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“ Can you say that without a sigh ?”—“I can, sir ; my family is my country.”—“Why, sir, you are a better philosopher than those who have written volumes on the subject : Then you are reconciled to your fate ?”—“I ought to be so; I am very happy; I like the people, and though I was not born in Ireland, I'll die in it, and that's the same thing." Swift paused in deep thought for a minute, and then, with much energy, repeated the first line of the preamble of the noted Irish statute-Ipsis Hibernis Hiberniores! (" The English settlers are more Irish than the Irish themselves.")Swiftiana.


In the year 1700, on the return of Lord Berkeley

to England, Swift took possession of his living at Laracor. He is said to have walked down incognito to the place of his future residence. He proceeded straight to the curate's house, demanded his name, and announced himself bluntly as his master. The curate’s wife was ordered to lay aside the Doctor's only clean shirt and stockings, which he carried in his pocket; nor did Swift relax his airs of domination until he had excited much alarm, which his subsequent kind and friendly conduct to the worthy couple, turned into respectful attachment.

Swift's life at Laracor was regular and clerical. He read prayers twice a week, and regularly preached upon the Sunday. Upon the former occasions the church was thinly attended ; and it is related that upon one of the week-days the bell was rung and Swift attended in his desk, when after having sat some time, and finding the congregation to consist only of himself and his clerk Roger, he began with great composure and gravity, but with a tone peculiar to himself, “Dearly beloved Roger, the Scripture moveth you and me in sundry places ;" and then proceeded regularly through the whole service. The truth of this story has been often disputed; and it has so much of the peculiarity of Swift's vein of humour as to be probable; Swift was much more likely to do such a thing than Lord Orrery, (its narrator,) to invent it.

Roger Coxe, the clerk at Laracor, was a man of humour, and merited a master like Swift. When the Doctor remarked that he wore a scarlet waistcoat, he defended himself as being of the church-militant. “Will you not bid for these poultry ?"

said Swift to his humble dependent, at a sale of farm-stock. “No, sir,” said Roger; "they're just going to Hatch.They were, in fact, on the point of being knocked down to a farmer called Hatch. This humourist was originally a hatter, and died at the age of 90, at Bruky, in the county of Cavan. -See Swiftiana.

Swift repaired the church and vicarage ; formed a pleasant garden, and planted the canal-banks with willows, which are often celebrated in his Journal to Stella.

STELLA REMOVES TO IRELAND, Swift had not been long at Laracor, when it was arranged that Miss Johnson should come to reside in the neighbourhood. She had a small independence, about 15001., of which 10001. had been left her as a legacy by Sir William Temple. She was accompanied to Ireland by Mrs. Dingley, a relation of the Temple family; and the ostensible ground of leaving England on the part of both, was, that the rate of interest was much higher in Ireland ; it was then 10 per cent. They took lodgings in the town of Trim, where they generally resided, except in Swift's absence, when they occupied the vicarage-house. Miss Johnson was then about eighteen years of age; her features were beautiful, her eyes and hair black, and her form symmetrical, though a little inclined to fulness. She was a woman of strong sense, though not highly educated; of agreeable conversation, and elegant manners.

Here she received an offer of marriage from the Rev. Dr. William Tisdal, with whom Swift lived upon a familiar and friendly footing. These addresses Stella finally rejected; from which time she appears to have considered her destiny as united to that of Swift. She encouraged no other admirer, and never left Ireland, excepting for a visit of five or six months to England, in 1705.

SWIFT'S FIRST POLITICAL PAMPHLET. Swift appears to have passed over to England at least once a year, and remained two or three months, chiefly in London. In 1701, during the first of these annual residences in England, he published his earliest political tract-A Discourse on the Contests and Dissensions between the Nobles and Come mons at Athens and Rome ; its object being to check the popular violence which had occasioned the impeachment of

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Lords Somers, Halifax, Oxford, and Portland for their share in the Partition Treaty. It was published anonymously, but attracted much attention. On his second visit to England, in 1702, Swift avowed himself to be the author of the tract, and was immediately admitted into the society of the leading Whigs, Somers, Halifax, and Sunderland.

If we can trust Swift's own averment, he made, upon this occasion, a free and candid avowal of his principles, both in church and state, declaring himself in the former to be a High-church man, and in the latter a Whig; a declaration which both Lord Halifax and Somers called to mind

years afterwards, at the time of Lord Godolphin's removal from office.

SWIFT, A WHIG. Lord Jeffrey has remarked, with characteristic causticity,– “ the transformation of a young Whig with an old Tory-the gradual falling off of prudent men from unprofitable virtues, is, perhaps, too common an occurrence to deserve much notice, or justify much reprobation.” But Swift's desertion of his first principles was neither gradual nor early. He was bred a Whig under Sir William Temple—he took the title publicly in various productions; and during all the reign of King William, was a strenuous, and, indeed, an intolerant advocate of Revolution principles and Whig pretensions.

