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tions that the lord-treasurer showed more personal kindness than attention to his interest, he at length expressed himself positively determined to relinquish labouring in the service of the ministers. “ I will contract,” he says, “no more enemies, at least I will not embitter worse than I have already, till I have got under shelter, and the ministers know my resolution.” 1 At this time three Irish deaneries, a canonry of Windsor, and other churchlivings in England, chanced to be vacant. On being informed that the warrant for the deaneries was filled up without mention of his name, Swift immediately announced his positive purpose of retiring, desiring Mr Lewis to inform the lordtreasurer that he took nothing ill of him, but his failure to inform him, as he had promised to do, if he found the queen would do nothing for him ; a remarkable passage, which shows that Swift was now fully sensible of the fatal influence which obscured his prospects of promotion. Thus pressed, Oxford, with the concurrence of the Duke of Ormond, then lord-lieutenant, proposed that Dr Sterne should be removed to the Bishopric of Dromore, in order to vacate for Swift that Deanery of St Patrick's, the name of which has since become a classical sound, because connected with
1 26th Dec, 1712. “ I dined with lord-treasurer, who chid me for being absent three days. Mighty kind, with a p- ; less of civility, and more of interest."-Swift's Works, vol. iii., p. 82.-25th Feb. 1712-13. « He chides me if I stay away but two days together. What will this come to ? Nothing. My grandmother used to say,
More of your lining,
his memory. Sterne had no apparent interest of his own, and was rather obnoxious to the Duke of Ormond. The circumstance, therefore, of his being promoted to the higher dignity, while Swift, with all his influence, only gained that from which Sterne was remo
noved, indicates a capitulation between the queen and her ministers, in which the latter, finding their influence too low to obtain a mitre for their candidate, were contented to compound by procuring his appointment to a wealthy deanery. A last effort was made by the joint interest of Oxford and Lady Masham, to exchange St Patrick's for a prebendary of Windsor. But the remonstrances of the prime minister, and the entreaties, even the tears of the favourite, were unavailing; and Swift, galled by the difficulty which attended his promotion, could only console his pride by the consideration, that a bishop had been created against great opposition, and without any interest of his own, in order to make way for his gaining the best deanery in Ireland. It is remarkable, that, neither during the agitating period when this business was in dependence, nor at any other time, did Swift suffer himself to glance a sarcasm at Queen Anne, or at her memory. And
1 The following line can hardly be considered as an exception:
“By an old [murderess ?) pursued, A crazy prelate, and a royal prude." In the same piece he mentions, in very different terms, the intrigues of Archbishop Sharpe and the Duchess of Somerset:
« York is from Lambeth sent to tell the queen,
this is the more striking, as he seems to have lost patience with his friend Oxford, even while he was sensible he laboured all he could to overcome the prejudices against his character in the royal breast. This respectful moderation is a strong contrast to the offence which he afterwards expressed against Queen Caroline for much slighter neglect. But in the former case, Queen Anne's favour for the church, and for the ministers with whom Swift lived in such intimacy, seems to have subdued his resentment for her personal dislike."
Which by the style, the matter, and the drist,
And thence into the royal ear distils." It is remarkable, that, in two passages of his Journal to Stella, Swift intimates that the Archbishop of York had expressed a strong wish to be reconciled to him; but it does not appear that they ever met. Delany, after expressing his surprise that Swift should ever have been represented as an infidel, mentions, as if it consisted with his own knowledge, “ It will be some satisfaction to the reader, as I doubt not it was to Swift, (though no reparation of the injury,) to know that the archbishop lived to repent of this injury done to Swift, expressed great sorrow for it, and desired his forgiveness.”—Observations upon Lord Orrery's Remarks, &c. p. 271.
· Bolingbroke always affirmed, that the queen had no unfavourable impression of Swift, and that he had been assured by herself, that neither the Archbishop of York, nor any one else, had prejudiced her against him. He represented the whole as an invention of Lord Oxford, to keep Swift to his deanery in Ireland. Dr King shrewdly observes, “ If Lord Bolingbroke had hated the Earl of Oxford less, I should have been readily inclined to believe him."-King's Anecdotes, p. 61. Indeed, no adequate reason can be assigned, why Oxford
The warrant for the Deanery of St Patrick's was signed 23d February, and Swift set out for Ireland early in June, 1713, to take possession of a preferment, which he always professed to consider as at best an honourable exile. It must have been indeed unexpected, that his unexampled court favour should all terminate in his obtaining a deanery in a kingdom remote from those statesmen who equally needed his assistance, and delighted in his society. Nor can we doubt that he was disappointed, as well as surprised, since at one time he held his services too essential to the administration, to allow them even to create him a bishop in Ireland.
To the very last, he confesses he thought the ministry would not have parted with him, and could only conclude, that they had not the option of making a suitable provision for him in England."
should have impeded the promotion of his most zealous friend and active partisan. Bolingbroke meant it to be inferred, perhaps, that Swift was likely to take his side and desert Oxford, when they came to an open rupture. But Swift's subsequent behaviour affords no room for such a belief.
Journal, May 29, 1711. “ We hear your Bishop Hickman is dead; but nobody here will do any thing for me in Ireland, so they may die as fast or slow as they please."-Swift's Works, vol. ii., p. 278. Hickman, Bishop of Derry, was succeeded by Dr Hartstonge, translated from the See of Ossory.
* Journal, 18th April, 1713. “ Neither can I feel joy at passing my days in Ireland; and I confess I thought the ministry would not let me go; but perhaps they cannot help it.”-Swift's Works, vol. iii., p. 155.
Swift takes possession of his Deanery—Is recalled to Eng
land to reconcile Harley and St John- Increases in favour with Oxford—Engages again in Political controversy— Writes the Public Spirit of the Whigs—A reward offered for discovery of the Author- The dissensions of the Ministers increase—Swift retires to the CountryWrites Thoughts on the Present State of Affairs Writes to Lord Oxford on his being Displaced And retires to Ireland on the Queen's Death— His receptionHis Society, The interest he displayed in the misfortunes of his Friends.
The biographers of Swift have differed in their account of his reception as Dean of St Patrick's. According to Lord Orrery, it was unfavourable in the extreme. He was shunned by the better class, hissed, hooted, and even pelted by the rabble. This is contradicted by Delany and Sheridan, who argue on the improbability of his experiencing such affronts, when the high-church interest, which he had so ardently served, was still in its zenith. Indeed, there is no doubt, that Lord Orrery's account is greatly exaggerated, or rather that his lordship has confounded the circumstances which attended Swift's first reception, with those of his final retirement to his deanery after the death of the queen. Yet, even on his first arrival, his reception was far