Imatges de pÓgina

so still. And this is not to make my court, which I know is vain, for I owo myself full of doubts, fears, and dissatisfactions, which I think on as seldom as I can: Yet, if I were of any value, the public may safely rely on my loyalty, because I look upon the coming of the Pretender as a greater evil than any we are likely to suffer, under the worst Whig ministry that can be found."*

It would be in vain to waste more words on this accu. sation, excepting that no one had more reason to dread the accession of a Catholic prince than the determined champion of the Church of England; nor could a counter-revolution, which must have been achieved by foreign aid, and supported by arbitrary and military authority, have been so odious to any one as to the resolved and undaunted defender of the liberties of Ire. land. His manuscript Notes upon Addison's Freeholder, a paper designed to support the government during the insurrection of 1715, indicate, indeed, compassion for the insurgents, and no great respect for the reigning family, but intimate no approbation of the Jacobite principles, nor any wish for a restoration of the Stuart line. It is true that, to be even the apologist of these unfortunate persons, might, in the rigorous judgment of more zealous partizans, misbecome one who professed himself a Whig, though without modern refinements. If this be judged an inconsistency, it must be considered as one of those which frequently occur from the accidental collision of human passions with political principle. But, excepting in these momentary flashes of satire, if we examine the whole tenour of Swift's life, writings, and opinions, there cannot be an action, or line, or sentiment derived from his history, writings, or letters, to countenance the charge of Jacobitism with which he was at this period of his life so generally slandered.

T imputation of disaffection has often the same effect with the reality, especially in a proviocial capi. tal, where the retainers of party endeavour to supply

Swift's Works, Vol. XVI. p. 269.



their deficiency in real importance, by zeal, clamour, and intolerance. Swift seems, therefore, for some time, to have been secluded from the society of the great, powerful, and distinguished; and the companion of Oxford and Bolingbroke, of Prior, Pope, Gay, had to select his society from the men of kindred taste in his own order, with a few of more elevated rank, who either had the sense and spirit to “ forsake politics for wit," or were pot disinclined to high-church politics. Delany has enumerated several of these in a passage, where he repels with equal success and indignation, the assertion of Orrery, that Swift delighted in company of low rank, and parasitical manners.

He mentions, that Swift's principal companions, the Grattans, seven brethren of high honour, in their various walks of life,* as generally acquainted, and as much beloved as any family in England, their ally, the Rev. Mr. Jackson, George Rochfort, and Peter Ludlow, both gentlemen of accomplishments, and, what Lord Orrery might think more material, of good birth, and easy fortune. He also enumerates Dr. Walmsley, Dr. Helsham, Dr. Sheridan, Mr. Stopford, afterwards Bishop of Cloyne, and himself; and what he says of Rochfort and Ludlow, may apply to most of Swift's society. “Greater companions be might have conversed with, but better he neither did, nor could.”+

Amusing his leisure in this society, Swift had yet too much time remaining to reflect on his own disappointments, and the calamity of those who had lately been engaged with him on the public stage. Like a seaman wrecked upon a solitary island, we find him constantly lamenting the misfortunes and danger of the associates from whom he was divided,-longing for their society, undervaluing, in his grief for their separation, the safety and the solitude which had fallen to his own lot. His thoughts were ever turning to 6 bis friends in exile, or the Tower,” nor did he omit all that was in his power to manifest his sympathy with their distress, at every risk to his own person and fortune. He corresponded with Lord Bolingbroke, even while in banishment, through bad report, and good report. He offered consolation to Lady Masham, and to the yet more unfortuDate Dutchess of Ormond. But to Oxford, his patron and his friend, then imprisoned in the Tower, and threatened with impeachment for high treason, Swift manifested that affection which only generous and noble minds can feel, and which glows highest when it most compromises the safety of him by whom it is displayed. He claimed it as his right to offer his service and attendance during his friend's imprisonment—he entreated it as a boon : 6 It is the first time,” are his striking words, " I ever solicited you in my own behalf, and if I am refused, it will be the first request you ever refused me.

