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Or has that God, who gave our world its birth,
Where, by the strength of this idea charm'd,
Long shall Britannia (that must be her name)
I say, whatever you maintain
1 The Mind
Your stomach makes your fabric roll,
As in a watch's fine machine, Though many artful springs are seen ; The added movements, which declare How full the moon, how old the year, Derive their secondary power From that which simply points the hour. For, though those gim-cracks were away, (Quare? would not swear, but Quare would say) However more reduc'd and plain, The watch would still a watch remain : But, if the horal-orbit ceases, The whole stands still, or breaks to pieces ; Is now no longer what it was, And you may e'en go sell the case. So, if unprejudic'd you scau The goings of this clockwork man, You find a hundred movements made By fine devices in his head; But 'tis the stomach's solid stroke That tells his being what's o'clock. If you take off his rhetoric trigger, He talks no more in mode and figure; Or, clog his mathematic-wheel, His buildings fall, his ship stands still ; Or, lastly, break his politic-weight, His voice no longer rules the state : Yet, if these finer whims are gone, Your clock, though plain, would still go on; But spoil the engine of digestion, And you entirely change the question. Alma's affairs no power can mend; The jest, alas! is at an end : Soon ceases all the worldly bustle, And you consign the corpse to Russel.3
The infant Achilles was fed by the Centaur Chiron on the marrow of lions and wild boars. See Apollod. Biblioth. ii. c. 12, $ 6. The story of his seclusion, in the court of Lycomedes, king of the Isle of Scyros, by the care of his mother, to avert his pa phesied fate in the Trojan War, is well known. See Apollod. iij. c. 12, § 8- tat. Achill i. 560-673. Thracian seems an inadvertency. . Probably a watchmaker of the time.
8 Evidently an undertaker.
JONATHAN SWIFT, D. D.
PERP APS no character of the times in which he lived is more remarkable than that of Dean Swift. At once haughty and overbearing, yet winning hearts by the invincible attraction of his manners: delighting in his writings in the handling of coarse and filthy ideas ; yet also painting elegance, grace, and beauty with the keenest relish ; steadfast in friendship, inexorably merciless to foes: saturnine, misanthropic, yet a coryphæus of wit and gaiety ; devoutly religious, yet writing so as to draw on himself the accusations of profanity and atheism: serving with most extensive effect opposite political parties, yet able to obtain preferment for everv body but himself; parsimopious to meanness, yet extensive and beneficent in his charities, and utterly regardless of profit from his literary labours ; expressing the most devoted affection, yet leaving its objects to die in withering broken-heartedness:such are some of the anomalies which Swift's character presents.
He was born, a posthumous child, at Dublin in 1667. His family was of respectable connections, but his father's death had left his mother in great poverty. He felt in his youth the bitterness of dependent bread ; and his biographers trace to this experience the apparent avarice of his future years, He left Trinity College, Dublin, without much academical reputation ; and, on the death of an uncle who had supported him, joined his mother in England. He was taken into the family of Sir W. Temple, a relation of his mother's. During his residence with Temple, he applied himself to severe study. He was introduced to King William, who sometimes visited Temple, but instruction in the Dutch mode of eating asparagus was all the benefit Swift reaped from this acquaintanceship. Anxious to be independent, he at length obtained a small living in Ireland, which he soon after generously threw up in favour of a poor clergyman with a large family. He returned to Sir W. Temple, and took his degree of A. M. in Oxford. After Temple's death in 1699, Swift, losing patience at the tardy fulfilment of King William's promises, accepted the situation of secretary to the Earl of Berkeley, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. On being tricked out of this office, he subse( uently obtained the livings of Laracor and Rathbeggin, in the diocese of Meath. He settled at Laracor with the feelings of an exile, for he bore the utmost dislike to Ireland. He was joined here by Miss Hester Johnson, whom he has immortalized under the appellation of Stella. This young lady was the daughter of Temple's steward, and had contracted an ardent attachment to Swift. In Ireland she resided in his neighbourhood, and in the parsonage during his absence. He is said to have fulfilled his clerical office with great exemplariness. From this period (1700) till about 1710, Swift acted with the Whig party. Disappointed, however, by the treatment of the Whigs, by whom he deemed himself neglected, and now in high reputation from the publication of some of his celebrated prose works, he gladly seized the opportunity of being employed on an ecclesiastical mission to the new (Tory) administration, to visit England (1710). He had disapproved of much of the political conduct of the Whig ministries ; the disappointment of his expectations from them, moreover, inclined him to a junction with their opponents. He was soon therefore an avowed Tory, and actively supported that party by his influence and his pen. The value of his party services may be estimated by the prodigious effect of his pamphlet entitled " Conduct of the Allies.” It completely turned the tide of popular feeling against the war in whose triumphs the nation had so long gloried, and contributed materially to the temporary strength of the Tory government. From his new patrons Swift received his deanery of St Patrick's in Dublin, with a gulp of discontent at a second condemnation to exile in Ireland, and at the comparative slenderness of the preferment; the personal dislike of the queen had precluded him from a bishopric: he owed this to the “ Tale of a Tub." “ Swift now," says Johnson, “ much against his will, commenced