REV. JONATHAN SWIFT, D.D.,
DEAN OF ST. PATRICK'S, DUBLIN.
ARRANGED BY THOMAS SHERIDAN, A.M.
NOTES, HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL.
A NEW EDITION, IN NINETEEN VOLUMES;
CORRECTED AND REVISED
BY JOHN NICHOLS, F.S.A. EDINBURGH AND PERTH,
PRINTED FOR J. JOHNSON, J. NICHOLS, R. BALDWIN, OTRIDGE AND SON, J. SEWELL, F. AND C. RIVINGTON, T. PAYNE, R. FAULDER, G. AND J. ROBINSON, R. LEA, J. NUNN, W. CUTHELL, T. EGERTON, CLARKE AND SON, VERNOR AND HOOD, J. SCATCHERD, T. KAY, LACKINGTON ALLEN AND CO., CARPENTER AND CO., MURRAY AND HIGHLEY, LONGMAN AND REES, CADELL JUN. AND DAVIES, T, BAGSTBR, J. HARDING, AND J. MAWMAN.
New Bridge-street, London.
MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS, ETC.
In vol. XIV, p. 9, a note from Dr. Warton has been cited, which it may not be improper to controvert. To pass over an allusion to Milton's prose writings in vol. XVI, p. 182; he twice mentions "Paradise Lost" with commendation; vol. V, p. 251, and vol. XI, p. 439; but, what is still more to the purpose, in the late excellent edition of Milton's "Poetical Works," by the Rev. H. J. Todd, vol. II, p. 157, a note is given from the margin of Swift's copy of "Paradise Lost;" which having excited my curiosity, I have been favoured with the following extract of a letter addressed to Mr. Todd from J. C. Walker, esq., well known to the literary world by his Historical Memoir on Italian Tragedy, and several other ingenious publications: "I had once in my possession a book which might be of great use to you, a copy of the Paradise Lost, with marginal notes in the handwriting of the celebrated dean Swift, for the use of Mrs. Johnson and her friend Mrs. Dingley. But this book, which belonged to the late Mr. John Whiteway (whose name appears in Swift's will), is, I fear, lost, nor can I find an exact transcript which I made of these notes. It is true these notes were rather explanatory than critical; they served to justify Dr. Johnson's assertion, "that Stella had not much literature."
By the remarks already printed on bishop Burnet’s preface to the "History of the Reformation," vol. X. p. 308; on vol. XVI, p. 359; and on , vol. XVIII, p. 218; some idea may be formed of the value of his marginal notes. And it may not be unacceptable to the curious to be informed that in the library of the marquis of Lansdown is preserved the dean's copy of Herbert's History of Henry VIII, (which, it appears in vol. I, p. 24, he had in 1696-7 been reading with attention); and also his copy of bishop Burnet's "History of the Reformation."
THAT I might not continue the many troubles I have given you, I have all this while avoided one, which I fear proves necessary at last. I have taken all due methods to be ordained, and one time of ordination is already elapsed since my arrival for effecting it. Two or three bishops, acquaintance of our family, have signified to me and them, that after so long standing in the university, it is admired I have not entered upon something or other, (above half the clergy in this town being my juniors,) and that it being so many years since I left this kingdom, they could not admit me to the ministry without some certificate of my behaviour where I lived; and my lord archbishop of Dublin was pleased to say a great deal of this kind to me yesterday; concluding against all I had to say, that he expected I should have a certificate from your honour of my conduct in your family. The sence I am in, how low I am fallen in your honour's thoughts, has denied me assurance enough to beg this favour, till I find it impossible to avoid: and I entreat your honour to understand, that no person is admitted here to a living, without some knowledge of his abilities for it: which it being reckoned impossible to judge in those who are not ordained, the usual method is to admit men first to some small reader's place, till, by preaching upon occasions, they can value themselves for better preferment. This (without great friends) is so general, that if I were fourscore years old I must go the same way, and should at that age be told, every one must have a beginning. I entreat that your honour will consider this, and will please to send me some certificate of my behaviour during almost three years in your family; wherein I shall stand in need of all your goodness to excuse my many weaknesses and oversights, much more to say any thing to my advantage. The particulars expected of me are what relate to morals and learning, and the reasons of quitting your honour's family, that is, whether the last was occasioned by any ill actions. They are all left entirely to your honour's mercy, though in the first I think I cannot reproach myself any farther than for infirmities.
This is all I dare beg at present from your honour, under circumstances of life not worth your regard: what is left me to wish (next to the health and prosperity of your honour and family) is, that Heaven would one day allow me the opportunity of leaving my acknowledgments at your feet for so many favours I have received; which, whatever effect they have had upon my fortune, shall never fail to have the greatest upon my mind, in approving myself, upon all occasions, your honour's most obedient and most dutiful servant, etc.
I beg my most humble duty and service be presented to my ladies, your honour's lady and sister.
The ordination is appointed by the archbishop by the beginning of November; so that, if your honour will not grant this favour immediately, I fear it will come too late.
MOORE PARK, JAN. 13, 1698.
I AM not likely to be so pleased with any thing again this good while, as I was with your letter of December 20, and it has begun to put me into a good opinion of my own merits, or at least my skill at negotiation, to find I have so quickly restored a correspondence that I feared was declining, as it requires more charms and address in women to revive one fainting flame than to kindle a dozen new ones; but I assure you I was very far from imputing your silence to any bad cause (having never entertained one single ill thought of you in my life), but to a custom which breaks off commerce between abundance of people after a long absence. At first one omits writing for a little while, and then one stays a while longer to consider of excuses, and at last it grows desperate and one does not write at all: At this rate I have served others, and have been served myself.
I wish I had a lexicon by me to find whether your Greek word be spelt and accented right; and I am very sorry you have made an acutum in ultima, as if you laid the greatest stress upon the worst part of the word. However, I protest against your meaning, or any interpretation you shall ever make of that nature out of my letters. If I thought you deserved any bitter words, I should either deliver them plainly, or hold my tongue altogether; for I esteem the custom of conveying one's resentments by hints or innuendoes to be a sign of malice, or fear, or too little sincerity; but I have told you coram et absens, that you are in your nature more sensible than you need be, and it is hard you cannot be satisfied with the esteem of the best among your neighbours, but lose your time in regarding what may be thought of you by one of my privacy and distance. I wish you could as easily make my esteem and friendship for you to be of any value, as you may be sure to command them.
I should be sorry if you have been at an inconvenience in hastening my accounts; and I dare refer you to my letters, that they will lay the fault upon yourself; for I think I desired more than once, that you would not make more dispatch than stood with your ease, because I was in no haste at all.
I desired of you two or three times that when you had sent me a catalogue of those few books, you would not send thein to Dublin till you had heard again from me: The reason was, that I did believe there were one or two of them that might have been useful to you, and one or two more that were not worth the carriage: Of the latter sort were an old musty Horace, and Foley's book; of the former were Reynolds' Works, Collection of Sermons, in 4to. Stillingfleet's Grounds, &c. and the folio paper book, very good for sermons, or a receipt book for your wife, or to keep accounts for mutton, raisins, &c. The Sceptis Scientifica is not mine, but old Mr. Dobb's, and I wish it were restored: He has Temple's Miscellanea instead of it, which is a good book, worth your reading. If Sceptis Scientifica comes to me, I'll burn it for a fustian piece of abominable curious virtuoso stuff. The books missing are few and inconsiderable, not worth troubling any body about. I hope this will come to your hands before you have sent your cargo, that you may keep those books I mention; and desire you will write my name, and ex dono before them in large letters.
I desire my humble service to Mrs. Windar, and that you will let her know I shall pay a visit at Carmony some day or other, how little soever any of you may think of it. But I will, as you desire, excuse you the delivery of my compliments to poor H. Clements, and hope you will have much better fortune than poor Mr. Davis, who has left a family that is like to find a cruel want of him. Pray let me hear that you grow very rich, and begin to make purchases. I never heard that H. Clements was dead: I was at his mayoral feast: Has he been mayor since? or did he die then, and every body forget to send me word of it?
Those sermons you have thought fit to transcribe will utterly disgrace you, unless you have so much credit that whatever comes from you will pass: They were what I was firmly resolved to burn, and especially some of them the idlest trifling stuff that ever was writ, calculated for a church without company or a roof, like our * * * * * * * * * Oxford. They will be a perfect lampoon upon me, whenever you look on them, and remember they are mine.
I remember those letters to Eliza; they were writ in my youth; you might have sealed them up, and nobody of my friends would have opened them: Pray burn them. There were parcels of other papers, that I would not have lost; and I hope you have packed them up so that they may come to me. Some of them were abstracts and collections from reading.
You mention a dangerous rival for an absent lover; but I must take my fortune: If the report proceeds, pray inform me; and when, you have leisure and humour, give me the pleasure of a letter from you: And though you are a man full of fastenings to the world, yet endeavour to continue a friendship in absence; for who knows but fate may jumble us together again: And I believe, had I been assured of your neighbourhood, I should not have been so unsatisfied with the region I was planted in.
I am, and will be ever entirely,
I DID intend to have waited on your grace before you went for England; but, hearing your voyage is fixed for the first opportunity of the wind, I could not forbear giving you a few minutes interruption, which I hope your grace will believe to be without any other design than that of serving you. I believe your grace may have heard, that I was in England last winter, when the dean and chapter of Christ Church had, I think, with great wisdom and discretion, chosen a most malicious, ignorant, and headstrong creature to represent them; wherein your grace cannot justly tax their prudence, since the cause they are engaged in is not otherwise to be supported. And I do assure your grace (which perhaps others may have been cautious in telling you) that they have not been without success. For not only the general run in Doctors Commons was wholly on their side, which my lord bishop of Cloyne observed as well as I; but that little instrument of theirs did use all his power to misrepresent your grace, and your cause, both in town and city, as far as his narrow sphere could reach. And he spared not to say, that your grace had personal resentment against him; that you sought his ruin, and threatened him with it. And I remember, at a great man's table, who has as much influence in England as any subject can well have, after dinner came in a master in chancery, whom I had before observed to be a principal person in Doctors Commons, when your grace's cause was there debating; and, upon occasion of being there, fell into discourse of it, wherein he seemed wholly an advocate for Christ Church; for all his arguments were only a chain of misinformations, which he had learned from the same hand; insomuch that I was forced to give a character of some persons, which otherwise I should have spared, before I could set him right, as I also did in the affair of the late dean of Derry, which had been told with so many falshoods and disadvantages to your grace, as it is hard to imagine.
I humbly presume to say thus much to your grace, that, knowing the prejudices that have been given, you may more easily remove them, which your presence will infallibly do.
I would also beg of your grace to use some of your credit toward bringing to a good issue the promise the queen made, at my lord bishop of Cloyne's intercession, to remit the first fruits and tenths of the clergy; unless I speak ignorantly, for want of information, and that it be a thing already done. But what I would mind your grace of is, that the crown rent should be added, which is a great load upon many poor livings, and would be a considerable help to others. And, I am confident, with some reason, that it would be easily granted; being, I hear, under a thousand pounds a year, and the queen's grant for England being so much more considerable than ours can be at best. I am very certain, that, if the bishop of Cloyne had continued to solicit it in England, it would easily have passed; but, his lordship giving it up wholly to the duke of Ormond, I believe it has not been thought of so much as it ought. I humbly beg your grace's pardon for the haste and hurry of this, occasioned by that of the post, which is not very regular in this country; and, imploring your blessing, and praying to God for your good voyage, success, and return, I humbly kiss your grace's hands, and remain, my lord,
Your grace's most obedient
and most humble servant,
TO ARCHBISHOP KING.
LONDON, FEB. 12, 1707-8.
HAVING written what I had of business about three posts ago (whereof I wait an answer), perhaps it may be some amusement to you for a few minutes to hear some particulars about the turns we have had at court. Yesterday the seals were taken from Mr. Harley, and sir Thomas Mansel gave up his staff. They went to Kensington together for that purpose, and came back immediately, and went together into the house of commons. Mr. St. John designs to lay down in a few days, as a friend of his told me, though he advised him to the contrary; and they talk that Mr. Bruges, and Mr. Cook the vice chamberlain, with some others, will do the like. Mr. Harley had been for some time, with the greatest art imaginable, carrying on an intrigue to alter the ministry, and began with no less an enterprise than that of removing the lord treasurer, and had nearly effected it, by the help of Mrs. Masham one of the queen's dressers, who was a great and growing favourite, of much industry and insinuation. It went so far, that the queen told Mr. St. John a week ago, that she was resolved to part with lord treasurer, and sent him with a letter to the duke of Marlborough, which she read to him, to that purpose; and she gave St. John leave to tell it about the town, which he did without any reserve; and Harley told a friend of mine a week ago, that he was never safer in favour or employment. On Sunday evening last, the lord treasurer and duke of Marlborough went out of the council; and Harley delivered a memorial to the queen, relating to the emperor and the war. Upon which the duke of Somerset rose, and said, if her majesty suffered that fellow (pointing to Harley) to treat affairs of the war without advice of the general, he could not serve her, and so left the council. The earl of Pembroke, though in milder words, spoke to the same purpose; so did most of the lords: and the next day the queen was prevailed upon to turn him out, though the seals were not delivered till yesterday. It was likewise said, that Mrs. Masham is forbid the court; but this I have no assurance of. Seven lords of the whig party are appointed to examine Gregg, who lies condemned in Newgate; and a certain lord of the council told me yesterday, that there are endeavours to bring in Harley as a party in that business, and to carry it as far as an impeachment. All this business has been much fomented by a lord whom Harley had been chiefly instrumental in impeaching some years ago. The secretary always dreaded him, and made all imaginable advances to be reconciled, but could never prevail; which made him say yesterday to some who told it to me, that he had laid his neck under their feet, and they trod upon it. I am just going this morning to visit that lord, who has a very free way of telling what he cares not who hears; and if I can learn any more particulars worth telling, you shall have them, I never in my life saw or heard such divisions and complications of parties as there have been for some time: you sometimes see the extremes of whig and tory driving on the same thing. I have heard the chief whigs blamed by their own party for want of moderation, and I know a whig lord in good employment who voted with the highest tories against the court, and the ministry, with whom he is nearly allied. My lord Peterborow's affair is yet upon the anvil, and what they will beat it out to, no man can tell. It is said that Harley had laid a scheme for an entire new ministry, and the men are named to whom the several employments were to be given. And though his project has miscarried, it is reckoned the greatest piece of court skill that has been acted there many years. — I have heard nothing since morning, but that the attorney either has laid down, or will do it in a few days.
Mem. On Wednesday, between seven and eight, in the evening, May 10, 1710, I received a letter in my chamber at Laracor (Mr. Percival and John Beaumont being by) from Mrs. Fenton, dated May 9th, with one enclosed, sent from Mrs. Worrall at Leicester to Mrs. Fenton, giving an account, that my dear mother Mrs. Abigail Swift died that morning, Monday, April 24, 1710, about ten o'clock, after a long sickness, being ill all winter, and lame, and extremely ill a month or six weeks before her death. I have now lost my barrier between me and death; God grant I may live to be as well prepared for it, as I confidently believe her to have been! If the way to Heaven be through piety, truth, justice, and charity, she is there. J. S.
I CONGRATULATE with the college, the university, and the kingdom, and condole with myself, upon your new dignity. The virtue I would affect, by putting my own interests out of the case, has failed me in this juncture. I only consider that I shall want your conversation, your friendship, your protection, and your good offices, when I can least spare them. I would have come among the crowd of those who make you compliments on this occasion, if I could have brought a cheerful countenance with me. I am full of envy. It is too much, in so bad an age, for a person so inclined, and so able to do good, to have so great a scene of showing his inclinations and abilities.
If great ministers take up this exploded custom of rewarding merit, I must retire to Ireland, and wait for better times. The college and you ought to pray for another change at court, otherwise I can easily foretell that their joy and your quiet will be short. Let me advise you to place your books in moveable cases: lay in no great stock of wine, nor make any great alterations in your lodgings at Christ Church, unless you are sure they are such as your successor will approve and pay for. I am afraid the poor college little thinks of this,
" Qui nunc te fruitur credulus aureâ."
THAT you may not be surprised with a letter utterly unknown to you, I will tell you the occasion of it. The lady who lived near two years in your neighbourhood, and whom you was so kind to visit under the name of Mrs. Smyth, was Mrs. Ann Long, sister to sir James Long, and niece of col. Strangeways: she was of as good a private family as most in England, and had every valuable quality of body and mind that could make a lady loved and esteemed. Accordingly she was always valued here above most of her sex, and by most distinguished persons. But, by the unkindness of her friends and the generosity of her own nature, and depending upon the death of a very old grandmother, which did not happen till it was too late, contracted some debts that made her uneasy here, and in order to clear them was content to retire unknown to your town, where I fear her death has been hastened by melancholy, and perhaps the want of such assistance as she might have found here. I thought fit to signify this to you, partly to let you know how valuable a person you have lost, but chiefly to desire that you will please to bury her in some part of your church near a wall where a plain marble stone may be fixed, as a poor monument for one who deserved so well, and which, if God sends me life, I hope one day to place there, if no other of her friends will think fit to do it. I had the honour of an intimate acquaintance with her, and was never so sensibly touched with any one's death as with hers. Neither did I ever know a person of either sex with more virtues, or fewer infirmities; the only one she had, which was the neglect of her own affairs, arising wholly from the goodness of her temper. I write not this to you at all as a secret, but am content your town should know what an excellent person they have had among them. If you visited her any short time before her death, or knew any particulars about it, or of the state of her mind, or the nature of her disease, I beg you will be so obliging to inform me; for the letter we have seen from her poor maid is so imperfect by her grief for the death of so good a lady, that it only tells the time of her death; and your letter may, if you please, be directed to Dr. Swift, and put under a cover, which cover may be directed to Erasmus Lewis, esq., at the earl of Dartmouth's office, at Whitehall. I hope you will forgive this trouble for the occasion of it, and give some allowances to so great a loss not only to me, but to all who have any regard for every perfection that human nature can possess; and if any way I can serve or oblige you, I shall be glad of an opportunity of obeying your commands, I am, &c.
THE COUNTRY IN IRELAND,
IT is with the greatest pleasure I heard of your lordship's promotion, I mean that particular promotion which I believe is agreeable to you, though it does not mend your fortune. There is but one other change I could wish you, because I have heard you prefer it before all the rest; and that likewise is now ready, unless it be thought too soon, and that you are made to wait till another person has used it for a step to cross the water. Though I am here in a way of sinking into utter oblivion; for
"Hæ latebræ nec dulces, nec, si mihi credis, amœnæ:"
yet I shall challenge the continuance of your lordship's favour: and whenever I come to London, shall with great assurance cross the park to your lordship's house at Westminster, as if it were no more than crossing the street at Chelsea. I talked at this threatening rate so often to you about two years past, that you are not now to forget it.
Pray, my lord, do not let your being made a bishop hinder you from cultivating the politer studies, which your heart was set upon when you went to govern Christ Church. Providence has made you successor to a person, who, though of a much inferiour genius, turned all his thoughts that way; and, I have been told, with great success, by his countenance to those who deserved. I envy Dr. Freind that he has you for his inspector; and I envy you for having such a person in your district, and whom you love so well. Shall not I have liberty to be sometimes a third among you, though I am an Irish dean?
"Vervecum in patriâ, crassoque sub aëre natus."
A very disordered head hindered me from writing early to your lordship, when I first heard of your preferment; and I have reproached myself of ingratitude, when I remembered your kindness in sending me a letter upon the deanery they thought fit to throw me into; to which I am yet a stranger, being forced into the country, in one of my old parishes, to ride about for a little health. I hope to have the honour of asking your lordship's blessing some time in October. In the mean while, I desire your lordship to believe me to be, with very great respect and truth, my lord, your lordship's most dutiful and most humble servant,
"1713. DR. SWIFT came into the coffeehouse, and had a bow from every body but me. When I came to the antichamber to wait before prayers, Dr. Swift was the principal man of talk and business, and acted as a master of requests. He was soliciting the earl of Arran to speak to his brother the duke of Ormond, to get a chaplain's place established in the garrison of Hull for Mr. Fiddes, a clergyman in that neighbourhood, who had lately been in gaol, and published sermons to pay fees. He was promising Mr. Thorold to undertake with my lord treasurer, that, according to his petition, he should obtain a salary of 2001. per annum, as minister of the English church at Rotterdam. He stopped F. Gwynne, esq., going in with his red bag to the queen, and told him aloud he had something to say to him from my lord treasurer. He talked with the son of Dr. Davenant to be sent abroad, and took out his pocket book and wrote down several things, as memoranda, to do for him. He turned to the fire, and took out his gold watch, and, telling him the time of the day, complained it was very late. A gentleman said, 'he was too fast.' 'How can I help it,' says the doctor, 'if the courtiers give me a watch that won't go right?' Then he instructed a young nobleman, that the best poet in England was Mr. Pope (a papist), who had begun a translation of Homer into English verse, for which 'he must have them all subscribe;' 'for,' says he, 'the author shall not begin to print till I have a thousand guineas for him.' Lord treasurer, after leaving the queen, came through the room beckoning Dr. Swift to follow him: both went off just before prayers.
"Nov. 3. — I see and hear a great deal to confirm a doubt, that the pretender's interest is much at the bottom of some hearts: a whisper that Mr. N——n (Nelson) had a prime hand in the late book for hereditary right; and that one of them was presented to majesty itself, whom God preserve from the effect of such principles and such intrigues."
AS much as your lordship's thoughts and time are employed at present, you must give me leave to interrupt them, and, which is worse, for a trifle; though, by the accidents of time and party, of some consequence and great vexation to me. I am here at the head of three and twenty dignitaries and prebendaries, whereof the major part, differing from me in principles, have taken a fancy to oppose me upon all occasions in the chapterhouse; and a ringleader among them has presumed to debate my power of proposing, or my negative, though it is what the deans of this cathedral have possessed for time immemorial, and what has never been once disputed. Our constitution was taken from that of Sarum; and the knowledge of what is practised there in the like case would be of great use to me. I have written this post to Dr. Younger, to desire he would inform me in this matter; but, having only a slender acquaintance with him, I would beg your lordship to second my request, that the dean would please to let me know the practice of his cathedral, and his power in this point. I would likewise desire your lordship to let me know how it is at Westminster, and the two other cathedrals with whose customs you may be acquainted.
Pray, my lord, pardon this idle request from one that loves and esteems you, as you know I do. I once thought it would never be my misfortune to entertain you at so scurvy a rate, at least not at so great a distance, or with so much constraint:
The greatest felicity I now have is, that I am utterly ignorant of the most publick events that happen in the world:
"Multa gemens ignominiam plagasque," &c.
I am with the greatest respect and truth, my lord, your lordship's most dutiful and most humble servant,
I AM extremely obliged to your lordship for the trouble you have given yourself in answering at length a very insignificant letter. I shall entirely follow your lordship's advice, to the best of my skill. Your conjectures from whence my difficulties take their rise are perfectly true. It is all party. But the right is certainly on my side, if there be any thing in constant immemorial custom. Besides, though the first scheme of this cathedral was brought from Sarum, yet, by several subsequent grants, from popes, kings, archbishops, and acts of parliament, the dean has great prerogatives. He visits the chapter as ordinary, and the archbishop only visits by the dean. The dean can suspend and sequester any member, and punishes all crimes except heresy, and one or two more reserved for the archbishop. No lease can be let without him. He holds a court leet in his district, and is exempt from the lord mayor, &c. No chapter can be called but by him, and he dissolves them at pleasure. He disposes absolutely of the petty canons and vicars choral places. All the dignitaries, &c. swear canonical obedience to him. These circumstances put together, I presume, may alter the case in your lordship's judgment. However, I shall, as your lordship directs me, do my utmost to divert this controversy as much as I can. I must add one thing, that no dignitary can preside without a power from the dean, who, in his absence, makes a subdean, and limits him as he pleases. And so much for deaneries, which I hope I shall never trouble your lordship with again.
I send this enclosed, and without superscription, to be sent or delivered to you by a famous friend of mine, and devoted servant of your lordship's.
I congratulate with England for joining with us here in the fellowship of slavery. It is not so terrible a thing as you imagine; we have long lived under it; and whenever you are disposed to know how you ought to behave yourselves in your new condition, you need go no farther than me for a director. But, because we are resolved to go beyond you, we have transmitted a bill to England, to be returned here, giving the government and six of the council power for three years to imprison whom they please for three months, without any trial or examination: and I expect to be among the first of those upon whom this law will be executed. We have also outdone you in the business of Ben Hoadly; and have recommended to a bishoprick one whom you would not allow a curate in the smallest of your parishes. Does your lordship know that, as much as I have been used to lies in England, I am under a thousand uneasinesses about some reports relating to a person that you and I love very well? I have writ to a lady I upon that subject, and am impatient for an answer. I am gathering up a thousand pounds, and intend to finish my life upon the interest of it in Wales.
God Almighty preserve your lordship miseris succurrere rebus, whether you understand or relish Latin or no. But it is a great deal your fault if you suffer us all to be undone; for God never gave such talents without expecting they should be used to preserve a nation. There is a doctor in your neighbourhood to whom I am a very humble servant. I am, with great respect, your lordship's most dutiful, &c.
I HAVE an account by this post that your grace intends in two or three days to go for England. I heartily wish you a good voyage, and a speedy return, with a perfect recovery of your health, and success in all your undertakings for the service of the church. I lately applied myself to some persons who I thought had credit with your grace, that they would prevail on you to consent that Mr. Dopping should have St. Nicholas, and that Mr. Chamberly, upon surrendering a sinecure (fallen by the late promotion) to Mr. Wall, might succeed to St. Luke's; and having heard your grace was not disinclined to this scheme, I thought you had authority enough to make it go down with Mr. Chamberly, who would be a gainer by the exchange, and, having already a plentiful fortune, would have as good an opportunity of showing his abilities in one parish as in the other. I should add my humble entreaties to your grace to consent to this proposal, if I had not so many reasons to apprehend that it would succeed just so much the worse for my solicitation. I confess, every friend I have, discovered long before myself that I had wholly lost your grace's favour, and this to a degree that all whom I was disposed to serve were sure to thrive the worse for my friendship to them; particularly, I have been assured that Mr. Walls would not have failed of the prebend of Malahiddart, if he had not been thought too much attached to me; for it is alleged, that according to your grace's own scheme of uniting the prebends to the vicarages it would almost have fallen to him of course; and I remember the poor gentleman had always a remote hope of that prebend whenever Dr. Moor should quit it. Mr. Wall came lately down to me to Trim upon that disappointment, and I was so free as to ask him, whether he thought my friendship had done him hurt; but he was either so meek, or so fearful of offending, that he would by no means impute his misfortune to any thing beside his want of merit, and some misrepresentations; which latter I must confess to have found with grief, to have more than once influenced you against some, who by their conduct to your grace have deserved a quite different treatment. With respect to myself, I can assure your grace, that those who are most in your confidence make it no manner of secret, that several clergymen have lost your grace's favour by their civilities to me. I do not say any thing of this by way of complaint, which I look upon to be an office too mean for any man of spirit and integrity, but merely to know whether it be possible for me to be upon any better terms with your grace, without which I shall be able to do very little good in the small station I am placed. The friendship I had with the late ministry, and the trust they were pleased to repose in me, were chiefly applied to do all the service to the church that I was able. I had no ill designs, nor ever knew any in them. I was the continual advocate for all men of merit without regard of party; for which it is known enough that I was sufficiently censured by some warm men, and in a more particular manner for vindicating your grace in an affair were I thought you were misrepresented, and you seemed desirous to be set right. And upon the whole, this I can faithfully assure your grace, that I was looked upon as a trimmer, and one that was providing against a change, for no other reason but defending your grace's principles in church and state; which I think might pass for some kind of merit in one who never either had or expected any mark of your favour. And I cannot but think it hard, that I must upon all occasions be made uneasy in my station, have dormant prebends revived on purpose to oppose me, and this openly acknowledged by those who say they act under your grace's direction. That instead of being able to do a good office to a deserving friend, as all my predecessors have been, it is thought a matter of accusation for any one to cultivate my acquaintance. This I must think to be hard treatment, and though I regard not the consequences as far as they are intended to affect myself, yet your grace may live to lament those which from thence may happen to the church.
When I was first made dean, your grace was pleased, in a very condescending manner, to write to me that you desired my friendship: I was then in the service of the ministry, and the peace was made; and if I had any share in their ill designs I was then guilty, but I do not know that I have ever done any thing since to forfeit your good opinion: I confess I lost many friends by the queen's death, but I will never imagine your grace to be of the number.
I have given your grace too long a trouble. I humbly beg your blessing, and shall remain ever with the greatest truth and respect, my lord,
Your grace's most dutiful
and most humble servant,
SOME persons of distinction, lately come from England, and not unknown to your lordship, have made me extremely pleased and proud, by telling me that your lordship was so generous as to defend me against an idle story that passed in relation to a letter of mine to the archbishop of Dublin. I have corresponded for many years with his grace, though we generally differed in politicks, and therefore our letters had often a good mixture of controversy. I confess likewise that I have been his grace's advocate, where he had not many others. About nine months ago I writ a letter to him in London (for in my little station it is convenient there should be some commerce between us); and in a short time after I had notice from several friends, that a passage in my letter was shown to several persons, and a consequence drawn from thence, that I was wholly gone over to other principles more in fashion, and wherein I might better find my account. I neglected this report, as thinking it might soon die; but found it gathered strength, and spread to Oxford and this kingdom; and some gentlemen, who lately arrived here, assured me they had met it a hundred times, with all the circumstances of disadvantage that are usually tacked to such stories by the great candour of mankind. It should seem as if I were somebody of importance; and if so, I should think the wishes not only of my friends, but of my party, might dispose them rather to believe me innocent, than condemn me unheard. Upon the first intelligence I had of this affair, I made a shift to recollect the only passage in that letter which could be any way liable to misinterpretation.
I told the archbishop — "we had an account of a set of people in London, who were erecting a new church, upon the maxim that every thing was void, since the revolution, in the church as well as the state — that all priests must be reordained, bishops again consecrated, and in like manner of the rest — that I knew not what there was in it of truth — that it was impossible such a scheme should ever pass — and that I believed if the court, upon this occasion, would show some good will to the church, discourage those who ill treated the clergy, &c., it would be the most popular thing they could think of."
I keep no copies of letters; but this, I am confident, was the substance of what I wrote; and that every other line in the letter which mentioned publick affairs would have atoned for this, if it had been a crime, as I think it was not in that juncture, whatever may be my opinion at present; for, I confess, my thoughts change every week, like those of a man in an incurable consumption, who daily finds himself more and more decay.
The trouble I now give your lordship is an ill return to your goodness in defending me; but it is the usual reward of goodness, and therefore you must be content. In the mean time, I am in a hopeful situation, torn to pieces by pamphleteers and libellers on that side the water, and by the whole body of the ruling party on this; against which all the obscurity I live in will not defend me. Since I came first to this kingdom, it has been the constant advice of all my church friends, that I should be more cautious. To oppose me in every thing relating to my station, is made a merit in my chapter; and I shall probably live to make some bishops as poor, as Luther made many rich.
I profess to your lordship, that what I have been writing is only with regard to the good opinion of your lordship, and of a very few others with whom you will think it of any consequence to an honest man that he should be set right. I am sorry that those who call themselves churchmen should be industrious to have it thought that their number is lessened, even by so inconsiderable a one as myself. But I am sufficiently recompensed, that your lordship knows me best, to whom I am so ambitious to be best known. God be thanked, I have but a few to satisfy. The bulk of my censurers are strangers, or ill judges, or worse than either; and if they will not obey your orders to correct their sentiments of me, they will meet their punishment in your lordship's disapprobation; which I would not incur for all their good words put together, and printed in twelve volumes folio.
I am, with great respect, my lord,
your lordship's most dutiful
and most humble servant,
MR. Chetwood intends to deliver in a petition to the government to day, and entreated me to speak to your grace before he delivered it; which not having an opportunity to do, I make bold to enclose this letter, which your grace may please to read; and is the substance of what he desired me to say. I am, with the greatest respect, my lord,
Your grace's most dutiful
and most humble servant,
TO THE REV. DR. STOPFORD.
WRETCHED DUBLIN, IN MISERABLE
I HAD your kind letter from Paris, dated Nov. 14, N. S. I am angry with you for being so short, unless you are resolved not to rob your journal book. What have vous autres voyageurs to do but write and ramble? Your picture of K. C. I. will be a great present whenever I shall receive it, which I reckon will be about the time of your return from Italy; for my lord Oxford's picture was two months coming from London.
Mr. Pope is very angry with you, and says you look on him as a prophet, who is never esteemed in his own country, and he lays all the blame upon you, but will be pacified if you see him when you come back. Your other correspondents tell me, that Mr. G., beside his clothes, lost 200l. in money, which to me you slur over. I like your Indian's answers well; but I suppose the queen was astonished if she was told, contrary to her notions, that the great people were treated and maintained by the poor. Mrs. Johnson denies you to be a slave, and says you are much more so in quality of a governor; as all good princes are slaves to their subjects. I think you are justly dealt with: You travelled with liberty to work your slavery, and now you travel with slavery to work your liberty. The point of honour will not be so great, but you have equal opportunities to inform yourself and satisfy your curiosity. The happier you were abroad in your first travels, the more miserable you were at your return; and now the case will be directly contrary. I have been confined a fortnight with a little feverish disorder, and the consequences of it, but now am as usual with tolerable health.
As to intelligence, here is the house of commons, with a little remains of the nation's spirit against Wood's coin, are opposing the court in their unreasonable demands of money to satisfy the wanton and pretended debts of the crown, and all party but that of court and country seem to be laid asleep. I have said and writ to the lieutenant what I thought was right, and so have my betters; but all surdis auribus: This is enough for such a hermit as I to tell you of publick matters. Your friends are all well, and you have not been long enough absent for any material accident to fall out. Here is a great rumour of the king's being dead, or dying at Hanover, which has not the least effect on any passion in me. Dr. Delany is a most perfect courtier; Sheridan full of his own affairs and the baseness of the world? Dr. Helsham à son aise at home or abroad; the dean of St. Patrick's sitting like a toad in a corner of his great house, with a perfect hatred of all publick actions and persons. You are desired to bring over a few of the testons, and what d'ye call (Julio's, I think) of Parme, Florence, and Rome, which some people would be glad of for curiosities, and will give you other money for them. If you are rich enough to buy any good copies of pictures by great hands, I desire when you would buy two to buy three, and the third shall be taken off your hands, with thanks, and all accidents be answered by the buyer. The people of Ireland have just found out that their fathers, sons, and brothers are not made bishops, judges, or officers civil or military, and begin to think it should be otherwise; but the government go on as if there were not a human creature in the kingdom fit for any thing but giving money. Your brother paid the money to the lady; — What would you have more? This is a time of no events. Not a robbery or murder to be had, for want of which and poetry the hawkers are starving. Take care of your health, and come home by Switzerland; from whence travel blindfold till you get here, which is the only way to make Ireland tolerable. I am told the provost has absolutely given away all your pupils. Pray God give you grace to be hated by him and all such beasts while you live. I excused your bashfulness to the lieutenant, who said he observed and understood it, and liked you the better. He could govern a wiser nation better, but fools are fit to deal with fools; and he seems to mistake our calibre, and treats de haut en bas, and gives no sugar plums. Our dean Maul and Dr. Tisdall have taken upon them the care of the church, and make wise speeches of what they will amend in St. Andrew's vestry every week to a crew of parsons of their own kind and importance. The primate and the earl of Cavan govern the house of lords. The A.B.D. attacked the same in the castle for giving a good living to a certain animal called a Walsh black, which the other excused, alleging, he was preferred to it by lord Townshend. It is a cant word for a deer stealer. This fellow was leader of a gang, and had the honour of hanging half a dozen of his fellows in quality of informer, which was his merit. If you cannot match me that in Italy, step to Muscovy, and from thence to the Hottentots. I am just going out of town for two days, else I would have filled my paper with more nothings. Pray God bless you, and send you safe back to this place, which it is a shame for any man of worth to call his home.
