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seems to have lost patience with his friend Oxford, even while he was sensible he laboured all he could to overcome the prejudices against his character in the royal breast. This respectful - moderation is a strong contrast to the offence which he afterwards expressed against Queen Caroline for much slighter neglect. But in the former case, Queen Anne's favour for the church, and for the ministers with whom Swift lived in such intimacy, seems to bave subdued his resentment for her personal dislike.*
The warrant for the Deanery of St. Patrick's was signed 23d February, and Swift set out for Ireland early in June 1713, to take possession of a preferment, which he always professed to consider as at best an honourable exile. It must have been indeed unexpected, that his unexampled court favour should all terminate in his obtaining a deanery in a kingdom remote
Poor York! the harmless tool of others' hate ;
Now angry Somerset her.vengeance vows,
And thence into the royal ear distils. It is remarkable, that, in two passages of his Journal to Stella, Swift intimates that the Archbishop of York had expressed a strong wish to be reconciled to him ; but it does not appear that they ever met. Delany, after expressing his surprise that Swist should ever have been represented as an infidel, mentions, as if it consisted with his own knowledge, “ It will be some satisfaction to the reader, as I doubt not it was to Swift, (though no reparation of the injury,) to know that the archbishop lived to repent of this injury done to Swift, expressed great sorrow for it, and desired his forgiveness."— Observations upon Lord Orréry's Remarks, &c. p. 271.
* Bolingbroke always afirmed, that the queen had no unfavourable impression of Swift, and that he had been assured by herself, that neither the Archbishop of York, nor any one else, had prejudiced her against him. He represented the whole as an invention of Lord Oxford, to keep Swist to his deanery in Ireland. Dr. King shrewdly observes, “If Lord Bolingbroke had hated the Earl of Oxford less, I should have been readily inclined to believe him.”King's Anecdotes, p. 61. Indeed, no adequate reason can be assigned, why Oxford should have impeded the promotion of his most zealous friend and active partizan. Bolingbroke meant it to be inferred, perhaps, that Swift was likely to take his side and desert Oxford, when they came to an open rupture. But Swift's subsequent behaviour affords no room for such a belief.
from those statesmen who equally needed his assistance, and delighted in his society. Nor can we doubt that he was disappointed, as well as surprised, since at one time he held his services too essential to the administration, to allow them even to create him a bishop in Ireland.*
To the very last, he confesses he thought the ministry would not have parted with him, and could only conclude, that they had not the option of making a suitable provision for him in England.
Swift takes possession of his Deanery—Is recalled to Eng.
land to reconcile Harley and St. John-Increases in favour with Oxford-Engages again in Political controversy-Writes the Public Spirit of the Whigs—A reward offered for discovery of the Author- The dissensions of the Ministers increase-Swift retires to the CountryWrites Thoughts on the Present State of Affairs-Writes to Lord Oxford on his being Displaced — And retires to Ireland on the Queen's Death-His reception—His Society-The interest he displayed in the misfortunes of his Friends.
The biographers of Swift have differed in their account of Swift's reception as Dean of St. Patrick's.
* Journal, May 29, 1711. “We hear your Bishop Hickman is dead; but nobody here will do anything for me in Ireland, so they may die as fast or slow as they please.” Swift's Works, Vol. II. p. 278. Hickman, Bishop of Derry, was succeeded by Dr. Hartstonge, translated from the See of Ossory.
+ Journal, 18th April 1713. " Neither can feel joy at passing my days in Ireland ; and I confess I thought the ministry would not let me go; but perhaps they cannot help it.” Swift's Works, Vol. III. p. 155.
According to Lord Orrery, it was unfavourable in the extreme. He was shunned by the better class, hissed, hooted, and even pelted by the rabble. This is contradicted by Delany and 'Sheridan, who argue on the improbability of his experiencing such affronts, when the high.church interest, which he had so ardently served, was still in its zenith. Indeed, there is no doubt, that Lord Orrery's account is greatly exaggerated, or rather that his lordship has confounded the circum. stances which attended Swift's first reception, with those of his final retirement to his deanery after the death of the queen. Yet, even on his first arrival, his reception was far from cordial. Many, even among his own order, beheld with envy the Vicar of Laracor elevated by mere force of talents to a degree of power
and consequence seldom attained by the highest dignitaries of the church; and they scarce forgave him for his success, even in the very negotiation of which they reaped the benefit. 61 remit them,” says Swift, with indignant contempt," their first fruits of ingratitude, as freely as I got the others remitted to them."* He had also more legitimate enemies. The violent Whigs detested him as an apostate from their party; the dissenters regarded his highchurch principles with dread and aversion; and both had at that time considerable influence in the city of Dublin.
