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own peculiar manner, he stated that the queen should either pay up this debt for him, or hang him, since he had deserved the one or the other."

The lord-treasurer, with his usual procrastination, or from motives of public economy, jested on the subject, but did nothing, and Swift's situation must have been embarrassing to any one of less determined prudence. On his return to England, after his instalment, he addressed to Oxford that celebrated and beautiful imitation of book i., epistle vii., and sat. vi., book ii. of Horace, with which every reader must be familiar. The intention was to complain of the expenses attending his preferment,

Again, 16th May, 1713. “I shall be ruined, or at least sadly cramped, unless the queen will give me a thousand pounds. I am sure she owes me a great deal more. Lordtreasurer rallies me upon it, and I believe intends it, but quando ? "_ Vol. iii., p. 161. In a letter to Lord Chancellor Harcourt, May, 1713, he hints at the same subject : “ Lord treasurer uses me barbarously; appoints to carry me to Kensington, and makes me walk four miles at midnight. He laughs when I mention a thousand pounds which he gives me, though a thousand pounds is a very serious thing."Works, vol. xvi., p. 38.

1 This we learn from the following men andum of Dr Birch :-“ The Reverend Mr Orr, Archdeacon of Ferns, gave me an account

a letter of Swift's, which has never been published, to Lord Bolingbroke. It was dated in July, 1713, from his living of Laracor, complaining of his being left by his friends in Ireland, and telling his lordship that he should remind him of David's prayer, which the lord-treasurer would direct him to the psalm and verse for, " Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.' That when he returned to England, he would certainly petition the queen for the thousand pounds she had promised him; for that she ought to pay him that thousand pounds, or hang him, for he had deserved either the ne or the other."

“all vexations,
Patents, instalments, abjurations,
First fruits, and tenths, and chapter-treats,
Dues, payments, fees, demands, and cheats,
The wicked laity's contriving,

To hinder clergymen from thriving." It contains even a more plain intimation of his difficulties.

“ Poor Swift, with all his losses vext,
Not knowing where to turn him next,
Above a thousand pounds in debt,

Takes horse"
As well as

“ Lewis, the Dean will be of use;
Send for him up, take no excuse;
Or let it cost five hundred pound,
No matter where the money's found,
It is but so much more in debt,

And that they ne'er consider'd yet.” 1 All these hints of the loss he was actually sustaining, seem to have been lost

upon Oxford, and only attracted Bolingbroke's attention, at a time when his power was tottering, and his favour inefficient. Swift's solicitude on this subject, has been quoted as derogating from the high tone of independence assumed by him, on refusing the sum formerly offered by the treasurer; and it has been alleged that both cases were exactly parallel, unless in so far as the amount made a difference. But it must be considered, that three years' public services had been remunerated with a professional situation of no common description of dignity indeed, and future emolument, but attended

i Swift's Works, vol. xii., pp. 313, 322.

in the meantime with such an immediate expense, as must have embarrassed, for life perhaps, a man of less economy, and which reduced Swift to great temporary inconvenience. The grant of a sum of money, therefore, to render a preferment, which in every respect was beneath his pretensions, instantly productive and effectual, could no more be considered as an eleemosynary gratuity, than the acceptance of the deanery itself could be termed inconsistent with his having refused to be Lord Oxford's chaplain. Such grants have frequently been made in every department of the public service, and differ widely from the secret service-money doled out to party-writers from time to time, in proportion to the satisfaction which they afford to their patrons.

In another particular Swift was to undergo disappointment. He was still busy with his History of the Peace of Utrecht, and became disposed to extend it into a general account of Queen Anne's reign. With the view of obtaining access to materials, and perhaps of gratifying a wish long since entertained, he was desirous to be named historiographer. The appointment is in the gift of the lord high chamberlain. But Swift, who seems to have had some reason for disliking the Duke of Shrewsbury, ? whom he terms a person

no steadiness sincerity, and by whom the office was held, endeavoured to supersede the necessity of applying to him, by presenting a direct memorial to Queen

of

or

1 See his Letter to Addison, p. 103.

This was erroneously applied to the Earl, afterwards Duke of Kent, in the first edition. But he was out of office at the time, and succeeded by the Duke of Shrewsbury. VOL. II.

M

Anne. His experience in courts might have taught him the jealousy entertained of official patronage, but he probably conceived, that his influence with ministers would surmount, in his particular case, all obstacles arising from it. He was mistaken. Oxford and Bolingbroke, each busied in preparing for an impending struggle, did not choose to excite the chamberlain's dislike, by encroaching on his rights of office; and Shrewsbury, to whom Swift made no personal application, filled up the situation with a dependent of his own.

The dissensions among the ministers seem to

2

1 [" 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 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 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 the 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 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 undertake such an history.”_Memorial to the Queen.— Swift's Works, vol. xvi., p. 153.]

In a letter to Pope, mentioning the post of historiographer, as designed for him, he adds, “ but as it was at the disposal of a person who had not the smallest share of steadiness or sincerity, I disdained to accept it."-Swift's Works, vol. xvi., p. 345.—This can only imply, he might have had it for asking it of the lord chamberlain, for it is certain he did apply to the queen by memorial, and was displeased with

upon

have interrupted the meetings of the Society of Brothers. But Swift had formed, in its stead, the celebrated Scriblerus Club, an association rather of a literary, than a political character. Oxford and St John, Swift, Arbuthnot, Pope, and Gay, were the members. It was the well-known object of their united powers, to compose a

satire the abuse of human learning. Part of their labours has been preserved in the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus, which gave name to the society, and part has been rendered immortal by the Travels of Lemuel Gulliver ; but the violence of political faction, like a storm that spares the laurel no more than the cedar, dispersed this little band of literary brethren, and prevented the accomplishment of a task for which talents so various, so extended, and so brilliant, can never again be united.

Oxford and Bolingbroke, themselves accomplished scholars, patrons and friends both of the persons and of the genius thus associated, led the way, by their mutual animosity, to the dissolution of the confraternity. Their discord had now arisen to the highest pitch, and was scarce veiled under the thin forms of official intercourse. Swift again tried the force of humorous expostulation in his fable of the Fagot, where the ministers are called upon to contribute their various badges of office, to make the bundle strong and secure. With infinite delicacy the poet omitted all mention of

Bolingbroke for not obtaining it for him. See his Works, vol. xvi., pp. 151, 153, 156, 179, and compare them with the

aboxe passage.

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