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very unjustly on lord Bolingbroke, as may be seen in his letter to miss Vanhomrigh, August 1, 1714. “ I am not of your opinion about lord Bolingbroke,
perhaps he may get the staff, but I cannot rely on « his love to me.
He knew I had a mind to be his“ toriographer, though I valued it not but for the
publick service ; yet it is gone to a worthless rogue, " that nobody knows.” But it appears from a letter of Dr. Arbuthnot's, July 17, 1714, that lord Bolingbroke was most hearty in his cause ;, where he says, “ I gave your letter, with the enclosed memorial, ca“ valièrement to lord Bolingbroke. He read it, and “ seemed concerned at some part of it, expressing « himself thus : • That it would be among the eter“ nal scandals of the government, to suffer a man of
your character, that had so well deserved of them, " to have the least uneasy thoughts about those “ matters.” But the truth is, that it was out of my lord's power to have served him in this point, as the memorial was not put into his hands till a fortnight after the place had been disposed of *. So that it is probable it never was presented to the queen. And his friend Ford, to whom he had also communicated his suspicions of Bolingbroke, vindicates him from the charge in a letter, written five days after the queen's death, where he says, “ I really believe lord “ Bolingbroke was very sincere in the professions he “made of you, and he could have done any thing. “ No minister was ever in that height of favour, and
lady Masham was at least in as much credit, as she
* In a letter from Charles Ford, esq., to Dr. Swift, July 20, 1714, is the following passage. “I thought you had heard the historio“ grapher's place had been disposed of this fortnight. I know no " inore of him who has it, than that his name is Maddocks.”
had “ been in any time of her life. But these are me" lancholy reflections."
There is a passage in a letter from Swift to Pope, January 10, 1721, relative to this office, which at first view seems to contradict what he himself had said about it, as related above. “ I had indeed “ written some memorials of the four last years of " the queen's reign, with some other informations “ which I received, as necessary materials to qualify “me for doing something in an employment then
designed for me ; but, as it was at the disposal of a person
who had not the smallest share of steadi“ness or sincerity, I disdained to accept it.” But this apparent contradiction may easily be thus solved, Swift scorned to accept the employment as a favour, from the officer in whose department it was, for the reason he assigns, and would receive it only from her majesty's own appointment, to whom he therefore personally applied by memorial *,
I shall take leave of this period of Swift's life, by observing that he was thrown into the world at a most fortunate era to gratify the ruling passions of his heart. The chief pleasures of his life seem to
* The circumstance of the disposal of this post from Swift, has afforded lord Orrery an opportunity of exposing his ignorance, and invidious disposition to lower Swift's consequence to the utmost. He says, “ He (Swift) knew how useful he was to adininistration in
general; and in one of his letters he mentions, that the place of “ bistoriographer was intended for him, but I am apt to suspect " that he flattered himself too highly.” Surely his lordship must have been either so ill informed, as to suppose this post to be a very considerable one, or that Swift was without any degree of credit. Hi flattered himself too highly. Good Heaven ! that such a man as Swift, should be accused of flattering himself too highly, in expecting an employment, attended with much trouble, and without any degree cither of honour or profit!
have arisen from friendship contracted with men of worth and talents, and the society of persons of wit and genius; and never was there an era in which he could be so amply indulged with regard to both. I know there are numbers who laugh at those who speak with admiration of past times, and lament the degeneracy of the present, as idle declaimers, laudatores temporis acti; with which the world has constantly been furnished in all nations, from age to age; but that in reality all times have been much alike. In order that a fair comparison may be made between the period I have been speaking of, and that which followed to the present time, I shall here set down a list of the extraordinary men who then flourished together.
Beside many others that might be mentioned, of no small note. When they who are advocates for the above opinion, shall attempt to draw out a list of names in the present times, to be put in competition with these, they will soon be obliged to confess and retract their errour.
From his return to IRELAND to his Death,
MMEDIATELY after the decease of the queen, Swift returned to Ireland, where he found things in the highest ferment: the whigs all in triumph, threatening vengeance on the whole body of the desponding tories, as soon as power should come into their hands. However violent the proceedings of the whigs in England might afterward be, their animosity against the opposite party was moderate, in comparison with the hatred which their brethren of Ireland bore to the tories. All the stories fabri
cated in England by the whigs, of an intention to bring in the pretender by the late ministry, and which were only calculated for the more violent of their party, and the vulgar, were universally and implicitly believed in Ireland. The dreadful and detested days of James II, of which there were still so many living witnesses in that kingdom, and in which the whole body of protestants suffered so much, came fresh into their minds, and raised the utmost abhorrence of all who were supposed to be abettors of such a measure. They were taught to consider the word tory and jacobite, as synonymous terms; and as Swift was known to have been highly in the confidence of the late ministry, he was of course supposed to have been deeply concerned with them in the plot of bringing in the pretender. Being the only one then in Ireland, against whom a charge could be made of having an immediate hand in such a design, he became the chief object upon which the madness of party vented its rage. He was constantly insulted with opprobrious language as he walked the streets, and some of the niore violent, used to take up dirt from the kennel to throw at him as he passed along; insomuch, that he was obliged never to go abroad without servants armed to protect his person. Nor was it from the lower class of people only, that he met with such insults ; but those of a higher rank, in proportion as they were actuated by the virulence of party, or wished to make a merit to themselves with the governing powers, took all opportunities of treating him with the utmost indignity. Of this I have a strong instance now before me, in a paper drawn up by Swift himself. The title of it is, “ The Dean of St. Patrick's Petition to the House