Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

near Farnham in Surrey, where he continued for about two years : For he happened, before twenty years old, by a furfeit of fruit, to contract a giddiness and coldness of stomach, that almost brought him to his grave; and this disorder pursued him, with intermissions of two or three years, to the end of his life. Upon this occasion he returned to Ireland, by advice of physicians, who weakly imagined, that his native air might be of some use to recover his health. But falling worse, he soon went back to Sir William Temple ; with whom growing into fome confidence, he was often trusted with matters of great importance. King William had a high esteem for Sir William Temple, by a long acquaintance while that gentleman was ambassador and mediator of a general peace at Nimeguen. The King, soon after his expedition to England, visited his old friend often at Sheen, and took his advice in affairs of the greatest consequence. But Sir William Temple, weary of living fo near London, and resolving to retire to a more private scene, bought an estate near Farnham in Surrey, of about 100 l. a-year, where Mr Swift accompanied himn.

SECT. XXIV. Abcut that time a bill was brought into the House of Commons, for triennial parliaments ; against which the King, who was a stranger to our constitution, was very averse, by the advice of some weak people, who persuaded the Earl of Portland, that King Charles I. VOL. I. B

loft

[merged small][ocr errors]

lost his crown and life by confenting to pass such a bill. The Earl, who was a weak man, came down to Moorpark, by his Majesty's orders, to have Sir William Temple's advice ; who said much to shew him the mistake : But he continued still to advise the King against passing the bill. Whereupon Mr Swift was sent to Kensington, with the whole account of that matter in writing, to convince the King, and the Earl, how ill they were informed. He told the Earl, to whom he was referred by his Majesty, (and gave it in writing), that the ruin of King Charles I. was not owing to his passing the triennial bill, which did not hinder him from diffolving any parliament; but to the pafling another bill, which put it out of his power to diffolve the parliament then in being, without the consent of the House. Mr Swift, who was well versed in English history, although he was then under twenty-one years old *, gave the King a short account of the matter, but a more large one to the Earl of Portland; but all in vain : For the King, by ill advisers, was prevailed upon to refuse passing the bill. This was the first time that Mr Swift had any converse with courts; and he told his friends, it was the first incident that helped to cure him of vanity.

The

[ocr errors]

It was first written, but afterwards erased in the original manuscript, “ three and twenty years old ;" which, in all probability, was right : For Dr Swift was twenty-one years old the last day of November 1688, and before that period there could have been no such bill under consideration.

pals

nu

The consequence of this wrong step in his Majan, jesty, was very unhappy : For it put that prince lers, under a necessity of introducing those people callfaided Whigs into power and employments, in order

to pacify them. For although it be held a part bill of the King's prerogative to refuse passing a bill, on, yet the learned in the law think otherwise, from ng, that expression used at the coronation, wherein ney the prince obligeth himself to consent to all laws he

quas vulgus elegerit. ritoi Sect. XXV. Mr Swift lived with him, (Sir 201 William Temple) some time * ; but resolving to lid settle himself in a way of living, was inclined to it; i take orders. However, although his fortune

was very small, he had a scruple of entering into the church merely for support; and Sir William Temple then being master of the rolls in Ireland, offered him an employ of about 120 l. a-year in that office : Whereupon Mr Swift told him, that fince he had now an opportunity of living without being driven into the church for a maintenance, he was resolved to go to Ireland to take holy orders t. He was recommended to the Lord Capel, then Lord Deputy, who gave him a prebend in the North, worth about 100 l. a-year ; of which growing weary in a few months, he returned to England, resigned his living in favour of a B 2

friend,

i's

* That is, for the space of about five years and a half, from 1688 to 16

† An answer extremely polite, and seemingly adorned with gratitude ; but at the same time extremely resolute, and worthy of himself.

friend, and continued in Sir William Temple's house till the death of that great man, who, besides a legacy *, left him the care, and trust, and advantage of publishing his posthumous writings.

Sect. XXVI. Upon this event Mr Swift removed to London, and applied by petition to King William, upon the claim of a promise his Majesty had made to Sir W. Temple, that he would give Mr Swift a prebend of Canterbury or Westminster. The Earl of Rumney, who profeffed much friendship for him, promised to second his petition ; but as he was an old, vi. tious, illiterate rake, without any fenfe of truth or honour, faid not a word to the King. And Mr Swift, after long attendance in vain, thought it better to comply with an invitation given him by the Earl of Berkeley, to attend him to Ireland as his chaplain and private secretary, his Lordship having been appointed one of the Lords Justices of that kingdom. He attended his Lordship, who landed near Waterford: And Mr Swift acted as secretary during the whole journey to Dublin. But another person had so far infinuated himself into the Earl's favour, by telling him, that the post of secretary was not proper for a clergyman, nor would be of any advantage to one who only aimed at church preferments, that his Lordship, after a poor apology, gave that office to the other t.

SECT. XXVII. Supposed to be 500 1. + See a poem upon this incident in vol. ix. intitled, The Discovery.

SECT. XXVII. In some months the deanry of Derry fell vacant, and it was the Earl of Berkeley's turn to dispose of it ; yet things were so ordered, that the secretary having received a bribe, the deanry was disposed of to another, and Mr Swift was put off with some other churchlivings not worth above a third of that rich deanry, and at this present not a fixth. The excuse pretended, was his being too young, although he was then thirty years old *.

* He was then upwards of two and thirty years old.

N. B. All the notes in this Tract, except that in p. 12, and the last in p. 16, are taken from Mr Deane Swift,

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »