The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D. - Volume 07 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 407 pages of information about The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D..

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Lelop-Aw, having ended his speech and struck his forehead thrice against the table, as the custom is in Japan, sat down with great complacency of mind, and much applause of his adherents, as might be observed by their countenances and their whispers.  But the Emperor’s behaviour was remarkable; for, during the whole harangue, he appeared equally attentive and uneasy.  After a short pause, His Majesty commanded that some other counsellor should deliver his thoughts, either to confirm or object against what had been spoken by Lelop-Aw.


sp;                                             Oct. 15, 1730. 

A pamphlet was lately sent me, entitled, “A Letter from the Right Honourable Sir R. W. to the Right Honourable W. P. Esq; occasioned by the late Invectives on the King, her Majesty, and all the Royal Family.”  By these initial letters of our names, the world is to understand that you and I must be meant.  Although the letter seems to require an answer, yet because it appears to be written rather in the style and manner used by some of your pensioners, than your own, I shall allow you the liberty to think the same of this answer, and leave the public to determine which of the two actors can better personate their principals.  That frigid and fustian way of haranguing wherewith your representer begins, continues, and ends his declamation, I shall leave to the critics in eloquence and propriety to descant on; because it adds nothing to the weight of your accusations, nor will my defence be one grain the better by exposing its puerilities.

I shall therefore only remark upon this particular, that the frauds and corruptions in most other arts and sciences, as law, physic (I shall proceed no further) are usually much more plausibly defended than in that of politics; whether it be, that by a kind of fatality the vindication of a corrupt minister is always left to the management of the meanest and most prostitute writers; or whether it be, that the effects of a wicked or unskilful administration, are more public, visible, pernicious and universal.  Whereas the mistakes in other sciences are often matters that affect only speculation; or at worst, the bad consequences fall upon few and private persons.  A nation is quickly sensible of the miseries it feels, and little comforted by knowing what account it turns to by the wealth, the power, the honours conferred on those who sit at the helm, or the salaries paid to their penmen; while the body of the people is sunk into poverty and despair.  A Frenchman in his wooden shoes may, from the vanity of his nation, and the constitution of that government, conceive some imaginary pleasure in boasting the grandeur of his monarch, in the midst of his own slavery; but a free-born Englishman, with

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