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produced by magnanimity; nor have often any nobler caufe than the pride of importance, and the malice of inferiority. He who knows himself necessary may set, while that necessity lafts, a high value upon himself; as, in a lower condition, a servant eminently silful may be faucy; but he is faucy only because he is fervile. Swift appears to have preserved the kindness of the great when they wanted him no longer; and therefore it must be allowed, that the childish freedom, to which he seems enough inclined, was overpowered by his better qualities.
His disinterestedness has been likewise mentioned; a strain of heroifm, which would have been in his condition romantick and superfluous. Ecclesiastical benefices, when they become vacant, must be given away ; and the friends of Power may, if there be no inherent disqualification, reasonably expect them.
Swift accepted (1713) the deanery of St Patrick, the best preferment that his friends could venture to give hiin. That Ministry was in a great degree supported by the Clergy, who were not yet reconciled to the author of the Tale of a Tub, and would not without much discontent and indignation have born to see him installed in an English Cathedral.
He refused, indeed, fifty pounds from Lord Oxford; but he accepted afterwards a draught of a thousand upon the Exchequer, which was intercepted by the Queen's death, and which he resigned, as he says himself, multa gemens, with many a groan.
In the midst of his power and his politicks, he kept a journal of his visits, his walks, his interviews with Ministers, and quarrels with his fervant, and tranfVol. III.
mitted it to Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Dingley, to whom he knew that whatever befel him was interesting, and no accounts could be too minute. Whether these diurnal trifles were properly exposed to eyes which had never received any pleasure from the presence of the Dean, may be reasonably doubted: they have, however, , some odd attraction; the reader, finding frequent mention of names which he has been used to consider as important, goes on in hope of information; and, as there is nothing to fatigue attention, if he is disappointed he can hardly complain. It is easy to perceive, from every page, that though ambition pressed Swift into a life of bustle, the wish for a life of ease was always returning.
He went to take possession of his deanery, as soon as he had obtained it; but he was not suffered to stay in Ireland more than a fortnight before he was recalled to England, that he might reconcile Lord Oxford and Lord Bolingbroke, who began to look on one another with malevolence, which every day increased, and which Bolingbroke appeared to retain in his last years.
Swift contrived an interview, from which they both departed discontented : he procured a second, which only convinced him that the feud was irreconcilable : he told thein his opinion, that all was loft. This denunciation was contradicted by Oxford ; but Bolingbroke whispered that he was right.
Before this violent dissension had shattered the Ministry, Swift had published, in the beginning of the year (1714), The publick Spirit of the Whigs, in answer to The Crisis, a pamphlet for which Steele was expelled froin the House of Commons. Swift was now fo far
alienated from Steele as to think him no longer entitled to decency, and therefore treats him sometimes with contempt, and sometimes with abhorrence.
In this pamplet the Scotch were mentioned in terms so provoking to that irritable nation, that, resolving not to be offended with impunity, the Scotch Lords in a body demanded an audience of the Queen, and solicited reparation. A proclamation was issued, in which three hundred pounds was offered for discovery of the author. From this storm he was, as he relates, secured by a sleight; of what kind, or by whose prudence, is not known; and fuch was the increase of his reputation, that the Scottish Nation applied again that he would be their friend.
He was become so formidable to the Whigs, that his familiarity with the Ministers was clamoured at in Parliament, particularly by two men, afterwards of great note, Aislabie and Walpole.
But, by the disunion of his great friends, his importance and his designs were now at an end; and feeing his services at last useless, he retired about June (1714) into Berkshire, where, in the house of a friend, he wrote what was then suppressed, but has since appeared under the title of Free Thoughts on the present State of Affairs.
While he was waiting in this retirement for events which time or chance might bring to pass, the death of the Queen broke down at once the whole system of Tory Politicks; and nothing remained but to withdraw from the implacability of triumphant Whiggisin, and shelter himself in unenvied obscurity.
The accounts of his reception in Ireland, given by | Lord Orrery and Dr. Delany, are so different, that the credit of the writers, both undoubtedly veracious, cannot be saved, but by supposing, what I think is true,
that they speak of different times. When Delany says that he was received with respect, he means for the first fortnight, when he came to take legal poffesfion; and when Lord Orrery tells that he was pelted by the populace, he is to be understood of the time when, after the Queen's death, he became a settled resident.
The Archbishop of Dublin gave him at first some disturbance in the exercise of his jurisdiction; but it was soon discovered, that between prudence and integrity he was seldom in the wrong ; and that, when he was right, his fpirit did not easily yield to opposition.
Having so lately quitted the tumults of a party and the intrigues of a court, they still kept his thoughts in agitation, as the sea fluctuates a while when the storm has ceased. He therefore filled his hours with some historical attempts, relating to the Change of the Ministers and the Condu&t of the Ministry. He likewise is said to have written a History of the Four last Years of Queen Anne, which he began in her lifetime, and afterwards laboured with great attention, but never published. It was after his death in the hands of Lord Orrery
and Dr. King. A book under that title was published, with Swift's name, by Dr. Lucas; of which I can only say, that it seemed by no means to correspond with the notions that I had formed of it, from a conversation which I once heard between the Earl of Orrery and old Mr. Lewis.
Swift now, much against his will, commenced Irishman for life, and was to contrive how he might be best accommodated in a country where he considered himself as in a state of exile. It seems that his first recourse was to piety. The thoughts of death rushed upon him, at this time, with such inceffant importunity, that they took poffeffion of his mind, when he first waked, for many years together.
He opened his house by a publick table two days a week, and found his entertainments gradually frequented by more and more visitants of learning among the men, and of elegance among the women. Mrs. Johnson had left the country, and lived in lodgings not far from the deanery. On his publick days the regulated the table, but appeared at it as a mere guest, like other Ladies.
On other days he often dined, at a stated price, with Mr. Worral, a clergyman of his cathedral, whose house was recommended by the peculiar neatness and pleafantry of his wife. To this frugal mode of living, he was first disposed by care to pay fome debts which he had contracted, and he continued it for the pleasure of accumulating money. His avarice, however, was not suffered to obstruct the claims of his dignity; he was served in plate, and used to say that he was the poorest gentleman in Ireland that eat upon plate, and the richest that lived without a coach.
How he spent the rest of his time, and how he employed his hours of study, has been enquired with hopeless curiosity. For who can give an account of another's studies ? Swift was not likely to adınit any to his privacies, or to impart a minute account of his business or his leisure.
Soon after (1716), in his forty-ninth year, he was privately married to Mrs. Johnson by Dr. Afhe, Bishop of Clogher, as Dr. Madden told me, in the garden. The marriage made no change in their mode of life; they lived in different houses, as before ; nor did she ever lodge in the deanery but when Swift was seized with a fit of giddiness.
“ It would be difficult,” says Lord Orrery, “ to prove that they were ever afterwards “ together without a third person.”