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with unremitting zeal the Lord Chief Justice Whitshend, and Judge Boate, by Epigrams, Lampoons, and Satires, until they became the objects of universal scorn and disgust. But the popularity he thus obtained in Ireland was trifling compared with that which attended the publication of the “ Drapier's Letters," four years afterwards. One William Wood had obtained a patent for coining half-pence for Ireland, to the amount of 108,000 : Swift, indignant at the iniquity of the scheme, drew up, in the name of the Irish people, a petition against it; and, by way of strengthening the appeal, published a series of Letters, with the signature of M. B. Drapier. Their effect was instantaneous ; the nation became excited and clamorous, and the whole population formed the steady resolution never to receive a single piece of Wood's coin. The Printer of the “ Letters” was imprisoned; but the Grand Jury refused to find an indictment, and a reward of £300 was offered in vain for the discovery of the author. The result was, the patent was annulled, the coin withdrawn, and Swift constituted the Idol and the Oracle of his country, to the hour of his death. With respect to the merit of the “ Drapier's Letters," it will suffice to quote the opinion of Isaac Hawkins Browne, who designates them "the most perfect pieces of oratory ever composed since the days of Demosthenes.” · Having achieved this triumph over Wood and his haif-pence, Swift retired to Quilca, a country bouse, belonging to his friend Dr. Sheridan, and for some time amused him in projecting and executing alterations and iniprovements there, and also in finishing and revising “Gulliver's Travels.” In 1726 he went to England, where he was received with open arms by Bolingbroke, Bathurst, Arbuthnot, Gay, and Pope. He took up bis abode at the house of the latter, and assigned to him the task of selecting and arranging the materials for three volumes of Miscellanies, their joint production. During this visit he waited upon Sir Robert Walpole, with a view to interest him in the cause of Ireland; and (it has been said) to endeavour to obtain for himself Church preferment in England: but Walpole had been prepossessed against him and his views of Irish affairs by the representations of Archbishop Boulter, and they parted with cool civility, no point being gained by either party in the conference.
In August, Swift returned to Dublin, where his arrival was celebrated with the most public demonstrations of joy and respect; and in November, the “ Travels of Gulliver” were published anonymously in London. This celebrated work immediately engrossed the attention of the whole kingdom: it was read, admired, and discussed, by all ranks. " It offered,” says Sir Walter Scott, “personal and political satire to the readers in high life, low and coarse incident to the vulgar, marvels to the romantic, wit to the young and lively, lessons of morality and policy to the grave, and maxims of deep and bitter misanthropy to neglected age, and disappointed ambition.”
In 1727 Swift visited England for the last time, and spent the summer among his early friends. His hopes of preferment, and his prospects of reviving political influence, were now it an end ; and when he returned to what he always considered his land of exile, to his discontent and chagrin was added severe affliction, by the death of the being to whom he was most attached. His health became affected, and his temper more than ever unequal and morose; he rallied occasionally, and from time to time gratified the animosity he cherished against Queen Caroline and Walpole, by attacking them, and their favourites and dependants, with the same wit and irony that distinguished his better days. At length, the disorders under which he had suffered at intervals all his life obtained the mastery, and he sunk into a state of mental aberration, pitiable in any point of view, but most awful when contrasted with the brilliant genius and unusual powers which had originally adorned his comprehensive mind. He died on the 29th of October, 1745, in his 78th year.
The domestic history of Swift has been the subject of much discussion, from the extraordinary circumstances attending his connection with Mrs. Esther Johnson, celebrated in his writings under the name of Stella. She was the daughter of Sir William Temple's Stewari, and was about fourteen years old when Swift undertook the office of her preceptor. At Sir William’s death she resided for some time with Mrs. Dingley, a relation of the Temple family, and, when Swift settled at Laracor, accepted his invitation to fix her abode at Trim, a village in the vicinity of bis living.
