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and back again every two hours. The diftance backwards and forwards was about half a mile, and he used to run it in about fix minutes. [D. S. p. 272.] By what books his ftudies were principally directed, cannot certainly be known. But feveral copious extracts from Cyprian, Irenæus, Sleidan's Commentaries, and Padre Paolo's hiftory of the council of Trent, were found among his papers, which appear, by memorandums in his own hand-writing, to have been made while he lived with Sir William Temple. [ D. S. p. 276.]
ABOUT a year after his return from Ireland, he thought it expedient to take his degree of Mafter of Arts at Ŏxford. With this view he appears to have written to his uncle William Swift, to procure and fend him the teftimonium of his Bachelor's degree. With this teftimonium, which is dated May 3. 1692, he went to Oxford; where having received many civilities, he was admitted ad eundem June 14. and took his Mafter's degree July 5. following.
IT has been faid, that the civilities which he received at Oxford, proceeded from a mifunderstanding of the phrafe fpeciali gratia, which was there fuppofed to be a compliment paid to uncommon merit. [D. S. p. 30.44. O. let. 1.] But these words are not to be found in that copy of the teftimonium which is entered in the congregation-book at Oxford *; and not to have inferted them there, when they were thought a compliment, would have been an affront. It is therefore probable, that, by the influence of Swift's uncle, they were omitted in the copy which he procured and fent; efpecially as fome fuch favour feems to be intimated in Swift's letter to him, [in vol. 4. p. 197.] after he had received it : "I am fill," fays he, 66 to thank you for your care in my teftimonium; and it was to very good purpose, for I was never more fatisfied than in the behaviour of
The certificate of his degree is as follows.
Omnibus quorum intereft falutem. Nos prapofitus fociique feniores Collegii Sacro-fancta et Individuæ Trinitatis juxta Dublin, teftamur JONATHAN SWIFT die decimo quinto Februarii 1685 gradum Baccalaureatûs in artibus fufcepiffe, præftito prius fidelitatis erga Regiam Majeftatem juramento; quod de pradicto teftimonium, fubfcriptis fingu
"the univerfity." The civilities which he received at Oxford might indeed proceed from his known connection with Sir William Temple; but he might reasonably impute them alfo to the fuppreffion of a reproach against which there was good reason to fear this connec tion would not have supported him: nor is it strange, that Swift, after his reputation was established, should, while he was sporting with this incident in the gaiety of his heart, pretend a mistake which never happened, or that what he meant as a jeft upon the univerfity, fhould be feriously remembered as an event of his life.
Ir has also been faid, that, upon his difgrace at Dublin, he refolved to pursue his ftudies at Oxford, where he almost constantly refided during three years, and was avowedly supported by Sir William Temple. [0. let. 2.] Į But the contrary is inconteftably true; for these are not quite two months between the date of his teftimonium, and bis taking his Mafter's degree. Befides, in the letter to his uncle juft mentioned, he fays, I am "afhamed to be more obliged in a few weeks to firangers, than in feven years to Dublin college t." [vol. 4. p. 197.}
forum nominibus, et collegii figillo qua in hifce utimur, confirmandura suravimus. Datum die tertio Màii 1692.
ROB, HUNTINGTON Prapof. L. S.
ST GEORGE ASHE.
Quibus in venerabili congregatione magiffrorum regentium 14 die Juni 1692 habita publicatis, JONATHAN SWIFT (grati priùs petita et conceffa) ad eundem gradum, ftatum, et dignitatem, admiffus fuit, apud Oxonienfes, quibus infignitus erat apud fuos Dublinienfes.
To Nov, 1753
D. S. p. 43. 44.
See the note, above, p. xi.
He went to college, at the age of fourteen, in 1681; continued there feven years, as appears by his letter; fo that he did not leave
FROM Oxford he returned again to Moorpark, where he affifted Sir William Temple to revife his works ‡, corrected and improved his Tale of a Tub, and added the digreffions. From the converfation of Sir William, who was minutely acquainted with all the intricacies of party, and the fecrets of ftate, during the reigns of K. Charles II. and K. James II. Swift greatly increased his political knowledge. But having long fufpected Sir William of neglecting to provide for him, merely that he might keep him in his family, he at length refented it fo warmly, that, in 1694, a quarrel enfued, and they parted, [vol. 4. p. 199.]
IT is probable that Swift did not leave Sir William for fuch a reason without fevere expoftulation, not only because Swift was no refpecter of perfons, but because it appears that Sir William, though he was extremely angry, admitted his claim to fome provifion, by offering to make him his deputy as Mafter of the Rolls in Ireland. This offer however Swift did not accept; but replied, that fince he had now an opportunity of living without being driven into the church for fupport, a fcruple which had hitherto kept him out of it, he was determined to go into Ireland and take orders.
