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bility of a generous heart, under obligations, to hurt him by a refusal.
With about fourscore pounds in his pocket, which by his own account was all his worldly wealth at that time, Swift once more embarked for England, and arrived at Moor Park in the year 1695, after somewhat more than a year's absence.
To all appearance he had but little bettered his condition by his journey to Ireland. He was now returned to the same state of dependence, which had before proved so irksome to him that he determined to break away from it, at all hazards. But there were several circumstances which contributed to make his present state, though still dependent, of a very different nature from the former. In the first place, his situation now was not the effect of necessity or constraint, but the object of his choice. In the next, he was highly gratisfied with an opportunity of showing his regard and attachnient to Sir William, by returning voluntarily to him, when it was in his power to have lived independently, though he scorned to be compelled into it from motives of necessity. Then, by so readily complying with Sir William's request, and giving up all his visible support in order to do so, he had laid him under such an obligation as entitled him to all future favours, which might be in his power to bestow. * Accordingly we find, that Swift's mind being now perfectly at ease, and Sir William considering his return, with all its circumstances, in the most obliging light, these two great men lived together to the time of Sir William's death, in the most perfect harmony, and with marks of mutual confidence and esteem. Nor do we find during
* That Swift resigned his preferment in Ireland on the promise of having a better here, appears by a letter from his sister, dated May 26, 1699. N.
space, which was almost four years, that Swift was at all pressing on the score of preferment promised him ; which, had he been so, he would certainly have obtained; but, from a true generosity of mind, he seemed determined to stay with his friend in order to cheer his latter days, which were embittered by illness and pain, and required such a cordial to make life supportable; and to lay aside all views with regard to himself, till his friend's death should release him from the benevolent task, and leave him at liberty to pursue his own interest.
During this space Swift's time was fully and usefully employed.* He devoted eight hours a day, as before, to the prosecution of his studies. His function as a clergy
* Several copious extracts froin Cyprian, Irenæus, Sleidan's Commentaries, Tertullian, Epiphanius, Diodorus Siculus, Thucydides, and Father Paul's History of the Council of Trent, were found ainong his papers, which appear, by memoranda in his own hand-writing, to have been made while he lived with Sir William Temple. D. S.
| As many may be curious to know of what nature his studies were, the following account of the books which he read in one year, preserved in his own hand-writing, may afford some satisfaction. N. From Jan. 7. 1696-7.
Dialogues des Morts, 2 vols.
Diodorus Siculus, abstr. fol. Horace, 9 vols.
Cyprian & Irenæus, abstr. fol. Sir W. Temple's Memoirs. Voyage de Meroce, &c.
-Introduction. Ælian, Vol. I. Camden's Elizabeth.
Homer, Iliad, & Odyss. Prince Arthur.
Cicero's Epistles. Histoire de Chypre.
Bernier's Grand Mogul, 2 vols. Voyage de Syam.
Burnet's Hist. of Reform, fol. Voiture.
Oeuvres mêlées, 5 vols.
From Jan. 7, 1697-8.
Thucydides, by Hobbes, abstr. fol. Sir John Davies, of the Soul. Theophrasti Characteres. Conformité de Religion, &c. Vossius de Sibyllinis.
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.
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 strait-laced 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 scholastic world is generally so busy. He read the classics at a time when he could penetrate into their profoundest depths, ad 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 hinself acquainted with low life; often preferring the conveyance of wagons, and their inns, to those of coaches. Scenes of middling life must, of course,
* 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, “ He died at one o'clock in the morning, and with him all that was great and good among men.” This paper is intituled, “ Journal d'estat de Mr. Tdevant sa Mort.” N.
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 afterwards did in life.
His situation at Sir William Temple's was indeed in every respect the happiest that could have been chosen, to prepare this great genius for the complicated part he was to act in the world. Swift was to figure as a writer, as a politician, as a patriot. And where could a young man have found such a director and assistant in fitting him for the performance of these several parts, as Sir William Temple; who was himself one of the finest writers, one of the ablest statesmen, and the truest lover of his country, that had been produced in that, or perhaps in any other age?
It was from the frequent revisal of that great man's works under his own inspection, that Swift acquired his first lights with regard to propriety and purity of style, which he was afterward allowed to carry to a greater de gree of perfection than any English writer whatsoever. The high opinion he entertained of Sir William's works in this respect, was known to me from the following cir'cumstance. When I was an undergraduate in the college, he recommended it to me to lay aside some portion of time every day for the study of English; and when I asked him what authors he would advise me to read, he immediately replied, “Sir William Temple ; not,” said be, “ his latter works, written during or after his long residence abroad, for his style became then somewhat corrupted by the introduction of newfangled foreign words and phrases, which he fell into by conversing and writing so much in foreign languages; but such of his works as were written before his going anıbassador to Nimeguen.