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red to be reputed his concubine *, it cannot be suppo.. sed that she concealed any letter which would have proved that she was so, especially as it would have gratified her resentment against him, for refusing to make her his wife. (7. R. p. 121, 122. 123 ] .
If it appears, therefore, that there was no criminal commerce between them, and that she did not desire the world should believe there had been any; it follows, from her directing the publication of the poem, of which perhaps the possessed the only copy, that, in her sense of the verses, none of them implied a fact which would, dishonour her memory. And this appears also to have been the opinion of her executors, who, tho' they suppressed the letters, because they contained nothing that could do her honour, yet published the poem; by which it must therefore be supposed they did not think the would be disgraced. [J. R. p. 123.)
It has indeed been said, that Vanessa, from the time she was deserted, "devoted herself, like Ariadne, to “ Bacchus," [J. R. P. 123,]: and perhaps it is true, that, in the anguish of disappointed desire, she had recourse: to that dreadful opiate, which never fails to complicate disease with trouble, to leave the sufferer more wretched when its operation is at an end ; to divide life into frenzy: and despair, and at once to haften the approach, and increate the terrors of death. But it cannot be thought, that when she made her will, she was either intoxicated or delirious, because the perfect exercise of reason is ef. sential to the validity of the act. No particular of her distress, therefore, can weaken the arguments drawn: from the direction in her will to publiñ the poem and the letters, of which the gratification of her vanity was so evidently the motive, that it is difficult to conceive how it could be overlooked.
From 1716 to 1720 is a chasm in the Dean's life, which it has been found difficult to fill up. That he had no need to repeat his college-exercises, has been thewn already ; and that, in this interval, he went thro'. a voluminous course of ecclefiaftical history [7. R. p. 101.), seems farther improbable, by a letter to Lord Bolingbroke, dated April 5. 1729 (vol. 4. p. 91.); in
* Soe vol. 6. p. 18.
which it appears, that he was then reading Baronius, and Baronius was the only piece of church-history that was found in his library. Lord Orrery thinks, with great reason, that he employed this time upon Gulliver's Travels. 10. let. 16.]
The author of the Observations indeed supposes the - Dean's genius to be verging towards a decline in the year 1723, and that Gulliver's Travels were written after that time : but in both these fuppofitions he is probably mistaken; tho' in the former he seems to be fa-voured by a passage in a letter written by the Dean himself to Mr Pope, dated Sept. 20. 1723. [vol 4. Po :40 ]
THAT his genius was not declining in 1723, appears by the Drapier's Letters, which were not written till **1724; and of these the Observator himfelf says, “ his p" genius never thone out in greater strength than on ** chat and the fubfequent occasions ;" a truth which is - universally acknowledged. That Gulliver's Travels were written before that time, is equally evident : for Swift went into the north of Ireland early in the spring of 1725; and, in a letter to Dr Sheridan, during his refidence there, he pues him in mind of his defcription of the Yahoos (vol. 4. p. 234.). So that Sheridan must have seen the Travels in manufcript, at least in the year 1724. The Dean, also, in a letter to Mr Pope, dated Sept. 29. 1725 (vol. 4. p. 45.), says, “Oh! if the
world had but a dozen of Arbuthnots in it, I would * burn my Travels." It may reasonably be concluded, therefore, that his Travels were then all written, and that at this time he was reviewing and retouching them
for the press; especially as they were published in 1726; and as he was otherwise employed in 1724, they must have been written at least before 1723.
Upon the whole, perhaps, it is not an extravagant conjecture, that having, according to his own account, wholly neglected his ludies for the first three
of his refidence at the deanery, and indulged the resentment which his difappointments had produced, till it 'could be contained no longer, he conceived the first notion of expressing it in such a manner as might correct the enormities which he exposed; and with this view
immediately began his Travels, of which the first copy was probably finished before the year 1720.
ABOUT this time, the Dean, who had already acquired the character of a humourist and a wit, was first regarded with general kindness, as the patriot of Ireland. He wrote a proposal for the universal use of Irish manufactures (vol. 3. p. 3.] ; a tract which, as it was apparently calculated for the service of Ireland, and zealously condemned a sacrifice of interest to England, made him very popular * But this service would not perhaps have been so long and so zealously remembered, if a prosecution had not been commenced against the printer. As soon as this measure was taken, the importance of the work was estimated by the diligence of the governo ment to suppress it; and the zeal and integrity of the writer were measured by the danger he had incurred. No public notice, however, was taken of the Dean on this occasion; and Waters, the printer, after having been long harassed and imprisoned, at length obtained a Noli profequi.
