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..
had met with upon his return to Ireland after her Majesty’s death, and for some years after.  “That being forced to live retired, he could think of no better way to do public service, than by employing all the little money he could save, and lending it, without interest, in small sums to poor industrious tradesmen, without examining their party or their faith.  And God had so far pleased to bless his endeavours, that his managers tell him he hath recovered above two hundred families in this city from ruin, and placed most of them in a comfortable way of life.”

The Dean related, how much he had suffered in his purse, and with what hazard to his liberty, by a most iniquitous judge[108]; who, to gratify his ambition and rage of party, had condemned an innocent book, written with no worse a design, than to persuade the people of this kingdom to wear their own manufactures.[109] How the said judge had endeavoured to get a jury to his mind; but they proved so honest, that he was forced to keep them eleven hours, and send them back nine times; until, at last, they were compelled to leave the printer[110] to the mercy of the court, and the Dean was forced to procure a noli prosequi from a noble person, then secretary of state, who had been his old friend.

The Dean then freely confessed himself to be the author of those books called “The Drapier’s Letters;” spoke gently of the proclamation, offering three hundred pounds to discover the writer.[111] He said, “That although a certain person was pleased to mention those books in a slight manner at a public assembly, yet he (the Dean) had learned to believe, that there were ten thousand to one in the kingdom who differed from that person; and the people of England, who had ever heard of the matter, as well as in France, were all of the same opinion.”

The Dean mentioned several other particulars, some of which those from whom I had the account could not recollect; and others, although of great consequence, perhaps his enemies would not allow him.

The Dean concluded, with acknowledging to have expressed his wishes, that an inscription might have been graven on the box, shewing some reason why the city thought fit to do him that honour, which was much out of the common forms to a person in a private station;—­those distinctions being usually made only to chief governors, or persons in very high employments.




Feb. 18, 1729.


“Whereas Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, hath been credibly informed, that, on Friday the 13th of this instant February, a certain person did, in a public place, and in the hearing of a great number, apply himself to the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of this city, and some of his brethren, in the following reproachful manner:  ’My lord, you and your city can squander away the public money, in giving a gold box to a fellow who hath libelled the government!’ or words to that effect.

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