Imatges de pÓgina

Nov. 29.

**. procrastination, and the open freedom of his beha

viour toward Swift, so contrary to that closeness and reserve, which were his characteristicks, we may judge of his eager desire to fix him in their party. Nor was this hard to be accomplished : Swift had Jong in his own mịnd been of their side; and he only waited for such a favourable juncture as now

offered to declare himself. Mr. Harley's uncommon La condescension, flattered his pride; and the obliging,

ness of his behaviour, engaged his friendship.ACscordingly, after he had inquired into their plan, and her in the measures which they intended to pursue, as he lube found them entirely consonant to his own sentiments,

he embarked without hesitation in their cause, and

entered into their interests with his whole heart, 5 His approbation of their measures he expresses in the following manner in his Journal,

The present ministry have a difficult insa task, and want me. According to the best judgcek. ment I have, they are pursuing the true interest of

the publick, and therefore I am glad to contribute wbat lies in my power.”

The writers on both sides had before this taken

the field, and attacked each other with great acri136 mony. On the whig side, were Mr. Addison, bi

shop Burnet, sir Richard Steele, Mr. Congreve, Mr. Rowe, and many others of less note. On the part of the tories, the chief writers were, lord Boling broke, Bishop Atterbury, and Mr. Prior. They had begun a weekly paper, called, “The Examiner," which was the joint work of those three celebrated writers, and had published twelve numbers *. But as soon as Swift declared himself, they thought all aid to him unnecessary, and the whole conduct of that paper was from that time put into his hands. He entered the field alone, and, with a Sasıpsonlike strength, scorned assistance, and despised numbers.

They had published ibirteer. See vol. V. p. 3* N.

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His power of ridicule was like a fiail in his hand, against which there was no fence. Though he industriously concealed his name, yet his friend Addison soon discovered him, and retired prudently from the field of battle, leaving the rest exposed to the attacks of this irresistible champion; by whom it must be allowed they were unmercifully handled, till, one after another, they were all laid low. His first paper was published on the 2d of November, 1710, No. 14 of the Examiner, which was about a month after his introduction to Mr. Harley; and he continued them without interruption till June 7, 1711, where he dropped it, closing it with No. 45, and then leaving it to be carried on by other hands. During this time he lived in the utmost degree of confidence and familiarity, not only with Mr. Har. ley, but the whole ministry. Mr. secretary St. John was not behind Mr. Harley, either in desire of cultivating Swift's acquaintance, or in address, which the following extract from his Journal will suficiently show,

Nov. II, 1710. “ I dined to day, by invitation, with the secretary of state, Mr. St. John. Mr. Harley came in to us before dinner, and made me his excuses for not dining with us, because he was to receive people who came to propose the advancing of money to government. The secretary used me with all the kindness in the world. Prior came in after dinner ; and upon an occasion, the secretary said to him, “The best thing I ever read is not your's, but Dr. Swift on Vanbrugh ;' which I do not reckon so very good neither; but Prior was damped, till I stuffed him with two or three compliments. He told me, among other things, that Mr. Harley complained he could keep nothing from me, I had the 'way so raush of getting into him. I knew that was a refinement, and so I told him; and it was. so. Indeed it is hard to see these great inca de prie like

ohe who was their betters, and the puppies with you in Ireland hardly regarding me.

But there are some reasons for all this, which I will tell you when we meet."

In another place, he says, March 3, 1710-11. “I dined with Mr. Harley to day. Every Saturday, lord keeper, secretary St. John, and I, dine with him, and sometimes lord Rivers, and they let in none else. I staid with Mr. Harley till nine, when we had much discourse together, after the rest were gone, and I gave him very truly my opinion, when he desired it.' Feb. 18, 17.10-11.

Secretary St. John would need have me dine with him to day; and there I found three persons I never saw, two I had no acquaintance with, and one I did not care for ; so I left them early, and came home, it being no day to walk, but scurvy rain and wind. The secretary tells me he has put a cheat upon me; for lord Peterborow sent him twelve dozen flasks of Burgundy, on condition I should have my share ; but he never was quiet till they were all gone; so I reckon he owes me thirty six pounds."

