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me an hour at backgammon once a fortnight. |
To all people of quality, and especially of
titles, I am not within, or, at least, am deaf
a week or two after I am well; but on Sun-
day evenings it costs me six bottles of wine
to people whom I cannot keep out."* There
is a letter to Bolingbroke, (March 21, 1729,)
written in a splenetic fit, from which we can
scarcely make extracts which will not mis-
lead, so much depends on the entire context.
He contrasts his old hopes and occupations
in the days of Bolingbroke's power with his
present employments. "The company here
growing tasteless; I am always writing bad
prose, or worse verses, either of rage or rail-
lery, whereof some escape to give offense or
His temper,
mirth, and the rest are burnt.'
his genius, his unrivalled talents, were in his
Irish politics, but scarcely his heart. "I am
forced to play at small game, to set the
beasts here a-madding, merely for want of
a better game.
I will come in person to England if I am
provoked, and send for the dictator from the
I built a wall five
years ago, and when the masons played the
knave, nothing delighted me so much as to
stand by while my servants threw down
what was amiss. I have likewise seen a
monkey overthrow all the dishes and plates
in a kitchen, merely for the pleasure of
seeing them tumble and hearing the clatter
they made in their fall. I wish you would
invite me to such another entertainment.
But you think, as I ought to think, that it is
time for me to have done with the world;
and so I would if I could get a better before
I was called into the best, and not die here in
rage like a poisoned rat in a hole." The last
letter from which we shall make any extract,
was written long after the death of Vanessa
and Stella, and when with increasing infirmi-
ties he was falling into the hands of the
mean and fraudulent people, who never for
a moment succeeded in deceiving him;
whose frauds and meannesses he struggled
against with absolute rage, but to which he
at last was compelled to yield himself a
helpless, though not unresisting victim. The
letter is to Pope: "I have nobody now left
but you. Pray be so kind as to outlive me,
and then die as soon as you please, but
* * My state of health
without pain.
is not to boast of. My giddiness is more or
less constant; I sleep ill, and have a poor
appetite. I can as easily write a poem in
I am as
the Chinese language as my own.

*Letter to Pope, March, 1729.

fit for matrimony as invention; and yet I
have daily schemes for innumerable essays
in prose, and proceed sometimes to no less
than half a dozen lines, which the next
morning become waste paper. What vexes
me most is, that my female friends, who
could bear me very well a dozen of years
ago, have now forsaken me, although I am
not so old in proportion to them as I former-
ly was, which I can prove by arithmetic-
for then I was double their age, which now
I am not."

We have avoided any discussion on the subject of Swift's political life. It is not suggested in any way by the volume which we have undertaken to notice, and it would lead us farther than the most patient reader would be inclined to follow. It will be enough for us to say, that inasmuch as we think Swift viewed with narrow bigotry everything connected with the Church of England, this very fact establishes his political honesty in his support of Harley and Bolingbroke's Administration. In his Irish politics, we cannot but think the rabid fierceness, with which he pursued his antagonists in the battle against Wood, and his halfpence in every form of persecution, was symptomatic of mental disease.

Some of his biographers describe Swift as suffering from epileptic fits. Of this there is One or two passages in his no evidence. letters are consistent with this; but as he forever speaks of fits of giddiness, he probably means nothing more in any case. From the extracts which Mr. Wilde gives from his letters, we incline to think-and this we believe is Mr. Wilde's inferencethat early in life he had a slight paralytic attack. Wilde tells us, that "several of Swift's friends suffered from symptoms similar to his own;-Harley, Gay, Mrs. Barber, Pope, Mrs. Howard, Lady Germain, Arbuthnot, and others, suffered from what is popularly termed, a "fulness of blood to the head." This singular circumstance it is to which we owe Swift's giving such minute accounts of his infirmities to so many of his friends. He says in a letter, to which we have mislaid our reference, that Lady Kerry and he had become quite friends by conning over their common ailments; and in another, (Journal to Stella, 7th Sept. 1711,) "Did I ever tell you that the Lord Treasurer hears ill with the left ear, just as I do? He always turns the right, and his servants whisper him in that only. I dare not tell him I am so too, for fear that he should think I counterfeited to make my court." A strange form


of flattery!-yet Swift knew the human mind and its weaknesses, and was probably right.

Immediately after Swift's death the head was opened, and much water was found in the brain. Subsequently to the post mortem examination, a plaster mask was taken from his face; and from this a bust was made, which is now in the Museum of Dublin University. This bust is engraved for Mr. Wilde's book. He thinks it the best likeness of Swift during the last years of his life.

