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SOME Particulars concerning Dr Swif T.
Taken from Mrs PILKINGTON's Memoirs.
RS Pilkington's acquaintance with Dr Swift com
day, vol. 7 p. 161. These the Dean received very kindly, and said, he would see her whenever the pleased.
A few days after, she was introduced to the Dean in Dr Delany's garden at Delville, by a gentlewoman. He faluted_her, and asked the lady, if she was her daughter? The lady smiled, and faid, she was Mrs Pilkington. What,” says he, “ this poor little child “ married! God help her, she is early engaged to « trouble.” The Dean engaging Mr Pilkington to preach for him at the cathedral next Sunday, invited her, with the rest of the company, to dinner. As the communion is adminiftred every Sunday in St Patrick's church, Mrs Pilkington was charmed to see with what a becoming piety the Dean performed that holy service, which he had so much at heart, that he wanted not the afliftance of the liturgy, but went quite thro’ it without ever looking in the book. He bowed at the table; which behaviour was censured, as favouring of Popery. But this circumstance may vindicate him from the wicked afperfion of being deemed an unbeliever, fince it is plain he had the utmost reverence for the eilcharift, Service being ended, the Dean was surrounded at the church-door, by a croud of poor ; to all of whom he gave charity, except an old woman, who held out a very dirty hand to him. He told her, very gravely, That tho' she was a beggar, water was not so scarce but she might have washed her hands. When they came to the deanery, the Dean kindly faluted Mrs Pilkington, and, without allowing her time to fit down, bade her come and see his library ; but merrily told Mr Pilkington, who was for following them, that he did not desire his company.
“ Well," said he to her, " I have "brought you here to show you all the money I got " when I was in the ministry; but don't steal any " I won't indecd, Sir," said she. So opening a
cabinet, he shewed her a parcel of empty drawers: “ Bless “ me,” says he,“ the money is flown." He then opened his bureau, wherein he had a great number of curious trinkets of various kinds, some of which were presented to him by the Earl and Countess of Oxford, Lady Malham, and Lady Betty Germain. At last coming to a drawer filled with medals, he bade her chuse two for herself; but he could not help smiling, when she began to poize them in her hands, chafing them by weight rather than antiquity.
At dinner the Dean's behaviour was very humorous. He placed himself at the head of his table opposite to a great pier glass, so that he could see in the glass whattever the servants did behind him. Turning his eye on the looking glass, te espied the butler opening a bottle of ale ; and helping himself to the first glass, he very kinddy jumbled the reft together, that his master and guests might all fare alike. “ Ha! friend," said the Dean, Sharp's the word, I find
ale. for which * Iftop two shillings off your board-wages this week; for “ I fcorn to be out-done in any thing, even in cheating."
DINNER being ended, the Dean thanked Mr Pilkington for his sermon: “ I never," said the,
preached but “ twice in my life; and then they were not fermons, “ but pamphlets.” Mrs Pilkington asked him, what might be the subject of them. He told her, they were againft Wood's halfpence. Having asked Mr and Mrs Pilkington if they could fmoke ? and being answered, that they did not; “ 'Tis a sign,” said he, “
you were * neither of you bred in the university of Oxford; for “ drinking and smoking are the first rudiments of learn“ ing taught there; and in those two arts no univerfi
ty in Europe can outdo them.” Having asked Mrs Pilkington, if she had any faults ?“ Pray, Mr Dean," faid Dr Delany, “ why will you be so unpolite as 'to
fuppofe Mrs Pilkington has any faults « I'll tell “ you,” replied the Dean ; " whenever I fee a number “ of agreeable qualities in any person, I am always fure
they have bad ones fufficient to poize the scale." Mrs Pilkington bowed, and told him, he did her great honour; in that copying Bp Berkley, whom the 'had frequently heard declare, That when any fpeech was
made to him, which might be conftrued either into a compliment or an affront, or that had cwo handles, he always took hold of the best.
The Dean then asked Mrs Pilkington, if she were a Queen, what she would chufe to have after dinner? She answered, “ Your conversation, Sir” “ Pooh!”
