I need not tell you, sir, that this griping want, this dismal poverty, this additional woe, must be put to the accursed stocks, which have desolated our country more effectually than England. Stockjobbing was a kind of traffic we were utterly unacquainted with. We went late to the South Sea market, and bore a great share in the losses of it, without having tasted any of its profits.
If many in England have been ruined by stocks, some have been advanced. The English have a free and open trade to repair their losses; but, above all, a wise, vigilant, and uncorrupted Parliament and ministry, strenuously endeavouring to restore public trade to its former happy state. Whilst we, having lost the greatest part of our cash, without any probability of its returning, must despair of retrieving our losses by trade, and have before our eyes the dismal prospect of universal poverty and desolation.
I believe, sir, you are by this time heartily tired with this indigested letter, and are firmly persuaded of the truth of what I said in the beginning of it, that you had much better have imposed this task on some of our citizens of greater abilities. But perhaps, sir, such a letter as this may be, for the singularity of it, entertaining to you, who correspond with the politest and most learned men in Europe. But I am satisfied you will excuse its want of exactness and perspicuity, when you consider my education, my being unaccustomed to writings of this nature, and, above all, those calamitous objects which constantly surround us, sufficient to disturb the cleanest imagination, and the soundest judgment.
Whatever cause I have given you, by this letter, to think worse of my sense and judgment, I fancy I have given you a manifest proof that I am, sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
OF WHAT WAS SAID BY
THE DEAN OF ST. PATRICK’S
THE LORD MAYOR AND SOME OF THE ALDERMEN,
WHEN HIS LORDSHIP CAME TO PRESENT THE SAID
DEAN WITH HIS FREEDOM IN A GOLD BOX.
It was only proper and fitting that the citizens and freemen of the City of Dublin should express their sense of the high appreciation in which they held the writer of the “Drapier’s Letters,” and the man who had fought and was still fighting for an alleviation of the grievances under which their country suffered. The Dublin Corporation, in 1729, presented Swift with the freedom of the city, an honour rarely bestowed, and only on men in high position and power. To Swift the honour was welcome. It was a public act of justification of what he had done, and it came gratefully to the man who had at one time been abused and reviled by the people of the very city which was now honouring him. Furthermore,