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He kept Bolingbroke's, and Pope's, that famous collection he describes
dine with now and then'? What
better than I do." Of course she “... Properly speaking” -- he goes does. Of course Swift has not the on, with a calmness which, under the cir: slightest idea of what she means. But cumstances, is terrible — " she has been in a few letters more it turns out that dying six months! .
“Never was any of her sex born with the Doctor has been to dine “gravebetter gifts of the mind, or who more ly" with a Mrs. Vanhomrigh: then improved them by reading and conversa that he has been to “his neighbor:” tion, . . . All of us who had the happiness of her friendship agreed unanimous- then that he has been unwell, and ly, that in an afternoon's or evening's con means to dine for the whole week versation she never failed before we part- with his neighbor! Stella was quite said in the company. Some of us have right in her previsions. She saw written down several of her sayings, or from the very first hint what was what the French call bons mots, wherein going to happen; and scented Vanessa she excelled beyond belief.”
The specimens on record, however, in in the air.* The rival is at the the Dean's paper, called “ Bons Mots' de Dean's feet. The pupil and teacher Stella,” scarcely bear out this last part of are reading together, and drinking the panegyric. But the following prove tea together, and going to prayers toher wit:
*A gentleman who had been very silly gether, and learning Latin together,
No, my lord,' said she;' that is it which doesn't amavi come after amo and
The loves of Cadenus and Vanessat
Doctor, I fear I shall be out of breath homrigh's, where my best gown and peri. before I get up to the top.'
wig was, and out of mere listlessness dine “ A very dirty clergyman of her ac- there, very often; so I did to-day.” — quaintance, who affected smartness and Journal to Stella. repartees, was asked by some of the com Mrs. Vanhomrigh, “ Vanessa's” moth pany how his nails came to be so dirty. er, was the widow of a Dutch merchant He was at a loss; but she solved the diffi- who held lucrative appointments in King culty by saying, The Doctor's nails grew William's time, The family settled in dirty by scratching himself.'
London in 1709, and had a house in Bury "A Quaker apothecary sent her a vial, Street, St. James's — a street made nota. corked; it had a broad brim, and a label ble by such residents as Swift and Steele; of paper about its neck. "What is that?' and, in our own time, Moore and Crabbe.
said she --my apothecary's son!' The † “ Vanessa was excessively vain. The ridiculous resemblance, and the sudden character given of her by Cadenus is fine ness of the question, set us all a-laugh- painting, but in general fictitious. She ing." - Swift's Works, SCOTT's Ed. vol. was fond of dress; impatient to be ad. ix, 295-6,
mired; very romantic in her turn of mind,
you may peruse in Cadenus's own wanted to marry neither of them poem on the subject, and in poor that I believe was the truth; but if Vanessa's vehement expostulatory he had not married Stella, Vanessa verses and letters to him; she adores would have had him in spite of himhim, implores him, admires him, self. When he went back to Ireland, thinks hiin something god-like, and his Ariadne, not content to remain in only prays to be admitted to lie at his her isle, pursued the fugitive Dean. feet.
As they are bringing him in vain he protested, he vowed, he home from church, those divine feet soothed, and bullied ; the news of the of Dr. Swift's are found pretty often Dean's marriage with Stella at last in Vanessa's parlor. He likes to be came to her, and it killed her — she admired and adored. He finds Miss died of that passion.* Vanhomrigh to be a woman of great * “If we consider Swift's behavior, so taste and spirit, and beauty and wit, far only as it relates to women, we shall and a fortune too. He sees her every find that he looked upon them' rather as day; he does not tell Stella about busts than as whole figures." — ORRERY.
“ You must have smiled to have found the business : until the impetuous his house a constant seraglio of very virVanessa becomes too fond of him, tuous women, who attended him from until the Doctor is quite frightened morning to night.”-ORRERY. by the young woman's ardor, and furnished him with the materials on which
A correspondent of Sir Walter Scott's confounded by her warmth. He to found the following interesting passage
about Vanessa - after she had retired to superior, in her own opinion, to all her cherish her passion in retreat:sex; full of pertness, gayety, and pride; “Marley Abbey, near Celbridge, where not without some agreeable accomplish Miss Vanhomrigh resided, is built much ments, but far from being either beautiful in the form of a real cloister, especially or genteel; . . . happy in the thoughts in its external appearance. An aged man of being reported Swift's concubine, but (upwards of ninety, by his own account) still aiming and intending to be his wife." showed the grounds to my correspondent. LORD ORRERY.
