The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 18/A Supposed Letter from the Pretender to a Whig Lord

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A SUPPOSED LETTER FROM THE PRETENDER TO A WHIG LORD[1].


JULY 8, 1712.
 


I THANK you heartily for your letter; and you may be firmly assured of my friendship. In answer to what you hint that some of our friends suspect; I protest to you, upon the word of a king, and my lord Middleton[2] will be my witness that I never held the least correspondence with any one person of the tory party. I observe, as near as I can, the instructions of the king my father; among whose papers there is not one letter, as I remember, from any tory, except two lords and a lady, who, as you know, have been for some years past devoted to me and the whigs. I approve of the scheme you sent me, signed by our friends. I do not find 24's name to it: perhaps he may be sick, or in the country. Middleton will be satisfied to be groom of the stole; and if you have Ireland, 11 may have the staff, provided 15 resigns his pretensions; in which case, he shall have six thousand pounds a year for life, and a dukedom. I am content 13 should be secretary and a lord; and I will pay his debts when I am able.

I confess, I am sorry your general pardon has so many exceptions; but you and my other friends are judges of that. It was with great difficulty I prevailed on the queen to let me sign the commission for life, though her majesty is entirely reconciled. If 2 will accept the privy seal, which you tell me is what would please him, the salary should be doubled: I am obliged to his good intentions, how iil soever they may have succeeded. All other parts of your plan I entirely agree with; only as to the party that opposes us, your proposal about Z may bring an odium upon my government: he stands the first excepted; and we shall have enough against him in a legal way. I wish you would allow me twelve more domesticks of my own religion; and I will give you what security you please, not to hinder any designs you have, of altering the present established worship. Since I have so few employments left me to dispose of, and that most of our friends are to hold theirs for life; I hope you will all be satisfied with so great a share of power. I bid you heartily farewell; and am your assured friend.


  1. Published with an intent to throw the odium of a design to bring in the pretender, on the whigs.
  2. Charles Middleton, the second earl of that title, and baron Clairmont, was secretary of state for Scotland from the year 1684 to the revolution; when he followed king James into France, and was attainted by the Scots parliament in 1695.