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was really exerting all his endeavours to serve his friend, in the
which he knew would be most agreeable to him; though, according to his usual reserve, he did not care to inform him of the difficulties in his way. And Swift, who was too proud to inquire into this, suspected him either of want of zeal, or indulging his usual procrastination, which is obvious, from all the expressions relative to him in the above quotations. But the truth of the whole matter appears to be this: The queen was willing enough that Swift should have a moderate provision made for him in Ireland, in order to send him into banishment, in a decent, though not very honourable manner. And the minister, on the other hand, wanted to keep him with him at all events. We find, with regard to the Windsor promotion, the queen continued inflexible, not only against the solicitations of the treasurer, but of Lady Masham, who was her nearest favourite, after the Dutchess of Somerset. How zealous that lady was in his cause, may be seen in a passage of the above quotation, where, speaking of her, he says, < She said much to me of what she had talked to the queen and lord treasurer. The poor lady fell a shedding of tears openly. She could not bear lo think of my having St. Patrick's,” &c.
We find afterward, when the lord treasurer saw that the queen was obstinate with regard to this point, there was another bar thrown in the
way of Swift's promotion in Ireland, probably contrived between him and the Duke of Ormond; which was, that the duke should demur against Sterne's being made a bishop; nor can this change in the Duke of Ormond, when he had before consented to Sterne's promotion, be rationally accounted for in any other way. This probably was the treasurer's last effort, to oblige the queen to do something for Swift in England; but when Swift himself continued re
solute in the other point, probably on a suspicion, that the queen could not be wrought upon to prefer him in England, and urged the Duke of Ormond to the accomplishment of it, and upon his demurring, expressed himself resentfully; the duke, who loved Swift sincerely, could stand it no longer, but, as Swift mentions in the Journal, “ with great kindness, he said he would consent, but would do it for no man else but me," &c.
But there is one circumstance in this transaction, that seems very unaccountable; which is, that Swift was not immediately made bishop of Clogher, instead of dean of St. Patrick's. We do not find, that Dr. Sterne had one friend in the world to recommend him, but Swift himself. On the contrary, we see he was obnoxious to the ministry, but particularly so to the Duke of Ormond, then lord lieutenant of Ireland, who was chiefly to be consulted in the disposal of preferments there. When it comes to the push, the only objection the duke offers to Swift's getting St. Patrick's, is his dislike of Sterne, and the reluctance he shows at his being promoted to a bishopric. Now, was not this difficulty easily smoothed away by making Swift at once bishop of Clogher? And would not the ministry have been all much better pleased to place him in that see, than a man who was at best indifferent to them, but certainly obnoxious to some, and those the principal among them? It may therefore be surmised, that this was a point not attempted, because they were sure the queen would never consent to make hím a bishop, while her displeasure continued so high against him, though she was willing to send him into exile, in so moderate a station, as that of dean, even at the expense of promoting a man of no weight or consideration, to a higher station, to make room for him. And the ministry certainly showed the greatest readiness to gratify him in any thing which he should desire, when they
consented to the promotion of a man, whom they disliked, to make room for his preferment, in a way also which they did not approve of, merely because he made a point of it. So that, however small a recompense the deanery itself might have been considered for Swift's services, yet as there was a bishopric bestowed at the same time, purely to make way for this, and to be charged wholly to his account, the ministry certainly cannot be taxed with a want of a due sense of his merits, and a suitable desire of rewarding them. And however out of humour he might be, where he says, “ This affair was carried with great difficulty, which vexes me;" yet he very justly adds, “ But they say here, it is much to my reputation, that I have made a bishop in spite of all the world, and to get the best deanery in Ireland." He afterward shows how entirely this was his work, against all opposition, where he says, “ I shall write next post to Bishop Sterne. Never man had so many enemies in Ireland as he; I carried it with the strongest hand possible. If he does not use me well, and gently, in what dealings I shall have with him, he will be the most ungrateful of mankind.”
