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ple's natural daughter, with whom he had contracted a tender friendship while they were both dependants of Temple’s. And with an occasional visit to England, Swift now passed nine years at home.

5 In 1710 he came to England, and, with a brief visit to Ireland, during which he took possession of his deanery of Saint Patrick, he now passed four years in England, taking the most distinguished part in the political transactions which terminated 10 with the death of Queen Anne. After her death, his party disgraced, and his hopes of ambition over, Swift returned to Dublin, where he remained twelve years. In this time he wrote the famous

Drapier's Letters and “ Gulliver's Travels." He mar- 15 ried * Esther Johnson (Stella), and buried Esther Vanhomrigh (Vanessa), who had followed him to Ireland from London, where she had contracted a violent passion for him. In 1726 and 1727 Swift was in England, which he quitted for the last time 20 on hearing of his wife's illness. Stella died in January 1728, and Swift not until 1745, having passed the last five of the seventy-eight years of his life with an impaired intellect, and keepers to watch him.t

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* The marriage is accepted by Swift's last biographer, Sir H. Craik. It was disbelieved by Forster, and cannot be regarded as certain.

† Sometimes, during his mental affliction, he continued walking about the house for many consecutive hours; sometimes he remained in a kind of torpor. At times he would seem to struggle to 30 bring into distinct consciousness, and shape into expressi, in the in tellect that lay smothering under gloomy obstruction in him. A pier-glass falling by accident, nearly fell on him. He said he wished it had ! He once repeated slowly several times, “I am what I am." The last thing he wrote was an epigram on the building of a maga. 35

You know, of course, that Swift has had many biographers; his life has been told by the kindest and most good-natured of men, Scott, who admires but can't bring himself to love him; and by stout 5 old Johnson,* who, forced to admit him into the company of poets, receives the famous Irishman, and takes off his hat to him with a bow of surly recognition, scans him from head to foot, and

passes over to the other side of the street. Doctor 10 (afterwards Sir W. R.) Wilde of Dublin, who has

zine for arms and stores, which was pointed out to him as he went abroad during his mental disease:

"Behold a proof of Irish sense:

Here Irish wit is seen:
When nothing's left that's worth defence,

They build a magazine !”


* Besides these famous books of Scott's and Johnson's, there is a copious “ Life” by Thomas Sheridan (Doctor Johnson's Sherry ''),

father of Richard Brinsley, and son of that good-natured, clever 20 Irish Doctor Thomas Sheridan, Swift's intimate, who lost his chap.

laincy by so unluckily choosing for a text on the King's birthday, “Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof! Not to mention less important works, there is also the Remarks on the Life and Writings

of Doctor Jonathan Swift, by that polite and dignified writer, the 25 Earl of Orrery. His Lordship is said to have striven for literary

renown, chiefly that he might make up for the slight passed on him by his father, who left his library away from him. It is to be feared that the ink he used to wash out that stain only made it look big

ger. He had, however, known Swift, and corresponded with people zo) who knew him. His work (which appeared in 1751) provoked a good

deal of controversy, calling out, among other brochures, the interesting Observations on Lord Orrery's Remarks, &c., of Doctor Delany.

† Wilde's book was written on the occasion of the remains of Swift and Stella being brought to the light of day-a thing which hap35 pened in 1835, when certain works going on in Saint Patrick's

Cathedral, Dublin, afforded an opportunity of their being examined. One hears with surprise of these skulls going the rounds” of houses, and being made the objects of dilettante curiosity. The

larynx of Swift was actually carried off ! Phrenologists had a low 40 opinion of his intellect from the observations they took.

Wilde traces the symptoms of ill-health in Swift, as detailed in his writings from time to time. He observes, likewise, that the skull

written a most interesting volume on the closing years of Swift's life, calls Johnson “the most.

, malignant of his biographers: " it is not easy for an English critic to please Irishmen-perhaps to try and please them. And yet Johnson truly admires 5 Swift: Johnson does not quarrel with Swift's change of politics, or doubt his sincerity of religion: about the famous Stella and Vanessa controversy the Doctor does not bear very hardly on Swift. But he could not give the Dean that honest hand of his; 10 the stout old man puts it into his breast, and moves off from him.*

Would we have liked to live with him? That is a question which, in dealing with these people's works, and thinking of their lives and peculiarities, 15 every reader of biographies must put to himself. Would you have liked to be a friend of the great Dean? I should like to have been Shakspeare's shoeblack-just to have lived in his house, just to have worshipped him—to have run on his errands, 20 and seen that sweet serene face. I should like, as a young man, to have lived on Fielding's staircase in the Temple, and after helping him up to bed perhaps, and opening his door with his latchkey, to have shaken hands with him in the morning, and 25


gave evidence of " diseased action ” of the brain during life-such as would be produced by an increasing tendency to

cerebral conges[In 1882 Dr. Bucknell wrote an interesting article to show that Swift's disease was ‘labyrinthine vertigo,' an affection of the ear, which would account for some of the symptoms.]