He was the son of Mrs. Vanhomrigh's *“ You bid me be easy, and you would gardener, and used to work with his see me as often as you could. You had father in the garden while a boy. He better have said, as often as you can get remembered the unfortunate Vanessa the better of your inclinations so much; well; and his account of her correspondor as often as you remember there was ed with the usual description of her persuch a one in the world. If you continue son, especially as to her embonpoint. He to treat me as you do, you will not be said she went seldom abroad, and saw litmade uneasy by me long. It is impossi- tle company: her constant amusement ble to describe what I have suffered since was reading, or walking in the garden. I saw you last: I am sure I could have She avoided company, and was borne the rack much better than those always melancholy, save when Dean killing, killing words of yours. Some- Swift was there, and then she seemed times I have resolved to die without see- happy. The garden was to an uncommon ing you more; but those resolves, to your degree crowded with laurels. The old man misfortune, did not last long; for there is said that when Miss Vanhomrigh expected something in human nature that prompts the Dean she always planted with her own one so to find relief in this world I must hand a laurel or two against his arrival. give way to it, and beg you would see me, He showed her favorite seat, still called and speak kindly to me; for I am sure • Vanessa's bower.' Three or four trees you'd not condemn any one to suffer what and some laurels indicate the spot. I have done, could you but know it. The There were two seats and a rude table reason I write to you is, because I cannot within the bower, the opening of which tell it to you, should I see you; for when commanded a view of the Liffey. I begin to complain, then you are angry, In this sequestered spot, according to the and there is something in your looks so old gardener's account, the Dean and Vaawful that it strikes me dumb. Oh! that nessa used often to sit, with books and you may have but so much regard for me writing-materials on the table before left that this complaint may touch your them."- Scott's Swift, vol. i. pp. 246-7. soal with pity. I say as little as ever I can :
But Miss Vanhomrigh, irritatdid you but know what I thought, I am ed at the situation in which she found sure it would move you to forgive me; herself, determined on bringing to a crisis and believe I cannot help telling you this those expectations of a union with the and live." - VANESSA. (M. 1714.) object of her affections — to the hope of
And when she died, and Stella In a note in his biography, Scott heard that Swift had written beauti- says that his friend Dr. Tuke, of fully regarding her, “That doesn't Dublin, has a lock of Stella's hair, surprise me,” said Mrs. Stella, "for enclosed in a paper by Swift, on we all know the Dean could write which are written, in the Dean's beautifully about a broomstick.” A hand, the words : “Only a woman's woman-a true woman! Would you hair.” Au instance, says Scott, of have had one of them forgive the other? | the Dean's desire to veil his feelings
under the mask of cynical indifference. which she had clung amid every vicissi. See the various notions of critics ! tude of his conduct towards her. The Do those words indicate indifference most probable bar was his undefined con. nection with Mrs. Johnson, which, as it
or an attempt to hide feeling? Did must have been perfectly known to her, you ever hear or read four words had, doubtless, long elicited her secret more pathetic ? Only a woman's jealousy, although only a single hint to hair : only love, only fidelity, only respondence, and that so early as 1713, purity, innocence, beauty; only the when she writes to him — then in Ireland tenderest heart in the world stricken
If you are very happy, it is ill-natured and wounded, and passed away now of you not to tell me so, except 'tis what out of reach of pangs of hope deferred, is inconsistent with mine.? Her silence love insulted, and pitiless desertion : tainty for no less than eight years, must - only that lock of hair left; and have been partly owing to her awe for memory and remorse, for the guilty, Swift, and partly, perhaps, to the weak lonely wretch, shuddering over the state of her rival's health, which, from year to year, seemed to announce speedy grave of his victim. dissolution. At length, however, Vanes And yet to have had so much love, • sa's impatience prevailed, and she ven- he must have given some. Treasures
tured on the decisive step of writing to of wit and wisdom, and tenderness, Mrs. Johnson herself, requesting to know the nature of that comection. Stella, in too, must that man have had locked reply, informed her of her marriage with up in the caverns of his gloomy heart, the Dean; and full of the highest resent and shown fitfully to one or two whom ment against Swift for having given an. he took in there. But it was not good other female such a right in him as Miss Vanhomrigh's inquiries implied, she sent to visit that place. People did not to him her