In his whole account of this transaction, which exhibits a lively picture of his state of mind to the monent, he seems to have been much under the influence of huThough he was conscious that the
herself was the chief bar to his promotion, yet he speaks as peevishly of the treasurer, as if the sole blame lay with him. At one time he seems earnest about obtaining St. Patrick's, and is angry with the treasurer for putting any rub in the way, though in favour of another measure, which would certainly have pl ased him more. When he mentions the queen's having consented to Swift's arrangement of the bishopric and deanery, he adds, much out of humour,“ but then out came lord treasurer, and
said he would not be satisfied, but that I must be a prebendary of Windsor. Thus he perplexes things. I expect neither; but I confess, as much as I love England, I am so angry at this treatment, that if I had my choice, I would rather have St. Patrick's.”. And yet in his Journal of the 18th, the day but one after this, when he learns from the treasurer, that the queen was at last resolved upon
66 Neither can I feel joy at passing my days in Ireland,* and I confess I thought the ministry would not let me go; but perhaps they cannot help it." How contrary is this to his former declaration ! But in the whole of this affair, Swift seenis to have been deserted by his usual firmness of mind, and to have acted with the frowardness of an humoursome child, who either does not know his own mind, or will not tell it; and yet expects that others should find it out, and do what he wants.
Another reason for his not desiring to procure the bishopric for himself, might perhaps arise from his supposing, that this might be considered as a full equivalent for his services, and the ne plus ultra of his preferment, to the exclusion of all future prospects in England, where all his wishes centred. But I am persuaded, that the chief motive to his extraordinary conduct on this occasion, and his so pertinaciously adhering to that particular mode, and no other, of providing for him in opposition to the desire of his best friends, and particularly of the Duke of Ormond, was, that he had pronrised to make Sterne a bishop the first opportunity. As he was remarkably tenacious of his word, he was determined to
* When he went to take possession of the deanery, he did not stay in Dublin more than a fortnight, where he did not return one visit of a hundred, which, as he said, were all to the Dean, and none to the Doctor. He retired to the parsonage of Laracor, preferring a field bed and an ea then floor to the large Deanery-house which belonged to him in Dublin."
keep it on this occasion, though he seems, by some expressions, not to have looked upon Sterne as his friend, but rather to have resentment against him, on account of some ill treatment received at his hands. * In his Journal to Stella, October 28, 1712, he says,
“ I had a letter to-day from Dr. Coghill, desiring me to get Raphoe for Dean Sterne, and the deanery for myself. I shall indeed, I have such obligations to Sterne. But, however, if I am asked who will make a good bishop, I shall name him before any body."
In the February following, he says, in the same Journal, “ I did not write to Dr. Coghill, that I would have nothing in Ireland, but that I was soliciting nothing any where, and this is true. I have named Dr. Sterne to lord treasurer, Lord Bolingbroke, and the Duke of Ormond, for a bishopric, and I did it heartily. I know not what will come of it; but I tell you, as a great secret, that I have made the Duke of Ormond promise me to recommend no body till he tells me, and this for some reasons, too long to mention.”
* The cause of his resentment is thus set forth, in a letter to Sterne, then bishop of Clogher, dated July, 1733. " When I first came acquainted with you, we were both private clergymen in a neighbourhood: : you were afterward chancellor of St. Patrick's, then was chosen dean, in which election, I was the most busy of all your solicitors. When the compromise was made between the government and you, to make you easy, and Dr. Synge chancellor, you absolutely and frequently promised to give me the curacy # of St. Nicholas Without: you thought fit, by concert with the archbishop, to hold it yourself, and apply the revenue to build another church. Upon the queen’s death, when I had done for ever with courts, I returned to reside at my post, yet with some kind of hopes of getting soine credit with you, very unwisely; because, upon the affair of St. Nicholas, I had told you frankly, 'That I would always respect you, but never hope for the least friendship from you." S.
+ Though this be called a curacy, yet it is in reality a living of considerable value. S.