I AM desired by one Mr. Curtis, a clergyman of this town, to write to your lordship upon an affair he has much at heart, and wherein he has been very unjustly and injuriously treated, I do now call to mind what I hear your lordship has written hither, that you were pleased many years ago, at my recommendation to give Dr. Ellwood a grant of a chamber in the college, which is at your disposal. For I had then some credit with your lordship, which I am told I have now lost, although I am ignorant of the reason. I shall therefore only inform your lordship in one point. When you gave that grant, it was understood to continue during Dr. Ellwood's continuance in the college; but, he growing to be a senior fellow, and requiring more conveniences, by changing one room, and purchasing another, got into a more convenient apartment, and therefore those who now derive under the doctor, have, during the doctor's life, the same property as if they derived under your lordship; just as if one of your tenants should let his holding to another, during the term of his lease, and take a more convenient farm. This is directly the case, and must convince your lordship immediately; for, Mr. Curtis paid for the chamber, either to the doctor, or to those who derived under him, and till the doctor dies, or leaves the college, the grant is good.
I will say nothing of Mr. Curtis's character, because the affair is a matter of short plain justice; and, besides, because I would not willingly do the young man an injury, as I happened to do to another, whom I recommended to your lordship merely for your own service, and whom you afterward rejected, expressing your reason for doing so, that I had recommended him, by which you lost the very person of the whole kingdom who by his honesty and abilities could have been most useful to you in your offices here. But these are some of the refinements among you great men, which are above my low understanding. And whatever your lordship thinks of me, I shall still remain
Your lordship's most obedient
and most humble servant,
I SHOULD not give myself the trouble to answer your polite letter, were I as unconcerned about character and reputation as some are. The principles of justice I hope I have learned from those, who always treated you in another manner, than you do me even without reason.
You charge me with injury and injustice done Mr. Curtis; he is still in his chamber; till he is turned out, none is done him, and he is satisfied with my proceedings, and the issue I have put it on. Your interest with me (which if ever lost, such letters will not regain) procured Dr. Ellwood the use of that chamber, not the power to job it. Your parallel case of landlord and tenant will not hold, without Dr. Ellwood has a writing under my hand; if he has, I will fulfil it to a tittle; if not, he is as a tenant at will, and when he quits, I am at liberty to dispose of the premises again.
Whoever told you Mr. Stanton was dismissed, because you recommended him, told you a most notorious falsehood; he is the young man I suppose you mean. The true reason was, his demand of a large additional salary, more than he had before my time; so he left the office, and was not turned out.
My desire is to be in charity with all men; could I say as much of you, you had sooner inquired into this matter, or if you had any regard to a family you owe so much to; but I fear you hugged the false report to cancel all feelings of gratitude that must ever glow in a generous breast, and to justify what you had declared, that no regard to the family was any restraint to you. These refinements are past my low understanding, and can only be comprehended by you great wits.
I always thought in you I had a friend in Ireland, but find myself mistaken. I am sorry for it; my comfort is, it is none of my fault. If you had taken any thing amiss, you might have known the truth from me. I shall always be as ready to ask pardon when I have offended, as to justify myself when I have not. I am, sir,
Your very humble servant.
I DESIRE you will give yourself the last trouble I shall ever put you to; I mean of reading this letter. I do entirely acquit you of any injury or injustice done to Mr. Curtis, and if you had read that passage relating to his bad usage a second time, you could not possibly have so ill understood me. The injury and injustice he received were from those who claimed a title to his chambers, took away his key, reviled and threatened to beat him, with a great deal more of the like brutal conduct. Whereupon at his request I laid the case before you, as it appeared to me. And it would have been very strange if on account of a trifle, and of a person for whom I have no concern farther than as he was employed by me on the character he bears of piety and learning; I should charge you with injury and injustice to him, when I knew from himself, and Mr. Reading, that you were not answerable for either.
As you state the case of tenant at will, it is certain no law can compel you; but to say the truth, I then had not law in my thoughts.
Now, if what I writ of injury and injustice were wholly applied in plain terms to one or two of the college here, whose names were below my remembrance, you will consider how I could deserve an answer in every line, full of foul invectives, open reproaches, jesting flirts, and contumelious terms, and what title you have to give me such contumelious treatment who never did you the least injury, or received the least obligation from you. I own myself indebted to sir William Temple, for recommending me to the late king, although without success, and for his choice of me to take care of his posthumous writings. But, I hope you will not charge my living in his family as an obligation, for I was educated to little purpose if I retired to his house, on any other motives than the benefit of his conversation and advice, and the opportunity of pursuing my studies. For, being born to no fortune, I was at his death as far to seek as ever, and perhaps you will allow that I was of some use to him. This I will venture to say, that in the time when I had some little credit I did fifty times more for fifty people, from whom I never received the least service or assistance. Yet I should not be pleased to hear a relation of mine reproaching them for ingratitude, although many of them well deserve it; for, thanks to party, I have met in both kingdoms with ingratitude enough.
If I have been ill informed in what you mention of Mr. Stanton, you have not been much better, that I declared no regard to the family (as you express it) was a restraint to me. I never had the least occasion to use any such words. The last time I saw you in London was the last intercourse I ever had with the family. But having always trusted to my own innocence, I shall not be inquisitive to know my accusers.
When I mentioned my loss of interest with you I did it with concern, but I had no resentment, because I supposed it only to arise from different sentiments in publick matters.
My lord, if my letter were polite, it was against my intentions, and I desire your pardon for it; if I have wit, I will keep it to show when I am angry, which at present I am not; because, though nothing can excuse those intemperate words your pen has let fall, yet I shall give allowance to a hasty person hurried on by a mistake beyond all rules of decency. If a first minister of state had used me as you have done, he should have heard from me in another style, because in that case retaliating would be thought a mark of courage: But as your lordship is not in a situation to do me good, nor I am sure of a disposition to do me mischief, so I should lose the merit of being bold, because I could incur no danger, if I gave myself a liberty which your ill usage seemed to demand. In this point alone we are exactly equal, but in wit and politeness I am ready to yield to you, as much as I do in titles and estate.
I have found out one secret, that although you call me a great wit, you do not think me so, otherwise you would have been too cautious to have writ me such a letter.
You conclude with saying you are ready to ask pardon where you have offended. Of this I acquit you, because I have not taken the offence, but whether you will acquit yourself, must be left to your conscience and honour.
I have formerly upon occasion been your humble servant in Ireland, and should not refuse to be so still, but you have so useful and excellent a friend in Mr. Reading, that you need no other, and I hope my good opinion of him will not lessen yours.
I am, my lord,
your most humble servant,
TO THE REV. DR. STOPFORD.
I HAD a letter from you three months ago, with an account of a fine picture you had sent me, which is now safe in Ireland, for which I heartily thank you, and Robert Arbuthnot swears it is an original. I did not answer you because I was told you were in motion. I had yours of July 12, N. S. yesterday; and since you are fixed at Paris, I venture to send you this, though Robert Arbuthnot be here. He has lately married a lady among us of 900l. a year, and I think will soon go to France; but I have chiefly lived above two months with Mr. Pope since the town grew empty. I shall leave him the beginning of August, and so settle my affairs to be in Ireland by the end of that month, for my license of half a year will be then out. I came here to see my old friends, and upon some business I had with two of them, which, however, proves to be of little consequence. The people in power have been civil enough to me; many of them have visited me. I was not able to withstand seeing the princess, because she had commanded, that whenever I came hither, as the news said I intended, that I should wait on her. I was latterly twice with the chief minister; the first time by invitation, and the second at my desire for an hour, wherein we differed in every point: But all this made a great noise, and soon got to Ireland, from whence, upon the late death of the bishop of Cloyne, it was said I was offered to succeed, and I received many letters upon it, but there was nothing of truth, for I was neither offered, nor would have received, except upon conditions which would never be granted. For I absolutely broke with the first minister, and have never seen him since, and I lately complained of him to the princess, because I knew she would tell him. I am, besides, all to pieces with the lord lieutenant, whom I treated very roughly, and absolutely refused to dine with him. So that, dear Jim, you see how little I shall be able to assist you with the great ones here, unless some change of ministry should happen. Yet when a new governor goes over, it is hard if I cannot be some way instrumental. I have given strict charge to Mr. Pope to receive you with all kindness and distinction. He is perfectly well received by all the people in power, and he loves to do good; and there can hardly go over a governor to whom he may not, by himself or friends, strongly recommend you.
I fear I shall have more than ordinary reasons to wish you a near neighbour to me in Ireland; and that your company will be more necessary than ever, when I tell you that I never was in so great a dejection of spirits. For I lately received a letter from Mr. Worrall, that one of the two oldest and dearest friends I have in the world is in so desperate a condition of health, as makes me expect every post to hear of her death. It is the younger of the two, with whom I have lived in the greatest friendship for thirty-three years. I know you will share in my trouble, because there were few persons whom I believe you more esteemed. For my part, as I value life very little, so the poor casual remams of it, after such a loss, would be a burden that I must heartily beg God Almighty to enable me to bear; and I think there is not a greater folly than that of entering into too strict and particular a friendship, with the loss of which a man must be absolutely miserable, but especially at an age when it is too late to engage in a new friendship. Besides, this was a person of my own rearing and instructing, from childhood; who excelled in every good quality that can possibly accomplish a human creature. — They have hitherto writ me deceiving letters, but Mr. Worrall has been so just and prudent as to tell me the truth; which, however racking, is better than to be struck on the sudden. — Dear Jim, pardon me, I know not what I am saying; but believe me that violent friendship is much more lasting, and as much engaging, as violent love. Adieu.
If this accident should happen before I set out, I believe I shall stay this winter in England; where it will be at least easier to find some repose, than upon the spot.
If I were your adviser, I would say one thing against my own interest; that if you must leave your college, for the reason you hint at, I think it would be better to live in England on your own estate, and the addition of one thousand pounds, and trust to industry and friends, and distinction here, than pass your days in that odious country, and among that odious people. You can live in a thrifty moderate way, and thrift is decent here; and you cannot but distinguish yourself. You have the advantage to be a native of London; here you will be a freeman, and in Ireland a slave. Here your competitors will be strangers; there every rascal, your contemporary, will get over your head by the merit of party. — Farewell again; though my head is now disturbed, yet I have had these thoughts about you long ago.
TO DR. JINNY, RECTOR OF ARMAGH.
*** THE author of "A Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland" refers to an unpublished letter of Dr. Swift, now in the possession of lord Dartrey, which entirely acquits him of that want of hospitality laid to his charge from some passages in his "Hamilton's Bawn." The letter is written to that Dr. Jinny represented in the poem as looking so like a ninny: the purport of it is, "To acquaint the doctor (then rector of Armagh, in the neighbourhood of which he spent the summer) how he passed his time. Among other amusements, he mentions that of writing this very poem, the motives which excited him to it, and the effects it produced. And so far was it from giving umbrage to the lady, or jealousy to the knight, that every addition he made at night came up with the bread and butter as part of the entertainment next morning, and all parties expressed the utmost satisfaction."
BEING perpetually teased with the remembrance of you, by the sight of your ring on my finger, my patience at last is at an end; and, in order to be revenged, I have sent you a piece of Irish plaid, made in imitation of the Indian, wherein our workmen are grown so expert, that, in this kind of stuff, they are said to excel that which comes from the Indies; and because our ladies are too proud to wear what is made at home, the workman is forced to run a gold thread through the middle, and sell it as Indian. But I ordered him to leave out that circumstance, that you may be clad in Irish stuff, and in my livery. But I beg you will not tell any parliament man from whence you had that plaid; otherwise, out of malice, they will make a law to cut off all our weavers' fingers. I must likewise tell you, to prevent your pride, my intention is to use you very scurvily; for my real design is, that when the princess asks you where you got that fine nightgown, you are to say, that it is an Irish plaid sent you by the dean of St. Patrick's; who, with his most humble duty to her royal highness, is ready to make her such another present, at the terrible expense of eight shillings and threepence per yard, if she will descend to honour Ireland with receiving and wearing it. And in recompense I, who govern the vulgar, will take care to have her royal highnesses health drunk by five hundred weavers, as an encourager of the Irish manufactory. And I command you to add, that I am no courtier, nor have any thing to ask. May all courtiers imitate me in that! I hope the whole royal family about you is in health. Dr. Arbuthnot lately mortified me with an account of a great pain in your head. I believe no head that is good for any thing is long without some disorder, at least that is the best argument I had for any thing that is good in my own.
I pray God preserve you; and I entreat you to believe that I am, with great respect, madam, your most obedient and most obliged servant,
WHEN I received your letter I thought it the most unaccountable one I ever saw in my life, and was not able to comprehend three words of it together. The perverseness of your lines astonished me, which tended downward to the right in one page, and upward in the two others. This I thought impossible to be done by any one who did not squint with both eyes; an infirmity I never observed in you. However, one thing I was pleased with, that after you had writ down, you repented, and writ me up again. But I continued four days at a loss for your meaning, till a bookseller sent me the Travels of one captain Gulliver, who proved a very good explainer, although, at the same time, I thought it hard to be forced to read a book of seven hundred pages, in order to understand a letter of fifty lines; especially as those of our faculty are already but too much pestered with commentators. The stuffs you require are making, because the weaver piques himself upon having them in perfection. But he has read Gulliver's book, and has no conception what you mean by returning money; for he has become a proselyte of the Houyhnhnms, whose great principle, if I rightly remember, is benevolence; and, as to myself, I am so highly offended with such a base proposal, that I am determined to complain of you to her royal highness, that you are a mercenary Yahoo, fond of shining pebbles. What have I to do with you or your court, farther than to show the esteem I have for your person, because you happen to deserve it; and my gratitude to her royal highness, who was pleased a little to distinguish me; which, by the way, is the greatest compliment I ever paid, and may probably be the last; for I am not such a prostitute flatterer as Gulliver, whose chief study is to extenuate the vices, and magnify the virtues, of mankind, and perpetually dins our ears with the praises of his country in the midst of corruption, and for that reason alone has found so many readers, and probably will have a pension, which, I suppose, was his chief design in writing. As for his compliments to the ladies, I can easily forgive him, as a natural effect of the devotion which our sex ought always to pay to yours. You need not be in pain about the officers searching or seizing the plaids, for the silk has already paid duty in England, and there is no law against exporting silk manufacture from hence. I am sure the princess and you have got the length of my foot, and sir Robert Walpole says he has the length of my head, so that I need not give you the trouble of sending you either. I shall only tell you in general, that I never had a long head, and for that reason few people have thought it worth while to get the length of my foot. I cannot answer your queries about eggs buttered or poached; but I possess one talent which admirably qualifies me for roasting them; for, as the world, with respect to eggs, is divided into pelters and roasters, it is my unhappiness to be one of the latter, and consequently to be persecuted by the former. I have been five days turning over old books to discover the meaning of those monstrous births you mention. That of the four black rabbits seems to threaten some dark court intrigue, and, perhaps, some change in the administration; for the rabbit is an undermining animal, that loves to walk in the dark. The blackness denotes the bishops, whereof some of the last you have made are persons of such dangerous parts and profound abilities: But rabbits, being clothed in furs, may perhaps glance at the judges. However, the ram, by which is meant the ministry, butting with his two horns, one against the church, and the other against the law, shall obtain the victory. And whereas the birth was a conjunction of ram and yahoo, this is easily explained by the story of Chiron, governor, or, which is the same thing, chief minister to Achilles, who was half man and half brute; which, as Machiavel observes, all good governors of princes ought to be. But I am at the end of my line, and my lines. This is without a cover, to save money, and plain paper, because the gilt is so thin it will discover secrets between us. In a little room for words, I assure you of my being, with truest respect, madam, your most obedient humble servant.
MY correspondents have informed me, that your ladyship has done me the honour to answer several objections that ignorance, malice, and party have made to my Travels, and been so charitable as to justify the fidelity and veracity of the author. This zeal you have shown for truth calls for my particular thanks, and at the same time encourages me to beg you would continue your goodness to me, by reconciling me to the maids of honour, whom, they say, I have most grievously offended. I am so stupid as not to find out how I have disobliged them. Is there any harm in a young lady's reading of romances? Or did I make use of an improper engine to extinguish a fire that was kindled by a maid of honour? And I will venture to affirm, that if ever the young ladies of your court should meet with a man of as little consequence in this country as I was in Brobdingnag, they would use him with as much contempt; but I submit myself and my cause to your better judgment, and beg leave to lay the crown of Lilliput at your feet, as a small acknowledgement of your favour to my book and person. I found it in the corner of my waistcoat pocket, into which I thrust most of the valuable furniture of the royal apartment when the palace was on fire, and by mistake brought it with me into England; for I very honestly restored to their majesties all their goods that I knew were in my possession. May all courtiers imitate me in that, and my being, madam, &c.
TWICKENHAM, JULY 9, 1727, BETWEEN
MR. Gay, by your commands, as he says, showed me a letter to you from an unfortunate lady, one Mrs. Pratt, whose case I know very well, and pity very much; but I wonder she would make any mention of me, who am almost a stranger to you, farther than your goodness led you a little to distinguish me. I have often told Mrs. Pratt, that I had not the least interest with the friend's friend's friend of any body in power; on the contrary, I have been used like a dog for a dozen years, by every soul who was able to do it, and were but sweepers about a court. I believe you will allow that I know courts well enough, to remember, that a man must have got many degrees above the power of recommending himself, before he should presume to recommend another, even his nearest relation; and, for my own part, you may be sure that I will never venture to recommend a mouse to Mrs. Cole's cat, or a shoe cleaner to your meanest domestick. But you know too well already how very injudicious the general tribe of wanters are. I told Mrs. Pratt, that if she had friends, it were best to solicit a pension; but it seems she had mentioned a place. I can only say, that when I was about courts, the best lady there had some cousin, or near dependant, whom she would be glad to recommend for an employment, and therefore would hardly think of strangers: For I take the matter thus; that a pension may possibly be got by commiseration, but great personal favour is required for an employment. There are, madam, thousands in the world, who, if they saw your dog use me kindly, would, the next day, in a letter, tell me of the delight they heard I had in doing good; and being assured that a word of mine to you would do any thing, desire my interest to speak to you, to speak to the speaker, to speak to sir Robert Walpole, to speak to the king, &c. Thus wanting people are like drowning people, who lay hold of every reed or bulrush in their way.
One place I humbly beg for myself, which is in your gift, if it be not disposed of; I mean the perquisite of all the letters and petitions you receive, which, being generally of fair, large, strong paper, I can sell to good advantage to the bandbox and trunk makers, and I hope will annually make a pretty comfortable penny.
I hear, while I was at church, Mr. Pope writ to you upon the occasion of Mrs. Pratt's letter; but they will not show me what is writ: Therefore I will not trust them, but resolved to justify myself; and they shall not see this.
I pray God grant you patience, and preserve your eye sight; but confine your memory to the service of your royal mistress, and the happiness of your truest friends, and give you a double portion of your own spirit to distinguish them. I am, with the truest respect, madam, your most obedient and most obliged humble servant,
ABOUT two hours before you were born I got my giddiness, by eating a hundred golden pippins at a time at Richmond; and when you were four years and a quarter old, bating two days, having made a fine seat about twenty miles farther in Surrey, where I used to read and ——, there I got my deafness; and these two friends have visited me, one or other, every year since, and being old acquaintance, have now thought fit to come together. So much for the calamities wherein I have the honour to resemble you; and you see your sufferings are but children in comparison of mine; and yet, to show my philosophy, I have been as cheerful as Scarron. You boast, that your disorders never made you peevish. Where is the virtue, when all the world was peevish on your account, and so took the office out of your hands? Whereas I bore the whole load myself, no body caring three pence what I suffered, or whether I were hanged or at ease. I tell you my philosophy is twelve times better than yours; for I can call witnesses that I bear half your pains, beside all my own, which are in themselves ten times greater. Thus have I most fully answered your queries. I wish the poison were in my stomach (which may be very probable, considering the many drugs I take), if I remember to have mentioned that word in my letter. But ladies who have poison in their eyes, may be apt to mistake in reading. — O! I have found it out; the word person I suppose was written like poison. — Ask all the friends I write to, and they will attest this mistake to be but a trifle in my way of writing, and could easily prove it if they had any of my letters to show. I make nothing of mistaking Untoward for Howard; wellpull, for Walpole; knights of a share, for knights of a shire; monster, for minister; in writing speaker, I put an n for a p; and a hundred such blunders, which cannot be helped, while I have a hundred oceans rolling in my ears, into which no sense has been poured this fortnight; and therefore if I write nonsense, I can assure you it is genius, and not borrowed.
Thus I write by your commands, and beside, I am bound in duty to be the last writer. But, deaf or giddy, hearing or steady, I shall be ever, with the truest regard, madam, your most obedient and most humble servant,
YOUR ladyship's last letter made me a little grave, and in going to answer it, I was in danger of leaning on my elbow (I mean my left elbow), to consider what I should write; which posture I never used except when I was under a necessity of writing to fools, or lawyers, or ministers of state; where I am to consider what is to be said. But as I write to a person whom I esteem, I am in no pain at all. — It would be an injury to you or Mr. Pope, to give thanks to either of you for justifying me about those letters sent to the queen, because to think me guilty would disgrace your understandings; and as he is my best friend, so your ladyship owes me no malice, except that of raillery; and good raillery is always sincere. And if her majesty were deceived, it would lessen my opinion of her judgment; which would no otherwise affect me, than by making me sorry upon her own account. But what your ladyship would have me discover, through all your refined civilities, is my great imprudence in ordering that monument to be fixed in my cathedral. I shall not trouble you with a long story — but if ever a numerous venerable body of dignified clergymen had reason to complain of the highest repeated indignity, in return of the greatest honour offered by them, to persons they were wholly strangers to, then my chapter is not to be blamed, nor I, who proposed the matter to them: which however I could have done by my own authority, but rather chose it should be the work of us all. And I will confess it was upon their advice that I omitted the only two passages which had much bitterness in them; and which a bishop here, one after your own heart, blamed me very much for leaving out; declaring that the treatment given us by the Schomberg family, deserved a great deal worse. Indeed, madam, I shall not attempt to convince England of any thing that relates to this kingdom. The drapier, whom you mention, could not do it in relation to the halfpence. Neither can the parliament here convince you that we ought not to be just now in so miserable condition in every article of distress. Why should the Schomberg family be so uneasy at a thing they were so long warned of, and were told they might prevent for fifty pounds? But here I wish your ladyship would put the queen in mind of what passed between her majesty and me, upon the subject of Ireland, when she was princess of Wales, and appeared so much to pity this distressed kingdom, and gave me leave to write to her if ever I should live to see her queen; that she would answer my letter, and promised, that in such a case she would use all her credit to relieve it. Whereupon I desired Dr. Arbuthnot, who was present, to be witness of what she said; and her majesty confirmed it. I will not ask what the event has been. —— If any state scribble writ here should happen to reach London, I entreat your ladyship would continue to do me the justice of believing my innocence, because I lately assured the duke of Dorset that I would never have a hand in any such thing. But I gave him my reason before his secretary; that looking upon this kingdom's condition as absolutely desperate, I would not prescribe a dose to the dead. Some parts of your letter I do not understand. Mrs. Barber was recommended to me by Dr. Delany, who is now in London, and whom I once presented to you at Marble hill. She seems to be a woman of piety and genius; and though I never visited her in my life, yet was I disposed to do her good offices. on the doctor's account, and her own good character. By lady M—— I cannot guess whom you mean. Mrs. Haywood I have heard of as a stupid, infamous, scribbling woman, but have not seen any of her productions. And now, madam, I utterly acquit your ladyship of all things that may concern me, except your good opinion, and that very little share I can pretend to in your memory. I never knew a lady who had so many qualities to beget esteem; but how you act as a friend, is out of my way to judge. As to the queen, whom I never offended, since it would be presumption in me to imagine I ever came voluntarily into her thoughts, so it must be a mortification to think, when I happen to be named in her presence it is usually to my disadvantage. I remember to have once told her majesty, how hard a thing it was, that when a prince, or great minister, had once received an ill impression of any person, although from the most false information, although the prince were demonstrably convinced of the person's innocence, yet the impression still continued; and her majesty condemned the severity of such a proceeding. I had said the same thing before to sir R. Walpole; who, upon reporting it to others, was pleased to give it a turn that I did not deserve. I remember the plaid, but I forgot the crown, and the meaning of it. If you had thought fit to have sent me as much of the plaid, as would have made me a morning cap, before it fell to the share of the lowest of your women, I should have been proud that my head should have worn your livery. But if you are weary of your character, it must lie upon my hands, for I know no other whom it will fit. And if your ladyship will not allow it to be a character, I am sure it may pass for a prediction. If you should put the same fancy into the queen's head, I miust send her a much larger character, and in royal paper, otherwise she will not be able to wrap the bundle in it. I fear so long a letter is beyond your mercy to forgive; but your ladyship is sure to be easy till Mr. Pope shall tell me that you are content to receive another. I should be heartily sorry if your increase in honour and employment has not been accompanied with increase of health. Let Mr. Pope, in all his letters, give me a particular account on this head, and pray God I may never have the least motive to pity you. For as a courtier, I forgive your ame endurcie; which I once charged on my lord Chesterfield, and he did not dislike it. And you have not a favourite or flatterer, who makes more outward offers of wishes for your ease and happiness than I do prayers from the bottom of my heart, which proceed entirely from that respect, and esteem, wherewith I am, madam, your ladyship's most obedient humble servant,
I HAVE been much surprised at your long silence, and perhaps you have been affected in the same manner at mine. But as I hope always to preserve the friendship we have began, I must acquaint you with the reasons of my conduct.
I have the misfortune to live in a scene of great hurry; and, between attending those in high stations who honour me with their friendship, and discharging the duties of my profession, I have scarce a moment disengaged; yet I constantly desired my friend Faulkner to write to you in my name, because I imagined it would save postage; and I thought it unreasonable to trouble you with my letters, when I had no very urgent business to write to you upon, and had too many obligations to you to think of adding to your expense. But I cannot imagine what you can plead in your excuse, for your neglect of writing to me, who am desirous to continue a constant correspondence: I shall be glad to hear you justify yourself.
Yesterday I saw a letter of yours to Mr. Faulkner, and on so distressful a subject, that I very sensibly shared in your affliction. I am naturally apt to pity the woes of my fellow creatures, but the wounds of my friend are my own. Here my office ought to be to administer comfort to you in so great a calamity; but, I know, how much easier it is to preach patience and resignation than to practise either. The strongest reason acts but feebly upon the heart that is loaded with grief, nor is the highest eloquence powerful enough to heal a wounded spirit; time, and a firm trust in a Divine Providence, which undoubtedly orders all things for the best, are the only ministers of comfort in our misfortunes; and I hope your own virtue will enable you to bear this affliction with the resolution of a christian, though joined with all the tenderness of a friend, and the fondest esteem for the memory of that relation you have lost.
I desired Mr. Faulkner, about six weeks ago, to return you my thanks for your kindness in procuring me the books from Mr. Giles's, which I received safe, and also the box of those writings of mine. And I am extremely grieved to find that Faulkner neglected mentioning either. I had not known it only for your postscript, wherein you desire to know whether I received them. I would have wrote to you before this, if I had not believed that your charge was paid; for Dr. Delany is, I believe, by this time, in London; and he wrote to me from Bath for directions where to find you in London, that he might pay off his bill, and return you his thanks for your kindness to us. Let me beg the favour of you to acquaint Mr. Giles with this, because I would not, for any consideration, seem to forget my creditors, though in another country. If Dr. Delany be not come to you, I desire you will inquire out his lodgings; and I believe you may be informed either at lord Bolingbroke's, or Mr. Percival's in Conduit street. Tell him your name whenever you go to wait upon him; and I assure you the doctor will be extremely friendly to you, and glad to see you, for I have often talked to him of you.
I received ninety-four books from you, but I believe you must commit them to the charge of Mr. Faulkner; because I have no opportunity of selling, but bestowing them; for when any of my friends are desirous to have one, and ask me where they are to be had, I am always too generous or too bashful (which is a great rarity among us Irish) to accept of payment for them; and by this means I shall be under the necessity of giving all away, which would be too expensive an article to me. Now what I think would answer, would be, to send what I have not bestowed to Mr. Faulkner, and let him publish in his newspaper, that he has imported some of those books, and let him be accountable to you for the sale. I wrote to you for thirty, which I expected to give away; and I believe I have distributed so many. When I receive your answer, I will give you a particular account, and remit you the money for them, the first opportunity. If I find Dr. Delany's lodgings out from any friends here, or from his letters to me, I will give you immediate notice. I should be glad to have any catalogues that were now selling in London; and if you could send any of them, or any other little pamphlets, they may be directed to the lord bishop of Killala, in Dublin, for me. I never received either the Monthly Chronicle for March, nor the Historia Literaria for ditto: I believe it miscarried, by being directed to Faulkner; they were not for Dr. Delany, but for another gentleman in town; but I had forgot, till the gentleman asked me for them the other day. I shall be glad to hear from you soon; and am your most sincere friend,
There is one Green, a bookseller, lately come from London to this town, who has imported a very curious collection of books; but he has rated them so excessively dear, and seems to act so haughtily in the sale of them, that I believe above three fourths of them will be sent back tomorrow to England again. I made the dean of St. Patrick's go with me there the first morning; but all the books were too dear for either of us.
I FIND you are resolved to lay me under so many obligations to you, that, upon principles of gratitude, I must be always desirous to promote your interest to the utmost of my power. I think you have nothing more left now to do, but to make the experiment, by putting it in my way to return your favours. I sent sixty-five books to Mr. Faulkner's, and hope some time or other to have it in my power to make acknowledgments. I find Mr. Faulkner sent you a little pamphlet of my writing, called An Infallible Scheme to pay the Debts of this Nation. I have the honour to see it mistaken for the dean's, both in Dublin and in your part of the world; but I am still diffident of it, whether it will merit esteem or contempt. It was a sudden whim, and I was tempted to send it into the world by the approbation which the dean (my wisest and best friend) expressed, when he read it: if you were concerned in the printing of it, I hope you will be no sufferer. I am very much obliged to you for receiving the young printer, whom I recommended to you, in so friendly a manner; if I can, on this side of the water, be serviceable to any friend of yours, command me.
I am much pleased to hear of your acquaintance with Dr. Delany, who is the best of friends; and I do not doubt but your afiection for him will increase with your intimacy with him. I desire you to sent my service to him, and tell him, that the dean designs to trouble him to buy a convenient microscope, that he may find out both myself and my house with greater ease than he can at present, because we are both so excessively small, that he can scarce discover either. I hope to hear soon from you, although it be parliament time, and you hurried with business; and shall always be your sincere friend and servant,
TO THE REV. MR. WINDAR.
I HAD the favour of yours of the 6th instant. I have been above a fortnight confined by an accidental strain, and can neither ride nor walk, nor easily write, else you should have heard from me sooner. I am heartily sorry for your disorder, and am the more sensible by those I have myself, though not of the same kind, but a constant disposition to giddiness, which I fear my present confinement, with the want of exercise, will increase. I am afraid you could not light upon a more unqualified man to serve you, or my nearest friends, in any manner, with people in power; for I have the misfortune to be not only under the particular displeasure both of the king and queen, as every body knows, but likewise of every person both in England and Ireland who are well with the court, or can do me good or hurt: And although this and the two last lieutenants were of my old acquaintance, yet I never could prevail with any of them to give a living to a sober grave clergyman, who married my near relation, and has been long in the church; so that he still is my curate, and I reckon this present governor will do like the rest. I believe there is not any person you see from this town, who does not know that my situation is as I describe. If you or your son were in favour with any bishop or patron, perhaps it might be contrived to have them put in mind, or solicited; but I am no way proper to be the first mover, because there is not one spiritual or temporal lord in Ireland whom I visit, or by whom I am visited, but am as mere a monk as any in Spain; and there is not a clergyman on the top of a mountain who so little converses with mankind, or is so little regarded by them, on any other account except showing malice. All this I bear as well as I can; eat my morsel alone like a king, and am constantly at home when I am not riding or walking, which I do often, and always alone.
I give you this picture of myself out of old friendship; from whence you may judge what share of spirits and mirth is now left me. Yet I cannot read at nights, and am therefore forced to scribble something, whereof nine things in ten are burned next morning. Forgive this tediousness in the pen, which I acquire by the want of spending it in talk; and believe me to be, with true esteem and friendship,
Your most obedient humble servant, &c.
FEBRUARY 7, 1732-3.
I HAVE had the honour of a very obliging letter, from a person whose penetration I flattered myself I could have escaped; although I might assure him with great sincerity, that I never had a more earnest desire for any man's acquaintance and friendship, than for his. Upon the late occasion, it is true, my design was to have travelled and been received incognito. I had taken my measures for it in the best manner I could devise. But all my art and travestie was vain. His Mentor was superiour to my Uranius, who could not avoid being discovered, as in the story of Telemachus, and striking sail to a more exalted divinity. I own I was somewhat concerned at my being seen in my undress, through all the magnificence of those disguises I had put on. But Mentor has so much the air of a benign and friendly spirit, that my confusion was soon over: and methinks I could be exposed in the midst of all my defects, without any concern, provided it were only to those whom he judges worthy of his intimacy.
Nothing can be more distinguishing, in regard of an unhappy people, than his character of those abroad; nor more just than his remarks upon the genius and sufferings of those at home. But jacta est alea: the set of people he means, can no longer be looked upon as a nation, either in or out of their country. Those who have chosen a voluntary exile, to get rid of oppression, have given themselves up, with great gayety of spirit, to the slaughter, in foreign and ungrateful service, to the number of above 120,000 men, within these forty years. The rest, who have been content to stay at home, are reduced to the wretched condition of the Spartan helots. They are under a double slavery. They serve their inhuman lordlings, who are the more severe upon them, because they dare not yet look upon the country as their own; while all together are under the supercilious dominion and jealousy of another overruling power.
