Dr Sacheverell

Some time after the expiration of Dr. Sacheverell's punishment, having

been silenced three years from preaching, and his sermon ordered to be

burned, the ministry treated him with great indifference, and he applied

in vain for the vacant rectory of St. Andrew's, Holborn. Having,

however, a slender acquaintance with Swift, he wrote to him for his

interest with government in his behalf, stating how much he had suffered

the cause of the ministry. Swift immediately carried his letter to

Lord Bolingbroke, then Secretary of State, who railed much at

Sacheverell, calling him a busy intermeddling fellow; a prig and an

incendiary, who had set the kingdom in a flame which could not be

extinguished, and therefore deserved censure instead of reward. Although

Swift had not a much better opinion of the Doctor than Lord Bolingbroke,

he replied, True, my Lord; but let me tell you a story. In a sea fight

in the reign of Charles the Second, there was a very bloody engagement

between the English and Dutch fleets, in the heat of which a Scotch

sea-man was very severely bit by a louse on his neck, which he caught;

and stooping down to crack it between his nails, many of the sailors

near him had their heads taken off by a chain-shot from the enemy, which

dashed their blood and brains about him; on which he had compassion upon

the poor louse, returned him to his place and bid him live there at

discretion, for as he had saved his life, he was bound in gratitude to

save his. This recital threw my Lord Bolingbroke into a violent fit of

laughing, who, when it was over, said, The louse shall have the living

for your story. And soon after Sacheverell was presented to it.