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FROM this time till the year 1713, he continued to exert himself, with unwearied diligence, in the fervice of the miniftry. [D. S. p. 156.] And while he was at Windfor, juft at the conclufion of the peace of Utrecht, d.3
are so violent against a peace; but I will cool them with a vengeance, very foon." [O. 26. 1711.] "I have written a paper" (faith he) which the minifters reckon will do abundance of good, and open the eyes of the nation, who are half bewitched against a peace. Few of this generation can remember any "thing but war and taxes, and they think it is as it fhould be; "whereas it is certain, we are the moft undone people in Europe, as I am afraid I fhall make appear beyond all contradiction." [08. 30.]-After the publication of The conduct of the allies, all London, both court and city, were alarmed. The Dutch envoy defigned to complain of it, and refused dining with Dr D'Avenant, becaufe, among others, he was fufpected to be the author. Whigs refolved to bring it into the houfe of Lords, to have it there examined; and the Lord Chief Justice sent for Morphew the printer, threatned him, asked him who was the author of The conduct of the allies, and bound him over to appear the next term. The noife which it made was extraordinary. "It is fit" (faith the Doctor)" it fhould anfwer the pains I have been at about it. "Some lay it to Prior, others to Mr Secretary St John; but I am "always the first they lay every thing to." [Dec. 2.] However, within four days after it was published, there was a report in London, that feveral of the Whigs began to be content that a peace fhould be treated.The parliament, however, met Dec. 7. "The Earl of Nottingham began and spoke against the peace, "and defired, that in their addrefs they might put a claufe to ad"vife the Queen not to make a peace without Spain; which was debated, and carried by the Whigs, by about fix voices, in a com. "mittee of the whole houfe," [Dec. 7.]: and the next day the "claufe was carried against the court in the house of Lords almoft two to one." [Dec. 8.] The Doctor, who has written copi oufly on thefe proceedings, concludes his letter in these words. This is a long journal, and of a day that may produce great alterations, and hazard the ruin of England. The Whigs are all in triumph. They foretold how all this would be, but we thought "it boafting. Nay, they faid the parliament fhould be diffolved "before Christmas, and perhaps it may. This is all your D--. of S-t's doings. 1 warned them [the minifters] of it nine "months ago, and a hundred times fince. The Secretary always dreaded it. I told Lord Treasurer, I fhould have the advantage "of him, for he would lofe his head, and I fhould only be hanged, "and fo carry my body entire to the grave." [Dec. 8]-And fhortly after talking of thefe affairs, "Here are" (faith the Doctor) "the first steps towards the ruin of an excellent miniftry; for I
he drew the firft sketch of An history of the four last years of 2. Anne. The work would have been published foon after, if his friends in the miniftry had not disagreed about it; and, after the Queen's death, he spent much time in improving and correcting it; but it has not yet appeared. [D. S. p. 340. vol. 4. p. 23.]
DURING all this time, he received no gratuity or reward till the year 1713; and then he accepted the deanery of St Patrick's Dublin.
IT may perhaps be thought ftrange, that his friends. did not rather procure him a bishoprick in England, and. place him in the houfe of Lords, where his political eloquence might have been employed with great advantage. But this was not in their power; and they might be willing to fecure to him fuch advantage as they could, knowing
"look upon them as certainly ruined. Some are of opinion the whole miniftry will give up their places next week; others imagine, when the feffions is over. I do refolve, if they give up,. or are turned out foon, to retire for fome months, and I have pitched upon the place already. I would be out of the way upon the first of the ferment. For they lay all things on me, even fome I have never read." [Dec. 15.]-Nevertheless, while things continued in this doubtful fituation, and many of the friends of the miniftry had given all for gone, fuch was the force of reasoning, and fuch were the merits of that pamphlet, The conduct of the allies, "that the Tory Lords and Commons in par"liament argued all from it ; and all agreed, that never any thing "of that kind was of fo great confequence, or made fo many "converts." [Dec. 18.] And at laft, fuch were the effects that it produced almoft univerfally in the minds of men, that the "houfe of Commons" (faith the Doctor) "have this day made many fevere votes about our being abused by our allies. Thofe "who spoke drew all their arguments from my book, and their "votes confirm all I writ. The court had a majority of 150.. All agree that it was my book that fpirited them to thefe refolutions." [Feb. 4.] And presently after he confirms what he had afferted beyond all poffibility of mistake. "The refolutions" (fa th he)" printed the other day in the votes, are almost quota
tions from it, and would never have paffed, if that book had "not been written." [Feb. 8.]--Such were the politics, and fuch was the importance of Dr Swift, in thofe furious times, D. S. p. 332. ———3.37 •
knowing their own inftability, and foreseeing their fall *.. [vol. 4. p. 203.]
BUT, with whatever view, or from whatever caufe, the deanery of St Patrick's was given him, he received it with lefs pleasure than he would have done a fettle. ment with much lefs power and profit in England.
