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Feather, or time of the day, so that I enter on a storm is raging within him; he is toe the work with more cheerfulness, because I am proud to make a show of his passion ; sure neither to make him angry, nor any way hurt his reputation; a pitch of happiness and he does not take the public into his consecurity to which his excellency has arrived, fidence; he elects to be solitary in his and which no philosopher before him could soul; he would be ashamed to conreach. Thomas Earl of Wharton, lord-lieu, fide in any man ; he means and knows tenant of Ireland, by the force of a worderful constitution, has some years passed his grand how to keep absolute possession of climacteric without any visible effects of old himself. Thus collected, he under. age, either on his body or his mind ; and in stands better and suffers more ; no fit spite of a continual prostitution to those rices of passion relieves his wrath or draws which usually wear out both. .
he walks or whistles, or swears, or talks bawdy, or away his attention; he feels all the calls names, he acquits himself in each, beyond points and penetrates to the depths of 2 templar of three years' standing. With the the opinion which he detests; he mul. same grace, and in the same style, he will rattle his coachman in the midst of the street, where tiplies his pain and his knowledge, and he is governor of the kingdom; and all this is spares himself neither wound nor re. without consequence, because it is in his char- flection. We must see Swift in this acter, and what everybody expects. The attitude, impassive in appearance, but ends he has gained by lying, appear to be hones with stiffening muscles, a heart scorch,
, than the them ; his lies being sometimes detected in an hour, ed with hatred, writing with a terribls often in a day, and always in a week. . . He smile such pamphlets as this : swears solemnly he loves and will serve you ; and your back is no sooner turned, but he
" It may perhaps be neither safe nor prudent, tells those about him, you are a dog and a
to argue against the abolishing of Christianity, rascal. He goes constantly to prayers in the at a juncture, when all parties appear so unani. forms of his place, and will talk bawdy and mously determined upon the point. Howblasphemy at the chapel door. He is a presby- ever, I know not how, whether from the affecterian in politics, and an atheist in religion ; but tation of singularity, or the perverseness of hune choses at present to whore with a papist. In
man nature, but so it unhappily falls out, that his commerce with mankind, his general rule is, I cannot be entirely of this opinion. Nay, to endeavour to impose on their understandings, though I were sure an order were issued for my for which he has but one receipt, a composition immediate prosecution by the attorney-general, of lies and oaths. • .. He bears the gallant I should still confess, that in the present pos. ries of his lady with the indifference of a stoick; ture of our affairs, at home or abroad, I do not and thinks them well recompensed, by a return
yet see the absolute necessity of extirpating the of children to support his family,
without the Christian religion from among us. This perfatigues of being a father. He was never haps may appear too great a paradox, even for yet known to refuse or keep a promise, as I re
our wise and paradoxical age to endure ; there member he told a lady, but with an exception fore I shall handle it with all tenderness, an to the promise he then made (which was to get with the utmost deference to that great and her a pension), yet he broke even that, and i profound majority, which is of another sentiment. confess, deceived us both. But here I desire .. I hope no reader imagines me so weak to distinguish between a promise and a bargain; to stand up in the defence of real Christianity, for he will be sure to keep the latter, when he such as used, in primitive times (if we may be has the fairest offer. • But here 1 must de lieve the authors of those ages), to have an sire the reader's pardon, if I cannot digest the
influence upon men's belief and actions; to following facts in 80 gord a manner as I intend offer at the restoring of that, would indeed be a ed ; because it is thought expedient, for some wild project; it would be to dig up foundations ; reasons, that the world should be informed of to destroy at one blow all the wit, and half the his excellency's merits as soon as possible.
learning of the kingdom. ... Every candid As they are, they may serve for hints to any reader will easily understand my discourse to person who may hereafter have a mind to write be intended only in defence of nominal Chris memoirs of his excellency's life.'
tianity; the other having been for some time
wholly laid aside by general consent, as utter. Throughout this piece Swift's voice inconsistent with our present schemes of wealth has remained calm ; not a muscle of
and power. his face has moved; we perceive nei. Let us then examine the advantages ther smile, flash of the eye, or gesture; which this abolition of the title and he speaks like a statue; but his anger name of Christian might have : grows by constraint, and burns the more " It is likewise urged, that there are, by come that it shines the less.
putation, in this kingdom above ten tho isand This is why his ordinary style is parsons, whose revenues, added to those of grave irony. It is the weapon of
* An Argument to prove that the Abolisk. pride, meditation, and fore. The man ing of Christianity might be attended with rho employs it is self-contained whilst some Inconveniences, viii. 184: The Whige
were herein attacked as the friends of free • Swift's Works, iv. 148.
lords the bishops, would suffiç e to maintain at is a pamphleteer as Hannibal was a least two hundred young gentlemen of wit and
condottiere. pleasure, and free thinking, enemies to priestcraft, narrow principles, pedantry, and preju
IV. dices, who might be an ornament to the court and town." +
On the night after the battle we " It is likewise proposed as a great advar tage usually unbenc”; we sport, we mako to the public that if we once discard the sys em of the gospel, all religion will of course be , fun, we talk in prose and verse ; tu: banished for ever; and consequently along with Swift this nig.at is a continuation with it, those grievous prejudices of education, of the day, and the mind which leaves which under the names of virtue, conscience, its trace in matters of business ieaves honour, justice, and the like, are so apt to turb the peace of human minds, and the notions also its trace in amusements. whereof are so hard to be eradicated, by right What is gayer than Voltaire's soirées : reason, or free-thinking." +
He rails; but do we find any murder Then he concludes by doubling the in- ous intention in his railleries ? He
gets angry; but do we perceive a ma“ I am very sensible how much the gentle lignant or evil character in his pasmen of wit and pleasure are apt to murmur, sions? In him all is amiable. In an and be choked at the sight of so many daggled instant, through the necessity of action, tai parsons, who happen to fall in their way, he strikes, caresses, changes a hundred and offend their eyes ; but at the same time, these wise reformers do not consider what an times his tone, his face, with abrupt advantage and felicity it is for great wits to be movements, impetuous sallies, some always provided with objects of scorn and con. times as a child, always as a man of tempt, in order to exercise and improve their the world, of taste and conversation talents, and divert their spleen from falling on each other, or on themselves; especially when He wishes to entertain us; he conall this may be done, without the least imagin- ducts us at once through a thousand able danger to their persons. And to urge an ideas, without effort, to amuse himself, other argument of a parallel nature : if Christianity. were once abolished, how could the to amuse us. What an agreeable host free-thinkers, the strong reasoners, and the is this Voltaire, who desires to please men of profound learning, be able to find an- and who knows how to please, who other subject, so calculated in all points where, only dreads ennui, who does not dison to display their abilities? what wonderful productions of wit should we be deprived of, trust us, who is not constrained, who is from those, whose genius, by continual prac always himself, who is brimful of ideas, tice, has been wholly turned upon raillery and naturalness, liveliness! If we were invectives, against religion, and would, there with him, and he rallied us, we should fore, never be able to shine or distinguish themselves upon any other subject! we are not be angry; we should adopt his daily complaining of the great decline of wit style, we should laugh at ourselves, among us, and would we take away the great we should feel that he only wished to est, perhaps the only topic we have left?" 1
do very much apprehend, that in six pass an agreeable hour, that he was months time after the act is passed for the ex- not angry with us, that he treated us tirpation of the gospel, the Bank and East as equals and guests, that he broke India stock may fall at least one per cent out into pleasantries as a winter fire into And since that is fifty times more than ever the wisdom of our age thought fit to venture, sparks, and that he was none the less for the preservation of Christianity, there is no pleasant, wholesome, amusing. reason we should be at so great a loss, merely Heaven grant that Swift may never for the sake of destroying is." $
jest at our expense. The positive Swift is only a combatant, I admit; mind is too solid and too cold to be but when we glance at this common gay and amiable. When such a mind sense and this pride, this empire over takes to ridicule, it does not sport with the passions of others, and this empire it superficially, but studies it, goes into over himself; this force and this em- it gravely, masters it, knows all its sub. ployment of hatred, we judge that there divisions and its proofs. This pro have rarely been such combatants. He found knowledge can only produce a
* An Argument to prove that the Abolish withering pleasantry. Swift's, at bct. ing of Christianity might be attended with tom, is but a reductio ad absurdum , al. some Inconveniences, viii. 188. The Whigs together scientific. For instance, The were herein attacked as the friends of free-art of Political Lying* is a di lactic Jainkers. | Ibid. 193.
