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SECTION VII.

Swift's conduct as a dignified Clergyman-His controversies

with the DissentersAnd with the Bishops of IrelandVerses on his own DeathFaulkner's edition of his WorksHis Quarrel with Bettesworth-Satire on Quadrille-Legion Club-Controversy concerning the lowering of the Gold Coin-History of Queen Anne's reignSwift's private Life at this periodHe disposes of his Fortune to found an HospitalHe sinks into incapacity -His Death.

ERE proceeding to the melancholy remainder of Swift's life, we may here resume an account of his conduct as a dignitary of the Church of England, and of the various occasions in which he stood forth in her behalf, when he conceived her rights assaulted and endangered.

It ought to be first noticed, that Swift possessed, in the fullest degree, the only secure foundation for excellence in the clerical profession—a sincere and devout faith in the doctrines of Christianity. This was doubted during his life, on account of the levities in the Tale of a Tub; and also because he carried his detestation of hypocrisy to such a blameable excess, that he was rather willing to appear indifferent about religion, than to be suspected of affecting over zeal in her cause. Thus, when in London, he rose early in the morning, that he might attend public worship without observation; and in Dublin, Delany was six months in his house before he discovered that the Dean read prayers to his family with punctual regularity. He was equally regular in his private devotions. The place which he occupied as an oratory was a small closet, in which, when his situation required to be in some degree watched, he was daily observed to pray with great devotion. When his faculties, and

particularly his memory, began to fail, he used often to enquire anxiously whether he had been in this apartment in the course of the day, and if answered in the affirmative, seemed to delivered from the apprehension that he had neglected the duties of devotion.

Thus impressed with the practical belief of the truths which it was his profession to teach, he was punctual in the discharge of those public duties incumbent on his dignified station in the church. He read the service in his cathedral regularly, though with more force than grace of elocution, and administered the sacrament weekly, in the most solemn and devout manner, with his own hands. He preached also in his turn ; and the sermons which have been preserved belie his own severe censure, “ that he could only preach pamphlets.” On the contrary, Swift's discourses contain strong, sensible, and precise language, which distinguishes all his prose writings. They are not, indeed, without a cast of his peculiar humour, but it is not driven beyond the verge of propriety. As he considered the power of pulpit elocution as of the last consequence to the church, he used to attend particularly to the discourse of every young clergyman who preached in his cathedral, and never failed to minute down such words as seemed too obscure for the understandings of a popular congregation. In his Letter to a Clergyman, he has dwelt upon this common error of young preachers, which, with other excellent remarks contained in that treatise, shows that Swift not only valued the dignity of his order, but knew that it can only be maintained by the regular discharge of clerical duties in a decorous and practical manner.

But his zeal for the interests of his younger brethren was not only shown by public and private precepts, and by the tracts he wrote upon the Fates of Clergymen, and the Hatred against the Clergy ; -he endeavoured to serve them more effectually by patronage and recommendation. It was to this purpose chiefly he turned his intimacy with Carteret, and his long friendship with Lady Betty Germaine, who resided in family with his successor, the Duke of Dorset, and possessed influence with him. The frequency and urgency of his applications, as well as, generally speaking, the worth of those in whose favour they were made, give the best and most solid proof of his real interest in the promotion of clergymen of virtue and learning.

Within his own deanery, Swift was scrupulously accurate in maintaining and improving the revenues of the living, and rejected every proposal which was made to raise wealth for himself at the expense of the establishment. When he was almost sunk into imbecility, and love of money, a habit rather than

VOL. II.

Z

a passion, seemed to be his sole remaining motive of action, he rejected, with indignation, a considerable sum, offered for the renewal of a lease, upon terms which would have been unfavourable for his successors. To the last moment of his capacity, he kept an accurate account of the revenues of the cathedral, and even of the sums collected and expended in charity, of which his accounts are now before the Editor. One is dated so low as 1742.

Upon the same principle, the Dean took care, by consulting proper judges, that the choir of his cathedral should be well regulated, and his correspondence with Dr Arbuthnot often turns upon procuring proper choristers. His zeal in this particular also survived the decay of his abilities, for he drew up a singular document, prohibiting the members of his choir from attending ordinary music meetings, so late as 28th January, 1741.2 The Dean

1 The entries in these records sometimes exhibit the Dean's peculiar humour, as for example“ Increased to Mr Lyon by the pernicious vice

and advice of my daily spunge and [a word
illegible] Will's son, to 12 scoundrels at 6jd.
per week, fortnight,

L.0 6 6 1739-40, January 12. A long extraordinary cold

season, and I was worried by Mr Lyon to
give more than the fund will support. How-

ever I give 20 shill. March 11. To a blind parson and his wife, 0 2 81"

The Will's son above mentioned, was Francis Wilson, Prebendary of Kilmactolway, living then an inmate in the Dean's family, but expelled from it in 1742, for using personal violence to Swift.-See Swift's Works, vol. xix., p. 258, and note.

> [" And I do hereby require and request the very reverend sub-dean not to permit any of the vicars-choral, choristers, or organists, to attend or assist at any public musical performances, without my consent, or his consent, with the con

himself did not affect either to be a judge or admirer of music, yet he possessed the power of mimicking it in a wonderful degree. A person regretting at his table that he had not heard Mr Rosingrave, then just returned from Italy, perform upon the organ; “ You shall hear him now,” said Swift, and immediately started off into a burlesque imitation of the chromatics of the musician, to the inexpressible amusement of the company, excepting one old gentleman, who remained unmoved, because, as he said, “ he had heard Mr Rosingrave himself perform the same piece that morning.” This exploit led to the Dean's composing the celebrated cantata, burlesquing the doctrine of imitative sounds in poetry and music. It was set to music by Dr John Echlin.2

sent of the chapter first obtained. And whereas it hath been reported, that I gave a license to certain vicars to assist at a club of fiddlers in Fishamble Street, I do hereby declare that I remember no such license to have been ever signed or sealed by me; and that if ever such pretended license should be produced, I do hereby annul and vacate the said license,” &c. &c.-Swift's Works, vol. xix., p. 254.]

See his verses to himself, in his Works, vol. xiv., p. 397, beginning,

“ Grave Dean of St Patrick's, how comes it to pass,

That you, who know music no more than an ass," &c. » [“ Dr Beattie, after censuring the practice of what he calls illicit imitation, observes, that this abuse of a noble art did not escape the satire of Swift ; who, though deaf to the charms of music, was not blind to the absurdity of musicians. He recommended it to Dr Echlin, an ingenious gentleman of Ireland, to compose a cantata in ridicule of this puerile mimicry. Here we have motions imitated, which are the most inharmonious, and the least connected with human affections, as the trotting, ambling, and gallopping of Pegasus; and sounds the most unmusical, as cracking and snivelling, and rough, roistering, rustic roaring strains; the words high and deep,

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