I dined to-day with Mr. Secretary St. John, on condition I might choose my company, which were lord Rivers, lord Carteret, sir T. Mansel, and Mr. Lewis. I invited Mashạm, Hill, sir John Stanley, and George Granville, but they were engaged ; and I did it in revenge of his having such bad company

when I dined with him before. So we laughed, &c."

In the beginning of February, there was a piece of behaviour in Mr. Harley toward Swift, which nettled him to the quick, and had nearly occasioned a breach between them. Of this Swift gives the following account in his Journal.

Feb. 6, 1710. " Mr, Harley desired me to dine with him again to day, but I refused him; for I.feli

Feb. 25.

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out with him yesterday, and will not see him again till he makes me amends.”

Feb. 7. “ I was this morning early with Mr. Lewis of the secretary's office, and saw a letter Mr. Harley had sent him, desiring to be reconciled ; but I was deaf to all entreaties, and have desired Lewis to go to him, and let him know I expected farther satisfaction. If we let these great ministers pretend too much, there will be no governing them. He promises to make me easy, if I will but come and see him ; but I won't, and he shall do it by message, or I will cast him off. I will tell you the cause of our quarrel when I see you, and refer it to yourselves. In that he did something, which he intended for a favour, and I have taken it quite otherwise, disliking both the thing and the manner, and it has heartily vexed me; and all I have said is truth, though it looks like jest: and I absolutely refused to submit to his intended favour, and expect farther satisfaction.”

In a subsequent part of the Journal he acquaints Stella with the cause of quarrel.

March 7. “ Yes I understand a cipher, and Ppt guesses right, as she always does. He gave me al Isadnnk iloinlpt dfaonr ufainfitoy dpeonufnad ; which I sent him again by Mr. Lewis, to whom I wrote a very complaining letter, that was showed him, and so the matter ended. He told me he had a quarrel with me; I said I had another with him, and we returned to our friendship, and I should think he loves me as well as a great minister can love a man in so short a time.”

* Stella S.

This is a sort of cipher, in which, to disguise the words, superfluous letters are introduced ; and the way to read it is to pass over those letters, and retain only such as will make out words and sense, in the following manner, where the letters to be retained are capitals. Al BsAdNOK IBolnLpt dFaOnR uFaInFbToY JPeOnUrNaD. That is, A Bank Bill for fifty pound. S.

Nothing could have been considered by Swift as a greater indignity, than this offer of Mr. Harley's, which put him on the footing of a hireling writer. Accordingly, he was determined to let him see how much he had mistaken his man, by refusing to see him again till he had asked his pardon by a third hand. He laid hold of this opportunity, to let the ministry know how he expected to be treated by them for the future : as a man, who not only scorned a state of dependance, but who could not bear any thing that might carry the least appearance of it; as one who entered a volunteer in their cause, and who scorned to lie under any obligation, or accept of any thing to which he was not justly entitled by his merits : and lastly, as one, who, conscious of his abili. ties to serve the publick, expected to be considered by them as their coadjutor in the cause, and to be treated on a footing of entire equality. Accordingly, immediately after Mr. Harley had made his peace with him, he showed, by an extraordinary piece of behaviour, that he was determined to exact this from them, without bating the smallest article. The circumstance is mentioned in the following passage of the Journal.

Feb. 12. “ I dined to day with Mr. secretary St. John: I went to the Court of Requests at noon, and sent Mr. Harley into the house to call the secretary, to let him know I would not dine with him if he dined late."

When this story is told, without any other circumstance, and we are informed that a private clergyman, vicar of a small country living, in an obscure part of the world, sent the prime minister of Great Britain, to bring out to him the first secretary of state from the senate house, where he was engaged in the important business of the nation, upon so fri

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