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belong, and that he should foon return. [vol. 4. > P. 246, 247.] and onl


He was foon after feized with one of his fits of giddinefs and deafnefs; a calamity which was greatly ag› gravated by the news that Mrs Johnson was again fo ill, that the phyficians defpaired of her life. Upon this occafion he relapfed into the agonies of mind which he had felt the year before He expected by the next poft to hear that he was dead; and intreated that he might be told no particulars, but the event in general; for that, his age being then within three months of fixty, his weakness and his friendship would bear no more. As he defpaired of feeing her alive, he determined not, to return to Ireland fo foon as he had intended, but to pafs the winter either near Salisbury-plain, or in France. That he might not be interrupted by company, and condemned to the torment of fuppreffing his forrow, to preserve the rules of good-breeding, he quitted the houfe of Mr Pope at Twickenham, and retired to a village near London, with a female relation for his nurfe. The next letter that he received, he kept an, hour in his pocket, before he could fufficiently fortify himself against the fhock which he expected when he fhould open it. However, as Stella's life ebbed by flow. degrees, and fometimes feemed at a stand, if not to flow, his hope of a parting interview revived, and he fet out for Ireland as foon as he was able to travel.{vol. 4. { let. 120, 1, 2.]


He found her alive; but, after having languished a! bout two months longer, the expired on the 28th of January 1727-8, in the 44th year of her age, regretted by the Dean with fuch excefs of affection and efteem, as the keenest fenfibility only could feel, and the most excellent character excite.

BEAUTY, which alone has been the object of univerfal admiration and defire, which alone has elevated the poffeffor from the lowest to the highest station, has given dominion to folly, and armed caprice with the power of life and death, was in Stella only the ornament of in tellectual greatnefs and wit, which has rendered des formity lovely and conferred honour upon vice, was in Her only the decoration of fuch virtue, as without either



wit or beauty would have compelled affection, esteem, and reverence.

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HER ftature was tall, her hair and eyes black, her complexion fair and delicate, her features regular, soft, and animated, her fhape eafy and elegant and her manner feminine, polite, and graceful; there was a natural mufic in her voice, and a pleafing complacency in her aspect when he spoke.

As to her wit, it was confeffed by all her acquaintance, and particularly by the Dean that the never failed to say the best thing that was faid whenever the was in company, tho' her companions were ufually perfons of the beft understanding in the kingdom, vol. 4. p. 295.]

Bur this dangerous power was under the direction of fuch sweetness of temper, fuch general kindness, and reluctance to give pain, that she never indulged it at the expence of another.

NEITHER was her wit merely of the colloquial kind. She had great force of poetical fancy, could range her thoughts in a regular compofition, and exprefs them in correct and harmonious verfe. Of her wit in conversation some instances will be found in vol. 4. p. 295 under the name of Bons mots; and two fpecimens of her poetry are to be found in vol. 6. p. 186: 270. Her virtue was founded upon humanity, and her religion upon reafon. Her morals were uniform, but not rigid ; and · her devotion was habitual, but not oftentatious.

WHY the Dean did not fooner marry this most excellent perfon; why he married her at all; why his marriage was fo cautioufly concealed; and why he was never known to meet her but in the prefence of a third perfon, are inquiries which no man can anfwer, or has attempted to answer without abfurdity, and are therefore unprofitable objects of fpeculation

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* If any one should afk, why this renunciation of marriage-rites ? I fall anfwer that question by afking another. Why did not Swift marry this adorable creature in or about the year 1702? was he not exactly at that æra thirty five, ust rising into the meridian of his abilities; and Mrs Johnfon nineteen, in the full fplendor of the moft attractive beauty, furrounded with every grace, and blessed with every virtne, that could allure the affections and captivate the


His peculiar connection with Mrs Johnfon does indeed appear to have bech fufpected, if not known, by his particular acquaintance: one of whom had the courage indirectly to blame his conduct feveral times, by fetting before him the example of a clergyman of diftinguished merit, who married nearly in the fame circumftances; but, inftead of concealing his marriage, retired into thrifty lodgings till he had made a provifion for his wife, and then returned to the world, and became eminent for his hofpitality and charity. [7. R. p. 63.]