To return to our exiles. Mentor certainly does them that justice which cannot be denied them by any of those nations, among whom they have served; but is seldom or never allowed them by those who can write or speak English correctly. They have shown a great deal of gallantry in the defence of foreign states and pretences, with very little advantage to themselves, but that of being free; and without half the outward marks of distinction they deserved. These southern governments are very slow in advancing foreigners to considerable or gainful preferments. Their chief attention is reserved for their own subjects, to make them some amends for the heavy yoke they have laid over them. The only fruit the Irish have reaped by their valour, is their extinction; and that general fame, which they have lost themselves, to acquire for their country, already lost, with respect to them. They had the honour of Ireland at heart; while those who actually possessed their country, were little affected with any other glory but that of England; which they advanced with great bravery during all the late wars. They were content to forget they were Irishmen; and England, in return for that compliment, has graciously conferred upon them, as she still does, the first employments both at sea and land; whereby they have been enabled to leave very comfortable establishments to their children: whereas the Irish exiles can only be said to have buried the synagogue with honour. They were undoubtedly the flower of the catholick distinction of subjects. They are extinct to a very inconsiderable number, and have not left one single settlement in all the continent to any of their posterity. They had always the post of honour allowed them, where it was mixed with danger; and lived in perpetual fire, which was all they could bequeath as an inheritance to their issue, who are extremely few, on account of the little encouragement given for begetting them. The very scum of French refugees have had much better treatment and fortune in those countries, where they were only a charge to the government, than the Irish nobility and gentry have met with, where their courage and fidelity were in a great measure its support. Had it not been much better for them to have gone in search of new establishments out of the known world, and made some settlement for themselves and their posterity in the antipodes?
As I was but a new comer among them, I have often blamed their men of chief distinction and sense, for having rejected the terms offered by the prince of Orange to my uncle Tyrconnel, in favour of the Irish catholicks in general, before the decisive battle of Aghrim; which (by the by) till the sudden fall of their general, was fought with more bravery on their side, than any battle has been, perhaps, for some centuries past, by any people under equal disadvantages. The prince was touched with the fate of a gallant nation, that had made itself a victim to French promises, and ran headlong to its ruin for the only purpose, in fact, of advancing the French conquests in the Netherlands, under the favour of that hopeless diversion in Ireland, which gave work enough to 40000 of the best troops of the grand alliance of Augsbourg. He longed to find himself at the head of the confederate army, with so strong a reinforcement. In this anxiety he offered the Irish catholicks the free exercise of their religion; half the churches of the kingdom; half the employments civil and military too, if they pleased, and even the moiety of their ancient properties. These proposals, though they were to have had an English act of parliament for their sanction, were refused with universal contempt. Yet the exiles, in the midst of their hard usage abroad, could not be brought to repent of their obstinacy. Whenever I pressed them upon the matter, their answer was generally to this purpose; "If England can break her publick faith, in regard of the wretched articles of Limerick, by keeping up a perpetual terrour and persecution over that parcel of miserable, unarmed peasantry, and dastard gentry we have left at home, without any other apology or pretence for it, but her wanton fears and jealousies; what could have been expected by the men of true vigour and spirit, if they had remained in their country, but a cruel war, under greater disadvantages, or such a universal massacre as our fathers have often been threatened with by the confederate rebels of Great Britain?" — Ad quod non fuit responsum. — Yet their liberty and glory abroad is but the price of their blood; and, even at that expense, they have only purchased a more honourable Haseldama.
It was impossible for a people to thrive, after having been driven by their too warrantable distrust of their enemies, into the snares laid for them by their false friends. France, upon their arrival, gave them a cruel reform of their officers and of their pay for a welcome, by a scandalous breach of faith; sacrificed them to her wars; made their zeal and spirit the dupes of her idle pretences; and, at last, inhumanly disbanded great numbers of them to the wide world, after the peace of Ryswick. Had they been kept together in one body from the beginning, to the number of 30000 men, according to the promise that tempted them partly to quit their country, they had made a much better figure in the world. Richelieu's politicks were against it. He was a great master, particularly in the judgment he had formed of the valour of his countrymen; since he has left it on record, that bodies of foreign troops must be mixed with French, in order to give them emulation. Upon this account the Irish were parcelled by brigades among the many armies entertained by the French king. Although this repartition was very mortifying to them, they ever behaved in their several bands apart with particular distinction. They never found themselves in any engagement, where they did not pierce the opposite enemy. Not one regiment of them ever fled, till it was in a manner left alone; and during all the late wars, in which their principals were generally worsted, they cannot be said to have lost two pair of colours. The French never gained a victory, to which those handfuls of Irish were not known to have contributed in a singular manner; nor lost a battle, in which they did not preserve, or rather augment their reputation, by carrying off colours and standards from the victorious enemy. From this we may conclude, without any great vanity, that they had been an impenetrable phalanx, if they had been allowed to continue in one body; and that, instead of acquiring glory by retail, they had gained complete victories; as one single brigade of them did at Mellazo, having driven the whole German army into the town or the sea, after they had been deserted by the Spanish troops and generals to a man. Yet their principal officers, who have signalized themselves equally upon all occasions, have been advanced to no higher preferment than that of lieutenant general; whereas Scots, Germans, Livonians, Italians, have been promoted to the dignity of marêchals of France. But as the valour of the Irish is already taken for granted abroad, and their zeal turned into a sort of ridicule, on account of the unprecedented usage it has met with at home, it is modestly presumed all over the world, that they scarce need any reward for their virtue, but their virtue alone.
I have often been at a loss for the cause of this odd destiny, that attends the Irish catholicks in all foreign courts and countries. They are the first called upon for any service that requires fidelity and resolution; the last distinguished with any eminent marks of honour or advantage. Let them behave ever so well, if it be thought fit to give them any recompense, it is always inferiour to what might be judged suliicient for men of any other country in the like case. Whatever others might be entitled to grumble at as a reward, must be received by them as a gift. Whatever is taken from them, either at home or abroad, is lawful prize. Their zeal, in regard of loyalty and religion, has been so cruelly misrepresented, and their unparallelled sufferings so involved in shades, or clad with an air of justice, that they are become a by-word in all countries alike; which are perfectly agreed to keep them low, after the example of their own princes, upon a presumption that they could not have been used so extremely ill, if they had not in some measure deserved it. A long and perpetual train of misfortunes has a strange tendency toward putting a people in the wrong; or, at best, making them the objects of ridicule. The Irish, for having been steady to their principles, and not as cunning knaves as the two neighbouring nations, have groaned, during the two last centuries, under all the weight of injustice, calumny, and tyranny, of which there is no example, in equal circumstances, to be shown in any history of the universe. All this calumny has been sounded into the ears of all Europe by their enemies, both foreign and domestick; and thereby gained credit, more or less, on account of not having been sufficiently controverted or refuted in time. Their constant misfortunes have given a sort of sanction to all this imposture and iniquity. They could not defend themselves, in the midst of so much division at home, from so many powerful and confederated enemies, who had alienated the hearts of their very sovereigns from them, in order to make him the first, and them the last victims of the tragedy. In the mean time they were involved in too much war, or in too much misery, to be the relaters of their own story with any advantage; or found the English language as backward as the English nation and government, to do them common justice. Their enemies have spared them the labour with a vengeance.
The mongrel historians of the birth of Ireland, from Stanihurst and Dr. King down to the most wretched scribbler, cannot afford them a good word, in order to curry favour with England. Our callow bards of the drama, with the same view, draw their first pens against their country, and force their way into the world through their mother's womb. The English writers take the hints from them with pleasure; and delight in grafting the flattest nonsense, and most silly artifices, upon teigueism, to divert that honest generation of numskulls, the mobs of England, from the Land's End to Berwick upon Tweed. In regard of improprieties in the turn of a foreign speech or accent, totus mundus egit histrionem; but the genuine characters of a nation ought to be as sacred, even upon the stage, as in history. In the days of king Charles the second, the Irish bravery and fidelity had the applause of whole theatres; but now nothing but Irish stupidity, and wretched small craft, will go down, even upon that of Dublin.
As all the honour the protestant Irish have acquired by their pen or their swords, passes generally for English; so the English, and their adherents in Ireland, have been in a long confederacy, before Clarendon appeared, to suppress or tarnish all the renown accruing to that unhappy country, from the worth and gallant actions of the catholicks. Their pens are ever dipped in bitterness and detraction; as if whatever could be reckoned valuable in that unfortunate people, were a lessening to the honour of the English nation, to which all their incense is addressed. However, though they have done horrible outrages to justice and veracity, by propagating lies, more or less, all over the world, they must be allowed to have acted with great sagacity, in favour of themselves. For if the Irish had not been represented, with uncommon industry, and in full cry, as a barbarous and stupid people, breakers of pubiick faith, cowards, murderers of the innocent, without any provocation, in every corner of their country; rebels to their lawful sovereigns, in whose defence they have ruined and annihilated themselves; all these attributes (except that of folly) had necessarily fallen to the share of England; and she must have been looked upon, by the whole universe, as the most lawless and inhuman tyrant upon the face of the earth. Yet all this villany ought not, in strict justice, to be imputed to her. She had not gone all those lengths of cruelty and iniquity, if she had not been under the force of Cromwell, and the influence of a Clarendon.
In the mean time Ireland is left to trapes in her old draggletailed weeds, by her own children; bribed, by their attention and respect for England, to abandon her to all the dirt and barbarism laid at her door by her ancient and modern enemies; while other countries are brightening up in their story and character by the industry of their writers successively labouring to adorn them. The newest accounts given all over Europe, of the soil, genius, improvement, and customs of Ireland, may be dated 400 years ago. She is still reckoned as savage as she was under the oppression of the Danes, or after the first incursion of the English, who drove her, in spite of her voluntary submission, into wildness. For, after all, if I invite people civilly into my house, and they will not admit me to sit at my own fire, but rather will grow insolent, and force my family to herd in the bare court among my cattle, which I cannot reckon my own, but upon the foot of their will and pleasure; I must either quit my dwelling altogether, or lay about me like a madman till I can repossess it.
On account of this perpetual silence about Ireland, all Europe looks upon her as under a constant fog, the seat of dulness, and the dismal mansion of ignorance and distress. Scarce any people are taken for mere Irish, either in England or on the continent, but the vulgar of the country, and the few unfortunate exiles. The very distinction carries in the face of it a lessening, and strikes the fancy with the ungrateful idea of misery. Besides, the arms of whiggism are extremely long, and reach them to their remotest haunts. There are a thousand instances of this enchantment; and, notwithstanding the known ingratitude of France, some of the Irish had been marêchals of France before now: the whole voice of that nation was for them; but the fear of disobliging the present government of England, gave a check to their promotion. As for the new nobility and gentry of Ireland, they pass currently for English abroad; and Dublin, the fourth city of Christendom, is still taken for no more than the Eblana of Ptolemy.
Thus Ireland has not only lost all her ancient progeny of any distinction, and seen them buried under the ruins of calumny and distress, by the overbearing pride and power of those several swarms of inmates thrown in upon her, at several times, and supported by her masters of Great Britain; those very colonies are no sooner settled in that country, and warmed into affection for it, than they are taken for mere Irish too; and so must be driven off to make room for new ones. Yet all this is not enough. Ireland might still have some name in the world, if she were allowed what belongs to her: But she is stripped into the bargain of all the honour and merit that might redound to her, either from the actions or geniuses of her latter offspring. The very name of Irish carries so uncouth an idea along with it, especially in England, that all those who depend chiefly upon her for their fortune, or their fame, are shy, at their first setting out, of making an open confession of their country, and suffer themselves to pass for English; while England permits the cheat to pass upon the rest of the world, and naturalizes them by a tacit consent; upon the modest presumption that wit and merit, such as theirs, can be only of her own growth. Thus England, without being at the pains of assuming it, is allowed a right to all those who have either written or fought in English with any distinction, as Scotland impudently whips away from Ireland all her old saints and her sophists, on account of having shared with her the same name of Scotia. The Ushers, Boyles, Congreves, Garths, Denhams, Swifts, Ormonds, Cadogans, Aylmers, &c. are all taken for English in foreign countries. Mac Flecno, and all the wretched adepts in metaphysicks, are counted Irish in course: We have had but one Dunse of irrefragable fame, the father of Dunses by thousands all over Europe; and the Scots have kidnapped him from us, by the consent or connivance of all modern dictionaries, notwithstanding the number of sheriffs and sheriffs bailiffs, of the same name, upon the records of our ancient city of Dublin. In short, what can Ireland have left her, but her bogs and her stupidity, since England and Scotland have swept away the stakes? If we must give up all our great men of war and figure to England, let her even show us the example, and resign to the Normans her Plantagenets, Talbots, and Nevills, conquerors of France.
However, we will not stick out in our controversy about these mighty men. They shall belong to England, since they have made her a present of their arms and allegiance. But, in the name of wonder, let us have our men of parts and letters. Let not the English wits, and particularly my friend Mr. Pope (whom I had the honour to bring up to London, from our retreat in the forest of Windsor, to dress à la mode, and introduce at Will’s coffeehouse), run down a country, as the seat of dulness, to whose geniuses he owns himself so much indebted. What encomiums does he not lay out upon Roscommon and Walsh, in the close of his excellent Essay upon Criticism? How gratefully does he express his thanks to Dr. Swift, sir Samuel Garth, Mr. Congreve, and my poor friend and neighbour doctor Parnell, in the preface to his admirable translation of the Iliad, in return for the many lights and lessons they administered to him both in the opening, and the prosecution of that great undertaking? Is it possible that these heroes of wit and learning, whom he commemorates with so much applause, and of whom he glories in having been the pupil, could have been of the birth of Ireland? while England could only furnish him with titled pageants and names of quality, fitter to swell and encourage the subscription, than to polish or enrich the performance? But, granting they were Irishmen; that it seems is no manner of argument in favour of their country. Were not all those lights and lessons given by them to Mr. Pope, in the purer air of England? Was it not to that air alone they owed the refinement and elevation of their geniuses? Mr. Pope, though the best natured man living, to my knowledge, had laughed at them, with great gayety, had they pretended to forward any notices or instructions to him by letters written under their native fogs.
I remember to have been present at a scene humorous enough upon this very subject at Will's coffeehouse. The sages there, in profound contemplation, were very gravely offering their several reasons, why wit could not be of the growth of Ireland. Some would have it owing to the bogginess of the soil, which must undoubtedly and imperceptibly convey too much humidity to the brain; others to the perpetual cloudiness of the sky, that must, of all necessity, cast a dull influence, infusing melancholy, sloth, and heaviness to the understanding: many to the want of sunshine, so sovereign in invigorating and giving cheerfulness and alacrity to the spirits. Among such a number of shining geniuses, who brightened up under the continual mist over London, it was hard to end the dispute about the cause, while all were agreed about the fact. At length the wag, Bob Dodwell (who had a little before forced a company of foot from lord Peterborow, as a sort of amends for a severe joke upon his country), rose up with a very demure countenance, as demanding audience of the very oaf-full assembly; which being granted ——
"My lords and gentlemen" says he, "it is a very moot point to which of those causes we may ascribe the universal dulness of the Irish. It may be owing, perhaps, to some one; perhaps to the combination of all together: God only knows, who was pleased to order it so from the beginning. But that the case is, as you agree it in your great wisdom, I shall offer a familiar and unanswerable proof. My father had studied with great applause in Oxford (for had he studied in Dublin, where he was born, he had made but a very slender progress in learning, as you shall find by the sequel.) In short, he was allowed, in that famous university, to be both an excellent divine, and a most eloquent preacher. From thence he removed to Dublin; where, on account of the reputation he had justly acquired abroad, he was instantly preferred to the parish of St. Mican's. Great was the concourse to hear him; but much greater the surprise to find how little his sermons answered the character the world had given of him. This could not miss being whispered to him: he made several efforts, in vain, to regain his credit: his sermons were still worse and worse liked: at length his church was almost forsaken, and he left to hold forth to very few but the old women.
"The man was at his wit's end to find the cause of this unaccountable change in him: at last he wisely judged it must be owing to the climate in which he writ; and to make proof of it, set out one Monday morning in the packetboat for Holyhead; there composed his sermon for next Sunday; and returning to Dublin on the eve, after having begged of some friends, out of mere charity, to assist at it, preached divinely well, to the utter astonishment of his auditory, charmed at the excellency of his performance. This miracle rung immediately over the whole city; and he, making use of the same happy stratagem every week, of composing at Holyhead what he was to deliver from the pulpit in Dublin, the doctor's name was up: all Dublin thronged to hear him; and persons of the best distinction resorted thither from all parts of the kingdom to see this second Livy.
"However, as the devil owed the doctor a spite, it chanced unfortunately for him, that he was obliged, for some slight indispositions, to take physick two or three several times on the very days the packet boat set out; and being thereby under the unhappy necessity of penning his sermons for the week in Dublin, his auditory were astonished, on those occasions, to find them good for nothing. By these ups and downs of the doctor the mystery at length came out; and whenever the packet boat sailed for Holyhead, the common question, over the whole city, was, whether the doctor had gone on board? If the answer was in the affirmative, there was a universal joy throughout; all were sure of being charmed the next Sunday. If in the negative, the poor doctor was left, on that day, to preach to the bare walls."
While Bob held forth in this manner, with a very grave phyz, that covered a wicked undersneer, very natural to him, the scene (I must own) was admirable, in regard of the auditory; and could give a by-stander room to form a certain judgment of the weight of brains that came to the share of every one of them. Upon the opening of the discourse, all ears were alert: it was a solemn silence and profound attention! for when that Demogorgon, Ireland, is to be run down, it is wonderful how almost every English heart bounds for joy. Before Bob had brought his father back from Holyhead the first time, some had sense enough to see the ridicule levelled at themselves, and sneaked off. Others were so numskull'd as to wait for the sermon composed in Anglesey, and delivered with applause at St. Mican's, whereat a sudden light broke in upon their noddles; they could stand the joke no longer, and slunk away too. But when it came to the unhappy consequences of the doctor's taking physick, the whole shoal of virtuosoes were sensible to the stroke, and voided the room at once, except one blue, one green ribbon, and a lieutenant-general of the queen's army, that had courage and insipidity enough to hear the poor doctor preach to the bare walls. Then the cloud that had hung so long and so obstinately over their intellectuals, disappeared. However, they were too stout to quit the field as their betters had done, and so contented themselves with casting sheep's eyes and silly leers at each other, while Bob and I enjoyed their stupidity.
This received notion of dulness in the Irish, has not taken its rise from the mob, though they gladly join in the cry. The English populace, the bluntest and most unenlightened race of people in Europe, are incapable of making so nice a discovery. They can readily imagine that the Irish have horns and hoofs; and it has been found easy, and of excellent use in politicks, not very long ago, to persuade them that every Irishman was somewhat more than of Venner's gang; since, instead of only chasing, he was to have slain his thousands. What affects the English mob, with regard to Irishmen, is terrour. Our English ancestors dispatched into Ireland, and their descendants, have taken effectual care to fasten this bugbear upon their mother country, and represent the Irish as monsters and cannibals, in order to justify their own more barbarous oppressions upon that people. These dreadful ideas have left so strong an impression, that even at this day, when the nations are more mixed than they have been formerly, an Irishman is looked upon by the vulgar in England, remote from great towns, as a raw head and bloodybones! It is therefore that the rumour spread of an Irish massacre has been found, of all stratagems, the most effectual toward promoting any change of government in England, by the extreme facility of raising a fright in the good people there, whenever the Trojan horse is supposed to be filled with Irishmen. This may suffice to excuse that honest generation of mortals (for whom I have a great regard, as I have a real concern for all men that are easily thrown into a panick fear) from having had any hand in introducing the opinion of Irish dulness. That grand arcanum could be discovered only by the sublimer geniuses of England.
However, this opinion, foolishly attributed to the climate, has some truth in it, with regard to those remnants of old nobility and gentry, who have been stripped, by the iniquity of Cromwell, and the greater one of Clarendon, of all they had a title to, except the blood and spirit of their ancestors. These are a severe and a very inconvenient burden to them at home, where they are obliged to keep them under hatches in the neighbourhood of barracks, and of more tyrannical justices of peace. There are in Ireland a thousand well born Brutuses of this kind, whose souls are stupified by the perpetual dread of persecution, and dare not peep out of their bodies, lest they should fall under the lash of the penal laws. But snatch these potatoe mongers from their immediate slavery, or from the ploughshares to which their fathers have been reduced, into an air of liberty and politeness; transplant them but for one month into the hotbeds of London, how sudden is the change! how surprising the improvement! The booby instantly commences beau, bully, sharper, and cuckoldmaker with a vengeance! he is passe, presto, vite, Jack of all trades; all fire, all mercury, in the turn of a hand! With what dexterity does he empty the pockets of that notable son of earth, the English squire, at seven or eleven? What a sturdyback is he to a bashful English peer? What an awe does his modest assurance create in all the assemblies of men? How do the London ladies fall into fits at his approach, alarmed at the sight of his broad shoulders, and engaging, though somewhat rough, addresses? But, to conclude this wonderful metamorphose of mere animals into smart and dextrous fellows, by the change of air, though it may go against one's stricter morals to justify their industry; it is hard to blame them for taking what reprisals they can upon the publick in England, by way of revenge, or at least some amends for the irreparable wrongs and losses at home.
In the mean time, it is impossible for an upright and good natured spirit, not to look with concern upon the inhuman slavery of the poor in Ireland. Since they have neither libery nor schools allowed them; since their clergy, generally speaking, can have no learning but what they scramble for, through the extremities of cold and hunger, in the dirt and ergotism of foreign universities; since all together are under the perpetual dread of persecution, and have no security for the enjoyment of their lives or their religion, against the annual thunders of the English vatican, but the present moment: how can it be expected they should keep clear of superstition, which is so elegantly and so truly called by a modern author, the spleen of the soul? But that of my spirit is up, and I must out with it, after having asked pardon of my friend Mr. Pope, for having animadverted upon his jokes in the Dunciad, with regard to Ireland. Those railleries are so agreeable to the humour of the world in general, that, like favourite vices, they carry their excuse along with them.
Heu patria! infidis nimium vicina Britannis;
Olim altrix divûm; soboli jam sæpe noverca
Dura tuæ, inque dies aliis data præda colonis.
Te, dum spernit, arat novus accola: mox ubi cultam
Diligit, illiciti pœnas luit exul amoris;
Aut sua colla jugo, demissis aurbus, ultro
Aptat, inops animi, et jam non sua seminat arva.
Sic, uno excusso, te comprimit alter adulter
Nequior, et scortum infœlix post improba calcat
Oscula; seu Scotus ille rapax, seu Saxo superbus.
Quis Deus hisce favet stupris? tua deperit usque
Stirps antiqua; novis solum licet esse beatis:
Inque vicem sese tam dira examina pellunt
Certatim: tibi rara quies; tibi perfidus idem
Hostis et hospes inest. Qui dividit, imperat Anglus,
Immeritam in terris matrem te scilicet unam
Temnere fas, et amare nefas? Quis strenuus ausit
Consuluisse tibi, et non immemor esse parentis,
Semper in exitium præceps ruit. Imminet Anglus,
Iratisque frui divis jubet; utque tumescit
Bile jecur, crudelis et implacabilis instat.
Religio dat opem sceleri; nec deficit atrox
invita paris, discordia fratres.
Tantis victa malis servit fortuna Medusæ
Angliæ; at horrificos angues quatit ista quotannis,
Ut libet esse truci; seu rumpere fœdera malit,
Seu fera bella ciet civilia; spargere pestes
Vafra, dies condit lætos; tibi turpis egestas,
Et metus et dolus, et malesuade peritia legum
Invigilant: at nec melior, neque fortior illa,
Ni divisa ruas; ni tu tibi sævior hostis.
Nec satis est in vota tuæ jurâsse tyrannæ,
Et coluisse novos renuenti poplite ritus,
Improba si miseram non rideat, atque catenis
Crimina ficta tuis et dedecus insuper addat
Historiis fallax mordacibus: inde per orbem
Justis victa diis, simul immiserabilis audis.
Dùm despecta jaces, Angli pueri atque puellæ
Illudent, impunè rudem, stolidamque notantes,
Et magis insulsi jocus es et fabula vulgi.
Undique te lacerant spinæ; rapit Anglia flores
Usque tuos: . . . . .
. . . . . . Frustrà tibi lucet Apollo
Gratus, et æterno faverunt carmine Musæ;
Frustrà animos virtute tuos Mars impiger auxit:
Cedit in Angligenas decus et laus transfuga fures.
Nimirum quodcumque tui fecere nepotes
Fortiter, aut sacris moniti scripsere carnænis,
Desinit esse tuum! nec gens inimica cachinnis
Parcit, dum tibi raptat opes; tua splendida mendax
Induit et falsis ovat insgnita trophæis.
Proh scelus! Harpyæ manibus dum plaudit utrisque,
Te nudam atque inopem totus te sibilat orbis!
Nempe nec è gnatis aderit, qui vindicet ultor
Exuvias? si nemo domi, nisi proditor, ausim
Ferre, parens, licet exul, opem. Sanxisse nefandam,
Aut siluisse nefas fraudem. Manet unicus heros.
Ictus amore tui miseræ (cognomen Achillei
Is, ποδας ὠκυς, habet) nec tantis hostibus impar,
Sortis et invidiæ pergit tela aspera contra,
Et quatit indomitam, mediis in millibus, hastam.
Immemor ipse sui, spretæ memor usque parentis,
Hic tibi fidus adest — Hoc uno excepto, alienos
Quisque domi patitur manes; estque omnis Hibernus
Speve, metuve Anglus. —
The remains of the Irish (Relliquæ Dancum atque immitis Achillei) labour under another very great inconvenience. They are far from partaking of the indulgence, or rather privilege allowed to all other people, by an exemption from any general charge on account of personal defects or vilianies. If one Irishman, of any distinction, be found a blockhead, a knave, a traitor, or coward, there arises a certain mirth upon the discovery, among strangers of all kinds, especially the English; as if they were glad to light upon an example in that nation, of what is a pretty general rule in most countries, at this time of day. But, where they dare joke upon it, the single blot is imputed, with great gayety, to that whole people. Thus all Ireland is made answerable for the faults of every one of her children; and every one of these bears the whole weight of his country upon his shoulders. This is the greatest of all compliments, if taken in a right light. It presupposes a certain infallibility annexed to the Irish alone, which makes the world enjoy any exception from it with so much pleasure. In this uncouth attitude the Irishman must, in his own defence, and that of his whole country, be braver, and more nice, in regard of his reputation, than it is necessary for any other man to be. All that he gets generally for his pains, is the character of having behaved as might be expected from an Irishman: yet, if there be any crime or mistake in his conduct, not only he, but his whole country, is sure to pay for it. This, in strictness, regards only the Irishmen abroad; those at home may be Englishmen, and join in the banter, when they please.
All this is owing to the calumny dispersed, time out of mlnd, by the tongues and pens of the two neighbouring nations, in order to justify their own barbarous proceedings in regard of that unhappy people. But, not to mispend our time upon those wretched historians and geographers, who have continued so long to mislead the world in that respect, there has appeared, of late, a writer of importance, the malignity of whose aspersions upon the Irish, has spread itself, with an air, both at home and abroad. This is the famous lord Clarendon, whose long legend is translated into French. He was the man generally employed by king Charles the first, in that ruinous paper war he unfortunately waged with his parliamentarians, who never entered into negotiation with him, but with a view of imposing upon the people, and procuring a respite for themselves, when they were inferiour in the field. In this fatal medley of war and peace, both out of their proper season, the king was undone, as well as the church and monarchy, by the mixture of fear and corruption that reigned in Clarendon, and his fellows of the privy council. They engaged him to strip himself of his rights in favour of his rebels; and then took effectual care to alienate his mind from his most loyal subjects, especially the Irish, whom they represented as a parcel of inhuman, intractable, and senseless brutes, in order to deter him from accepting all they were worth in men and money, to support his sinking cause. These notable counsellors, after having done all the vile work inspired to them by their cowardice, or their hollow intrigues with parliament, fled generally to it, and became its dupes at last. The king, robbed by their infusions of the assistance of his most gallant and loyal friends, both in England and Ireland, found himself obliged to fly to the Scots, who soon delivered him up to his mortal enemies.
Clarendon followed the fate of the royal son, and would not suffer him to transport himself into Ireland, at the instance of that English hero, lord Digby, in order to vindicate his own cause, and that of his father, while he was yet alive. By his removal into France, that was then, and a long time before, in a tacit confederacy with the parliament, the father lost his life upon the scaffold; the loyalists, and especially the Irish, were devoted to destruction soon after, for having been willing to support the king, in spite of his council. They lost their lives, and all their lands at home, under the violence of a triumphant rebellion, when they had no prince to countenance or unite them. Numbers followed the royal exile; changed sides with him, as he was obliged to change protection with the contending powers of France and Spain; served him faithfully, and assisted him in his distress. But the Clarendons of the council had contrived matters so well, that the father king could not maintain his rights, because they would not let him trust his friends; nor the son ever be restored, but by the declared enemies and assassins of his father.
At the restoration, that ought to have settled the fundamentals both of church and state, upon a basis no more to be shaken by popular commotions, the joy was so universal throughout, upon the meeting of the king and his people, that they unhappily passed their time in capping of courtesy and compliments with each other. The king would exact nothing from them with an air of resolution, out of pure modesty and grateful deference to his restorers. Though he was very hard put to it for the maintaining of his own family, and in no manner of condition to reward his fellow sufferers, he was advised, forsooth, only to recommend to his people, with great humility, what he should have demanded with authority for the redress of his and their former wrongs, and the farther security both of the temporal and spiritual establishment. The people, on the other hand, were grown so weary of their past servitude, and so charmed to see their lawful prince among them, that they waited only for his commands, to show their prompt obedience, and looked upon all his slight overtures, as things he had very little at heart.
In this giddy interval, the occasion of securing the rights both of church and state was lost: and the prime minister Clarendon, who was taken for the king's second self, profited by the mutual ecstacy of king and people, to advance the ends of his own avarice and ambition. While the prince, after so tedious an exile, gave himself up to the enjoyment of his present happiness, the subjects squared all the regulations of government, and the measures of justice, by the standard of Clarendon, whom they reckoned the faithful echo of their master's intentions. The plans of ecclesiastical and civil establishments were equally committed to his care; and he has left such a gangrene in both, as has since reached their very vitals. The church, it is true, was restored to her livings; but her pales were so ill fenced, that an inundation of all those sectaries, who had so lately born her down to the ground, has forced its way into her very sanctuary; and while they graciously suffer her name to subsist, appropriate to themselves all her riches and authority. Clarendon, in that happy conjuncture, might have gone the lengths of Laud and Strafford with success. But their undaunted zeal never could inhabit such a heart as his. They had rendered her one of the most firm and amiable societies in the universe, free from tyranny, inaccessible to heresy: whereas, in her present state, she is become the helpless victim of Clarendon's politicks, and neither durst stand by her principles, nor assert her doctrine, while all her hierarchy is in heterodox hands. Whatever the appearances may be, she has, in fact, changed places with her adversary. Presbytery is become episcopal; and she is reduced, in regard of her authority and livings, to be only presbyterian; in short, she has taken a huge dose of laudanum; and is in no danger, though she have no pulse, because she has been forced to sleep extremely sound.
All this has befallen the church, as a necessary consequence of Clarendon's horrible prevarications and injustices with respect to the state. In all national churches, loyalty and religion are linked in a very close union, and tend naturally to the support of each other. Where the one is wounded in any essential part, the evil is taking, and the other suffers of course. Clarendon opened the administration of king Charles the second, with the most unexampled and impolitick scene, in regard of monarchy, that ever appeared in the world. The church and monarchy had been just rescued from the claws of a horrid rebellion. Those loyalists, whom neither the corruption of the former privy council, nor the terrours of the parliament, had withdrawn from their zeal for the royal cause, had been long groaning under cruel oppression or miserable exile. They had now reason to flatter themselves, not only with the repossession of their lands, but the reward of their sufferings and services. But, though thousands of loyal families had been undone by the rebellion, Clarendon, by imposing on his master's indolence and facility, ordered matters so, that he was the only considerable gainer by the Restoration, and made his fortune by perpetuating the distress and unaccountable hard fate of the cavaliers, after the return of their prince. Those men of quality alone, who had the king's immediate favour, or cunning enough to deal with the chancellor in his own way, were reinstated in their lands. The rest, and the far greater number, were left to the wide world, or the permission of sharping by a lottery, which unworthy resource was soon taken from them. The rebels and their issue, the spawn of fanaticism and rebellion, were continued in their ill-gotten possessions; and consequently, as they had art enough to dissemble their old religion and principles, were gaily admitted into the best preferments both in church and state, and lent a helping hand to all their brethren in iniquity, under the same mask. The abandoned cavaliers, and their disinherited offspring, must even make the best of a bad world; and since they were undone by loyalty, endeavour to repair their broken fortunes by faction, and lie in wait for an opportunity to be revenged of the royal family. This could not be long missing in a government, the majority of whose supporters were divided against it by their rotten and antimonarchical principles; and therefore it is observable, that the most strenuous opposers of the royal cause since the restoration, were, and still are, the descendants of those families that had behaved with the staunchest loyalty in the days of king Charles the first.
Thus the proceedings of Clarendon, upon the restoration, only laid in seed for a larger crop of rebellion. How could the church and monarchy thrive, by fostering their covert foes in their very bosom, and obliging their only friends to become their inveterate enemies? No loyalty in the universe, but the Irish alone, could be proof against such usage. No church in Christendom, not even the catholick, could stand firm and united, if sectaries of all the present denominations were admitted, upon the merit of one ceremony, or rather chosen to make up her hierarchy. And thus Clarendon, by his unjust and interested politicks, has been the real father of whiggism, the second edition corrected and amended of the Roundheads, that has found the way to make an indisputable property of Ireland, and to turn the natural frame of the church and state of England hors de page, by the address of stepping into their places.
This may seem hard upon the memory of that gentleman; but, after the most impartial reflection, it will be found undoubted truth. The gallant lord Digby opened the charge against him in parliament, the third year of his maleadministration, to no purpose. His ascendant was still too prevalent over the king and the English nation. Most of the rebellious members, who owed their all to him, were yet alive; and the universities had not yet had time to form the youth to the ancient principles of honour and integrity. At length the veil was drawn off, and the eyes of the whole nation opened upon the iniquity of Clarendon, during the most loyal and wise session of parliament that perhaps ever was seen in England. But it was too late. Foundations could not be removed then, without threatening the whole building once again. The only redress that could be found for such a heap of crying injustices, that are, and ever must be, in force, was the head of Clarendon, that contrived and established them — an admirable statemender, who had found no other expedient for the support of the monarchy, but that of putting loyalty to death!
