Imatges de pÓgina
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his person and estate. Early in the year 1742, his reason was wholly subverted, and his rage became absolute madness. The last person whom he knew, was Mrs. Whiteway; and the sight of her, when he knew her no longer, threw him into fits of rage so violent and dreadful, that she was forced to leave him; and the only act of kindness that remained in her power, was to call once or twice a week at the deanery, inquire after his health, and see that proper care was taken of him. Sometimes she would steal a look at him when his back was toward her, but did not dare to venture into his sight. He would neither eat nor drink while the servant who brought him his provisions staid in the room.

His meat, which was served up ready cut, he would sometimes suffer to stand an hour upon the table before he would touch it; and at last he would eat it walking; for during this miserable state of his mind, it was his constant custom to walk ten hours a day.

In October 1742, after this phrensy had continued several months, his left eye swelled to the size of an egg, and the lid appeared to be so much inflamed and discoloured, that the surgeon expected it would mortify ; several large boils also broke out on his arms and his body. The extreme pain of this tumour kept him waking near a month, and during one week it was with difficulty that five persons kept him, by mere force, from tearing out his eyes. Just before the tumour perfectly subsided, and the pain left him, he knew Mrs. Whiteway, took her by the hand, and spoke to her with his former kindness: that day, and the following, he knew his physician and surgeon, and all his family, and appeared to have so far recovered his understanding and temper, that the surgeon was not without hopes he might once more enjoy society,

and

and be amused with the company of his old friends. This hope, however, was but of short duration ; for a few days afterward, he sunk into a state of total insensibility, slept much, and could not, without great difficulty, be prevailed on to waik across the room. This was the effect of another bodily disease, his brain being loaded with water. Mr. Stevens, an ingenious clergyman of his chapter, pronounced this to be the case during his illness, and upon opening his head it appeared that he was not mistaken: but though he often intreated the dean's friends and physicians that his skull might be trepanned and the water discharged, no regard was paid to his opinion or advice.

After the dean had continued silent a whole year in this helpless state of idiocy, his housekeeper went into his room on the 30th of November in the morning, telling him that it was his birthday, and that bonfires and illuminations were preparing to celebrate it as usual; to this he immediately replied—“ It is all folly, “ they had better let it alone."

Some other instances of short intervals of sensibility and reason, after his madness had ended in stupor, seem to prove that his disorder, whatever it was, had not destroyed, but only suspended the powers of his mind.

He was sometimes visited by Mr. Deane Swift, a re. lation, and about Christmas, 1743, he seemed desirous to speak to him. Mr. Swift then told him he came to dine with him; and Mrs. Ridgeway the housekeeper immediately said, “Won't you give Mr. Swift a glass “ of wine,sir ?" Tothis he made no answer, but showed he understood the question, by shrugging up his shoulders, as he had been used to do when he had a mind a friend should spend the evening with him, and which was as much as to say “ you will ruin me in wine.” Soon after he again endeavoured, with a good deal of HH 2

pain, pain, to find words; but at last, after many efforts, not being able, he fetched a deep sigh, and was afterward silent. A few months after this, upon his housekeeper's removing a knife, as he was going to catch at it, he shrugged up his shoulders, and said, “ I am what I am ;” and, in about six minutes, repeated the same words two or three times.

In the year 1744, he now and then called his servant by his name, and once attempting to speak to him, but not being able to express his meaning, he showed signs of much uneasiness, and at last said, “ I am a fool.” Once afterward, as his servant was taking away his watch, he said, “ bring it here';" and when the same servant was breaking a hard large coal, he said, “ that is a stone, you blockhead."

From this time he was perfectly silent till the latter end of October, 1745, and then died without the least pang or convulsion, in the seventy-eighth year of his age.

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SOME

PARTICULARS

CONCERNING

DR. SW IF T.

Taken from Mrs. PILKINGTON'S MEMOIRS.

Mrs. Pilkington's acquaintance with Dr. Swift commenced from sending him some verses on his birthday. These the dean received very kindly, and said he would see her whenever she pleased.

A few days after, she was introduced to the dean, in Dr. Delany's garden at Delville, by a gentlewoman. He saluted her, and asked the lady, if she was her daughter? The lady smiled, and said, she was Mrs. Pilkington. “ What,” says he, “this

poor little child married ! married! God help her, “ she is very early engaged in trouble.” The dean engaging Mr. Pilkington to preach for him at the cathedral next Sunday in St. Patrick's church, Mrs. Pilkington was charmed to see with what a becoming piety the dean performed that holy service, which he had so much at heart, that he wanted not the assistance of the Liturgy, but went quite through it, without ever looking in the book. He bowed at the table; which behaviour was censured, as savouring of popery. But this circumstance may

vindicate

HH 3

vindicate him from the wicked aspersion of being deemed an unbeliever, since it is plain he had the utmost reverence for the eucharist. Service being ended, the dean was surrounded at the churchdoor by a crowd of poor; to all of whom he gave charity, except an old woman, who held out a very dirty hand to him. He told her very gravely, that though she was a beggar, water was not so scarce but she might have washed her hands. When they came to the deanery, the dean very kindly saluted Mrs. Pilkington, and without allowing her time to sit down, bade her come and see his library ; but merrily told Mr. Pilkington, who was for following them, that he did not desire his company. “ Well,” said he to her, “I have brought you “ here to show you all the money I got when I was “in the ministry; but don't steal any of it.” “I “ will not indeed, sir,” said she. So opening a cabinet, he showed her a parcel of empty drawers : “ Bless me,” says he, “the money is flown." He then opened his bureau, wherein he had a great number of curious trinkets of various kinds, some of which were presented to him by the earl and countess of Oxford, lady Masham, and lady Betty Germain. At last coming to a drawer filled with medals, he bade her choose two for herself; but he could not help smiling, when she began to poise them in her hands, choosing them by weight rather than antiquity.

At dinner the dean's behaviour was very hu. mourous. He placed himself at the head of his table, opposite to a great pier glass, so that he could see in the glass whatever the servants did behind him. He was served entirely in plate, with great

elegance,

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