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than of the chaplainship to the Factory at Lisbon1; but, being recommended to Lord Capel, he obtained the prebend of Kilroot in Connor of about a hundred pounds a year2.
But the infirmities of Temple made a companion like Swift so 17 necessary, that he invited him back, with a promise to procure him English preferment, in exchange for the prebend which he desired him to resign3. With this request Swift complied, having perhaps equally repented their separation, and they lived on together with mutual satisfaction; and, in the four years that passed between his return and Temple's death, it is probable that he wrote The Tale of a Tub and The Battle of the Books". Swift began early to think, or to hope, that he was a poet, 18 and wrote Pindarick Odes to Temple', to the King, and to the Athenian Society, a knot of obscure men, who published a periodical pamphlet of answers to questions, sent, or supposed to be sent, by Letters. I have been told that Dryden, having perused these verses, said, 'Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet 1'; and
try know by this time whether I am worth keeping; and it is easier to provide for ten men in the Church than one in a civil employment.' Works, xv. 420.
1 Ib. p. 247. Craik, p. 515. He was ordained deacon on Oct. 25, 1694, and priest on Jan. 13, 1694-5. Ib. p. 48.
3 He returned to England in May, 1696. Works, xv. 251. Swift's sister wrote of Temple in 1699:- He made my brother give up his living to stay with him, and promised to get him one in England; but death came in between, and has left him unprovided both of friend and living.' Ïb. p. 260.
* Swift, in 1700, described Temple as a good master, and the best friend in the world.' Temple's Works, Preface, p. 26. To Stella he wrote on April 3, 1711: 'I warned Mr. Secretary [St. John] never to appear cold to me, for I would not be treated like a schoolboy; that I had felt too much of that in my life already (meaning Sir William Temple).' Works, ii. 214. See also ib. xvii. 26, for Lord Palmerston (a Temple by birth) reproaching Swift with ingratitude to the family, and the Dean's rough reply.
5 Swift says that 'the greatest part' of the first was finished in
1696, and the second in 1697. Ib.
X. 14, 210.
Ante, COWLEY, 143. Swift wrote to his cousin Mr. (afterwards Rev. Dr.) Swift, of Puttenham, co. Surrey, on May 3, 1692, from Moor Park:'I esteem the time of studying poetry to be 2 hours in a morning, and that onely when the humor fits, which I esteem to be the flower of the whole day,... and yet I seldom write about [? above] 2 stanzaes in a week, I mean such as are to any Pindarick ode... I have a sort of vanity or foibless, I do not know what to call it. . . . It is... that I am over fond of my own writings, I would not have the world think so, and I find when I writt [?write] what pleases me, I am Cowley to myself, and can read a hundred times over.' Hist. MSS. Com. vii. App. p. 680. [Swift's correspondent was his 'little parson cousin' Thomas Swift, who affected to talk suspiciously as if he had some share in' The Tale of a Tub. Works, xv. 345.]
7 In 1689. Ib. xiv. 13.
8 lb. p. 21. It is written in quatrains-in imitation of Dryden's lines on Cromwell.
9 lb. p. 23. For Swift's letter to the Society see ib. xv. 242.
Malone, in his Dryden, i. 241,
that this denunciation was the motive of Swift's perpetual malevolence to Dryden'.
In 1699 Temple died, and left a legacy with his manuscripts to Swift, for whom he had obtained from King William a promise of the first prebend that should be vacant at Westminster or Canterbury 3.
20 That this promise might not be forgotten, Swift dedicated to the King the posthumous works with which he was intrusted*; but neither the dedication, nor tenderness for the man whom he once had treated with confidence and fondness, revived in King William the remembrance of his promise. Swift awhile attended the Court; but soon found his solicitations hopeless 5.
21 He was then invited by the Earl of Berkeley to accompany him into Ireland as his private secretary; but after having done the business till their arrival at Dublin, he then found that one Bush had persuaded the Earl that a Clergyman was not a proper secretary, and had obtained the office for himself. In a man like Swift such circumvention and inconstancy must have excited violent indignation.
22 But he had yet more to suffer. Lord Berkeley had the disposal of the deanery of Derry, and Swift expected to obtain it, but by the secretary's influence, supposed to have been secured by a bribe, it was bestowed on somebody else'; and Swift was
referring to this anecdote as related in Deane Swift's Essay, p. 117, says: -Johnson probably communicated it to his amanuensis, Shiels, who introduces it (from authentic information) in the account of Swift in Cibber's Lives [ante, HAMMOND, 1], previous to the appearance of the Essay.'
Dr. Warton had the same story from his father, who had it from Fenton. Essay on Pope, ii. 312. For Johnson's connexion with Fenton through Lewis see ante, FENTON, 4n. 'Ante, DRYDEN, 89, 147 n., 286n., 306 n., 341 n., 349.
