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Such stories, imperfectly reported by scandal, and listened to with malignant greediness by envy, occasioned a charge against Swift, similar to that which was preferred after his residence at Gaulstown House. Against this malicious allegation of ingratitude and inhospitality, which was urged in some verses handed about Dublin, and afterwards printed, Swift defended himself at length in a letter to Dr Jinny, Rec
and I don't like to be laughed at.' Swift then stepped to the captain, from behind Sir Arthur, where he had stood, and said to him, 'Pray, Captain Hamilton, do you know how to say yes, or no, properly?'— Yes, I think I have understanding enough for that.' — * Then give me your hand,—depend upon it, you and I will agree
The captain told me he never passed two months so pleasantly in his life, nor had ever met with so agreeable a companion as Swift proved to be during the whole time.”
The other anecdote records a ready reply by a gentleman who passed by the name of Killbuck Tuite to Swift, who upbraided him with not knowing the way to Market-Hill. “That is the way,' said Swift, ' with all you Irish blockheads; you never know the way to'any place beyond the next dunghill.'—Why,' answered Tuite,
I never was at Market-Hill: Have not you been there, Mr Dean?' He acknowledged he had.—' Then what a damned English block head are you,' replied Killbuck, 'to find fault with me for not directing you the way to a place where I never had been, when
you don't know it yourself, who have been there?' Swift, with a countenance of great counterfeited terror, immediately rose and changed seats with Doughty, (a man of great size and strength,) who happened to be next to him, placing the giant between him and Tuite to protect him against that wild man, and skulking behind him like a child, with well acted fear, to the no small entertainment of the company; who, however, were not sorry that the Dean had met with his match."
tor of Armagh. He mentions the “ Grand Question Debated” as the ground of the charge, and describes this sort of composition as merely sallies of fancy and humour, intended for private diversion; appeals to Jinny's knowledge of the whole history of the verses on the Barrack, and the favourable reception it met with from Sir Arthur Acheson and his lady. The charge of ingratitude brought against him, he repels with suitable disdain.
“ I was originally,” he observes, “ as unwilling to be libelled as the nicest man can be ; but having been used to such treatment ever since I unhappily began to be known, I am now grown hardened; and while the friends I have left will continue to use me with any kindness, I shall need but a small degree of philosophy to bear me up against those who are pleased to be my enemies on the score of party zeal, and the hopes of turning that zeal to account. One thing, I confess, would still touch me to the quick ; I mean if any person of true genius would employ his pen against me; but if I am not very partial to myself, I cannot remember, that among at least two thousand papers full of groundless reflections against me, hundreds of which I have seen, and heard of more, I ever saw any one production that the meanest writer could have cause to be proud of: for which I can assign a very natural reason ; that, during the whole busy time of my life, the men of wit (in England) were all my parti
cular friends, although many of them differed from me in opinions of public persons and proceedings."
In this society, and with these amusements, but with health gradually undermined, Swift endured, and occasionally enjoyed existence, from the death of Stella, in 1727, till about 1732.
* Vol. XVIII. p. 6.
Swift's conduct as a dignified Clergyman-His controversies with the Dissenters-And with the Bishops of Ireland
Verses on his own Death—Faulkner's edition of his Works--His quarrel with Bettesworth-Satire on Quadrille-Legion Club-Controversy concerning the lowering of the Gold Coin—History of Queen Anne's reign-Swift's. private Life at this period-He disposes of his Fortune to found a Hospital-He sinks into incapacity-His Death.
ERE proceeding to the melancholy remainder of Swift's life, we may here resume an account of his conduct as a dignitary of the Church of England, and of the various occasions in which he stood forth in her behalf, when he conceived her rights assaulted and endangered.
It ought to be first noticed, that Swift possessed, in the fullest degree, the only secure foundation for excellence in the clerical profession—a sincere and devout faith in the doctrines of Christianity. This was doubted during his life, on account of the levities in the Tale of a Tub; and also because he carried his detestation of hypocrisy to such a blameable excess,
that he was rather willing to appear indifferent about religion, than to be suspected of affecting over zeal in her cause. Thus, when in London, he rose early in the morning, that he might attend public worship without observation ; and in Dublin, Delany was six months in his house before he discovered that the Dean read prayers to his family with punctual regularity. He was equally regular in his private devotions. The place which he occupied as an oratory was a small closet, in which, when his situation required to be in some degree watched, he was daily observed
great devotion. When his faculties, and particularly his memory, began to fail, he used often to inquire anxiously whether he had been in this apartment in the course of the day, and if answered in the affirmative, seemed to be delivered from the apprehension that he had neglected the duties of devotion.
Thus impressed with the practical belief of the truths which it was his profession to teach, he was punctual in the discharge of those public duties incumbent on his dignified station in the church. He read the service in his cathedral regularly, though with more force than grace of elocution, and administered the sacrament weekly, in the most solemn and devout manner, with his own hands.
He preached also in his turn; and the sermons which have been preserved belie his own severe censure, “ that he could