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Wood surrendered his patent in 1725. His halfpence might have been better than the scarcity of coin and bad money which, as the Primate Boulter's letters show, continued for some time.

Thus he wrote on April 21, 1731:-'The ordinary people here are under the last distress for want of copper money. Tradesmen that retail, and poor people, are forced to pay for getting their little silver changed into copper, and are forced to take raps, or counterfeit halfpence, of little more than a quarter of the value of an English halfpenny, which has encouraged several coiners.' On March 26, 1737, he wrote:-'Two tons of our copper halfpence are arrived.' On May 16 he added:-' Notwithstanding all the clamours of Dean Swift, the papists, and other discontented or whimsical people, our new copper halfpence circulate, and are most greedily received.' Letters of Archbishop Boulter, quoted in Swift's Letters to Chetwode, p. 228.


'The Drapier,' addressing 'the poorer sort of tradesmen,' says:-'You seldom see any silver, and your customers come to your shops or stalls with nothing but brass, which you likewise find hard to be got.' Works, vi. 350. For the way change was given by means of French threepences, fourpence-halfpennies, and eightpence-farthings, the Scotch fivepences and tenpences, besides their twenty-pences and three-and-fourpences' see ib. p. 392.

In 1712 the Lord Lieutenant and his Council fixed by proclamation the value of eight gold and eleven silver foreign coins, and in 1737 of eighteen gold coins varying in value from £3 175. 8d. to 4s. 7d., all circulating in Ireland. Simon's Irish Coins, 1810, pp. 68, 74.


In the Report of the Committee of the Privy Council in relation to Mr. Wood's Halfpence and Farthings, dated July 24, 1724, given in Swift's Works, vi. 367, it is stated that by his patent 'a pound weight of copper was to be coined into two shillings and six pence,' i. e. into sixty halfpence. Ib. p. 372.

I lb. avoirdupois 7,000 grs., which+60=1163 grs., the average weight prescribed for each halfpenny. The assay showed that '60 halfpence weighed 14 oz. troy, 18 dwts. . . . which is above the weight required by the patent.' Ib. p. 370. 14 oz. 18 dwts.=7,152 grs., which gives 119 grs. as the actual weight of each halfpenny.


Two coins in the British Museum weigh respectively 121 grs., 123 grs. Catalogue of the Handbook of Coins in Brit. Mus. (Irish Coins), p. 244, where it is stated-erroneously-that 'the weight prescribed is 128 grs. to the halfpenny.' It is added that no copper money had been issued since 1696. There were two varieties of Wood's halfpence, 'consisting of a slight change in the reverse type.' They are dated 1722, 1723, 1724. The workmanship is far superior to the English copper money, and they were made of the best metal that had as yet been

used for Ireland.' For an engraving of the halfpenny see Works, vi. 327.

James Simon, in his Irish Coins, published in 1749, says (ed. 1810, p. 70) that, on several parcels of these halfpence being sent over at different times, a small number out of each parcel were taken at random and weighed, and divided into four sorts.' In the four sorts the halfpenny weighed 120, 111, 103, and 961 grs. respectively. He does not say by whom the assay was made, and therefore no trust can be put in it. Swift tried to discredit the English assay. 'Wood,' he writes, 'takes care to coin a dozen or two halfpence of good metal, sends them to the Tower, and they are approved.' Works, vi. 356. He did not stick at a lie, however gross. The English halfpence, he says, were of such good metal that a brazier would not lose much more than a penny in a shilling if he beat them to pieces and used them as copper; whereas Mr. Wood made his halfpence of such base metal, and so much smaller than the English ones, that the brasier would not give you above a penny of good money for a shilling of his.' Ib. p. 341.

If Swift's lies can be justified by usage, so can the job. It was an age of jobbery. Wood's job, however, was done in a way to provoke the Irish. No project,' wrote the Irish Chancellor Middleton, 'was ever carried on so sillily as this hath been. The patent was concealed, and made a great secret here.' Coxe's Walpole, ii. 370. Neither the Lord Lieutenant nor his Privy Council was 'formally consulted.' Wood by his threats increased the difficulty. Ib. i. 223. The Irish Houses of Parliament presented addresses against the patent. b. ii. 368. 'Is not their Parliament,' asks Swift, as fair a representative of the people as that of England?' Works, vi. 382. Nevertheless he scorned the Parliament. He described the members as those wretches here who call themselves a Parliament. . . . They imitate the English Parliament after the same manner as a monkey does a human creature.' Ib. xviii. 283, 308.