1 Ibid. 196. * vi. 415.-Arbuthnot is said to have written Ibid. 200; Sna' words of the Argumenta the whole or at least part of it.-TK.
treatise, whose plan might serve for a | The 29th of March being past, he ro model. "In the first chapter of this lates how the undertaker came to hang excellent treatise he (the author) rea- Partridge's rooms “in close mourn: sons philosophically concerning the ing ;” then Ned, the scxton, asking nature of the soul of man, and those whether the grave is to be plain or qualities which render it susceptible of bricked;" then Mr. White, the carpenlies. He supposes the soul to be ofter, to screw down the coffin ; then the the nature of a plano-cylindrical specu- stone-cutter with his monument. Last lum, or looking-glass. . . . The fiain ly, a successor comes and sets up in side represents objects just as they are; the neighborhood, saying in his printed ind the cylindrical side, by the rules of directions, “ that he lives in the house atoptrics, must needs represent true of the late ingenious Mr. John Par objects false, and false objects true. In tridge, an eminent practitioner in leath his second chapter he treats of the na. er, physic, and astrology."
We car. cure of political lying; in the third of tell beforehand the protestations of the lawfulness of political lying. The poor Partridge. Swift in his reply Lourth chapter is wholly employed in proves that he is dead, and is astonish this question, 'Whether the right of ed at his hard words: coinage of political lies be wholly, in
“ To call a man a fool and villain, an impu. the government.' Again, nothing dent fellow, only for differing from him in a could be stranger, more worthy of an point merely speculative, is, in my humble archæological society, than the argu- opinion, a very improper style for a person of ment in which he proves that a humor- tridge himself, whether
it be probable I could
his education. ... I will appeal to Mr. Parous piece of Pope's * is an insidious have been so indiscreet, to begin my predicpamphlet against the religion of the tions, with the only falsehood that ever was state. His Art of Sinking in Poetryt pretended to be in them? and this in an affair has all the appearance of good rhet at home, where I had so many opportunities to
be exact." oric; the principles are laid down, the divisions justified; the examples chosen Mr. Partridge is mistaken, or deceives with extraordinary precision and meth- the public, or would cheat his heirs. od ; it is perfect reason employed in
This gloomy pleasantry becomes the service of folly.
elsewhere still more gloomy. Swift His passions, like his mind, were too pretends that his enemy, the bookseller strong. If he wishes to scratch, he Curll, has just been poisoned, and retears; his pleasantry is gloomy; by way lates his agony. A house-surgeon of a of a joke, he drags his reader through hospital would not write a more repulall the disgusting details of sickness sive diary more coldly. The details, and death. Partridge, formerly a shoe. worked out with the completeness of a maker, had turned astrologer; Swift, Hogarth, are admirably minute, but imperturbably cool, assumes an astrol- disgusting. We laugh, or rather we oger's title, writes maxims on the duo grin, as before the vagaries of a madties of the profession, and to inspire man in an asylum, but in reality we confidence, begins to predict:
feel sick at heart. Swift in his gayety
is always tragical; nothing unbends My first prediction is but a trifle , yet I him; even when he serves he pains will mention it to show how ignorai i thc se you. In his Journal to Stella there is sottish pretenders to astrology are in their own concerns: it relates to Partridge the almanack- descension is that of a master to a
a sort of imperious austerity ; his conmaker ; I have consulted the star of his nativ. ity by my own rules, and find he will infallibly child. The charm and happiness of a die upon the 29th of March next, about eleven young girl of sixteen cannot soften him him to consider of it, and settle his affairs in her that love is a "ridiculous passion, at night, of a raging fever; therefore I advise She has just married him, and he tells time." I
which has no being but in playbooks and
• These quotations are taken from a humor • The Rape of the Lock.
ous pamphlet, Squire Bicker staf Derected + xiii. 17.--Pope, Arbuthnot, and Swift wrote written by Dr. Yalden. See Swift's Works, is thing together.