Of his original Whig professions, abundant evidence is fur. nished by his first successful pamphlet in defence of Lord Somers, and the other Whig lords impeached in 1701 ; by his own express declaration in another work, that “ having been long conversant with the Greek and Latin authors, and therefore a lover of liberty, he was naturally inclined to be what they call a Whig in politics ;" — by the copy of verses in which he deliberately designates himself “Whig, and one who wears a gown;" by his exulting statement to Tisdal, whom he reproaches with being a Tory, saying—“To cool your insolence a little, know that the Queen, and Court, and House of Lords, and half the Commons almost, are Whigs, and the number daily increases :" and among innumerable. other proofs, by the memorable verses on Whitehall, in which, alluding to the execution of King Charles in front of that building, he says :

That theatre produced an action truly great,
On which eternal acclamations wait, &c.

His first patrons were Somers, Portland, and Halifax; and under that ministry, the members of which he courted in private and defended in public, he received church preferment to the value of nearly 4001. a year (equal at least to 12001. at present), with the promise of still further favours.


I In 1704, Swift published, anonymously, the Tale of a Tub, together with The Battle of the Books. In a scrap pasted by the late Mr. Douce in his copy of the Tale of a Tub now in the Bodleian Library, we read :—Dean Swift would never own he wrote the Tale

of a Tub. When Faulkner, the printer, asked him one day, if “ he was really the author of it ?” “ Young man,” said he, “I am surprised that you dare to ask me that question.” The idea of the Tale of a Tub was, perhaps, taken from an allegorical tale of Fontenelle's on the Catholic and Protestant religion, published in Bayle's Nouvelles de la République des Lettres, about the year 1696. Ferranti Pallavichini's Divortio Celeste (a satire against the abuses of the Popish power), he might, perhaps, have seen.

Sir James Mackintosh, in the Preface to his Life of Sir Thomas More, however, throws more light upon the authorship, as follows :

The learned Mr. Douce has informed a friend of mine, that in Sebastian Munster's Cosmography, there is a cut of a ship to which a whale was coming too close for her safety, and of the sailors throwing a tub to the whale, evidently to play with. The practice of throwing a tub or barrel to a large fish, to divert the huge animal from gambols dangerous to a vessel, is also mentioned in an old prose translation of The Ship of Pools.

These passages satisfactorily explain the common phrase of throwing a tub to a whale ; but they do not account for leaving out the whale, and introducing the new word “ tale.” The transition from the first phrase to the second is a considerable stride. It is not, at least, directly explained by Mr. Douce's citations, and no explanation of it has hitherto occurred which can be supported by proof. It may be thought probable, that in the process of time, some nautical wag compared a rambling story, which he suspected of being lengthened and confused, in order to turn his thoughts from a direction not convenient to the storyteller, with the tub which he and his shipmates were wont to throw out to divert the whale from striking the barque, and perhaps said, “This tale is like our tub to the whale." The comparison might have become popular, and it might gradually have been shortened into “A Tale of

a Tub.

This celebrated production is founded upon a simple and

obvious allegory, conducted with all the humour of Rabelais, and without his extravagance. Its main purpose is to trace the gradual corruptions of the Church of Rome, and to exalt the English reformed church, at the expense both of the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian establishments. It was written with a view to the interests of the High-church party, and it succeeded in rendering them the most important services; for what is so important to a party in Britain, whether in church or state, as to gain the laughers to their side ? But the raillery was considered, not unreasonably, as too light for a subject of such grave importance; and it cannot be denied, that the luxuriance of Swift's wit has, in some parts of the Tale, carried him much beyond the bounds of propriety. Many of the graver clergy, even among the Tories, and

particularly Dr. Sharpe, the Archbishop of York, were highly scandalized at the freedom of the satire; nor is there any doubt that the offence thus occasioned, proved the real bar to Swift's attaining the highest dignities in the church. For similar reasons, the Tale of a Tub was hailed by the infidel philosophers on the Continent, as a work well calculated to advance the cause of scepticism; and as such, was recommended by Voltaire to his proselytes.

Although the authorship of the Tale was in part claimed by Swift's cousin, and this presumption was resented by Swift, he far from openly avowed the production ; but Scott relates as an anecdote to be depended upon, that Mrs. Whiteway observed the Dean, in the latter years of his life, looking over the Tale, when suddenly closing the book, he muttered, in an unconscious soliloquy, “Good God! what a genius I had when I wrote that book !" Mrs. Whiteway begged the volume of the Dean, who made some excuse at the moment; but, on recurrence of her birthday, he presented her with the book, inscribed, " From her affectionate cousin." On observing the inscription, she ventured to say, "I wish, sir, you had said, 'the gift of the author.'” The Dean bowed, smiled good-humouredly, and answered, “No, I thank you,” in a very significant manner.

Notwithstanding the silence of the real author, no one appears to have entertained any doubt upon the subject. Of its effect Swift was himself sufficiently conscious, and points it out to Stella, though with the ambiguity he generally used in writing of his own publications, as the source of his favourable reception with Lord Oxford's ministry. “Nay,

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