Irishman for life." But he had scarcely arrived in Ireland when he was recalled to heal by his influence the growing differences between his friends Bolingbroke and Oxford. He was ultimately unsuccessful ; the death of the queen broke up the Tory government, and Swift retired to his deanery, from what Johnson calls “ the implacability of triumphant whiggism." But his residence in England at this period is important in the formation of his acquaintance with Miss Esther Vanhomrigh, his poetical Vanessa. His visits to this young lady's family rapidly ripened on her part an ardent and romantic attachment to Swift, though he was now about forty-four years of age. Though he was conscious that his relations with Stella precluded the idea of his honourably uniting himself with any other lady, yet he was imprudent or cruel enough to feed the passion of Miss Vanhomrigh, till she herself declared it, and received from Swift the announcement of his engagement with Stella. The latter had for years sighed over Swift's unfulfilled promises ; her jealousy was effectually roused and her affliction sharpened by the rumours of Swift's new attachment, and by the arrival of Vanessa in Ireland who had followed Swift thither after her mother's death, ostensibly to enter into the possession of an estate in that country to which she now became heiress. The grief and importunity of Stella at length extorted Swift's consent to his marriage with her, “ provided it should remain a strict secret from the public, and that they should continue to live separately, and in the same guarded manner as formerly.” After this marriage he laboured to confine the flame of Vanessa's passion within the limits of simple friendship. This the unhappy lady found to be impossible: she discovered the secret of his marriage; the immediate cause of her death is ascribed to the effects of the expression of Swift's anger on his ascertaining that she had made this discovery. The conduct of Swift towards these two females, whom he so ardently loved, yet both of whose hearts he broke, may possibly be ascribed, not to selfish and deliberate cruelty, but, as his biographers are charitably inclined to hope, to the incipient action of the terrible malady that ultimately shattered his intellect."
After the final settlement of Swift in Ireland, he pursued, as occasion presented, his career as a political writer, and that chiefly in the cause of the country which he disliked, and which had at first treated him with rejection and contumely. The English legislature in these days was too apt to view and to treat Ireland merely as a conquered appendage of England. Swift's daring opposition to the ruin of the Irish woollen manufactures, and especially to the imposition on the kingdom of Wood's copper money,' raised him to the highest pitch of popularity. Few men have possessed so formidable a per. sonal influence on any people as Dean Swift swayed over the Irish. His exertions were not without serious danger to himself. He was already by the Whig government a marked man, from his connections with the last ministry of Queen Anne. Twice were his printers prosecuted ; but though the authorship of the obnoxious publications was transparent to all, the legal secret was faithfully kept.
1 For the singular relation in which Swift stood to Miss Vanhomrigh, see his poem, "Cadenus and Vanessa."-Cadenus is an anagram of Decanus, Dean. 2 See Scott's Life, p. 275.
Ibid. p. 282; and the Drapier's Letters.
FROM THE JOURNAL OF A MODERN LADY.
In 1726 he visited England for the publication of the celebrated Travels of Gulliver. His health was now breaking ; in the midst of a paroxysm of his disease he was recalled to Ireland by the threatening illness of Stella. On her recovery he had again an opportunity, but for the last time, of enjoying the society of Pope, Gay, and Arbuthnot, the friends of his happier days. He returned to Ireland to lay Stella in the grave; she died in 1727, his unacknowledged wife, broken by the sickness of hope deferred by Swift's apparently motiveless cruelty.
* From this period there is little in his life that is interesting. He continued occasionally to interfere in public affairs, and to correspond with his literary friends in England. From about the year 1736 his constitution became less and less able to resist his terrible malady. In his writings occur some presentiments of his tendency to insanity ; and as early as the year 1717, on noticing while walking with a friend a beautiful elm whose uppermost branches were decayed -“ I shall be like that tree,” he is reported to have said ;“ I shall die at the top." In the last years of his lite his moroseness and irritation increased to such a degree that his most familiar friends were driven from his side. “ The curtain," says Scott, “ darkened ere it fell :" after two years passed in lethargic and hopeless idiocy, he expired on the 19th of October 1745. His death was mourned by an enthusiastic people as a national loss. His fortune was bequeathed to found a lunatic asylum in Dublin.
Swift is not in the proper acceptation of the term a poet. " Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet," was his relation Dryden's remark to him on his showing to the great bard some of his youthful Pindaric odes. His pieces consist of songs, lampoons, satires, occasional bursts of humour in rhyme, all brilliant, fluent, and elegant, abounding in the happiest characteristics of style ; all with some object, important or trilling, beyond the accomplishment of which the writer looked not ; he was utterly indifferent, apparently, to fame. “ All his verses," says Johnson, “ exemplify his own definition of a good style--they consist of proper words in their proper places.'" His political treatises have of course lost their object, value, and interest ; but they remain models of the purest English writing. “ The. Tale of a Tub;' • The Battle of the Books,' and Gulliver's Travels,' are chiefly the works which stamp him as an English classic of the first rank.”
FROM "THE JOURNAL OF A MODERN LADY."
By nature turn'd to play the rake well,