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logize by meffage; and declared, that, otherwife, be would caft him off. [D. S. p. 324. 5. let. to S.]
It is poffible that this favour might have been rejected, as not worth his acceptance: but it is certain, that, if it had been of greater value, it would not have atoned for any indecorum in the offer, or have induced Swift to fuffer an obligation from thofe whom he did not esteem; for he refufed the place of hiftoriographer with disdain, because it was in the difpofal of a perfon whom he regarded with disgust and contempt +..
He would not suffer even negative incivilities from those who, if by their ftation they had not been his superiors, would have been his equals by learning and parts. It happened, that having on a Sunday dined with Mr St John, who was then fecretary of flate, and remarked that he appeared to be much out of temper; he took the first opportunity to fee him alone, asked him what
Swift was a man of such exalted spirit and fire, that if a benefit defigned him were not accompanied with elegance and grace in the manner of propofing it, he would fcorn the intended favour, and resent it as an affront. He quarrelled with his friend Harley on a punctilio of this kind. Mr Harley" (faith Dr Swift) "defired me to dine with him again to-day, but I refused "him; for I fell out with him yesterday, and will not see him again till he makes me amends." [Let. to S. Feb. 6. 1710.] "I "was this morning early" (fays he)" with Mr Lewis of the Secretary's office, and faw a letter Mr Harley had fent him, defiring to be reconciled; but I was deaf to all intreaties, and have "defired Lewis to go to him, and let him know I expect further "fatisfaction. If we let thefe great ministers pretend too much, "there will be no governing them. He promises to make me eafy "if I will but come and fee him; but I won't; and he shall do "it by meffage, or I will caft him off; in that he did fomething "which he intended for a favour, and I have taken it quite other"wife, difliking both the thing and the manner and it has heartily vexed me; and all I have faid is truth, tho' it looks “like jeft: and I abfolutely refused to submit to his intended fa26 vour, and expect farther fatisfaction." [Feb. 7. 1710.] But in a few days after, he fays," I have taken Mr Harley into favour again." [Feb. 13.] D. S. p. 3235 4.
+ If Swift refufed this place, he could not, as Lord Orrery fuppofes, be mistaken in believing it intended for him; and that he did refufe it, we have his own exprefs declaration in his letter to Pope, dated Jan. 10. 1721. [vol. 4. p. 23.] Hawkef.
what the d
rejected, n, that,
ailed him on Sunday; told him he
obferved he was much out of temper; that he did not expect he would tell him the cause, but would be glad to fee he was in better; and warned him never to behave to him with filent referve, for that he would not be treated like a schoolboy; and that he had felt too much of that in his life already. "I told him." fays he, "that I expected, that every great minifter who ho"noured me with his acquaintance, if he heard or faw "any thing to my difadvantage, would let me know "it in plain words, and not put me in pain to guess "by the change or coldnefs of his countenance or be"haviour; for it was what I would hardly bear from a "crowned head, and I thought no fubject's favour was "worth it. I told him, that I defigned to let my Lord Keeper and Mr Harley know the fame thing, "that they may ufe me accordingly."
THE Secretary received the reproof like a friend, as it was given, and apologized for his behaviour, by faying, that bufinefs had kept him up feveral whole nights, and drinking one more; and to make up matters he preffed the Doctor to ftay to dinner; which, however, he declined, as well because he would not encourage a second offence by too eafily paffing over the firft, as because he was engaged with another friend + [D. S. p. 326, 7. let. to S. April 3. 1711.]
At the hours that Swift was not engaged in political affairs, he laughed, he played, he amufed himself, with every whim and vagary that floated on the furface of his imagination. "Secretary St John" (faith he) "would needs have me dine with him to-day; and there I found three perfons I never faw; two I had no acquaintance with, and one I did not care for so I left "them early, and came home, it being no day to walk, but feur"vy rain and wind. The Secretary tells me he has put a cheat upon me; for Lord Peterborow fent him twelve dozen flasks of Burgundy, on condition that I should have my fhare; but he ne"ver was quiet till they were all gone: so I reckon he owes me "361" [Let. to S. Feb. 18. 1710.]- -But, in a few days after, Swift, in a pleafant manner, took ample fatisfaction of the Secretary. For "I dined to day" (faith he) with Mr Secretary "St John, on condition I might chufe my company; which were, Lord Rivers, Lord Carteret, Sir Thomas Manfell, and Mr
Ir in this representation of his behaviour, as it is in many particulars taken from his letters to Stella, he fhould be fufpected of having fomewhat exaggerated to gratify his vanity, he may be abundantly justified by a letter ftill extant, which he wrote to Lord Oxford after the connection between them was broken. "When “I was with you," fays he, " I have faid more than
once, that I would never allow quality or ftation ❝ made any difference between men. I loved you just "fo much the worfe for your station-In your public "capacity you have often angered me to the heart, but "as a private man never once.I was too proud to be "vain of the honour you did me.-I was never afraid "of offending you, nor am now in any pain for the * manner I write to you in." [vol. 4. p. 199, 200, 1.]
