Your friend, and
Servant to command,
A. B. ESQUIRE.
Postscript. I hope you will favourably represent my case to the publisher of the paper above-mentioned.
Direct your letter for A. B. Esquire, at —— in ——; and, pray, get some parliament-man to frank it, for it will cost a groat postage to this place.
LAST SPEECH AND DYING WORDS
WHO WAS EXECUTED THE SECOND DAY OF MAY, 1722.
Published at his desire, for the common good.
N. B. About the time that this speech was written, the Town was much pestered with street-robbers; who, in a barbarous manner would seize on gentlemen, and take them into remote corners, and after they had robbed them, would leave them bound and gagged. It is remarkable, that this speech had so good an effect, that there have been very few robberies of that kind committed since.
Burke spoke of Swift’s tracts of a public nature, relating to Ireland, as “those in which the Dean appears in the best light, because they do honour to his heart as well as his head; furnishing some additional proofs that, though he was very free in his abuse of the inhabitants of that country, as well natives as foreigners, he had their interest sincerely at heart, and perfectly understood it.”
The following tract
on “The Last Words and Dying Speech of Ebenezer
Elliston” admirably illustrates Burke’s remark.
The city of Dublin, at the time Swift wrote, was on a par with some of the lower districts of New York City about twenty years ago, which were dangerous in the extreme to traverse after dark. Robbers in gangs would waylay pedestrians and leave them often badly maltreated and maimed. These thieves and “roughs” became so impudent and brazen in their business that the condition of the city was a disgrace to the municipal government. To put down the nuisance Swift took a characteristic method. Ebenezer Elliston had, about this time, been executed for street robbery. Although given a good education by his parents, he forsook