that are done him, and the reparations he ought to receive. Besides, I doubt whether the arguments I could suggest to prove my own innocence, would be of much weight from the gentlemen of the long


haps they are not capable of determining, properly and judiciously, such nice matters of justice, although the judges of the court explain the nature of the cale, and the law which arises upon it. But if they are not defective in knowledge, thy are sometimes, I fear, from their station and invigence, liable to corruption. This indeed is an objection more to the privilege lodged with juries, than to the inftitu. tion itself. The point most liable to objection, is the power w. ich any one or more of the twelve have to farve the rest into a compli. ance with their opinion : so that the verdict may poilibly be given by Strength of constitution, not by conviction of conscience; " and “ wretches hang that jurymen may cine.”

In this letter is moft evidently displayed Swift's immutable attachment to Ireland. Such a kind of patriotism must have proceeded from a true love of liberty; for he hated individuals, and despised muft of the men of property and power in that kingdom : he owed them no ebligations; as.d while by his writings he labc ured to make their pofterity happy, he forced from themselves ar. involuntary, but uni. versal applause. His conduct was so uniform and conitant in the cause of Ireland, that he not only gained the praise, but the confidence of that whole nation ; who are a people seldom, if ever, in• clined to study and pursue their own interest, and who are aluays ex. ceedingly apt to fupect any advice that is contrary, or in defiance to a ministerial direction.

Swift's principles of government seem to have been founded upon that excellent maxim, « Salus populi suprema eft lex." - He begins by clearing himself from Jacobitism. He speaks of the revolution as a neceflary but dangerous expedient, which has since been attended with unavoidable bad consequences. He declares his mortal amipa. thy to landing armies in time of peace, He adores the wisdom of that institution which rendered our parliaments annual. He prefers the landed to the monied interest, and expresses a noble abhorrence to the suspension of those laws apon which the liberty of the subject depends. When these articles of his political tenets are examined, they will leave no room for any one particular party to assume the honour of having had him in their alliance. He was neither Whig por Tory, neither Jacobite nor Republican. He was Dr. Swift.

His judgement in relation to the visible decay of literature and gord sense, is perfectly just. He attributes this national calamity to the prevailing luxury of the times;, which he instances in the encouragement of factions, and of several public diversio is, all rending to the increase of folly, ignorance, and vice. His sentiments are deliver: d more with the air of a philofopher than of a divine : and the conclu. fion of the letter is so proper and so excellent a defence of his own manner of acting and thinking, that, in regard to his memory, I


robe to those in furs, upon whose decision about the difference of style or sentiments, I should be very unwilling to leave the merits of my cause.

Give me leave then to put you in mind, (altho' you cannot easily forget it), that, about ten weeks before the Queen's death, I left the town, upon occasion of that incurable breach among the great men at court, and went down to Berkshire; where you may remember that you gave me the favour of a vilt. While I was in that retirement, I writ a discourse which I thought might be useful in such a juncture of affairs, and sent it up to London ; but, upon some difference in opinion between me and a certain great minister now abroad, the publishing of it was deferred so long, that the Queen died; and I recalled my copy, which hath been ever since in safe hands. In a few weeks after the loss of that excellent princess, I came to'my station here ; where I have continued ever fince in the greatest privacy, and utter ignorance of those events. which are most commonly talked of in the world. I neither know the names nor number of the royal family which now reigns, further than the prayerbook informs me. I cannot tell who is chancellor, who are secretaries, nor with what nations we are in peace or war. And this manner of lif: tras not taken up out of any sort of affectation, but merely to avoid giving offence, and for fear of provoking party-zeal.

I had indeed written some memorials of the four last years of the Queen's reign, with some other informations which I received, as necessary materials to qualify me for doing something in an em

must be at : he trouble of transcribirg it. [Here the last para;raph of the let er is inserted.] .

In ihort, this letter is one of the most serious and best performances that he has given us in the epistolary way. Orrery.

Vol. IX.



inefs on who hi but as it

Let. 6. ployment then designed me * : but as it was at the disposal of a person who had not the smallest fhare of steadiness or fincerity, I disdained to accept it.

These papers, at my few hours of health and leisure, I have been digefting into order by one fheet at a time t; for I dare not venture any further, left the humour of searching and seizing papers should revive; not that I am in pain of any danger to myfelf, (for they contain nothing of prefent times or persons, upon which I shall never lose a thought while there is a cat or a spaniel in the house), but to preferve them from being loft among messengers and clerks.

