The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Alexander Pope to Mr. Allen - 1

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MR. POPE TO MR. ALLEN.


MY vexation about Deane Swift's proceeding has fretted and employed me a great deal, in writing to Ireland, and trying all the means possible to retard it; for it is put past preventing, by his having (without my consent, or so much as letting me see the book,) printed most of it. They at last promise me to send me the copy, and that I may correct and expunge what I will. This last would be of some use; but I dare not even do this, for they would say I revised it. And the bookseller writes, that he has been at great charge, &c. However, the dean, upon all I have said and written about it, has ordered him to submit to any expunction I insist upon: this is all I can obtain, and I know not whether to make any use of it or not. But as to your apprehension, that any suspicion may arise of my being anywise consenting or concerned in it, I have the pleasure to tell you, the whole thing is so circumstanced and so plain, that it can never be the case. I shall be very desirous to see what the letters are at all events; and I think that must determine my future measures; for till then I can judge nothing. The excessive earnestness the dean has been in for publishing them, makes me hope they are castigated in some degree, or he must be totally deprived of his understanding. They now offer to send me the originals [which have been so long detained]; and I will accept of them, (though they have done their job,) that they may not have them to produce against me, in case there be any offensive passages in them. If you can give me any advice, do. I wish I could show you what the dean's people, the women, and the bookseller, have done and writ, on my sending an absolute negative, and on the agency I have employed of some gentlemen to stop it, as well as threats of law, &c. The whole thing is too manifest to admit of any doubt in any man: how long this thing has been working; how many tricks have been played with the dean's papers, how they were secreted from him from time to time, while they feared his not complying with such a measure; and how, finding his weakness increase, they have at last made him the instrument himself for their private profit; whereas, I believe, before, they only intended to do this after his death.