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to see my

not be for nothing. I hope he can tell no ill story of you.”? This unfriendly hint the Dean repels with the most indignant spirit. “I should be sorry," he commences,

Lord Bolingbroke following the trade of an informer, because he is a person for whom I have always had, and still continue, a very great love and esteem. And as to myself, if I were of any importance, I should be very easy under such an accusation, much easier than I am to think your grace imagines me in any danger. I am surprised to think your grace could talk or act, or correspond with me for some years past, while you must needs believe me a most false and vile man ; declaring to you, on all occasions, my abhorrence of the Pretender, and yet privately engaged with a ministry to bring him in. . I always professed to be against the Pretender, and am so still. And this is not to make my court, (which I know is vain,) for I own myself full of doubts, fears, and dissatisfactions; which I think on as seldom as I can: Yet, if I of

any

value, the public may safely rely on my loyalty : because I look upon the coming of the Pretender as a greater evil than any we are likely to suffer under the worst Whig ministry that can be found.” 2

It would be in vain to waste more words on this accusation, excepting that no one had more reason to dread the accession of a Catholic prince than the determined champion of the Church of England ; nor could a counter-revolution, which must have

were

i Swift's Works, vol. xvi., p. 263. VOL. II.

N

? Ibid. p. 269-270.

been achieved by foreign aid, and supported by arbitrary and military authority, have been so odious to any one as to the resolved and undaunted defender of the liberties of Ireland. His manuscript Notes upon Addison's Freeholder, a paper designed to support the government during the insurrection of 1715, indicate, indeed, compassion for the insurgents, and no great respect for the reigning family, but intimate no approbation of the Jacobite principles, nor any wish for a restoration of the Stuart line. It is true that, to be even the apologist of these unfortunate persons, might, in the rigorous judgment of more zealous partisans, misbecome one who professed himself a Whig, though without modern refinements. If this be judged an inconsistency, it must be considered as one of those which frequently occur from the accidental collision of human passions with political principle. But, excepting in these momentary flashes of satire, if we examine the whole tenor of Swift's life, writings, and opinions, there cannot be an action, or line, or sentiment derived from his history, writings, or letters, to countenance the charge of Jacobitism with which he was at this period of his life so generally slandered.

The imputation of disaffection has often the same effect with the reality, especially in a provincial capital, where the retainers of party endeavour to supply their deficiency in real importance, by zeal, elamour, and intolerance. Swift seems, therefore, for some time, to have been secluded from the society of the great, powerful, and distinguished; and the companion of Oxford and Bolingbroke, of Prior, Pope, Gay, had to select his society from the men of kindred taste in his own order, with a few of more elevated rank, who either had the sense and spirit to “ forsake politics for wit,” or were not disinclined to high-church politics. Delany has enumerated several of these in a passage, where he repels with equal success and indignation, the assertion of Orrery, that Swift delighted in company

of low rank, and parasitical manners. He mentions, as Swift's principal companions, the Grattans, seven brethren of high honour, in their various walks of life, as generally acquainted, and as much beloved as any family in England, their ally, the Rev. Mr Jackson, George Rochfort, and Peter Ludlow, both gentlemen of accomplishments, and, what Lord Orrery might think more material, of good birth, and easy fortune. He also enumerates Dr Walsmley, Dr Helsham, Dr Sheridan, Mr Stopford, afterwards Bishop of Cloyne, and himself; and what he says of Rochfort and Ludlow, may apply to most of Swift's society. “ Greater

i The eldest lived on his paternal fortune. One was a physician, one a merchant, and afterwards lord mayor of Dublin; one was head-master of a free-school, with a large appointment, and the remaining three were clergymen. “ Do you not know the Grattans? ” said Swift to Lord Carteret, when he came over as lord-lieutenant; “ Then pray obtain their acquaintance. The Grattans, my lord, can raise 10,000 men.” This was one of the instances in which Swift showed his desire of enhancing the importance of his friends. He alluded to the great popularity of the family, and Carteret seems to have found his report just, since Dr Grattan was named physician to the lord-lieutenant and his family. He wrote to the Duke of Dorset concerning the Grattans, making use of the same phrase. See his Works, vol. xviii., p. 493. ,

1

companions he might have conversed with, but better he neither did, nor could.”

Amusing his leisure in this society, Swift had yet too much time remaining to reflect on his own disappointments, and the calamity of those who had lately been engaged with him on the public stage. Like a seaman wrecked upon a solitary island, we find him constantly lamenting the misfortunes and danger of the associates from whom he was divided,

- longing for their society,—undervaluing, in his grief for their separation, the safety and the solitude which had fallen to his own lot. His thoughts were ever turning to “ his friends in exile, or the Tower,” nor did he omit all that was in his

power to manifest his sympathy with their distress, at every risk to his own person and fortune. He corresponded with Lord Bolingbroke, even while in banishment, through bad report, and good report. He offered consolation to Lady Masham, and to the yet more unfortunate Duchess of Ormond. But to Oxford, his patron and his friend, then imprisoned in the Tower, and threatened with impeachment for high treason, Swift manifested that affection which only generous and noble minds can feel, and which glows highest when it most compromises the safety of him by whom it is displayed. He claimed it as his right to offer his service and attendance during his friend's imprisonment-he entreated it as a boon: “ It is the first time,” are his striking words, “ I ever solicited you in my own behalf; and if I am refused, it will be

· Delany's Observations, p. 95.

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the first request you ever refused me. Oxford seems to have declined an offer, which, without being useful to him, could only have involved a noble and disinterested friend in suspicion and danger. But the generosity and self-devotion by which it was dictated, should be equally remembered in Swift's favour, and silence for ever the obscure and unproved calumnies, which are inconsistent with the very nature of such a mind. He writes to Pope in this melancholy strain, “ You know how well I loved both Lord Oxford and Lord Bolingbroke, and how dear the Duke of Ormond is to me: Do you imagine I can be easy while their enemies are endeavouring to take off their heads ? I nunc, et versus tecum meditare canoros.

- And after an account of his living in the most secluded manner with a few servants, in the corner of a vast unfurnished house, he describes his amusements to be the task of defending his small dominions against the archbishop, and endeavouring to reduce his rebellious choir. Perditur, is the melancholy summing up, perditur inter hæc misero lux.

If it be possible that any one should peruse these pages, to whom the wayward history of Swift's domestic misfortunes are altogether unknown, such a reader

may be surprised, that endowed with a competence which his economy was speedily increasing into opulence, he had not now at length relieved the tedium of celibacy, and diverted his painful reflections upon public affairs, and the fate

i Swift's Works, vol. xvi., p. 232.

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