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SIR,

May 27, 1713.

THE reafon I give you the trouble of this reply to your letter, is because I am going in a very few days to Ireland: and although I intended to return towards winter, yet it may happen, from the common accidents of life, that I may never see you again.

In your yesterday's letter, you are pleased to take the complaining fide, and think it hard I fhould write to Mr. Addison as I did, only for an allufion. This allufion was only calling a clergyman of fome little diftinction an infidel; a clergyman, who was your friend, who always loved you, who had endeavoured at least to serve you; and who, whenever he did write any thing, made it facred to himself never to fling out the leaft hint against you.

One thing you are pleased to fix on me, as what you are fure of; that the Examiner had talked after me, when he faid, "Mr. Addison "had bridled you in point of party." I do not read one in fix of thofe papers, nor ever knew he had fuch a paffage; and I am so ignorant of this, that I cannot tell what it means: whether, that Mr. Addison kept you close to a party, or that he hindered you from writing about party. I never talked or writ to that author in my life; fo that he could not have learned it from me. B b And,

And, in fhort, I folemnly affirm, that, with relation to every friend I have, I am as innocent as it is poffible for a human creature to be. And, whether you believe me or not, I think, with fubmiffion, you ought to act as if you believed me, till you have demonftration to the contrary. I have all the miniftry to be my witneffes, that there is hardly a man of wit of the adverfe party, whom I have not been fo bold as to recommend often and with earneftness to them: for, I think, principles at present are quite out of the cafe, and that we difpute wholly about perfons*. In these last you and I differ; but in the other, I think, we agree: for I have in print profeffed myfelf in politicks to be what we formerly called a Whig.

As to the great man whofe defence you undertake; though I do not think fo well of him as you do, yet I have been the cause of pre ́venting five hundred hard things being faid against him.

I am fenfible I have talked too much when myfelf is the fubject: therefore I conclude with fincere wishes for your health and profperity, and am, Sir, your, &c. JON. SWIFT.

You cannot but remember, that, in the only thing I ever published with my name, I took

* STEELE fays, "I thought it was the fhortest way to impar"tiality, to put myself beyond farther hopes or fears, by declaring "myfelf at a time when the difpute is not about perfons and parties, but things and caufes." TAT. N° 193.

The Duke of Marlborough.

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care to celebrate you as much as I could*, and in as handsome a manner as I could, though it was in a letter to the prefent Lord Treasurer.

LETTER CCCCXXIII.

To the Right Honourable the [Earl of OXFORD], LORD HIGH TREASURER of Great-Britain.

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MY LORD, Bloomsbury-fquare, June 4, 1713. PRESUME to give your Lordship this trouble to acquaint you, that having an ambition to ferve in the enfuing parliament, I humbly defire your Lordship will please to accept of my refignation of my office as Commiffioner of the Stamp Revenue.

I fhould have done this fooner, but that I heard the commiffion was paffing without my name in it, and I would not be guilty of the arrogance of refigning what I could not hold. But having heard this fince contradicted, I am

In his "Propofal for correcting the English Tongue," Swift says, "I would willingly avoid repetition, having about a "year ago communicated to the publick much of what I had to "offer upon this íubject, by the hands of an ingenious gentle

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man, who for a long time did thrice a week divert or inftruct "the kingdom by his papers; and is fuppofed to pursue the fame "defign at prefent under the title of Spectator. This author, "who hath tried the force and compass of our language with so "much fuccefs, agrees entirely with me in moft of my fentiments "relating to it; fo do the greatest part of the men of wit and learning, whom I have had the happiness to converfe with."

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obliged to give it up, as with great humility I do by this present writing. Give me leave on this occafion to fay fomething as to my late conduct, with relation to the late men in power, and to affure you whatever I have done, faid, or written, has proceeded from no other motive, but the love of what I think truth. For merely as to my own affairs, I could not wish any man in the adminiftration rather than yourfelf, who favour those that become your dependants with a greater liberality of heart than any man I have ever before obferved. When I had the honour of a short converfation with you, you were pleafed not only to fignify to me, that I should remain in this office, but to add, that if I would name to you one of more value, which would be more commodious to me, you would favour me in it. I am going out of any particular dependance on your Lordship; and will tell you with the freedom of an indifferent man, that it is impoffible for any man who thinks, and has any public fpirit, not to tremble at seeing his country, in its prefent circumftances, in the hands of fo daring a genius as yours. If incidents. fhould arife, that should place your own fafety, and what ambitious men call greatness, in a balance against the general good, our all depends upon your choice under fuch a temptation. You have my hearty and fervent prayers to Heaven, to avert all fuch dangers from you. I thank your Lordship for the regard and diftinc

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tion which you have at fundry times thewed me; and wish you, with your country's fafety, all happiness and profperity. Share, my Lord, your good fortune with whom you will; while it lafts, you will want no friends; but if any adverse day happens to you, and I live to see it, you will find I think myself obliged to be your friend and advocate. This is talking in a strange dialect from a private man to the firft of a nation; but to defire only a little, exalts a man's condition to a level with those who want a great deal. But I beg your Lordship's pardon; and am, with great refpect, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient, and moft humble fervant, RICHARD STEELE.

LETTER

CCCCXXIV *.

To Mr. METHUEN +.

SIR,

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[1713]. T is with great pleasure I take an opportu nity of publishing the gratitude I owe you *Prefixed to the feventh volume of "The Spectator."

+ Afterward Sir Paul Methuen, Knight of the Bath. This very ingenious gentleman, whilst Ambassador at the Court of Portugal, concluded the famous commercial treaty which bears his name; and, in the fame capacity at the Court of Savoy, exerted himself nobly as a military hero. On his return, he was fucceffively appointed to feveral important offices in the State; a Commiffioner of the Admiralty, Nov. 8, 1709; of the Treasury, Oct. 13, 1714; Comptroller of the Houshold, June 4, 1720; Treafurer of the Houshold, 1725; and a Commiffioner for inspecting the Law, Sept. 15, 1732. He reprefented the borough of Brackley in the feveral parliaments which met in 1713, 1714, 1722, 1727, and 1734; and died April 11, 1757, aged 86.

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