I have written, in this kingdom, a discourfe to persuade the wretched people to wear their own manufactures, instead of those from England I. This treatise foon spread very fast, being agreeable to the sentiments of the whole nation, except of those gentlemen who had employments, or were expectants. Upon which a person in great office here immediately took the alarm. He sent in hafte for the Chief Justice, and infornyed him of a seditious, factious, and virulent pamphlet lately pub"lifhed, with a design of setting the two kingdoms

* Hiftoriographer.

+ These papers fome years after were brought finished by the Dean into England, with an intention to publish them. But a friend on whose judgement he relied, (the same I fuppose whom he men. tions above, as being abroad at the time of writing this letter), diffuaded him from that design. He told the Dean, there were several facts he knew to be false, and that the whole was fo much in the fpirit of party writing, that though it might have made a seasonable phamphlet in the time of their administration, it was a dishonour to just history. The Dean would do nothing against his friend's judgement; yet it extremely chagrined him : and he told a common friend that since *** did not approve his hiftory, he would caft it into be fire, though it was the best work he had ever written. However, it did not undergo this fate, and is said to be yet in being.

I A proposal for the universal use of Isith manufactures,

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at variance ; directing at the same time, that the printer should be prosecuted with the utmost rigour of law. The Chief Justice had so quick an understanding, that he resolved, if poflible, to outdo his orders. The grand juries of the country and city were practised effectually with, to represent the said pamphlet with all aggravating epithets ; for which they had thanks fent them from England, and their presentments published for several weeks in all the news-papers. The printer was seized, and forced to give great bail. After his trial the jury brought him in not guilty, although they had been culled with the utmost industry; the Chief Justice sent them back nine times, and kept them eleven hours, until, being perfectly tired out, they were forced to leave the matter to the mercy of the judge, by what they call a fpecial verdict. During the trial, the Chief Justice, among other fingularities, laid his hand on his breast, and protefted folemnly, that the author's design was to bring in the pretender ; although there was not a fingle syllable of party in the whole treatise, and although it was known, that the most eminent of those who profeffed his own principles, publicly disallowed his proceedings. But the cause being so very odious. and impopular, the trial of the verdict was deferred from one term to another, until, upon the Duke of Gr-ft on the Lord Lieutenant's arrival, his Grace, after mature advice, and permission: from England, was: pleased to grant a Noli profequi.

This is the more remarkable, because it is said that the man is 110 ill decider in common cases of property, where party is out of the question : but. when that intervenes, with ambition at heels to push it forward, it must needs confound any man. of little spirit and low birth, who hath no other. endowment than that sort of knowledge, which,

B.b 2


however poffeffed in the highest degree, can poffibly give no one good quality to the inind *

It is true, I have been much concerned for several years past, upon account of the public, as well as for myself, to see how ill a taste for wit and sense prevails in the world, which politics, and South-sea, and party, and operas, and masquerades, have introduced. For, besides many insipid papers which the malice of fome hath intitled me to, there are many persons appearing to with me well, and pretending to be judges of my stile and manner, who have yet afcribed some writings to me, of which any man of common sense and literature would be heartily ashamed. I cannot forbear instancing a treatise called a " Dedication upon dedications," which many would have to be mine, although it be as empty, dry, and servile a composition, as I remember at any time to have read. But, above all, there is one circumstance which makes it impossible for me to have been author of a treatise, wherein there are several pages containing a panegyric on

* This is a very strange a fertion. To suppose that a confummate knowledge of the laws, by which civilized societies are governed, can “ give no one good qualiiyło the mind,” is making ethics (of which public laws are so considerable a part) a very unprofitable fudy. The beft division of the sciences is that old one of Plato, into ethics, physes, and logic. The feverer philosophers condem: a total application to the two latter, because they ha:e no tendency to merd the heart ; and recommend the first as our principal fiudy, for its efficacy in this important service. And, fure, if any buran {pocularion's can mend the heart, they must be those which have man for their object, as a reasonable, a foc:al, and a civil being. And there are all included under ethics, whether viu call the frience morcliry or lau'. And wiih regard to the law of England, we must be much prejudiced against it, not to allow, that whic Tully affirms cor.cerning ihe law of the twelve tables, may with more justice be applied to ours. “Fre. "mant omres licet, dicam quod fenijo : bib'joinecas mechercule " omnium philofophorum, unum mihi videtur Pandectarum volu“ men, et authoritatis pondere et utilitatis ubertate, superare," But the belt proof of its moral efficacy, is the manners of its profesors : and there, in every age, have been such as were the first improved, or the last corrupted. Wab.

• King

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