THE Dean, whether moved by thefe reprefentations, or whether by any other motive, did at length earneftly defire, that the might be publicly owned as his wife: but as her health was then declining, and his œconomy become more fevere, fhe faid it was too late and infifted that they should continue to live as they had lived before. To this the Dean, in his turn, confented; and suffered her to difpofe entirely of her own fortune, by her own name, to a public charity when he died. [7. R. p. 56, 288.] VOL. I.



foul of the moft ftubborn philofopher? And without difpute, if the meanness of her birth, like an evil genius, had not stood in the way to oppofe her felicity, not all the Dr Swifts upon earth could have refifted the force of her inchantments. As the prime intention of Mrs Johnfon's going over to Ireland was to captivate the affections of Dr Swift, in all probability the fecretly hoped, from time to time, to complete her conqueft. But finding upon the Queen's demife, when all the Doctor's hopes to gratify his ambition were totally at an end, that altho' her Platonic lover had quitted the noife and tumult of a political world, and had retired, like a fober honeft clergyman, within the precincts of his deanery, he thought no more upon the fubject of wedlock than he had done for the preceding fourteen years; her fpirits might have become dejected, by her frequent revolving in her mind the oddness of her fituation. If we fuppofe this to have been the cafe, it is not unreasonable to imagine, that Swift, thoroughly and fincerely her friend, and almost her lover, was unable to endure the least abatement in her chearfulness and vivacity: and therefore, to raise her 'fpirits, and to fecure the fame of her innocence from all poflibility of reproach, refolved to gratify her with the confcioufhefs of being his legal wife. And this indeed, or fomewhat very like it, how ftrange foever and chimerical it may found in the ears of the world, was certainly the reafon that he ever married her at all. D. S. p. 93. 94. 95.

Ir appears by feveral little incidents, that Stella regretted and difapproved the Dean's conduct, and that The fometimes reproached him with unkindness; for to fuch regret and reproach he certainly alludes in the fol-, lowing verfes on her birth-day, in 1726.

O then, whatever heaven intends,
Take pity on your pitying friends!
Nor let your ills affect your mind,
To fancy they cau be unkind.
Me, furely me, you ought to spare,

Who gladly would 'your fuff'rings fhare. [Vol. 6. p. 137.]

Ir feems indeed to be generally agreed, that Stella' was deftroyed by the peculiarity of her circumftances; and that the fabrick, however weak by the delicacy of its compofition, would not have fallen fo foon, if the foundation had not been injured by the flow minings of regret and vexation.

Bur it is alfo generally allowed, that in this inftance, as in every other, the Dean's intention was upright, tho' his judgment might be erroneous; and, whatever cenfure his behaviour to Stella may draw upon him, it must insure him fome praife, and fecure him against fome calumny: for it is a demonftration, that he was the abfolute mafter of thofe paffions by which the greateft have been enslaved, and the best fometimes corrupted; and if he could abstain from gratifying these pasfions with a lady whom he most admired, after the gratification was become lawful, he cannot, with any appearance of reason, be fuppofed to have indulged the fame paffion where there was lefs beauty to attract, and lefs affection to urge, where it would have been attended with guilt and infamy, where the motives were lefs and the obstacles more. [above, p. lxi.]

FROM the death of Stella, his life became much more retired, and the aufterity of his temper naturally increafed. He could not join in the focial chearfulness of his public days, or bear fuch an intrufion upon his own melancholy as the chearfulness of others. Thefe entertainments therefore were discontinued; and he fometimes avoided the company of his most intimate

friends *

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friends *. But when the lenient hand of time had allayed the anguish of his mind, he feems to have regretted the effects of its firft violence, and to wifh for the return of thofe whom his impatience had banished. [D: S. p. 307, 8.] In the year 1732, he complains, in a letter to Mr Gay, [vol. 4. p. 136.] that he had a large houfe, and should hardly find one vifitor, if he was not able to hire them with a bottle of wine. "I generally," fays he, "dine alone; and am thankful if a friend will pafs "the evening with me." He complains alfo about the fame time, in a letter to Mr Pope, that he was in danger of dying poor and friendless, even his female friends having forfaken him; which, as he fays, was what vexed him moft. [vol. 4 p. 178.] Thefe complaints were afterwards repeated in a ftrain of yet greater fenfibility and felf-pity. "All my friends," fays he," have for"faken me." [vol. 4. p. 275·1

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Vertiginofus, inops, furdus, malé gratus amicis.
Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone,

To all my friends a burden grown. [vol. 7. p.154.]

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YET he confeffes, that, tho' he was lefs patient in folitude; he was harder to be pleased with company; fo that even now perhaps his behaviour did not much

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Dr Swift generally spent his time from noon till he went to bed, which was ufually about eleven o'clock, in the pleafines of conversation among a fet of companions either felect or mixed ; a course of life in which he continued for about thirteen years after the change of times, uutil the deceafe of Mrs Johnfon in 1727-8. But when he loft that companion, whofe genius he himself had been improving and cultivating for at least five and twenty years, he could no longer endure thofe pleasures and amusements whicht on his public days were conducted, under the eyes and direction of his beloved Stella, with the greatest elegance and decorum. And accordingly, having facrificed to her manes thefe polite and rational entertainments, he renounced his public days, and lived during the whole remainder of his life abundantly more retired. D. S. B. 181. a

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