Swift's Works, Vol. II. p. 390. † The following copy of verses occur in the Works of Jonathan Smedley, and are said to have been fixed on the door of St. Patrick's Cathedral on the day of Swift's instalment :
To-day, this temple gets a Dean,
Of parts and fame uocommon ;
To serve both God and Mammon.
When Wharton reign'd, a Whig he was;
When Pembroke, that's dispute, sir;
Non-Con, or jack, or Neuter.
This place he got by wit and rhyme,
And inany ways most odd;
The temper and manners of Swift were ill qualified to allay these prejudices. In assuming his new offices, with perhaps too much an air of authority, he soon provoked opposition from the Archbishop of Dublin, and from his own chapter; and he was thwarted and disappointed both in his arrangements with his predecessor, and in the personal promotions which he wished to carry through for his friends. Besides, he had returned to Ireland a dissatisfied, if not a disappointed man, neither hoping to give nor receive pleasure, and such unhappy expectations are usually the means of realizing themselves. His intimate friendship with Vanessa already embittered the pleasure of rejoining Stella ; and it was therefore no wonder, that, after hurrying from Dublin to his retirement at Laracor, he should write to the former in the following strain of despondency. 66 I staid but a fortnight in Dublin, very sick,
and returned not one visit of a hundred that were made me;
And might a bishop be in time,
Did he believe in God.
For High-Church men and policy
He swears he prays most hearty ;
A Dean of any party.
Four lessons, Dean, all in one day!
Faith! it is hard, that's certain :
G-d den thee, Jack and Martin.
Hard ! to be plagued with Bible, still,
And prayer-book before thee;
On some diverting story?
Look down, St. Patrick, look, we pray,
On thine own church and steeple;
Or else, God help the people!
And now, whene'er his Deansbip dies,
Upon his tomb be 'graven ;
Who never thought of Heaven,
but all to the Dean, and none to the Doctor. I am riding here for life; and I think I am something better. I hate the thoughts of Dublin, and prefer a field-bed, and an earthen-foor, before the great house there, which they say is mine.”_" At my first coming, I thought I should have died with discontent, and was horribly melancholy while they were installing me, but it begins to wear off, and change to dulness." He writes Arch! : bishop King in the same strain of discontented melancholy;t and it is still more strongly expressed in his verses, Vol. XII. p. 335.
While Swift was in a state of seclusion, so different from the bustling scene in which he had been for three years engaged, he received from the Tory administration the most anxious summons, pressing his instant return to England. Swift had early observed to Harley and St. John, that the success and stability of their goyernment depended upon their mutual confidence and regard for each other. But this was soon endangered by a variety of minute grounds of mistrust, as well as by the differing genius of these two statesmen. Oxford was slow, mysterious, and irresolute ; St. John vehement, active, and irregularly ambitious. The former was desirous of engrossing from his colleague, not only the essentials of ministerial power, but all its outward show and credit; the latter was ambitious of sharing the honours, as well as the fatigues, of public employment. These dissensions sometimes smouldered in secret, sometimes burst out into open flame; were frequently suppressed, but never extinguished. The disunion became visible to Swift, so early as within the first six months of their administration, f and in about
* The letter is dated Laracor, 8th July 1713. Swift's Works, Vol. XIX. p. 334.
†"I can tell your grace nothing from Dublin. I was there between business and physic, and paid no visits, nor received any, but one day.” Letter, 16th July 1713. Swift's Works, Vol. XVI. p. 52,
# Journal, 27th April 1711. “I am heartily sorry to find my friend the secretary stand a little ticklish with the rest of the ministry; there have been one or two disobliging things that have happened. I will, if I meet Mr, St. John alone on Sunday, tell him 20y opinion, and beg him to set himself right, else the consequences