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that Sir William does not feem to have treated him with a liberality for which it is difficult to account.
UPON the death of Sir William Temple, Swift applied by petition to K. William for the firft vacant prebend of Canterbury or Westminster, for which the royal promise had been obtained by his late patron, whose pofthumous works he dedicated to his Majesty, to facilitate the fuccefs of this application. But it does not appear, that, after the death of Sir William, the King took the leaft notice of Mr Swift *. His petition and dedication were equally neglected †; and after a fruitlefs attendance at court, which probably increased the aufterity of his temper, he accepted an invitation of the Earl of Berkeley, who had been appointed one of the -Lords Juftices of Ireland, to attend him as chaplain and private fecretary. It might reafonably have been hoped, that although he had been disappointed of the prefer ment for which he folicited, yet the employment to -which he was invited would have been secure. But it happened, that after he had acted as fecretary during the whole journey to Dublin, one Bufh found means to infinuate to Lord Berkeley, that the post of fecretary was not fit for a clergyman; and his Lordship fuffered himself to be fo eafily convinced of this impropriety, that after making fome apology to Mr Swift, he appointed Bush secretary in his ftead II.
The promises of kings are often a kind of chaff, which the breath of a minister bloweth, and scattereth away from the face of a court. Swift's petition had no effect. It was either totally forgotten, or drowned amidst the clamours of more urgent claims. From this firft difappointment, may probably be dated that bitternefs towards kings and courtiers, which is to be found fo univerfally difperfed throughout his works. Orrery, let. 3.
The Earl of Rumney, who profeffed much friendship for Mr Swift, promised to fecond his petition; but as he was an old, vitious, illiterate rake, without any fenfe of truth or honour, he said not a word to the King.
+ What then was to be done? Honour, or, to use a properer word, pride hindered him from staying long în a state of fervility and contempt. Orrery, lèt. 3.
Here was another disappointment, and a fresh object of indignation. The treatment was thought injurious, and Swift expreffed his fenfibility of it in a fhort, but fatirical copy of verses, intitled, The Discovery. Orrery, let. 3. See vol. 7. p. 134.
THIS disappointment was foon after followed by another. It happened, that the deanery of Derry became vacant, and it was the Earl of Berkeley's turn to difpofe of it. Yet whatever atonement was due to Swift for his Lordship's late breach of engagement, the fecretary having received a bribe †, the deanery was given to another, upon pretence that Swift, who was then more than thirty years old, was too young ‡; and
↑ I have been told, that upon the Secretary's being offered 1000 1. for the deanery of Derry, he would not conclude the bargain, but kept it in referve, until he had acquainted Swift with the propofal he had received: which after he had done, he made him the offer of the deanery for the like fum. But Swift told him plainly, that he thought he had nothing to do with ecclefiaftical preferments, and rejected his overture with all imaginable difdain. D. S. p. 113.
The rich deanery of Derry was intended for Swift by Lord Berkeley, if Dr King, then Bishop of Derry, and afterwards Archbishop of Dublin, had not interpofed: intreating with great earneftnefs, that the deanery might be given to fome grave and elderly divine, rather than to fo young a man ; "becaufe" (added the Bishop) "the fituation of Derry is in the midst of Prefbyterians, and I "fhould be glad of a clergyman who could be of affistance to me. "I have no objection to Mr Swift. I know him to be a fprightly ingenious young man; but instead of refiding, I dare fay, he will "be eternally flying backwards and forwards to London; and "therefore I intreat, that he may be provided for in fome other "place." -Swift was accordingly fet afide on account of youth; but, as if his ftars had deftined to him a parallel revenge, he lived to fee the Bishop of Derry afterwards fet afide on account of age. That prelate had been Archbishop of Dublin many years, and had been long celebrated for his wit and learning, when Dr Lindsay the Primate of Ireland died. Upon his death, Archbishop King immediately made claim to the primacy, as a preferment to which he had a right from his station in the fee of Dublin, and from his acknowledged character in the church. Neither of these preten fions were prevalent. He was looked upon as too far advanced in years to be removed. The reafon alledged was as mortifying as the refufal itself. But the Archbishop had no opportunity of fhewing his refentment, except to the new Primate Dr Bolter, whom he received at his own house, and in his dining-parlour, without rifing from his chair, and to whom he made an apology, by faying, in his ufual strain of wit, and with his ufual faeering countenance, "My Lord, I am certain your Grace will forgive me, because, you "know, I am too old to rife." Orrery, let. 3.
Whether or no Dr King, who was at that time very deservedly in high reputation, although defcended from the meaneft of the people, [being the fon of a miller], was afraid of being eclipsed by the fupe
and he received instead of it the two livings of Laracor and Rathbeggin, in the diocese of Meath, which together did not amount to half the value of the deanery The first of these rectories was worth about 200 1. and the latter about 60 l. a-year; and they were the only church-preferments that Dr Swift enjoyed till he was appointed Dean of St Patrick's, in 1713. [0. let. 3.]
