piment and amazement, It was received with such avidity, that the price of the first edition was raised before the second could be made; it was read by the high and the low, the learned and illiterate. Criticism was for a while lost in wonder; no rules of judgement were applied to a book written in open defiance of truth and regularity. But when distinctions came to be made, the part which

gave least pleasure was that which describes the Flying Isand, ind that which gave most disgust must be the history of the Houyhnhnms.

While Swift was enjoying the reputation of his new work, the news of the king's death arrived ; and he kissed the hands of the new King and Queen three days after their acceffion.

By the Queen, when she was Princess, he had been treated with some distinction, and was well received by her in her exaltation; but whether she gave hopes which she never took care to satisfy, or he formed expectations which she never meant to raise, the event was, that he always afterwards thought on her with malevolence, and particularly charged her with breaking her promise of some medals which she engaged to send him.

I know not whether she had not, in her turn, some reason for complaint. A Letter was sent her, not so much entreating as requiring her patronage of Mrs. Barber, an ingenious Iriftwoman, who was then begging subscriptions for her Poems. To this Letter was subscribed the name of Swift, and it has all the appearances of his diction and sentiments; but it was not written in his hand, and had some little improprieties. When he was charged with this Letter, he laid hold of the inaccuracies, and urged the improbability of the accusation; but never denied it: he shuffles


between cowardice and veracity, and talks big when he says nothing.

He seemed desirous enough of recommencing cour. tier, and endeavoured to gain the kindness of Mrs. Howard, remembering what Mrs. Masham had

performed in former times; buthis flatteries were, like thofe of the other wits, unsuccessful; the Lady either wanted power, or had no ambition of poetical immortality.

He was seized not long afterwards by a fit of giddiness, and again heard of the sickness and danger of Mrs. Johnson. He then left the house of Pope, as it seems, with very little ceremony, fnding that two fick friends cannot live together ; and did not write to him till he found himself at Chester.

He returned to a home of sorrow: poor Stella was sinking into the grave, and, after a languishing decay of about two months, died in her forty-fourth year, on: January 28, 1728. How much he wished her life, his papers shew; nor can it be doubted that he dreaded the death of her whom he loved most, aggravated by the consciousness that himse.f had hastened it.

Beauty and the power of pleasing, the greatest external advantages that womar. can desire or possess, were fatal to the unfortunate Stella. The man whom the had the misfortune to love was, as Delany observes, fond of singularity, and defrous to make a mode of happiness for himself, differert from the general course of things and order of Providence. From the time of her arrival in Ireland he seems resolved to keep her in his power, and therefore hindered a match sufficiently advantageous, by accumulating unreasonable demands, and prescribing conditions that could not be performed. While she was at her own disposal he did not consider

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his poffeffion as secure ; resentment, ambition, or caprice, might separate them; he was therefore resolved to make assurance double fure, and to appropriate her by a private marriage, to which he had annexed the ex. pectation of all the pleasures of perfect friendship, without the uneasiness of conjugal restraint. But with this ftate poor Stella was not satisfied ; she never was treated as a wife, and to the world she had the appearance of a mistress. She lived "sullenly on, in hope that in time he would own and receive her ; but the time did not come till the change of his manners and depravation of his mind made her tell him, when he offered to acknowledge her, that it was too late. She then gave up herself to sorrowful resentment, and died under the tyranny of him, by whom the was in the highest degree loved and honoured.

What were her claims to this excentrick tenderness, by which the laws of nature were violated to retain her, curiosity will enquire; but how shall it be gratified? Swift was a lover ; his testimony may be suspected. Delany and the Irish saw with Swift's eyes, and therefore add little confirmation. That she was virtuous, beautiful, and elegant, in a very high degree, such admiration from such a lover makes it very probable; but she had not much literature, for she could not spell her own language; and of her wit, so loudly vaunted, the smart sayings which Swift himself has collected afford no splendid specimen.

The reader of Swift's Letter to a Lady on her mar. riage, may be allowed to doubt whether his opinion of female excellence ought implicitly to be admitted ; for if his general thoughts on women were such as he exhibits, a very little fense in a Lady would enrapture,

told me,

and a very little virtue would astonish him. Stella's supremacy, therefore, was perhaps only local; she was great, because her associates were little.

In some Remarks lately published on the Life of Swift, this marriage is mentioned as fabulous, or doubtful; but, alas! poor Stella, as Dr. Madden

related her melancholy story to Dr. Sheridan; when he attended her as a clergyman to prepare her for death; and Delany mentions it not with doubt, but only with regret: Swift never mentioned her with: out a sigh.

The rest of his life was spent in freland, in a coun: try to which not even power almost defpotick, nor flattery almoft idolatrous, could reconcile him. He sometimes wished to visit England, but always found some reason of delay. He tells Pope, in the decline of life, that he hopes once more to see him ; but if not, says he, we must part, as all human beings have parted..

After the death of Stella, his benevolence was contracted, and his severity exasperated; he drove his acquaintance from his table, and wondered why he was deserted. But he continued his attention to the publick, and wrote from time to time such directions, admonitions, or censures, as the exigency of affairs, in his opinion, made proper ; and nothing fell from his pen

in vain. In a short poem on the Presbyterians, whom he always regarded with detestation, he bestowed one strica ture upon Bettesworth, a lawyer eminent for his insolence to the clergy, which, from very considerable reputation, brought him into immediate and universal sontempt. Bettesworth, enraged at his disgrace and



loss, went to Swift, and demanded whether he was the author of that

poem ? “ Mr. Bettesworth,” an{wered he, “ I was in my youth acquainted with great

lawyers, who, knowing my disposition to satire, ad« vised me, that if any scoundrel or blockhead whom " I had lampooned should ask, Are you the author of " this paper? I should tell him that I was not the au“ thor; and therefore I tell you, Mr. Bettesworth, " that I am not the author of these lines."

Bettesworth was so little satisfied with this account, that he publickly professed his resolution of a violent and corporal revenge; but the inhabitants of St. Patrick's district embodied themselves in the Dean's defence. Bettesworth declared in Parliament, that Swift had deprived him of twelve hundred pounds a year.

Swift was popular awhile by another mode of beneficence. He fet alide fome hundreds to be lent in small sums to the poor, from five shillings, I think, to five pounds. He took no interest, and only required that, at repayment, a small fee should be given to the accomptant ; but he required that the day of promised payment should be exactly kept. A févere and pun&tilious temper is ill qualified for transactions with the poor ; the day was often broken, and the loan was not repaid. This might have been easily foreseen but for this Swift had made no provision of patience or pity. He ordered his debtors to be sued. A severe creditor has no popular character ; what then was likely to be faid of him who employs the catchpoll under the appearance of charity? The clamour against him was loud, and the resentment of the populace outrageous; he was therefore forced to drop his scheme,

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