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his well-considered resentment, till it is quite apparent that his interest must gain by the indulgence. He says, in the Journal to Stella, a few days after his arrival, “ The Whigs would gladly lay hold on me, as at wig, while they are drowning, --and their great men are making me their ciumsy apologies. But my Lord Treasurer (Godolphin) received me with a great deal of coldness, which has enraged me so, that I am almost vowing revenge.” In a few weeks after-the change being by that time completehe takes his part definitively, and makes his approaches to Harley, in a manner which we should really imagine no rat of the present day could have confidence enough to imitate. In mentioning his first interview with that eminent person, he says, “I had prepared him before by another hand, where he was very intimate, and got myself represented (which I might justly do) as one extremely ill used by the last ministry, after some obligation, because I refused to go certain lengths they would have me." (Vol. xv. p. 340.) About the same period, he gives us farther lights into the conduct of this memorable conversion, in the following passages of the Journal.
“ Oct. 7. He (Harley) told me he must bring Mr. St. John and me acquainted; and spake so many things of personal kindness and esteem, that I am inclined to believe what some friends had told me, that he would do every thing to bring me over. He desired me to dine with him on Tuesday; and, after four hours being with him, sel me down at St. James's coffee-house in a hackney-coach.
“I must tell you a great piece of refinement in Harley. He charged me to come and see him often ; I told him I was loath to trouble him, in so much business as he had, and desired I might have leave to come at his levee; which he immediately refused, and said, " That was no place for friends.
“I believe never was any thing compassed so soon : and purely done by my personal credit with Mr. Harley; who is so excessively obliging, that I know not what to make of it, unless to show the rascals of the other party, that they used a man unworthily who had deserved better. He speaks all the kind things to me in the world.–Oct. 14. I stand with the new people ten times better than ever I did with the old, and forty times more caressed.” Life, Vol. i. P.
126. “ Nov. 8. Why should the Whigs think I came to England to leave them? But who the devil cares what they think ? Am I under obligations in the least lo any of them all? Rot then, ungrateful dogs. I will make them repent their usage of me, before I leave this place. Thev say the same thing here of my leaving the Whigs; but they oun they cannot blame me, considering the treatment I have had,' etc. cic.
If he scrupled about going lengths with his Whig friends, be seems to have resolved, that his fortune should not be hurt by any delicacy of this sort in his new connexion ;--for he took up the cudgels this time with the ferocity of a hireling, and the rancour of a renegade. In taking upon himself the conduct of the paper called " The Examiner,” he gave a new character of acrimony and bitterness to the contention in which he mingled, and not only made the most furious and unmeasured allacks upon the body of the parly to which it had formerly been his boast that he belonged, but singled out, with a sort of savage discourtesy, a variety of his former friends and benefactors, and made them, by name and description, the objects of the most malignant abuse. Lord Somers, Godolphin, Steele, and many others with whom he had formerly lived in intimacy, and from whom he had received obligations, were successively attacked in public with the most rancorous personalities,
Whigs froma a kind of employment;and that, as they canuolbe too much or too
and often with the falsest insinuations : in short, as he has himself emphatically expressed it in the Journal, he « libelled them all round." While he was thus abusing men he could not have ceased to esteem, it is quite natural, and in course, to find him professing the greatest affection for those he hated and despised. A thorough partisan is a thorough despiser of sincerity; and noma n seems to have got over that weakness more completely than the reverend person before us. In every page of the Journal to Stella, we find a triumphant statement of things he was writing or saying to the people about him, in direct contradiction lo bis real sentiments. We may quote a line or two from the first passage that presents itself. "I desired my Lord Radnor's brother to let my Lord know I would call on him at six, which I did ; and was arguing with him three hours to bring him over to us; and I spoke so closely, that I believe he will be tractable. But he is a scoundrel ; and though I said I only talked from my love to him, I told a lie; for I did not care if he were hanged: but every one gained over is of consequence.”– Vol. iii. p. 2. We think there are not many even of those who have served a regular apprenticeship to corruption and jobbing, who could go through their base task with more coolness and hardihood than this pious neophyte.
