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Doctor applied to them for that living: bat they had no regard 10 his solicitarion. Upon wbich he wrote to Dr, Swift, with whom he had a very slender acquaintance, to requellt bis interest with the Go. veroment for that parih : and set forth, how much he had suffered for, them, and their caure. Dr. Swift immediately carried this letter to Lord Boling broke, then lecretary of State, who railed much a: Sacheverel, calling him a busy, intermedding fellow, a prig, and an incendiary, who had ser che kingdom in a flame, which could not be extinguished, and therefore deserved censure inftead of a reward. To which Switt replied, " True, iny Lord;- but let me tell you a short story. In a sea-fight in the reign of Charles Il. there was a very bloody engagement between the Englin, and the Dutch fleets; in the heat of which, a Scoicb seaman was very severely bit by a loufe in his neck, which he caught, and itooping down to crack it between his nails, many of the sailors near him, had their heads taken off by a chain shot from the enemy, which scattered their brains and blood about him. On this he had compassion on the poor loute, returned him to his place, and bid him live there at discretion : for as he had saved his life, he was bound in gratitude to save his.' The recital of this put my Lord Boling broke into a fit of laughter; who, when it was over, said, “ The loufe shall bave the living for your fory:” and foon after Sacheverel was presented to it.'
This is generally the case with the tools of a party : they think themselves lions: but their secret employers, who givé them all their consequence, regard them no better than lice!
The liberality of Dean Swift hath been a topic of just encomium with all his admirers: nor could his enemies deny him this praise. In his domestic affairs, he always acted with ftrict economy. He kept the most regular accounts: and he seems to have done this chiefly with a view to increase his power of being useful. Mr. Faulkner informs us, that ' his income was go0l. per annum, which he endeavoured to divide into three parts, for the following purposes. First, to live upon one third of it. Secondly, to give another third in pensions and charities, according to the manner in which persons who received them had lived: and the other third he laid-by, to build a hospital for the reception of ideots and lunatics.' • What is remarkable in this generous man, is this, (says Mr. F.) that when he lent money upon bond or mortgage, he would not take the legal intereft, but one per cent. below it.'
• Fires have sometimes happened in Dublin, by which people of all denominations have been jufferers : upon which melancholy occasions, the Dean always exerted himself, not only in person, by going from house to houle, to make collections for them; but wrote and recommended their melancholy cales to the public, He would go to the afflicted lufferers, offer them bis service, and would be the firit to subscribe in a moft princely and generous manner to their relief; which worthy example of his, the, benevolent citizens of Dublin would imitite.'
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His charity appears to have been a fettled principle of duty, more than an instinctive effort of good nature: but as it was thus founded and supported, it had extraordinary merit, and feldom failed to exert itself in a manner that contributed moft to render it beneficial. He did not lavish his money on the idle and the worthless. He nicely discriminated characters, and was seldom the dupe of imposition. Hence his generosity al. ways turned to a useful account: while it relieved distress, it encouraged industry, and rewarded virtue. .
We dwell with great pleasure on this truly excellent and distinguishing part of the Dean's character: and for the sake of his charity, we can overlook his oddities, and almost forgive his faults. He was a very peculiar man in every refpect. Some have said, " What a man he would have been, had he been without those whims and infirmities which shaded both his genius and his character !” But perhaps the peculiarities com- , plained of were inseparable from his genius. The vigor and fertility of the root could not fail now and then of throwing out fuperfluous suckers. What produced these, produced allo the more beautiful branches, and gave the fruit all its richness.
· It must be acknowledged, that the Dean's fancy hurried him into great absurdities and inconsistencies, for which, nothing but his extraordinary talents and noble virtues, discovered in other instances, could have atoned. The rancour he discovered towards the Diffenters, we have already taken notice of, No fect could have merited it in the degree in which he always sbowed it to them : for in some instances, it bordered on downright per. fecution. He doubtless had his reasons for exposing their principles to ridicule : and might perhaps have sufficient grounds for some of his accusations against their principal leaders in Ireland : but nothing could justify his virulence against the whole body. Indiscriminate reflections on a community at large, are general. ly the offspring of ignorance or malice. It is impossible for us to put down his prejudices to the account of the former ; and we fhould be sorry to impute them to a worse principle.
