Imatges de pÓgina

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 passionis of his heart. The chief pleasures of his life seem to 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 eta 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 lanient 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.

Temple, Prior,

Dryden, Congreve, Vanbrugh,




useful he was to administra'ion in general; and in one of his letters he mentions, that the place of historiographer was intended for him, but I am art 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. He flattered himself too bigbly. Good Heaven! that such a man as Swit!, should be accused of fatering himself too highly, in expecting an employment, attended with much trouble, and without any degree either of honour or profit! S.

Arbuthnot, Newton, Berkeley,


Tillotson, &c.
Of Men in Higu RANK.
Duke of Marlborough, Lord Anglesea,
Lord Peterborow,

Earl of Dorset,
Lord Oxford,

Lord Roscommon,
Lord Bolingbroke, Lord Halifax,
Lord Bathurst,

Sir William Wyndham,
Lord Carteret,

Sir Thoinas Hanmer. Duke of Argyll,

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 coinpetition with these, they will soon be obliged to confess and retract their errour.

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IMMEDIATELY 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 words Tory and Jacobite, as synony, mous 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 more violent, used to take up dirt froin the kennel to throw at bim as be passed along; in. somych, 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 Perition to the House of Lords against Lord Blaney:" and on the inside: To the Right Honourable


ibe Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament assembled."

“The humble Petition of JONATHAN Swift,

D.D. and Dean of the Cathedral of St. PATRICK's, DUBLIN,

“ Most humbly showeth, THAT your petitioner is advised by his physicians, on account of his health, to go often on horseback; and there being no place, in winter, so convenient for riding, as the strand toward Howth, your petitioner takes all opportunities that his business or the weather will permit, to take that road. That in the last session of parliament, in the midst of winter, as your petitioner was returning from Howth with his two servants, one before, and the other behind him, he was pursued by two gentle. men in a chaise, drawn by two high-mettled horses, in so violent a manner, that his servant, who rode behind him, was forced to give way, with the utmosi peril of his life :/ whereupon your petitioner made, what speed he could, riding to the right ani! left above filty yards to the full extent of the said road; but the two gentlemen driving a light. chaise, drawn by fleet horses, and intent upon mischief, turned faster than your petitioner, endeavouring to overthrow him. That by great acei-:. rent your petitioner got safe to the side of a ditch, where the chaise could not safely pursue; and the wo. gentlemen stopping their career, your: 'petitioner mildly expostulated with-them whereupon che of...the gentlemen said, Damn you, is not the i ad as free for us as for you ? and calling to his : ervant who rode behind him, said, Tom (or-some uch name) is the pistol loaden with ball? To which the servant answered, yes, my lord, and ave him the pistol. Your petitioner often said to

the gentleman, pray, sir, do not shoot, for my horse is apt to start, by which my life may be endangered. The chaise went forward, and your petitioner took the opportunity 10 stay behind. Your petitioner is informed, that the person who spoke the words above-mentioned, is of your Jordships

house, under the style and title of lord Blaney ; ..whom your petitioner, remembers to have introduced

to Mr. secretary Addison, in the earl of Wharton's government, and to have done him other good offices at that time, because he was represented as a young man of some hopes, and a broken fortune. That the said lord Blaney, as your petitioner is 'informed, is now in Dublin, and sometimes attends your lordships house. And your petitioner's health still requiring that he should ride, and being confined in winter to go on the same strand, he is forced to inquire from every one he meets, whether the said lord be on the same strand; and to order his servants to carry arms to defend him against the like, or a worse insult, from the said lord, for the consequences of which your petitioner cannot answer.

Your petitioner is informed by bis learned council, that there is no law now in being, which can justify. the said lord, under colour of his peerage, to assault any of his majesty's subjects on the king's highway, and put them in fear of their lives, without provocation, which he humbly conceives, that by only happening to ride before the said lord, he could not possibly give.

Your petitioner, therefore, doth humbly iniplore your lordships in your great prudence and justice, to provide that he may be permitted to ride with safety on the said strand, or any other of the king's highways, for the rccovery of his health, so long as be shall demean himself in a peaccable

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