These few references are of themselves, sufficient to show the spirit and the true motives of this dereliction of his first principles ; and seem entirely lo exclude the only apology which the partialiiy of his biographer has been able to suggest, viz. that though, from first to last, a Whig in politics, he was all aloug still more zealously a High-Churchman as to religion ; and left the Whigs merely because the Tories seemed more favourable to ecclesiastical
pretensions. It is obvious, however, that this is quite inadmissible. The plate's Whigs were as notoriously connected with the Low-Church party when he
joined and defended them, as when he deserted and reviled them ;-nor is this anywhere made the specific ground of his revilings. It would not have been very easy, indeed, to have asserted such a principle as the motive of his libels on the Earl of Nottingham, who, though a Whig, was a zealous High-Churchman, or his eulogies on Bolingbroke, who was pretty well known to be no church man at all. It appears prelly plain, indeed, that Swift's High-Church principles were merely a part of his selfishness and ambition, and meant nothing else than a desire to raise the consequence of the order to which he happened to belong. If he had been a layman, we have no doubt he would have treated the pretensions of the priesthood, as he treated the persons of all priests who were opposed to him, with the most bitter and irreverent disdain. Accordingly, he is so far from ever recommending Whig principles of government to his High-Church friends, or (rom confining his abuse of the Whigs to their tenets in matters ecclesiastical, that he goes the whole length of proscribing the party, and proposing, with the desperation of a true apostate, that the Monarch should be made substantially absolute by the assistance of a military force, in order to make it impossible that their principles should ever again acquire any preponderance in the country. It is impossible, we conceive, to give any other meaning to the advice contained in his
“ Free Thoughts on the State of Aliairs, which he wrote just before the Queen's death, and which Bolingbroke himself thought too strong for publication even at that critical period. Ilis lead.. ing injunction there, is to adopt a system of the most rigorous exclusion ofall
disabled, they ought to be proceeded against with as strong measures as
can possibly consist with the lenity of our government; so that in no time to come it should be in the power of the Crown, even if it wished it, to choose an ill majority in the House of Commons. This great work, he adds very explicitly, could only be well carried on by an entire new modelling of the army, and especially of the royal guards, which, as they then slood, be chooses to allege were fitter to guard a prince to the bar of a high court of justice, than to secure him on the throne (vol. v. p. 404). This Mr. Scott himself is so little able to reconcile with the alleged Whig principles of his author, that he is forced to observe upon it, that it is “ daring uncompromising counsel, better suited to the genius of the man who gave it, than to that of the British nation, and most likely, if followed, to have led to a civil war.” After this admission, it really is not very easy to understand by what singular stretch of charity the learned editor conceives he may consistently hold, that Swift was always a good Revolution Whig as to politics, and only sided with the Tories--reluctantly, we must suppose, and with great tenderness to his political opponents-out of his over powering zeal for the Church.
While he thus stooped to the dirtiest and most dishonourable part of a partisan's drudgery, it was not to be expected that he should decline any of ihe mean arts by which a Court party may be maintained. Accordingly, we find him regular in his attendance upon Mrs. Masham, the Queen's favourite ; and, after reading the contemptuous notices that occur of her in some of his Whig letters, “as one of the Queen's dressers, who, by great intrigue and flattery, had gained an ascendant over her," it is very edifying to find him writing periodical accounts of the progress of her pregnancy, and praying God to preserve her life, which is of great importance to this nation,” etc. etc.
A connexion thus begun upon an avowed dissatisfaction with the reward of former services, cannot, with consistency, be supposed to have had any thing but self-interest as its foundation : and though Swift's love of power, and especially of the power of wounding, was probably gratified by bis exertions in behalf of the triumphant party, no room is left for doubting that these exertions were substantially prompted by a desire to better his own fortune, and that his opinion of the merits of the party depended entirely upon their power and apparent inclination to perform this first of all duties. The thing is spoken out continually in the confidential Journal to Stella : and though he was very angry with Harley for offering him a bank nole for fifty pounds, and refused to be his chaplain, this was very plainly because he considered these as no sufficient pay for his services—by no means because he wished them to be received without pay. Very soon after his profession of Toryism, he writes to Stella—“This is the last sally I shall ever make; but I hope it will turn to some account. I have done more for these, and I think they are more honest than the last.” And a little after—“My new friends are very kind; and I have promises enough. To return without some mark of distinction, would look ertremely little; and I would likewise gladly be somewhat richer than I am." At last, he seems to have fairly asked for the see of Hereford (vol. xvi. p. 45.); and when this is refused, he says, “I dined with Lord Treasurer, who chid me for being absent three days. Mighty kind with a p~! Less of civility, and more of interest !” At last, when the state of the Queen's health made the duration of the ministry extremely precarious, and the support of their friends more essential, he speaks out like a true
Swiss, and tells them that he will run away and leave them, if they do not instantly make a provision for him. In the Journal to Stella, he writes, that having seen the warrants for three deaneries, and none of them for him, he had gone to the Lord Treasurer, and “ told him I had nothing to do but to go back to Ireland immediately; for I could not, with any reputation, stay longer here, unless I had something honourable immediately given to me. He afterwards told me he had stopped the warrants, and hoped something might be compassed for me,” etc. And in the page following we find, that all his love for his dear friend the Lord Treasurer, would not induce him ever to see him again, if he was disappointed in this object of ambition. “The warrants for the deaneries are still stopped, for fear I should be gone. Do you think any thing will be done? In the mean time, I prepare for my journey, and see no great people; —nor will I see Lord Treasurer any more, if I go.” (Vol. iii. p. 207.) It is under this threat that he extorts the Deanery of St. Patrick's—which he accepts with much grumbling and discontent, and does not enter into possession till all hope of further preferment seems for the time at an end. In this extremity he seems resolved, however, to make the most of it; and finding that the expenses of his induction and the usual payments to government on the occasion come to a considerable sum, he boldly resolves to ask a thousand pounds from the ministers, on the score of his past services, in order to make himself easy. This he announces to Stella soon after the appointment. “I hope in time they will be persuaded to give me some money to clear off these debts. They expect I shall pass the next winter here; and then I will drive them to give me a sum of money.”. And a little aster“ I shall be sadly cramped, unless the Queen will give me a thousand pounds. I am sure she owes me a great deal more. Lord Treasurer rallies me upon it, and, I am sure, intends it—but quando?" And again
-“ Lord Treasureruses me barbarously. He laughs when I mention a thousand pounds—though a thousand pounds is a very serious thing.” It appears, however, that this modest request never was complied with; for, though Bolingbroke got the Queen's warrant for it, to secure Swift's attachment after he had turned out Harley, yet her Majesty's immediate death rendered the gist unavailing.