In the biographical anecdotes, collected by the Editor of this Supplement, we are informed, such was the Dean's chagrin, on the choice which the corporation of Dublin had made of a Dife fenter, for a physician to an hospital in that city, that he immediately altered a will, in which he had nominated them truftees to a public charity of his own. This action strongly marked his temper; but he should have considered, that the corporation had acted, not in a religious, but a civil capacity, and that ic was at least possible, that a man might be a very skilful phyfician, without being an orthodox churchman. The prejudices of party, carried into common life, are only fit for the vulgar.
When Swift's resentment was excited, it generally arose to indignation. Amidst the constellation of virtues which shed a distinguishing luitre on his character, he wanted one that a minister of christianity ought to be ambitious of numbering amongit the chief ornaments of his profession; and that was Forgiveness. This is a virtue that requires a great share of humility: and Swift seemed to consider himself as having a prescriptive right to haughtiness. His pride gave a dignity indeed to some parts of his conduct; but it frequently transgressed all the bounds of common civility, and christian condescen. fion. His pride was not gratified with lowering on those, he hated, with a supercilious brow: it must trample them under his feet. . He could not laugh away his resentment. “ It stuck to his last fand :" and gained strength by its duration. · Of Dr. Sharp, the Archbishop of York, who hindered his promotion in the church, by insinuating something to the prejudice of bis religion, he never spoke but with a tone of indige nation, that marked a lettled rancour. Dr. Tenison, the Archbishop of Canterbury, he calls, for the same good reason, the most good-for-nothing prelate that ever lived.' - Mr. Nichols hath transcribed, from an authentic MS. in the possession of Thomas Astle, Esq; a sort of a counterpart to Macky's . Characters,' (annexed to the Memoirs of Secret Services,'} in which the Dean hath discovered his keenness of observation, and severity of resentment, against some of the most distinguished characters of the court of George I. In some few instances he agrees with Macky. But in a far greater number, he totally differs from him, and with a dash of his pen damns a charace ter that Macky had exerted all his talents to emblazon and recommend. We shall select some of the most striking and characteristic,
Lord Wbarton *. • He is one of the completeft gentlemen “ in England: hath a very clear understanding and manly expreffion; with abundance of wit. Macky. « The most universal villain I ever saw.” Swift. MS.
Earl of Galway. He is one of the finest gentlemen in the army, with a head fitted for the cabinet as well as the camp : is very modest, vigilant, and sincere : a man of honour and honefty : without pride or affectation.” Macky. " In all dire&tly otherwise. A deceitful, hypocritical, factious knave: a damnable hypocrite : of no religion." Swift. MS.
Of John Duke of Argyle, Swift says in his MS. « Ambitious, covetous, cunning Scot: has no principles but his own interest and greatness: A true Scot in his whole deportment.”
• In one of his poems, he expressly says a toad.'
he hated Wharton like
fcoundrelasa man of the well hapedoft his profesion figure
Earl of Derby. "He never will make any great figure in the house of peers, the sword being moft his profeffion. He is a fair complexioned man, well fhaped, taller than the ordinary fize, and a man of honour." Macky. “ As arrant a fcoundrel as his brother." Swift. MS..
Duke of Grafton. “ A very pretty gentleman.” MACKY. « Almost a flobberer : without one good quality.” SWIFT, MS.
Secretary Johnston. "He is very honest, yet something too credulous and suspicious. He would not tell a lie for the world." Macky. ". A treacherous knave. One of the greatest knaves even in Scotland." SWIFT. MS.
Here follow fome of Swift's characters in the gross. Lord Cholmondley. " Good for nothing, as far as ever I knew,”! Lord Guildford.“ A mighty filly fellow.” Duke of Mari. borough. “ Dereftably covetous." Earl of Sandwich. “ As much a puppy as ever I saw : very ugly, and a fop.” Speaker of the House of Commons. " A heavy man." • Swift's particular aversion to Lord Wharton is well accounted for, by a curious anecdote, communicated to Mr. Nichois by the late Dr. Salter.
