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LIVES OF THE ENGLISH POETS

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

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ADDISON
AKENSIDE
BLACKMORE
BROOME
BUTLER
COLLINS
CONGREVE.
COWLEY
DENHAM
DORSET.
DRYDEN
DUKE
DYER
FENTON
GARTH
GAY
GRANVILLE
GRAY
HALIFAX
HAMMOND.
HUGHES
KING
LYTTELTON
MALLET
MILTON
OTWAY

III

PARNELL
PHILIPS, A.
PHILIPS, J.
PITT
POMFRET
POPE.
ROCHESTER
PRIOR
ROSCOMMON
ROWE
SAVAGE
SHEFFIELD
SHENSTONE
SMITH, EDMUND
SOMERVILE
SPRAT
STEPNEY
SWIFT
THOMSON
TICKELL
WALLER
WALSH
WATTS
WEST
YALDEN
YOUNG

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SWIFT:

AN

N Account of Dr. Swift has been already collected, with great 1

diligence and acuteness, by Dr. Hawkesworth, according to a scheme which I laid before him in the intimacy of our friendship. I cannot, therefore, be expected to say much of a life concerning which I had long since communicated my thoughts to a man capable of dignifying his narration with so much elegance of language and force of sentiment ?

JONATHAN SWIFT was, according to an account said to 2 be written by himself?, the son of Jonathan Swift, an attorney *, and was born at Dublin on St. Andrew's day, 16675: according to his own report, as delivered by Pope to Spence, he was born at Leicester, the son of a clergyman, who was minister of a parish in Herefordshire 6. During his life the place of his birth was undetermined. He was contented to be called an Irishman by the Irish, but would occasionally call himself an Englishman”.

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Johnson recorded on his birthday, drew's Day, 1667, at his uncle, CounSept. 18, 1780:- I have not at all sellor Godwin Swift's house in Hoey'sstudied, nor written diligently. I have alley, which was the general residence Swift and Pope yet to write, Swift is of the chief lawyers.The Rev. just begun.' John. Misc. i. 94. W. G. Carroll, whose Succession of * See Appendix A.

Clergy, &c., p. 55, I am quoting, thinks 3s The original MS., under the it probable that it was at Godwin Doctor's own hand, which I received Swift's house in Bull Alley, off Bride from his cousin, Mrs. Whiteway, I Street, that he was born. It was have lodged in the University Library close to the Deanery. of Dublin.' Deane Swift's Essay Spence's Anec. p. 161. Probably upon the Life, &c., of Dr. Swift, Pope's memory was at fault; though App. p. 2.

Swift's cousin writes :-'Sometimes His father, he wrote, “had some he would declare that he was not employments and agencies.' Craik's born in Ireland at all. ... He could Life of Swift, p. 513. Forster says never endure to be called an Irishhe was an attorney of Dublin. Life man.' Deane Swift, pp. 26, 28. of Swift, p. 18. He described him- It was his grandfather who was

a younger son of younger Vicar of Goodrich in Herefordshire.' sons,' although he had no brother. Craik, p. 510. For Swift's account of He had a sister. Works, xvii. 260. 'the old gentleman's being plundered

5 Faulkner's Dublin Journal, two and fifty times by the barbarity of Oct. 27, 1745, in recording his death, Cromwell's hellish crew'see Works, says he was “born in the parish of St. Werburgh's, Dublin, on St. An- Orrery's Remarks, p. 7. 'As to

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self as

xix. 195.

7

LIVES OF POETS, 111

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The question may, without much regret, be left in the obscurity

in which he delighted to involve it'. . 3 Whatever was his birth, his education was Irish. He was sent

at the age of six to the school at Kilkenny', and in his fifteenth

year (1682) was admitted into the University of Dublin. 4 In his academical studies he was either not diligent or not

happy. It must disappoint every reader's expectation that, when at the usual time he claimed the Bachelorship of Arts, he was found by the examiners too conspicuously deficient for regular admission, and obtained his degree at last by special favour 3,

a term used in that university to denote want of merit. 5 Of this disgrace it may be easily supposed that he was much

ashamed, and shame had its proper effect in producing reformation. He resolved from that time to study eight hours a-day, and continued his industry for seven years, with what improvement is sufficiently known". This part of his story well deserves to be remembered ; it may afford useful admonition and powerful encouragement to men whose abilities have been made for a time useless by their passions or pleasures, and who, having lost one

my native country,' he wrote on March man; Swift's heart was English and 23, 1733-4, 'I happened indeed by a in England, his habits English, his perfect accident to be born here, my logic eminently English.' THACKEmother being left here from returning RAY,