If any thing were wanting to show that his change of party and his attachment to that which was now uppermost, was wholly founded on personal, and in no degree on public considerations, it would be supplied by the innumerable traits of personal vanily, and the unrestrained expressions of eulogy or abuse, according as that vanity was gratified or thwarted, that are scattered over the whole Journal and Correspondence, -and which are utterly irreconcileable with the conduct of a man who was acting on any principle of dignity or fairness. With all his talent and all his pridé, indeed, it appears that Swift exhibited, during this period of favour, as much of the ridiculous airs of a parvenu—of a low-bred underling brought suddenly into contact with wealth and splendour, as any of the base understrappers that ever made parly disgusting. The studied rudeness and ostentatious arrogance with which he withheld the usual tribute of respect that all well-bred persons pay to rank and office, may be reckoned among the signs of this. But for a fuller picture, we would refer to the Diary of Bishop Kennet, who thus describes the demeanour of this politic partisan in the
“ Dr. Swift came into the coffechouse, and had a bow from every body
When I came to the antichamber to wait before prayers, Dr. Swist was the principal man of talk and business, and acted as a master of requests. He was soliciting the Earl of Arran to speak to his brother the Duke of Ormond, to get a chaplain's place established in the garrison of Hull for Mr. Fiddes, a clergyman in that neighbourhood, who had lately been in jail, and published sermons lo pay fees. He was promis ing Mr. Thorold to undertake with my Lord-Treasurer, that, according to his petition, he should obtain a salary of 2001. per annum, as minister of the English church at Rotterdam. He stopped F. Gwynne, Esq., going in with the red bag to the Queen, and told him aloud he had something to say to him from my Lord-Treasurer. He talked with the son of Dr. Davenant to be sent abroad, and took out his pockel-book, and wrote down several things, as memoranda, to do for him. He turned to the fire, and took out his gold watch, and telling the time of the day, complained it was very late. A gentleman said, he was too fast.' — How can I help it,' says the Doctor, if the courtiers give me a watch that won't go right? Then he instructed a young nobleman, that the best poet in England was Mr. Pope (a Papist), who had begun a translation of İlomer into English verse, for which he must have them all subscribe;' —“for,' says he, 'the author shall not begin to print till I have a thousand guineas for him.' Lord-Treasurer, after leaving the Queen, came through the room, beckoning Dr. Swift to follow him : both went off just before prayers.' "-Life, Vol. i. p. 139, 141.
We are very unwilling, in any case, to ascribe to unworthy motives, what may be sufficiently accounted for upon better considerations; but we really have not charity enough to impute Swift's zealous efforts to prevent the rupture between Harley and Bolingbroke, or his continued friendship with both after thai rupture took place, to his personal and disinterested allection for these two individuals. In the first place, he had a most manifest interest to prevent their disunion, as that which plainly lended to the entire dissolution of the ministry, and the ruin of the parly on which he depended; and, as to his remaining the friend of both after they had become the most rancorous enemies of each other, it must be remembered that they were still respectively the two most eminent individuals with whom he had been connected : and thal, if ever that party should be restored to power, from which alone he could now look for preferment, he who stood well with both these stalesmen would have a double chance of success. Con'sidering, indeed, the facility with which he seems to have cast off friendships far more intimate than the inequality of their condition renders it possible that those of Oxford or Bolingbroke could be with him, whenever party interest interfered with them;--considering the disrespect with which he spoke of Sir William Temple's memory, after he had abjured his principles; -the coarseness with which he calls Lord Somers “a false deceitful rascal," after having designated him as the modern Aristides, for his blameless integrity ;-and the unfeeling rancour with which he exposes the personal failings and pecuniary embarrassments of Steele, with whom he had been long so closely united ;-it would seem lo require something more than the mere personal attachment of a needy pamphleteer to two rival peers, to account for his expressions of affection for both, after one had supplaoled the other. The natural solution, indeed, seems to lie sufficiently open.After the perfidy he had shown to the Whig party, and the virulence with which he had revenged his own apostasy, there was no possibility of his