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LIVES OF THE
BY SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
GEORGE BIRKBECK HILL, D.C.L.
SOMETIME HONORARY FELLOW OF PEMBROKE COLLEGE, OXFORD
WITH BRIEF MEMOIR OF DR. BIRKBECK HILL, BY HIS NEPHEW
IN THREE VOLUMES
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
M DCCCC V
N Account of Dr. Swift has been already collected, with great 1 diligence and acuteness, by Dr. Hawkesworth, according to a scheme which I laid before him in the intimacy of our friendship. I cannot, therefore, be expected to say much of a life concerning which I had long since communicated my thoughts to a man capable of dignifying his narration with so much elegance of language and force of sentiment 2.
JONATHAN SWIFT was, according to an account said to 2 be written by himself3, the son of Jonathan Swift, an attorney*, and was born at Dublin on St. Andrew's day, 16675: according to his own report, as delivered by Pope to Spence, he was born at Leicester, the son of a clergyman, who was minister of a parish in Herefordshire. During his life the place of his birth was undetermined. He was contented to be called an Irishman by the Irish, but would occasionally call himself an Englishman'.
' Johnson recorded on his birthday, Sept. 18, 1780:-'I have not at all studied, nor written diligently. I have Swift and Pope yet to write, Swift is just begun.' John. Misc. i. 94.
* See Appendix A.
3 The original MS., under the Doctor's own hand, which I received from his cousin, Mrs. Whiteway, I have lodged in the University Library of Dublin.' Deane Swift's Essay upon the Life, &c., of Dr. Swift, App. p. 2.
His father, he wrote, 'had some employments and agencies.' Craik's Life of Swift, p. 513. Forster says he was an attorney of Dublin. Life of Swift, p. 18. He described himself as a younger son of younger sons,' although he had no brother. He had a sister. Works, xvii. 260.
5'Faulkner's Dublin Journal, Oct. 27, 1745, in recording his death, says he was "born in the parish of St. Werburgh's, Dublin, on St. An
drew's Day, 1667, at his uncle, Counsellor Godwin Swift's house in Hoey'salley, which was the general residence of the chief lawyers.' The Rev. W. G. Carroll, whose Succession of Clergy, &c., p. 55, I am quoting, thinks it probable that it was at Godwin Swift's house in Bull Alley, off Bride Street, that he was born. It was close to the Deanery.
'Spence's Anec. p. 161. Probably Pope's memory was at fault; though Swift's cousin writes:-'Sometimes he would declare that he was not born in Ireland at all.... He could never endure to be called an Irishman.' Deane Swift, pp. 26, 28.
It was his grandfather who was Vicar of Goodrich in Herefordshire.' Craik, p. 510. For Swift's account of 'the old gentleman's being plundered two and fifty times by the barbarity of Cromwell's hellish crew' see Works, xix. 195.
Orrery's Remarks, p. 7. 'As to