Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

brought into the house for triennial parliaments, against which the king who was a stranger to

Sketch, our constitution was very averse by the ad

fect. xxiii. vice of some weak people who persuaded end, and the earl of Portland, that Charles the First loft xxiv. be. his crown and life by consenting to such ginning. a bill. Upon this occasion the earl was dispatched to Moorpark by the king for fir William's advice, who faid much to fnew him the mistake but without effect, and therefore he soon afterwards dispatched Swift to Kensington, with the whole account in writing to convince the king and the earl how ill they were informed. Swift though he was then very young, was yet well acquainted with the English history, and gave the king a compendious account of the matter which he amplified to the earl, but the measure was at last rejected, and thus ended Swift's first embally to court, lo much to his dissatisfaction, that he then declared it was the firstincident that helped to cure him

Sketch, of vanity, Soon after this transaction he

fect. xxiv. was seized with the return of a disorder which he had contracted in Ireland by eating a great quantity of fruits and upon this occasion returned thither by the advice of his physicians, who hoped that his native air would contribute to the recovery of his health, but from this journey he received no benefit, and therefore in a short time returned

Sketch, to sir William, being ever afterwards sub

sect. xxiii. ject to that giddiness, which gradually increased, though with irregular intermissions, till it terminated in total debility of body and mind.

But he was still indefatigable in his studies, and to prevent the lofs of health in the acquisition of know

continued his visits after the re- that he went to Ireland after he moval to Maorpark. (D. S. 108.] had been two years at Moorpark,

a It must have been after, and in sect. xxiv. that his expethough it is first related in the dition to court was soon after the Sketch, for it is said sec, xxiii. removal from Sbeen.


ledge by the want of bodily exercise, it was his conftant practice to run up an hill that was near the house and back again every two hours; the distance backwards and forwards was about half a mile, and he used to run it in about fix minutes,

By D. S. 272.

what books his studies were principally directed cannot certainly be known, but several copious extracts from Cyprian, Irenæus, Sleidan's Commentaries, and Padre Paolo's history of the council of Trent, were found among his papers which appear by

memorandums in his own hand writing to D.S.276.

have been made while he lived with fir William Temple.

About a year after his return from Ireland, he thought it expedient to take his degree of master of arts at Oxford.

With this view he appears to have written to his uncle William Swift, to procure and send him the testimonium of his bachelor's degree.

With this teftimonium which is dated the 3d of May 1692, he went to Oxford, where having received many civilities, he was admitted ad eundem on the 14th of June, and took his master's degree on the 5th of July following It has been said that the civilities which he received

at Oxford proceeded from a misunderstand30, 44.

ing of the phrase speciali gratia, which was

there supposed to be a compliment paid to p. 8.

uncommon merit. But these words are not inserted in that copy of the testimonium which is entered in the congregation book at Oxford ; and not to have inserted them there, when they were thought a compliment, would have been an affront; it is therefore probable that by the influence of Swift's uncle they were omitted in the copy which he procured and sent, especially as some fuch favour seems to be intimated in Swift's letter to him,


D. S. p.


[ocr errors]

after he had received it: I am still, says he, to thank you for your Care in my teftimonium, and IT WAS TO VERY GOOD PURPOSE, for I was

Orrery, p.

11. D. $. never more satisfied than in the behaviour

P. 56. of the university. The civilities which he received at Oxford, might indeed proceed from his known connexion with fir William Temple, but he might reasonably impute them also to the suppression of a reproach against which there was good reason to fear this connection would not have supported him ; nor is it strange that Swift, after his reputation was established, should, while he was sporting with this incident in the gayety of his heart, pretend a mistake which never happened, or that what he meant as a jest upon the university should be seriously remembered as an event of his life.