NEITHER was this conduct the effect of pride and felffufficiency, but of true dignity of mind; for he exacted nothing which, in his turn, he did not pay, nor asked more for himself than for others whofe pretenfions or circumstances were the fame.
WHEN he was defired by Lord Oxford to introduce Dr Parnel to his acquaintance, he refused, upon this principle, that a man of genius was a character fuperior to that of a Lord in a high station. He therefore obliged his Lordship to walk with his treasurer's staff from room to room through his own levee, inquiring which was Dr Parnel, in order to introduce himself, and beg the honour of his acquaintance.
It was known by an accident, after his memory failed, that he allowed an annuity of fifty guineas to Mrs Dingley; but instead of doing this with the parade of
Lewis. I invited Mafham, Hill, Sir John Stanley, and George "Granville; but they were engaged: and I did it in revenge of "his having fuch bad company when I dined with him before. "So we laughed," &c. [Feb. 25. 17 10. This puts me in mind of an accident which happened at Windfor. "The court here" (faith the Doctor) "have got by the end a good thing 1 faid to "the Secretary fome weeks ago. He fhewed me his bill of fare, to tempt me to dine with him. Poh, faid I, I value not your "bill of fare; give me your bill of company. Lord Treasurer was mightily pleased, and told it every body as a notable thing." [Sept. 2. 1711.] D. S. p. 322, 3.
a benefactor, or gratifying his pride, by making her feel her dependence, he always pretended, that he acted only as her agent, and that the money he paid her, was the produce of a certain fum which the had in the funds: and the better to fave appearances, he always took her receipt; and fometimes would pretend, with great feeming vexation, that the drew upon him before he had received her money from London. [D. S. p. 346.]
As to his political principles, if his own account of them is to be believed, he abhorred Whiggism only in those who made it confift in damning the church, reviling the clergy, abetting the diffenters, and fpeaking contemptibly of revealed religion. He always declared himself against a Popish fucceffor to the crown, whatever title he might have by proximity of blood; nor did he regard the right line, upon any other account, than as it was established by law, and had much weight in the opinions of the people. He was of opinion, that when the grievances fuffered under a prefent government became greater than those which might probably be expected from changing it by violence, a revolution was juftifiable; and this he believed, to have been the case in that which was brought about by the Prince of Orange. He had a mortal antipathy against standing armies in times of peace; and was of opinion, that our liberty could never be placed upon a firm foundation, till the antient law fhould be revived, by which our parliaments were made annual. He abominated the political scheme of fetting up a moneyed intereft in oppofition to the landed; and was an enemy to temporary fufpenfions of the Habeas corpus act. If fome afperities that cannot be juftified have efcaped his pen, in papers which were ha ftily written in the firft ardour of his zeal, and often after great provocation from thofe who wrote against him, furely they may, without the exertion of angelic benevolence, be forgiven. [vol. 4. p. 29. 30, 31.]
THAT he was not at any time a bigot to party, and that he did not indifcriminately transfer his refentments from principles to perfons, was fo evident by his conduct, that it was a ufual fubject of raillery towards him among the minifters, that he never came to them without a Whig in his fleeve. And though he does not appear to
have afked any thing for himfelf, yet he often prefled Lord Oxford in favour of Mr Addifon, Mr Congreve, Mr Rowe, and Mr Steele; with whom, except Mr Steele, he frequently converfed during all Lord Oxford's miniftry; chufing his friends by their perfonal merit, without examining how far their notions agreed with the politics then in vogue; and, in particular, his friendship with Mr Addifon continued inviolable, and with as much kindnefs as when they used to meet at Lord Halifax's or Lord Sommers's, who were leaders of the oppofite party. [vol. 4. p. 26, 27.]
AMONG other perfons with whom he was intimately acquainted during this gay part of his life, was Mrs Vanhomrigh. She was a Lady of a good family, the daughter of Mr Stone the commiffioner, and niece to the accomptant-general of Ireland. She was alfo a Lady of politeness and good breeding. [D. S. p. 258.]
SHE was the widow of Mr Bartholomew Vanhomrigh, firft a merchant of Amfterdam, and afterwards of Du blin, who was appointed commiflary of the ftores by King William, upon his expedition into Ireland; a place which, during the war, was computed to be worth 6000 1. per annum. After the affairs of Ireland were fettled, he was appointed mustermafter-general, and a commiffioner of the revenue, and laid out about T2,000 1. in the purchase of forfeited eftates: but though he received the produce of this eftate, and enjoyed his appointments thirteen years; yet when he died, in 1703, his expences had been fo nearly equal to his revenue, that his whole fortune, the value of his eftate included, amounted only to 16,000 1. This fum he directed by his will, to be divided equally between his fons and two were daughters. The fons died foon after their father, and their fhare of his fortune fell to the daughters. [D. S. p. 260, &c. P. let. 9.]
wife and four children, of which two wetween
IN 1709, the widow and the two young Ladies camè to England, where they were vifited by perfons of the firft quality; and Swift, lodging within a few doors of their houfe in Bury-ftreet, St James's, ufed to be much there, coming and going without ceremony, as if he had been one of the family. [D. S. p. 259.] During