She was then eighteen, of great personal attractions, and fervently attached to him, no doubt anticipated the speeay consummation of her wishes. But Swift, who could not be unconscious of the feelings he had excited, adapted lris whole conduct towards her strictly to the character of a friend, and never met her but in the presence of a third person. When he left home for any time, she and her companion resided at his house, resuming their own lodgings immediately on his return. In this manner passed eight years, in the course of which her affection seemed gradually to increase, and she refused a very eligible offer of marriage from a Mr. Tisdal. When Swift went to London, in September 1710, he was almost agonised at leaving her, and kept, during bis absence, a Journal ad dressed to her, which fully evinces how completely she swayed every feeling of his heart. Nevertheless, an event took place which was every way calculated to distress her, and bring into question the sincerity of his professions. In London, Swift became acquainted with a widow lady, named Vanhomrigh, whose eldest daughter interesting him greatly by her temper and manners, he offered his assistance in completing her education. The progress of his pupil was astonishing : but at the end of two years, Swift was thrown into the greatest embarrassment, by her openly declaring her love for him, and demanding a return. war.
He was at this time in his 47th year, and it is to be lamented that he suffered his vanity to overcome his sense of propriety, and encouraged hopes which he never intended to realise. Vanessa (as he called her) was not of the gentle and patient temper of Stella :—when Swift returned to Ireland, on the Queen's death, she followed him, contrary to his wish; and their meetings (allowed by all to have been perfectly platonic) caused Stella a jealousy, which brought on severe indisposition. Swift, to soothe her and satisfy her scruples, agreed to marry her, on the condition of their living separately, as heretofore; and they were privately marricd (the ceremony being performed in the garden of the Deanery) by Dr. Ashe, Bishop of Clogher, in 1716. After this he would willingly have estranged himself from Vanessa, but found it impracticable. She, having some suspicion of the real fact, wrote to Mrs. Johnson, and the answer she received, together with Swift's resentment upon discovering her proceeding, threw her into a fever which terminated her existence in 1723. Her scarcely less unfortunate rival did not survive her many years; her spirits and her frame, blighted and wasted, by“ hope deferred,” and bitter disappointment, she died prematurely in 1728.
The conduct of Swift towards these ill-fated women, however it may be accounted for, or extenuated, will always remain a blot upon his memory: in spite of the most diligent research, a mystery still envelopes it, which physical and philosophical attempts at explanation have failed to disperse. In all other relations, Swift appears to have been a worthy and estimable
His works (the enumeration of which would carry us beyond our prescribed bounds) are all examples of great ingenuity, and intellectual power: of his poems, “Cadenus and Vanessa,” “Baucis and Philemon," and his “Imitations of Horace," are of the highest order ; and the “ Tale of a Tub,” the “ Drapier's Letters,” and “ Gulliver's Travels,” have conferred immortality on his name by merit peculiar to themselves.
PHILIP YORKE, Earl of Hardwicke, was born at Dover, in 1690. He was educated under Mr. Morland, of Bethnal Green, entered of the Middle Temple, and was called to the Bar in 1714.-In 1718 he was returned Member of Parliament for Lewes; and the following year was appointed Solicitor General. In 1723 he became Attorney General, and in 1733 Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, shortly after which he received the title of Baron Hardwicke. He succeeded Lord Talbot in 1736 as Lord High Chancellor ; and finally, in 1754, was created Earl of Hardwicke. He has transmitted to posterity an unblemished name as a Lawyer, a Judge, and a Statesman. In private life he was benevolent and pious ; and his gentle and engaging manners gained him the affection, as his public virtues secured him the esteem, of all who knew him. As an orator, he was clear, graceful, and impressive: cogent in argument, and perspicuous in arrangement. After suffering severely for some months from dysentery, he died, at the age of seventy-three, on the 6th of March, 1764.