He fled his country and his master, after he had done them all the mischief he could, because he durst not stand his trial. He vanished, and left a horrible stench behind him to this day. The few friends he had, upon his impeachment, could find no defence for him against the vile treachery of having kept correspondence with his master's enemies during his exile, and made a visit, incognito, to Cromwell, upon his return from his embassy in Spain. He had no pretence to secure him from the vengeance due to his former crimes, but that ample act of oblivion he had penned himself upon the restoration, and had made so vastly comprehensive, in order to find room in it for his own iniquity. But that mare magnum could not save him from the prodigious charge of having sold, not settled the whole kingdom of Ireland afterward. His flight alone could rescue him from the wrath of the whole English nation against him, for his having doomed so many thousands of innocent, or rather of meriting people, to the utmost extremities of shame, cold and hunger, to serve the purposes of his own corruption, and make rebellion as lasting as the world.
Not all the mutual cruelty of the civil war, not the massacre acted in Ireland, first under the connivance of the roundhead justices at Clontarf, Ballock, &c.; next by the Scots in the island of Maggee, near Carrickfergus, and then by sir Phelim O Neil's brutal revenge in a part of the north, which was retaliated more than tenfold by Coote, Ireton, and Cromwell, over that whole kingdom, can equal the list of those loyal Irish families which have been out of the world in miserable infamy by the pen of Clarendon! The rump-parliament, and all its emissaries, were but transient plagues, that rioted for a while over the church, the state, and the royal family of England. The hand of God soon overtook them. They died, and all their iniquities and abominations had died with them, had not the church, the state, and the royal family, found their bane perpetuated to immortality, by the single corruption of Mr. Hyde, the chancellor of the exchequer and the lord high chancellor of England.
During his voluntary exile, Clarendon, to justify himself, and his amphibious companions of the former privy council, digested at Rouen that long and eloquent satire he had composed, for the most part, in the isle of Jersey, upon the king's father and all his friends, but especially the Irish; because they never can forgive who do the wrong. He has taken a vast deal of pains to blanch rebellion in all its promoters, and cast invidious colours upon the most eminent loyalists. He can scarce find a man of thorough worth and sense in the royal party in England, except Mr. Hyde, the chancellor of the exchequer, and the lord Falkland. No Irishman, has the honour of his approbation, but Daniel O Neil and colonel Wogan. However, though he allows the former more sense than came to the share of all his countrymen together, he vitiates that sense with a mixture of too much cunning, whereby he mounted to the sublime post of groom of the bedchamber, which, in his opinion, ought to be inaccessible to an Irishman. As for colonel Wogan, he is so much in love with him, that he sinks the mention of his country; and though he executed his purpose with wonderful courage and dexterity, he looks upon him as a little out of his senses, because he was extremely loyal and brave. He omits, however, giving him the honour of having saved the king's life at the battle, or rather flight, of Worcester, by the desperate stand he made at the head of 300 horse against Cromwell's whole army, in the suburbs of that town, till the king and colonel Careless were out of sight. How could the father king be maintained on his throne, or the son be restored to it by their friends, since, in the language of their dastard or corrupt counsellors, all that was brave, was mad; and all that was thoroughly loyal and firm, savoured of popery? But as an instance of the unfair dealing of the English historians, the glory of the escape at Worcester has always been ascribed to their countryman Careless; as if it were more honourable to fly with the king, than to stop those that are in full chace after him. The rest of the Irish, according to Clarendon, were a horrid compound of stupidity and barbarism, except the marquisses of Ormond and Clanricard; who were still more cunning than Daniel O Neil, and not half so mad as Wogan. Yet if the privy council of king Charles the first had been as wise, or as honest, as the supreme council of Kilkenny, he had never been engaged to devest himself of his own will and prerogative, till he was forced to maintain his cause with the wretched remains: he had never been sold by one people, or beheaded by another, who had nothing but treason in their hearts and cant in their religion.
But, on the other hand, Clarendon so kindly recommends the persons, and mixes such shining colours in the talents and characters of the most notorious traitors, that one can hardly find in his heart to detest them for their villanies. The virtues of the bravest cavaliers are tarnished; and the vices of the blackest republicans brightened up in his hands. Milton engages our fancies, perhaps, too far in favour of the devils, by the lively and beautiful images he often mixes with their characters: but if he had dealt with the angels, as Clarendon has with the cavaliers, the devils had undoubtedly been the heroes of his poem. — In short, he has left a legend to all posterity, the best lesson that has ever yet been given to wicked subjects, and the most encouraging, to dethrone or destroy their kings.
If justice had been done to that voluminous treatise, it should have had the same fate with the petition he left behind him in London, addressed to the house of lords, by way of justification, which was unanimously voted, by both houses, a malicious and scandalous paper, and a reproach to the justice of the nation.
But that posthumous work came out in excellent season for him. The church was wonderfully prevented for him, which made her overlook the mortal wound he had given her through the side of the state. The state was possessed by his grandchild. The witnesses against his falsehoods and calumnies were no more in being. That England, which had him in the greatest detestation in 1667, and for many years after, subsisted no longer. The lists, both ecclesiastical and civil, were thronged either with the unwary admirers of his style, or with those that owed their fortunes to his motley establishments. His perpetual running down of the Irish, was no small help toward gaining him a general benevolence among the English and Scots, whose rank treasons he had taken so much pains to soften, or to spare. His books had frontlets of Scripture to recommend and sanctify all their venom. This is but the second part of the Spanish hypocrisy in America, while they murdered whole nations in cold blood, with their beads in their hands.
How could any better dealings be expected from a man who had resolved to make his fortune at any rate, nay at the expense of his trust, honour, and loyalty when abroad; as most of his companions in the former privy council had done before him, to keep their estates at home? He had none to lose that could be as beneficial to him as his attendance on his exiled master. However, in order to bid fair for one, it is notorious, that in the year 1657, when he found his master's affairs desperate, he made his peace and terms with Cromwell, by the mediation of Mr. secretary Thurlo, whom he was afraid, on account of that confidence, not to protect after the restoration; and then, since he could not sell his master during his exile, he made himself more than amends after his return. He first sold one of his kingdoms, with all its loyal subjects (who had ruined themselves by their endeavours to serve and assist him, both in and out of their country), to his known enemies: he then, by his base and faithless moderation, sold the church and state of England to their false friends: and, lastly, did worse, by the rotten foundations he laid, than Cromwell and all his accomplices could ever have compassed, since he sold the royal family of England to distress and exile for all eternity.
As I am under voluntary articles neither to conceal nor disguise any of my thoughts from Mentor, my spirit has been tempted to wander into this long dissertation, in order to give itself some ease, while it had the satisfaction of opening itself entirely to him. I am willing to flatter myself it has some sympathy with his, which I should be extremely sorry to shock, or even disoblige, by this frank confession of my sentiments. If I have incurred his displeasure, by any freedom of speech that may be offensive, or any notions that may be repugnant to his, I submit to his censure, and am willing to stand corrected. I do not pretend either to instruct his better genius, or to force my thoughts upon him. I am a fond admirer of that worth and generosity which has put a stop to his rising in the world. I have no personal enmity to any man living, nor any interest in view, that can interfere in the least with Mentor's.
It is true, I reckon Clarendon a more pernicious subject, and a worse man, than the brave and wicked Cromwell. I take him to be the author of most irreparable mischiefs to the church, the state, and more especially to the people of England, whom his design to maintain in a perpetual superiority over their prince, has devoted to perpetual slavery. He, for his own ends (as he fairly declared to the earl of Southampton), as well as in compliment to them, hindered the first parliament after the restoration to settle a constant and indefeasible revenue upon the crown; whereby it had been skreened from factions, and the government from revolution, which must necessarily happen, where the prince must depend on the people for his yearly subsistence, and the maintenance of his own state and family. This was by no means the circumstance of the kings of England, till James the first had squandered away all the royal demesnes upon his hungry and insatiable countrymen; and so made his son a sacrifice, by forcing him to become a bull-beggar.
All the constitutions of our western world began by limited monarchies, after the fall of the Roman empire, as most adapted to the spirit and genius of our gothick ancestors. These limitations regarded the measures of peace, the means of war, and the regular administration of justice; but not the daily bread of the sovereigns, who had lands and immediate vassalages of their own, for the support of their estate and dignity. Our Norman monarchs were the only arbitrary ones in Europe, except those of Castile, who were complimented with absolute sway by the people, to enable them, without any delay or consultation, to issue their orders, and repress the sudden invasions of the Moors, whose neighbourhood was a perpetual alarm.
However, as the common people of England were generally villains or slaves to their lords, these lords became, by the importance of their vassalages, an hereditary council of state, upon extraordinary occasions, when it was thought convenient to gain their assistance, by the compliment of asking their advice, or their concurrence in taxing their vassals for the publick good. The weak princes of the Plantagenet family (which has produced the greatest in Europe) were strangely given over to favourites and minions; as weak princes generally are, because they have not their glory and real power so much at heart as their private satisfaction. The barons, as counsellors by their birth and fortune, were so disgusted at this humour, and at subsidies and other vexations that had their rise in the king's closet, and not in his council, that they made frequent confederacies of rebellion, on pretence of grievances; and as they were supported by the people, obtained great concessions in their favour from the crown. The kings found no way of supporting themselves against the barons, but by disengaging the people from them. This they effected by admitting them who had no manner of pretence to it before, to appear by their representatives in the great council of the nation, which obtained the name of parliament, whenever they had any occasion for subsidies against the barons, or the foreign enemies of the state. The people, in return of their liberalities, obtained frequent enlargements of their privileges. But the Plantagenets and Tudors had still an ample share of their absolute dominion left, and were greatly superiour both to the people and the barons. They had it always in their power to divide and rule, because they had wherewithal, by their own demesnes, to maintain their state independent of them, except where the right of the crown was in dispute. They called parliaments when they listed, and dissolved them as freely; or browbeat them, when they had spirit, into what they pleased. Whether it regarded peace or war, church or state, their will, in effect, was a law; and they had no need either of tricks or double dealings, or of upstart prime ministers. These they made use of to execute their orders, not to gain their points.
But, after king James the first had lavished the ample demesnes left him by queen Elizabeth, the case was quite altered. His successor could neither maintain his authority over the people, nor in his own house, for want of means to support his dignity. He was reduced to a wretched dependency on his vassals, who never fail of becoming insolent where they know they are masters. As fast as he called them together, they began with complaints, though they never had less cause for them. He wanted subsidies, in fact, for the maintenance of his household, but made use of other pretences, after the example of his ancestors, who were under no such extremities at home. They immediately called for the previous redress of supposed grievances, and so he dissolved, and redissolved them, which was almost the only branch of power he had left him. Under these hardships he could hold out no longer; and, without debasing his majesty, could find no other resource for subsisting in independency, but that of reviving some rights and claims of his despotick ancestors, which were grown into disuse, because they had no need of them. All this came very short of his necessary expenses, and increased the ill humour of the people; who were growing extremely rich and luxuriant, on account of giving him nothing but extorted trifles. At length his wants obliged him to lay himself at the mercy of a saucy and inexorable house of commons, upon which he, his ministers, and his barons split at last. Surely no prince ever found himself in so forlorn and deplorable a situation as his, from the first sitting of that parliament upon his majesty, till the last sitting upon his life.
He had been long borrowing from all the world, upon the credit of dead authority, in order to give bread to a household he could not pay. All his servants, from the secretaries of state down to the scullions of his kitchen, were in an interest contrary to that of his dignity, and could never hope either for their arrears or their current wages, but by his being well with a parliament that never intended to be well with him. His honour was concerned in supporting his rights: his necessity and conscience in making away with them by degrees, in hopes that his parliament might at length be engaged, by his condescensions, to allow him wherewithal to pay his debts and defray his daily expenses. All those that served him, either in his council, or his house, or his parliament, had a personal interest in making him take this party; except those very few that were sacrificed for voting generously, and at their own cost, on the side of his honour. All the rest were bribed against his royal dignity, by their wants and their fears; and not only left him to be worried unmercifully by two nations, under the insolent pretences of loyalty and religion; but obliged him to waste part of his force, and all his indignation, against a third, the only one that had real loyalty and religion enough to restore him.
The mettle and superiour genius of Cromwell subdued faction and rebellion, by the very power they had put into their hands against the lawful sovereign. He supported his state and terrified all Europe, as well as the three nations, by the grandeur of his courage, and the spirit of his army; which he made, in effect, his parliament. They paid themselves, and laughed at the constitution. Upon the return of king Charles the second, the English nation, grown wise by a very dear bought experience, had resolved, at their first meeting in parliament, to set the royal family in its ancient state of independency upon the people, except upon extraordinary occasions, by settling a perpetual revenue on the crown, and thereby securing it from, the unavoidable danger and insolence of faction. Clarendon, as perfidious to his country as to his sovereign, has hindered this excellent purpose from taking effect, by his vile and interested infusions, and made himself a merit with the English nation, of what has left it a prey ever since to unavoidable discontents and convulsions. By this means, and the abrogation of the ancient tenures, the crown was abandoned to a more wretched necessity of begging annually, and condescending than before; and robbed of its old influence and authority over the people. Thus the kings of England were left in a worse state than the ancient kings of Sparta. Their cellars, their kitchens, and the wages of their footmen and grooms, depended upon the good graces of the house of commons: their inherent rights of making war and peace and alliances, or issuing quo warrantoes, &c., were but mere feathers, the sport of every wind that blew from the ephori of the people.
In this manner king Charles the second, though the idol of England, was forced, by the malign ascendant of Clarendon, to become her wretched pensioner. King only (and a very limited king) of Scotland, and tyrant of Ireland, to no manner of purpose for himself, but to the exceeding joy of his own and his father's enemies; he led a life of continual struggle and uneasiness, from which he had no relief, but in turning rake, and drowning his royal spleen in all the common pleasures he could afford himself. To ward against those factions that arose naturally out of the triumph of the good old cause, and aimed at nothing less than his life and dignity, he found himself obliged to become a captain Tom too, to mix his majesty with the mob, and turn caballist and factioneer, as well, and as knavishly, as the best of them. He must call parliaments as oft as his wants called upon him, not to advise him (according to their original institution) but merely to keep him from starving. At length he grew weary of acting a part so far beneath him: he plucked up his spirit, by calling to mind the power of his ancestors, cast his enemies into a panick fear, put presbytery to death, and died soon after he had made himself, in effect, king of England.
His successor, who had not the force of his genius, and had more religion than either he or Clarendon would have thought necessary, was soon outwitted and outdone by faction. He had been used to closetting, favourites, and intrigues, during his former life, in order to secure his rights against the inconvenience of that religion: and after he had mounted the throne with great acclamation, he misplaced his confidence upon those that grew too hard for him at his own weapons. As he had made himself pretty easy in his domestick circumstances, by making up a little demesne of forfeited estates, he was not so entirely at the devotion of his parliament as his predecessors had been; and so began to reassume the old prerogatives of the crown, without a sufficient fund of money, or friends, or art, to make them pass upon a people that had so long looked upon themselves as masters, with a great deal of reason. He did not sink under the mutual villany of privy council and parliament, like his father; his favourites in the privy council alone were more than enough for him. Deserted by two kingdoms, and attacked by a foreign power; since he was too good natured to allow any foreign power to support him, he had nothing left but the common people of Ireland, and those remnants of catholick nobility and gentry there, who had wrested their estates, by favour or interest at court, out of the intricacies of Clarendon's act of settlement: for the infinitely greater number of Irish proprietors, though restored to their lands by the act of repeal, had been bred in so much distress and ignorance, that they could scarce be of any use to him. And so he was obliged to abandon that kingdom to its evil destiny, as the other two had abandoned him.
Now Clarendon's politicks began to have their full eflect. His posterity was seated on the throne. The republican tares had been sown so thick in the church and state of England, that they choked and overtopped the genuine grain. King James the second had given a liberty of conscience in general. This, as it was shocking to the established church, was exchanged, by the prevalence of calvinistical and freethinking interlopers, for the softer title of toleration, which has been improved, by a very easy turn of lergerdemain into actual dominion. A great cry was kept up on all sides, about the dangers that threatened the church. The unthinking tories, or church of England men, joined in it along with the whigs, with a view of keeping out popery. The whigs heightened it at every turn, not to keep out popery, which they made use of as a bugbear, but to oblige the church to suppress her true doctrine and discipline, and let in presbytery. The tories were all along the dupes of this farce, and king William, with all his penetration, could not see through the whole plot, or did not go all the lengths he should to favour the whigs, and thereby secure his own independency on the people. He had a very uneasy time of it, while he laboured in vain to mix parties that never can incorporate. The whig will never become tory: the tory, generally speaking, is not so stubborn. It is true, he never will expose his life or his fortune, by rising to the sublime pitch of a cavalier, which renders any government secure against him. He may drink, and prate, and protest, to get a name among the vulgar; but Clarendon's usage of the loyalists after the restoration is a sufficient warning to him to keep his own house, and live within the verge of the laws in being. However, as he will not play the fool for church or state, he is extremely wise in regard of himself. Loyalty and religion hang loose enough about him, and he can turn whig without much difficulty, where he can find a considerable advantage in it. And thus king William, by endeavouring to jumble both parties together, became agreeable to neither; and had shared the same fate with his predecessor, if the war which England necessarily drew upon itself, and the absolute dominion he had over the Seven Provinces, had not kept him on the throne. For since the government of England has been reduced to a democracy by Clarendon, the whigs must reign alone, or it must be in perpetual convulsions.
That prince had not found out this grand arcanum, which has since been discovered, and put in practice with infallible success; and has rendered his successors, under an air of limitation, as absolute in fact as any of our ancient monarchs, or of the present kings of Christendom. It is true, the tories had a lucid interval in the last years of queen Anne; but it could not last, because they never can have spirit enough to play all their game, and fix their fortune. The whigs, that will ever despise them as a rope of sand, have still art and mettle enough, though they be at the lowest ebb, to frighten, or make them fall together by the ears, and thereby make a jest of all their projects. While the crown has no demesnes, nor any settled revenue, the tories can never do its business with unanimity and success. The whigs, whose birthright it is to make the people uneasy and mutinous, can never miss of breaking, or at least thwarting, their measures, under colour of their concern for the grievances and unsupportable taxes laid on the publick. But let the prince put himself wholly under their protection, he is perfectly safe, in regard of the tories; and the whigs will easily find the method of paying him, and themselves into the bargain, at the expense of the people, and with the most careless contempt of their adversaries. A prime minister, under the inoffensive title of treasurer, or secretary; a privy council, under the title of parliament, the majority of which is gained over by his art or his largesses, and who, in return, secure the nation, with all its wealth, will, and power, in the most implicit obedience to him, and consequently to his master; does all the business of the crown to a wonder, and reduces the people, by their own consent, to as much slavery as is convenient for all the purposes of the prince.
Thus, in regard of the government, Clarendon's politicks are entirely overset. He has ruined one royal family by leaving it at the mercy of the people: he has ruined the rights of the people, by leaving them at the mercy of another, that has been too cunning for him, and found the knack of keeping them, whom he proposed to leave masters for ever, under perpetual and unlimited subjection, by the help and corruption of their representatives, notwithstanding the addition of new and more irksome limitations of the crown. He had destroyed the cavaliers at the restoration; and has given the coup de grace to the tories at the revolution, which was a child of his own begetting upon the body of the former iniquity.
The world has never seen a frame of government so nicely fitted for all the purposes of the sovereign, as the present constitution of England. The king has not a foot of land; yet all Great Britain is his property in fact: he is under the most unbecoming restrictions in the eyes of the people; however, he can be as despotick, when he thinks it necessary, as William the Conqueror; provided he save appearances, by letting old forms subsist in the administration, he can turn them to what use he thinks proper, and has no need of very great dexterity in the management. The people flatter themselves with a notion of being free, because they have an air of being represented, and yet it is that very representation makes them slaves. They have no real liberty left, but that of the press; which would soon grow contemptible in their own eyes, if the minister (against whom it is generally directed) had sense enough to despise it. The barons have no shadow of their old authority, only in the vain formality of entering their protests, by half dozens, against the votes of a vast and a sure majority, that speaks the sense of the minister, while it pretends to speak that of the nation. All this is a riddle, — yet every cobler in England can unfold it, to no manner of purpose for himself, or his country. The charm is irresistible; all the subjects are caught in the snare that Clarendon had laid for the sovereign.
In the mean time, the prince, vested by this magick in as much real state and power as the most arbitrary monarch in Europe, has other advantages which none of them can share with him. The interposition of his parliament skreens him from all censure, as well as danger or want. Though he be an errant knave in his dealings with his people, or a notorious trickster, and breaker of publick faith, in regard of his foreign alliances, he is ever absolved by the unthinking world, and the blame thrown entirely on his parliament; which he is still supposed, upon the credit of a received tradition, not to be able to govern or lead into all his honest purposes, though it he, in reality, the best trained, and most easily managed, of any beast of burden in the universe. So that as things now stand, Clarendon's antimonarchical scheme is like to continue for ever the surest support of tyranny. The whigs must be the majority in parliament. They alone can be bribed to sell and subdue the people; and a king of Great Britain must be a downright fool, or a madman, not to be on a surer foot of reputation, as well as power, than any other sovereign upon earth. He may be at the head of different alliances at the same time, as well as of different churches; and has a more undisputed right to personal infallibility than the pope. The other monarchies of Europe, originally limited, have become absolute by the policy of keeping their ancient demesnes, and adding those of the rebellious barons to them from time to time: that of England, by having no demesnes at all.
In this happy circumstance, a king of England, while he is in perfect security at home, can keep his foreign enemies in awe, by the terrour of his fleets at sea, and confederacies on the continent; or by sowing corruption in councils and cabinets abroad, which are now as accessible to it, as his parliament. If intrigue should fail, the whigs, by whom he reigns, will always find him money enough to do the business. In the mean time, he can stand in no manner of apprehension with respect to any part of his subjects, except a distant one, in regard of those established by Clarendon, to wit, the Irish whigs. These have had earnest longings after independency both upon the church and state of England, ever since their establishment in Ireland. The division of the vulgar of that country from them, in point of religion, and the long peace of the neighbouring powers with England, have rendered all their views impracticable hitherto. England is mad enough to encourage persecution in that country; and if they can, by executing the penal laws in all their rigour, force the people at length to be of a piece with them, they may not he long to seek for a proper occasion to withdraw themselves from the dominion of England, as the Portuguese did, some time ago, from that of Spain, though upon the same continent. In that case, as they were founded upon presbytery and fanaticism, the ecclesiastical livings will be no small accession of power and encouragement for them to return to the religion of their fathers. Their honour will be concerned in having a church of their own; and there is nothing so easy, as to make five hundred as good as any of those now in being, within the comprehensive system of Clarendon.
Who can think it strange, after all, that Clarendon should reckon the Irish a blind and stupid people, since they could not discover the broad way to their temporal and eternal happiness, as well as he and all his pupils of the present latitude? But, in the name of wonder, since they could have made the way to Heaven, notwithstanding the needless burden of their articles of faith, why should they be destroyed in this world merely upon account of them? After having suffered so much for their rebellion against Cromwell, why should they be made martyrs to their loyalty, when their king was actually on the throne? a man must be stupid indeed, not to see through all this mechanism of sacrificing people to God and to the devil at once. But, thanks to their stars! their friend Clarendon is still alive: his spirit of persecution will open their eyes at last, and bring them to their senses. Whenever they can get clear of the devil, in his way, by having little or no religion at all, they will soon become as wise as their neighbours; and by agreeing among themselves, get clear of England and her church too into the bargain.
Dear Mentor, excuse me for having finished, as folks do generally in their drink, with a dispute about religion; I love religion, with all my soul, where it is sincere; but abhor, above all things, the pretence or abuse of it, to advance any purpose but those that regard the other world. As I have a soul (I hope) to be saved, I have studied all the present religions with care: and if my creed did not determine me to be a catholick, I freely own I should be troubled with none of them, because of all the vile and cruel rogueries I have seen them misapplied to. Most of them, for want of authority, are lost in freethinking; others, by arrogating too much authority, vanish into superstition. These two kinds, abandoned to such extremities, have infinitely more business upon earth, than ever they are like to have in Heaven. The catholick may be free from either, if he pleases: if he fall into either, he must be knave or fool. The same may be said of a national church, guarded by the civil, and fenced by her own ecclesiastical authority. She may be very catholick, without being enslaved to the decretals and extravagancies of popery; or overlaid by the heavier weight of presbytery; or made the jest and handmaid of freethinking! It is a general remark, that two of a trade cannot agree. The most sanguine Jesuits, though they are forced to keep some measures, are horribly cried out at by those that pretend to the strictest kind of reformation: yet these, whenever they get the temporal power into their hands, outdo them infinitely in all their arts of double dealing and tyranny. But all our jars are a noise about nothing — Clarendon, a man of much more religion and sense than either the apostles, fathers, or councils, has discovered, of late, that heresy is only a dream; since, according to him, catholick and christian are one and the same thing in fact. So let us burn our books and our schools, for there is an end of controversy. However, let us keep rancour and persecution on foot, with all the zeal of our fathers. There has been, and there is still, something to be got by it.
I own I am a little mad; so Mentor must take nothing ill that I say to him. My patience is exhausted, and I have done all I could to tire his. He must blame his own good nature, that has given me room to vent my spleen. As I have no friend here of genius or freedom of thought enough to comprehend these notions, they had rotted in my breast, and thrown me, perhaps, into some dangerous indisposition, if I had not come out with them. I am now setting out upon an expedition against the Moors, since the modern christians are too hard for me; and whatever may be my fate, it is an exceeding comfort to me to have thus discharged my conscience in regard of these, before I enter the lists against their brethren the mahometans.
As for the blank verses which I recommended so earnestly to the care of Mentor, I now abandon them to his discretion. If he thinks them worth his correction, he will give them to the publick as he proposes, without the name of an author, and with his own, after the epistle to recommend them. It will do me a great deal of honour, and I will take care it shall do him no manner of mischief. If he neglect publishing them, I shall have the mortification of believing the present I took the liberty to make him not worth his while, or that my present liberty of speech is offensive to him. This must not be. We are all brethren in fact: and no man should be angry at another, for using him with all the intmiacy of a friend, and opening his whole heart to him without malice or disguise. I beg pardon of Mentor, and of all those great names he mentions, for my censures upon rhyme and raillery, which he may soften or expunge entirely, according to his better judgment. I should be very sorry to make enemies of those, whom, of all mankind, I would choose to make my friends. Mr. Pope and I lived in perfect union and familiarity for two or three summers, before he entered upon the stage of the world; where he has since gained so great and so just an applause. The other geniuses have a right to all my regard, by the merit of sharing the affection and esteem of Mentor, who will do me a great deal of honour, if he allow me any place in so learned and polite a society. Without any compliment, they are fitter for the Augustan age than for this. They are at home, and endeavour to give the world a sense of its follies with great humour and gayety. The cheerfulness of my temper is, in a great measure, sunk under a long and a hopeless exile, which has given it a serious, or, if you will, a supercilious turn. I lash the world with indignation and grief, in the strain of Jeremy. But the world is grown so inveterate in iniquity, that I fear we shall all lose our labour. It will have just the same effect to flog, as to tickle them. — However, if there be any room for a grave, sullen fellow, that has been one of the merriest fellows in Europe, in Mentor's academy, I offer myself: and, to pay my entrance, as I did in Newgate, I send him a kilderkin of the best wine on this side of the country, to drink their healths, and mine, if he pleases. I accept, with a great deal of acknowledgment, the present of books offered me by Mentor, and desire he will send along with them doctor Jonathan Swift's Miscellanies, which they tell me are worth them all. I can give him nothing in return, but some heads of the Saracens of Oran, which I shall be ordered to cut off, because they will not become christians. I must be their executioner in my own defence; for, with all my spleen and vexation of spirit, I am the most inoffensive creature in the world in regard of religion. I would not shed one ounce of blood in anger or enmity, or wrong any man living of a cracked sixpence, to make all the world catholicks; yet I am as staunch a one myself as any pope in the universe. I am all for the primitive church, in which people made proof of their religion only at their own expense. But I laugh, with great contempt, at those who will force others to Heaven their way, in spite of charity.
Though I should be in the deserts of Lybia, I can still hear from Mentor. It is not necessary he should submit his criticism or correction to me, since I constitute him my judge, without appeal. The gentleman of my family mentioned by him, is the honestest, but the idlest fellow breathing. I cannot even get a letter from him. Thus my reliance for the revising and publishing of those pieces is entirely upon Mentor, whom I embrace with all my heart, this 27th of February, 1732.
THERE is a young gentleman of the clergy here, for whom I have great regard. And I cannot but wish this young gentleman (for whose learning and oratory in the pulpit I will engage) might have the honour to be your chaplain in your mayoralty. His name is Matthew Pilkington; he is some years under thirty, but has more wit, sense, and discretion, than any of your London parsons ten years above his age. He has a great longing to see England, and appear in the presence of Mr. Pope, Mr. Gay, and others, in which I will venture to befriend him. You are not to tell me of prior engagements; because I have some title, as an old acquaintance, to expect a favour from you. Therefore pray let me know immediately that you have complied with my request before you had read half my letter. I expect your answer, to my satisfaction, and the happiness of the young gentleman; and am, with great sincerity,
Your most obedient servant,
P. S. You need not be afraid of Mr. Pilkington's hanging upon you; for he has some fortune of his own, and somewhat in the church; but he would be glad to see England, and be more known to those who will esteem him and may raise him.
I AM very angry with my friend doctor Delany, for not applying to you sooner, as I desired him, in favour of Mr. Matthew Pilkington, a young clergyman here, who has a great ambition to have the honour of being your chaplain in your mayoralty. I waited for the doctor's answer before I would write to you, and it came but last night. He tells me you have been so very kind as to give him a promise upon my request. I will therefore tell my story. This gentleman was brought to me by the doctor about four years ago, and I found him so modest a young man, so good a scholar and preacher, and of so hopeful a genius, and grew still better upon my hands the more I knew him, that I have been seeking all opportunities to do him some real service; from no other motive in the world, but the esteem I had of his worth. And I hope you know me long enough to helieve me capable of acting as I ought to do in such a case, however contrary it may be to the present practice of the world. He has a great longing to see England, and appear in the presence of Mr. Pope, Mr. Gay, doctor Arbuthnot, and some other of my friends, wherein I will assist him with my recommendations. He is no relation or dependant of mine. I am not putting you upon a job, but to encourage a young man of merit upon his own account as well as mine. He will be no burden upon you, for he has some fortune of his own, and will have a much better from his father; and has also a convenient establishment in a church in this city.
Mr. Pilkington will be ready to attend you upon your command, and I wish he may go as soon as possible, that he may have a few weeks to prepare him for his business, by seeing the Tower, the Monument, and Westminster Abbey, and have done staring in the streets.
I am so entirely out of the world, that I cannot promise a hope ever to requite your favour, otherwise than with hearty thanks for conferring this obligation upon me. And I shall ever remain, with true esteem, your most obedient, and obliged humble servant,
I RECEIVED your last letter, with the note to Mr. North. I am extremely obliged to you for the favour of such a present, and shall be glad to have an opportunity to express my gratitude to you.
I would send with this letter two or three of those papers which I design for your volume; but the dean is reading them over, to try if there be any alteration requisite in any of them. I showed him your note to Mr. North; and I believe he was at least as much pleased as the person who was to receive it. We have thoughts of preparing a preface to your edition, in the name of the editor. Let me know whether I shall send the pamphlets by post, and whether you have the Journal of a Dublin Lady, the Ballad on the English Dean, and Rochford's Journal, because you shall have the copies sent to you, and the property effectually secured. I mentioned your request to the dean; and I shall get you the right of printing the Proposal for Eating Children. I mentioned the alteration of the titles; and he thinks it will be most proper to give them both the Irish and English titles; for instance, the Soldier and the Scholar, or Hamilton's Bawn, &c. I have some hope of being able to send all these in about a week or fortnight's time; and shall venture to send them by post, though it will be expensive. The dean says, he thinks the assignment as full as it is possible for him to write; but that he will comply with any alterations we think proper. I shall expect to hear from you as soon as possible; because I have some schemes to transact, which probably I shall acquaint you with in my next letter.
I am, sir,
Your most obliged servant,
I HAVE sent you some of the pamphlets I promised, in as large a parcel as I could venture. The dean has, with his own hand, made some alterations in some of them. I will, by next post, or next but one, send you another pamphlet at least, and a new assignment from the dean. He received a letter from Mr. Pope and Mr. Motte; but neither have been of the least disadvantage to my request. I cannot say but I am proud of his friendship to me.
I desire that you will insist upon your right by the assignment I formerly sent; and let Mr. Motte show you any thing under the dean's hand which will invalidate it! Our affair is a point where the dean's honour is concerned; and that very consideration may convince you that your interests will be secured. You shall hear from me more particularly in a post or two.
A Libel on Dr. Delany and Lord Carteret. To Dr. Delany, on the Libels against him. O'Rourk. The Dressing Room. The Defence of it. The Journal at Rochford's. The Thorn. City Cries. Project, Bishops' Lands. On Bishops' Leases. Arguments against repealing the Test Act. Considerations on the Bishops' Bills. Vindication of Lord Carteret. Proposal for Eating Children. Poem on the English Dean. Journal of a Dublin Lady.catalogue of pieces which you are empowered to print, by the dean's assignment: The Barrack. An Ode to Ireland, from Horace.
I ANTICIPATE your title, because perhaps it may be your due before your chaplain, Mr. Pilkington, can attend you. And, besides, I have a mind to be the first person who gives it to you. And, first, I heartily acknowledge your goodness in favouring a young gentleman who has well answered all the recommendations that have been given me of him, and I have some years watched all opportunities to do him a good office, but none of the few things in my own gift that would be proper for him have fallen in my way since I knew him; and power with others, you know, or may believe, I have none. I value Mr. Pilkington as much for his modesty, as his learning and sense, or any good quality he has. And it would be hard, after your sending us over so many worthless bishops, all bedangled with their pert illiterate relations and flatterers, if you would not suffer us to lend you, at least for one year, one sample of modesty, virtue, and good sense; and I am glad it falls to your lordship to give the first precedent. I will write to Dr. Trap in Mr. Pilkington's favour, but whether I have any credit with him I cannot tell, although, perhaps, you will think, I may pretend to some. It is by my advice that Mr. Pilkington goes over somewhat sooner; for I would have him know a little of your end of the town, and what he is to do; but he will not give you any trouble or care till you please to command him, which I suppose will not be till you are settled in your office.
Nothing but this cruel accident of a lameness could have hindered me from attending your ceremonial as a spectator, and I should have forwarded, to the utmost, Mr. Pope's scheme, for I never approved the omission of those shows. And I think I saw, in my youth, a lord mayor's show with all that pomp, when sir Thomas Pilkington, of your chaplain's name and family, made his procession.
I have advised your chaplain to send you this letter, and not present it, that you may be in no pain about him, for he shall wait on you the next morning, when he has taken a lodging for himself, till you come into your mayoralty.
