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to his ufual charities; which by this expedient he could continue, and yet expend less upon the whole than before. But the diftribution even of this charity was marked with the peculiarity of his character; for that he might proportion his bounty to the neceffities and the merit of various objects, and yet give but one piece of money at a time, he conftantly kept a pocket full of all forts of coin, from a filver three-pence to a crownpiece. [7. R. p. 13.]
But as his defire of immediate gain was not gratified at the expence of the poor, to whofe diftrefs he was a witnefs; neither was it gratified at the expence of thofe whom it was as impoffible he fhould know, tho he had many opportunities of doing it.
He once refolved never to renew a certain leafe belonging to the deanery, without raifing the rent 301. a-year. The tenant had often folicited him, instead of raifing the rent, to take a larger fine and this man, a very fhort time before the Dean loft his memory, urged him with a very large fum, fuppofing, that as raifing the rent could only enrich the Dean's fucceffor, and a large fine would come into his own coffer, he should certainly fucceed. The Dean however maintained his integrity, refufed the offer with indignation, and fulfilled his purpofe of raifing the rent; tho' at this time is memory was fo bad, that the next day he did not remember what he had done, and his love of money fo predominant over every thing but his virtue, that tho' he complained of being deferted, yet he banished his best friends, merely to fave the expence of entertaining them and would fometimes refuse them a fingle bottle of wine. R. p. 208 145.]
*As an ecclefiaftic, he was fcrupulously exact in the exercife of his function, as well with regard to fpiritual as temporal things. As to his cathedral, he expended more money to fupport and adorn it than had been applied to the fame ufe in any period fince it was first built +. He was extremely exact and confcientious in promoting
+ In all business relating to his chapter, he purfued their public intereft with firmnefs and conftancy. He befides took as much care to regulate his choir, as if he himself had really fome regard
promoting the members of his choir according to their merit, and never advanced any person to a vicarage who was not qualified in all refpects, and in the highest degree, whatever their intereft, or however recommended : and he once refused a vicarage to a perfon for whom the Lady Carteret was very importunate; tho' he declared to her Ladyship, that if it had been in his power to have made the gentleman a Dean or a Bishop, he would have obliged her willingly; becaufe, he faid, deaneries and bishopricks were preferments in which merit had no concern, tho' the merit of a vicar would be brought to the test every day. Nor would he fuffer one fhilling of the cathedral-money to be alienated from its proper ufe, even for the purpose of charity. When any perfon salicited fuch an alienation, he used to tell them that this money was appropriated; but, fays he, as you declare the perfon to be relieved is an object of Christian charity, I will give out of my private purfe any fum proportioned to my revenue, if you will contribute a fum in the fame proportion to yours. My deanery is worth feven hundred pounds, your income is two; if you will give two fhillings, I will give feven, or any larger fum after the fame rate. [7. R. p. 192.].
As to the poor in the liberty of his own cathedral, they were better regulated than any other in the kingdom; they were all badged, and were never found begging out of their diftrict: for these he built and fur
for mufic. But in this he was always guided by the opinion of thofe who were fuppofed to have been judges of harmony. And that his choir might do their duty, particularly on Sunday nights, when variety of the better fort ufually came to hear the anthem, he conftantly went to church himself. This puts me in mind of an anecdote which happened in those times. An idle, careless fellow, but an excellent finger, and one of the best performers belonging to his cathedral, having laboured for fome time under the highest difpleasure of the Dean, was forced to abfent himself from the church, and keep entirely out of his fight. But at last, on Sun day evening, having, ventured into the finging loft, full in the view of the Dean, he began that particular anthem, Whither fall I go, whither shall I go, whither fhall I fly, from thy prefence? "To
jail, you dog you, to jail," faid the Doctor, in a voice loud enough to be heard by many that were about him. But the next morning he forgave the poor finner, on his promise of amendD. S. p. 37.
nished a little alms-houfe, being affifted by fome voluntary contributions; and preferved among them uncom mon cleanlinefs and decency, by conftantly visiting them in perfon. [7. R. p. 8.]
Ir has already been remarked, that tho' he did not himself understand mufic, yet he always attended at the performance of the anthem, that the choir might do their duty. But he had another practice yet more fingu lar and more useful. As foon as the preacher mounted the pulpit, he pulled out a pencil and piece of paper, and carefully noted whatever was wrong, both in the expreffions, and the manner in which they were delivered, whether they were too fcholaftic to be generally underfood, or fo coarse and vulgar as to lofe their dignity; and he never failed to make these the fubject of an admonition to the preacher as foon as he came into the chapter-houfe. [See letter to a young clergyman, in vol. 7. 2. 1701]
He improved even his living of Laracor, tho' he continued there but a fhort time, and left both the house and glebe a convenient and agreeable retreat to his fucceffor at a confiderable expence, for which he knew no return would be made to his executors; and he determined to affert his right of abfence against the Archbishop of Dublin, at the expence of feveral hundred pounds at a time when the did not believe he should ever more claim the privilege for himself, because he would not endanger the liberty of his fucceffor by an injurious precedent. [vol. 4. p. 247.]