Lord Somers recommended Dr. Swift, at his own earnest request, to Lord Wharton, when that Earl went as Lord Lieutenant to Ire: land, in 17c8; but without fuccess : and the answer his Lordship is said to have given, was never forgotten, or forgiven by Swift, but seems to have laid ihe foundation for that peculiar rancour, with which he always mentions Lord Wharton. I law and read (says Dr. Salter) two letiers of Jonathan Swift, then Prebendary of St. Patrick's, Dublin, to Lord soners: the first earnellly entreating his favour, pleading his poverty, and profesfing the moil unalterable attachment to his Lordship's perfon, friends, and cause: the second, acknowdedging Lord Somers's kindness, in having recommended him, and concluding with the like folemo profesions ; not more than a year before Swist deserted Lord Somers, and all bis friends, writing avowedly on the contrary fide, and (as he boasts himself) libelling all the junto round I saw also the very lecters which Lord Somers wroie to the Earl of Wharton, in which Sivifc is very heartily and warmly recommended; and I well remember the short and very smart answer that Lord Wharion is said to have given, which, as I have observed, Swift never forgave or forgot. It was to this purpose, “ Oh, my Lord! we moit not prefer, or countenance cheie fellows; we have not character enough ourselves."
The natural acrimony of Swift's temper was increased by repeated disappointments. This gave a splenetic tincture to his writings; and amidst the duties of private and domestic life, it too frequently appeared to shade the lustre of his more eminent virtues. A pre-sentiment which he had long entertained of that wretchedness which would inevitably overtake him towards the close of life, by the failure of his intellects, clouded his mind with the most melancholy ideas, and tinged every object
around him. How far this gloomy sentiment prevailed, we learn from a very remarkable anecdote, preserved by Dr. Young, in his · Conjectures on original Composicion.' Mr. Fauikner, in his letter to Lord Chesterfield, hath given one of a very similar nature; which we will tranfcribe. “One time, in a journey from Drogheda to Navan, the Dean rode before the company, made a sudden stop, dismounted his horse, fell on his knees, lifted up his hands, and prayed in the most devout manner. When his friends came up, he defired and insisted on their alighting, which they did, and asked him the meaning. Gentlemen, said he, “ pray join your hearts in fervent prayers with mine, that I may never be like this oak tree, which is decayed and wither. ed at the top, whilst all the other parts are found."
The concluding scene of his life was truly affecting, and af. forded a striking lefton to check the pride of human genius. Mr, Faulkner's account of it is well worth notice ;
* Swift never was very outrageous, but his memory failed him by degrees, for several years together, insomuch that he forgot all his friends and domestics He could no: call any of them by their names; nor for cloths, food, or any necesaries that he wanted, In short, his forgetfulness grew so much upon him, he could not re member any one passage of his life, nor ital, nor even iell his les ters for near two years before his deach. He likewise lost the use of his speech, excep;ing now and then ustering fome incohercni; rambling words, being incapable of asking any queftious, or of returning answers ; noi could he ask for one, neceffary of lile. During this melancholy fituation great care was taken of his person and his food, as he was incapable of dresing, uodielling, or belping him. self to cloaths or viciua!s; and to locally was be deprived of allra: tional faculties, that he was treated like a new-born infani, being taken out of bed, wadreliid, and put into bed like the youngest child ; and had the actions of one, being fond of gold and silver toys, which he would play with, or put in:0 his mouth. - When he was dead, Mr. Whiteway, an eminent surgeor, nearly related to him, opened the skull, and found much water in the brain.
This Supplement is enriched with some valuable anecdotes concerning several perfons of distinguished name in the political and literary world. The Editor hath had access to some MSS. in the pofleffion of Lord Corke, whose father (generally known by the prior title of Earl of Orrery) was an intimate acquaintance of Dean Swift, and condescended to be his biogra: pher too, in a series of letters to his son, the Hon. Mr. Hamil. ton Boyle. In the MSS. before mentioned, we have an ac. count of the celebrated Dr. Delaney, who hath been accused of the most atrocious crimes relating to some pecuniary matters that were brought before the Chancery of Ireland, and decided against him. But the English House of Lords reversed the de. cree, and, in the opinion of Lord Orrery, “ did themselves great honour, and the Doctor great justice. He is certainly