T'HOMAS TICKELL, son of the Rev. Richard Tickell, Vicar of Bridekirk, near Carlisle, was born in 1686. He entered Queen's College, Oxford, in 1701, was made Master of Arts in 1708, and chosen Fellow two years afterwards. A copy of verses in praise of the Opera of
“Rosamond,” introduced him to the notice of Addison, and a sincere and lasting friendship between them was the result. Whilst the negociations which preceded the Peace of Utrecht were yet pending, Tickell published his poem “On the Prospect of Peace,” with the view to reconcile the nation the sacrifice of some immediate advantages rather than continue the
It sold rapidly, reaching in a very short time a sixth edition ; and Addison, who, with the Whigs, was strongly opposed to such a measure, however he might disapprove of the subject of the Poem, was generous enough to give high praise to it as a composition, in the “Spectator.” Tickell afterwards wrote a poem addressed “To the supposed Author of the Spectator," and another, on the arrival of George I., entitled the “ Royal Progress.” He had also previously, attacked the Chevalier and his adherents, in a political piece called “An Epistle to a Gentleman at Avignon,” which was much read, and which tended to mark him out for favour on the accession of the House of Hanover.
When Addison went to Ireland as Secretary to the Earl of Sunderland, he took Tickell with him as an assistant in his official duties; and on his becoming Secretary of State in 1717, he made his friend Under Secretary. Upon the death of Addison, in 1719, Tickell edited his Collected Works, and prefixed to them an Elegy to the memory of his patron, of pre-emineut beauty and pathos. In 1725, Tickell was made Secretary to the Lords Justices of Ireland, and the following year he married, in Dublin.
He held his official appointment until his death, which took place at Bath, in April, 1740. Besides the pieces already noticed, he wrote some “Verses on Cato," an "Imitation of the Prophecy of Nereus,” “Kensington Garden,” and a very pathetic ballad, “Colin and Lucy." He was also (nominally) the author of a translation of the first Book of the “Iliad,” published in opposition to Pope's, and a contributor to the “Guardian.” He was an elegant, if not a powerful, writer; an amiable man, convivial but moderate; spirited in his conversation, and of a kind and affectionate heart.
AMBROSE PHILIPS was descended from a respectable family in Leicestershire. While at St. John's College, Cambridge, he published his “Six Pastorals,” which were very popular; and, it is supposed, caused some little jealousy to Pope. The style of them, however it might approach the true Doric, was, unluckily, very apt for ludicrous associations, and Pope exerted all his wit and irony to hold them up to ridicule : this he accomplished effectually in the “ Guardian.” The attack greatly irritated Philips, and he sought revenge in insult, by suspending a rod over the seat which Pope usually occupied at Button's Coffee-house. Pope tailed not to retaliate; and, in the “ Prologue” to bis Satires, describes Philips as
“ The Bard whom pilfer'd Pastorals renown,
Who turns a Persian Tale for half-a-crown,
And strains, from hard-bound brains, eight lines a year.” And Swift fixed upon him the nick-name of “ Namby pamby,” in allusion to his numerous short-line verses. Upon Philips leaving the University, he became intimate with Addison and Steele, and be printed, in the “ Tatler," a " Poetical Letter from Copenhagen ;” a piece of sterling merit, which extorted praise even from Pope. It is likely that at this period his circumstances were rather precarious, since he undertook, for Tonson, a translation of the “ Persian Tales” from the French, at (it is said) a very low price. His Tragedy, “ The Distressed Mother,” (partly a translation of Racine's “ Andromaque,”) brought him into much notice : Steele had highly extolled it in the “Spectator” (No. 290) before it appeared ; and Addison afterwards (in No. 335) carried Sir Roger de Coverley to its representation. Philips produced two other Tragedies, “ The Briton,” and “ Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester,” which excited little attention, and are now forgotten. Although from his zealous support of the Whiys, he was justified in anticipating a suitable reward upon the accession of George I., and had been greatly disappointed by obtaining merely the insignificant situations of Justice of the Peace, and Commissioner of Lotteries, he did not relax in his exertions, but commenced the “ Free-thinker,” in which he had, for one of his co-adjutors, Dr. Boulter, then minister of a parish church in Southwark. This circumstance established bis fortune. Dr. Boulter,