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that Sir William does not seem to have treated him with a liberality for which it is difficult to account.
UPON the death of Sir William Temple, Swift ap. plied by petition to K. William for the first 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 success of this application. But it does not appear, that, after the death of Sir William, the King took the least notice of Mr Swift *. His petition and dedication were equally neglected t; and after a fruitless attendance at court, which probably increased the austerity 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 secretary. It might reasonably have been hoped, that although he had been disappointed of the prefer. ment for which he solicited, yet the employment to which he was invited would have been fecure. But it happened, that after he had acted as secretary during the whole journey to Dublin, one Bush found means to infinuate to Lord Berkeley, that the post of secretary was not fit for a clergyman ; and his Lordship suffered himself to be so eally convinced of this impropriety, that after making some apology to Mr Swift, he appointed Bush secretary in his stead ||
This * 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 first disappointment, may probably be dated that bitterness towards kings and courtiers, which is to be found so universally dispersed throughout his works." Orrery, let. 3.
The Earl of Rumney, who professed much friendship for Mr Swift, promised to second his petition, but as he was an old, vitipus, illiterate rake, without any sense of truth or honour, he said mot a word to the King.
of. What then was to be done? Honour, or, to use a properer word, pride hindered him from staying long in a state of servility and contempt. Orrery, let. 3.
| Here was another disappointment, and a fresh object of indignation. The treatment was thought injurious, and Swift exprefled his sensibility of it in a short, but satirical copy of verses, intitled, The Discovery. Orrery, let. 3. See vol. 7. p. 134.
This disappointment was soon after followed by another. It happened, that the deanery of Derry became vacant, and it 'was the Earl of Berkeley's turn to dispose of it. Yet whatever atonement was due to Swift for his Lordship's late breach of engagement, the secretary having received a bribe t, the deanery was given to another, upon pretence that Swift, who was then more than thirty years old, was too young I;
and + I have been told, that upon the Secretary's being offered 1000 l. for the deanery of Derry, he would not conclude the bargain, but kept it in reserve, until he had acquainted Swift with the proposal be 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 ecclesiastical preferments, and rejected his overture with all imaginable disdain. 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 Archhishop of Dublin, had not interposed : intreating with great earnest-ness, that the deanery might be given to some grave and elderly divine, rather than to fu young a man;
“ because (added the Bishop) " the situation of Derry is in the midst of Presbyterians, 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 residing, I dare say, he will " be eternally Aying backwards and forwards to London; and " therefore I intreat, that he may be provided for in some other " place." -Swift was accordingly set aside on account of youth ; but, as if bis stars had destined to him a parallel revenge, he lived to see the Bishop of Derry afterwards set aside on account of age. That prelate had been Archbilhop 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 im. mediately 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 pretenfions were prevalent. He was looked upon as toa far advanced in years to be removed. The reason alledged was as mortifying as the refusal itself. But the Archbishop had no opportunity of thewing his resentment, 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 saying, in his usual strain of wit, and with his usual (neering countenance, " My Lord, I am certain your Grace will forgive me, because, you " know, I am too old to rise." Orrery, let. 3:
Whether or no Dr King, who was at that time very deservedly in high reputation, although descended from the meanest of the people, [being the son of a miller), was afraid of being eclipsed by the supe
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. [O. let. 3.)
Whilst Swift was chaplain to Lord Berkeley, bis only fifter, who was of a middle size, finely shaped, rather beyond what is called the agreeable throughout her whole person, was polite and well-bred, with at least a good share of understanding, and at that time worth 300 1. by the consent and approbation of her uncles and relations, accepted a proposal of marriage from a tradesman, whose fortune, character, and situation were : esteemed, by all her friends, suitable for her in every respect. He was reputed to be worth five thousand pounds. Having communicated this proposal to her brother, and finding him utterly averse from entertaining the most diftant thoughts of it, The began to remonstrate to him in the way of reason, (for the match was by no means very desirable in her own breaft), that she could not support herself on her 300 l, On which her brother assured her, that he would never see 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 settle upon her 500 1. being all he was then poffeffed of in the world, the very hour he should get some benefice in the church, which he daily expect.. ed, provided she would reject this overture of marriage with a proper disdain. But the match having taken place, notwithstanding her brother's remonftrances, it was entirely disagreeable to him. It seemed to interrupt those ambitious views which he had long since 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 respects, ever found him a dutiful and obedient fon. But his pride was not to be conquered ; and Mrs Swift, finding her son inflexible, haftened back to Leicester, where The continued till her death. However, his sister's marriage proved in the end very unfortunate. The husband was an old, tyrannical, vitious rake; and with regard to his 5000 l. 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 circumftances. Mr Swift upon this event acquainted his fifter by message, (for he would never be so far reconciled as to see her face), that he would allow her 20 l. a-year during her life, provided she would live in England, but not otherwise. She accordingly went to England, where the constantly received her annuity till her death. [D. S. p. 101.-104. O. let. 3.]
rior lustre of this young aspiring genius, who was in all respects, potwithstanding that he agreed with the Bishop in affairs ecclesiastical, a man of a quite different cast and manner of thinking, I fhall not presume 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 ministers, wbo were desirous to have the honour of being ranked among his best friends, had a greater share in obftructing his promotion to the deanery of Derry, than perhaps any filly, trifing objections against his youth and sprightliners. D.'s. p. 134.
* As Swift did not receive these livings till after the deanery was given to another, his non-residence could not, as Lord Orrery fappoles, be the reason why it was not given to him. Hawkes.
IN 1699, Swift had like to have burnt the castle of Dublin, and Lord Berkeley in the midst of it. For the Doctor, whose bedchamber was the next room to his Excellency's, having grown drowsy over his book while he was reading in bed, dropt asleep without extinguishing his candle ; which happened to fall upon his quilt, set it on fire, and burnt its passage quite through the bedcloaths, until it reached his thigh.“ Swift roused 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 huth-money, the accident was never made known in the castle. [D. S. p. 112.]
As Swift had refused a commission under Ki Wil. liam, and a fecular employment under Sir William Temple, it appears, that his attachment to a religious life, however early and however strong, was not the effect of temporary views, but of zeal for the success of the great work in which he was about to engage, and a consciouf. ness of his own ability to acquit himself with advantage. That religious purpoles were at this time predominant in his mind, he used frequently to declare ; he hoped, he faid, that, by diligent and constant application, he hould so far excel, that the fexton might sometimes be alked on a Sunday morning, Pray, does the Doctor
preach to-day ?" And when, after having taken pofsefsion of his livings, he went to reside 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 customarily paid for much less service. [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 addresses to God, but in that transient act of adoration, which is called fa;ing, grace, and which generally consilts only in a mutter and a bow; in which the speaker appears to compliment' the company, and the company each other. Vol. I.
Swift, * As soon 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, somewhat about a year after his being presented to the livings of Laracor and Rathbeggin, poor Swift, half in despair of any further preferment, gallops down to Laracor ; where folitude, retirement, the fanning of leaves, and the warbling of birds, threw him into some kind of reveries, more suitable, if any stress can be laid on the general opinions of the world, to the gravity and sedateness of an older divine, than to that abundant fprightliness and fire which animated the soul of this young, vigorous, uncommon, heteroclite genius. Perhaps it may be thought exceedingly strange by those who admire Swift only for his wit and politics, that immediately after he had gone to reside in the country, he should begin to reflect, that he was intrusted with the cure of Souls. But Swift was really a man of high religion, without grunting, groaning, canting hypocrisy, or making wry faces. And fure it is, that in
proportion to those talents, which he is allowed to have possessed 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.