In the year 1720, Swift began to reaflume, in fome degree, the character of a political writer. A small pamphlet in defence of the Irish manufactures, was, I believe, his first essay, in Ireland, in that kind of writing; and to that pamphlet he owed the turn of the popular tide in his favour. His sayings of wit and humour had been handed about, and repeated from time to time among the people. They had the effect of an artful preface, and had pre-engaged all readers in his favour. They were adapted to the understanding, and pleased the imagination of the vulgar: and he was now looked upon in a new light, and distinguished by the title of The Dean.The Aux and reflux of popular love and hatred are equally violent. They are often owing to accidents, but sometimes to the return of reason, which, unaslifted by education, may not be able to guide the lower class of people into the right track at the beginning, but will be sufficient to keep them in it, when experience has pointed out the road. The pamphlet propofing the universal use of Irish manufactures within the kingdom, had captivated all hearts. Some little pieces of poetry to the fame purpose were no less acceptable and engaging. The attachment which the Dean bore to the true interest of Ireland, was no longer doubted. His patriotism was as manifest as his wit. He was looked upon with pleasure and respect, as he passed thro' the streets: and he had attained so high a degree of popularity, as to become an arbitrator in the disputes of property among his neighbours; nor did any man dare to appeal from his opinion, or to murmur at his decrees. 0. let. 6.
The Dean did not again appear in his political character till the year 1724. A patent having been iniquitoully procured by one Wood to coin 180,000 l. in copper for the use of Ireland, by which he would have ac. quired exorbitant gain, and proportionably impoverished the nation, the Dean, in the character of a Drapier, wrote a series of letters to the people, urging them not to receive this copper money. These letters united the whole nation in his praise, filled every freet with his effigies, and every voice with acclamations; and Wood, tho he was long supported by those who prostituted the highest delegated authority to the vileft purposes, was at length compelled to withdraw his patent, and his money was totally fuppreffed .
UPON the arrival of Lord Carteret, foon after the publication of the fourth letter, several passages were
The popular affection which the Dean had hitherto acquired, may be said not to have been universal, till the publication of the Drapier's letters, which made all ranks and all professions unani. mous in his applause. The occasion of those letters was a scarcily of copper coin in Ireland, to so great a degree, that for some time past the chief manufacturers throughout the kingdom were obliged to pay their workmen in pieces of tin, or in other tokens of fupposititious value. Such a method was very disadvantageous to the lower parts of traffick, and was in gencral an impediment to the commerce of the state. To remedy this evil the late King granted a patent to William Wood, to coin, during the term of fourteen years, farthings and halfpence in England for the use of Ireland, to the value of a certain sum fpecified. These halfpence and farthings were to be received by those persons who would voluntarily accept them But the patent was thought of such dan. gerous consequence to the public, and of such exorbitant advantage to the patentee, that the Dean, under the character of M. B. Drapier, wrote a letter to the people, warning them not to accept Wood's halfpence and farthings as current coin. This first letter was succeeded by several others to the same purpose; all which are inserted in his works-At the sound of the Drapier's trumpet, 6c. [fee vol. 3. p. 23. in the notes) - This is the most succinct account that can be given of an affair, which alarmed the whole Irish nation to a degree, that in a less loyal kingdom must have fomepred a rebellion: but the stedfast loyalty of the Irilh, and their true devotion to the present royal family, is immoveable and altho’ this unfortunate nation may not hitherto have found many distinguishing marks of favour and indulgence from the throne, yet it is to be hoped in time they may meet with their reward. 0. let. 6.
seleEted as fufficient ground for a prosecution ; and his Excellency and council published a proclamation, offering 300 l. reward for a discovery of the author. This proclamation gave the Dean a remarkable opportunity to illustrate his character. It happened, that his butler, whom he had employed as his amanuensis, and who a. lone was trusted with the secret, went out in the after. noon of the day of the proclamation without leave, and faid abroad the whole night, and part of the next day. There was great reason to suspect that he had made an information ; and having received his reward, would never return. The man however came home in the evening; and the Dean was advised by his friends to take no notice of his fault, left he thould be provoked to a breach of trust, from the dread of which his return had just delivered them. But the Dean rejected this counsel with the utmost disdain, and commanding the man into his presence, ordered him immediately to ftrip off his livery, and leave the house. “: You villain," faid he, “ I know I am in your power ; and for that
very reason I will the less bear with your infolence or “ neglect. I suppose by this time you are rewarded, or " at least in a fair way of being rewarded for your “ treachery." The man, in very
fubmiffive terms, confessed that he had been drinking all night, and intreated to be forgiven ; but Swift was inexorable. He then begged that he might be confined in some part of the house fo long as the proclamation could intitle him to any reward; left, when he was driven from his service, and destitute of another, the temptation might be too strong for his virtue, and his distress might involve him in a crime - which he most abhorred. Swift however was still inexorable ; and the man was dismissed. During all the time of danger, Swift obftinately refused to contribute one farthing towards his support
, nor could he be per. fuaded to see his face; but when the time limited in the proclamation was expired, he was permitted to return io his service. Soon afterwards he was called hastily up by the Dean ; who, without any preface, again ordered him to strip off his livery, put on his own cloaths, and then come to him again. The butler stared with