1713 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Steele

Jonathan Swift to Joseph Addison, 13 May 1713; Works of Swift, ed. Nichols (1801) 11:260.



MAY 13, 1713.

SIR,

I was told yesterday, by several persons, that Mr. Steele has reflected upon me in his Guardian; which I could hardly believe, until, sending for the paper of the day, I found he had, in several parts of it, insinuated with the utmost malice, that I was author of the Examiner; and abused me in the grossest manner he could possibly invent, and set his name to what he had written. Now, sir, if I am not author of the Examiner; how will Mr. Steele be able to defend himself from the imputation of the highest degree of baseness, ingratitude, and injustice? Is he so ignorant of my temper, and of my style? Has he never heard that the author of the Examiner (to whom I am altogether a stranger) did, a month or two ago, vindicate me from having any concern in it? Should not Mr. Steele have first expostulated with me as a friend? Have I deserved this usage from Mr. Steele, who knows very well that my lord treasurer has kept him in his employment upon my entreaty and intercession? My lord chancellor and lord Bolingbroke will be witnesses, how I was reproached by my lord treasurer, upon the ill returns Mr. Steele made to his lordship's indulgence, &c.