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age involved in darkness, and shade the picture with sullen
emulation 136 When the Queen's death drove him into Ireland he might be
allowed to regret for a time the interception of his views, the extinction of his hopes, and his ejection from gay scenes, important employment, and splendid friendships'; but when time had enabled reason to prevail over vexation the complaints, which at first were natural, became ridiculous because they were useless. But querulousness was now grown habitual, and he cried out when he probably had ceased to feel. His reiterated wailings persuaded Bolingbroke that he was really willing to quit his deanery for an English parish; and Bolingbroke procured an exchange, which was rejected ?, and Swift still retained
the pleasure of complaining. 187
The greatest difficulty that occurs, in analysing his character, is to discover by what depravity of intellect he took delight in revolving ideas from which almost every other mind shrinks with disgust. The ideas of pleasure, even when criminal, may solicit the imagination; but what has disease, deformity, and filth upon which the thoughts can be allured to dwell? Delany is willing to think that Swift's mind was not much tainted with this gross corruption before his long visit to Pope. He does not consider
* Richter, writing of 'the letters of too short by £300 a year.' Works, the friendship between a Swift, an xviii. 28. A year later he wrote to Arbuthnot, and a Pope,' continues :- Pope :-'Neither can I have con• Have not many others felt them- veniences in the country for three selves, like me, warmed and en- horses and two servants, and many couraged by the touching, quiet love others, which I have here at hand. of these manly hearts, which, though I am one of the governors of all the cold, cutting, and sharp to the outer hackney coaches, carts and carriages world, yet laboured and throbbed in round this town, who dare not insult their common inner world warmly me, like your rascally waggoners or and tenderly for one another?' Rich- coachmen, but give me the way; nor ter's Flower, Fruit and Thorn Pieces, is there one lord or squire for a translated by E. H. Noel, 1871, i. 53.
i hundred of yours to turn me out of Ante, SWIFT, 66 n.
the road, or run over ine with their Bolingbroke, in July, 1732, in- coaches and six. Then I walk the formed him that the Rector of Burgh- streets in peace, without being justled, field, Berkshire, a few miles from his nor even without a thousand blessings Lordship's seat at Buckleberry, a from my friends the vulgar.' Ib. p. living worth £400 a year, 'over and 123. The defilement became much above a curate paid, with an 'extremely good parsonage house,' was more conspicuous upon his return willing to change preferments, if it from his first long visit to Mr. Pope. could be effected. Works, xviii. 15. Before this era I had found his ideas See also Warton's Pope, vi. 15. and his style remarkably delicate and 'The living,'Swift answered, 'is just pure. I remember his falling into a
how he degrades his hero by making him at fifty-nine the pupil of turpitude, and liable to the malignant influence of an ascendant mind. But the truth is that Gulliver had described his Yahoos before the visit, and he that had formed those images had nothing filthy to learn
I have here given the character of Swift as he exhibits himself 138 to my perception; but now let another be heard who knew him better. Dr. Delany, after long acquaintance, describes him to Lord Orrery in these terms?:
My Lord, when you consider Swift's singular, peculiar, and most variegated vein of wit, always rightly intended (although not always so rightly directed), delightful in many instances, and salutary, even where it is most offensive; when you consider his strict truth, his fortitude in resisting oppression and arbitrary power; his fidelity in friendship, his sincere love and zeal for religion, his uprightness in making right resolutions, and his steadiness in adhering to them ; his care of his church, its choir,
furious resentment with Mrs. Johnston [sic] for a very small failure of delicacy. (In his Journal to Stella there were at times very large failures.] It must be owned that he set out very ill, and that his Salamander is the vilest production of the most defiled muse. But I think it will appear from his works that, as if he had taken a surfeit of pollution, he abstained from it for many years together. Unhappily, he relapsed about 1723, and from that time became I dare not say what.' Delany, p. 75. Delany is not consistent. It was in 1726 that Swift visited Pope. Ante, SWIFT, 83. For Pope's corruption see post, POPE, 360.
The Salamander was written in 1705. Works, xiv. 63. Swift wrote to Stella in 1711:—'You remember The Salamander; it is printed in the Miscellany.' 16. ji. 383. He wrote to her the same year of a dinner at St. John's:-'I give no man liberty to swear or talk b-dy, and I found some of them were in constraint, so I left them to themselves.' 16. p. 260. In his Hints towards an Essay on Conversation he speaks of those odious topics of immodesty and indecencies. Ib. ix. 177.
The petition in his Evening Prayer [ante, ŚWIFT, 121 n. 1), 'Cleanse, we beseech Thee, the thoughts of our
hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit' (ib. ix. 294), was never answered.