* The eldest lived on his paternal fortune. One was a physician, one a merchant, and afterwards lord mayor of Dublin ; one was head master of a free-school, with a large appointment, and the remaining three were clergymen. “ Do you not know the Grattans ?" said Swift to Lord Carteret, when he came over as lord-lieutenant ; " then pray obtain their acquaintance. The Grattans, my lord, can raise 10,000 men.' This was one of the instances in which Swift showed his desire of enhancing the importance of his friends. He alluded to the great popularity of the family, and Carteret seems to have found his report just, since Dr. Grattan was uamed physi. cian to the lord-lieutenant and his family.' He wrote to the Duke of Dorset concerning the Grattans, making use of the såme phrase. See his Works, Vol. XVIII. p. 493.

+ Delany's Observations, p. 95.

Oxford seems to have declined an offer, which, without being useful to him, could only have involved a noble and disinterested friend in suspicion and danger. But the generosity and self-devotion by which it was dictated, should be equally remembered in Swift's favour, and silence for ever the obscure and unproved calumnies, which are inconsistent with the very nature of such a mind. He writes to Pope in this melancholy strain, “ You know how well I loved both Lord Oxford and Lord Bolingbroke, and how dear the Duke of Ormond is to me: Do you imagine I can be easy wbile their enemies are endeavouring to take off their heads ? I nunc, et versus tecum meditare canoros." —And after an account of his living in the most secluded manner with a few servants, in the corner of a vast unfurnished house, he describes his amusements to be


* Swift's Works, Vol. XVI. p. 232.

the task of defending his small dominions against the archbishop, and endeavouring to reduce his rebellious choir. Perditur, is the melancholy summing up, perditur inter hæc misero lux.

If it be possible that any one should peruse these pages, to whom the wayward history of Swift's domestic misfortunes are altogether unknown, such a reader may be surprised, that, endowed with a competence wbich his economy was speedily increasing into opulence, he had not now at length relieved the tedium of celibacy, and diverted his painful reflections upon public affairs, and the fate of his friends, by seeking domestic comfort and society in an union with Stella, who had forsaken England on his account, and towards whom so much affection is expressed in the earlier part of his journal. But the fate of a third person was now entwined with theirs, and the misfortunes which followed must be the subject of an uninterrupted narrative.


Swift's first Acquaintance with Miss Vanhomrigh-She follows him to IrelandSwift's Marriage with StellaDeath of Miss VanhomrighPoem of Cadenus and Vanessa-Swift's Studies during his retirement from 1714 to 1720His system of Life and AmusementsEngages in Irish Politics-His Proposal for Encouragement of Irish Manufactures

and other TractsDrapier's LettersSwift's subsequent popularity.

At the period of Swift's residence in England, he was possessed, in an eminent degree, of many of the qualities which are the surest passports to female fa

He was not only a map of the highest talents, but be enjoyed, in full extent, all the public notice and distinction which the reputation of such talents can confer. He moved in the highest circles, was concerned in the most important business of the time, and had all the advantage of a dame blowo wide abroad in the world. In private society, the varied richness of his conversation, the extent of his knowledge, bis unequalled powers of wit and humour, even the somewhat cynical eccentricities of his temper, joined to form a character equally interesting from its merit and originality. His manners, in these bis better days, were but slightly tinged with the peculiarities which afterwards marked them more unpleasantly, and his ease and address were such as became the companion of statesmen and courtiers :


“ He moved, and bow'd, and talked with too much grace, Nor show'd the parson in his gait or face.” Thus accomplished, Swift was readily admitted to the intimate society of many of the most beautiful and accomplished women of the age. His correspondence with the unfortunate Mrs. Long, shows how well be knew to support the character of a favourite of the fair. The friendship of Lady Betty Germain, of Mrs. Barton, of the Countess of Winchelsea, the Dutchess of Ormond, Lady Masham, and many other ladies eminent for beauty or accomplishments, rank or fashion, evinces how high he stood in the estimation of those by whom it is almost every man's ambition to be distinguished. But these enviable talents of pleasing became, through an unfortunate contingence, the means of embittering, if not of abridging, the life of the possessor.

Amongst the families in London where Swift was chiefly domesticated, was that of Mrs. Vanhomrigh, a widow lady of fortune and respectability, who had two sons and two daughters.* The eldest daughter was

* She was the daughter of Mr. Stone the commissioner, and widow of Bartholomew Vanhomrigh, a Dutch merchant, who had been commissary of stores sor King Williain during the Irish civil wars, and afterwards inuster-master-general, and commissioner of the revenue. Notwithstanding his having enjoyed a large income, and purchased forfeited estates to the value of L.12,000 in Ireland, he did not leave above L.16,000 to be divided amongst his children at

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