THERE is no act of virtue which men have so often fubftituted for the peculiar pofitive duties of Chriftians as liberality to the poor, nor any by which they have fo often hoped to atone for the breach of every other moral obligation.
BUT the Dean, tho' he abounded in charity, was not lefs diligent in the practice of other virtues, or lefs devout and constant in the folemnities of religion. He was remarkably temperate both in eating and drinking; he was not only juft, but punctual in his dealings, and he had an inviolable regard for truth. As he conftantly attended divine worship when he was at home, fo he ufed always to go early to church when he was in Lon
don; and never to fleep, without affembling his family in his own chamber to prayers.
IT has often been remarked, that virtue in excefs becomes vitious; and not only precludes the reward of the poffeffor, but produces rather mischief than good to others. An abhorrence of hypocrify was a striking particular in Swift's character: but it is difficult to determine whether it was more a virtue than a vice; for it brought upon him the charge of irreligion, and encou raged others to be irreligious. In proportion as he abhorred hypocrify, he dreaded the imputation of it, and therefore concealed his piety with as much diligence as others conceal thofe vices which cuftom has not made reputable. His conftant attendance at church, when he was at the deanery, he knew would be confidered as the duty of his station; but whatever had the appearance of voluntary devotion, he always took care to hide. When he went to church in London, it was ear ly in the morning; fo that, tho' he was conftantly at prayers, and at the facrament, yet he appeared to neglect both, as he was at home when others were at church. And when he went to prayers in his family, the fervants affembled at the appointed hour as it were by ftealth, without any notice from a bell, or any other call, except the ftriking of the clock; fo that Dr Delany 'was fix months in his family before he fufpected him of this unfashionable practice. The fame principle upon which he thus ftudiously avoided appearances of good, made him frequently incur appearances of evil, efpecially when an opportunity offered of indulging his peculiar vein of humour, and gratifying his natural dif pofition. One inftance of this has already been given, in his folemn addrefs to his clerk from the pulpit by the name of Roger, [above. p. xxvi.]; but there are others which are lefs excufable. Soon after he was made Dean of St Patrick's, he had dined one Sunday with Dr Raymond, vicar of Trim, a little town near Dublin. When the bell had rung, the people were affembled to evening-prayers; and Dr Raymond was preparing to go to the church, which was not diftant more than two hundred yards" Raymond," faid the Dean, I will lay you a crown that I begin prayers before you this af
"ternoon: Dr Raymond accepted the wager; and immediately both run as fast as they could towards the church. Raymond, who was much nimbler than Swift, arrived firft at the door; and when he entered the church, walked decently towards the reading-desk. Swift never flackened his pace, but, running up the isle, left Dr Raymond behind him in the middle of it, and ftepping into the desk, without putting on a furplice, or opening the prayer book, began the fervice in an audible voice, and thus won his wager. [0. let. 16.]**
It has been common among pretenders to wit, to affect great contempt for every kind of regularity; to live, or pretend to live, in a state of continual diffipation, without regard to the return of those feafons, which have been generally allotted to particular purpo-, fes, without fleeping or waking, or eating or drinking, like the reft of mankind. To recover thefe unhappy wretches from a condition fo deplorable as to fupprefs. indignation, and yet fo contemptible as fcarce to excite pity, it is here recorded, that the life of Swift was in the highest degree uniform and regular; his hours of walking and reading, of exercise and amufement, never varied; and that he might keep the revolution of his employments with greater exactnefs, his watch was almoft conftantly either in his hand, or on the table before him.
As his abhorrence of hypocrify exempted him from affectation, the natural equity of his mind fecured him. against envy. Envy feems to be a defire of equality, gratified by degrading others; as emulation is a defire of equality, gratified by advancing ourfelves. It does not appear that Swift upon a fuppofition that he had no fuperior, was without emulation; but by his ready affiftance to advance the reputation and circumstances of others, he appears to have been free from envy.
He cultivated genius where-ever he found it, and in whatever degree, with great zeal and affiduity, and would chearfully fpend much time in correcting and improving any literary compofition that had the leaft of ingenuity. Nor was this kindness conappearance fined to those whofe parts could never come in competi tion with his own. He started many hints to Mr Gay,