* Miss Byron, in Sir Charles Grandison, 1754, ii. 83, says: 'Swift, for often painting a dunghill, and for his abominable Yahoo story, was complimented with a knowledge of human nature ; but I hope that the character of human nature, the character of creatures made in the image of the Deity, is not to be taken from the overflowings of such dirty imaginations.'
Delany, p. 289.
JOHNSON. Swift is clear, but he is shallow. In coarse humour, he is inferior to Arbuthnot; in delicate humour, he is inferior to Addison. So he is inferior to his conteinporaries; without putting him against the whole world. Boswell's Johnson, V. 44.
Thackeray, with strange exaggeration, calls Swift 'the greatest wit of all times.' English Humourists, ed. Phelps, 1900, p. 175.
Fielding, speaking of 'those great masters who have sent their satire (if I may use the expression) laughing into the world,' continues :_Such are that great triumvirate Lucian, Cervantes, and Swift.' Fielding's Works, ed. 1806, X. 25.
its æconomy, and its income; his attention to all those that preached in his cathedral, in order to their amendment in pronunciation and style?; as also his remarkable attention to the interest of his successors, preferably to his own present emoluments; [his) invincible patriotism, even to a country which he did not love; his very various, well-devised, well-judged, and extensive charities, throughout his life, and his whole fortune (to say nothing of his wife's ?) conveyed to the same Christian purposes at his death-charities from which he could enjoy no honour, advantage or satisfaction of any kind in this world. When you consider his ironical and humorous, as well as his serious schemes, for the promotion of true religion and virtue ; his success in soliciting for the First Fruits and Twentieths, to the unspeakable benefit of the established Church of Ireland ? ; and his felicity (to rate it no higher) in giving occasion to the building of fifty new churches in London
'All this considered, the character of his life will appear like that of his writings; they will both bear to be re-considered and re-examined with the utmost attention, and always discover new beauties and excellences upon every examination.
*They will bear to be considered as the sun, in which the brightness will hide the blemishes; and whenever petulant ignorance, pride, malice, malignity, or envy interposes to cloud
: 'As soon as anyone got up into R. R. Leeper, the Medical Superthe pulpit he pulled out his pencil intendent, ninety-four patients, sixtyand a piece of paper, and carefully one of whom do not pay sufficiently noted every wrong pronunciation or to cover cost of maintenance. “They expression. ..
Of these he never are from the educated and profailed to admonish the preacher as fessional classes, whose removal to soon as he came into the Chapter the County Asylum would be a great House.' Delany, p. 206.
hardship and injury to them. Such • According to T. Sheridan, Stella cases only are received as give 'bequeathed her fortune to charitable hope of cure.' The Hospital stands uses' in indignation at Swift's cruelty in pleasant grounds of more than in not owning their marriage. Works, eight acres-a noble memorial of its 1803, ii. 62; ante, SWIFT, 92. There founder. Were its funds larger its are strong reasons for the belief that benefits could be extended. the will was written under Swift's Ante, SWIFT, 36. advice. Craik, p. 547. He left his * In his Project for the Advancemoney for the foundation of an ment of Religion (ante, SWIFT, 34) hospital for idiots and lunatics to be he pointed out that 'in London a called St. Patrick's Hospital.' Works, single minister, with one or two sorry i. 487; ante, SWIFT, 100 n. It was
curates, has the care sometimes of opened in 1757. 'Like the Bedlam above 20,000 souls incumbent on of London it was formerly open to hini.' Works, viii. 102. “This parathe public.' Works, i. 496. In other graph,' writes Hawkesworth, 'is
, words the lunatics were made a show. known to have given the first hint to See Boswell's Johnson, ii. 374. Till certain Bishops to procure a fund 1815 it was the only Lunatic Asylum for building fifty new churches in in Ireland. There are at present in London.' Works (1803), iv. 172 n. it (Aug. 1901), as I learn from Mr.
or sully his fame, I will take upon me to pronounce that the eclipse will not last long.
To conclude—no man ever deserved better of any country than Swift did of his. A steady, persevering, inflexible friend; a wise, a watchful, and a faithful counsellor, under many severe trials and bitter persecutions, to the manifest hazard both of his liberty and fortune
He lived a blessing, he died a benefactor, and his name will ever live an honour to Ireland ?'
IN the Poetical Works of Dr. Swift there is not much upon 139 which the critick can exercise his powers? They are often humorous, almost always light, and have the qualities which recommend such compositions, easiness and gaiety. They are, for the most part, what their author intended. The diction is correct, the numbers are smooth, and the rhymes exact. There seldom occurs a hard-laboured expression or a redundant epithet; all his verses exemplify his own definition of a good style, they consist of proper words in proper places 5.