I cannot conclude without repeating my acknowledgments for your kind remembrance of me. We were both followers of the same court and the same cause, and exiles, after a sort, you a voluntary one and I a necessary; but you have outthrown me many a hundred bars lengths. I heartily wish the continuance of your good success, and am, with great truth, your most constant friend and most obedient humble servant,
AFTER obtaining one favour from your lordship, I am under the necessity of requesting another; which, however, I hope will not give you much trouble. I know that it depends upon chance what employments you may have in your disposal during your mayoralty; but some I presume you will have. It is therefore my request, and will be so likewise of some others among your friends, that if any employment should fall vacant, during your government, which Mr. Barber would be allowed capable of executing well, your lordship would please that (illegible text) the refusal, with as much favour as will consist with your own generous disposition, adding the friendship you are pleased to profess to me, which I throw heartily into the balance. He is of English birth; a very upright honest man, and his wife has abundance of merit in all respects; they design to settle among you, having turned what fortune they had here into money.
And now, my lord, I heartily give you joy of governing the noblest city in the world, where I know you are desirous, and able, to do so much good, and to set a worthy pattern for the imitation of those who shall come after you. If my health, and the bad situation of my private affairs, will permit, I shall hope to have the honour of being one among your guests next summer. Mr. Pilkington is, in his letters, perpetually full of your great favours to him, and says you will be his voucher that he still continues his modest behaviour, which I always pressed upon him as the best quality in a young man, although I never observed the least want of it in him.
I hope you will take care of your health, which in our city of Dublin is a difficult task for a lord mayor to perform; and if your lordship be under the necessity of drinking as many healths in proportion on publick days as are done here, you will be in great danger of ruining your own. I am, with entire friendship and true respect,
Your lordship's most obedient and
most humble servant,
I give your lordship all the good wishes for the approaching season and the succeeding year.
I had a very friendly letter lately from Dr. Trap, to whom I present my most humble service, and shall in a short time acknowledge his letter.
ALTHOUGH I never read news, I often hear of your lordship's actions and speeches, particularly your and the city address to the house of commons, for throwing out that execrable bill of excise, and your defence of the city, in the answer you gave to the recorder on the subject of riots. I hope you will always remember that you learnt these honest principles under an honest ministry, and in what has been since called the worst of times, which I pray God we might live to see again. Our friend Mrs. Barber is recovering of her gout, and intends in a few weeks to return to London. My lord Orrery, although almost a stranger to her, and very much embroiled in his affairs by a most villanous agent, has been extremely generous to her, in easing her of one part of her load: and I hope, by the success of her poems she will be made tolerably easy and independent, as she well deserves for her virtue and good sense. My lord Orrery is the delight of us all. But we wish him hanged for coming among us, since he cannot stay with us. Your chaplain writes to me very seldom, and I never can get him to answer me how he lives: I gave him credit upon a friend in London for any small sums of money, which I find he has received most of; so that I am afraid his salary, perquisites, or fees, or whatever else he is to live by, is not to come in till the end of his office. I hope he continues to behave himself well; and indeed I think him a very valuable young man. As to myself, my private affairs are in so ill a posture, and my head so disordered by returns of my old giddiness, that I cannot yet venture to take those journies that I used to make nothing of, and God knows whether I shall be able to dine with your lordship in your mayoralty. Doctor Delany lives very happily and hospitably, entertains his old friends, and has nothing to fight with but envy, which he despises, and does not, in the least, deserve, but by those from whom it is a blessing. I think I have named all your acquaintance here; and I presume you will hardly trouble yourself to acquire more.
Your lordship hath now got over more than half your difficulties. I doubt not but you will finish the rest with equal reputation, so that the year of your mayoralty will be long remembered with honour.
I must desire leave to tell your lordship, that I have not known a more bashful, modest person than Mrs. Barber, nor one who is less likely to ply her friends, patrons, or protectors, for any favour; or is more thankful for the smallest. Therefore I hope you will continue to do her any good office that lies in your way, without trouble to yourself. And, among other things, I desire you will advise her to be more thrifty; for she carries her liberality as much too high, as our friend sir Gilbert did his avarice. I thought I did a fine thing to subscribe for ten copies of her poems; and she contrived to send me presents that, in my conscience, are worth more than the money I subscribed.
Having not heard lately of your being ill, I hope you have recovered your health entirely; and I pray God preserve it.
I am, with true respect, my lord,
Your lordship's most obedient
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 1733.
IF you are disposed to be easy and cheerful, I will send something for dinner to your lodgings, and eat it with you and Mrs. Ridgeway; with a bottle of wine and bread. Speak freely, and send me word. But Mrs. Ridgeway shall take all the care upon her. If you do not like this proposal, send word, I would dine a little after two.
DECEMBER 28, 1734.
PRAY God bless you, and restore your health, and give you many happy new years. I send you your usual Christmas box. I will see you as soon as I can. I am tolerably well, but have no security to continue so. We must all submit, both by piety and necessity. I am ever entirely yours. I send you two bottles of wine.
I RECEIVED lately a very acceptable present which you were pleased to send me, which was an engraved picture of you, very handsomely framed, with a glass over it. I take your remembrance of me very kindly, and give you my hearty thanks. I have no other way to show my gratitude at present, than by desiring another favour from you, which, however, will be less expensive. Mr. Singleton, the king's prime sergeant here, is one of the first among the worthiest persons in this kingdom; of great honour, justice, truth, good sense, good nature, and knowledge in his faculty: this gentleman, whom I have the honour to know, although his business be too great to allow me the happiness of seeing him as often as I desire, hath commanded me to recommend the bearer, Mr. Richardson, agent to the Derry society, whereof you are a member. From such a recommendation as the prime sergeant's, I will engage that Mr. Richardson is a very deserving man, and that whatever he desires of you will be perfectly just and reasonable.
And now, my good friend, give me leave to inquire after your health, which I hope is much better than mine. Are you often in your coach at Highgate and Hampstead? Do you keep cheerful company? I know you cannot drink: but I hope your stomach for eating is not declined: and how are you treated by the gout? These and many more particulars I desire to know.
The people who read news have struck me to the heart, by the account of my dear friend doctor Arbuthnot's death; although I could expect no less, by a letter I received from him a month or two ago. Do you sometimes see Mr. Pope? We still correspond pretty constantly. He publishes poems oftener and better than ever, which I wonder at the more, because he complains, with too much reason, of his disorders. What a havock has death made among our friends since that of the queen? As to myself, I am grown leaner than you were when we parted last, and am never wholly free from giddiness and weakness, and sickness in my stomach, otherwise I should have been among you two or three years ago, but now I despair of that happiness. I ride a dozen miles as often as I can, and always walk the streets, except in the night, which my head will not suffer me to do. But my fortune is so sunk, that I cannot afford half the necessaries or conveniencies that I can still make a shift to provide myself with here. My chief support is French wine, which, although not equal to yours, I drink a bottle to myself every day. I keep three horses, two men and an old woman in a large empty house, and dine half the week, like a king, by myself. Thus I tell you my whole economy, which I fear will tire you by reading. Pray God keep you in health and happiness; and do me the justice to believe that I am, with true esteem and friendship, dear sir,
You most obedient humble servant,
You see by my many blottings and interlinings, what a condition my head is in.
I WRITE to you at the command of a gentleman, for whom I have a perfect friendship and esteem, and the request he desires me to make, appears to me altogether reasonable. The gentleman I mean is doctor Helsham, the most eminent physician of this city and kingdom. There is a person of quality, an intimate friend of the doctor's, my lord Tyrone, formerly sir Tristram Beresford, who is a tenant to the Londonderry society. His lordship is going to build two houses upon their estate; and, to assist him in so good work, I desire that when the particulars of the request shall be laid before the society, you, who are the governor, will please, if you find them just and reasonable, to forward them as far as lies in your power; by which you will much oblige me, and several worthy persons, particularly my friend doctor Helsham.
Do you sometimes honour poor Mrs. Barber with a visit? We are afraid here, that the gout has got too strong a possession of her, and pray let me have some account of your own health; I wish we three valetudinarians were together, we should make excellent company; but I can drink my pint of wine twice a day, which I doubt both of you could not do in a week. I long excessively to be in England, but am afraid of being surprised by my old disorder in my head, far from help, or at least from conveniency; and I dare not so much as travel here without being near enough to come back in the evening to lie in my own bed. These are the effects of living too long; and the publick miseries of this kingdom add to my disease. I am,
With true esteem and friendship,
Your most obedient humble servant,
THE bearer, Mr. Faulkner, tells me, he has honour to be known to you, and that I have credit enough to prevail on you to do him all the good offices that lie in your way. I presume he goes about some affairs that relate to his own calling, which would be of little value to him here, if he were not the printer most in vogue, and a great undertaker, perhaps too great a one; wherein you are able to be the best adviser, provided he be not too sanguine, by representing things better than he probably may find them in this wretched, beggarly, enslaved country. To my great grief, my disorder is of such a nature, and so constantly threatening, that I dare not ride so far as to be a night from ——: and yet when the weather is fair, I seldom fail to ride ten or a dozen miles. Mr. Faulkner will be able to give you a true journal of my life; that I generally dine at home and alone, and have not two houses in this great kingdom, where I can get a bit of meat twice a year. That I very seldom go to church for fear of being seized with a fit of giddiness in the midst of the service. I hear you have likewise some ailments to struggle with, yet I am a great deal leaner than you: but I have one advantage, that wine is good for me, and I drink a bottle to my own share every day, to bring some heat into my stomach. Dear Mr. alderman, what a number of dear and great friends have we buried, or seen driven to exile since we came acquainted? I did not know, till six months after, that my best friend, my lady Masham, was gone. I would be glad to know whether her son be good for any thing, because I much doubted when I saw him last. Tell me, do you make constant use of exercise? It is all I have to trust to, though not in regard to life but to health: I know nothing wherein years make so great a change, as in the difference of matter in conversation and writing. My thoughts are wholly taken up in considering the best manner I ought to die in, and how to dispose of my poor fortune for the best publick charity. But in conversation I trifle more and more every day, and I would not give three pence for all I read, or write, or think, in the compass of a year.
Well, God bless you, and preserve your life as long as you can reasonably desire. I take my age with less mortification, because, if I were younger, I should probably outlive the liberty of England, which, without some unexpected assistance from Heaven, many thousands now alive will see governed by an absolute monarch. Farewell, dear sir, and believe me to be, with true esteem,
Your most obedient humble servant,
I HAD proposed vast pleasure to myself, from the hopes of celebrating the dean's birthday with you; but as I have been afflicted with a violent headach all day, which is not yet abated, I could not safely venture abroad. I have however, as in annual duty bound, attempted to write some lines on the occasion; not indeed with that accuracy the subject deserved, being the crudities of last night's lucubrations, to which I attribute the indisposition of my pate: but if they should in any measure merit your approbation, I shall rejoice in my pain. One comfort, however, I enjoy by absenting myself from your solemnity, that I shall not undergo a second mortification, by hearing my own stuff. Be pleased to render my most dutiful respects agreeable to the dean; and pardon this trouble from, madam, your most obliged, most obedient servant,
I AM glad of any occasion to write to you, and therefore business will be my excuse. I had lately a letter from Mrs. Warburton, the widow of him for whom I got a living in those parts where your society's estate lies. The substance of her request is a publick affair, wherein you and I shall agree; for neither of us are changed in point of principles. Mr. John Williams, your society's overseer, is worried by a set of people in one part of your estate, which is called Salters' Proportion, because he opposed the building of a fanatick meetinghouse in that place. This crew of dissenters are so enraged at this refusal, that they have incensed sir Thomas Webster, the landlord (I suppose under you) of that estate, against him, and are doing all in their power to get him discharged from your service. Mr. Warburton was his great friend. By what I understand, those factious people presume to take your timber at pleasure, contrary to your society's instructions, wherein Mr. Williams constantly opposes them to the utmost of his power, and that is one great cause of their malice. Long may you live a bridle to the insolence of dissenters, who, with their pupils the atheists, are now wholly employed in ruining the church; and have entered into publick associations subscribed and handed about publickly for that purpose. I wish you were forced to come over hither, because I am confident the journey and voyage would be good for your health: but my ill health and age have made it impossible for me to go over to you. I have often let you know that I have a good warm apartment for you, and I scorn to add any professions of your being welcome in summer or winter, or both: pray God bless you, and grant that you may live as long as you desire, and be ever happy hereafter. Is our friend Bolingbroke well? he is older than either of us; but I am chiefly concerned about his fortune: for some time ago a friend of us both writ to me, that he wished his lordship had listened a little to my thrifty lectures, instead of only laughing at them.
I am ever, with the truest affection,
Dear Mr. alderman,
Your most hearty friend
and obedient humble servant,
This letter, I suppose, will reach you, although I have forgot your street and part of the town.
I KNOW you are always pleased to do acts of charity, which encourages me to take the liberty of recommending a boy about ten years old, the bearer of this, to your goodness, to beg you would employ it in getting him put into the Bluecoat hospital. I received the enclosed letter from him this morning. Your compliance with this request, and pardon for this trouble, will oblige, sir, your most humble and most obedient servant,
I HAVE received your letter of this date, and will wait upon you to morrow morning. I am extremely sorry to find you meet with any thing that affects or perplexes you. I hope I shall never be guilty of such black ingratitude as to omit any opportunity of doing you every good office in my power.
I am, with the greatest esteem and gratitude, rev. sir, your most obliged and most obedient servant,
I AM more and more convinced that your letters are neither lost nor burnt; but who the dean means by a safe hand in Ireland is beyond my power of guessing, though I am particularly acquainted with most, if not all, of his friends. As I know you had the recovery of those letters at heart, I took more than ordinary pains to find out where they were; but my inquiries were to no purpose; and, I fear, whoever has them is too tenacious of them to discover where they lie. "Mrs. Whiteway did assure me she had not one of them; and seemed to be under great uneasiness, that you should imagine they were left with her. She likewise told me she had stopped the dean's letter which gave you that information, but believed he would write such another; and therefore desired me to assure you, from her, that she was totally ignorant where they were."
You may say what you please, either to the dean or any other person, of what I have told you. I am ready to testify it; and I think it ought to be known, "That the dean says they are delivered into a safe hand; and Mrs. Whiteway declares she has them not. The consequence of their being hereafter published may give uneasiness to some of your friends, and of course to you: so I would do all in my power to make you entirely easy in that point."
This is the first time that I have put pen to paper since my late misfortune; and I should say (as an excuse for this letter) that it has cost me some pain, did it not allow me an opportunity to assure you, that I am,
With the truest esteem,
Your very faithful and obedient servant,
MR. POPE TO MR. ALLEN.
MY vexation about Deane Swift's proceeding has fretted and employed me a great deal, in writing to Ireland, and trying all the means possible to retard it; for it is put past preventing, by his having (without my consent, or so much as letting me see the book,) printed most of it. — They at last promise me to send me the copy, and that I may correct and expunge what I will. This last would be of some use; but I dare not even do this, for they would say I revised it. And the bookseller writes, that he has been at great charge, &c. However, the dean, upon all I have said and written about it, has ordered him to submit to any expunction I insist upon: this is all I can obtain, and I know not whether to make any use of it or not. But as to your apprehension, that any suspicion may arise of my being anywise consenting or concerned in it, I have the pleasure to tell you, the whole thing is so circumstanced and so plain, that it can never be the case. I shall be very desirous to see what the letters are at all events; and I think that must determine my future measures; for till then I can judge nothing. The excessive earnestness the dean has been in for publishing them, makes me hope they are castigated in some degree, or he must be totally deprived of his understanding. They now offer to send me the originals [which have been so long detained]; and I will accept of them, (though they have done their job,) that they may not have them to produce against me, in case there be any offensive passages in them. If you can give me any advice, do. I wish I could show you what the dean's people, the women, and the bookseller, have done and writ, on my sending an absolute negative, and on the agency I have employed of some gentlemen to stop it, as well as threats of law, &c. The whole thing is too manifest to admit of any doubt in any man: how long this thing has been working; how many tricks have been played with the dean's papers, how they were secreted from him from time to time, while they feared his not complying with such a measure; and how, finding his weakness increase, they have at last made him the instrument himself for their private profit; whereas, I believe, before, they only intended to do this after his death.
EVERY time I see your hand, it is the greatest satisfaction that any writing can give me; and I am in proportion grieved to find, that several of my letters to testify it to you miscarry; and you ask me the same questions again which I prolixly have answered before. Your last, which was delivered me by Mr. Swift, inquires, where and how is lord Bolingbroke? who, in a paragraph in my last, under his own hand, gave you an account of himself; and I employed almost a whole letter on his affairs afterward. He has sold Dawley for twenty-six thousand pounds, much to his own satisfaction. His plan of life is now a very agreeable one in the finest country of France, divided between study and exercise; for he still reads or writes five or six hours a day, and generally hunts twice a week. He has the whole forest of Fontainbleau at his command, with the king's stables and dogs, &c., his lady's son-in-law being governor of that place. She resides most part of the year with my lord, at a large house they have hired; and the rest with her daughter, who is abbess of a royal convent in the neighbourhood.
I never saw him in stronger health or in better humour with his friends, or more indifferent and dispassionate to his enemies. He is seriously set upon writing some parts of the history of his times, which he has begun by a noble introduction, presenting a view of the whole state of Europe, from the Pyrenean treaty. He has hence deduced a summary sketch of the natural and incidental interests of each kingdom; and how they have varied from, or approached to, the true politicks of each, in the several administrations to this time. The history itself will be particular only on such facts and anecdotes as he personally knew, or produces vouchers for, both from home and abroad. This puts into my mind to tell you a fear he expressed lately to me, that some facts in your History of the Queen's Last Years (which he read here with me in 1727) are not exactly stated, and that he may be obliged to vary from them, in relation, I believe, to the conduct of the earl of Oxford, of which great care surely should be taken. And he told me, that, when he saw you in 1727, he made you observe them; and that you promised you would take care.
We very often commemorated you during the five months we lived together at Twickenham. At which place could I see you again, as I may hope to see him, I would envy no country in the world; and think, not Dublin only, but France and Italy, not worth the visiting once more in my life. The mention of travelling introduces your old acquaintance Mr. Jervas, who went to Rome and Naples purely in search of health. An asthma has reduced his body, but his spirit retains all its vigour; and he is returned, declaring life itself not worth a day's journey, at the expense of parting from one's friends.
Mr. Lewis every day remembers you. I lie at his house in town. Dr. Arbuthnot's daughter does not degenerate from the humour and goodness of her father. I love her much. She is like Gay, very idle, very ingenious, and inflexibly honest. Mrs. Patty Blount is one of the most considerate and mindful women in the world toward others, the least so in regard to herself: she speaks of you constantly. I scarcely know two more women worth naming to you: the rest are ladies, run after musick, and play at cards.
I always make your compliments to lord Oxford and lord Masham, when I see them. I see John Barber seldom; but always find him proud of some letter from you. I did my best with him, in behalf of one of your friends; and spoke to Mr. Lyttelton for the other, who was more prompt to catch than I to give fire, and flew to the prince that instant, who was pleased to please me.
You ask me, how I am at court. I keep my old walk, and deviate from it to no court. The prince shows me a distinction beyond any merit or pretence on my part; and I have received a present from him of some marble heads of poets for my library, and some urns for my garden. The ministerial writers rail at me; yet I have no quarrel with their masters, nor think it of weight enough to complain of them: I am very well with the courtiers I ever was or would be acquainted with. At least, they are civil to me; which is all I ask from courtiers, and all a wise man will expect from them. The duchess of Marlborough makes great court to me; but I am too old for her mind and body: yet I cultivate some young people's friendship, because they may be honest men; whereas the old ones experience too often proves not to be so, I having dropped ten where I have taken up one, and I hope to play the better with fewer in my hand. There is a lord Cornbury, a lord Polwarth, a Mr. Murray, and one or two more, with whom I would never fear to hold out against all the corruption of the world.
You compliment me in vain upon retaining my poetical spirit: I am sinking fast into prose; and, if I ever write more, it ought (at these years and in these times,) to be something, the matter of which will give a value to the work, not merely the manner.
Since my protest (for so I call my dialogue of 1738) I have written but ten lines, which I will send you. They are an insertion for the next new edition of the Dunciad, which generally is reprinted once in two years. In the second canto, among the authors who dive in Fleet ditch, immediately after Arnal, verse 300, add these:
Next plung'd a feeble but a desp'rate pack,
With each a sickly brother at his back;
Sons of a day! just buoyant on the flood,
Then numbered with the puppies in the mud.
Ask ye their names? I could as soon disclose
The names of those blind puppies as of those.
Fast by, like Niobe, her children gone,
Sits mother Osborne, stupified to stone;
And needy Paxton tells the world with tears,
These are, ah! no; these were my gazetteers.
Having nothing to tell you of my poetry, I come to what is now my chief care, my health and amusement: the first is better, as to headachs; worse, as to weakness and nerves. The changes of weather affect me much; otherwise I want not spirits, except when indigestions prevail. The mornings are my life; in the evenings I am not dead indeed, but sleep, and am stupid enough. I love reading still, better than conversation: but my eyes fail; and, at the hours when most people indulge in company, I am tired, and find the labour of the past day sufficient to weigh me down. So I hide myself in bed, as a bird in his nest, much about the same time, and rise and chirp the earlier in the morning. I often vary the scene (indeed at every friend's call) from London to Twickenham; or the contrary, to receive them, or be received by them.
Lord Bathurst is still my constant friend, and yours; but his country seat is now always in Gloucestershire, not in this neighbourhood. Mr. Pulteney has no country seat; and in town I see him seldom; but he always asks after you. In the summer I generally ramble for a month to lord Cobham's, the Bath, or elsewhere. In all those rambles my mind is full of you, and poor Gay, with whom I travelled so delightfully two summers. Why cannot I cross the sea? The unhappiest malady I have to complain of, the unhappiest accident of my whole life, is that weakness of the breast, which makes the physicians of opinion that a strong vomit would kill me. I have never taken one, nor had a natural motion that way in fifteen years. I went, some years ago, with lord Peterborow about ten leagues at sea, purely to try if I could sail without sea sickness, and with no other view than to make yourself and lord Bolingbroke a visit before I died.
But the experiment, though almost all the way near the coast, had almost ended all my views at once. Well then, I must submit to live at the distance which fortune has set us at: but my memory, my affections, my esteem, are inseparable from you, and will, my dear friend, be for ever yours.
P. S. This I end at lord Orrery's, in company with Dr. King. Wherever I can find two or three that are yours, I adhere to them naturally, and by that title they become mine. I thank you for sending Mr. Swift to me: he can tell you more of me.
CERTIFICATE TO A DISCARDED SERVANT.
DEANERY HOUSE, JAN. 9, 1739-40.
WHEREAS the bearer served me the space of one year, during which time he was an idler and a drunkard; I then discharged him as such; but how far his having been five years at sea may have mended his manners, I leave to the penetration of those who may hereafter choose to employ him.
I COULD never believe Mrs. Whiteway's gasconades in telling me of her acquaintance with you. But my age and perpetual disorders, and chiefly my vexatious deafness, with other infirmities, have completed the utter loss of my memory; so that I cannot recollect the names of those friends who come to see me twice or oftener every week. However, I remember to wish you a long lasting joy of being no longer a bachelor, especially because the teaser at my elbow assures me that the lady is altogether worthy to be your wife. I therefore command you both (if I live so long) to attend me at the deanery the day after you land; where Mrs. Precipitate, alias Whiteway, says I will give you a scandalous dinner. I suppose you will see your governor my old friend John Barber, whom I heartily love; and so you are to tell him. I am, dear sir, your most obedient and obliged servant,
THE bank note for one hundred guineas came safe to hand. Enclosed you have part of the "Advice to Servants." I wish I could get franks to send it in. Fix your day of publication, and I will wait until you are ready, that we may both come out the same day. I think the middle of November will do very well, as your city as well as Dublin, will be full at that time. I shall finish the volume with a Cantata of the dean's, set to musick, which, in my opinion, will have a greater run with the lovers of harmony than any of the Corelli's, Vivaldi's, Purcell's, or Handel's pieces. When Arne, the famous composer, was last in Ireland, he made application to me for this cantata (which I could not then procure), to set it to musick: perhaps he may do it now, and bring it on the stage; which, if he does, will run more than the Beggar's Opera; and therefore I would have you get it engraved in folio, with scores for bass, &c., which will make it sell very well. I believe you might get something handsome for it from Rich, or the managers of Drury lane, for which I shall send you the original MS. I am thus particular, that you may have the profit to yourself, as you will have the trouble. I was in daily expectation, for six weeks, of going to London; but was prevented by many accidents — I cannot say business, for I never had less, as Mr. Hitch well knows, having had no order from me for two months past. The Advice to Servants was never finished by the dean, and is consequently very incorrect; I believe you may see some Irishisms in it; if so, pray correct them. The dean's friends do not know the manner of an assignment, and desire you will send over the form. The story of the Injured Lady does not make above a sheet; and will vex your northern hardy neighbours more than the Publick Spirit of the Whigs, of which they complained to queen Anne. As you are famous for writing prefaces, pray help me to one for Advice to Servants, for which I have not yet printed the title. My best compliments to our friends, and should be obliged to Mr. Dodsley for the two letters; which you may send, under cover to Samuel Bindon, esq., at my house. I am whimsical, and send you the beginning of Advice, &c., and the remainder to Mr. Hitch, that you may print it immediately. I think it might be printed without the Injured Lady, as your volume will make the better figure with original pieces; but this I submit to your better judgment.
I long much to see London, although I have no other business than to visit my friends, and do them any service in my power; and if I can be useful to you in England or Ireland, pray let me know, and I will do it. I would not have you advertise until two or three days before you publish, in which I wish you all imaginable success; and am, dear sir,
Your faithful friend,
and obliged humble servant,
I HAVE at last finished, what you have often heard me wish I might be able to do, a monument for the greatest genius of our age, the late dean of St. Patrick's. The thing in itself is but a trifle; but it is more than I should ever have attempted, had I not with indignation seen a country (so honoured by the birth of so great a man, and so faithfully served by him all his life) so long and so shamefully negligent in erecting some monument of gratitude to his memory. Countries are not wise in such neglect: for they hurt themselves. Men of genius are encouraged to apply their talents to the service of their country, when they see in it gratitude to the memory of those who have deserved well of them. The ingenious pere Castle told me at Paris, that he reckoned it the greatest misfortune to him that he was not born an Englishman; and, when he explained himself, it was only for this, that, after two hundred years, they had erected a monument to Shakspeare; and another to a modern, but to the greatest of them, sir Isaac Newton. Great souls are very disinterested in the affairs of life: they look for fame and immortality, scorning the mean paths of interest and lucre: and, surely, in an age so mercenary as ours, men should not be so sparing to give publick marks of their gratitude to men of such virtue, dead, however they may treat them living; since in so doing, they bespeak, and almost insure to themselves, a succession of such useful persons in society. It was with this view that I have determined to throw in my mite.
In a fine lawn below my house, I have planted a hippodrome. It is a circular plantation, consisting of five walks; the central of which is a horsecourse, and three rounds make exactly a mile. All the lines are so laid out, that, from the centre, the six rows of trees appear but one, and form 100 arches round the field; in the centre of which I have erected a mount, and placed a marble column on its proper pedestal, with all the decorations of the order; on the summit of which I have placed a Pegasus, just seeming to take flight to the Heavens; and, on the die of the pedestal I have engraved the following inscription, written by an ingenious friend:
IN MEMORIAM IONATHAN SWIFT, S. T. P., VIRI SINE PARI.
AONIDVM FONTES APERIS, DIVINE POETA, ARTE NOVA: ÆTHEREAS PROPRIIS, VT PEGASVS, ALIS SCANDE DOMOS: ÆTERNVM ADDET TVA FAMA COLVMNÆ HVIC MEMORI DECVS. HIC, TANTI QVAM POSSVMVS VMBRAM NOMINIS IN MENTEM, SACRO REVOCARE QVOTANNIS LVDORVM RITV IVVAT; HIC TIBI PARVVS HONORVM OFFERTVR CVMVLVS: LAVDVM QVO FINE TVARVM COPIA CLAVDATVR QVI QVÆRIT, GENTIS IERNÆ PECTORA SCRVTETVR, LATVMQVE INTERROGET ORBEM.
I have also appointed a small fund for annual premiums to be distributed in the celebration of games at the monument yearly. The ceremony is to last three days, beginning the first of May, yearly. On this day, young maids and men in the neighbourhood are to assemble in the hippodrome, with their garlands and chaplets of flowers, and to dance round the monument, singing the praises of this ingenious patriot, and strewing with flowers all the place: after which, they are to dance for a prize; the best dancer among the maids is to be presented with a cap and ribbands; and, after the dance, the young men are to run for a hat and gloves.
The second day, there is to be a large market upon the ground: and the most regular reel and count is to have a guinea premium; and the person who buys the greatest quantity of yarn is to have a premium of two guineas.
The third day, the farmer who produces the best yearling calf of his own breed is to have two guineas premium; and he that produces the fairest colt or filly, of his own breed likewise, not over two years old, shall receive a premium of two guineas also. — Thus the whole will not exceed ten pounds; and all these useful branches of our growth and manufacture will be encouraged, in remembering the patron who with so much care and tenderness recommended them to others, and cherished them himself.
I am, dear sir,
Your humble servant,
AND whereas I am the author of the several books or tracts following:
Remarks on the History of England, from the Minutes of Humphrey Oldcastle. In twenty-four letters.
A Dissertation upon Parties. In nineteen letters to Caleb d'Anvers, esq.
The Occasional Writer. Number 1, 2, 3.
The Vision of Camilik.
An Answer to the London Journal of December 21, 1728, by John Trot.
An Answer to the Defence of the Inquiry into the Reasons of the Conduct of Great Britain.
A final Answer to the Remarks on the Craftsman's Vindication.
All which books or tracts have been printed and published; and I am also the author of "Four Letters on History," &c., which have been privately printed, and not published; but I have not assigned to any person or persons whatsoever the copy, or liberty of printing or reprinting any of the said books, or tracts, or letters. Now I do hereby, as far as by law I can, give and assign to David Mallet, of Putney, in the county of Surrey, esquire, the copy and copies of all and each of the before-mentioned books, or tracts, or letters, and the liberty of reprinting the same. I also give to the said David Mallet, the copy and copies of all the manuscript books, papers, and writings, which I have written or composed, or shall write or compose, and leave at the time of my decease. And I farther give to the said David Mallet all my books, which, at the time of of my decease, shall be in the room called my library.
I LEARN from England, sir, that lord Bolingbroke has left his manuscripts to you. His friends must see with satisfaction those title deeds of his reputation in the hands of the author of the life of the great lord Bacon; and you will have had the distinguished honour of having been guardian to the fame of two of the greatest geniuses which our country, and perhaps humanity, has produced; but with greater honour to you in this last instance, because you are such by the designation and choice of the author himself.
What works of his you may have for the publick, I know not. That, for which I was solicitous, because I believe it would be most instructive to the world, and might be most for his honour, he told me himself he had laid aside; I mean the history of the great transactions of Europe, from the time when he began to consider and know them. There remains of that, I believe, no more than a summary review, which I had the good fortune some time ago to draw from him, upon an application which I made to him to direct me in the study of history. You will probably have seen that summary review, which is in a collection of letters upon history, which he did me the honour to write me. It is but a sketch of the work he had proposed to himself; but it is the sketch of lord Bolingbroke. He will probably have told you, that those letters were by his direction delivered up by me to Mr. Pope, who burnt, as he told me, the manuscripts, and printed off, by a private press, some very few copies, which were to be considered still as manuscripts, one of which Mr. Pope kept, and sent another to lord Bolingbroke. Sir William Wyndham, lord Bathurst, lord Marchmont, Mr. Murray, and Mr. Lyttelton, I think, had each one. I do not remember to have been told of any copies given, except to myself, who have always preserved mine, as I would a MS. which was not my own, observing not only the restrictions which lord Bolingbroke himself had recommended to me, but securing likewise, as far as I could, even in case of my death, that this work should never become publick from that copy, which is in my possession. I enlarge upon this, because I think myself particularly obliged, out of regard to lord Bolingbroke, to give this account of that work to the person whom he has intrusted with all his writings, in case you might not have known this particularity. And at the same time I think it my duty, to the memory of lord Bolingbroke, to myself, and to the world too, to say something more to you in relation of this work.
It is a work, sir, which will instruct mankind, and do honour to its author; and yet I will take upon me to say, that for the sake of both, you must publish it with caution.
The greatest men have their faults, and sometimes the greatest faults; but the faults of superiour minds are the least indifferent both to themselves and to society. Humanity is interested in the fame of those who excelled in it; but it is interested before all in the good of society, and in the peace of the minds of the individuals that compose it. Lord Bolingbroke's mind embraced all objects, and looked far into all; but not without a strong mixture of passions, which will always necessarily beget some prejudices, and follow more. And on the subject of religion particularly (whatever was the motive that inflamed his passions upon that subject chiefly) his passions were the most strong; and I will venture to say (when called upon, as I think, to say what I have said more than once to himself, with the deference due to his age and extraordinary talents) his passions upon that subject did prevent his otherwise superiour reason from seeing, that even in a political light only he hurt himself, and wounded society, by striking at establishments, upon which the conduct at least of society depends, and by striving to overturn in men's minds the systems which experience at least has justified, and which authority at least has rendered respectable, as necessary to publick order and to private peace, without suggesting to their minds a better, or indeed any system.
You will find, sir, what I say to be true in a part of the work I mentioned, where he digresses upon the criticism of church history.
While this work remained in the hands only of those I have mentioned (except as I have been telling you, to himself and to them in private conversation) I have otherwise been silent upon that subject; but I must now say to you, sir, that for the world's sake, and for his, that part of the work ought by no means to be communicated farther. And you see that it is a digression not necessary to that work. If this digression should be made publick, it will be censured, it must be censured, it ought to be censured. It will be criticised too by able pens, whose erudition, as well as their reasonings, will not be easily answered. In such a case, I shall owe to myself and to the world to disclaim publickly that part of a work, which he did me the honour to address to me; but I owe to the regard which he has sometimes expressed for me, to disclaim it rather privately to you, sir, who are intrusted with bis writings, and to recommend to you to suppress that part of the work, as a good citizen of the world, for the world's peace, as one intrusted and obliged by lord Bolingbroke, not to raise new storms to his memory. I am, sir,
Your very humble servant,
I RECEIVED a very real pleasure, and at the same time a sensible concern, from the letter your lordship has honoured me with. Nothing could be more agreeable to me than the favourable opinion of one, whom I have long admired for every quality that enters into an estimable and an amiable character; but then nothing can occasion me more uneasiness, than not to be able to suppress that part of a work which you would have kept from publick view.
The book was printed off before your lordship's letter reached my hands; but this consideration alone would have appeared trifling to me. I apprehend, that I cannot, without being unfaithful to the trust reposed in me, omit or alter any thing in those works, which my lord Bolingbroke had deliberately prepared for the press, and I will publish no other. As to this in particular, his repeated commands to me were, that it should be printed exactly according to the copy be himself, in all the leisure of retirement, had corrected with that view.
