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From this time till the year 1713, he continued to exert himself, with unwearied diligence, in the service of the ministry. [D. S. p. 156.] And while he was at Windsor, just at the conclusion of the peace of Utrecht,
are fo violent against a peace; but I will cool them with a ven
geance, very soon.” [08. 26. 1711.] I have written a paper (faith he) “ which the ministers reckon will do abundance of good, and
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 should be ; " whereas it is certain, we are the nioft undone people in Europe,
as I am afraid I shall make appear beyond all contradiction." [08. 30.1-After the publication of The conduct of the allies, all London, both court and city, were alarmed. The Dutch envoy designed to complain of it, and refused dining with Dr D'Avenant, because, among others, he was suspected to be the author. The Whigs resolved to bring it into the house 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 himn over to appear the next term. The noise which it made was extraordinary. " It is fit" (faith the Doctor) it should answer 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 several of the Whigs began to be content that a peace should be treated. ---The parliament, however, mct Dec. 7. “ The Earl of Nottingham began and spake against the peace, " and desired, that in their address they might put a clause to ad“ vise the Queen not to make a peace without Spain; which was de:
bated, and carried by the Whigs, by about six voices, in a com“ mittee of the whole house,” (Dec. 7.]: and the next day " the
clause was carried against the court in the houie of Lords almost
two to one.” [Dec. 8.] The Doctor, who has written copi. ously on these proceedings, concludes his letter in these words.
This is a long journal, and of a day that may produce great al" terations, and hazard the ruin of England. The Whigs are all * in triumph. They foretold how all this would be, but we thought “it boasting. Nay, they faid the parliament should be disolved "" before Christmas, and perhaps it may. This is all your D-" of S-t's doings. I warned them (the ministers] of it nine “ months ago, and a hundred times since. The Secretary always • dreaded it. I told Lord Treasurer, I should have the advantage
of him, for he would lose his head, and I lould only be hanged, " and so carry my body entire to the grave.” (Dec. 8-)-And Thortly after talking of these affairs, " Here are” (faith the Doctor) " the first steps towards the ruin of an excellent ministry; for I
he drew the first sketch of An history of tbe four last years of Q. Anne. The work would have been published foon after, if his friends in the ministry 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 house of Lords, where his political eloquence might have been employed with great advantage. But this was not in their power; and they might bewilling to secure to him such advantage as they could, knowing their own inftability, and foreseeing their fall *. Evol. 4. p. 203.)
" look upon them as certainly ruined. Some are of opinion the · whole ministry will give up their places next week; others imagine, when the sessions is over. I do resolve, if they give up,
or are turned out foon, to retire for some 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 some I have never read.” [Dec. 15.)--Nevertheless, while things continued in this doubtful situation, and many of the friends of the ministry had given all for gone, fuch was the force of reasoning, and such were the merits of that pamphlet, The condu&t 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 consequence, or made so many * converts." [Dec. 18.] And at last, fuch were the effects that it produced almost universally in the minds of men, that " the " house of Commons” (frith the Doctor) “ have this day made
many severe votes about our being abused by our allies. Those “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 these refo
lutions.". [Feb. 4.) And presently after he confirms what he had asserted beyond all possibility of mistake. The resolutions". (la th he) “printed the other day in the votes, are almost quota“ tions from it, and would never have passed, if that book had " not been written.” [Feb. 8.)- -Such were the politics, and fuch was the importance of Dr Swift, in those furious times, D. S.P. 332-337.
But, with whatever view, or from whatever cause, the deanery of St Patrick's was given him, he received it with less pleasure than he would have done a fettlement with much less power and profit in England.
He immediately crossed the channel to take poffession of his new dignity; but did not stay in Ireland more than a fortnight, being urged by an hundred letters to kasten back, and reconcile Lord Oxford and Lord Boa lingbroke, the consequences of whose misunderstanding were juftly dreaded by their friends I. [vol. 4. p. 201.)
I am much inclined to believe, that the temper of Swift might occafion his English friends to wish him happily and properly promoted, at a distance. His fpirit, for I would give it the foftest 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 advile. He was. elated with the appearance of enjoying ministerial confidence. He enjoyed the shadow : the substance was detained from him. He was employed, 'not trusted; and at the same time that lie imagined himself a subtle diver, who dextrously shot down into the profoundeft regions of politics, he was suffered only to found the fallows nearest the shore, and was scarpe admitted to defcend beo low the froth at the top. }'erhaps the deeper bottoms were too muddy for his inspection.' 0. let. 4.
# In the beginning of the year 1914, Swift returned to England. He found his great friends, who sat in the seat of power, much disunited among themselves. He faw the Queen declining in her health, and distressed in her situation; while faction was, exerting itself, and gathering new ftrength every day. The part which he had to act upon this occasion, was not so difficult, as it was disagreeable. He exerted the utmost of his skill to reunite the ministers, and to cement the apertures of the state. I could descend into very minute particulars, were I to relate what I have heard him say upon this occasion. But we are at present too ncar that æra, and have had too many unexpected consequences from it, either to judge impartially, or to write undauntedly, of those tempestuous times. As soon as Swift found his pains fruitless, his arguments unayailing, and his endeavours, liks the stone of Sysiphus, rolling back upon himself, he retired to a friend's houfa 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 possible, to his deanery in Ireland, loaded with those agonizing pafsions, grief and discontent. 0. let. 5io.
When he returned, he found their quarrels and coldness 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 Masham's at St James's; and Lord and Lady Malham 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 Windsor the next day; still hoping, that if he could keep them together, they would come to fome agree ment; well knowing, that in absence the mind perpetually revolves the recent offences of a friend, and heightens them by every possible aggravation ; but that, when the offended and offender meet. the dying sparks of esteem or kindness often brighten into a flame, the remembrance of past pleasure and confidence returns, and mutually inclines them to secure, by an accommodation, that which they feel they cannot lose without regret.
Swift soon 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 less and less, and the Queen's health visibly declined.
Swift, however, contrived yet onee more to meet them at Lord Masham's, and was again left alone with them. This was the laft time they ever met, and he spoke to them both with great freedom; but at length de, spairing of his purpose, he told them he would retire, for that all was gone. Boling broke whispered him that he was right, but Oxford said all would do well.
Swift still adhered to his opinion ; and therefore went in a day or two to Oxford by the coach, and thence to the house 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 still busy for his friends; and he wrote a discourse, called Free thoughts on the present ftate of affairs, which he thought
might be useful at that juncture, and sent it up to Lon. don ; 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 deposited with the late Alderman Barber, and having been since published, will be found in vol. 2. p. 362. (vol. 4. p. 22, 23.]
A few weeks after the death of the Queen, he went back to his station 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 descend with him into the vale of private life, look back, as from an eminence, upon the country we bave pafed.
Few of those who have been permitted to affociate with persons greatly superior in rank and fortune, who have climbed in the retinue of power, and, been distinguished by reflected greatness, have been able to fuftain the native dignity of their own character, without stoop; ing as they ascended the hill, or being blinded by the light that made them conspicuous 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 highet rank, and who in every rank would have been great, he would never fuffer himself to be treated but as an equal ; and repulsed every attempt to hold him in dependence, or keep him at a distance, with the ut. most resentment and indignation.
IT happened upon fome occasion, that Harley fent him a bank-bill of 50 1. by his private secretary. Mr Lewis“; which Swift instantly 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 Suift fent word, that he expected farther fatisfaction. Harley replied, if he would but come and fee him, he would wake him cafy: but Swift infifted, that he should apo