' He boasted with some exaggera- The rambling freedom of Dryden tion:
and the correct but often tedious 'Fair Liberty was all his cry;
and prosaic language of Addison are For her he stood prepared to die; no longer the objects of imitation, For her he boldly stood alone; but all long verses are now written For her he oft exposed his own.' after the manner of the nervous
Works, xiv. 330. precision of Mr. Pope.' Theory of * Deane Swift, in drawing his Moral Sentiment, 1801, ii. 9. character, says:-'He was chaste, 'Swift perceived that there was a sober, and temperate. I remember spirit of romance mixed with all the he once told me that he never had works of the poets who preceded been drunk in his life. In his general him; or, in other words, that they behaviour he was open, free, dis- had drawn nature on the most pleasengaged, and cheerful; in his deal- ing side. There still therefore was ings with the world he was honest a place left for him who, careless of and sincere; in relieving the poor censure, should describe it just as and the distressed he was liberal to it was with all its deformities; he profusion, if throwing upon the waters therefore owes much of his fame, not above a third part of his income will so much to the greatness of his genius, entitle him to the character of being as to the boldness of it.' GOLDSMITH, generous. With regard to his faith Works, iii. 432. This criticism suits he was truly orthodox. ... Moreover Crabbe. he was exceedingly regular in all his Post, POPE, 375. 'He mentioned duties to God.' Deane Swift, p. that in Baucis and Philemon Mr.
Addison made him blot out fourscore 373 Adam Smith wrote in 1759:- lines, add fourscore and alter four'Mr. Pope and Dr. Swift have each score.' Delany, p. 19. of them introduced a manner different * Proper words in proper places from what was practised before into make the true definition of a style. all works that are written in rhyme, ... When a man's thoughts are clear the one in long verses, the other in the properest words will generally short. The quaintness of Butler has offer themselves first, and his own given place to the plainness of Swift. judgment will direct him in what
LIVES OJ POETS. III
140 To divide this Collection into classes, and shew how some
pieces are gross, and some are trifling, would be to tell the reader what he knows already, and to find faults of which the author could not be ignorant, who certainly wrote often not to
his judgement, but his humour'. 141 It was said, in a Preface to one of the Irish editions, that
Swift had never been known to take a single thought from any writer, ancient or modern. This is not literally true ; but perhaps no writer can easily be found that has borrowed so little, or that in all his excellences and all his defects has so well maintained his claim to be considered as original
order to place them, so as they may
"To him no author was unknown, be best understood. Works, viii. Yet what he wrote was all his own.' 199, 203. Ante, SWIFT, 114.
Ante, COWLEY, 172. The definition of a style in the For the dislike of Swift and Gay present age would be pretty words 'to write upon other folks' hints' see in pretty places.'
ante, GAY, 19 n. * He wrote in 1732:—'I have been Swift says of himself in The Auonly a man of rhymes, and that upon thor's Apology :-'He insists upon it trifles; never having written serious that through the whole book (The couplets in my life; yet never any Tale of a Tub] he has not borwithout a moral view. Works, xvii. rowed one single hint from any writer 396.
in the world.' 16. X. 25. He read, Nous avons des vers de lui d'une
no doubt, the letter to Mrs. Whiteélégance et d'une naïveté dignes way in which Dr. King mentioned d'Horace.' VOLTAIRE, Euvres, xlii. 'that short character which Cardinal 431.
Polignac gave the Dean in speaking I am not perhaps the only one to me—“Il a l'esprit créateur." who has derived an innocent amuse- Works, xix. 176. ment from the riddles, conundrums, For the originality of Cowley and trisyllable lines and the like of Swift Milton see ante, COWLEY, 175; and his correspondents in hours of MILTON, 277. languor.' COLERIDGE, Biog. Lit. 'The greatest is he who has been i.
oftenest aided; and if the attainments 'I am for every man's working of all human minds could be traced upon his own materials, and pro- to their real sources, it would be ducing only what he can find within found out that the world had been himself, which is commonly a better laid most under contribution by the stock than the owner knows it to be.' men of most original powers, and SWIFT, Works, ix. 186.
that every day of their existence “To steal a hint was never known, deepened their debt to their race, But what he writ was all his own.' while it enlarged their gifts to it.'
Ib. xiv. 329.
RUSKIN, quoted in Holmes's EmerThe last line is from Denham's elegy son, ed. 1885, p. 384. on Cowley :