English Humourists, p. 13. to her house at Leicester ... and thus I ['The original seat of the family was am a Teague, or an Irishman, or what in Yorkshire. Craik's Swift, p. 3.] people please, although the best part For a Table of Swift's Residences of my life was in England.' Swift's in England see Appendix B. Works, xviii. 184. See also ib. xix. 73. 1 T. Sheridan said of this senHe distinguishes 'between the Eng- tence :-'In plain English it would lish gentry of this island and the savage run thus :-“It is of very little moold Irish. The English “think it ment where the fellow was born.' very hard that an American, who is Swift's Works, 1803, ii. 202. of the fifth generation from England, · Ante, CONGREVE, 4. should be allowed to preserve that Swift, writing of himself, says: title (Englishman)' by a legal fiction, "He was stopped of his degree for while they are denied it. Ib. xix. 94. dulness and insufficiency; and at last He makes the 'Drapier' say :-'Our hardly admitted in a manner little to ancestors reduced this kingdom to his credit, which is called in that the obedience of England.' 16. vi. College speciali gratia. Craik, p. 412. For the disadvantage of being 513. See also ib. p. 12 and Forster, born in Ireland' see ib. vii. 31. See p. 28, for his College days, and N. & also ib. p. 11 for 'the wild Irish.' 2.6 S. v. 383 for the examination.

• It seems to me he was no more Delany's Observations upon Lord an Irishman than a man born of Orrery's Remarks, p. 50: Jortin said English parents at Calcutta is a of Swift:—'Writing Latin, either Hindoo. Goldsmith was an Irishman, prose or verse, was not his talent, any and always an Irishman; Steele was more than making sermons.

As to an Irishman, and always an Irish- the knowledge which he is said to

3

part of life in idleness, are tempted to throw away the remainder in despair

In this course of daily application he continued three years 6 longer at Dublin; and in this time, if the observation and memory of an old companion may be trusted, he drew the first sketch of his Tale of a Tub?.

When he was about one-and-twenty (1688), being by the death 7 of Godwin Swift his uncle, who had supported him, left without subsistence, he went to consult his mother, who then lived at Leicester, about the future course of his life", and by her direction solicited the advice and patronage of Sir William Temple, who had married one of Mrs. Swift's relations, and whose father, Sir John Temple, Master of the Rolls in Ireland, had lived in great familiarity of friendship with Godwin Swift, by whom Jonathan had been to that time maintained 5.

Temple received with sufficient kindness the nephew of his 8 father's friend, with whom he was, when they conversed together, have acquired of the learned lan- for civilities to young Deane Swift, he guages — Cras credo, hodie nihil.' continues :-'Mrs. Whiteway says he Jortin's Tracts, 1790, ii. 523.

is my cousin ; which will not be to * Swift wrote to Pope on April 5, his advantage, for I hate all relations.' 1729:- I am ashamed to tell you, Works, xix. 187. He described them that when I was very young I had as 'a numerous race, degenerating more desire to be famous than ever from their ancestors, who were of good since? Pope's Works (Elwin and esteem for their loyalty and sufferings Courthope), vii. 150. On Oct. 31 he in therebellion against King Charles I.' wrote to Bolingbroke of fame: "With Deane's great-grandfather was the age we learn to know the house is so regicide, Admiral Deane. Ib. xix. 194. full that there is no room for above "He was forced away,' wrote one or two at most in an age through Temple, by the desertion of the Colthe whole world. Ib. p. 162.

lege of Dublin upon the calamities of · The story comes from Swift's the country.' Cunningham's Lives of chamber-fellow, Waring, whose the Poets, iii. 160. sister he courted in 1695-6 under the Swift wrote of his mother on her name of Varina. Deane Swift, p. 31.0 death:- If the way to Heaven be Mr. Forster thinks the story 'may be through piety, truth, justice and true in everything but place and date.' charity, she is there.' Works, xv. Forster, pp. 47, 77.