Upon the whole, if your lordship should think it necessary to disclaim the reflections on Sacred History, by which I presume is meant some publick and authentick declaration, that your notions on this head differ entirely from those of your noble friend; even in this case I am sure you will do it with all the delicacy natural to your own disposition, and with all the tenderness to his memory, that the particular regard he always bore you can deserve.
I am, with the greatest respect,
My lord, &c.
Occasioned by reading a Paper, entitled,
THE CASE OF THE WOOLLEN MANUFACTURERS OF DUBLIN, ETC.
THE paper called The Case of the Woollen Manufacturers, &c. is very well drawn up. The reasonings of the author are just, the facts true, and the consequences natural. But his censure of those seven vile citizens, who import such a quantity of silk stuffs, and woollen cloth from England, is a hundred times gentler than enemies to their country deserve; because I think no punishment in this world can be great enough for them, without immediate repentance and amendment. But, after all, the writer of that paper has very lightly touched one point of the greatest importance, and very poorly answered the main objection, that the clothiers are defective both in the quality and quantity of their goods.
For my own part, when I consider the several societies of handicraftsmen in all kinds, as well as shopkeepers, in this city, after eighteen years experience of their dealings, I am at a loss to know in which of these societies the most or least honesty is to be found. For instance, when any trade comes first into my head, upon examination I determine it exceeds all others in fraud. But after I have considered them all round, as far as my knowledge or experience reaches, I am at a loss to determine, and to save trouble I put them all upon a par. This I chiefly apply to those societies of men who get their livelihood by the labour of their hands. For, as to shopkeepers, I cannot deny that I have found some few honest men among them, taking the word honest in the largest and most charitable sense. But as to handicraftsmen, although I shall endeavour to believe it possible to find a fair dealer among their clans, yet I confess it has never been once my good fortune to employ one single workman, who did not cheat me at all times to the utmost of his power in the materials, the work, and the price. One universal maxim I have constantly observed among them, that they would rather gain a shilling by cheating you, than twenty in the honest way of dealing, although they were sure to lose your custom, as well as that of others, whom you might probably recommend to them.
This, I must own, is the natural consequence of poverty and oppression. These wretched people catch at any thing to save them a minute longer from drowning. Thus Ireland is the poorest of all civilized countries in Europe, with every natural advantage to make it one of the richest.
As to the grand objection, which this writer slubbers over in so careless a manner, because indeed it was impossible to find a satisfactory answer, I mean the knavery of our woollen manufacturers in general, I shall relate some facts, which I had more opportunities to observe than usually fall in the way of men who are not of the trade. For some years, the masters and wardens, with many of their principal workmen and shopkeepers, came often to the deanery to relate their grievances, and to desire my advice as well as my assistance. What reasons might move them to this proceeding, I leave to publick conjecture. The truth is, that the woollen manufacture of this kingdom sat always nearest my heart. But the greatest difficulty lay in these perpetual differences between the shopkeepers and the workmen they employed. Ten or a dozen of these latter often came to the deanery with their complaints, which I often repeated to the shopkeepers. As, that they brought their prices too low for a poor weaver to get his bread by; and instead of ready money for their labour on Saturdays, they gave them only such a quantity of cloth or stuff, at the highest rate, which the poor men were often forced to sell one third below the rate, to supply their urgent necessities. On the other side, the shopkeepers complained of idleness, and want of skill, or care, or honesty, in their workmen; and probably their accusations on both sides were just.
Whenever the weavers, in a body, came to me for advice, I gave it freely, that they should contrive some way to bring their goods into reputation; and give up that abominable principle of endeavouring to thrive by imposing bad ware at high prices to their customers, whereby no shopkeeper can reasonably expect to thrive. For, beside the dread of God's anger (which is a motive of small force among them) they may be sure that no buyer of common sense will return to the same shop where he was once or twice defrauded. That gentlemen and ladies, when they found nothing but deceit in the sale of Irish cloths and stuffs, would act as they ought to do, both in prudence and resentment, in going to those very bad citizens the writer mentions, and purchase English goods.
I went farther, and proposed that ten or a dozen of the most substantial woollen drapers should join in publishing an advertisement, signed with their names, to the following purpose: That for the better encouragement of all gentlemen, &c., the persons undernamed did bind themselves mutually to sell their several cloths and stuffs (naming each kind) at the lowest rate, right merchantable goods, of such a breadth, which they would warrant to be good according to the several prices: and that if a child of ten years old were sent with money, and directions what cloth or stuff to buy, he should not be wronged in any one article. And that whoever should think himself ill used in any of the said shops, he should have his money again from the seller, or upon his refusal, from the rest of the said subscribers, who, if they found the buyer discontented with the cloth or stuff, should be obliged to refund the money; and if the seller refused to repay them, and take his goods again, should publickly advertise that they would answer for none of his goods any more. This would be to establish credit, upon which all trade depends.
I proposed this scheme several times to the corporation of weavers, as well as to the manufacturers, when they came to apply for my advice at the deanery house. I likewise went to the shops of several woollen drapers upon the same errand, but always in vain; for they perpetually gave me the deaf ear, and avoided entering into discourse upon that proposal: I suppose, because they thought it was in vain, and that the spirit of fraud had gotten too deep and universal a possession to be driven out by any arguments from interest, reason, or conscience.
CLERGY'S RESIDING ON THEIR LIVINGS.
THOSE gentlemen who have been promoted to bishopricks in this kingdom for several years past, are of two sorts: first, certain private clergymen from England, who, by the force or friends, industry, solicitation, or other means and merits to me unknown, have been raised to that character by the mero motu of the crown.
Of the other sort, are some clergymen born in this kingdom, who have most distinguished themselves by their warmth against popery, their great indulgence to dissenters, and all true loyal protestants; by their zeal for the house of Hanover, abhorrence of the pretender, and an implicit readiness to fall into any measures that will make the government easy to those who represent his majesty's person.
Some of the former kind are such as are said to have enjoyed tolerable preferments in England; and it is therefore much to their commendation that they have condescended to leave their native country, and come over hither to be bishops, merely to promote Christianity among us; and therefore in my opinion, both their lordships, and the many defenders they bring over, may justly claim the merit of missionaries sent to convert a nation from heresy and heathenism.
The districts of parishes throughout England continue much the same as they were before the reformation; and most of the churches are of the gothick architecture, built some hundred years ago; but the tithes of great numbers of churches having been applied by the pope's pretended authority to several abbies, and even before the reformation bestowed by that sacrilegious tyrant Henry VIII, on his ravenous favourites, the maintenance of an incumbent in most parts of the kingdom is contemptibly small; and yet a vicar there of forty pounds a year, can live with more comfort, than one of three times the nominal value with us. For his forty pounds are duly paid him, because there is not one farmer in a hundred, who is not worth five times the rent he pays to his landlord, and fifty times the sum demanded for the tithes; which, by the small compass of his parish, he can easily collect or compound for; and if his behaviour and understanding be supportable, he will probably receive presents now and then from his parishioners, and perhaps from the squire; who, although he may sometimes be apt to treat his parson a little superciliously, will probably be softened by a little humble demeanour. The vicar is likewise generally sure to find upon his admittance to his living, a convenient house and barn in repair, with a garden, and a field or two to graze a few cows, and one horse for himself and his wife. He has probably a market very near him, perhaps in his own village. No entertainment is expected by his visitor beyond a pot of ale, and a piece of cheese. He has every Sunday the comfort of a full congregation, of plain, cleanly people of both sexes, well to pass, and who speak his own language. The scene about him is fully cultivated (I mean for the general) and well inhabited. He dreads no thieves for any thing but his apples, for the trade of universal stealing is not so epidemick there as with us. His wife is little better than goody, in her birth, education, or dress; and as to himself, we must let his parentage alone. If he be the son of a farmer it is very sufficient, and his sister may very decently be chambermaid to the squire's wife. He goes about on working days in a grazier's coat, and will not scruple to assist his workmen in harvest time. He is usually wary and thrifty, and often more able to provide for a numerous family than some of ours can do with a rectory called 300l. a year. His daughters shall go to service, or be sent apprentice to the sempstress of the next town; and his sons are put to honest trades. This is the usual course of an English country vicar from twenty to sixty pounds a year.
As to the clergy of our own kingdom, their livings are generally larger. Not originally, or by the bounty of princes, parliaments, or charitable endowments, for the same degradations (and as to glebes, a much greater) have been made here, but, by the destruction and desolation in the long wars between the invaders and the natives; during which time a great part of the bishops lands, and almost all the glebes, were lost in the confusion. The first invaders had almost the whole kingdom divided among them. New invaders succeeded, and drove out their predecessors as native Irish. These were expelled by others who came after, and upon the same pretensions. Thus it went on for several hundred years, and in some degree even to our own memories. And thus it will probably go on, although not in a martial way, to the end of the world. For not only the purchasers of debentures forfeited in 1641, were all of English birth, but those after the restoration, and many who came hither even since the revolution, are looked upon as perfect Irish; directly contrary to the practice of all wise nations, and particularly of the Greeks and Romans, in establishing their colonies, by which name Ireland is very absurdly called.
Under these distractions the conquerors always seized what lands they could with little ceremony, whether they belonged to the church or not: thus the glebes were almost universally exposed to the first seizers, and could never be recovered, although the grants, with the particular denominations, are manifest, and still in being. The whole lands of the see of Waterford were wholly taken by one family; the like is reported of other bishopricks.
King James the first, who deserves more of the church of Ireland than all other princes put together, having the forfeitures of vast tracts of land in the northern parts (I think commonly called the escheated counties), having granted some hundred thousand acres of these lands to certain Scotch and English favourites, was prevailed on by some great prelates to grant to some sees in the north, and to many parishes there, certain parcels of land for the augmentation of poor bishopricks, did likewise endow many parishes with glebes for the incumbents, whereof a good number escaped the depredations of 1641 and 1688. These lands, when they were granted by king James, consisted mostly of woody ground, wherewith those parts of this island were then overrun. This is well known, universally allowed, and by some in part remembered; the rest being, in some places, not stubbed out to this day. And the value of the lands was consequently very inconsiderable, till Scotch colonies came over in swarms upon great encouragement to make them habitable; at least for such a race of strong bodied people, who came hither from their own bleak barren highlands, as it were into a Paradise; who soon were able to get straw for their bedding, instead of a bundle of heath spread on the ground, and sprinkled with water. Here, by degrees, they acquired some degree of politeness and civility, from such neighbouring Irish as we were still left after Tyrone's last rebellion, and are since grown almost entire possessors of the north. Thus, at length, the woods being rooted up, the land was brought in, and tilled, and the glebes which could not before yield twopence an acre, are equal to the best, sometimes affording the minister a good demesne, and some land to let.
These wars and desolations in their natural consequences, were likewise the cause of another effect, I mean that of uniting several parishes under one incumbent. For, as the lands were of little value by the want of inhabitants to cultivate them, and many of the churches levelled to the ground, particularly by the fanatick zeal of those rebellious saints who murdered their king, destroyed the church, and overthrew monarchy (for all which there is a humiliation day appointed by law, and soon approaching); so, in order to give a tolerable maintenance to a minister, and the country being too poor, as well as devotion too low, to think of building new churches, it was found necessary to repair some one church which had least suffered, and join sometimes three or more, enough for a bare support to some clergyman, who knew not where to provide himself better. This was a case of absolute necessity to prevent heathenism, as well as popery, from overrunning the nation. The consequence of these unions was very different, in different parts; for, in the north, by the Scotch settlement, their numbers daily increasing by new additions from their own country, and their prolifick quality peculiar to northern people, and lastly by their universally feeding upon oats (which grain, under its several preparations and denominations, is the only natural luxury of that hardy people) the value of tithes increased so prodigiously, that at this day, I confess, several united parishes ought to be divided, taking in so great a compass, that it is almost impossible for the people to travel timely to their own parish church, or their little churches to contain half their number, though ths revenue would be sufficient to maintain two, or perhaps three worthy clergymen with decency; provided the times mend, or that they were honestly dealt with, which I confess is seldom the case. I shall name only one, and it is the deanery of Derry; the revenue whereof, if the dean could get his dues, exceeding that of some bishopricks, both by the compass and fertility of the soil, the number as well as industry of the inhabitants, the conveniency of exporting their corn to Dublin and foreign parts; and, lastly, by the accidental discovery of marl in many places of the several parishes. Yet all this revenue is wholly founded upon corn, for I am told there is hardly an acre of glebe for the dean to plant and build on.
I am therefore of opinion, that a real unfalcated revenue of six hundred pounds a year, is a sufficient income for a country dean in this kingdom; and since the rents consist wholly of tithes, two parishes, to the amount of that value, should be united, and the dean reside as minister in that of Down, and the remaining parishes be divided among worthy clergymen, to about 300l. a year to each. The deanery of Derry, which is a large city, might be left worth 8OOl. a year, and Rapho according as it shall be thought proper. These three are the only opulent deaneries in the whole kingdom, and, as I am informed, consist all of tithes, which was an unhappy expedient in the church, occasioned by the sacrilegious robberies during the several times of confusion and war; insomuch that at this day there is hardly any remainder left of dean and chapter lands in Ireland, that delicious morsel swallowed so greedily in England, under the fanatick usurpations.
As to the present scheme of a bill for obliging the clergy to residence, now or lately in the privy council, I know no more of the particulars than what has been told me by several clergymen of distinction; who say, that a petition in the name of them all has been presented to the lord lieutenant and council, that they might be heard by their council against the bill, and that the petition was rejected, with some reasons why it was rejected; for the bishops are supposed to know best what is proper for the clergy. It seems the bill consists of two parts: first, a power in the bishops, with consent of the archbishop, and the patron, to take off from any parish, whatever it is worth, above 300l. a year; and this to be done without the incumbent's consent, which before was necessary in all divisions. The other part of the bill obliges all clergymen, from forty pounds a year and upwards, to reside, and build a house in his parish. But those of 40l. are remitted till they shall receive 100l. out of the revenue of first fruits granted by her late majesty.
WHEN the oath of supremacy was repealed, which had been the church's great security, since the second of queen Elizabeth, against both papists and presbyterians, who equally refused it, it let in such a current of dissenters into some of our corporations, as bore down all before them.
Although the sacramental test had been for a considerable time in force in England, yet that law did not reach Ireland, where the church was more oppressed by dissenters, and where her most sanguine friends were glad to compound, to preserve what legal security she had left, rather than attempt any new, or even to recover what she had lost: and in truth they had no reason to expect it, at a time when the dissenters had the interest to have a motion made and debated in parliament, that there might be a temporary repeal of all the penal laws against them; and when they were so flushed with the conquest they had made in some corporations, as to reject all overtures of a toleration; and, to that end, had employed Mr. Boyse to write against it with the utmost contempt, calling it "a stone instead of bread, a serpent instead of a fish."
When the church was in this situation, the clause of the sacramental test was happily sent over from England, tacked to the popery bill; which alarmed the whole body of the dissenters to that degree, that their managers began to ply with the greatest artifice and industry, to prevent its passing into a law. But (to the honour of that parliament be it spoken) the whole body of both lords and commons (some few excepted) passed the clause with great readiness, and defended it afterward with as great resolution.
The immediate consequence of this law was the recovery of several corporations from, the dissenters, and the preservation of others, to which the enterprising people had made very bold and quick approaches.
It was hoped that this signal defeat would have discouraged the dissenters from any farther attempts against the law, which had so unanimously passed both houses; but the contrary soon appeared: for, upon meeting of the parliament held by the earl of Pembroke, they quickly reassumed their wonted courage and confidence, and made no doubt but they should either procure an absolute repeal thereof, or get it so far relaxed, as that they might be admitted to offices of military trust: to this they apprehended themselves encouraged by a paragraph in his excellency's speech to both houses (which they applied to themselves) which was, "that the queen would be glad of any expedient, for strengthening the interest of her protestant subjects of Ireland."
The advocates for the dissenters immediately took hold of this handle; and, in order to prepare the way for this expedient, insisting boldly upon their merit and loyalty, charged the church with persecution, and extolled their signal behaviour in the late revolution to that degree, as if by their singular prowess they had saved the nation.
But all this was only to prepare the way for the grand engine, which was forming to beat down this law; and that was their expedient addresses.
The first of this kind was, from a provincial synod of the northern dissenters, beginning with high encomiums upon themselves, and as high demands from the publick, "for their untainted loyalty in all turns of government, which," they said, "was the natural consequence of their known principles;" expressions, which, had they been applied to them by their adversaries, must have been understood as spoken ironically; and, indeed, to have been the greatest sarcasm imaginable upon them (especially when we consider the insolent treatment given to her late majesty in the very same address;) for, immediately after they pass this compliment upon themselves, they tell her majesty, they deeply regret the sacramental test; and frankly declared, that neither the gentlemen nor people of their persuasion could (they must mean would) serve her, whatever exigences might arise, unless that law was repealed.
The managers for the kirk, following this precedent, endeavoured to obtain addresses to the same purpose from the corporations; and though they proved unsuccessful in most, they procured them from our most considerable conforming corporations; and that too at a critical juncture, when numbers of Scotch presbyterians, who had deserved well in the affair of the union, and could not be rewarded in England (where the test act was in force), stood ready to overrun our preferments as soon as the test should be repealed in Ireland.
When the managers found the house of commons could not be brought into that scheme of an expedient, to be offered by them; their refinement upon this was, to move for an address, "That the house would accept of an expedient from her majesty;" but this also was rejected; for, by this project, the managers would have led the queen into this dilemma, either to disoblige the whole body of the dissenters, by refusing to name the expedient, or else to give up the conformists to the insults and incroachments of the dissenters, by the repeal of that law, which was declared by the house of lords to be the great security of the established church, and of the English interest in Ireland.
The next attempt they made against the test was during the government of lord Wharton. The dissenters seemed more resolute now than ever to have the test repealed, especially when his excellency had declared from the throne, "that they were neither to be persecuted nor molested." For they, who had all along called the test act a persecution, might reasonably conclude that grievance would be removed; when they were told by the chief governor, that "they were not even to be molested." But, to their great confusion, they were soon undeceived, when they found, upon trial, that the house of commons would not bear the least motion toward it.
Their movements to repeal the test being stopped this way, the managers were obliged to take several other ways to come at it: and at the time that some pretended to sooth, others seemed to threaten even the legislature.
There happened about the time when the project of the expedient was on foot, an excellent occasion to express their resentments against this law, and that was, when great numbers of them refused the oath of allegiance, and to oppose the pretender; insisting upon a repeal of the test act, as the condition of their arming in defence of their queen and country. The government was not reduced to such straits, as to submit to that condition; and the test stood firm, in spite of both the dissenters and the pretender, until the latter was driven from our coasts; and then one would have thought the hopes of the former would have vanished with him.
But it proved quite contrary: for those sons of the earth, rebounding with fresh vigour from their falls, recovered new strength and spirit from every defeat; and the next attempt was bolder (considering the circumstance they were in) than any they had made before:
The case was this: the house of lords of Ireland had accused them to the queen of several illegal practices, which highly concerned the safety of our constitution both in church and state: the particulars of which charge were summed up in a representation from the lords to this effect:
"That they (the dissenters) had opposed and persecuted the conformists in those parts where their power prevailed, had invaded their congregation, propagated their schism in places where it had not the least footing formerly; that they were protected from a legal persecution by a noli prosequi in the case of Drogheda; that they refused to take conforming apprentices, and confined trade among themselves, exclusive of the conformists: that, in their illegal assemblies, they had prosecuted and censured their people for being married according to law; that they have thrown publick and scandalous reflections upon the episcopal order, and upon our laws, particularly the sacramental test, and had misapplied the royal bounty of 1200l. per annum in propagating their schism, and undermining the church: and had exercised an illegal jurisdiction in their presbyteries and Synods," &c.
To this representation of the lords, the dissenters remonstrate in an address to the queen, or rather an appeal to their own people; in which, although it is evident they were conscious of those crimes whereof they stood accused, as appears by the evasions they make to this high charge; yet, even under these circumstances, (such was their modesty) they pressed for a repeal of the test act, by the modest appellation of a grievance, and odious mark of infamy, &c.
One particular in another address I cannot omit. The house of lords, in their representation, had accused one dissenting teacher in particular (well known to Mr. Boyse); the charge was in these words: "Nor has the legislature itself escaped the censure of a bold author of theirs, who has published in print, that the sacramental test is only an engine to advance a state faction, and to debase religion to serve base and unworthy purposes."
"As to this part of their lordships complaint, we beg leave to lay before your majesty the words of that author; which are these: Nor can we altogether excuse those who turn the holy Eucharist into an engine to advance a state faction, and endeavour to confine the common table of our Lord, by their arbitrary enclosures, to a party: religion is thereby debased, to serve mean and unworthy purposes." "We humbly conceive, that the author, in that passage, makes no mention of the legislature at all, &c.; and we cannot omit, on this occasion, to regret it, as the great unhappiness of a kingdom, that dissenters should now be disabled from concurring in the defence of it in any future exigency and danger, and should have the same infamy put upon them with the Irish papists. We therefore humbly hope, that your majesty shall consider, how little real grounds there are for those complaints made by their lordships."
What a mixture of impudence and prevarication is this! That one dissenting teacher, accused to his prince of having censured the legislature, should presume, backed only by five more of the same quality and profession, to transcribe the guilty paragraph, and (to secure his meaning from all possibility of being mistaken) annex another to it; wherein they rail at that very law for which he in so audacious a manner censured the queen and parliament, and at the same time should expect to be acquitted by her majesty because he had not mentioned the word legislature. It is true, the word legislature is not expressed in that paragraph; but let Mr. Boyse say, what other power but the legislature could, in this sense, "turn the holy Eucharist into an engine to advance a state faction, or confine offices of trust, or the communion table of our Lord, by their arbitrary enclosures, to a party." It is plain he can from his principles intend no others but the legislators of the sacramental test; though at the same time I freely own, that this is a vile description of them; for neither have they by this law made the sacramental test an engine to advance, but rather to depress, a state faction; nor have they made any arbitrary enclosures of the common table of the Lord, since as many as please may receive the sacrament with us in our churches; and those who will not may freely, as before, receive it in their separate congregations: nor, in the last place, is religion hereby debased to serve mean and unworthy purposes; nor is it any more than all lawgivers do, by enjoining an oath of allegiance, and making that a religious test; for an oath is an act of religious worship, as well as the Eucharist.
Upon the whole, is not this an instance of prodigious boldness in Jo. Boyse, backed with only five dissenting teachers, thus to recriminate upon the Irish house of lords (as they were pleased to call them in the title of their printed address); and almost to insist with her majesty upon the repeal of the law, which she had stamped with her royal authority but a few years before?
The next attempt of the dissenters against this law was made during the government of the duke of Shrewsbury, by the whole compacted body of their teachers and elders, with a formidable engine, called a representation of grievances; in which, after they had reviled the test act with the same odious appellations, and insisted upon the same insolent arguments for the repeal thereof, which they had formerly urged to the queen, they expressed themselves to his grace in these words: "We beg leave to say, that those persons must be inexcusable, and chargeable with all the bad consequences that may follow, who, in such a kingdom as this, and at such a time as this, disable, disgrace, and divide protestants; a thing that ought not to be done at any time, or in any place, much less then in this," &c.
Is it possible to conceive any thing more provoking than this humble supplication of these remonstrators? Does not this sound like a demand of the repeal of the test, at the peril of those who dare refuse it? Is it not an application with a hat in one hand, and a sword in the other, and that too in the style of a king of Ulster, to a king of Conaught — "Repeal the test, or if you don't —"
But to proceed in this narrative: notwithstanding the defeat of the dissenters in England in their late attempt against the test, their brethren in Ireland are so far from being discouraged, that they seem now to conceive greater hopes of having it repealed here than ever. In order to prepare necessaries, and furnish topicks for this attempt, there was a paper printed upon the opening of last session, and now republished, entitled, "The Nature and Consequences of the Sacramental Test considered, with Reasons humbly offered for the Repeal thereof."
It is not my intention to follow this author through all the mazes and windings of his reasoning upon this subject, which, in truth, seem such incoherent shreds, that it is impossible to tie them together; and therefore what I propose is to answer such objections to the test, as are advanced either by this author or any other, which have any appearance of reason or plausibility.
I know it is not prudent to despise an adversary, nor fain to prepossess readers, before I show this bold and insolent writer in his proper figure and dress; and therefore, however I may take him to be a feeble advocate for the repeal of the test in point of reasoning, yet I freely allow him to be a most resolute champion in point of courage, who has, with such intrepidity, attacked, not only the first enactors of this law, but all such who shall continue it by giving their negatives to the repeal.
Page 19, he says, "The truth is, the imposition of the test, and continuing it in such a state of the kingdom, appears (at first sight) so great an absurdity in politicks as can never be accounted for."
Who are these absurd politicians? Are they not the majority of both houses of parliament?
But, to strengthen his reflections, page 26, he gives the whole legislature to understand, "that continuing the test does not become the wisdom and justice of the legislature, under the pretence of its being for the advantage of the state, when it is really prejudicial to it;" and farther tells us, it infringes on the indisputable right of the dissenters."
Page 57, he says, "The gentlemen of the house of commons, who framed the bill to prevent the farther growth of popery, instead of approving the test clause, which was inserted, publickly declared their dislike to it, and their resolution to take the first opportunity of repealing it, though at that time they unwillingly passed it rather than lose a bill they were so fond of. This resolution has not been as yet fulfilled, for what reasons our worthy patriots themselves know best."
I should be glad this author would inform us, who and how many of those members joined in this resolution to repeal the test; or where that resolution is to be found, which he mentions twice in that same paragraph: surely not in the books of the house of commons!
If not, suppose some few gentlemen of the house of commons (and to be sure very few they were) who publickly declared their dislike to it, or entered into any resolution; this, I think, he should have explained, and not insinuated so gross a reflection on a majority of the house of commons, who first passed this law, and have ever since opposed all attempts to repeal it; these are the gentlemen whom, in sarcasm and irony, he is pleased to call the worthy, that is, the unworthy patriots themselves.
But, to mention no more, he concludes his notable piece with these remarkable words, page 62, 63.
"Thus it appears, with regard to the protestant succession, which has now happily taken place, how reasonable it is to repeal the sacramental test; and that granting that favour to the dissenters [which by the by cannot be granted but by parliament] can be disagreeable to none, who have a just sense of the many blessings we enjoy by the protestant succession in his majesty's royal family."
I conceive it will be readily allowed, that, in all applications from any body of men, or particular subject, to the legislature, the highest encomiums are to be looked upon as purely complimental; but that the least insinuation of disrespect ought to be considered in the strictest sense the expressions can bear. Now, if we apply this observation to what this bold adventurer has said with respect to the legislators of the sacramental test; does he not directly and plainly charge them with injustice, imprudence, gross absurdity, and jacobitism? Let the most prejudiced reader, that is not predetermined against conviction, say, whether this libeller of the parliament has not drawn up a high charge against the makers and continuers of this law.
Notwithstanding my resentment, which to be sure he does not value, I would be sorry he should bring upon himself the resentment of those he has been so free with. Is not this author justly to be reputed a defamer,till he produces instances wherein the conforming nobihty and gentry of Ireland have shown their disaffection to the succession of the illustrious house of Hanover?
Did they ever refuse the oath of abjuration, or support any conforming nonjuring teachers in their congregations? did ever any conforming gentleman, or common people, refuse to be arrayed, when the militia was raised upon the invasion of the pretender? did any of them ever show the least reluctance, or make any exception against their officers, whether they were dissenters or churchmen?
It may be said, that, from these insinuations, I would have it understood, that the dissenters encouraged some of their teachers who refused the oath of abjuration; and that, even in the article of danger, when the pretender made an attempt in Scotland, our northern presbyterians showed great reluctance in taking arms upon the array of the militia.
I freely own, it is my intention; and I must affirm both facts to be true, however they have the assurance to deny it.
What can be more notorious, than the protection, countenance, and support, which was continued to Riddall, McBride, and McCrackan, who absolutely refused the oath of abjuration; and yet were continued to teach in their congregations after they returned from Scotland, when a prosecution was directed, and a council in criminal causes was sent down to the county of Antrim, to prosecute them? — With respect to the parliament; did ever any house of commons show greater alacrity in raising money, and equipping ships in defence of the king, than the last house did upon the expected invasion of the pretender? and did ever any parliament give money with greater unanimity, for the support of the crown, than the present has done, whatever the wants of their private families might be? and must a very great majority of those persons be branded with the infamous aspersion of disaffection to the illustrious house of Hanover, should they refuse to give their voices for the repeal of the test?
I am fully persuaded that this author and his fellow labourers do not believe one word of this heavy charge; but their present circumstances are such, that they must run all hazards.
A great number of the nonconforming gentlemen daily leave them. Many men, whose fathers were elders or rigid nonconformists, are now constant communicants, and justices of peace in their several counties; insomuch that it is highly probable, should the test continue twenty years longer, that there would not be a gentleman left to solicit a repeal.
I shall hereafter take occasion to show, how inconsiderable they are, for their numbers and fortunes, who can be served or obliged by this repeal, which number is daily lessening. The dissenting teachers are sufficiently aware, that the general conformity of the gentlemen will be followed by the conformity of numbers of the people; and, should it not be so, that they will be but poorly supported by them; that by the continuance of the test, their craft will be in danger to be set at naught, and in all probability will end in a general conformity of the presbyterians to the established church. So that they have the strongest reasons in the world to press for a repeal of the test; but those reasons must have equal force for the continuance of it with all that wish the peace of the church and state, and would not have us torn in pieces with endless and causeless divisions.
There is one short passage more I had like to have omitted, which our author leaves as a sting in the tail of his libel; his words are these, p. 59. "The truth is, no one party of a religious denomination, in Britain or Ireland, were so united as they (the dissenters,) indeed no one but they, in an inviolable attachment to the protestant succession." To detect the folly of this assertion, I subjoin the following letter, from a person of known integrity, and inviolably attached to the protestant succession as any dissenter in the kingdom; I mean, Mr. Warreng of Warrengstown, then a member of parliament, and commissioner of array in the county of Down, upon the expected invasion of the pretender. This letter was writ in a short time after the array of the militia; for the truth of which I refer to Mr. Warreng himself:
"Sir, That I may fulfil your desire, by giving you an account how the dissenters in my neighbourhood behaved themselves, when we were threatened with an invasion of the pretender; be pleased to know, that, upon an alarm given of his being landed near Derry, none were more zealous in setting watch and keeping guard than they, to prevent such disorders as might happen at that time by ill designing persons passing through and disturbing the peace of the country.
"But, when the goverment thought fit to have the kingdom arrayed, and sent commissioners into these parts, some time after; it appeared, that the dissenters had by that time been otherwise instructed; for several, who were so forward before, behaved themselves after a very different manner, some refusing, and others with reluctancy appearing upon the array, to be enlisted, and serve in the militia.
"This behaviour surprised me so much, that I took occasion to discourse several of them, over whom I thought I had as much influence as any other person, and sound them upon the common argument of having their hands tied by a late act of parliament, &c. Whereupon I took some pains to show the act to them, and wherein they were mistaken. I farther pressed their concurrence with us, in procuring the common peace and security of our country; and though they seemed convinced by what I said, yet I was given to understand, their behaviour was according to the sentiments of some persons, whom they thought themselves obliged to observe, or be directed by," &c.
MY DEAR COUNTRYMEN,
IT is now some considerable time since I troubled you with my advice; and, as I am growing old and infirm, I was in good hopes to have been quietly laid in my grave, before any occasion offered of addressing you again: but my affection for you, which does not decay, though my poor body does, obliges me once more to put you in mind of your true interests, that you may not unwarily run yourselves into danger and distress, for want of understanding, or seriously considering it.
I have many reasons to believe, that there are not few among you, who secretly rejoice at the rebellion which is now raised in Scotland; and perhaps conceive hopes of some alteration for the better, in their circumstances and condition, if it should succeed. It is those mistaken people whom I design to talk to in this letter, and I desire no more of them than to give me a fair hearing; examining coolly with themselves, whether what I shall say be true.
It is no objection to my speaking to them, that they are generally papists. I do not know how other people are disposed; but, for my part, I hate no man for his religion; I look upon a papist as my countryman and neighbour, though I happen myself to be a protestant. And, if I know what advice is good for him, I can see no reason why I should not give it him, or why he should not take it.
A papist has sense, I suppose, like other men, to see his interest and advantage; and the same natural desire to embrace it where he finds it; and, if I can show him where it lies, he will not, I believe, kick it from him, barely to spite me as a protestant.
I have nothing to say to the popish gentry of this kingdom. They would hardly take such a plain man's advice; and, besides, they have so many ways of coming off safe themselves, though the poor people were undone, that I need not be concerned for them.
My care is for the common people, the labourers, farmers, artificers, and tradesmen, of this nation; who are in danger of being deluded by their betters, and made tools of to serve their purposes, without any advantage to themselves. It is possible, that, among the lords and squires, one perhaps of a hundred would get something by a change: places and employments will be promised them, no doubt; and a few of those promises, perhaps, the French and Scotch friends of the pretender might give him leave to keep. But what are the poorer sort the better all this while? Will the labourer get one farthing a day more? Will the farmer's rent be lowered? Will the artificer be more employed, or better paid? Will the tradesman get more customers, or have fewer scores upon his books?
I have been bred in a careful way of life; and never ventured upon any project, without consulting my pillow first how much I should be a gainer in the upshot. I wish my good countrymen would do so too; and, before they grow fond of change, ask themselves this sober question, Whether it would better their condition if it were really brought about? If it would not, to what purpose do we wish it? If the poor labourer, when all is over, is to be a labourer still, and earn his groat a day as hardly as he did before; I cannot find why he should think it worth his while to venture a leg or an arm, and the gallows too into the bargain, to be just where he set out. If he must dig and delve when the pretender is settled on the throne, he had as good stick to it now, for any difference I can see.
I believe, my countrymen are not so mad as to imagine the pretender can, or will, give every one of them estates; and I am sure, if he does not, they can be only where they were. If a farmer must pay his rent, I see no reason that he should be much concerned whether he pays it to one man or to another. His popish landlord will, I suppose demand it as soon and as strictly as a protestant; and, if he does not pay it, pound his cattle, or distrain his goods, as readily at least.
I have not observed that tenants to popish landlords wear tighter clothes, ride better cattle, or spend more money at markets and fairs, than the tenants on protestant estates; therefore I cannot believe they are better used: on the contrary, I know, from long experience, that there is more money taken in my shop from the latter than the former; and therefore I suppose that, generally speaking, they are in better circumstances. I could wish all of them had better bargains; but, since they will not be mended by the best success that their own hearts could wish to the pretender, they may as well be quiet, and make the best of such as they have already.
There is not a more foolish trade than fighting for nothing; and I hope my good countrymen will be too wise to be persuaded into it. Fine speeches and fair promises will not be wanting, to delude them; but let them remember the warning I now give them, that, when all is over, the very best that can befal them is, to have their labour for their pains.