SWIFT, during his refidence with Sir William, had never failed to vifit his mother at Leicester once a-year; and his manner of travelling was very extraordinary. He always went on foot, except the weather was very bad; and then he would fometimes take fhelter in a waggon. He chose to dine at obfcure alehouses among pedlars and hoftlers, and to lie where he faw written over the door, Lodgings for a penny; but he used to bribe
Ireland till 1688. He was fome months with his mother before he went to Sir William, and two years with him before he went to Ireland for his health, which must therefore be in 1691. He returned from Ireland, and continued fome time longer with Sir William before he went to Oxford; which must therefore be in 1692: and in that very year he took his degree. The fact therefore which, Lord Orrey fays, was immediately conftrued to fa vour an opinion that Swift was Sir William's natural fon, appears never to have happened. Hawkef.
Swift tranflated for Sir William his letters out of the original French into English, D. S. p. 99.
the maid with a tefter for a fingle bed and clean fheets. He delighted (fays Lord Orrery) in scenes of low life. The vulgar dialect was not only a fund of humour for him, but I verily believe was acceptable to his nature; otherwife I know not how to account for the many filthy ideas and indecent expreffions (1 mean indecent in point of cleanliness and delicacy) that will be found throughout his works ‡.
In this manner he went down to his mother upon his leaving Sir William, and from Leicefter he wrote a letter, dated June 1694, [in vol. 4. p. 194.] to his coufin Deane Swift, then at Lisbon; in which he relates his quarrel with Sir William, and declares his purpose
When Swift was a young man, he was prodigioufly fond of rambling, even before his pocket could afford the common expences of a journey: and therefore we cannot but applaud his manner of travelling; fince travel about he certainly muft, or elfe die of the fpleen, Oxford, Dublin, London, Moorpark, and Leicester, were at various times the places of his abode; but Leicester in particular, during his mother's life, he commonly vifited once a year, let his general refidence have been where it would. In short, upon his own feet he ran like a buck from one place to another. Gates, stiles, and quickfets, he no more valued than if they had been so many straws. His conftitution was ftrong, and his limbs were active. His company in those flights were, I believe, all forts of people which he met in towns and villages where he chanced to refresh himself; fome chat for an hour, and again to the fields. His imagination was always alive, and perhaps beyond all others he had a power to conciliate his ideas to the several capacities of all human race, and at the fame time catch entertainment to himself from every species of understanding; agreeable to what is faid in that panegyric on the Dean written in the perfon of a lady in the north of Ireland.
Whene'er you joke, 'tis all a cafe
With fuch dexterity you fit
Their fev'ral talents with your wit,
That Moll the chambermaid can fmoke,
And Gahagan take ev'ry joke. vol. 6, p. 380.
However, the Doctor hath often told his friends, that whatever money he faved by this manner of travelling, he conftantly threw it away, as foon as he went to London, upon a fine waistcoat, or some additional gaiety upon a fuit of cloaths, D. S. p. 99. 100, 1.
to take orders in the September following, wishing he could procure for him the chaplainship of the factory.
WHAT was the effect of this letter, is not known; but Swift foon after obtained a recommendation (fuppofed to be from Sir William Temple) to Lord Capel, then Lord Deputy of Ireland, who gave him the prebend of Kilroot, in the diocese of Connor, a northern district, worth about 100 l. a-year *, But Sir William, who had been used to the converfation of Swift, foon found that he could not be content to live without him; he therefore urged him to refign his prebend in favour of a friend, and promised to obtain preferment for him in England, if he would return †. Swift confented; and Sir William was fo much pleased with this act of kindnefs, that during the remainder of his life, which was about four years, his behaviour was fuch as produced the utmost harmony between them. Swift, as a teftimony of his friendship and esteem, wrote the battle of the books, of which Sir William is the hero; and Sir William, when he died, left him a pecuniary legacy, (fuppofed to have been about 500 1.) and his pofthumous works.
WHAT other favours he received from Sir William, cannot certainly be known. Swift acknowledged none but his ineffectual recommendation to K. William ; and he is known to have received frequent remittances from his uncle William, and his uncle Willoughby Swift: fo
* Swift foon grew weary of this preferment. It was not fufficiently confiderable, and was at fo great a diftance from the metropolis, that it abfolutely deprived him from that kind of converfation and fociety in which he delighted. He had been used to very different scenes in England, and had naturally an averfion to folitude and retirement. He was glad therefore to refign his prebend in favour of a friend, and to return to Sheen, &c. Orrey, "let. 2.
+ This appears by a letter from Swift's fifter, then in Ireland, to her coufin Deane in Portugal, dated May 26. 1699. "My poor bro "ther" (fays fhe) "haft lost his best friend Sir William Temple, who 66 was fo fond of him whilft he lived, that he made him give up his living in this country to ftay with him at Moorpark, and promised to get him one in England: but death came in between, and has " left him unprovided both of friend and living." D. S. p. 66,