337. For her birth see N. & l. 6 S. Deane Swift, App. p. 42. He xi. 264. gave me,' said Swift, the education 5 Deane Swift (pp. 33, 34, 38) is the • of a dog. Works, i. lin. Godwin's chief authority for this paragraph. son, Deane, says he had a numerous The relationship between Swift's progeny by four wives.' His mis- mother and Temple had been prefortunes made him cut down his viously asserted by Lord Orrery in nephew's allowance. Deane Swift,' his Remarks, p. 15. App. p. 41. In 1713, when Swift was Sir John Temple was Master of the made Dean, 'he had in Ireland nine Rolls both before the Rebellion and cousin-germans (first cousins) living.' after the Restoration. Temple's Most of them were well-to-do people.

Works, ed. 1757, Preface, p. 8. Post, 16. p. 350. In 1739, thanking a friend SWIFT, 16 n. 7.

The question may, without much regret, be left in the obscurity

in which he delighted to involve it'. . 3 Whatever was his birth, his education was Irish. He was sent

at the age of six to the school at Kilkenny?, and in his fifteenth

year (1682) was admitted into the University of Dublin. 4 In his academical studies he was either not diligent or not

happy. It must disappoint every reader's expectation that, when at the usual time he claimed the Bachelorship of Arts, he was found by the examiners too conspicuously deficient for regular admission, and obtained his degree at last by special favour 3,

a term used in that university to denote want of merit. 5 Of this disgrace it may be easily supposed that he was much

ashamed, and shame had its proper effect in producing reformation. He resolved from that time to study eight hours a day, and continued his industry for seven years, with what improvement is sufficiently known". This part of his story well deserves to be remembered; it may afford useful admonition and powerful encouragement to men whose abilities have been made for a time useless by their passions or pleasures, and who, having lost one

my native country,' he wrote on March 23, 1733-4, 'I happened indeed by a perfect accident to be born here, my mother being left here from returning to her house at Leicester ... and thus I am a Teague, or an Irishman, or what people please, although the best part of my life was in England.' Swift's Works, xviii. 184. See also ib. xix. 73. He distinguishes between the English gentry of this island and the savage old Irish. The English 'think it very hard that an American, who is of the fifth generation from England, should be allowed to preserve that title (Englishman)' by a legal fiction, while they are denied it. Ib. xix. 94. He makes the 'Drapier' say :- Our ancestors reduced this kingdom to the obedience of England. 16. vi. 412. For the disadvantage of being born in Ireland' see ib. vii. 31. See also ib. p. II for 'the wild Irish.'

'It seems to me he was no more an Irishman than a man born of English parents at Calcutta is a Hindoo. Goldsmith was an Irishman, and always an Irishman; Steele was an Irishman, and always an Irish

man; Swift's heart was English and in England, his habits English, his logic eminently English,' THACKERAY, English Humourists, p. 13.

['The original seat of the family was in Yorkshire. Craik's Swift, p. 3.]

For a Table of Swift's Residences in England see Appendix B.

1 T. Sheridan said of this sentence:-'In plain English it would run thus :-“It is of very little moment where the fellow was born." Swift's Works, 1803, ii. 202.

Ante, CONGREVE, 4. 3 Swift, writing of himself, says: 'He was stopped of his degree for dulness and insufficiency; and at last hardly admitted in a manner little to his credit, which is called in that College speciali gratia.' Craik, p. 513. See also ib. p. 12 and Forster, p. 28, for his College days, and N. So 2.6 S. v. 383 for the examination.

Delany's Observations upon Lord Orrery's Remarks, p. 50. Jortin said of Swift :-'Writing Latin, either prose or verse, was not his talent, any more than making sermons.

As to the knowledge which he is said to

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