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function as a clergy man was confined to a private family, but he was regular in the discharge of it, having stated times in the morning and evening for their meeting together at prayers. He took upon himself the office of preceptor to a young lady, niece to sir William Temple, residing in his house, teaching her English, and directing her in a proper course of reading. At the same time miss Johnson, afterward so well known by the name of Stella, was a fellow student with the other young lady, and partook of the benefit of the same instruction. Miss Johnson was daughter to sir William Temple’s steward; and was at that time about fourteen years of age, beautiful in her person, and possessed of such fine talents, as made Swift take great delight in cultivating and forming her mind. At this time too he writ his famous Digressions to be found in the Tale of a Tub; and the Battle of the Books, in honour of his great and learned friend.
Conformité de Religion, &c. From Jan. 7, 1696-7.
Dialogues des Morts, 2 vols. Lord Herbert's Harry VIII fol. Lucretius, ter. Sleidan's Comment. abstracted, Histoire de Mr. Constance fol.
Histoire d'Ethiopie Council of Trent, abstracted, fol. Histoire de Cotes de, &c. Virgil, bis.
Diodorus Siculus, abstr. fol. Horace, 9 vols.
Cyprian & Irenæus, abstr. fol. Sir William Temple's Memoirs Voyage de Maroce, Esc.
Introduc- Ælian, Vol. I. lion
Homer, Iliad, & Odyss. Camden's Elizabeth
Cicero's Epistles Prince Arthur
Bernier's Grand Mogol, 2 vols. Histoire de Chypre
Burnet's Hist, of Retorm. fol. Voyage de Syam
Petronius Arbiter. Voiture
Oeuvres mêlées, 5 vols.
From Jan. 7, 1097-8.
Thucydides, byHobbes, abstr. fol. Count Gabalis
'Theophrasti characteres Sir John Davies, of the Soul Vosrius de Sibyllinis.
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In the year 1699, sir William Temple died, leaving Swift a legacy, and the care, trust, and advantage, of publishing his posthumous writings. As he had also obtained a promise from king William, that he would give Swift a prebend either of Canterbury or Westminster, he thought he had made a sufficient return for all his merits toward him, and that he left him in the high road to preferment*.
Before we accompany Swift into the world, let us review the manner of his passing his life, from the time that we stopped to survey him on his way to Leicester, when, forlorn and hopeless as his condition was, the unseen hand of Providence was guiding him to the means of all his future greatness, in placing him under the hospitable roof of sir William Temple. However bounteous nature had been, in bestowing on Swift extraordinary talents, yet were they of such a kind, as required much time and application to bring them to perfection, and fit them to answer their destined ends. He had missed the usual season of cultivating those talents, but at the same time he had escaped the danger of their being perverted and misapplied. His mind had not been straitlaced into that fashionable shape which seemed most beautiful to the eyes of pedantry, but was suffered to reach its full growth according to the course of nature. Thus did it attain an unusual size, vigour, and ease. He did not enter seriously upon his studies till his understanding was mature; thus all that he read was to some useful end, nor was his memory charged with those important trifles, about which the scholastick world is generally so busy. He read the classicks at a time when he could penetrate into their profoundest depths, and enrich himself with the spoils of their hidden treasures ; not at the usual season of boyishness, when the weak sight can be regaled only with such flowery beauties as are pointed out to it on the surface. Thinking for himself as a man, he soon saw that no science was so valuable to man, as that of human nature. He judged that the best way to obtain a general knowledge of that, was from history; and a more particular view of it, from studying mankind. He could not possibly have been better situate than at Moor Park, to have made observations on the higher and more refined life; and he studiously sought all opportunities, during his little excursions and journies, to make himself acquainted with low life; often preferring the conveyance of waggons, and their inns, to those of coaches. Scenes of middling life must, of course, often fall in his way; and where, to a boundless curiosity, there was added from nature an uncommon penetration, it is no wonder he became such an adept in the knowledge of man, and of the world. A science essentially necessary to him to make that figure which he afterward did in life.
* Such was the love and attention which Swift showed to this great man, that in his last illness he kept a daily register of the variations which appeared in his constitution, from July 1, 1698, to the 27th of January following, when he concludes with this note, 6 he died at one o'clock in the morning, and with him all that " was great and good among men.”