WHILST Swift was chaplain to Lord Berkeley, his only fifter, who was of a middle fize, finely fhaped, rather beyond what is called the agreeable throughout her whole perfon, was polite and well bred, with at least a good fhare of understanding, and at that time worth 300 1. by the confent and approbation of her uncles and relations, accepted a propofal of marriage from a tradefman, whose fortune, character, and fituation were: esteemed, by all her friends, fuitable for her in every refpect. He was reputed to be worth five thousand pounds. Having communicated this propofal to her brother, and finding him utterly averfe from entertaining the moft diftant thoughts of it, fhe began to remonftrate to him in the way of reafon, (for the match was by no means very defirable in her own breast), that she could not support herself on her 300 1. On which her brother affured her, that he would never fee her want the neceffaries or the conveniencies of life; and as a further proof to convince her that his regards were truly affectionate and fincere, he promised to fettle upon her 500 1. being all he was then poffeffed of in the world, the very hour he should get fome benefice in the church, which he daily expect
rior luftre of this young afpiring genius, who was in all refpects, notwithstanding that he agreed with the Bishop in affairs ecclefiaftical, a man of a quite different caft and manner of thinking, I fhall not prefume to determine. However, it is by no means improbable, that Swift's prodigious talents, which appear throughout his whole life to have been dreaded by all his contemporaries, not excepting even thole minifters, who were defirous to have the honour of being ranked among his best friends, had a greater fhare in obftructing. his promotion to the deanery of Derry, than perhaps any filly, trifling objections against his youth and sprightlinefs. D. S. p. 114.
* As Swift did not receive thefe livings till after the deanery was given to another, his non-refidence could not, as Lord Orrery fuppoles, be the reason why it was not given to him. Hawkef.
ed, provided she would reject this overture of marriage with a proper difdain. But the match having taken place, notwithstanding her brother's remonftrances, it was entirely difagreeable to him. It feemed to interrupt thofe ambitious views which he had long fince formed. He grew outrageous at the thoughts of being brother-inlaw to a tradesman. He utterly refused all reconciliation~with his fifter, nor ever would listen to the intreaties of his mother, who came over to Ireland, under almost a certainty of pacifying his anger; having, in all other refpects, ever found him a dutiful and obedient fon. But his pride was not to be conquered; and Mrs Swift, finding her fon inflexible, hastened back to Leicester, where the continued till her death. However, his fifter's marriage proved in the end very unfortunate. The husband was an old, tyrannical, vitious rake; and with regard to his 5000 1. he was scarce worth half so much on the day he was married. After he had two or three children, he broke and died, leaving his family in very deplorable circumstances. Mr Swift upon this event acquainted his fifter by meffage, (for he would never be fo far reconciled as to fee her face), that he would allow her 20 1. a-year during her life, provided fhe would live in England, but not otherwife. She accordingly went to England, where the conftantly received her annuity till her death. [D. S. p. 101.-104. O. let. 3.]
IN 1699, Swift had like to have burnt the castle of Dublin, and Lord Berkeley in the midst of it. For the Doctor, whofe bedchamber was the next room to his Excellency's, having grown drowsy over his book while he was reading in bed, dropt afleep without extinguishing his candle; which happened to fall upon his quilt, fet it on fire, and burnt its paffage quite through the bedcloaths, until it reached his thigh. Swift roufed by the pain, leaped out of bed, and extinguished the fire, which by this time had burnt part of the curtains. He took care to have the damages repaired; and by throwing away fome guineas in hufh-money, the accident was never made known in the castle. [D. S. p. 112.]
As Swift had refused a commiffion under King William, and a fecular employment under Sir William Temple, it appears, that his attachment to a religious life,
however early and however ftrong, was not the effect of temporary views, but of zeal for the fuccefs of the great work in which he was about to engage, and a confcioufnefs of his own ability to acquit himself with advantage. That religious purposes were at this time predominant in his mind, he ufed frequently to declare; he hoped, he faid, that, by diligent and conftant application, he fhould fo far excel, that the fexton might fometimes be asked on a Sunday morning, Pray, does the Doctor "preach to-day ?" And when, after having taken poffeffion of his livings, he went to refide at Laracor * he gave public notice, that he would read prayers on every Wednesday and Friday; a labour which he would not have brought upon himself, if he had been principally concerned about the value of his dues, which had been long before cuftomarily paid for much lefs fervice. [7. R. p. 40. 41.]
THE duties of the church, which he thus rendered more frequent, he performed with the utmost punctuality, and the most rational devotion. He was indeed devout, not only in his public and folemn addreffes to God, but in that tranfient act of adoration, which is called saying grace, and which generally confits only in a mutter and a bow; in which the speaker appears to compli ment the company, and the company each other. VOL. I. Swift,
As foon as the Earls of Berkeley and Galway had been fucceeded in the government by the Primate and the Earl of Drogheda, which happened, I think, fomewhat about a year after his being prefented to the livings of Laracor and Rathbeggin, poor Swift, half in defpair of any further preferment, gallops down to Laracor ; where folitude, retirement, the fanning of leaves, and the warbling of birds, threw him into fome kind of reveries, more fuitable, if any ftrefs can be laid on the general opinions of the world, to the gravity and fedatenefs of an older divine, than to that abundant fprightlinefs and fire which animated the foul of this young, vigorous, uncommon, heteroclite genius. Perhaps it may be thought exceedingly ftrange by those who admire Swift only for his wit and politics, that immediately after he had gone to refide in the country, he fhould begin to reflect, that he was intrufted with the cure of fouls. But Swift was really a man of high religion, without grunting, groaning, canting hypocrify, or making wry faces. And fure it is, that in proportion to thofe talents, which he is allowed to have poffeffed in the most eminent degree, he beat all his contem'poraries many thousands of leagues in the race of Christianity. D. S. p. 115. 116.