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William was strongly prejudiced, after having in vain tried to shew the Earl that the proposal involved nothing dangerous to royal power, he sent Swift for the same purpose to the King. Swift, who probably was proud of his employment, and went with all the confidence of a young man, found his arguments, and his art of displaying them, made totally ineffectual by the pre-determination of the King; and used to mention this disappointment as his first antidote against vanity."
Before he left Ireland he contracted a disorder, as he thought, by eating too much fruit. The original of diseases is commonly obscure. Almost every boy eats as much fruit as he can get, without any great inconvenience. The disease of Swift was giddiness with deafness, which attacked him from time to time, began very early, pursued him through life, and at last sent him to the grave, deprived of reason.
Being much oppressed at Moor-park by this grievous malady, he was advised to try his native air, and went to Ireland; but, finding no benefit, returned to Sir William, at whose house he continued his studies, and is known to have read, among other books, "Cyprian" and "Irenæus." He thought exercise of great necessity, and used to run half a mile up and down a hill every two hours.
It is easy to imagine that the mode in which his first degree was conferred left him no great fondness for the University of Dublin, and therefore he resolved to become a Master of Arts at Oxford. In the testimonial which he
Macaulay describes this occurrence, Hist. Eng. vol. vi. pp. 282-3. ? Dr. Bucknill, F.R.S., in the January number of Brain, proves that Swift's life-long maladies had their origin in a disease in the region of the ear, called Labyrinthine vertigo. Craik, p. 561.
3 Forster, p. 48.
4 Mr. Cunningham here gives the very interesting letter written by Sir Wm. Temple to Sir Robert Southwell, recommending Swift to his notice.
produced, the words of disgrace were omitted, and he took his Master's degree (July 5, 1692) with such reception and regard as fully contented him.
While he lived with Temple, he used to pay his mother? at Leicester an yearly visit. He travelled on foot, unless some violence of weather drove him into a waggon, and at night he would go to a penny lodging, where he purchased clean sheets for sixpence. This practice Lord Orrery? imputes to his innate love of grossness and vulgarity: some may ascribe it to his desire of surveying human life through all its varieties; and others, perhaps with equal probability, to a passion which seems to have been deep fixed in his heart, the love of a shilling.
In time he began to think that his attendance at Moorpark deserved some other recompence than the pleasure, however mingled with improvement, of Temple’s conversation ; and grew so impatient, that (1694) he went away in discontent.
Temple, conscious of having given reason for complaint, is said to have made him Deputy Master of the Rolls in Ireland ;' which, according to his kinsman's account,' was an office which he knew him not able to discharge. Swift therefore resolved to enter into the Church, in which he had at first no higher hopes than of the chaplainship to the Factory at Lisbon; but being recommended to Lord Capel, he obtained the prebend of Kilroot in Connor, of about a hundred pounds a year.'
| For an account of Abigail Swift and her character, humour, uprightness and independence, see Forster, pp. 51-55.
2 John Boyle, Earl of Orrery, in Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift, 1751, 8vo, ed. 1753, p. 21.
3 It seems rather that this appointment was offered to Swift and declined. Forster, p. 72.
4 Deane Swift's Essay.
5 His patent of presentation is enrolled under date of the 28th January, 1694-5.
But the infirmities of Temple made a companion like Swift so necessary, that he invited him back, with a promise to procure him English preferment, in exchange for the prebend which he desired him to resign. With this request Swift complied, having perhaps equally repented their separation, and they lived on together with mutual satisfaction ; and, in the four years that passed between his return and Temple's death, it is probable that he wrote the “ Tale of a Tub” and the “ Battle of the Books."
Swift began early to think, or to hope, that he was a poet, and wrote Pindarick Odes to Temple, to the King, and to the Athenian Society, a knot of obscure men, who published a periodical pamphlet of answers to questions, sent, or supposed to be sent, by Letters, I have been told that Dryden, having perused these verses, said, “Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet ;” and that this denunciation was the motive of Swift's perpetual malevolence to Dryden.
In 1699 Temple died, and left a legacy with his manuscripts to Swift, for whom he had obtained, from King William, a promise of the first prebend that should be vacant at Westminster or Canterbury.
