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De SWIFT. xlvii what the dailed him on Sunday; told him he observed he was much out of temper ; that he did not expect he would tell him the cause, but would be glad to see he was in better ; and warned him never to behave to him with filent reserve, 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,” says he, " that I expected, that every great minister who ho“ noured me with his acquaintance, if he heard or faw
any thing to my disadvantage, would let me know “ it in plain words, and not put me in pain to guess
by the change or coldness of his countenance or be“ haviour; for it was what I would hardly bear from a “ crowned head, and I thought no subject's favour was “ worth it. I told him, that I designed to let my “ Lord Keeper and Mr Harley know the same thing, " that they may use me accordingly.".
The Secretary received the reproof like a friend, as it was given, and apologized for his behaviour, by faying, that business had kept him up several whole nights, and drinking one more; and to make up matters he pressed the Doctor to Atay to dinner; which, however, he declined, as well-because he would not encourage a second offence by too easily passing over the first, 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 amused himself, with every whim and vagary that floated on the surface of his imagination.
“ Secretary St John” (faith he) “ would needs have me dine with him
to-day; and there I found three persons I never saw; 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 four
vy rain and wind. The Secretary tells me he has put a cheat
upon me; for Lord Peterborow sent him twelve dozen Aalks of “ Burgundy, on condition that I should have my share; 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 pleasant manner, took ample satisfaction of the Secretary. For “ I dined to day” (faith he)
" with Mr Secretary “ St John, on condition I might chuse my company; which were, " Lord Rivers, Lord Carteret, Sir Thomas Mansell, and Mr
Ip in this representation of his behaviour, as it is in many particulars taken from his letters to Stella, he should be suspected of having somewhat exaggerated to gratify his vanity, he may be abundantly justified by a letter ftill extant, which he wrote to Lord Oxford af. ter the connection between them was broken. " When “ I was with you," says he, “ I have said more than “ once, that I would never allow quality or station “ made any difference between men.- I loved you juft • fo much the worse 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 self. fufficiency, 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 whose pretensions or circumstances were the same.
When he was desired by Lord Oxford to introduce Dr Parnel to his acquaintance, he refused, upon this principle, that a man of genius was a character superior 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 Malham, Hill, Sir John Stanley, and George “ Granville; but they were engaged: and I did it in revenge of “his having such bad company when I dined with him before. “ So we laughed,” GC. (Feb. 25. 1710. This puts me in mind of an accident which happened at Windsor. “ The court here ** (saith the Doctor) have got by the end a good thing I said to
the Secretary some weeks ago. He shewed me bis bill of fare, “ to tempt me to dine with him. Poh, said 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. 372, 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 sum which she had in the funds : and the better to save appearances, he always took her receipt; and sometimes would pretend, with great seeming vexation, that she 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 dissenters, and speaking contemptibly of revealed religion. He always declared himself against a Popish successor 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 suffered under a present government became greater than those which might probably be expected from changing it by violence, a revolution was justifiable; 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 should be revived, by which our parliaments were made annual. He abominated the political scheme of setting up a moneyed interest in opposition to the landed ; and was an enemy to temporary suspensions of the Habeas corpus act. If some asperities that cannot be justified have escaped his pen,
which were haftily written in the first ardour of his zeal, and often after great provocation from those who wrote against him, surely 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 indiscriminately transfer his resentments from principles to perfons, was so evident by his conduct, that it was a usual subject of raillery towards him among the ministers, that he never came to them without a Whig in his sleeve. And though he does not appear to
have aked any thing for himself, yet he often presled Lord Oxford in favour of Mr Addison, Mr Congreve, Mr Rowe, and Mr Steele ; with whom, except Mr Steele, he frequently conversed during all Lord Oxford's ministry; chusing his friends by their personal merit, without examining how far their notions agreed with the politics then in vogue ; and, in particular, his friendship with Mr Addison continued inviolable, and with as much kindness as when they used to meet at Lord Halifax's or Lord Sommers's, who were leaders of the opposite party. [vol. 4. p. 26, 27.]
Among other persons 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 commissioner, and niece to the accomptant general of Ireland. She was also a Lady of politeness and good breeding. [D. S. p. 258.]
She was the widow of Mr Bartholomew Vanhomrigh, first a merchant of Amsterdam, and afterwards of Dublin, who was appointed commissary of the stores by King William, upon his expedition into Ireland; a place which, during the war, was computed to be worth 6000 l. per annum.
After the affairs of Ireland were settled, he was appointed muftermaster-general, and a commissioner of the revenue, and laid out about 12,000 l. in the purchase of forfeited estates: but though he received the produce of this estate, and enjoyed his appointments thirteen years ; yet when he died, in 1703, his expences had been so nearly equal to his revenue, that his whole fortune, the value of his eitate included, amounted only to 16,000 1. This fum he die sected by his will, to be divided equally between his wife and four children, of which two were fons and two were daughters. The fons died soon after their father, and their share of his fortune fell to the daughters. (D. S. p. 260, Gr. O. let. 9.]
IN 1709, the widow and the two young Ladies came to England, where they were visited by persons of the first quality; and Swift, lodging within a few doors of their house in Bury.street, St James's, used to be much there, coming and going without ceremony, as if he had been one of the family. [D. S. p. 259.) During
DR 'S WIFT. li this familiarity, he became insensibly a kind of preceptor to the young Ladies, particularly 'the eldest, who was then about twenty years old, was 'much addicted to reading, and a great admirer of poetry. In a person of this disposition, it was natural for such a character as that of Swift to excite admiration, a passion which by frequent converse was foftened into complacency, and complacency was at length improved into love. Love itself perhaps was in this case complicated with vanity, which would have been highly gratified by an alliance with the first wit of the age ; and thus what neither could have effected alone, was done by the joint effort of both, and the ventured to make the Doctor a propo"fal of marriage. It is probable, that his connections with Mrs Johnson at this time were such, that he could not with honour accept this proposal, whatever pleasure or advantage it might promise : however, it is certain, he declined it, though without assigning any other engagement as the reason.
He appears first to have affected to believe her in jest, then to have rallied her on so whimsical a choice, and at laft'to have put her off without an absolute refusal ; perhaps, partly, because he was unwilling to give her pain, and partly, because he could not refufe her with a good grace, otherwise than by discovering some particulars which he was willing to conceal. While he was in this situation, he wrote the poem called Cadenus and Vanessa, (vol. 6. p. 10.), the principal view of which seems to have been at once to compliment and to rally her; to apologize for his conduct, and soften a tacit denial, by leaving the event undetermined.
This poem appears to have been written about the year 1713. a short time before he left Vanessa and the rest of his friends in England, and returned to the place of his exile, which he always mentioned with regret.
In the year 1714 Mrs Vanhomrigh died ; and, having lived at an expence much greater than her fortune would bear, the left some debts unpaid.
Her two daughters, whose fortunes the had also fefsened, the appointed joint execötrixes of her will.; an office which, however troublesome, the situation of their affairs obliged them to accept. It appears too, that they