I doubt not but you are told, "that you will all be made;" and I do not expect that you should take my word to the contrary. I desire only, that you would trust the understanding God has given you, and not be fooled out of your senses. Will the manufacturer be made, by an entire stop to business? or the tradesman, by being obliged to shut up shop? And yet you all must know, that, in a civil war, no work can be carried on, nor any trade go forward. I hope you are not yet so stupid as to think, that people will build houses, buy rich furniture, or make up fine clothes, when we are all together by the ears, and nobody can tell to whose share they will fall at last. And if there be no buyers, you can have no employers. Merchants will not stock themselves with goods when there is no demand for them, to have their shops rifled, and their storehouses broken open and plundered, by one side or the other.
Indeed, my good friends and countrymen, let designing people say what they please, you will all be ruined in the struggle, let it end which way it will; and it well deserves your thoughts, whether it is worth your while to beggar yourselves and families, that the man's name upon the throne may be James instead of George. You will probably see neither of them while you live, nor be one penny the richer for the one or for the other; and, if you take my advice, you will accordingly not trouble your heads about them.
You may think it a fine thing, when you get drunk over your ale, to throw up your caps and cry, "Long live king James!" but it would be a wiser thing, to think how you will live yourselves, after you are beggared in his cause. Will he make good your losses? pay one man for the plundering of his warehouse, and another for the rifling of his shop? Will he give you money, think ye, to release your own and your wives' clothes which you must pawn for bread, because no work is stirring? Will he buy new looms and tackle for you, because yours have been burnt and destroyed? If you fancy so, you are strangely imposed upon indeed. He will have other things to do with his money; or, if he had any to spare, there will be hungry Frenchmen enough about him to snap it up before it comes to you.
I will not say any thing to you about the dangers you must run in the course of a civil war, though they are very dreadful, and more horrid than you can possibly imagine, because I cannot think that there is any need of it. I have shown you very plainly, that, if you should be deluded to take arms, you fight for less than nothing, for the undoing of yourselves and families; and if this argument will not prevail upon you to be quiet, I can only pray for you, that God will be pleased to restore you to the right use of your understandings. I am,
Your old and faithful friend,
AFTER HIS DEATH.
OCTOBER 31, 1745.
ON Saturday last died, at the deanery house in
The rev. JONATHAN SWIFT, D. D.
Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin:
The greatest genius that this or perhaps any other age
or nation ever produced.
His indefatigable application to study in his earlier
days, induced a total deprivation of his
understanding, in which state he has
continued for some years past.
Which must be admired as long as the English
language continues to be understood,
Are remarkable for a vein of wit and humour,
Which runs through the whole of them without
exception, and which is not to be met with
in those of any other author.
His satire, though poignant, was intended rather to
reform than ridicule;
His manner was ever easy and natural;
His thoughts new and pleasing;
His style chaste and polished;
His verse smooth and flowing.
In his private character he was no less excellent:
His conversation was always pleasant and agreeable;
He was pious without hypocrisy,
Virtuous without austerity,
And beneficent without ostentation.
As he loved his country,
So he was ever watchful of its interest,
And zealous to promote it.
No wonder then,
That with these qualifications and endowments,
He became the delight of his countrymen,
And the admiration of foreigners.
In short, it may with justice be said,
That he was a great and good man,
An honour to his country, and to human nature.
WHEN Swift is considered as an author, it is just to estimate his powers by their effects. In the reign of queen Anne he turned the stream of popularity against the whigs, and must be confessed to have dictated for a time the political opinions of the English nation. In the succeeding reign he delivered Ireland from plunder and oppression; and showed that wit, confederated with truth, had such force as authority was unable to resist. He said truly of himself, that Ireland "was his debtor." It was from the time when he first began to patronize the Irish, that they may date their riches and prosperity. He taught them first to know their own interest, their weight, and their strength, and gave them spirit to assert that equality with their fellow subjects, to which they have ever since been making vigorous advances, and to claim those rights which they have at last established. Nor can they be charged with ingratitude to their benefactor; for they reverenced him as a guardian, and obeyed him as a dictator.
In his works he has given very different specimens both of sentiments and expression. His "Tale of a Tub" has little resemblance to his other pieces. It exhibits a vehemence and rapidity of mind, a copiousness of images, and vivacity of diction, such as he afterward never possessed, or never exerted. It is of a mode so distinct and peculiar, that it must be considered by itself; what is true of that, is not true of any thing else which he has written.
In his other works is found an equable tenour of easy language, which rather trickles than flows. His delight was in simplicity. That he has in his works no metaphor, as has been said, is not true; but his few metaphors seem to be received rather by necessity than choice. He studied purity; and though perhaps all his strictures are not exact, yet it is not often that solecisms can be found; and whoever depends on his authority may generally conclude himself safe. His sentences are never too much dilated or contracted; and it will not be easy to find any embarrassment in the complication of his clauses, any inconsequence in his connexions, or abruptness in his transitions.
His style was well suited to his thoughts, which are never subtilised by nice disquisitions, decorated by sparkling conceits, elevated by ambitious sentences, or variegated by far sought learning. He pays no court to the passions; he excites neither surprise nor admiration; he always understands himself; and his readers always understand him: the peruser of Swift wants little previous knowledge; it will be sufficient that he is acquainted wath common words and common things; he is neither required to mount elevations, nor to explore profundities; his passage is always on a level, along solid ground, without asperities, without obstruction.
This easy and safe conveyance of meaning it was Swift's desire to attain, and for having attained he deserves praise. For purposes merely didactick, when something is to be told that was not known before, it is the best mode; but against that inattention by which known truths are suffered to lie neglected, it makes no provision; it instructs, but does not persuade.
By his political education he was associated with the whigs; but he deserted them when they deserted their principles, yet without running into the contrary extreme; he continued throughout his life to retain the disposition which he assigns to the "Church of England man," of thinking commonly with the whigs of the state, and with the tories of the church.
He was a churchman rationally zealous; he desired the prosperity, and maintained the honour, of the clergy; of the dissenters he did not wish to infringe the toleration, but he opposed their encroachments.
To his duty as dean he was very attentive. He managed the revenues of his church with exact economy; and it is said by Delany, that more money was, under his direction, laid out in repairs, than had ever been in the same time since its first erection. Of his choir he was eminently careful; and, though he neither loved nor understood musick, took care that all the singers were well qualified, admitting none without the testimony of skilful judges. In his church he restored the practice of weekly communion, and distributed the sacramental elements in the most solemn and devout manner with his own hand. He came to church every morning, preached commonly in his turn, and attended the evening anthem, that it might not be negligently performed.
He read the service "rather with a strong, nervous voice, than in a graceful manner; his voice was sharp and high toned, rather than harmonious."
He entered upon the clerical state with hope to excel in preaching; but complained, that, from the time of his political controversies, "he could only preach pamphlets." This censure of himself, if judgment be made from those sermons which have been printed, was unreasonably severe.
The suspicions of his irreligion proceeded in a great measure from his dread of hypocrisy; instead of wishing to seem better, he delighted in seeming worse than he was. He went in London to early prayers, lest he should be seen at church; he read prayers to his servants every morning with such dexterous secrecy, that Dr. Delany was six months in his house before he knew it. He was not only careful to hide the good which he did, but willingly incurred the suspicion of evil which he did not. He forgot what himself had formerly asserted, that hypocrisy is less mischievous than open impiety. Dr. Delany, with all his zeal for his honour, has justly condemned this part of his character.
The person of Swift had not many recommendations. He had a kind of muddy complexion, which, though he washed himself with oriental scrupulosity, did not look clear. He had a countenance sour and severe, which he seldom softened by any appearance of gayety. He stubbornly resisted any tendency to laughter.
To his domesticks he was naturally rough; and a man of a rigorous temper, with that vigilance of minute attention which his works discover, must have been a master that few could bear. That he was disposed to do his servants good, on important occasions, is no great mitigation; benefaction can be but rare, and tyrannick peevishness is perpetual. He did not spare the servants of others. Once, when he dined alone with the earl of Orrery, he said of one that waited in the room, "That man has, since we sat down to the table, committed fifteen faults." What the faults were, lord Orrery, from whom I heard the story, had not been attentive enough to discover. My number may perhaps not be exact.
In his economy he practised a peculiar and offensive parsimony, without disguise or apology. The practice of saving being once necessary, became habitual, and grew first ridiculous, and at last detestable. But his avarice, though it might exclude pleasure, was never suffered to encroach npon his virtue. He was frugal by inclination, but liberal by principle; and if the purpose to which he destined his little accumulations be remembered, with his distribution of occasional charity, it will perhaps appear, that he only liked one mode of expense better than another, and saved merely that he might have something to give. He did not grow rich by injuring his successors, but left both Laracor and the deanery more valuable than he found them. — With all this talk of his covetousness and generosity, it should be remembered, that he was never rich. The revenue of his deanery was not much more than seven hundred a year.
His beneficence was not graced with tenderness or civility; he relieved without pity, and assisted without kindness; so that those who were fed by him could hardly love him.
He made a rule to himself to give but one piece at a time, and therefore always stored his pocket with coins of different value.
Whatever he did, he seemed willing to do in a manner peculiar to himself, without sufficiently considering, that singularity, as it implies a contempt of the general practice, is a kind of defiance which justly provokes the hostility of ridicule; he, therefore, who indulges peculiar habits, is worse than others, if he be not better.
"Dr. Swift has an odd, blunt way, that is mistaken, by strangers, for ill nature. — It is so odd, that there's no describing it but by facts. I will tell you one that first comes into my head. One evening, Gay and I went to see him: you know how intimately we were all acquainted. On our coming in, ’Heyday, gentlemen, (says the doctor) what's the meaning of this visit? How came you to leave the great lords, that you are so fond of, to come hither to see a poor dean!' — ’Because we would rather see you than any of them.' — 'Ay, any one that did not know so well as I do might believe you. But since you are come, I must get some supper for you, I suppose?' — 'No, doctor, we have supped already.' — 'Supped already? that's impossible! why, it is not eight o'clock yet. — That's very strange; but if you had not supped, I must have got something for you. — Let me see, what should I have had? A couple of lobsters; ay, that would have done very well; two shillings — tarts, a shilling: but you will drink a glass of wine with me, though you supped so much before your usual time only to spare my pocket?' — 'No, we had rather talk with you than drink with you.' — 'But if you had supped with me, as in all reason you ought to have done, you must then have drunk with me. — A bottle of wine, two shillings — two and two is four, and one is five; just two and sixpence apiece. There, Pope, there's half a crown for you, and there's another for you, sir; for I will not save any thing by you, I am determined.' — This was all said and done with his usual seriousness on such occasions; and, in spite of every thing we could say to the contrary, he actually obliged us to take the money."
In the intercourse of familiar life, he indulged his disposition to petulance and sarcasm, and thought himself injured if the licentiousness of his raillery, the freedom of his censures, or the petulance of his frolicks, was resented or repressed. He predominated over his companions with very high ascendency, and probably would bear none over whom he could not predominate. To give him advice was, in the style of his friend Delany, "to venture to speak to him." This customary superiority soon grew too delicate for truth; and Swift, with all his penetration, allowed himself to be delighted with low flattery.
On all common occasions, he habitually affects a style of arrogance, and dictates rather than persuades. This authoritative and magisterial language he expected to be received as his peculiar mode of jocularity: but he apparently flattered his own arrogance by an assumed imperiousness, in which he was ironical only to the resentful, and to the submissive sufficiently serious.
He told stories with great felicity, and delighted in doing what he knew himself to do well; he was therefore captivated by the respectful silence of a steady listener, and told the same tales too often.
He did not, however, claim the right of talking alone; for it was his rule, when he had spoken a minute, to give room by a pause for any other speaker. Of time, on all occasions, he was an exact computer, and knew the minutes required to every common operation.
It may be justly supposed that there was in his conversation, what appears so frequently in his letters, an affectation of familiarity with the great, an ambition of momentary equality sought and enjoyed by the neglect of those ceremonies which custom has established as the barriers between one order of society and another. This transgression of regularity was by himself and his admirers termed greatness of soul. But a great mind disdains to hold any thing by courtesy, and therefore never usurps what a lawful claimant may take away. He that encroaches on another's dignity, puts himself in his power; he is either repelled with helpless indignity, or endured by clemency and condescension.
Of Swift's general habits of thinking, if his letters can be supposed to afford any evidence, he was not a man to be either loved or envied. He seems to have wasted life in discontent, by the rage of neglected pride, and the languishment of unsatisfied desire. He is querulous and fastidious, arrogant and malignant; he scarcely speaks of himself but with indignant lamentations, or of others but with insolent superiority when he is gay, and with angry contempt when he is gloomy. From the letters that passed between him and Pope it might be inferred that they, with Arbuthnot and Gay, had engrossed all the understanding and virtue of mankind; that their merits filled the world; or that there was no hope of more. They show the age involved in darkness, and shade the picture with sullen emulation.
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.
The greatest difficulty that occurs, in analyzing 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 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.
In the poetical works of Dr. Swift there is not much upon which the critick can exercise his powers. They are often humorous, almost always light, and have the qualities which recommend such compositions, easiness and gayety. They are, for the most part, what their author intended. The diction is correct, the numbers are smooth, and the rhimes 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."
To divide this collection into classes, and show 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 not often to his judgment, but his humour.
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.
THE principal charges that are stated as affecting the character of Swift are as follows: His want of benevolence, his impiety, and his treatment of Stella and Vanessa. To these I shall reply in the order in which they are here stated. It will however be necessary, before I proceed on the subject of these charges, to take a transient survey of those writers from whose reports the publick have formed their ideas of this illustrious man. His biographers were four in number; Orrery, Hawkesworth, Johnson, and Sheridan: for as to Dr. Delany, Deane Swift, esq., and Mrs. Pilkington, they come under a different description.
How far the biographers of Swift adhered to truth, were uninfluenced by prejudice, or were possessed of information, shall now be inquired.
The first in order is lord Orrery. As, during the life of Swift, this man was the most assiduous of his visitors, and the most servile of his flatterers, when the memoirs of the illustrious dean were announced as coming from the pen of Orrery, expectation waited the appearance of unlimited panegyrick. Great was the disappointment of the world when a libel, replete with the most ungenerous, the most unmerited accusations, was the only tribute his lordship offered to the memory of departed worth. To see the hand of friendship planting a thorn at the grave it ought to have decorated with roses, excited the indignation of the good, and the wonder of the bad.
On a conduct so repugnant to honour and to justice, and for which no cause but the general depravity of weak minds has hitherto been assigned, the following anecdote will perhaps throw some light. — Lord Orrery having one day gained admission, to Swift's library, discovered a letter of his own, written several years before, lying still unopened, and on which Swift had written, "This will keep cold." As in a publication of this kind, authenticity is of the utmost importance, I shall to this, as to every other anecdote, add the name of my informer. The story which I have just communicated, was related to me by the rev. Dr. Berkeley, prebendary of Canterbury, and son of the late bishop of Cloyne. Were any additional authority necessary to procure it credit, I could add, that the story was also related to me by the late archbishop of Tuam, who thought, as I do, that it fully accounts for the malignity that dictated, and the treachery that blackens, every page of lord Orrery's publication. While the sanction of Swift could support his lordship's ill-founded claims to genius, boundless was the respect which he professed to entertain for his literary patron; but when the venerable pile was mouldering in the dust, the right honourable biographer erected on the ruins a temple to perfidy: and though he had not even the courage of the ass to insult the dying lion, yet, monster like, he preyed upon the carcase. I shall conclude my observations on his lordship's performance, by saying, that though he possessed the amplest means of information, he has given the publick a work equally deficient in matter and in truth.
Although, after what I have said, to draw lord Orrery's character is hardly necessary; yet, as he once had a sort of literary reputation, the opinion delivered of him by the celebrated bishop of Cloyne may possibly be thought worth preserving. It was as follows: "My lord Orrery would be a man of genius if he knew how to set about it."
Dr. Hawkesworth is the next of Swift's biographers that occurs. For the task he undertook his talents were fully equal; and the period at which he wrote was friendly to impartiality. Swift had now been dead some years; and Hawkesworth was the first man from whom the publick could expect a totally unprejudiced account of his life. To Hawkesworth, except as a writer, Swift was wholly unknown. His mirth had never enlivened the hours, nor had his satire embittered the repose, of him who was now to be his biographer; circumstances these highly favourable to impartial investigation and candid decision. But alas! Hawkesworth contented himself with such materials as the life of Orrery and the apologies of Deane Swift and Dr. Delany afforded, adding nothing to this stock of information but a few scattered remarks collected by Johnson. Of his performance, therefore, I shall only observe, that its information is sometimes useful and amusing, and that its misrepresentations are never intentional.
Some years after the publication of Hawkesworth's Life, on the Collection of the British Poets, Johnson, the general and able biographer, reclaimed for his own use the materials he had originally communicated to his friend. Of fresh matter he added little. At his time of life indolence was excusable. But the little which he gave bears incontestable marks of its origin; and however incorrect the Life of Swift (as given by Johnson) may be considered, it is but justice to say, that he is the only one of the dean's biographers who has offered any thing in extenuation of his conduct toward Stella and Vanessa. At the same time, it is impossible not to regret, that when Johnson became the biographer of Swift, he should have contented himself with pursuing the beaten track; for had he provided himself with materials that might have easily been collected, a life would have been given to the world, which, like his own inimitable Rasselas, would have at once diffused pleasure and instruction.
The last of this great man's biographers was Sheridan; a name not unknown to genius, and with which one has long been accustomed to connect ideas of literary merit and of Swift. From the writer now before us may be collected much information, and that information well authenticated. His father's intimacy, and his own acquaintance with the dean, had enabled him to acquire a thorough knowledge of Swift's later years, of which Dr. Sheridan was the constant companion; and it is about them only that the publick wishes for information. The former were passed in a station too conspicuous to admit of secrecy, in a manner too splendid to escape observation.
At the same time, I cannot refrain from observing, that some few passages in Sheridan's memoirs are deserving of censure, especially in his attempt to vindicate the conduct of Swift toward those two celebrated females, who bartered happiness for immortality. He seems on that occasion to have collected improper circumstances, and to have stated them by way of extenuation. I am however well convinced, that to him they must have appeared in a light widely different, as his attachment to the memory of Swift was too sincere to justify any supposition to the contrary.
Notwithstanding these faults, it would be highly unjust to the memory of Mr. Sheridan were I to dismiss this subject without saying, that his work breathes a spirit of truth and candour which does honour to the writer's heart; and that his life of Swift will, together with other useful publications, rescue from oblivion the memory of an honest man.
Having concluded my remarks on the principal writers who have made any mention of Swift, I shall proceed to inquire with what degree of justice he has been charged with being a misanthrope.
The authors of this charge have ever depended on the yahoos for support: And where could those who wished to throw dirt have found more proper allies? for it seems to have been a favourite amusement among that celebrated nation. "How," exclaim the enemies of Swift, "could a man that possessed one spark of benevolence paint human nature in such colours?" They then proceed to declaim for an hour on the dignity of human nature; a term which, though generally used, I could never comprehend: nor have I found, among those who were most frequent in the use of it, one person able to favour me with a satisfactory definition.
The only meaning I can affix to the term is, that it alludes to a certain portion of dignity which is innate in us, and consequently inseparable from our nature. Now, if this definition be allowed to be just, it will be incumbent on the patrons of innate dignity to show in what it consists; and whether it be discernible in our state of infancy, which is more helpless than that of any other creature; or at a more advanced period of our lives, when we are slaves to our passions? or whether its splendour is more evident when our sun sets, enveloped in the cheerless clouds of dotage? Till this point be determined, I shall beg leave to remain an infidel with respect to the existence of this much injured dignity.
The writers on this subject seem to have involved themselves in an errour, by not distinguishing between the terms natural and acquired. That human nature is, by the practice of virtue, capable of acquiring great dignity, is what I most readily admit; but the dignity of an individual, thus acquired by himself, cannot be said to be the dignity of the species. No man who sees two mares at Astley's dancing a minuet will affirm, that dancing is common to the whole species; or, because some men are born with a power of erecting their ears, that therefore it is a power common to the whole race. But admitting that this same dignity existed any where but in the imaginations of those who declaim about it, the History of the Yahoos can by no means be considered as offering any insult to our nature. It only paints mankind in that state to which habits of vice must necessarily sink them. And it is surely no very reprehensible part of Swift's character, that, being by profession a teacher of morals, he should paint the deformity of vice in colours the most glaring, and in situations the most disgusting. It therefore remains with the publick to determine, how far he is culpable who attempts to correct by satire those who are invulnerable to reproof, and deaf to persuasion; and how far a wish to make mankind better, and consequently happier, is a proof of misanthropy.
I shall not trespass on the reader's attention by recapitulating the many instances of benevolence and mercy, that adorned the life of the illustrious dean. They are too well known to need repetition, and arc recorded where they will one day be amply rewarded. I shall therefore conclude this subject by observing, that of his benevolence no one can entertain a doubt, who sees him resigning the only preferment he possessed to relieve the wants of honest indigence; who sees him quitting the splendid mansions of the great, to visit the dreary residence of sequestered wo; exchanging the applause of peers and of princes for the inarticulate thanks of grateful poverty; while the smile which he frequently withheld from the great, beamed spontaneous on every child of sorrow.
I shall now proceed to the consideration of the second charge; namely, that of impiety.
The first and the most important argument on which the patrons of this charge rest their hopes of success, is the tendency said to be observable in the Tale of a Tub.
"Of this work," says Johnson, "charity may be persuaded to think, that it might be written by a man of a peculiar character without bad intention; but it is certainly of dangerous example." I confess myself unable to discern the danger. The Tale of a Tub holds up to ridicule superstitious and fanatical absurdities, which, having no weak side of common sense, defy argument, and are unassailable by learning: but the essentials of religion are never attacked; and that church, for which Johnson entertained the highest veneration, is every where treated with the respect which is due to the glory of the reformation. If, in the book, a flight of fancy now and then occurs which a serious mind would wish away, before Swift be convicted of impiety, the following circumstances ought to be impartially weighed.
In the first place, the Tale of a Tub was the work of a very young man; and although the rule of Horace, Nonum prematur in annum, was observed, it still made its appearance at an early period of the author's life. To say, that he whose youth is not totally exempt from levity will be disgraced by an old age of blasphemy, is perhaps not perfectly consistent with that first of human virtues, charity. But of that virtue the persecutors of Swift seem to have had little or no idea. Secondly, I maintain, that in the work before us there is not a single passage which implies a disbelief of revelation: At the same time I must confess, there are many passages that, with the assistance of well meaning and able commentators, might be so construed as to prove, that the author was an admirer of the Gentoo tenets, and not wholly averse to the god of Thibet. For although my reading cannot as yet have been very extensive, I have read enough to know, that there is not the least necessity for any sort of connexion between the text and the commentary.
Having remarked upon the arguments advanced in support of this charge, I shall now beg leave to offer something on the other side of the question. — In the first place, Swift, very early in life, conceived a violent disgust at that despicable vice hypocrisy; a vice so infamous and so degrading as is hardly to be expressed. Nor shall we wonder at his utter abhorrence of this vice, when we reflect how successfully it had been cultivated a little while before his birth by those eminently pious men, whose splendid triumph over the king and the constitution so gloriously distinguished the 17th century. To the horrour he entertained of this vice must be attributed the cautious manner in which he concealed that sense of religion, which seems to have been early impressed on his mind. For what but a sense of religion, and a most refined one too, could have withheld him from entering into orders till he had first obtained the refusal of some post, by means of which he could obtain to himself the blessings resulting from independence? To what but a sense of religion can we attribute the unequalled attention and decency with which he discharged his duty as dean of St. Patrick's? — for I believe no man is fool enough to charge Swift with being a slave to appearances. Lastly, It is a certain fact, that while the power of speech remained, the dean continued constant in the performance of his private devotions; and in proportion as his memory failed, they were gradually shortened, till at last he could only repeat the Lord's prayer. That, however, he continued to do till the power of utterance for ever ceased. This information I had from the servant who attended him. Now, an address to Heaven by one whose reason was on the wane, must have arisen from habit. Hypocrisy cannot be supposed to have influenced him, who was unmindful of the past, unconscious of the present, and indifferent to the future.
I am now come to the only part of Swift's conduct which is, in my opinion, deserving of censure; I mean his treatment of Stella and Vanessa. But be it remembered, that censure, though merited, should be proportioned to the crime. Had the dean's accusers taken the trouble of candidly investigating all the circumstances relative to that double connexion, they might possibly have found the unfortunate lover not wholly undeserving of pity.
But before I proceed to inquire how far the treatment Stella experienced was or was not excusable, I shall inform my reader who Stella really was. On this point all the biographers of Swift have been misinformed. The following account I received a few days ago in a letter from Mrs. Hearn, niece to the celebrated Mrs. Johnson, and who now resides at Brighton, near Alresford, Hants, with her daughter, Mrs. Harrison, the wife of a most respectable clergyman of that name.
"Mrs. Esther Johnson, better known by the name of Stella, was born at Richmond in Surry on the 13th of March 168l. Her father was a merchant, and the younger brother of a good family in Nottinghamshire. He died young, and left his widow with three children, a son and two daughters. While Mrs. Johnson lived at Richmond, she had the happiness of becoming first acquainted with lady Gifford, the sister of sir William Temple. The uncommon endowments, both of body and mind, which Mrs. Johnson certainly possessed in a high degree, soon gained her not only the esteem but the warm friendship of that excellent lady; a friendship which lasted till death. As they seldom were apart, and lady Gifford lived much with her brother sir William, it was through her that Mrs. Johnson and her two daughters (her son dying young) were brought to the knowledge and friendship of sir William Temple and his lady; who discovering so many excellencies, and such fine parts, in the little Hetty, as she was always called in the Temple family, so far took upon themselves the care of her education as to bring her up with their own niece the late Mrs. Temple of Moor Park, by Farnham; a most acceptable piece of kindness and friendship this to the mother, whose little fortune had been greatly injured by the South Sea bubbles. And here it was that Dr. Swift first became acquainted with Stella, and commenced that attachment which terminated in their marriage. The cause why that marriage was not owned to the world has never been thoroughly explained. It is the opinion, however, of her own family, that their finances not being equal to the style in which the dean wished to move as a married man, could be the only one; Stella's own fortune being only 15001., one thousand of which, as a farther mark of friendship, was left her by sir William Temple himself. It was Dr. Swift's wish at last to have owned his marriage; but finding herself declining very fast, Stella did not choose to alter her mode of life, and besides fully intended coming over to England to her mother."
It has been asserted that Swift, from the first moment of his acquaintance with Stella, had resolved never to marry. But it may possibly strike the reader as somewhat singular, that the dean could entertain serious thoughts (as from his letter to Varina, inserted in this collection, it is evident he did) of forming a permanent connexion with a woman, who, by his own account, was no desirable object; and yet, immediately afterward, when he became sensible of Stella's worth, who was in every respect superiour to his former mistress, he should immediately determine to spend the remainder of his days in a state of celibacy; especially as, at that time, there is little reason to think he could flatter himself with the idea, that the gentle Stella would consent to share his fortunes before they were properly hers; and, relying on his honour and his love, follow his footsteps through distant realms.
Besides, as Swift informed the bishop of Clogher what rules he had laid down with respect to marrying, it is pretty certain he had never made any resolution against matrimony, as no one but a lunatick would resolve on a particular line of conduct, to be observed in a predicament in which he was determined never to place himself, and in which no one, without his own consent, could place him. After what has been said, I presume the assertion I am now combating needs no other confutation.
Swift's motive for putting a period to his connexion with Varina, seems to have been the vexation he daily experienced from that caprice, which a weak woman never fails to exercise as a proof of the despotick sway, with which her own charms or her lover's infatuation have invested her; and he who withdraws himself from a government thus tyrannical, cannot with justice be considered as deserving of censure. Now, it is probable that the caprice of Varina influenced not a little the conduct of Swift toward Stella. The only woman with whom he had hitherto been intimately connected, had shown that she knew only the abuse of power; and he might have his fears, that should he avow himself the lover of Stella, she might also be ignorant how to use that power, with which his avowal would invest her. If, however, this suspicion existed, it was certainly ill founded, and never could have entered into the dean's mind, had Stella been the first object of his regard; but experience is the parent of suspicion. The mind of Stella was too great, her sentiments were too exalted to admit of her being capricious. Caprice is the growth of weak minds only.
What has been said may possibly account for Swift's never throwing off the mask of friendship during this intercourse with the lovely partner of his fortunes. On this ground, it appears no very difficult matter to reconcile his conduct toward Stella with the most determined resolution of marrying her, whenever circumstances should admit of it. And if we attentively survey the situation of Swift, from the first moment of his connexion with the far-famed object of his wishes to the period immediately preceding her death, we shall be at a loss to point out the time when, consistently with the dictates of prudence, he could have united himself with his amiable mistress.
From the promised munificence of king William, he received nothing but disappointment. Yet such a promise to the dead, to one whom he had honoured with his confidence and friendship, should have been considered by the monarch as guarded from violation by every tie that could influence either a great or good mind.
But to proceed. After Swift's retirement from Moor Park till his connexion with lord Berkeley, he had no prospect of preferment. The misconduct of that nobleman, I am sorry to say, but too justly provoked the indignation of Swift; and the provision he at length obtained was too scanty to admit of his embarking with a family. On his promotion to the deanery of St. Patrick, a system of the severest economy was necessary to liquidate the debt contracted by a long and vexatious attendance on ministry; at the same time that a certain degree of state was a necessary appendage to his station.
To the union of Swift and Stella there was, however, at one period of their connexion, a much more formidable obstacle than any that could have arisen from prudence. It is with reluctance I proceed; but during one of the dean's long ministerial attendances in London, commenced his acquaintance with Vanessa.
This lady possessed wit, youth, beauty, a competent share of wealth, and universal admiration. Thus decorated, she offered herself a willing victim at the shrine of Swift, by whose genius she was completely fascinated.
To behold, without emotion, such a sacrifice, was hardly to be expected from man. But to the honour of Swift be it remembered, that though allured by such attractions as were indeed at once most rare and powerful, he made a long and obstinate defence; and when the death of the queen exiled him as it were from England, he used all the force of argument to prevail on Vanessa, to smother the destructive flame she had so long nourished in her bosom, and which, he wisely apprehended, would at some future period kindle a conflagration, from which effects the most fatal were justly to be dreaded. Dazzled at first by the splendour of his conquest, he was prevented from seeing his own conduct in a proper point of view; but when the death of the queen reminded him that Ireland was to be the scene of his remaining years, the thought of wounding her, whom he had invited to that country, by the presence of her rival, shocked the delicacy of his feelings; while the idea of Stella, neglected and forsaken, returned with redoubled force, and once more possessed itself of his mind.
Yet at the moment when he recommended to Vanessa forgetfulness of the past, it is certain he taught what he could not practise, and that what was right was preferred to what was pleasant. In the eye of justice, the claims of Stella were highly forcible. She had, at an early period of life, yielded her affections to the assiduities of Swift. To enjoy his society, she had sacrificed her country and her connexions, and had fixed her abode in a part of the world where people were by no means inclined to put the best construction on the face of things. And it must be owned, that to those who were not behind the curtain, matters wore not an appearance highly favourable to delicacy.
In circumstances like these, to have finally deserted Stella was a piece of cruelty and of villany of which her lover was utterly incapable. His return to Ireland certainly lessened her anxiety, and rendered her situation more tolerable than it could be during his absence. Whatever she might think of the state of his affections, she was at least in a situation to attempt the recovery of them; and though disappointment had killed the roses of youth, yet her conversation was still attractive, her mind cultivated, and her manners gentle. But the arrival of the unfortunate Vanessa soon violated the tranquillity of Stella. The anxiety inseparable from such a situation as hers preyed on her spirits, and materially affected her health.
Swift, shocked at the effects his own inconstancy was likely to produce, requested bishop Ash, the common friend of both, to inquire from Stella what could restore her former peace of mind. Her answer was to this effect, "That for many years she had patiently born the tongue of slander; but that hitherto she had been cheered by the hope of one day becoming his wife: That of such an event she now saw no probability; and that, consequently, her memory would be transmitted to posterity branded with the most unmerited obloquy."
Swift, in his reply to this declaration, observed, that "in early life he had laid down two maxims with respect to matrimony: The first was, never to marry unless possessed of a competency: the second, unless this was the case at such a period of life as afforded him a probable prospect of living to educate his family; but yet, since her happiness depended on his marrying her, he would directly comply with her wishes on the following terms: That it should remain a secret from all the world, unless the discovery were called for by some urgent necessity; and that they should continue in separate houses."
To these terms Stella readily acceded; and in 1716, they were married by the bishop of Clogher, who himself related the circumstance to bishop Berkeley, by whose relict the story was communicated to me.
What Swift meant by the term urgent necessity, unless it alluded to the birth of children, it would be hard to say; but before I proceed any farther in my inquiry, I shall here insert an anecdote, for the authenticity of which I pretend not to vouch. I shall relate it as I heard it, and shall mention the name of my informer, who was Richard Brennan, the servant in whose arms Swift breathed his last, and who attended him during the six years that immediately preceded his death. My informer, who is still living in Dublin, told me, that when he was at school, there was a boy boarded with the master, who was commonly reported to be the dean's son by Mrs. Johnson. He added, that the boy strongly resembled the dean in his complexion; that he dined constantly at the deanery every Sunday; and that, when other boys were driven out of the deanery yard, he was suffered to remain there and divert himself. This boy survived Mrs. Johnson but a year or two at the most.
All I shall remark on this story is, that it is very consistent with the dates of Mrs. Johnson's marriage and death; the former having taken place in 1716, the latter in 1727-8. The story is, however, related merely as the report of the day, and no stress is meant to be laid upon it.
Swift, by marrying Stella at a time when it is pretty certain he ceased to entertain for her any very impassioned sentiments, is one proof that he thought the laws of honour entitled to the strictest observance. He saw, when it was too late, the errour of his conduct toward that amiable woman, and made reparation; though, to be sure, his declining to acknowledge her was a step that cannot be justified, and which must be attributed merely to that love of singularity, which in a greater or less degree is inseparable from genius.
It is the property of genius to make men despise happiness as it is served up to the rest of mankind. Men of genius will cook it their own way; and in their attempts to heighten the flavour, they too often spoil the dish. Such was the case of the unfortunate dean of St. Patrick's. Had Swift been a blockhead, he would not have had the evening of his life imbittered by reflections the most piercing, the most cruel! — he would have pursued the beaten track which leads to that which is commonly called happiness, and would have reached the goal without interruption.
Having no farther observations to make on the peculiar circumstances of the unfortunate Stella, I shall conclude my account of her, by drawing her character as it appears to me from the best information I have been able to collect. Her manners were gentle to a great degree; her mind was rather elegant than strong; her reading was extensive; her wit was rather agreeable than brilliant, while her patience and her piety will find more to admire than to imitate them.