“ I mean, what regale.” A. dish of coffee, "Sir, answered the. • Why then," said be, “ I " will fo far make you as happy as a Queen ; you shall " have some in perfection : for when I was chaplain to " the Earl of Berkeley, who was in the government “ here. I was so poor, I was obliged to keep a coffee. " house, and all the nobility resorted to it to talk trea"s fon.” The Dean then set about making the coffee : but the fire scorching his hand, he called to Mrs Pilkington to reach him his glove ; and changing the cof fee pot to his left hand, held out his right one, order•ing her to put the glove on it; which accordingly Me did; when taking up part of his gown to fan himself with, and acting in character of a prudish lady, he said,
Well, I don't know what to think : women may be “ honelt that do such things; but, for my part, I ne“ ver could bear to touch any man's feh-except my “ husband's; whom, perhaps" (faid he), “ she wished
at the devil.” “ Mr Pilkington," faid he, “ you would not tell
me your wife's faults; but I have found her out to “ be a d-n'd infolent, . proud, unmannerly flut.” " What has the done now?" said Mr Pilkington. " Done,” said the Dean; “ why nothing, but fat there
quietly, and never once offered to interrupt me in “ making the coffee ; whereas a lady of modern good breeding would have struggled with me for the
cof“ fee-pot, till the had made me fcald myself and her, « and made me throw the coffee in the fire, or perhaps
at her head, rather than permit me to take so much "s trouble for her."
Mrs Pilkington staid at home with the Dean during the time of the afternoon's service ; and he made her read his history of the four last years of Q. Anne, asking her at the conclusion of every period, whether she understood it? “ for I would,” said he, “ have it in
telligible to the meanest capacity; and if you comprehend it, 'tis poflible every body may."
She accompanied the Dean to evening-prayer; and on their return to the deanery, he told Mr and Mrs Pil. kington, that he gave them leave to stay to supper ; which from him was a sufficient invitation. The Dean then decanted a bottle of wine ; and the last glass being muddy, he called to Mr Pilkington to drink it; “ for,” says he, “ I always keep some poor parson to o drink the foul wine for me.” Mr Pilkington entering into his humour, thanked him, and told him, he did not know the difference, but was glad to get a glass at any rate. " Why then," said the Dean, "you “ shan't; for I'll drink it myself. Why p-x take
you, you are wiser than a paltry curate whom I ak• ed to dine with me a few days ago ; for upon my ma
king the same speech to him, he told me he did not “ understand such usage ; and so walked off without his “ dinner. By the same token, I told the gentleman " who recommended him to me, that the fellow was a “ blockhead, and I had done with him.”
The Dean then missing his golden bottle-fcrew, told Mrs Pilkington very sternly, he was sure he had stolen it. She afirmed very seriously, she had not. Upon which he looked for it, and found it where he himself had laid it: “ 'Tis well for you,” said he, “ that I “ have got it, or I would have charged you with theft."
Why, pray, Sir,” said she, “ should I be suspected more than any other person in the company ?” « For
a very good reason,” said he, “ because you are the " poorest."
Ar their going away, the Dean handed Mrs Pilkington down all the fteps to the coach, thanking them for the honour of their company, at the same time flipping into her hand as much money as Mr Pilkington and the had given at the offering in the morning, and coachhire allo ; which the durft not refuse, left the should have been deemed as great a blockhead as the parson who refused the thick wine.
In one of the Dean's periodical fits of deafness, he sent for Mrs Pilkington ; who having come, he brought out to her a large book, finely bound in turkey leather,
and handsomely gilt: “ This," said he, “ is a transla“ tion of the epistles of Horace, a present to me from “ che author ; 'tis a special good cover ; but I have a “mind there should be something valuable within fide " of it." So taking out his penknife, he cut out all the leaves close to the inner margin. “ Now,” said he, "I will give these what they greatly want;' and put them all into the fire. “ Your task, Madam, is to paste “ in these letters, in this cover, in the order I shall give " them to you: I intended to do it myself, but that I
thought it might be a pretty amusement for a child : “ fo I sent for you.” She told him, she was extremely proud to be honoured with his commands; but requested to have leave to read the letters as she went on.
Why,” said the Dean, “provided you will acknow“ ledge yourself amply rewarded for your trouble, I “ don't much care if I indulge you so far.”
In reading the letters, she could not avoid remarking to the Dean, that, notwithstanding the friendship Mr Pope professed for Mr Gay, he could not forbear a great many satirical, or, if the might be allowed to say so, envious remarks on the success of the Beggar's opera. The Dean very frankly owned, he did not think Mr Pope was so candid to the merit of other writers as he ought to be. She then ventured to ask the Dean, whether he thought the lines Mr Pope addresses him with in the beginning of the Dunciad, were any compliment to him viz.
O thou! whatever title please thine ear.
" I believe," said he, “they were meant as such, “ but they are very ftiff.” “ Indeed, Sir," said she, "he is so perfectly a master of harmonious numbers, " that, had his heart been the least affected with his
subject, he must have writ better. How cold, how “ forced, are his lines to you, compared with yours to
Hail, happy Pope ! whose gen'rous mind, &c.
vol. 6. p. 337