The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 18/A Supposed Letter from the Pretender to a Whig Lord
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 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.
- Published with an intent to throw the odium of a design to bring in the pretender, on the whigs.
- 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.