That this promise might not be forgotten, Swift dedicated to the King the posthumous works with which he was intrusted ; but neither the dedication, nor tenderness for the man whom he once had treated with confidence and fondness, revived in King William the remembrance of his promise. Swift awhile attended the Court; but soon found his solicitations hopeless.
He was then invited by the Earl of Berkley? to accom
i Swift resided at Kilroot about twelve months. He returned to Sir Wm. Temple at Moor Park, after an absence of little more than a year and a half, but did not resign his living of Kilroot, till March, 1697-8. Forster, p. 80.
? Lord Berkeley was newly appointed one of the Lords Justices of Ire
pany him into Ireland, as his private secretary ;' but after having done the business till their arrival in Dublin, he then found that one Bush had persuaded the Earl that a Clergyman was not a proper secretary, and had obtained the office for himself. In a man like Swift, such circumvention and inconstancy must have excited violent indignation.'
But he had yet more to suffer. Lord Berkeley had the disposal of the deanery of Derry, and Swift expected to obtain it; but by the secretary's influence, supposed to have been secured by a bribe, it was bestowed on somebody else; and Swift was dismissed with the livings of Laracor and Rathbeggin in the diocese of Meath, which together did not equal half the value of the deanery.
At Laracor 4 he increased the parochial duty by reading prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays, and performed all the offices of his profession with great decency and exactness.
Soon after his settlement at Laracor, he invited to Ireland the unfortunate Stella,' a young woman whose name was Johnson, the daughter of the steward of Sir William Temple, who, in consideration of her father's virtues, left
land. He died in 1710. One of his daughters, Lady Betty Germaine, was an able and favourite correspondent of Swift’s. —P. CUNNINGHAM.
Autobiographical Anecdotes. Forster, pp. 16, 110. S. S. vol. i.
? Swift was Chaplain at Dublin Castle ; continuing his service for political as well as personal reasons, to two later viceroys. Forster, p. 111. S. S. vol. i. pp. 64-69.
3 These livings united amounted to about £230 a year, and by Scott's reckoning (vol. i. p. 61) the prebend of Demlavin, which was added in 1700, brought Swift's income up to £350 or £400 a year; but Mr. Forster shows that his whole receipts must have been included in the £230. Forster, pp. 116, 117.
* For a description of Swift's arrival at Laracor and his surprise and indignation at the state of the church and vicarage, see Forster, p. 120, and S. S. vol. i. p. 68.
• S. S. vol. i. pp. 69-75. See a full and charming account of Stella, Forster, pp. 292-314.
her a thousand pounds. With her came Mrs. Dingley, whose whole fortune was twenty-seven pounds a year for her life. With these Ladies he passed his hours of relaxation, and to them he opened his bosom; but they never resided in the same house, nor did he see either without a witness. They lived at the Parsonage, when Swift was away; and when he returned, removed to a lodging, or to the house of a neighbouring clergyman.
Swift was not one of those minds which amaze the world with early pregnancy: his first work, except his few poetical Essays, was the “ Dissentions in Athens and Rome,' published (1701) in his thirty-fourth year.? After its appearance, paying a visit to some bishop, he heard mention made of the new pamphlet that Burnet had written, replete with political knowledge. When he seemed to doubt Burnet's right to the work, he was told by the Bishop, that he was a young man; and, still persisting to doubt, that he was a very positive young man.
Three years afterward (1704) was published “The Tale of a Tub:” 3 of this book charity may be persuaded to think that it might be written by a man of a peculiar character, without ill intention; but it is certainly of dangerous example. That Swift was its author, though it be universally believed, was never owned by himself, nor very well proved by any evidence; but no other claimant can be produced, and he did not deny it when Archbishop Sharpe and the Duchess of Somerset, by shewing it to the Queen, debarred him from a bishoprick."
| The contests and dissensions of the Nobles and Commons in Athens and Rome, with the consequences, etc. S. S. vol. iii. p. 201. Forster,
2 In February, 1701, Swift took his doctor's degree in Dublin University. Forster, p. 124.
3 A Tale of a Tub. Written for the Universal Improvement of Mankind. S. S. vol. x. p. 1. See Forster, p. 141.
4 Forster, pp. 156, 210.