176.-TR. t Predictims for the Year 1708 by Isaac pa Vindication of Isaac Bickerstaf. in Bicher staff, ix. 156.
become dem." *
romances ; " then he adds, with perfect | Swift: what is wanting most in his brutality :
verses is poetry. The positive mind "I never yet knew a tolerable woman to be can ne:ther love nor understand it; it fond of her sex ; .
• : your sex employ more sees therein only a kind of mechanisne thought, memory, and application to be fools or a fashior., and employs it only for than would serve to make them wise and use vanity and convertionality. When in ful. When I reflect on this, I cannot
con: his youth Swift attempted Pindaric ceive you to be human creatures, but a sort of species hardly a degree above a monkey;
who odes, he failed lamentably. I cannot lias more diverting tricks than any of you, is remember a line of his which indicates an apinal less mischievous and expensive, a genuine sentiment of nature: he saw might in time be a tolerable critic in velvet and in the forests only !ogs of wood, and in brocada, and, for aught I know, would equally the fields only sacks of corn. He em
Will poetry calm such a mind ? Here, ployed mythology, as we put on a wig, as elsewhere, he is most unfortunate. best piece, Cadenus and Vanessa, * is a
ill-timed, wearily and scornfully. His He is excluded from great transports of imagination, as well as from the poor threadbare allegory. To praise lively digressions of conversation. He and shepherds pleaded before Venus,
Vanessa, he supposes that the nymphs can attain neither the sublime nor the the first against men, the second against agreeable ; he has neither the artist's
women; and that venus, wishing to rapture, nor the entertainment of the end the debates, made in Vanessa a man of the world. Two similar
sounds model of perfection. What can such at the end of two equal lines have always consoled the greatest troubles : phes and pedantic comparisons ? jwift,
a conception furnish but file: apostro the old muse, after three thousand who elsewhere gives a recipe for an years, is a young and divine nurse ; and her song lulls the sickly nations whom of it. And even his rude prosaic freaks
epic poem, is here the first to make use she still visits, as well as the young, tear this Greek frippery at every turn. Aourishing races amongst whom she He puts a legal procedure into hear: has appeared. The involuntary music,
en; he makes Venus use all kinds of in which thought wraps itself, hides ugliness and unveils beauty. Feverish technical terms. He introduces witman, after the labors of the evening with costs dismiss'd,” etc. They talk
nesses, questions on the fact, bil! and the anguish of the night, sees at morning the beaming whiteness of the her influence, to be driven from Olym.
so loud that the goddess fears to lose opening heaven; he gets rid of himself, and the joy of nature from all pus, or else sides enters with oblivion into his heart.
“ Shut out from heaven and earth,
Fly to the sea, my place of birin: If misery pursues him, the poetic affla
There live with daggled mermaids peut, tus, unable to wipe it out, transforms And keep on fish perpetual Lent."7 it; it becomes ennobled, he loves , When he relates the touching history and thenceforth he bears it; for the of Baucis and Philemon, he degrades only thing to which he cannot resign it by a travesty. He does not love the himself is littleness. Neither Faust nor Manfred have exhausted human ancient nobleness and beauty; the two grief; they drank from the cruel cup a
gods become in his hands begging generous wine, they did not reach the friars, Philemon and Baucis Kentish dregs. They enjoyed themselves, and
peasants. For a recompense, thzis .nature ; they tasted the
house becomes a church, and Philemon
greatness which was in them, an the beauty of
a parson : creation; they pressed with their " His talk was pow of tithes and dues ; bruised hands all the thorns with which
He smoked his pipe and read the news. ..
Against dissenters would repine, necessity has made our way thorny
And stood up firm for right divine.'" but they saw them blossom with roses, fostered by the purest of their noble Wit luxuriates, incisive, in little com blood. There is nothing of the sort in pact verses, vigorously coined, of a
Cadenus and Vanessa, xiv. 441 * Letter to a very young lady on her mar.
| Ibid. 443. riage, in 420 432.
* Buncis and Philemon, xiv. 83.
treme couciseness, facility, precision ; ( ness crushes the affected elegance ana but compared to La Fontaine, it is wine artificial poetry of Addison and Pope turned into vinegar. Even when he | There are no epithets; he leaves his comes to the charming Vanessa, his thought as he conceived it,valuing it for vein is still the same: to praise her and by itself, needing neither ornaments, childhood, he puts her name first on nor preparation, nor extension; above the list, as a little model girl, just like the tricks of the profession, scholastic i schoolmaster:
conventionalisms, the vanity of the And all their conduct would be tried
rhymester, the difficulties of the art By her, as an unerring guide :
master of his subject and of himself. Offending daughters oft would hear This simplicity and naturalness astop Vanessa's praise rung in their ear :
ish us in verse. Here, as elsewhere Miss Betty, when she does a fault, Lets fall her knife, or spills the salt,
his originality is entire, and his genius Will thus be by her mother chid : creative; he surpasses his classical and
• 'Tis wha: Vanessa never did!'". timid age; he tyrannizes over form, A strange way of admiring Vanessa, breaks it, dare utter any thing, spares and of proving his admiration for her. himself no strong word. Acknowledge He calls her a nymph, and treats her the greatness of this invention and aulike a school-girl i Cadenus "now dacity; he alone is a superior being, could praise, esteem, approve, but un- who finds every thing and copies nothderstnod not what was love !"
What á biting comicality in ing could be truer, and Stella felt it, the Grand Question Debated! He has like others. The verses which he writes to represent the entrance of a captain every year on her birthday, are a peda- into a castle, his airs, his insolence, his gogue's censures and praises ; if he folly, and the admiration caused by gives her any good marks, it is with re- these qualities! The lady serves him strictions. Once he inflicts on her a first; the servants stare at him : little sermon on want of patience; / “The parsons for envy are ready to burst;
The servants amazed are scarce ever able again, by way of compliment, he concocts this delicate warning:
To keep off their eyes, as they wait at the
table; “ Stella, this day is thirty-four
And Molly and I have thrust in our nose (We shan't dispute a year or more).
To peep at the captain in all his fine clo'es. However, Stella, be not troubled,
Dear madam, be sure he's a fine spoken Although thy size and years are doubled Since first I saw thee at sixteen,
Do but hear on the clergy how glib his The brightest virgin on the green ;
tongue ran : So little is thy form declin'd,
• And madam,' says he, if such dinners you Made up so largely in thy mind."
You'll ne'er want for parsons as long as you And he insists with exquisite taste :
I ne'er knew a parson without a good nose ; “ O, would it please the gods to split
But the devil's as welcome wherever he Thy beauty, size, and years, and wit!
goes ; No age could furnish out a pair
G-d me! they bid us reform and repent. Of nymphs so graceful, wise, and fair." + But, 2-3! by their looks they never keep
Lent : Decidedly this man is an artisan, strong Mister curate, for all your grave looks, I'n
afraid of arm, terrible at his work and in a fray,
You cast a sheep's eye on her ladyshigi wut narrow of soul, treating a woman naid: as if she were a log of wood. Rhyme I wish she would lend you her pretty white
hand and rhythm are only business-like tools, which have served him to press and
In mending your cassock, and smoothing launca his thought; he has put noth- (For the dean was so shabby, and look'd ing but prose into them: poetry was
like a ninny, too fine to be grasped by those coarse
That the capta 1 s:appos'd he was curate 50 hands.
Whenever you see a cassock and gown, But in prosaic subjects, what truth A hundred to one but it covers a clown. and force 1 How this masculine naked. Observe how a parson comes into a room,
Gome, he hobbles as bad as my • Cadenus and Vanossa, xiv. 448
groom; + Vorses on Stella's Birthday, March 13, A scholard, when just from his college broke 718-19, xiv. 469.