGUE, DEC. 15, 1730.

YOU need not have made any excuses to me for your solicitation: on the contrary, I am proud of being the first person, to whom you have thought it worth your while to apply, since those changes, which, you say, drove you into distance and obscurity. I very well know the person you recommend to me, having lodged at his house a whole summer at Richmond. I have always heard a very good character of him, which alone would incline me to serve him: but your recommendation, I can assure you, will make me impatient to do it. However, that he may not again meet with the common fate of court suitors, nor I lie under the imputati of making court promises, I will exactly explain to you how far it is likely I may be able to serve him.

When first I had this office[1], I took the resolution of turning out nobody; so that I shall only have the disposal of those places, that the death of the present possessors will procure me. Some old servants, that have served me long and faithfully, have obtained the promises of the first four or five vacancies; and the early solicitations of some of my particular friends, have tied me down for about as many more. But, after having satisfied these engagements, I do assure you, Mr. Launcelot shall be my first care. I confess, his prospect is more remote than I could have wished it, but as it is so remote, he will not have the uneasiness of a disappointment, if he gets nothing; and if he gets something, we shall both be pleased.

As for his political principles, I am in no manner of pain about them. Were he a tory, I would venture to serve him, in the just expectation, that should I ever be charged with having preferred a tory, the person, who was the author of my crime, would likewise be the author of my vindication. I am with real esteem, sir, your most obedient humble servant,

  1. Of lord steward of the king's household, in which he succeeded the duke of Dorset, appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland.