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titles and compete with fostume. These are my bullets; these I'll turn into gold; ” and he hears the sound of coaches and six, takes the road like Macheath, and makes society stand and deliver. They are all on their knees before him. Down go my lord bishop's apron, and his Grace's blue ribbon, and my lady's brocade petticoat in the mud. He eases the one of a living, the other of a patent place, the third of a little snug post about the Court, and gives them over to followers of his own. The great prize has not come yet. The coach with the mitre and crosier in it, which he intends to have for his share, has been delayed on the way from St. James's ; and he waits and waits until nightfall, when his runners come and tell him that the coach has taken a different road, and escaped him. So he fires his pistol into the air with a curse, and rides away into his own country.*
* The war of pamphlets was carried on fiercely on one side and the other: and the Whig attacks made the Ministry Swift served very sore. Bolingbroke laid hold of several of the Opposition pamphleteers, and bewails their “factitiousness” in the following letter: —
“Boll NGBRokE To THE EARL OF STRAFFORD. “ Whitehall, July 23d, 1712.
“It is a melancholy consideration that the laws of our country are too weak to punish effectually those factitious scribblers, who presume to blacken the brightest characters, and to give even scurrilous language to those who are in the first degrees of honor. This, my lord, among others, is a symptom of the decayed condition of our Government, and serves to show how fatally we mistake licentiousness for liberty. All I could do was to take up Hart, the printer, to send him to Newgate, and to bind him over upon bail to be prosecuted; this I have done; and if I can arrive at legal proof against the author, Ridpath, he shall have the same treatment.”
Swift was not behind his illustrious friend in this virtuous indignation. In the history of the four last years of the Queen, the Dean speaks in do most edifying manner of the licentiousness of the press and the abusive language of the other party:
“It must be acknowledged that the
bad practices of printers have been such as to deserve the severest animadversion from the public. . . . . The adverse party, full of rage and leisure since their .. alid unanimous in their cause, employ a set of writers by subscription, who are well versed in all the topics of defamation, and have a style and genius levelled to the generality of their readers. . . . . Bowever, the mischiefs of the press were too exórbitant to be cured by such a remedy as a tax upon small papers, and a bill for a much more effectual regulation of it was brought into the House of Commons, but so late in the session that there was no time to pass it, for there always appeared an unwillingness to cramp overmuch the liberty of the press.”
But to a clause in the proposed bill, that the names of authors should be set to every printed book, pamphlet or paper, his Reverence objects altogether; for, says he, “besides the objection to this clause from the practice of pious men, who, in publishing excellent writings for the service of religion, have chosen, out of an humble Christian spirit, to conceal their names, it is certain that all persons of true genius or knowledge have an invincible modesty and suspicion, of themselves upon first sending their thoughts into the world.”
This “invincible modesty’ was no doubt the sole reason which induced the Dean to keep the secret of the “Drapier's Letters” and a hundred humble Christian works of which he was the author. As for the Opposition, the Doctor was for dealing severely with them: he writes to Stella:
Journal. LETTER XIX. * London, March 25th, 1710–11.
. . . . We have let Guiscard be buried at last, after showing him, pickled in a trough this fortnight for twopence a piece; and the fellow that showed would point to his body and say, ‘See, gentlemen, this is the wound that was given him by His Grace the Duke of Ormond; ” and, “This is the wound,’ &c.; and then the show was over, and another set of rabble came in. 'Tis hard that our laws would not suffer us to hang his body in chains, because he was not tried; and in the éye of the law every man is innocent till then. . . . .”
tale of ambition, as any hero's that ever lived and failed. But we must remember that the morality was lax —that other gentlemen besides himself took the road in his day—that public society was in a strange disordered condition, and the State was ravaged by other condottieri. The Boyne was being fought and won, and lost—the bells rung in William's victory, in the very same tone with which they would have pealed for James's. en were loose upon politics, and had to shift for themselves. They, as well as old beliefs and institutions, had lost their moorings and gone adrift in the storm. As in the South Sea Bubble, almost everybody gambled; as in the railway mania— not many centuries ago—almost every one took his unlucky share: a man of that time, of the vast talents and ambition of Swift, could scarce do otherwise than grasp at his prize, and make his spring at his opportunity. His bitterness, his scorn, his rage, his subsequent misanthropy, are ascribed by some panegyrists to a deliberate conviction of mankind's unworthiness, and a desire to amend them by castigating. His youth was bitter, as that of a great genius bound down by ignoble ties, and powerless in a mean dependence; his age was bitter,” like that of a great genius that had fought the battle and nearly won it, and lost it, and thought of it afterwards writhing in a lonely exile. A man may attribute to the gods, if he likes, what is caused by his own fury, or disappointment, or self-will. What public man — what statesman projecting a coup—what king determined on invasion of his neighbor— what satirist meditating an onslaught on society or an individual, can't give a pretext for his move? There was
ing to save him; but I told the Secretary he could not pardon him without a favorable report from the Judge; besides, he was a fiddler, and consequently a rogue, and deserved hanging for something else, and so he shall swing.” * It was his constant practice to keep his birthday a day of mourning.
a Fonch general, the other day who proposed to march into this country and put it to sack and pillage, in revenge for humanity outraged by our conduct at Copenhagen: there is always some excuse for men of the aggressive turn. They are of their nature warlike, predatory, eager for fight, plunder, dominion.* As fierce a beak and talon as ever struck — as strong a wing as ever beat, belonged to Swift. I am glad, for one, that fate wrested the prey out of his claws, and cut his wings and chained him. One can gaze, and not without awe and pity, at the lonely eagle chained behind the bars. That Swift was born at No.7, Hoey's Court, Dublin, on the 30th November, 1667, is a certain fact, of which nobody will deny the sister island the honor and glory; but, it seems to me, he was no more an Irishman than a man born of English parents at Calcutta is a Hindoo.f Goldsmith was
* “These devils of Grub Street rogues, that write the ‘Flying Post” and “Medley” in one paper, will not be quiet. They are always mauling Lord Treasurer, Lord Bolingbroke, and me. We have the dog under prosecution, but Bolingbroke is not active enough; but I hope to swinge him. He is a Scotch rogue, one Ridpath. They get out upon bail, and write on. We take them again, and get fresh bail; so it goes round.” –Journal to Stella. f Swift was by no means inclined to forget such considerations; and his English birth makes its mark, strikingly enough, every now and then in his writings. Thus in a letter to Pope (Scott's Swift, vol. xix. p. 97), he says: — “We have had your volume of letters. . . . . Some of those who highly value you, and a few who know you personally, are grieved to find you make no distinetion between the English gentry of this kingdom, and the savage old Irish (who are only the vulgar, and some gentlemen who live in the Irish parts of the kingdom); but the English colonies, who are three o in four, are much more civilized than many counties in England, and otter English, and are much better reci, And again, in the fourth Drapier's Letter, we have the following: – “A short paper, printed at Bristol, and reprinted here, reports Mr. Wood to say ‘that he wonders at the impudence and insolence of the Irish in refusing his coin.”
an Irishman, and always an Irishman: Steele was an Irishman, and always an Irishman : Swift's heart was English and in England, his habits English, his logic eminently English; his statement is elaborately simple; he shuns tropes and metaphors, and uses his ideas and words with a wise thrift and economy, as he used his money: with which he could be generous and splendid upon great occasions, but which he husbanded when there was no need to spend it. He never indulges in needless extravagance of rhetoric, lavish epithets, profuse imagery. He lays his opinion before you with a grave simplicity and a perfect neatness.” l)reading ridicule too, as a man of
When, by the way, it is the true English people of Ireland who refuse it, although we take it for granted that the Irish will do so too whenever they are asked.” – Scott's Swift, vol. iv. p. 143. He goes further, in a good-humored satirical paper, “On Barbarous Denominations in Ireland,” where (after abusing, as he was wont, the Scotch cadence, as well as expression), he advances to the “Irish brogate,” and speaking of the “censure” which it brings down, says: — “And what is yet worse, it is too well known that the bad consequence of this opinion affects those among us who are not the least liable to such reproaches farther than the misfortune of being born in Ireland, although of English parents, and whose education has been chiefly in that kingdom.”—Ibid. volfvii. p. 149. But, indeed, if we are to make any thing of Race at all, we must call that
man an Englishman whose father comes.
from an old Yorkshire family, and his mother from an old Leicestershire one * “The style of his conversation was very much of a piece with that of his writings, concise and clear, and strong. Being one day at a Sheriff's feast, who amongst other toasts called out to him, “Mr. Dean, The Trade of Ireland l’ he answered quick: “Sir, I drink no memories!” . . . . “Happening to be in company, with a petulant young man who prided himself on saying pert things . . . and who cried out— You must know, Mr. Dean, that 1 set up for a wit?’ ‘Do you so 2° says the Dean. ‘Take my advice, and sit down again!’ “At another time, being in company, where a lady whisking her long train [long trains were then in fashion] swept
he really possessed; one often fancies
in reading him that he dares not be eloquent when he might; that he does not speak above his voice, as it were, and the tone of society. His initiation into politics, his knowledge of business, his knowledge of polite life, his acquaintance with literature even, which he could not have pursued very sedulously during that reckless career at Dublin, Swift got under the roof of Sir William Temple. He was fond of telling in after life what quantities of books he devoured there, and how King William taught him to cut asparagus in the Dutch fashion. It was at Shenc and at Moor Park, with a salary of twenty pounds and a dinner at the upper servants’ table, that this great and lonely Swift passed a ten years' apprenticeship—wore a cassock that was only not a livery — bent down a knee as proud as Lucifer's to supplicate my lady's good graces, or run on his honor’s errands.” It was here, as he was writing at Temple's table, or following his patron's walk, that he saw and heard the men who had governed the great world — measured himself with them, looking up from his silent corner, gauged their brains, weighed their wits, turned them, and tried them, and marked them. Ah! what platitudes he must have heard what feeblejokes! what pompous commonplaces ! what small men they must have scemed under those enormous periwigs, to the swarthy, un
couth, silent Irish secretary. I wonder whether it ever struck Temple, that that Irishman was his master? I suppose that dismal conviction did not present itself under the ambrosial wig, or Temple could never have lived with Swift. Swift sickened, rebelled, left the service — ate humble pie and came back again; and so for ten years went on, gathering learning, swallowing scorn, and submitting with a stealthy rage to his fortune.
Temple's style is the perfection of o and easy good-breeding. If he does not penetrate very deeply into a subject, he professes a very gentlemanly acquaintance with it; if he makes rather a parade of Latin, it was the custom of his day, as it was the custom for a gentleman to envelop his head in a periwig and his hands in lace ruffles. If he wears buckles and square-toed shoes, he steps in them with a consummate grace, and you never hear their creak, or find them treading upon any lady's train or any rival's heels in the Court crowd. When that grows too hot or too agitated for him, he politely leaves it. He retires to his retreat of Shene or Moor Park; and lets the King's party and the Prince of Orange's party battle it out among themselves. He reveres the Sovereign (and no man perhaps ever testified to his loyalty by so elegant a bow); he admires the Prince of Orange; but there is one person whose ease and comfort he loves more than all the princes in Christendom, and that valuable member of society is himself Gulielmus Temple, Baronettus. One sees him in his retreat; between his study-chair and his tulip. beds," clipping his apricots and prun
* “.... ... The Epicureans were more intelligible in their notion, and fortunate in their expression, when they placed a man's happiness in the tranquillity of his mind and indolence of body; for while we are composed of both, I doubt both must have a share in the good or ill we feel. As men of several languages say the same things in very different words, so in
several ages, countries, constitutions of laws and religion, the same thing seems to be meant by very different expressions: what is called by the Stoics apathy, or dispassion; by the sceptics, indisturbance; by the Molinists, quietism; by common men, peace of conscience, — seems all to mean but great tranquillity of mind. . . For this reason Epicurus passed his life wholly in his garden; there he studied, there he exercised, there he taught his philosophy; and, indeed, no other sort of abode seems to contribute so much to both the tranquillity of mind and indolence of body, which he made his chief ends. The sweetness of the air, the pleasantness of smell, the verdure of plants, the cleanness and lightness of food, the exercise of working or walking; but, above all, the exemption from cares and solicitude, seem equally to favor and improve both contemplation and health, the enjoyment of sense and imagination, and thereby the quiet and ease both of the body and mind. . . . . . Where Paradise was, has been much debated, and little agreed; but what sort of a place is meant by it may perhaps easier be cqjectured. It seems to have been a Persian word, since Xeno. phon and other Greek authors mention it as what was much in use and delight among the kings of those eastern coun. tries. "Strabo describing Jericho: “Ibiest palmetum, cui immixtae sunt etiam aliae stirpes hortenses, locus ferax palmis abundans, spatio stadiorum centum, totus irriguus : ibi est Regis Balsami paradisus.’” — Essay on Gardens.
In the same famous essay, Temple speaks of a friend, whose conduct and prudence he characteristically admires:
“. . . Ithought it very prudent in a gentleman of my friends in Staffordshire, who is a great lover of his garden, to pretend no higher, though his soil be good enough, than to the perfection of plums; and in these o bestowing south walls upon them) he has very well succeeded, which he could never have done in at...; upon peaches and grapes; and a good plum is certainly better than an ill peach.”
tion from his household, and to have been coaxed, and warmed, and cuddled by the people round about him, as delicately as any of the plants which he loved. When he fell ill in 1693, the household was aghast at his indisposition: mild Dorothea his wife, the best companion of the best of men —
“Mild Dorothea, peaceful, wise, and great
Trembling beheld the doubtful hand of fate.”
As for Dorinda, his sister, —
“Those who would grief describe, might
come and trace
Its watery footsteps in Dorinda’s face.
To see her weep, joy every face forsook,
Anot flung sables on each menial ook.
The humble tribe mourned for the quickening soul,
That furnished life and spirit through
Isn't that line in which grief is described as putting the menials into a mourning livery, a fine image? One of the menials wrote it, who did not like that Temple livery nor those twenty-pound wages. Cannot one fancy the uncouth young servitor, with downcast eyes, books and papers in hand, following at his honor's heels in the garden walk; or taking his honor's orders as he stands by the great chair, where Sir William has the gout, and his feet all blistered with moxa 3 When Sir William has the gout or scolds it must be hard work at the second table; * the Irish
* Swift's THouGHTS ON HANGING. (Directions to Servants.)
“To grow old in the office of a footman is the highest of all indignities: therefore, when you find years coming on without hopes of a place at court, a command in the army, a succession to the stewardship, an employment in the revenue (which two last you cannot obtain without reading and writing), or running away with your master's niece or daughter, I directly advise you to go upon the road, which is the only post of honor left you: there you will meet many of your old comrades, and live a short life and a merry one, and make a figure at
secretary owned as much afterwards: and when he came to dinner, how he must have lashed and growled and torn the household with his gibes and scorn 1 What would the steward sa
about the pride of them Irish schollards—and this one had got no great credit even at his Irish college, if the truth were known — and what a contempt his Excellency's own gentleman must have had for Parson Teague from Dublin. (The valets and chaplains were always at war. It is hard to say which Swift thought the more contemptible.) And what must have been the sadness, the sadness and terror, of the housekeeper's little daughter with the curling black ringlets and the sweet smiling face, when the secretary who teaches her to read and write, and whom she loves and reverences above all things—above
your exit, wherein I will give you some instructions. “The last advice I give you relates to i. behavior when you are going to be anged: which, either for robbing your master, for housebreaking, or going upon the highway, or in a drunken quarrel by killing the first man you meet, may very probably be your lot, and is owing to one of these three qualities: either a love of good-fellowship, a generosity of mind, or too much vivacity of spirits. Your good behavior on this article will concern your whole community: deny the fact with all solemnity of imprecations; a hundred of your brethren, if they can be admitted, will attend about the bar, and be ready upon demand to give you a character before the Court; let nothing prevail on you to confess, but the promise of a pardon for discovering your comrades: but Isuppose all this to be in vain; for if you escape now, your fate will be the same another day. Get a speech to be written by the best author in Newgate: some of your kind wenches will provide you with a holland shirt and white cap, crowned with a crimson or black ribbon: take leave cheerfully of all your friends in Newgate: mount the cart with courage; fall on your knees; lift up your eyes; hold a book in your hands, although you cannot read a word; deny the fact at the gallows kiss and forgive the hangman, and so farewell; you shall be buried in pomp at the charge of the fraternity: the surgeon shall not touch a limb of you; and your fame, shall continue until a successor of equal renown succeeds in your