He immediately croffed the channel to take poffeffion of his new dignity; but did not stay in Ireland more than a fortnight, being urged by an hundred letters to haften back, and reconcile Lord Oxford and Lord Bo lingbroke, the confequences of whose misunderstanding were juftly dreaded by their friends ‡. [vol. 4. p. 201.] WHEN
I am much inclined to believe, that the temper of Swift might occafion his English friends to wifh him happily and properly promoted, at a distance. His fpirit, for I would give it the fofteft name, was ever untractable. The motions of his genius. were often irregular. He affumed more the air of a patron, than of a friend. He affected rather to dictate than advife. He was. elated with the appearance of enjoying minifterial confidence. He enjoyed the fhadow: the fubftance was detained from him. He was employed, not trufted; and at the fame time that he imágined himself a fubtle diver, who dextrously shot down into the profoundest regions of politics, he was fuffered only to found the fhallows nearest the shore, and was scarce admitted to defcend be low the froth at the top. l'erhaps the deeper bottoms were too muddy for his infpection. O., let. 4.
In the beginning of the year 1714, Swift returned to Eng land. He found his great friends, who fat in the feat of power,, much difunited among themfelves. He faw the Queen declining in her health, and diftreffed in her fituation; while faction was exerting itself, and gathering new ftrength every day. The part which he had to act upon this occafion, was not so difficult, as it was difagreeable. He exerted the utmost of his skill to reunite the ministers, and to cement the apertures of the state. I could defcend into very minute particulars, were I to relate what I have heard him fay upon this occafion. But we are at prefent too near that era, and have had too many unexpected confequences from it, either to judge impartially, or to write undauntedly, of thofe tempeftuous times. As foon as Swift found his pains fruitless, his arguments unavailing, and his endeavours, like the stone of Syfiphus, rolling back upon himself, he retired to a friend's House in Berkshire, where he remained till the Queen died. So fatal a catastrophe put a final period to all his views in England, and made him return, as fast as poffible, to his deanery in Ireland, loaded with those agonizing paffions, grief and difcontent. Q. let. 5%
WHEN he returned, he found their quarrels and coldnefs increased; and having predicted their ruin from this very cause, he laboured to bring about a reconciliation, as that upon which the whole intereft of their party depended.
WITH this view he contrived to bring them to Lord Mafham's at St James's; and Lord and Lady Masham being acquainted with his purpose, left him alone with them. He then expoftulated with them both; but to little effect; being able only to engage them to go to Windfor the next day; ftill hoping, that if he could keep them together, they would come to fome agreement; well knowing, that in abfence the mind perpetually revolves the recent offences of a friend, and heightens them by every poffible aggravation; but that, when the offended and offender meet. the dying fparks of esteem or kindness often brighten into a flame, the remembrance of past pleasure and confidence returns, and mutually inclines them to fecure, by an accommo`dation, that which they feel they cannot lofe without regret.
SWIFT foon after followed them; but was told by Lord Bolingbroke, that his scheme had come to nothing; and he had the mortification to observe, that they grew more cold to each other every day. In the mean time Lord Oxford's credit grew lefs and lefs, and the Queen's health vifibly declined.
SWIFT, however, contrived yet once more to meet them at Lord Maham's, and was again left alone with them. This was the last time they ever met, and he spoke to them both with great freedom; but at length defpairing of his purpofe, he told them he would retire, for that all was gone. Bolingbroke whispered him that he was right, but Oxford faid all would do well.
SWIFT ftill adhered to his opinion; and therefore went in a day or two to Oxford by the coach, and thence to the houfe of a friend in Berkshire, where he continued till the Queen's death, which happened in about ten weeks. [vol. 4. p. 201, 2.]
WHILE he was at this place, his mind was ftill bufy for his friends; and he wrote a difcourfe, called Free thoughts on the present state of affairs, which he thought
might be useful at that juncture, and fent it up to London; but, fome difference of opinion happening between him and Lord Bolingbroke concerning it, the publication was delayed till the Queen's death; and then he recalled his copy; which was afterwards depofited with the late Alderman Barber, and having been fince published, will be found in vol. 2. p. 362. [vol. 4. p. 22, 23.3
A few weeks after the death of the Queen, he went back to his ftation in Ireland; all his connections with the court being broken, and all his expectations disappointed.
BUT it would be an injury to Swift not to flop a moment here; and, before we defcend with him into the vale of private life, look back, as from an eminence, upon the country we have paffed.
FEW of those who have been permitted to affociate with perfons greatly fuperior in rank and fortune, who have climbed in the retinue of power, and been distinguished by reflected greatnefs, have been able to fuftain the native dignity of their own character, without ftooping as they afcended the hill, or being blinded by the light that made them confpicuous to others.
LET it therefore be recorded to the honour of Dr Swift, and to animate others by his example and reward, that, during his connection with those who were in the highest rank, and who in every rank would have been great, he would never fuffer himself to be treated but as an equal; and repulfed every attempt to hold him in dependence, or keep him at a distance, with the ut moft refentment and indignation.
Ir happened upon fome occafion, that Harley fent him a bank-bill of 50 1. by his private fecretary Mr Lewis`; which Swift inftantly returned, with a letter of expoftulation and complaint. Harley invited him to dine, but he refused. He wrote to Mr Lewis to mediate between them, defiring to be reconciled; but Swift sent word, that he expected farther fatisfaction. Harley replied, if he would but come and fee him, he would make him eafy: but Swift infifted, that he should apo