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nistry have been all much better pleased to place
say here, it is much to my reputation, that I have “ made a bishop in spite of all the world, and to
get the best deanery in Ireland.” He afterward shows how entirely this was his work, against all opposition, where he says, " I shall write next post “to bishop Sterne. Never man had so many ene
* mies of Ireland as he; I carried it with the “ strongest hand possible. If he does not use me “ well, and gently, in what dealings I shall have “ with him, he will be the most ungrateful of man« kind.”
In his whole account of this transaction, which exhibits a lively picture of his state of mind to the moment, he seems to have been much under the influence of humour. Though he was conscious that the queen herself was the chief bar to his promotion, yet he speaks as peevishly of the treasurer, as if the sole blame lay with him. At one time he seems earnest about obtaining St. Patrick's, and is angry with the treasurer for putting any rub in the way, though in favour of another measure, which would certainly have pleased him more. When he mentions the queen’s having consented to Swift's arrangement of the bishoprick and deanery, he adds, much out of humour,“ but then out “ came lord treasurer, and said he would not be “ satisfied, but that I must be a prebendary of Wind
sor. Thus he perplexes things. I expect neither; “ but I confess, as much as I love England, I am so
angry at this treatment, that if I had my choice, “I would rather have St. Patrick's.” And yet in his Journal of the 18th, the day but one after this, when he learns from the treasurer, that the queen was at last resolved upon the arrangement proposed, he says, “ Neither can I 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.” How contrary is this to his former declaration! But in the whole of this affair,
Swift seems to have been deserted by his usual firmness of mind, and to have acted with the frowardness of an humoursome child, who either does not know his own mind, or will not tell it; and yet expects that others should find it out, and do what he wants.
Another reason for his not desiring to procure the bishoprick for himself, might perhaps arise from his supposing, that this might be considered as a full equivalent for his services, and the ne plus ultra of his preferment, to the exclusion of all future prospects in England, where all his wishes centred. But I am persuaded, that the chief motive to his extraordinary conduct on this occasion, and his so pertinaciously adhering to that particular mode, and no other, of providing for him, in opposition to the desire of his best friends, and particularly of the duke of Ormond, was, that he had promised to make Sterne a bishop the first opportunitý. As he was remarkably tenacious of his word, he was determined to keep it on this occasion, though he seems, by some expressions, not to have looked upon Sterne as his friend, but rather to have resentment against him, on account of some ill treatment received at his hands *. In his Journal to Stella,
• The cause of his resentment is thus set forth, in a letter to Sterne, then bishop of Clogher, dated July 1733. “When I first “ came acquainted with you, we were both private clergymen in a “ neighbourhood: you were afterward chancellor of St. Patrick's, “ then was chosen dean ; in whici electio:, I was the most busy “ of all your solicitors. When the compromise was made between " the government and you, to make you easy, and Dr. Synge “ chancellor, you absolutely and frequently promised to give me
October 28, 1712, he
“ I had a letter to day “ from Dr. Coghill, desiring me to get Raphoe for “ dean Sterne, and the deanery for myself. I shall “indeed, I have such obligations to Sterne. But,
however, if I am asked who will make a good bi“ shop, I shall name him before any body.”
In the February following, he says, in the same Journal, “ I did not write to Dr. Coghill, that I “would have nothing in Ireland, but that I was soli“ citing nothing any where, and this is true. I have “ named Dr. Sterne to lord treasurer, lord Boling“ broke, and the duke of Ormond, for a bishoprick, " and I did it heartily. I know not what will come “ of it; but I tell you, as a great secret, that I have " made the duke of Ormond promise me to recom“ mend no body till he tells me, and this for some reasons, too long to mention.”
While the matter was in agitation, he thus writes to Stella, on the 7th of the March following: “I “ write by this post to the dean, but it is not above " two lines; and one enclosed to you is not above “ three lines; and in that one enclosed to the dean, “which he must not have, but on condition of burning it immediately after reading, and that before
your eyes; for there are some things in it I
" the curacy + of St. Nicholas Without : you thought fit, by con"cert with the archbishop, to hold it yourself, and apply the re
venue to build another church. Upon the queen's death, when “I had done for ever with courts, I returned to reside at my post, " yet with some kind of hopes of getting some credit with you, very “ unwisely ; because upon the affair of St. Nicholas, I had told "you frankly, “That I would always respect you, but never
hope for the least friendship from you.'
+ Though this be called a curacy, yet it is in reality a living of considerable value.
would not have liable to accidents. You shall “only know in general, that it is an account of “ what I have done to serve him, in his pretensions “ on these vacancies, &c. but he must not know, " that you know so much.”
It is evident, from some of the above quotations, that Swift was far from having any cordial regard for Sterne, and that he had thought himself, on some occasions, to have been ill treated by him. Nothing therefore can, in my opinion, account for his obstinate perseverance in making him a bishop, in spite of all the world, as he himself expresses it, but the sacredness of an engagement.
Whatever ill opinion Swift had formed of Sterne before, was thoroughly confirmed by his very ungrateful behaviour to him, immediately after he had made him a bishop. In his Journal of May 16, he writes thus : “ Your new bishop acts very ungrate“ fully. I cannot say so bad of him as he deserves. “ I begged, by the same post his warrant and mine “ went over, that he would leave those livings to my
disposal. I shall write this post to him, to let him “ know how ill I take it *."
* Swift had afterward cause to complain farther of bis ingrati. tude, where he says to him in a letter, dated 1733 : “But trying to
forget all former treatments, I came, like others, to your house, " and since you were a bishop, have once or twice recommended
persons to you, who were no relations or friends of mine, but " merely for their general good character; which availed so little, " that those very persons had the greatest share of your neglect."