2 Swift writes of him as 'that great man, who besides a legacy left him the care and trust, and advantage of publishing his posthumous writings. Craik, p. 515. In 1709 Swift signed a receipt for £40 'for the original copy of the third part of Temple's Memoirs. Ib. p. 75 n.
3 lb. p. 515.
It was the first two volumes of Letters that he dedicated, in 1700. Works, ix. 103; Temple's Works, i. 225.
5 Craik, p. 515. 'That frequent expression, upon the word of a King, I have always despised and detested, for a thousand reasons.' SWIFT, Works, xii. 158.
Craik, p. 516; Works, 1803, i. 108. Berkeley, in 1699, was made one of the three Lords Justices (ante, TICKELL, 16). Craik, p. 515. For The Discovery, satirical lines on him and Bush, see Works, xiv. 59.
7 Swift says a bribe was given. Craik, p. 516. Sheridan adds that Bush, with Berkeley's knowledge, told Swift that he could still have the Deanery 'if he would lay down £1,000. To which he made no other answer but this:-"God confound
dismissed with the livings of Laracor and Rathbeggin in the diocese of Meath, which together did not equal half the value of the deanery 1.
At Laracor he increased the parochial duty by reading prayers 23 on Wednesdays and Fridays, and performed all the offices of his profession with great decency and exactness 2.
Soon after his settlement at Laracor he invited to Ireland the 24 unfortunate Stella, a young woman whose name was Johnson, the daughter of the steward of Sir William Temple, who, in consideration of her father's virtues, left her a thousand pounds 3. With her came Mrs. Dingley, whose whole fortune was twentyseven pounds a year for her life. With these Ladies he passed his hours of relaxation, and to them he opened his bosom; but they never resided in the same house, nor did he see either without a witness 5. They lived at the Parsonage when Swift was away; and when he returned removed to a lodging or to the house of a neighbouring clergyman 6.
Swift was not one of those minds which amaze the world with 25 early pregnancy; his first work, except his few poetical Essays,
you both for a couple of scoundrels.” Works, 1803, i. 109. Swift describes the Earl as 'intolerably lazy and indolent, and somewhat covetous.' Works, xii. 231.
1 Craik, p. 516. He had moreover the rectory of Agher. The three together, he says, were not worth above a third part of that rich deanery.' Ib. Five or six livings,' he says, 'are often joined to make a revenue of £50.' Works, xv. 361. His three livings he reckoned at about £230 a year. Works, 1803, i. 110n. For Laracor see Swift's Letters to Chetwode, pp. 7, 27, 86.
2 Delany, pp. 40, 64; post, SWIFT, 117.
She was baptized at Richmond on March 20, 1681, by the name of 'Hester ye Daughter of Edwd Johnson.' N. & Q. 6 S. x. 287. In two deeds she signed her name 'Esther Johnston' (not Johnson). Ib. 8 S. ii. 302. 'Her father was a younger brother of a good family in Nottinghamshire; her mother of a lower degree.... Her fortune at that time was in all not above £1,500.' SWIFT,
Works, ix. 274. 'She was the daughter of Temple's steward.' Orrery, p. 22. 'Temple left her £1,000.' Deane Swift, p. 85. [Lord Orrery and Deane Swift were in error. For Temple's bequest and Stella's parentage see Appendix J.]
Deane Swift, p. 86, where it is added that she was fifteen years older than Stella. 'Dr. Swift, who allowed her £52 a year, pretended [not to her, but to others] he was only her agent for money that she had in the funds.' lb. p. 346. See also Works, xviii. 237 n. In writing to one of the Temple family he calls her 'your cousin.' Ib. xix. 36.
Post, SWIFT, 70. To Tickell he wrote from London in 1726:-'I wonder how you could expect to see Mrs. Johnson in a morning, which I, her oldest acquaintance, have not done these dozen years, except once or twice in a journey.' Ib. xix. 283. Deane Swift, p. 90. They lived always in lodgings; their domestics consisted of two maids and one man.' SWIFT, Works, ix. 281.
was The Dissentions in Athens and Rome', published (1701) in his thirty-fourth year. After its appearance, paying a visit to some bishop, he heard mention made of the new pamphlet that Burnet had written, replete with political knowledge. When he seemed to doubt Burnet's right to the work he was told by the Bishop that he was 'a young man,' and, still persisting to doubt, that he was 'a very positive young man 3.'
Three years afterward (1704) was published The Tale of a Tub: of this book charity may be persuaded to think that it might be written by a man of a peculiar character, without ill intention; but it is certainly of dangerous example. That Swift was its author, though it be universally believed, was never owned by himself3, nor very well proved by any evidence; but no other claimant can be produced, and he did not deny it when Archbishop Sharpe and the Duchess of Somerset, by shewing it to the Queen, debarred him from a bishoprick'.