Whether he did more good by defeating a dishonest project, or more harm by keeping on the old currency, may be questioned. As at length he comes out of his 'obscurity' we seem to hear him saying :— 'What though the field be lost? All is not lost, th' unconquerable will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield.'

Paradise Lost, i. 105.


We see him with a stern countenance, and aiming a blow at his old adversaries.' SWIFT, 62 n.


The book appeared in Nov. 1726. He had planned it, if not begun it, as early as Jan. 1, 1721-2, when Bolingbroke wrote to him :'I long to see your Travels. Works, xvi. 378. He was finishing it in the autumn of 1725. On Sept. 29 of that year he wrote:- The chief end I propose to myself in all my labours is to vex the world rather


* In the text 196. The average given of the four shows that it should be 96.

than divert it.' Works, xvii. 4. In November he described himself as 'sitting like a toad in a corner of his great house, with a perfect hatred of all public actions and persons.' Ib. p. 17. On Nov. 8, 1726, Arbuthnot wrote to him from London :-' Gulliver's Travels, I believe, will have as great a run as John Bunyan.' Ib. p. 70. On Nov. 17 Gay wrote:The whole impression sold in a week.' Ib. p. 81. On Feb. 14, 1726-7, Swift wrote (Letters to Chetwode, p. 202):-'I hear it hath made a bookseller almost rich enough to be an alderman.' He complained that 'it hath been mangled in the press.' He had not found a printer brave enough to venture his ears' by printing it complete. Works, xvii. 3. For the 'mangling' see Letters to Chetwode, p. 205.

It was the only book (except Temple's Works) by which he 'got a farthing; and that was by Mr. Pope's prudent management for me.' Ib. p. 204; Works, xviii. 285, xix. 230; SWIFT, 110 n. He sold the copyright for £200. N. & Q. 1 S. xii. 198. For the early editions see ib. 6 S. xii. 198, 350, 398, 473. Des Fontaines, who translated it into French, wrote to Swift on July 4, 1727, that it had reached its third edition. Works, xvii. 120. See also ib. i. 320.


In Sept. 1726, on his return to Ireland, he sent Mrs. Howard 'a piece of Irish plaid. . . . My real design is that when the Princess asks you where you got that fine nightgown, you are to say that it is an Irish plaid sent you by the Dean of St. Patrick's; who, with his most humble duty, is ready to make her such another present, if she will descend to honour Ireland with receiving and wearing it.' Works, xvii. p. 53. Mrs. Howard, replying that the Princess would like some for herself and daughters, added:-'I shall take all particular precautions to have the money ready.' Ib. p. 75. Swift rejoined:-'The weaver has read Gulliver's book, and has no conception what you mean by returning money; and as to myself, I am so highly offended with such a base proposal,' &c. Ib. p. 78. On his return from his English visit of the following year he wrote to her:-'I shall pass the remainder of my life with the utmost gratitude for her Majesty's favours.' Ib. p. 141. On Nov. 10, 1730, he wrote to Gay :-'I made a present [to the Queen], or rather it was begged from me, of about £35. The trifle promised me, worth about £15, was never remembered.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), vii. 205. On Nov. 21 he wrote to Mrs. Howard that on his leaving England in 1726 the Queen promised to send him a medal. 'Yet this was never done.' Works, xvii. 311. On Aug. 12, 1732, he wrote to Gay :-'They will not give me the medals they promised me; yet wheedled me out of a present that cost me £40. Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), vii. 282. In his Lines on the Death of Dr. Swift he wrote:

'The Queen, so gracious, mild and good,
Cries, "Is he gone! 'tis time he should.
He's dead you say; then let him rot;
I'm glad the medals were forgot."' Ib. xiv. 323.


These lines he 'durst not insert' at first. Works, xix. 174. The present he made grew in value from £35 to £40, while 'a medal became the medals.' See also ib. xvii. 43, 86, 102, 221, 287. For the editions of this poem see N. & Q. 6 S. iii. 109, xii. 395.


