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dition, a soldier. Godwin, therefore, determined to attempt the acquisition of a fortune in that kingdom ; and the same motives induced his four brothers to go with him. Godwin soon became wealthy; and the rest obtained something more than a genteel competence ; though Dryden and Jonathan, who died soon after their arrival, had little to bequeath. (Sketch, $ 14. 16.]

Jonathan, at the age of about three and twenty, and before he went to Ireland, married Mrs Abigail Erick, of Leicestershire *. The family of this lady was descended from Erick the Forester, who raised an army to oppose William the Conqueror; by whom he was vanquished, and afterwards made commander of his forces. But whatever was the honour of her lineage, her fortune was small ; and about two years after her marriage, she was left a widow with one child, a daughter, and pregnant with another ; having no means of subsistence but an annuity of 20 l. which her husband had purchased for her in England, immediately after his marriage. [Sketch, 19.]


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* This lady was greatly beloved and esteemed by all the family of the Swifts. Her conversation was extremely polite, chearful, and agreeable. She was of a generous and hospitable nature, very exact in all the duties of religion, attended the public worhip generally twice a day; was a very early riser, and was always dressed for the whole day at about six o'clock in the morning. Her chief amusements were needle-work and reading. She was equally fond of both her children, notwithstanding some disagreements that subfifted between them. D. S. p. 22. 23.

In this distress she was taken with her daughter into the family of Godwin, her husband's eldest brother; and, on the 30th of November 1667, about seven months after her husband's death, she was, in Hoey's-alley, in the parish of St Werburgh, Dublin, delivered of a son, whom The called Jonathan in remembrance of his father, and who was afterwards the celebrated Dean of St Patrick's. [D. S. p. 22.]

Of all the brothers of Mrs Swift's husband, Thomas excepted, Godwin only had fons; and by these sons she was sublisted in her old age, as The had been before by their father and their uncles, with such liberality, that the declared .herself, not only happy, but rich. [D. S. p. 23.]

] It happened, by whatever accident, that Jonathan was not fuckled by his mother, but by a nurse, who was a native of Whitehaven: And when he was about a year old, her affection for him was become so strong, that finding it necefsary to visit a relation who was dangerously fick, and from whom she expected a legacy, the found means to convey the child on thipboard, without the knowledge of his mother or his uncle, and carried him with her to Whitehaven. At this place he continued near three years : For when the matter was discovered, his mother sent orders, not to hazard a second voyage, till he should be better able to bear it. The nurse, however, gave other testimonies of her affection to Jonathan : For, during his stay at Whitehaven, she had 1


taught him to spell; and when he was five years old, he was able to read any chapter in the Bible. [Sketch, $ 21. 0. let. 1.]

Mrs Swift, about two years after her husband's death, quitted the family of Mr Godwin Swift, in Ireland, and retired to Leicester, the place of her nativity : But her son was again carried to Ireland by his nurse, and replaced under the protection of his uncle Godwin. [O. let. 1.]

It has been generally believed, that Swift was born in England : a mistake to which many incidents befides this have contributed. He had been frequently heard to say, when the people of Ireland displeased him, “I am not of this “ vile country, I am an Englishman;" and would infift, that he was stolen from England when a child, and brought over to Ireland in a band-box. Mr Pope also, in one of his letters to him, mentions England as his native country. But whatever the motives were that prevailed on Dr Swift to speak in this manner, they were not borrowed from any fort of contempt which he had secretly entertained against Ireland confidered merely as a nation, but rather proceeded from feveral other sources, which will appear afterward. [D. S. p. 26.] This account of his birth is taken from that which he left behind him in his own hand-writing; and while he lived, he was so far from seriously denying or concealing his being a native of Ireland, that he often mentioned, and even pointed out the house in which he was born. VOL. I. C


He has also been thought by fome to have been a natural fon of Sir William Temple: a mistake which was probably founded upon another; for, till the publication of his letter to Lord Viscount Palmerston, among his posthumous works, he was thought to have received such favours from Sir William, as he could not be supposed to bestow upon a person to whom he was not related, and but distantly related to his wife *. However, fuch a relation between Sir William and the Dean, appears beyond contradiction to have been impossible ; for Sir William Temple was resident abroad in a public character from the year 1665 to 1670, first at Brussels, and afterwards at the Hague; as may be proved by his letters to the


* In the year of the Revolution, his uncle Godwin Swift had fallen into a kind of lethargy, or dotage, which deprived him by degrees of his speech and memory, and rendered him totally incapable of being of the least service to his family and iriends. But, in the midst of this distressful situation, as if it was ordained that no incident should bereave mankind of such a genius, Sir William Temple (whose lady was related to Dr Swift's mother) most generoudy stept in to his aslistance, and avowedly fupported his education at the university of Oxford. Acts of generosity feldom meet with their just applause. Sir William Temple's friendship was immediately construed to proceed from a consciousness, that he was the real father of Mr Swift ; otherwise it was thought impossible, that he could be fo uncommonly munificent to a young man, no wise related to him, and but distantly related to his wife. I am not quite certain, that Swift himself did not acquiesce in the calumny. Perhaps, like Alexander, he, though the natural son of Jupiter, would appear greater than the legitimate son of Philip. 0. let. 2.

Earl of Arlington, and the rest of the ministry: So that Dr Swift's mother, who never crofled the sea, except from England to Ireland, was out of all possibility of a personal correspondence with Sir William Temple, till fome years after her son's birth ; who, as before observed, was born in 1667. [O. let. 1.]

At about the age of fix years [1673] he was sent to the school of Kilkenny; and having continued there eight years, he was, at the age of fourteen, (1681), admitted into the university of Dublin, and became a student in Trinity college. There he lived in perfect regularity, and obeyed the statutes with the utmost exactness. But the moroseness of his temper often rendered him very unacceptable to his companions ; so that he was little regarded, and less beloved : And he was so much depreffed by the disadvantages of his fituation, deriving his present subsistence merely from the precarious bounty of an uncle, and having no other object of hope but the continuance of it *, that he could not resist the tempta

tion * While Swift was at the university, one day as he was looking out of his window pensive and melancholy, his pockets being then at the lowest ebb, he spied a master of a ship gazing about in the college courts. Lord, thought he, if that perfon should now be enquiring and staring about for my chamber, in order to bring me some present from my cousin Willoughby Swift, what a happy creature should I be! He had scarce amused himself with this imag tion, when behold the shipmaster having come into his chamber, asked him if his name was Jonathan Swift ? who having told hiin it was;


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