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CAPTAIN JOHN CREICHTON.
FROM HIS OWN MATERIALS.
DRAWN UP AND DIGESTED BY
DR. J. SWIFT, D.S.P.D.
THE Printer's Advertisement sufficiently explains the purpose of these Memoirs, which form a most extraordinary picture of the times in which they were written. That a soldier of fortune, like Creichton, bred up, as it were, to the pursuit of the unfortunate fanatics, who were the objects of persecution in the reigns of Charles II. and James II., should have felt no more sympathy for them than the hunter for the game which he destroys, we can conceive perfectly natural : Nor is it to be wondered at that a man of letters, overlooking the cruelty of this booted apostle of prelacy in the wild interest of his narrations, should have listened and registered the exploits which he detailed. But what we must consider as shocking and even disgusting, is the obvious relish with which these acts are handed down to us in Swift's own narrative. The best apology is, that the reporter assumed the tone and spirit of the original hero, and that any trait of remorse, or penitence, would have utterly injured the authenticity of the Memoirs. If, however, the generous and free-born spirit of Swift could regard with complacence the pitiless slaughter of those ignorant and miserable enthusiasts, merely because they were enemies to the hierarchy, it is a striking instance how humanity and liberality may be hoodwinked by prejudices of education, interest, and political faction.
The Memoirs of Captain John Creichton were first printed in duodecimo, without publisher's name or place of publication, in 1731, and bore on the title, to be “written by himself.”
HEN Dr. Swift was at Sir Arthur Ache
son's, at Markethill, in the county of Armagh, an old gentleman was recommended to him, as being a remarkable
cavalier in the reigns of Charles II., James II., and William III. ; who had behaved with great loyalty and bravery in Scotland during the troubles of those reigns, but was neglected by the government, although he deserved great rewards from it. As he was reduced in his circumstances, Dr. Swift made him a handsome present; but said at the same time, “Sir, this trifle cannot support you long, and your friends may grow tired of you ; therefore, I would have you contrive some honest means of getting a sum of money, sufficient to put you into a way of life of supporting yourself with independency in your old age." To which Captain Creichton (for that was the gentleman's name) answered, “I have tired all my friends, and cannot expect any such extraordinary favours." Then Dr.