27 When this wild work first raised the attention of the publick,
'Goldsmith,' said Johnson, was a plant that flowered late.' Boswell's Johnson, iii. 167. Richardson was fifty-two when he published Pamela, and Sterne forty-six when he published Tristram Shandy.
3 It was written against the impeachment of Somers, Halifax (ante, HALIFAX, 8), and three other peers. 'I sent it,' writes Swift, very privately to the press.' Burnet, he adds, 'told me afterwards that he was forced to disown it in a very public manner, for fear of an impeachment wherewith he was threatened.' Works, iii. 179. According to T. Sheridan the bishop was William Sheridan, deprived Bishop of Kilmore. ""Then pray," said he, “who writ it?" Swift answered, Lord, I writ it."" Swift's Works, 1803, i. 114. Returning next year for England,' writes Swift, 'I must confess the vanity of a young man prevailed with me to let myself be known for the author.' Works, iii. 180. Defending anonymous writing,
threatened by parliament, he says :-
Ib. x. 1; post, SWIFT, III.
5 Atterbury wrote in 1704 (Corres. iii. 218):-The author, if it be the man I guess, hath reason to conceal himself because of the prophane stories, which would do his reputation and interest in the world more harm than the wit can do him good.'
'I doubt,' said Johnson, 'if it was his; it has so much more thinking, more knowledge, more power, more colour, than any of the works which are indisputably his. If it was his, I shall only say he was impar sibi. Boswell's Johnson, v. 44. See also ib. i. 452, ii. 318; John. Misc. ii. 331.
Swift's correspondence with Tooke the bookseller in 1710 proves that he was the author. Works, xv. 344. For his muttering 'in the last years of his life:-"Good God! what a genius I had when I wrote that book!"' see ib. i. 81.
7 See Appendix C.
Sacheverell1, meeting Smalridge, tried to flatter him by seeming to think him the author; but Smalridge2 answered with indignation, 'Not all that you and I have in the world, nor all that ever we shall have, should hire me to write The Tale of a Tub3?
The digressions relating to Wotton and Bentley must be con- 28 fessed to discover want of knowledge or want of integrity; he did not understand the two controversies, or he willingly misrepresented them. But Wit can stand its ground against Truth only a little while. The honours due to learning have been justly distributed by the decision of posterity *.
The Battle of the Books is so like the Combat des Livres, 29 which the same question concerning the Ancients and Moderns had produced in France, that the improbability of such a coincidence of thoughts without communication is not, in my opinion, balanced by the anonymous protestation prefixed, in which all knowledge of the French book is peremptorily disowned.
For some time after Swift was probably employed in solitary 30 study, gaining the qualifications requisite for future eminence. How often he visited England, and with what diligence he attended his parishes, I know not. It was not till about four
Ante, KING, 13; ADDISON, 14. Ante, SMITH, 57. Addison wrote of him in 1718:-'He is to me the most candid and agreeable of all bishops.' Swift's Works, xvi. 303. Johnson praised his elegant style. Boswell's Johnson, iii. 248.
3 Miss Byron in Sir Charles Grandison had read it. Letter 12.
Ante, KING, 6. Boyle wrote to his tutor Atterbury in 1693:-'There is no post in the world I could be better pleased with than a groom of the bedchamber's place.' Atterbury Corres. ii. 19. This was the man who had the impudence to match himself with Bentley in learning. He was long considered the victor. Budgell wrote in 1732:-'The world was pleased to see a young man of quality and fortune get the better of an old critic.' Memoirs of the Earl of Orrery, p. 193.
5 Works, x. 205.
Swift quotes Wotton as saying: -'I have been assured that the battle in St. James's Library is taken out of a French book, entitled Com
bat des Livres, if I misremember not.' Swift replies that 'he has never seen any such treatise in his life, nor heard of it before.' Ib. x. 26.
In the Anecdotes of Pope, quoted in Gent. Mag. 1770, p. 159, it is said that it was taken from a French tract in 12mo, entitled Histoire poétique de la guerre nouvellement déclarée entre les Anciens et les Modernes.' Mr. Craik says that 'the trifling points of coincidence make it probable that it had passed under Swift's notice, along with a crowd of forgotten authorities.' Craik, p. 71. Of The Tale of a Tub, Voltaire wrote: -'Ce fameux Conte du tonneau est une imitation de l'ancien conte des trois anneaux indiscernables qu'un père légua à ses trois enfans. Ces trois anneaux étaient la religion juive, la chrétienne et la mahométane. C'est encore une imitation de l'Histoire de Méro et d'Enegu par Fontenelle.' Euvres, xxiv. 133.
7 For his visits to England see Appendix B.