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grew too powerful for his kindness; he would refuse a bottle of wine, and in Ireland no man visits where he cannot drink. Having thus excluded conversation and desisted from study, he had neither business nor amusement; for having by some ridiculous resolution or mad vow determined never to wear spectacles, he could make little use of books in his later years; his ideas, therefore, being neither renovated by discourse nor increased by reading, wore gradually away, and left his mind vacant to the vexations of the hour, till at last his anger was heightened into madness. He however permitted one book to be published, which had been the production of former years; Polite Conversation, which appeared in 1738. The Directions for Servants was printed soon after his death. These two performances shew a mind incessantly attentive, and, when it was not employed upon great things, busy with minute occurrences. It is apparent that he must have had the habit of noting whatever he observed; for such a number of particulars could never have been assembled by the power of recollection. - He grew more violent, and his mental powers declined till (1741) it was found necessary that legal guardians should be appointed of his person and fortune. He now lost distinction. His madness was compounded of rage and fatuity. The last face that he knew was that of Mrs. Whiteway; and her he ceased to know in a little time. His meat was brought him cut into mouthfuls; but he would never touch it while the servant staid, and at last, after it had stood perhaps an hour, would eat it walking ; for he continued his old habit, and was on his feet ten hours a day. Next year (1742) he had an inflammation in his left

eye, which swelled it to the size of an egg, with boils in other parts; he was kept long waking with the pain, and was not easily restrained by five attendants from tearing out his eye. The tumour at last subsided ; and a short interval of reason ensuing, in which he knew his physician and his family, gave hopes of his recovery ; but in a few days he sunk into a lethargic stupidity, motionless, heedless, and speechless. But it is said, that, after a year of total silence, when his housekeeper, on the 30th of November, told him that the usual bonfires and illuminations were preparing to celebrate his birth-day, he answered, “It is all folly; they had better let it alone.” It is remembered, that he afterwards spoke now and then, or gave some intimation of a meaning; but at last sunk into perfect silence, which continued till about the end of October, 1744, when, in his seventy-eighth year, he expired without a struggle.

WHEN Swift is considered as an author, it is just to estimate his powers by their effects. In the reign of queen Anne he turned the stream of popularity against the whigs, and must be confessed to have dictated for a time the political opinions of the English nation. In the succeeding reign he delivered Ireland from plunder and oppression; and shewed that wit, confederated with truth, had such force as authority was unable to resist. He said truly of himself, that Ireland “was his debtor.” It was from the time when he first began to patronize the Irish that they may date their riches and prosperity. He taught them first to know their own interest, their weight, and their strength, and gave them. spirit to assert that equality with their fellow-subjects to which they have ever since been making vigorous advances, and to claim those rights which they have at last established. Nor can they be charged with ingratitude to their benefactor; for they reverenced him as a guardian and obeyed him as a dictator. In his works he has given very different specimens both of sentiments and expression. His Tale of a Tub has little resemblance to his other pieces. It exhibits a vehemence and rapidity of mind, a copiousness of images, and vivacity of diction, such as he afterwards newer possessed or never exerted. It is of a mode so distinct and peculiar that it must be considered by itself; what is true of that is not true of anything else which he has written. In his other works is found, an equable tenour of easy language, which rather trickles than flows. His delight was in simplicity. That he has in his works no metaphor as has been said, is not true; but his few metaphors seem to be received rather by necessity than choice. He studied purity; and though perhaps all his strictures are not exact, yet it is not often that Solecisms can be found; and whoever depends on his authority may generally conclude himself safe. His Sentences are never too much dilated or contracted ; and it will not be easy to find any embarrassment in the complication of his clauses, any inconsequence in his connections, or abruptness in his transitions. His style was well suited to his thoughts, which are never subtilised by nice disquisitions, decorated by sparkling conceits, elevated by ambitious sentences, or variegated by far sought learning. He pays no court to the passions; he excites neither surprise nor admiration ; he always understands himself, and his reader always understands him; the peruser of Swift wants little previous knowledge; it will be sufficient. that he is acquainted with common words and common things: he is neither required to mount elevations, nor to explore profundities; his passage is always on a level, along solid ground, without asperities, without obstruction. - * This easy and safe conveyance of meaning it was Swift's desire to attain, and for having attained he deserves praise. For purposes merely didactic, when something is to be told that was not known before, it is the best mode; but against that inattention by which known truths are suffered to lie neglected it makes no provision; it instructs, but does not persuade. By his political education he was associated with the whigs; but he deserted them when they deserted their principles, yet without running into the contrary extreme : he continued throughout his life to retain the disposition which he assigns to the “Church of England man,” of thinking commonly with the whigs of the state and with the tories of the church. He was a churchman rationally zealous; he desired the prosperity, and maintained the honour of the clergy; of the dissenters he did not wish to infringe the toleration, but he opposed their encroachments. To his duty as dean he was very attentive. He managed the revenues of his church with exact economy: and it is said by Delany, that more money was, under his direction, laid out in repairs, than had ever been in the same time since its first erection. Of his choir he was eminently careful; and, though he neither loved nor understood music, took care that all the singers' were well qualified, admitting none without the testimony of skilful judges. In his church he restored the practice of weekly communion, and distributed the sacramental elements in the most solemn and devout manner with his own hand. He came to church every morning, preached commonly in his turn, and attended the evening anthem, that it might not be negligently performed,

He read the service “rather with a strong, nervous, voice, than in a graceful manner; his voice was sharp and high-toned, rather than harmonious.”

He entered upon the clerical state with hope to excel in preaching; but complained, that, from the time of his political controversies, “he could only preach

pamphlets.” This censure of himself, if judgment be

made from those sermons which have been printed, was unreasonably severe. The suspicions of his irreligion proceeded in a great measure from his dread of hypocrisy; instead of wishing to seem better, he delighted in seeming worse than he was. He went in London to early prayers, lest he should be seen at church; he read prayers to his servants every morning with such dexterous secrecy, that Dr. Delany was six months in his house before he knew it. He was not only careful to hide the good which he did, but willingly incurred the suspicion of evil which he did not. He forgot what himself had formerly asserted, that hypocrisy is less mischievous than open impiety. Dr. Delany, with all his zeal for his honour, has justly condemned this part of his character. The person of Swift had not many recommendations. He had a kind of muddy complexion, which, though he washed himself with oriental scrupulosity, did not look clear. He had a countenance sour and sewere, which he seldom softened by any appearance of gaiety. He stubbornly resisted any tendency to laughter. To his domestics he was naturally rough; and a man of rigorous temper, with that vigilance of minute attention which his works discover, must have been a master that few could bear. That he was disposed to do his servants good on important occasions, is no great

mitigation; benefaction can be but rare, and tyrannic

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