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ufually attend and follow a violent change of Government, were not in probability fo pernicious as the grievance we suffer under a present power, then the public good will justify fuch a Revolution. And this I took to have been the case in the Prince of Orange's expedition, although in the consequences it produced. fome very bad effects, which are likely to stick long enough by us.

I had likewife in those days a mortal antipathy against Standing Armies in times of Peace: Because I always took Standing Armies to be only fervants hired by the Master of the family for keeping his own children in slavery; and because I conceived, that a Prince who could not think himself fecure without Mercenary Troops, must needs have a separate interest from that of his Subjects. Although I am not ignorant of those artificial Neceffities which a corrupted Ministry can create, for keeping up Forces to support a Faction against the publick Interest.

As to Parliaments, I adored the wisdom of that Gothic Inftitution, which made them annual: and I was confident our Liberty could never be placed upon a firm foundation until that ancient law were restored among us, For, who fees not, that, while fuch Affemblies are permitted to have a longer duration, there grows up a commerce of corruption be tween the Ministry and the Deputies, wherein they both find their accounts, to the manifeft danger of Liberty? which Traffic would neither anfwer the defign nor expence, if Parliaments met once a year.

I ever abominated that scheme of Politics, (now about thirty years old) of fetting up a monied Interest in opposition to the landed. For I conceived, there could not be a truer maxim in our Government than this, That the Poffeffors of the foil are the best Judges of what is for the advantage of the kingdom.

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If others had thought the fame way, Funds of Credit and South-fea Projects would neither have been felt nor heard of.

I could never discover the neceffity of fufpending any law upon which the Liberty of the most innocent Perfons depended; neither do I think this Practice hath made the taste of Arbitrary Power so agreeable, as that we fhould defire to fee it repeated. Every Rebellion fubdued and Plot discovered, contribute to the firmer establishment of the Prince: In the latter case, the knot of Conspirators is entirely broke, and they are to begin their work anew under a thousand disadvantages; so that thofe diligent enquiries into remote and problematical guilt, with a new power of enforcing them by chains and dungeons to every person whose face a Minister thinks fit to dislike, are not only oppofite to that Maxim, which declareth it better that ten guilty men should escape, than one innocent fuffer; but likewife leave a gate wide open to the whole Tribe of Informers, the most accurfed, and prostitute, and abandoned race, that God ever permitted to plague mankind.

It is true the Romans had a custom of chusing a Dictator, during whofe adminiftration the Power of other Magistrates was fufpended; but this was done upon the greatest emergencies; a War near their doors, or fome civil Diffention: For Armies must be governed by arbitrary power. But when the Virtue of that Commonwealth gave place to luxury and ambition, this very office of Dictator became perpetual in the perfons of the Cæfars and their Succeffors, the moft infamous Tyrants that have any where appeared in story.

These are some of the fentiments I had, relating to public affairs, while I was in the world: what they are at prefent, is of little importance either to

that or myself; neither can I truly fay I have any at all, or, if I had, I dare not venture to publish them: For however orthodox they may be while I am now writing, they may become criminal enough to bring me into trouble before midfummer. And indeed I have often wifhed for fome time paft, that a political Catechifm might be published by authority four times a year, in order to instruct us how we are to speak, write, and aft during the current quarter. I have by experience felt the want of fuch an inftru&ter: For, intending to make my court to fome people on the prevailing fide, by advancing certain old whiggish principles, which, it seems, had been exploded about a month before, I have passed for a difaffected perfon. I am not ignorant how idle a thing it is, for a man in obfcurity to attempt defending his reputation as a Writer, while the fpirit of Faction hath fo univerfally poffeffed the minds of men, that they are not at leisure to attend to any thing else. They will juft give themselves time to libel and accuse me, but cannot spare a minute to hear my defence. So in a plot-discovering age, I have often known an innocent man feized and imprisoned, and forced to lie feveral months in chains, while the Ministers were not at leifure to hear his petition, until they had fecuted and hanged the number they proposed.


All I can reasonably hope for by this letter, is to convince my friends, and others who are pleased to wifh me well, that I have neither been fo ill a Subject nor fo ftupid an Author, as I have been reprefented by the virulence of Libellers, whose malice hath taken the fame train in both, by fathering dangerous Principles in government upon me, which I never maintained, and infipid Productions, which I am not capable of writing. For, however I may have been foured by perfonal ill treatment, or by

melancholy prospects for the public, I am too much a politician to expose my own fafety by offenfive words. And, if my genius and spirit be funk by encreafing years, I have at least enough difcretion left, not to mistake the measure of my own abilities, by attempting fubjects where thofe Talents are neceffary, which perhaps I may have loft with my youth.


Dr. SWIFT to Mr. GAY.

Dublin, Jan. 8, 1722-3.

Coming home after a fhort Christmas ramble,


found a letter upon my table, and little expec ted when I opened it to read your name at the bottom. The beft and greatest part of my life, until these last eight years, I spent in England; there I made my friendships, and there I left my defires. I am condemned for ever to another country; what is in prudence to be done? I think, to be oblitufque meorum, oblivifcendus & illis. What can be the defign of your letter but malice, to wake me out of a fcurvy fleep, which however is better than none? I am towards nine years older fince I left you, yet that is the least of my alterations; my business, my diverfions, my converfations, are all entirely changed for the worfe, and fo are my ftudies and my amusements in writing; yet, after all, this humdrum way of life might be passable enough, if you would let me alone. I fhall not be able to relish my wine, my parfons, my horfes, nor my garden for three months, until the fpirit you have raised shall be dif

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poffeffed. I have fometimes wondered that I have not visited you, but I have been stopt by too many reafons, befides years and laziness, and yet thefe are very good ones. Upon my return after half a year amongst you, there would be to me Defiderio nec pudor nec modus. I was three years reconciling myself to the scene, and the business, to which for tune hath condemned me, and stupidity was what I had recourfe to. Besides, what a figure fhould I make in London, while my friends are in poverty, exile, diftrefs, or imprifonment, and my enemies with rods of iron? Yet I often threaten myself with the journey, and am every fummer practising to get health to bear it: The only inconvenience is, that I grow old in the experiment. Although I care not to talk to you as a Divine, yet I hope you have not been author of your colic: do you drink bad wine, or keep bad company? Are you not as many years older as 1? It will not be always Et tibi quos mihi dempferit Apponet annos. I am heartily forry you have any dealings with that ugly distemper, and I believe our friend Arbuthnot will recommend you to temperance and exercife. I wish they could have as good an effect upon the giddinefs I am fubject to, and which this moment I am not free from. I fhould have been glad if you had lengthened your letter by telling me the prefent condition of many of my old acquaintance, Congreve, Arbuthnot, Lewis, &c. but you mention only Mr. Pope, who I believe is lazy, or elfe he might have added three lines of his own. I am extremely glad he is not in your cafe of needing great mens favour, and could heartily with that you were in his. I have been cofffidering why Poets have fuch ill fuccefs in making their Courts, fince they are allowed to be the greatest and best of all flatters: The defect is, that they flatter only in print

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