Under which Carteret wrote the following happy reply:
very good Dean, there are few who come here,
But have something to ask, or something to fear.’”
To Carteret’s politic government of Ireland was mainly due the peaceful condition which prevailed amidst all the agitation roused by bad management and wretchedness. In a letter to Swift, written many years later (March, 1737), Carteret writes: “The people ask me how I governed Ireland, I say that I pleased Dr. Swift.” And Swift confessed (in a letter to Gay, November 19th, 1730) that Carteret “had a genteeler manner of binding the chains of the kingdom than most of his predecessors.” It was to Carteret that Swift made his well-known remark, on an occasion of a visit, “What, in God’s name, do you do here? Get back to your own country, and send us our boobies again.”
Swift was well aware that Carteret had not the power to make the changes in Ireland necessary for its well-being. Such changes could come only from the government in England, and as this was implacable, Carteret was but an instrument in its hands. Swift was therefore compelled to rest content with obtaining what favours he could for those friends of his who he knew deserved advancement, and he allowed no occasion to slip by without soliciting in their behalf.
Richard Tighe (who had managed to injure Sheridan in his chaplaincy), with a number of the more violent members of the Whigs in Ireland, took up Carteret’s conduct, attempted, by means of their interpretation of the Lord Lieutenant’s promotions, to injure him with the government, and accused him of advancing individuals who were enemies of the government. Swift took up the charge in his usual ironical manner, and wrote the Vindication which follows.
Carteret, it may be added here, was dismissed from his office in 1730, and joined Pulteney in a bitter struggle against Walpole, which culminated in his famous resolution, presented to the House of Lords, desiring that the King should remove Walpole from his presence and counsels for ever. Carteret failed, but Walpole was compelled to resign in 1742. The rest of Carteret’s career bears no relation to Irish affairs.
* * * * *
The present text is
founded on that of the original London edition
printed in 1730, collated with the Dublin edition of the same date.
They differ in many minor details from that given by Scott in 1824.