rival's letter of interrogatories, remain there long, and suffered for and, without seeing him, or awaiting bis having been there.* He shrank reply, retired to the house of Mr. Ford, near Dublin. Every reader knows the away from all affections sooner or consequence. Swift, in one of those par- later. Stella and Vanessa both died oxysms of fury to which he was liable, near him, and away from him. He both from temper and disease, rode in; had not heart enough to see them die. the apartment, the sternness of his coun- He broke from his fastest friend, Sheritenance, which was peculiarly formed to dan ; he slunk away from his fondest express the fiercer passions, struck the admirer, Pope. His laugh jars on unfortunate Vanessa with such terror one's ear after seven score years. He that she could scarce ask whether he would not sit down. He answered by was always alone-alone and gnashflinging a letter on the table, and, instant- ing in the darkness, except wlien ly leaving the house, remounted his horse, and returned to Dublin. When Vanessa * "M. Swift est Rabelais dans son bon opened the packet, she only found her sens, et vivant en bonne compagnie. II own letter to Stella. It was her death- n'a pas, à la vérité, la gaité du premier, warrant. She sunk at once under the mais il a toute la finesse, la raison, le disappointment of the delayed yet cher-choix, le bon goût qui manquent à notre ished hopes which had so long sickened curé de Meudon. Ses vers sont d'un her heart, and beneath the unrestrained goût singulier, et presque inimitable; la wrath of him for whose sake she had in- bonne plaisanterie est son partage en vers dulged them. How long she survived the et en prose; mais pour le bien entendre last interview is uncertain, but the time il faut faire un petit voyage dans son does not seem to have exceeded a few pays." - VOLTAIRE: Lettres sur les An. weeks," - SCOTT.
glais. Let. 22.
Stella's sweet smile came and shone to me, that thinking of him is like upon him. When that went, silence thinking of an empire falling. We and utter night closed over him. An have other great names to mention immense genius : an awful downfall none I think, however, so great or so and ruin. So great a man he seems l-gloomy.
CONGREVE AND ADDISON.
A GREAT number of years ago, time? Were they all in the army, or before the passing of the Reform Bill
, hunting in the country, or boxing the there existed at Cambridge a certain watch? How was it that the young debating club, called the “ Union; gentlemen from the University got and I remember that there was a such a prodigious number of places ? tradition amongst the undergraduates A lad composed a neat copy of verses who frequented that renowned school at Christchurch or Trinity, in which of oratory, that the great leaders of the death of a great personage was the Opposition and Government had bemoaned, the French king assailed, their eyes upon the University De- the Dutch or Prince Eugene complibating Club, and that if a man dis- mented, or the reverse; and the party tinguished himself there he ran some in power was presently to provide for chance of being returned to Parlia- the young poet; and a commissionerment as a great nobleman's nominee. ship, or a post in the Stamps, or the So Jones of John's, or Thomson of secretaryship of an Embassy, or a Trinity, would rise in their might, clerkship in the Treasury, came into and draping themselves in their the bard's possession. A wonderful gowns, rally round the monarchy, or fruit-bearing rod was that of Busby's. hurl defiance at priests and kings, What have men of letters got in our with the majesty of Pitt or the fire of time? Think, not only of Swift, a Mirabeau, fancying all the while that king fit to rule in any time or empire the great nobleman's emissary was but Addison, Steele, Prior, Tickell, listening to the debate from the back Congreve, John Gay, John Dennis, benches, where he was sitting with and many others, who got public the family seat in his pocket. Indeed employment, and pretty little pickings the legend said that one or two out of the public purse.* The wits young Cambridge men, orators of the Union” were actually caught up
* The following is a conspectus of thence, and carried down to Cornwall them: or old Sarum, and so into Parliament. ADDISON. - Commissioner of Appeals; And many a young fellow deserted
ecretary of State; Secretary the jogtrot University curriculum,
to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; to hang on in the dust behind the
Keeper of the Records in Ireland; fervid wheels of the parliamentary
Lord of Trade; and one of the Prin
cipal Secretaries of State, succeschariot.