It has also been said that upon his disgrace at Dublin, he resolved to pursue his studies at Oxford, where he almost constantly resided during three years, and was avowedly supported by sir William Tem

Orrery, ple. But the contrary is incontestably true,

p. 8, 9. for there are not quite two months between the date of his testimonium, and his taking his maf. ter's degree. Besides in the letter to his uncle just mentioned, he says, I am ashamed to be more obliged in a few weeks to STRANGERS, than in seven years to Dublin college

· He went to college at the longer with air William before he age of fourteen, in 1681 ; con- went to Oxford, which malt tinued there seven years, as ap- therefore be 1692 ; and in that pears by his letter; so that he very year he took his degree. did not leave Ireland till 1688; The fact therefore which, lord he was some months with his Orrery says, was immediately conmother before he went to fir frued to favour an opinion that William, and two years with him Szwift was fir William's natural before he went to Ireland for his fon appears never to have haphealth, which must therefore be pened. See Swift's fretch of bio in 1691 ; he returned from Ire- ozun life. land, and continued some cime


From Oxford he returned again to Moore Park, where he affifted fir William Temple to revise his works, corrected and improved his Tale of a Tub, and added the digressions. From the conversation of fir William, who was minutely acquainted with all the intricacies of party and the secrets of state, during the reigns of king Charles and king James the Second, Swift greatly increased his political knowledge. But having long suspected fir William of neglecting to provide for him, merely that he might keep him in his family, he at length resented it so warmly, that in the year 1694, a quarrel ensued and they parted.

It is probable that swift did not leave sir William for such a reason without severe expoftulation, not only because Swift was no respecter of persons, but

because it appears that sir William, though D. S. 52.

he was extremely angry, admitted his claim to some provision by offering to make him his deputy

as master of the Rolls in Ireland. This ofSketch, fer however Swift did not accept, but re

plied that since he had now an opportunity and note.

of living without being driven into the church for support, a scruple which had hitherto kept him out of it, he was determined to go into Ireland and take orders. Swift during his refidence with fir William had ne

ver failed to visit his mother at Leicester once

a year, and his manner of travelling was Ortery,

very extraordinary; he always went on foot

except the weather was very bad, and then he would sometimes take shelter in a waggon ; he chose to dine at obscure alehouses among pedlers and hoftlers, and to lie where he saw written over the door lodgings for a penny; but he used to bribe the maid with a tester for a single bed and clean sheets.

In chis manner he went down to his mother upon his leaving fir William, and from Leicester he wrote a letter dated June 1694, to his cousin Deane Swift,


feet. XXV;

D. S.99.


D.S. 51.

fect. xxv.

then at Lisbon ; in which he relates his quarrel with sir William, and declares his purpose to take orders in the September following, wishing he could procure for him the chaplainship of the factory.

What was the effect of this letter is not known, but Swift foon after obtained a recommendation to lord Capel, then lord deputy of Ireland, who gave him the prebend of Kilroot, in the diocess of Conner, a northern district, worth about one hundred

Sketch, pounds per annum. But fir William, who had been used to the conversation of Swift,. soon found that he could nor be content to live with out him, he therefore urged him to resign his prebend in favour of a friend, and promised to obtain preferment for him in England if he would return . Swift consented, and fir William was so

D. S. 66. much pleased with this act of kindnefs, that during the remainder of his life, which was about four years, his behaviour was such as produced the utmost harmony between them ; Swift as a testimony of his friendship and esteem wrote the battle of the books, of which fir William is the hero ; and fir William when he died left him a pecuniary legacy, and his pofthumous works.

Whatother favours he received from fir William can. not certainly be known; Swift acknowledged none buc his ineffectual recommendation to king William, and he is known to have received frequent remittances from his uncle William, and his cousin Willoughby Swift; so that fir William does not seem to have treated him with a liberality for which it is difficult to account.

Upon the death of fir William Temple, Swift ap

a This appears by a letter She, was fo fond of him, that he from Srvift's fifter, then in Ire- made him give up his living in land, to her cousin Deane in Por- this country, and promised to tugal: for William Temple, says get him one in Erigland. D. S. 66.

« AnteriorContinuar »