In 1835, some repairs of St. Patrick's Cathedral rendered it necessary to expose several coffins, and amongst others, those of Swift and Stella. The identity of Swift's skull was established beyond all doubt, and an examination of it with the bust in the College Musem, proved the bust to be that of Swift, of which some doubt had been entertained. The skull exhibited where the saw had passed after death; and in the bust, "a deep indention, running nearly parallel with the brow, shows where the calvarium had been sawn, and the pericranium drawn over it subsequently, and this indentation accurately corresponds with the division of the skull found in Swift's coffin in 1835, proving incontestably the identity of both." The phrenologists and pathologists had the opportunity of discussing the subject, each in his own way. There was so much appearance of diseased action during life in the membranes of the frontal region of the brain, as almost to prove the existence of insanity, which yet some of Swift's biographers would affirm to have never, in any proper sense of the word, existed; and such change of the original structure of the outer parts of the skull as to prevent any fair inference being drawn for or against the craniologists, though the organ of wit was found deficient, and amativeness, to their discomfiture, was in excess. The value of this investigation, we think, is confined to its decisive effect in authenticating the bust, which is now for the first time engraved. Scott mentions this bust, and says—but that is a mistake-that it was engraved for Dr. Barrett's Essay on Swift's Early Life.

Of Stella, Mr. Wilde has given us a portrait, engraved from one preserved in the house, which, in Swift's time, had belonged to the Fords-his and Stella's fast friendsand which portrait, there seems distinct evidence, has been ever since regarded as that of Stella. "The hair," says Mr. Wilde, "is jet black, the eyes dark to match, the forehead high and expansive, the nose rather

prominent, and the features generally regular and well-marked. She is attired in a plain white dress, with a blue scarf, and around her bust a blue ribbon, to which a locket appears to be attached, and she wears a white and red rose.' Mr. Wilde is a believer in the marriage of Swift and Stella. It is said by Swift's biographers, that Stella, in making her will, left her property to a public charity, instead of giving it to Swift, and that this was the dictate of impatient feeling, at finding year pass after year without his acknowledging their marriage. Mr. Wilde quotes a letter of Swift's written two years before Stella's death, which shows that this disposition of Stella's property was by Swift's wish; and in Stella's will, as well as his own, is a clause altering the disposition of the property in the event of Church of England Episcopacy ceasing to be the established religion of the kingdom. Stella's will is in her own name-Esther Johnson; we believe she had no other. Her property was given to found a chaplaincy in Steven's Hospital; and contains a provision that the chaplain shall be unmarried, and vacate on marriage. This, Mr. Mason thinks inconsistent with her having at the time any feeling of such a grievous injury, as Swift's conduct would have been inflicting on her, if the romance which has almost passed ineffaceably into the lives of Swift had any foundation in truth. Mr. Wilde gives us the inscription over Stella's last resting-place in the Cathedral. By her will, she had directed that a decent monument of plain, white marble might be fixed in the wall, not exceeding the value of twenty pounds. He tells us, following some former critic, that the praise is not "from the pen of any skillful eulogist;" perhaps not; but Scott thought it must have been written by the Dean himself. After her name is given, she is said to have been "better known by the name of Stella, under which she is celebrated in the writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of this Cathedral." "This," said Sir Walter, when reading it in the Cathedral, "the Dean might say; any one else would have said more.' "The precise date of the erection has not been ascertained," says Mr. Wilde, "but it does not appear to have been during the Dean's lifetime." In a volume of travels through Ireland, published in 1778, the author mentions the inscriptional tablet to Stella “as lately erected." Indeed, we think Scott was scarcely right in thinking the Dean would.

*Lockhart's Life of Scott.

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desired a friend to receive the hundred pounds for poor Harrison, and will carry it to him tohe is extremely ill; and I am very much afflicted morrow morning. I went to see how he did, and for him, as he is my own creature, and in a very honorable post, and very worthy of it. I dined in the city. I am much concerned for this poor lad. His mother attends him, and he wants nothing.

have written the word "celebrated." "From | posed the other sixty to two other authors, and the contiguity of the tombs," says Wilde, "it looks as if the Dean had long arranged the place of their burial." There is little doubt that in directing the precise place where his body was to be deposited, he was influenced by this thought; but it was one that did not exist in any great strength in his mind, for he had not only, long after Stella's death, wished his remains to be taken to England, but when he gave up that thought, requested that his body should be deposited in any dry part of the Cathedral." The spot where he was ultimately to rest does not therefore seem to have been so distinct an object with him as is represented. In the same nave with the tablets to himself and Stella, is one erected by him to a faithful servant.