sively. Where, I have often wondered, STEELE. -- Commissioner of the Stamp were the sons of Peers and Members
Office; Surveyor of the Royal Stables
at Hampton Court; and Governor of of Parliament in Anne's and George's ! the Royal Company of Comedians;
of whose names we shall treat in this , Universities all exercised themselves lecture and two following, all (save at these queer compositions; and one) touched the King's coin, and some got fame, and some gained had, at some period of their lives, a patrons and places for life, and many happy quarter-day coming round for more took nothing by these efforts of them.
what they were pleased to call their They all began at school or college muses. in the regular way, producing pane William Congreve's * Pindaric gyrics upon public characters, what. Odes are still to be found in “ Johnwere called odes upon public events, son's Poets,” that now unfrequented battles, sieges, court marriages and poets’-corner, in which so many fordeaths, in which the gods of Olympus gotten big-wigs have a niche; but and the tragic muse were fatigued though he was also voted to be one with invocations, according to the of the greatest tragic poets of any fashion of the time in France and in day, it was Congreve's wit and huinor England. “ Aid us, Mars, Bacchus, which first recommended him to courtApollo,” cried Addison, or Congreve, ly fortune. And it is recorded that singing of William or Marlbor- his first play, the “Old Bachelor," ough. Accourez, chastes nymphes de brought our author to the notice of Parnasse," says Boileau, celebrating that great patron of English muses, the Grand Monarch. " Des sons que Charles Montague Lord Halifax ma lyre enfanle marquez en bien la who, being desirous to place so cadence, et vous vents, faites silence! eminent a wit in a state of ease and je vais parler de Louis !” School- | tranquillity, instantly made him one boys' themes and foundation exercises of the Commissioners for licensing are the only relics left now of this hackney-coaches, bestowed on him scholastic fashion. The Olympians are soon after a place in the Pipe Office, left quite undisturbed in their moun- and likewise à post in the Custom tain. What man of note, what con- House of the value of 6001. tributor to the poetry of a country A commissionership of hackneynewspaper, would now think of writing coaches –
- a post in the Custom House a congratulatory ode on the birth of - a place in the Pipe Office, and the heir to a dukedom, or the mar- all for writing a comedy! Doesn't riage of a nobleman? In the past it sound like a fable, that place in century the young gentlemen of the the Pipe Office ? † "Ah, l'heureux
Commissioner of "Forfeited Estates * He was the son of Colonel William in Scotland.”
Congreve, and grandson of Richard ConPRIOR. - Secretary to the Embassy at greve, Esq., of Congreve and Stretton in
the Hague; Gentleman of the Bed- Staffordshire - a very ancient family, chamber to King William ; Secretary “PIPE. — Pipe, in law, is a roll in to the Embassy in France; Under the Exchequer, called also the great roll. Secretary of State; Ambassador to “ Pipe Office is an office in which a France.
person called the Clerk of the Pipe makes TICKELL. — Under Secretary of State; out leases of Crown lands, by warrant
Secretary to the Lords Justices of from the Lord Treasurer, or CommissionIreland.
ers of the Treasury, or Chancellor of the CONGREVE. - Commissioner for licensing Exchequer.
Hackney Coaches; Commissioner for “Clerk of the Pipe makes up all acWine Licenses; place in the Pipe Of counts of sheriffs, &c. - REES: Cyclopæd. fice; post in the Custom House; Sec- Art. PIPE. retary of Jamaica.
“ Pipe Office. - Spelman thinks GAY. - Secretary to the Earl of Clarendon called, because the papers were kept in a
(when Ambassador to Hanover). large pipe or cask. JOHN DENNIS. – A place in the Custom 1. These be at last brought into that House.
office of Her Majesty's Exchequer, which “En Angleterre les lettres sont we, by a metaphor, do call the pipe : plus en honneur qu'ici.” - VOLTAIRE: because the whole receipt is finally conLettres sur les Anglais. Let. 20. veyed into it by means of divers small