30 *“He [Doctor Johnson] seemed to me to have an unaccountable prejudice against Swift; for I once took the liberty to ask him if Swift had personally offended him, and he told me he had not.”Boswell's Tour to the Hebrides.

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heard him talk and crack jokes over his breakfast and his mug of small beer. Who would not give something to pass a night at the club with Johnson, and Goldsmith, and James Boswell, Esquire, of 5 Auchinleck? The charm of Addison's companionship and conversation has passed to us by fond tradition—but Swift? If you had been his inferior in parts (and that, with a great respect for all per

sons present, I fear is only very likely), his equal 1o in mere social station, he would have bullied,

scorned, and insulted you; if, undeterred by his great reputation, you had met him like a man, he would have quailed before you,* and not had the

pluck to reply, and gone home, and years after writ15 ten a foul epigram about you—watched for you in a sewer, and come out to assail you with a coward's

* Few men, to be sure, dared this experiment, but yet their success was encouraging. One gentleman made a point of asking

the Dean whether his uncle Godwin had not given him his educa2@tion. Swift, who hated that subject cordially, and, indeed, cared

little for his kindred, said sternly, “ Yes; he gave me the education of a dog." “ Then, sir,” cried the other, striking his fist on the table, you have not the gratitude of a dog !

Other occasions there were when a bold face gave the Dean pause, 25 even after his Irish almost-royal position was established. But he brought himself into greater danger on a certain occasion, and the amusing circumstances may be once more repeated here. He had unsparingly lashed the notable Dublin lawyer, Mr. Serjeant Bettes


“ Thus at the bar, the booby Bettesworth,

Though half-a-crown o'erpays his sweat's worth,
Who knows in law nor text nor margent,
Calls Singleton his brother-serjeant !”

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The Serjeant, it is said, swore to have his life. He presented him. 35 self at the deanery. The Dean asked his name. Sir, I am Serjeant Bett-es-worth.”

In what regiment, pray ?” asked Swift.

A guard of volunteers formed themselves to defend the Dean at this time.


blow and a dirty bludgeon. If you had been a lord with a blue riband, who flattered his vanity, or could help his ambition, he would have been the most delightful company in the world. He would have been so manly, so sarcastic, so bright, odd, 5 and original, that you might think he had no object in view but the indulgence of his humour, and that he was the most reckless simple creature in the world. How he would have torn your enemies to pieces for you! and made fun of the Opposition! 10 His servility was so boisterous that it looked like independence; * he would have done your errands, but with the air of patronising you; and after fighting your battles, masked, in the street or the press, would have kept on his hat before your wife and 15 daughters in the drawing-room, content to take that sort of pay for his tremendous services as a bravo.f

* But, my Hamilton, I will never hide the freedom of my sentiments from you. I am much inclined to believe that the temper of my friend Swift might occasion his English friends to wish him 20 happily and properly promoted at a distance. His spirit, for I would give it the softest name, was ever untractable. The motions of his genius were often irregular. He assumed more the air of a patron than of a friend. He affected rather to dictate than advise.”_ Orrery.

†“... An anecdote, which, though only told by Mrs. Pilkington, is well attested, bears, that the last time he was in London he went to dine with the Earl of Burlington, who was newly married. The Earl, it is supposed, being willing to have a little diversion, did not introduce him to his lady, nor mention his name. dinner said the Dean, “Lady Burlington, I hear you can sing; sing me a song.' The lady looked on this unceremonious manner of asking a favour with distaste, and positively refused. He said, 'She should sing, or he would make her. Why, madam, I suppose you take me for one of your poor English hedge-parsons; sing when 35 I bid you.' As the Earl did nothing but laugh at this freedom, the lady was so vexed that she burst into tears and retired. His first compliment to her when he saw her again was, “Pray, madam, are you as proud and ill-natured now as when I saw you last ?' To which she answered with great good-humour, 'No, Mr. Dean; I'll 40

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