The early habits of Swift's life, and his actual poverty when living in the highest society in England, had forced on him an attention to money matters that approached to actual penury. Such care, however, was in his case a virtue, for on that condition alone could he have secured independence for himself, or the means of assisting others; and in the periods of his own narrowest circumstances, his charities were actually munificent. When he was in power with the dispensers of patronage, and those dipensers were Queen Anne's last ministry, the Tory complaint against Swift was, that he never came to them without a Whig in his sleeve. Every author whom he knew was sure of his zealous exertions in his favor, without any reference to politics. Of this his journal gives numberless proofs. Here are two days of his life, for instance:

“ Feb. 12, 1712-13.-I dined with our Society: the greatest dinner I have ever seen. I gave an account of sixty guineas I had collected, and am to give them away to two authors to-morrow; and the Lord Treasurer has promised me a hundred pounds to reward some others. I found a letter on my table last night to tell me that poor little Harrison, the Queen's secretary, that lately came from Utrecht with the barrier treaty, was ill, and desired to see me at night; but it was late, and I could not go till to-day. I went in the morning, and found him mighty ill, and got thirty guineas for him from Lord Bolingbroke, and an order for a hundred pounds from the Treasury, to be paid

him to-morrow; and I have got him removed to Knightsbridge for the air. He has a fever and inflammation in his lungs; but I hope will do


"13.—I was to see a poor poet, one Mr. Diaper, in a nasty garret, very sick. I gave him twenty guineas from Lord Bolingbroke, and disVOL. XVIII. NO. IL

"14.-I took Parnell this morning, and we walked to see poor Harrison. I had the hundred pounds in my pocket. I told Parnell I was afraid to knock at the door; my mind misgave me, I knocked, and his man, in tears, told me his master

was dead an hour before."

Of exertions such as this, there are unnumbered instances in Swift's letters. We believe he never lost an opportunity of serving one whom he regarded as a friend.

We have been, in the course of this article, compelled to exhibit the mistakes which arise from mere accident-a phrase misunderstood in one writer, misleading the next writer, and a story thus created, which examined, has nothing whatever to rest on. There is a very brilliant passage from an early work of Mr. Croker's "The State of Ireland, Past and Present,' "*which is quoted in Scott's Life of Swift, and which not only for its own great beauty, but to correct an accidental misprint, which has been copied into Mr. Mason's work inadvertently, we shall quote. The author is speaking of Ireland at the period of Swift's Irish political struggle:- "On this gloom one luminary rose, and Ireland worshipped it with Persian idolatry; her true patriot, her first, almost her last. Sagacious and intrepid, he saw, he dared; above suspicion, he was trusted; above envy, he was beloved; above rivalry, he was obeyed. His wisdom was practical and prophetic-remedial for the present, warning for the future; he first taught Ireland that she might become a nation, and England that she might cease to be a despot." The words in italics are omitted accidentally in Scott, and the mistake is continued in Mason; and thus Swift's panegyrist is made to say that Swift first taught Ireland that she might cease to be a despot." The circumstances under which Swift obtained his Dublin degree, are said to have soured his temper with respect to the Irish University. This does not appear to be the

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case. His most intimate friends-while his infirmities permitted him to enjoy societywere Fellows of Dublin College. It is impossible to read his letters without feeling


Published in 1810.

that he regarded the college itself with | kindliness. He wished, indeed, that the new professorships of royal foundation should be open to others than the Fellows of Dublin College, and, especially considering the restrictions which then prevented the fellows from marrying, we have little doubt that he was right. In writing to Lord Carteret, he says, that the rule that he wishes adopted is that followed in Oxford and Cambridgethat which the college wished, was one "that only tended"-such is Swift's argument to mend fellowships and spoil professorships." He, however, expresses a wish, that " any person whose education has been in this university should be preferred before another of equal deservings.'

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At no time after the break-up of the Bolingbroke and Oxford ministry had Swift any voice in questions of Church patronage. Still there are proofs of his doing all he could to promote the interests of the best men in the Irish Church, as, for instance, Berkley and Stopford. His appointments in his Cathedral are mentioned with high praise; and he appears to have resisted all solicitation which would interfere with the proper exercise of his duties in this respect. Lady Carteret, the wife of the Lord Lieutenant, on one occasion sought the appointment as Vicar-Coral for some person in whom she felt an interest. His reply was an honest one, though marked with his own caustic humor. Upon my conscience, Madam, if you applied to me for a Deanery or a Bishopric, and it were in my power to give it, you should have it in an instant; because these are preferments where merit is no way concerned, But in this, Madam, my conscience and my credit interpose; for this man's merit is to be brought to the test every day; and how must I appear, either to my own conscience or to the eye of the world, if I prefer undeserving persons to such stations! I know nothing of music, Madam. I would not give a farthing for all the music in the universe. For my own part, I would rather say my prayers without it; but, as long as it is thought by the skillful to contribute to the dignity of the public worship, by the blessing of God, it shall never be disgraced by me, nor I hope by any of my successors, as long as this poor oppressed Church of Ireland lasts, which I think (as things go) cannot be long."