Mrs. Barber was a Dublin woollen-draper by trade, 'poetically given,' writes Swift; 'for a woman she had a sort of genius that way.' Works, xvii. 367.

Of Johnson's criticism of Swift Scott writes:-'It is unpleasant to observe one man of genius pass such harsh and undeserved censures on another.' After quoting Swift's letter to Pope on the subject (Works, xvii. 368), he continues :-' Can this be fairly termed shuffling?' and adds that probably Mrs. Barber or a friend was the forger. Ib. i. 355The same indirect denial Swift made also to the Countess of Suffolk. Ib. xvii. 371. Deane Swift wrote to Nichols in 1778:-'The original letter, which was given by the Queen to the Countess, who gave it to Mr. Pope to enclose to the Doctor, is still in my possession.' Lit. Hist. v. 378. It is endorsed by Swift :-'Counterfeit letter from me to the Queen, sent to me by Mr. Pope; dated June 22, 1731; received July 19, 1731; given by the Countess of Suffolk.' Works, xvii. 358.

It is unlikely that Mrs. Barber forged the letter. On Oct. 26, 1731, Swift described her to the Countess as 'a woman of piety and genius.' Two years later, in his Dedication of her Poems to Lord Orrery, he spoke of 'her good sense, her humility and many other virtues.' Ib. x. 381. In 1736 he gave her the copyright of some of his writings. Ib. xix. 8. It seems not unlikely that he wrote the letter as a jest, and that it was copied and sent to the Queen.


Malone asks:-' How does it appear that Stella's father was steward to Sir William Temple?' Johnson's Works, viii. 197 n. There is no mention in Temple's will of her father. The bequest runs thus:'I leave a lease of some lands in Monistone in the County of Wicklow, in Ireland, to Esther Johnson, servant to my sister Giffard.' Courtenay's Life of Temple, ii. 484. Servant had then a more extended meaning. Orrery, who states that Stella was 'the daughter of Temple's steward' (Remarks, p. 22), perhaps confused Mrs. Johnson's first husband, an unsuccessful merchant (Gent. Mag. 1757, p. 488), who, according to Forster (Life of Swift, p. 85), had been closely in the confidence of Temple,' with her second husband Mosse, who was his agent. For the difficult question of Stella's parentage see Wilde's Closing Years of Dean Swift, p. 108.




ILLIAM BROOME was born in Cheshire, as is said, of 1 LIAM very mean parents. Of the place of his birth or the first part of his life I have not been able to gain any intelligence'. He was educated upon the foundation at Eaton, and was captain of the school a whole year without any vacancy by which he might have obtained a scholarship at King's College2. Being by this delay, such as is said to have happened very rarely, superannuated 3, he was sent to St. John's College by the contributions of his friends, where he obtained a small exhibition *.

At his College he lived for some time in the same chamber 2 with the well-known Ford, by whom I have formerly heard him described as a contracted scholar and a mere versifyer, unacquainted with life, and unskilful in conversation. His addiction to metre was then such that his companions familiarly called him 'Poet.' When he had opportunities of mingling with mankind he cleared himself, as Ford likewise owned, from great part of his scholastick rust.

He appeared early in the world as a translator of the Iliads 3

He was the son of a farmer at Haslington in Cheshire, and was baptized May 3, 1689. [Barlow's Memoir of Broome, App. and p. 6.]

Post, COLLINS, 3; YOUNG, 5. Nichols, in 1780, called his failure 'the almost unheard-of misfortune, as it has happened but four times in 160 years, viz. in 1619, 1653, 1707, 1756. Select Collection of Poems, iv. 283.

3 Post, COLLINS, 3; YOUNG, 5. 4 Johnson wrote, on May 25, 1780, to Dr. Farmer, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, asking him 'to

procure from College or University registers all the dates, or other informations which they can supply relating to Ambrose Philips, Broome and Gray, who were all of Cambridge.' Boswell's Johnson, iii. 427.

Three weeks later he told Nichols that he had no answer. Johnson Letters, ii. 180. Broome entered St. John's College in 1708 as a subsizar -half scholar, half servant. Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), viii. 30.

5 Ante, FENTON, 13.

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