With respect to Vanessa I have little to say. While, in justice to Swift, I cannot refrain from observing, that the first advances came from her, I should not forbear recalling to the reader's recollection what is remarked a few pages back, that when Vanessa selected Cadenus for her lover, she was universally followed and admired; and whatever construction may be put on a celebrated poem, which it is to be wished had never seen the light, I shall venture to assert, that the passion she entertained for Swift was perfectly innocent. She knew of no engagement to prevent their union; and to obtain that union was the sole object of her wishes. Although the encouragement she gave to Swift might be rather inconsistent with the etiquette observed by all prudent and experienced women when in a state of courtship; yet for this inattention it is by no means right to brand her memory with the severest obloquy.
With respect to the dean's conduct toward this lady, no other apology can be offered than this: That the violence of the passion which he entertained for her, blinded him to the fatal effects that were likely to arise from such a connexion; and that he found himself unexpectedly in a situation where perseverance was wrong, and where retreat was impossible. Swift has been severely blamed for continuing his connexion with Vanessa after his marriage with Stella: But be it remembered, that though in this point he erred, his motive was such as, though it could not justify, certainly palliated the crime. He wanted resolution mortally to wound the peace of one who loved so well. Justice and nature contested the point; and those who in this instance may censure, cannot regret the triumph of the latter. It is likewise more than probable, that one of the motives which induced Swift to conceal his marriage, was a wish to spare Vanessa so severe a pang; the effects produced by the discovery of that fatal secret were foreseen, and are too well known to need recapitulation. Her last will declared what her feelings were: Her appointing Swift's most intimate friend bishop Berkeley to be one of the executioners of her vengeance, shows the violence of her resentment. At the same time, had the hour of Vanessa's dissolution been less rapid in its approach, had death allowed the storm of passion time to subside, it is more than probable she would have recalled her order respecting the publication of their mutual correspondence. Her passions were violent, and consequently would have been short lived. Her heart was tender, and her sensibility great; while her mind was possessed of a degree of strength not always to be found among the fair sex; and her talents in many points eclipsed those of her unfortunate rival.
Such was Vanessa, over whose last moments, as well as over those of the amiable Stella, it were to be wished that a veil had from the first been drawn. They only exhibit two dreary scenes of cheerless sorrow, over which the benevolent and the feeling will drop one silent tear; while none will withhold from the ill-fated Swift the tribute of pity, but such as, in opposition to the benevolent author of nature, prefer sacrifice to mercy.
APRIL 15, 1714.
THE change of ministry about four years ago, the fall of the duke of Marlborough, and the proceedings since, in relation to the peace and treaties, are all capable of being very maliciously represented to posterity, if they should fall under the pen of some writer of the opposite party, as they probably may.
Upon these reasons, it is necessary, for the honour of the queen, and in justice to her servants, that some able hand should be immediately employed to write the history of her majesty's reign; that the truth of things may be transmitted to future ages, and bear down the falsehood of malicious pens.
The dean of St. Patrick's is ready to undertake this work, humbly desiring her majesty will please to appoint him her historiographer, not from any view of the profit (which is so inconsiderable that it will hardly serve to pay the expense of searching offices), but from an earnest desire to serve his queen and country; for which that employment will qualify him, by an opportunity of access to those places where papers and records are kept, which will be necessary to any who undertakes such a history.
MAY 22, 1719.
IHAD an express sent to me yesterday by some friends, to let me know that you refused to accept my proxy, which I think was in a legal form, and with all the circumstances it ought to have. I was likewise informed of some other particulars, relating to your displeasure for my not appearing. You may remember if you please, that I promised last year never to appear again at your visitations; and I will most certainly keep my word, if the law will permit me: not from any contempt of your lordship's jurisdictions, but that I would not put you under the temptation of giving me injurious treatment, which no wise man, if he can avoid it, will receive above once from the same person.
I had the less apprehension of any hard dealing from your lordship, because I had been more than ordinary officious in my respects to you from your first coming over. I waited on you as soon I knew of your landing. I attended on you in your first journey to Trim. I lent you a useful book relating to your diocese; and repeated my visits, till I saw you never intended to return them. And I could have no design to serve myself, having nothing to hope or fear from you. I cannot help it, if I am called of a different party from your lordship: but that circumstance is of no consequence with me, who respect good men of all parties alike.
I have already nominated a person to be my curate, and did humbly recommend him to your lordship to be ordained, which must be done by some other bishop, since you were pleased (as I am told) to refuse it: and I am apt to think you will be of opinion, that when I have a lawful curate, I shall not be under the necessity of a personal appearance, from which I hold myself excused by another station. If I shall prove to be mistaken, I declare my appearance will be extremely against my inclinations. However I hope that in such a case, your lordship will please to remember in the midst of your resentments that you are to speak to a clergyman, and not to a footman.
I am, your lordship's most obedient,
DUBLIN, OCT. 6, 1721.
I HAD no mind to load you with the secret of my going, because you should bear none of the blame. I talk upon a supposition, that Mr. Rochfort had a mind to keep me longer, which I will allow in him and you, but not one of the family besides, who I confess had reason enough to be weary of a man, who entered into none of their tastes, nor pleasures, nor fancies, nor opinions, nor talk. I baited at Clencurry, and got to Leslip between three and four, saw the curiosities there, and the next morning came to Dublin by eight o'clock, and was at prayers in my cathedral. There's a traveller. I forgot a long treatise copied by my Irish secretary, which I lent Clem. Barry — Pray get it from him, and seal it up, and keep it, till you get a convenience of sending it. Desire lady Betty to give you the old silver box that I carried the comfits in; it belongs to poor Mrs. Brent, and she asked me for it with a sigh. You may trust it with Arthur. You are now happy, and have nobody to tease you to the oar or the saddle. You can sit in your nightgown till noon without any reproaches.
I left a note for you with James Doyl, with commissions which I hope you will fulfil, though you borrow the money; I will certainly be out of your debt in all articles between us, when you come to town, or before, if you draw a bill upon me, for now I have money, and value no man. I am told your tribe here is all well, though I have seen none but Jack Jackson.
Farewell, go to cards, and lose your money with great gravity.
My service to all your girls.
I gave James Doyl two crowns, and a strict order to take care of [my
our] gray colt, which I desire you will second.
I had a perfect summer journey, and if I had staid much longer, I should have certainly had a winter one, which, with weak horses and bad roads, would have been a very unpleasant thing.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1738.
DOCTOR Thomas Sheridan died at Rathfarnam, the tenth of October 1738, at three of the clock in the afternoon: his diseases were a dropsy and asthma. He was doubtless the best instructor of youth in these kingdoms, or perhaps in Europe; and as great a master of the Greek and Roman languages. He had a very fruitful invention, and a talent for poetry. His English verses were full of wit and humour, but neither his prose nor verse sufficiently correct: however, he would readily submit to any friend who had a true taste in prose or verse. He has left behind him a very great collection, in several volumes, of stories, humorous, witty, wise, or some way useful, gathered from a vast number of Greek, Roman, Italian, Spanish, French, and English writers. I believe I may have seen about thirty, large enough to make as many moderate books in octavo. But among these extracts, there were many not worth regard; for five in six, at least, were of little use or entertainment. He was (as it is frequently the case in men of wit and learning) what the French call a dupe, and in a very high degree. The greatest dunce of a tradesman could impose upon him, for he was altogether ignorant in worldly management. His chief shining quality was that of a schoolmaster; here he shone in his proper element. He had so much skill and practice in the physiognomy of boys, that he rarely mistook at the first view. His scholars loved and feared him. He often rather chose to shame the stupid, but punish the idle, and exposed them to all the lads, which was more severe than lashing. Among the gentlemen in this kingdom who have any share of education, the scholars of Dr. Sheridan infinitely excel, in number and knowledge, all their brethren sent from other schools.
To look on the doctor in some other lights, he was in many things very indiscreet, to say no worse. He acted like too many clergymen, who are in haste to be married when very young; and from hence proceeded all the miseries of his life. The portion he got proved to be just the reverse of 500l. for he was poorer by a thousand: so many incumbrances of a mother-in-law, and poor relations, whom he was forced to support for many years. Instead of breeding up his daughters to housewifery and plain clothes, he got them, at a great expense, to be clad like ladies who had plentiful fortunes; made them only learn to sing and dance, to draw and design, to give them rich silks, and other fopperies; and his two eldest were married, without his consent, to young lads who had nothing to settle on them. However, he had one son, whom the doctor sent to Westminster school, although he could ill afford it. The boy was there immediately taken notice of, upon examination; although a mere stranger, he was by pure merit elected a king's scholar. It is true their maintenance falls something short: the doctor was then so poor, that he could not add fourteen pounds, to enable the boy to finish the year; which, if he had done, he would have been removed to a higher class, and, in another year, would have been sped off (that is the phrase) to a fellowship in Oxford or Cambridge: but the doctor was forced to recall him to Dublin, and had friends in our university to send him there, where he has been chosen of the foundation; and, I think, has gotten an exhibition, and designs to stand for a fellowship.
The doctor had a good church living, in the south parts of Ireland, given him by lord Carteret; who, being very learned himself, encourages it in others. A friend of the doctor's prevailed on his excellency to grant it. The living was well worth 150l. per annum. He changed it very soon for that of Dunboyn; which, by the knavery of the farmers and power of the gentlemen, fell so very low, that he could never get 80l. He then changed that living for the free school of Cavan, where he might have lived well, in so cheap a country, on 80l. salary per annum, beside his scholars: but the air, he said, was too moist and unwholesome, and he could not bear the company of some persons in that neighbourhood. Upon this he sold the school for about 400l. spent the money, grew into diseases, and died.
It would be very honourable, as well as just, in those many persons of quality and fortune, who had the advantage of being educated under doctor Sheridan, if they would please to erect some decent monument over his body, in the church where it is deposited.
THE NINETEEN VOLUMES
DR. SWIFT'S WORKS.
Acheson (sir Arthur). Verses on occasion of Dr. Swift's visit to his seat, vii. 377-382. viii. 26-51. His Lady's Complaint against the Dean, vii. 382. Estimate of the value of a grant made to him of a barrack upon his estate, ix. 238. Lets a farm to the dean, called afterward Drapier's Hill, viii. 35, 36. Highly offended by the dean, xix. 48.
Addison (Mr.) His character, viii. 3. xi. 51. One of the few poets who made a proper use of the sacred writings, v. 244. Purchased the place of keeper of the records in Birmingham's tower, the salary of which he got raised from ten pounds to four hundred, ix. 85. Went to Ireland in 1708, as secretary to lord Wharton, xi. 51; where he soon distinguished Stella's merit, x. 224. Wrote the Whig Examiner in conjunction with Mr. Maynwaring, xviii. 32. Swift's friendship for him, iv. 18. xiv. 292. 344. xv. 352. His sister, xiv. 241. His popularity, 226. His pride hurt, at being under obligations to Swift for assisting Steele; yet solicits him for an office for Phillips, 293. Coldness between him and Swift, 327. 370.
Addresses, from all parts of the kingdom, the true sense of the nation, iii. 95. 196. The folly of the address against making any peace without the restitution of Spain, 205. The true meaning and design of it, ibid.
Agriculture. Greatly neglected and discouraged in Ireland, v. 272, ix. 1. 187. The improvement of it, a subject worthy the highest inquiry, 189. xiii. 374. Without the encouragement of it, any country, however blessed by nature, must continue poor, ix. 199.
Aid (for marrying the king's eldest daughter). How levied, xvi. 39.
Alberoni (Parson). Extract from a work of Mr. Gordon's under that title, viii. 419.
Allegiance. Reciprocal with protection, though not with preferment, xviii. 166.
Alliance. The principal cause of the grand alliance between the emperor, England, and the States General, iii. 347. xvii. 135. The parties in it agree to furnish near two hundred thousand men, exclusive of garrisons, iii. 363. iv. 130. Afterward the number of forces increased, and the English bore an unequal proportion, iii. 363. iv. 133. The English to bear five eighths in the sea service, and the Dutch three, iii. 365. iv. 130. The English to pay two hundred thousand crowns a year to the Prussian troops, the States one hundred thousand, the emperor thirty thousand, which he never paid, iii. 367. Neither of the emperors had ever twenty thousand men on their own account in the common cause, though by agreement to furnish ninety thousand, 368. The confederate army to maintain forty thousand men against Spain on the Portugal side, 372. Fifty thousand on the side of Catalonia, which was chiefly at the English expense, 373. The eighth article of the grand alliance translated 384. The whole of it examined by the house of commons, iv. 127. Broken by every party in it, except the English, xvi. 307.
Ambition. Not so strong a passion in young men as love, xi. 293.
America. The state of religion in the plantations there, iii. 234. In some of the poorest colonies on the continent there, the people allowed to cut their money into halves and quarters for the sake of small traffick, v. 222. Why the Irish migrate thither, ibid, ix. 363. xviii. 353. The reasons urged for removing thither from Ireland ill founded, ix. 366.
Amplification. What; and the use of it in poetry, xvii. 22.
Amusement. Whose happiness it is, xvii. 387.
Annus Mirabilis, xvii. 84.
Anselm (a foreigner of great piety and learning). Promoted to the see of Canterbury by William Rufus, xvi. 14. His dispute with that king, on having made too small a present to him, 15. Anselm, tired out with perpetual usurpations, retired to Rome, ibid. All his revenues seized by the king, and Anselm remained in exile, ibid. Restored to his see by Henry the First, 30. His dispute with that king, on the right of investiture, 33; which was compromised by the pope, ibid. His death and character, 39.
Apologies. Those of the fathers, the most useful parts of their writings, iii. 162.
Argyll (earl of). Returns out of Holland to invade Scotland, in support of the duke of Monmouth's pretensions to the crown, x. 365. Is deserted by his Highlanders, and flies, 366. Being taken prisoner, is sent to Edinburgh, and beheaded, 367.
Argyll (John Campbell, duke of). Zealously promoted the union, but remonstrated against the malt tax, iii. 300. His extraordinary answer to a question from the queen, iv 287. His character, . xviii. 236. A distinguisher of merit, xiv. 352. Tells Swift, his recommendation will have more weight with him than that of all the ministry together, 364. Married a niece of Duncomb the rich alderman, xv. 17.
Aristotle. His character, v. 172. vi. 227. xviii. . His opinion that man is the most mimick of all animals, how confirmed, xvii. 303. The greatest master of arguing in the world, xvi. 224. His poetry, rhetorick, and politicks, admirable, ibid. His foundation of happiness absurd, x. 142.
Army. The mention of standing armies in the midst of peace, and among a free people, amazed the king of Brobdingnag, vi. 147. The general contempt of religion in that of the English, ii. 402. The vice of drinking restored by the army, after having been almost dropped in England, 410. What commerce a general has with the civil power in a well instituted state, iii. 28. The armies of Greece and Rome, in the early times, composed of their citizens, who took no pay, 58. Two originals of the custom in Europe of keeping them in pay, 59. Reflections upon the behaviour of some officers in it, and their execrations of the new ministry, 64. Not blamable for preferring the whig to the tory ministry, 88. A standing army in England, either in war or peace, a publick absurdity, x. 305. The superiour valour of the British troops beyond those of any of the allies, iv. 217. How raised and paid in the feudal ages, xvi. 19.
Assemblies, publick. Their infirmities, follies, and vices, ii. 340.
Atterbury (bishop). His character, v. 159. His conduct toward the earl of Oxford, xi. 408. Gives Dr. Swift his advice and opinion, for his conduct in the dispute between him and his chapter, 438. xix. 23. Rise and progress of his intimacy with Swift, xix. 14. Instance of his probity, and the occasion of his ruin, 19.
Attraction. The doctrine of, not founded on nature, vi. 239.
Authors. Should consult their genius rather than interest, if they cannot reconcile them, xii. 384. Composing godly books no recommendation to them in England, xiii. 3. The admired ones of the last age, viii. 266, 267.
Authors (modern). How far they have eclipsed the ancients, ii. 130. Illustrate the beauty of their own writings, when they would correct the ill nature of critical, or inform the ignorance of courteous readers, 134. They and their booksellers the two only satisfied parties in England, 179. To what the world is indebted for the number of them, 180. The different disposition of them in France and in England, xvii. 383. Curll's instructions to a porter, to find those employed by him, xvii. 332. Those employed by the whigs represent the sentiments of their party unfairly, iii. 199. An author should for a time suppress his works, according to the advice of Horace, viii. 243. A rule to discover the author of any book, v. 27.
Avarice. Description of it, vi. 309. Sir Richard Blackmore's definition of it, xvii. 339. The extremes of that passion more frequent and extravagant than of any other, iii. 117. The mischiefs of it multiply themselves in a publick station, 118. Distinguished into two kinds, one consistent with ambition, the other not, 119.
Balance of power. To be carefully held by every state, ii. 293. How to preserve it in a mixed state, ibid. Methods taken to destroy it in most ages and countries, 300. What the consequences which ensue upon its being broken, 326. That state might be immortal, in which it could be always held exactly even, 336. How it has been affected in England at different times since the Norman conquest, 337. The absolute necessity of it in a limited state instanced in the conduct of Cromwell. 340. Verses on the balance of Europe, xvii. 431. Balance of Europe more endangered by the emperor's overrunning Italy, than by France overrunning the empire, iii. 314.
Bank. Humorous proposal for establishing a Swearers Bank, ix. 383.
Banter. Whence the word borrowed, ii. 38.
Barber (Mrs). A letter supposed to be written by Dr. Swift, to the queen on her behalf, xii. 401. The dean's invitation to a party of friends to meet to correct her poems, xviii. 450. Her history and character, xii. 410. xiii. 85. 301. xix. 130.
Barber (Mr. John, lord mayor of London). Acknowledges his great obligations to Dr. Swift, and at his request makes Mr. Pilkington his chaplain, xii. 494. Sends an original picture of the dean to the university of Oxford, xiii. 425. Some account of him, xviii. 348.
Barrier Treaty. The difficulties it occasioned retarded the demolition of Dunkirk, iii. 313. When concluded, 359. The Dutch appointed by it guarantees of the protestant succession, and rewarded for accepting that honour, ibid. Signed by only one of the plenipotentiaries, 362. The first project of it, 413. The article for the demolition of Dunkirk struck by the Dutch out of the counterproject of it made in London, 416. Only two of the twenty-one articles have any relation to England, 417. The meaning of the word barrier, as understood by the Dutch, ibid. The towns given them as a barrier imposed more on the English than when under the king of Spain, 421. The queen unreasonably made guarantee of the whole of it, 424. The treaty itself, 430. The two separate articles, 441. 443. Articles of the counterproject struck out or altered by the Dutch, 445. The sentiments of prince Eugene and count Zinzendorf relating to it, 420. 450-454. Representations of the English merchants at Bruges relating to it, 454. See Townshend.
Bathurst (earl). His letter to Dr. Swift, alluding to a proposal for providing for the Irish poor, xii. 331. His speech about the pension bill greatly applauded, 340. Rallies Dr. Swift humorously upon his writings, as borrowed or stolen, 348; and satirically the writers of the last and present age, 349. More in the same strain, upon the doctor's way of living, recommending temperance and frugality to him, 393. His remark on corporations, physicians, and lawyers, xiii. 45. Rallies Dr. Swift upon the course of employment he was fallen into, 47. His opinion of the state of England, 371. xii. 333. Conduct toward his tenants, xiii. 372. Reflections on the death of queen Caroline, ibid. Comparison of Mr. Pope, 373. His fine wood at Oakley described, 92. His friendly indignation on seeing an article in the newspapers of a gun being fired at Dr. Swift, 222; whence he takes occasion to expatiate on the extensiveness of our author's fame, ibid.
Beau. Character of one, xviii. 463.
Beggar's Opera. Its merits and success, v. 209. xii. 262. 274. 276. Disapproved of by sir Charles Wogan, xii. 436. 440. Reasons why the second part should not be printed before it is acted, xviii. 263. A sermon preached against it by Dr. Herring, v. 214. xii. 283. Rehearsal of the second part of it stopped, by order from the lord chamberlain, xii. 294.
Belief. Not an object of compulsion, x. 166.
Berkeley (Charles, earl of). His epitaph, xviii. 421. Rough draught of it, xi. 131. His letter to Dr. Swift, xviii. 249. The dean (who had been formerly his chaplain) invited to attend him in his last illness, at Berkeley Castle; but could not go, xiv. 204. The earl died of a dropsy, 215. Character of his son, xiv. 356.
Bettesworth (Mr). Verses on him, viii. 161. The steps he took to revenge himself on the dean, and the resolution of the inhabitants of St. Patrick's to protect him, i. 418. xiii. 109. 114. Origin of the verses, viii. 375. 378. His Exultation on hearing his name would be transmitted to Posterity in the Dean's Works, xviii. 451.
Bickerstaff (Isaac, Esq). His Predictions for the Year 1708, v. 10. Answer to his Predictions, 24. Accomplishment of the first of his Predictions. 31. Mr. Partridge's Detection of them, 37. Vindication of him, 47. His predictions actually burnt in Portugal, by order of the Inquisition, 48. His origin, xviii. 209. Whence the dean first assumed the name, v. 10.
Birth. The advantages of it, iii. 118.
Bishops. Arguments against enlarging their Power in letting Leases, v. 267. How elected in the middle ages, xvi. 34. Those of Ossory and Killaloe empowered to solicit the affair of the first fruits, &c; in Ireland, xi. 82. Mr. Pulteney's remark on their political unity, xiii. 171. Wherein their office consists, ix. 244. Bill passed the Irish house of lords, empowering them to oblige the country clergy to build a house upon what part of the glebe they should command, 246. Another, relating to the division of parishes into as many parcels as the bishop should think fit, 247. Bishops sent from England, a great disadvantage and discouragement to the Irish, xii. 149. The worst solicitors in the world, except in their own concerns, and why, xi. 95. Two of them in Ireland received money for their labour in negotiating the remittal of the first fruits, who did nothing; while Swift, who effected it, could not receive thanks, 450.
Bolton (archbishop of Cashell). His character, xiv. 242. When chancellor of St. Patrick's took every opportunity of opposing Swift, xi. 477, xii. 82; and when made a bishop left Swift embroiled for want of him, ibid. A maxim he learned from politicians, xiii. 179.
Bothmar (M. envoy from the elector of Hanover). His memorial, published by the connivance of his master, iv. 50. A stratagem used by M. Bothmar to make it appear authentick, 51. Deceived his master by false representations, 213.
Brasiers. Their petition against certain virtuosi, xvii. 297.
Brief. The representation of the clergy of Dublin, against the archbishop's command concerning one, xvi. 267. Clergy and churchwardens cannot be legally commanded to go from house to house to collect for it, 269.
British Apollo. Some account of that paper, xviii. 43.
Brobdingnag. Voyage to, vi. 83. Described, 119. The king of it discourses with Gulliver upon the political state of England, 142. The learning of its inhabitants, 153. Their style and manner of writing, 155.
Brotherly love. No duty more incumbent upon those who profess the Gospel than it, x. 56. The several causes of the want of it, and the consequences of such want, 56-63. Motives and exhortations to embrace and continue in it, 63-66.
Brutes. Why incapable of carrying on war against their own species, ii. 283.
Brydges (James, duke of Chandos). Verses on him, viii. 205. Pope's character of Timon drawn for him, xii. 455. Swift applied to him for some ancient Irish records in his possession, xiii. 139. 150. His marriage, 256. Coolness between him and Swift from the time of his being made a duke, 207. viii. 205.
Bull. An Irish one, xiii. 40.
Business. Minding that of other people the greatest mark of idleness, xiii. 47.
Buys (the Dutch envoy). His politicks and manners were much of a size, x. 217. His character, iv. 49. An artful negotiator, 95. Present at all the consultations of the whig party, 166. Appointed plenipotentiary by the States, 175. Remarks on his conduct while in England, 176.
Cæsar (Julius). The cause of the civil war between him and Pompey, ii. 323. Invaded England, rather to increase his glory than his conquests, xvi. 4. When he appeared contemptible, xvi. 334. His degree of fame, v. 172. Why opposed by Cato and Brutus, xviii. 132. Wrote his commentaries amid hurry and fatigue, xi. 192.
Canting. The art of it in greatest perfection when managed by ignorance, ii. 265. Its first ingredient a competent share of inward light, ibid. The art of it, as performed by snuffling, first appeared upon the decay and discouragement of bagpipes, 267. The occasion or accident which produced it, ibid.
Cards. Why contribute little to the refinement of conversation, viii. 263.
Caroline (queen). A princess of great virtue, xii. 223. Swift keeps up his privilege of not going to her, when queen, till sent for, 249. 363. His speech to her after she had sent for him, xiii. 17. Promised a medal to the dean, which he never got, viii. 128. xii. 363. Yet she received from Swift a present, of silk, worth thirty-five pounds, xii. 343. A counterfeit letter to her majesty, in favour of Mrs. Barber, 401. To what her death was owing, xiii. 369. In her last illness, forgave her son, but refused to see him, 370.
Carteret (lord). A character of him, ix. 87. 220. Epistle to him in verse, by Dr. Delany, vii. 428. Epistle on the foregoing, 432. His lady's goodness and beauty, xii. 341. Forced to consent to the proclamation against his old friend the Drapier, the first or second night after his arrival in Ireland, xiii. 122. viii. 133. His repartee on the occasion, i. . A remark on him by Dr. Swift, xiii. 323. His answer to those who asked him how he governed Ireland, 331. In what respect he acted a more popular part in the government of that kingdom than the duke of Dorset, 194.
Catholicks. True whigs, in the best and most proper sense of the word, v. 334. Have as fair a title to the name of protestants as any of the dissenters, 335. In the great rebellion, more of them in the parliament army than the king's; and many jesuits and friars, disguised like presbyterian ministers, preached up rebellion; yet the bulk of them loyal, ibid. Their insurrections in Ireland were only to preserve the old religion, not to introduce a new one, 337. Were employed in offices civil and military till the test act under Charles II, 339. Have a better plea for not changing their religion than the dissenters, 340; and may as justly complain of persecution, 341. The heads of them invited over the duke of Lorrain during the usurpation, 345. Commended for it by the dissenters, 346. Advantages of their system, xix. 116.
Cato the prætor (called Uticensis). One of the six greatest men in the world, vi. 227. Though he was called a stoick, it was more from a resemblance of his manners with their worst qualities, than that he avowed himself one of their disciples, x. 146. Some particulars of his character, v. 173. xvi. 332. His conduct commended, xviii. 132.
Causes. The most different produce the same effect; exemplified in the formation of clouds, ii. 162. Small ones suffice to make us uneasy, when great ones are not in the way, v. 463. Great events from little ones, iv. 359.
Censors. Of what use it might be to religion, to introduce a like office here, ii. 407.
Mr. Addison, viii. 3.
Dr. Aglionby, xviii. 234.
Queen Anne, iii. 89. iv. 280.
Dr. Arbuthnot, xiv. 39.
Duke of Argyll, . xviii. 236.
Aristides, ii. 306.
Aristotle, v. 172. vi. 227. xviii. .
Earl of Arlington, xvi. 348.
Mr. Ashe, xvi. 245.
Bishop Atterbury, v. 159.
Lord Aylmer, xviii. 236.
Mrs. Barber, xiii. 301.
Dr. Bentley, ii. 240.
Earl of Berkeley, xviii. 228.
Sir Lambert Blackwell, xviii. 234.
Lord Bolingbroke, iii. 116. iv. 310. 334. xv. 176.
Duke of Bolton, xviii. 221.
Mr. Boyle, xviii. 230.
Duke of Buckingham, iii. 115. xviii. 220.
Bishop Burnet, iv. 19. x. 308. xviii. 232.
Lord Butler of Weston, xviii. 230.
Mons. Buys, iv. 49.
Admiral Byng, xviii. 236.
Mr. Carstairs, xviii. 238.
Lord Carteret, ix. 87. 220.
Lady Carteret, xii. 341.
Cato of Utica, v. 173. xvi. 332.
Lord Chandos, xviii. 229.
Earl of Chesterfield, xviii. 227.
Lord Cholmondeley, xviii. 229.
Jaques Clement, iii. 156.
Congreve, xiv. 87.
Lord chancellor Cowper, iv. 33.
Crassus, iii. 121.
Captain Creichton, x. 315.
Oliver Cromwell, ii. 284.
Lord Cutts, xviii. 235.
General Dalziel, x. 361.
Earl of Dartmouth, iii 116. xviii. 226.
Dr. Davenant, xviii. 231.
Dr. Delany, ix. 235. xiv. 118.
Earl of Derby, xviii. 224.
Duke of Devonshire, xviii. 220.
Earl of Dorset, xviii. 223.
Queen Elizabeth, ii. 280.
Earl of Feversham, xviii. 228.
Humphry French, lord mayor of Dublin, ix. 406.
Lord Gallway, xviii. 235.
Earl of Godolphin, iv. 30. 122. xvi. 345.
Duke of Grafton, xviii. 221.
Earl of Grantham, xviii. 228.
Gregg, iii. 157.
Lord Grey of Werk, xviii. 229.
Lord Griffin, xviii. 229.
Abbe Gualtier, iv. 65.
Lord Guilford, xviii. 229.
Guiscard, iii. 157. 161. xviii. 6.
Earl of Halifax, 307 [Pericles], . xviii. 222.
Duke Hamilton, xviii. 236.
Lord keeper Harcourt, iii. 114.
Mr. Harley (afterward Rob. earl of Oxford), i. 166, iii. 115. 159. iv. 118. 311. 334. xiii. 131. xviii. 230.
General sir Charles Haro, xviii. 236.
Marquis of Hartington, xviii. 222.
King Henry VIII, ii. 279. iv. 401. xvi. 239.
Mr. Hill, envoy to the duke Savoy, xviii. 234.
Mrs. Howard, x. 235.
King James I, ii. 281.
King James II, ii. 284.
Secretary Johnstoun, xviii. 238.
Earl of Kent, xviii. 227.
Archbishop King, iv. 422.
Robert and Henry Lesley, viii. 60.
Lord Lexington, xviii. 228.
Earl of Lindsay, xviii. 227.
Dr. Lloyd, v. 355.
Lord Lucas, xviii. 225.
General McCoy, x. 386.
Lord Mahon, xviii. 227.
Mr. Mansel, xviii. 230.
Duke of Marlborough, iv. 29. xvii. 143. xviii. 218.
His duchess, iv. 30. .
Earl of Marr, xviii. 239.
Primate Marsh, x. 239.
Mrs. Masham, iii. 54. iv. 336.
Mr. Methuen, xviii, 233.
Earl of Middleton, xviii. 239.
Duke of Montagu, xviii. 222.
Marquis of Montrose, xviii. 237.
Duke of Newcastle, xviii. 221.
Duke of Northumberland, xviii. 221.
Earl of Nottingham, iv. 34. 40. xi. 255. xviii. 220.
Edward earl of Orford, ii. 306 [Themistocles].
Duke of Ormond, iv. 201. 308. xviii. 219.
Earl of Orkney, xviii. 235.
Mr. Pope, .
Earl of Portland, ii. 309 [Phocion], xviii. 223.
Lord Poulet of Hinton, xviii. 226.
Mr. Prior, xviii. 232.
Lord Raby, xviii. 233.
Earl of Ranelagh, xi. 210. xviii. 225.
Duke of Richmond, xviii. 221.
Earl Rivers, xviii. 223.
Earl of Rochester, iii. 114. 221.
Earl of Romney, xviii. 220.
Mr. Rooke, x. 213.
Earl of Sandwich, xviii. 225.
Lord chief justice Scroggs, viii. 137.
Dr. Sheridan, i. 367. ix. 232. xix. 238.
Duke of Shrewsbury, iii. 115. xi. 217. xviii. 219.
His duchess, xi. 210.
Mr. Shute, xi. 46.
Mr. Smith, xviii. 231.
Lord Somers, ii. 306 [Aristides]. iv. 26. xiv. . xviii. 222.
Duke of Somerset, iv. 37. xviii. 219.
His duchess, iv. 353. xi. 173.
Earl of Stamford, xviii. 224.
Stella (Mrs. Johnson), x. 222.
Mr. George Stepney, xviii. 233.
Mr. Stopford, ix. 235.
Earl of Sunderland, iv. 31. xviii. 224.
Earl of Sutherland, xviii. 238.
Archbishop Tenison, xviii. 232.
Earl of Thanet, xviii. 225.
Marquis de Torcy, iv. 236.
Lord Townshend, xviii. 226.
Lord chief justice Tresilian, viii. 137.
Vanessa, i. . 320. See Vanhomrigh.
Sir Robert Walpole, iv. 107. x. 270.
Lord de la Warr, xviii. 228.
Earl of Weems, xviii. 240.
Earl of Wharton, iii. 14. iv. 32, v. 348. xviii. 226.
Earl of Winchelsea, xviii. 225.
Sir Charles Wogan, xii. 436.
Charity. Why publick charities are preferable to private, xiii. 5.
Charles the Second (king of England). His severity to the dissenting clergy, ii. 199. The Socinians began to spread in England toward the end of his reign, very absurdly reckoned our Augustan age, x. 243. When he made a contemptible figure, xvi. 333. A plot against him defeated, xviii. 96. His life saved at the battle of Worcester by colonel Wogan, xix. 99. Difficulties of his situation, 107.
Chartres (colonel). His character drawn in a play, xiii. 375.
Chesterfield (Philip Dormer, earl of). The dean applies to him in behalf of a friend, xii. 357. Swift's reply to his lordship's answer, 377. Points out an original poem of Dr. Swift's, viii. 201. Witticism of his respecting George II, xiii. 313. Supposed to have assisted in a Letter to the People of Ireland, in the name of the Drapier, xix. 196.
Cholmondeley (earl of). At the general change in 1710, continued lord treasurer of the household, iv. 23. Which gave much displeasure to Mr. Harley's friends, 300. Removed from his employment for speaking against the peace at a council, xv. 417.
Choqued. Remarks on the word, v. 450.
Christianity. Why the offering to restore it as used in primitive times would be a wild project, ii. 383. Objections made against the system of it stated and answered, 384. The errour of attempting to explain the mysteries of it, v. 104. Will decline in proportion as brotherly love doth, x. 59. Christ's divinity not at first proposed as an article of faith, x. 167.
Chronology. Precarious, xii. 419.
Church. Funerals the only method of carrying some people to it, xvii. 296. The meaning of the vote in parliament against those who should affirm that the church was in danger, iii. 22. The whigs, to show their zeal for it, made it a creature of the state, 78. Providence can make even a bad man instrumental to the service of it, 134. Remarks on the pious design of building fifty new churches in London and Westminster, 229. Which owed its origin to a hint of Dr. Swift, ii. 425. They should be repaired or rebuilt at the publick expense, not by charitable collections, iii. 235. Church of England the only body of Christians that disqualifies its teachers from sharing in the civil power farther than as senators, v. 321. Churches dormitories, as well as church yards, x. 242. Church of England no creature of the civil power, either as to its policy or doctrine, and why, xvi. 196. The church interests in the Irish house of lords materially hurt, by Mr. Harley's keeping four bishopricks a long time vacant, iv. 318. 343.
Church lands. Alienated by many popish bishops at the time of the reformation, and by protestant bishops since, v. 270. A law to prohibit letting them for a longer term than twenty-one years, ibid. Supposed in England a third of the whole kingdom, xvi. 241.