Swift's economical habits were of use both to the Deanery and to his successors. Better habits of business were introduced; and the funds of the cathedral were both increas


ed, by Swift's exacting larger rents, and were distributed in strict accordance with their original destination. The evidence before us satisfies us, that in the application of these funds, which had been before lavishly wasted, or diverted from their proper objects, Swift did good, which has lasted even to our own days. On the subject of his dealings with tenants, we are far from sure that he deserves the praises given him. all these cases of rents paid to great corporations, the persons acting for a public body think, that in the management of landed property, all that they have to do is to extort the largest amount of money, whether by rent or by fine, from the farmer. The truth is, that there duties connected with property of the kind which bodies of the kind are unable to perform, and accordingly, with scarcely an exception, the tenants on such lands are in a most miserable condition, and the lands themselves almost everywhere neglected.

There is no very good edition of Swift. Scott's is no doubt the best, but it is carelessly printed; and the precise dates of the first publication, and many of the political tracts, are in many instances not given, and we are sorry to be obliged to add, are in many instances incorrectly given. The original edition of Gulliver's Travels differed materially in many passages from those that followed in rapid succession. No one has carefully collated them, or, at all events, no one has published the result of such a collation; and the readers of Walpole and Lord Hervey will be able to judge how very probable it is, that such parts of the work as were intended to give a satirical description of the court of George the Second, are likely to be rendered more intelligible by examining the changes which Swift made in the successive editions. Of Gulliver's Travels, the best edition is Dr. Taylor's;* and his notes are of great value in explaining much that would otherwise be obscure. Still, without a collation of the earlier editions with the present, any edition must be imperfect.

Stories resting absolutely on no authority whatever, and Swift's hatred of all affectation, have given to him something of the character of irreverence and buffoonery in his ministrations as a clergyman. Nothing could be in more entire contrast with all his habits than the slightest irreverence. It was not alone a regard for the decencies of his position, but a sincere feeling of piety that would

* London: Hayward and Moore.

have repressed the slightest tendency to lev-,
ity on such occasions. We dwell on this,
because this feature of Swift's mind has been
misunderstood by good men.
For instance,

in Wilberforce's "Diary," we find the fol-
lowing entry: "Looked into Swift's letters
-what a thoroughly irreligious mind-no
trace of Sunday to be found in his journals
or his letters to his most intimate friends."
That there is some ground for Wilberforce's
surprise at a correspondence extending over
so many years, making so few allusions to
the Sunday, is natural enough-indeed we
scarcely remember it, except mentioned as
his dinner day with Harley; but had Wil-
berforce remembered Hawkesworth's account
of Swift in this particular, he probably
would not have spoken with such severity.

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and at the sacrament, yet he appeared to neglect both, as he was at home when others were at church; and when he went to prayers in his family, the servants assembled at the appointed hour, as it were by stealth, without any notice from a bell, or any other call except the striking of the clock; so that Dr. Delany was for six months in his family before he suspected him of this unfashionable practice."

When it is remembered, that through Swift's whole course a mysterious disease interrupted all the enjoyments and all the business of life, and more or less affected his mental health-when it is remembered that the good which he did rests on no doubtful or erring testimony, but even yet exists in the benevolent institutions which he founded-when it is remembered that the capricious cruelty imputed to him in domes"An abhorrence of hypocrisy was a striking tic life, so far from being proved, is really particular of Swift's character; but it is difficult irreconcilable with all the known facts of the to determine whether it was more a virtue than case we think our readers will concur with a vice, for it brought upon him the charge of irus in the feeling long ago expressed by Pope: religion, and encouraged others to be irreligious. In proportion as he abhorred hypocrisy, he dread-My sincere love for this valuable, indeed will accompany him ed the imputation of it; and therefore concealed incomparable man, pursue his memory were I his piety with as much diligence as others con- through life, and ceal those vices which custom has not made re- to live an hundred lives, as many of his putable. His constant attendance at church, works will live, which are absolutely origiwhen he was at the Deanery, he knew would be nal, unequalled, unexampled. His humanity, considered as the duty of his station; but what- his charity, his condescension, his candor, ever had the appearance of voluntary devotion he are equal to his wit-all require as good and always took care to hide. When he went to church in London, it was early in the morning; true a taste to be equally valued.” so that, although he was constantly at prayers


SPEAK Softly to the fatherless!

And check the harsh reply

That sends the crimson to the cheek,
The tear-drop to the eye.
They have the weight of loneliness
In this rude world to bear;
Then gently raise the fallen bud,
The drooping floweret spare.

Speak kindly to the fatherless!
The lowliest of their band
God keepeth, as the waters,
In the hollow of his hand.

"Tis sad to see life's evening sun
Go down in sorrow's shroud,
But sadder still when morning's dawn
Is darkened by the cloud.

Look mildly on the fatherless!
Ye may have power to wile
Their hearts from sadden'd memory
By the magic of a smile.
Deal gently with these little ones,
Be pitiful, and He

The friend and father of us all

Shall gently deal with thee!

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