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which was peculiarly formed to express the stronger passions, struck the unfortunate Vanessa with such terror, that she could scarce ask whether he would not sit down. He answered by flinging a letter on the table; and instantly leaving the house, mounted his horse, and returned to Dublin. When Vanessa opened the packet, she only found her own letter to Stella. It was her death-warrant. She sunk at once under the disappointment of the delayed yet cherished hopes which had so long sickened her heart, and beneath the unrestrained wrath of him for whose sake she had indulged them. How long she survived this last interview is uncertain, but the time does not seem to have exceeded a few weeks.'*

Even Stella, though believed by her friends to have been ultimately united to Swift, dropped into the grave without any public recognition of the tie; they were married, it is said, in secrecy in the garden of the deanery, when on her part all but life had faded away. The fair sufferers were deeply avenged. But let us adopt the only charitable-perhaps the just-interpretation of Swift's conduct; the malady which at length overwhelmed his reason might then have been lurking in his frame; and consciousness of the fact kept him single. Some years before Vanessa's death, a scene occurred which has been related by Young, the author of the Night Thoughts.' Swift was walking with some friends in the neighbourhood of Dublin. Perceiving he did not follow us,' says Young, 'I went back, and found him fixed as a statue, and earnestly gazing upward at a noble elm, which in its uppermost branches was much decayed. Pointing at it, he said: "I shall be like that tree; I shall die at the top." The same presentiment finds expression in his exquisite imitation of Horace (Book ii. Satire 6), made in conjunction with Pope:

I've often wished that I had clear
For life six hundred pounds a year,
A handsome house to lodge a friend,
A river at my garden's end,
A terrace-walk, and half a rood
Of land, set out to plant a wood.

Well, now I have all this and more,
I ask not to increase my store;
But here a grievance seems to lie,

All this is mine but till I die;

I can't but think 'twould sound more clever,

To me and to my heirs for ever.

If I ne'er got or lost a groat
By any trick or any fault;
And if I pray by reason's rules,
And not like forty other fools,

As thus: Vouchsafe, O gracious Maker!

*The talents of Vanessa may be seen from her letters to Swift, They are further evinced in the following Ode to Spring, in which she alludes to her unhappy attachment:

Hail, blushing goddess, beauteous Spring!
Who in thy jocund train dost bring
Loves and graces-smiling hours-

Balmy breezes-fragrant flowers;
Come, with tints of roseate hue,
Nature's faded charms renew!

Yet why should I thy presence hail?
To me no more the breathing gale
Comes fraught with sweets, no more the


With such transcendent beauty blows,
As when Cadenus blest the scene,

And shared with me those joys serene.
When, unperceived, the lambent fire
Of friendship kindled new desire;
Still listening to his tuneful tongue,
The truths which angels might have sung,
Divine imprest their gentle sway,
And sweetly stole my soul away.
My guide, instructor, lover, friend,
Dear names, in one idea blend;
Oh! still conjoined, your incense rise,
And waft sweet odours to the skies!

To grant me this and t'other acre;
Or if it be thy will and pleasure,
Direct my plough to find a treasure!'
But only what my station fits,
And to be kept in my right wits;

Preserve, Almighty Providence !
Just what you gave me, competence,
And let me in these shades compose
Something in verse as true as prose.

Swift was at first disliked in Ireland, but the 'Drapier's Letters' and other works gave him unbounded popularity. His wish to serve Ireland was one of his ruling passions; yet it was something like the instinct of the inferior animals towards their offspring; waywardness, contempt, and abuse were strangely mingled with affectionate attachment and ardent zeal. Kisses and curses were alternately on his lips. Ireland, however, gave Swift her own heart-he was more than king of the rabble. After various attacks of deafness and giddiness, his temper became ungovernable, and his reason gave way. Truly and beautifully has Scott said, the stage darkened ere the curtain fell.'


The sad story of his latter days melts and overawes the imagination. Fits of lunacy were succeeded by the dementia of old age. For three years he uttered only a few words and broken interjections. He would often attempt to speak, but could not recollect words to express his meaning, upon which he would sigh heavily. Babylon in ruins (to use a simile of Addison's) was not a more melancholy spectacle than this wreck of a mighty intellect! In speechless silence his spirit passed away, October 19, 1745. He was interred in St. Patrick's Cathedral, amidst the tears and prayers of his countrymen. An inscription on his tomb, composed by himself, records his exertions for liberty and his detestation of oppression.* The sava indignatio of which he spoke as lacerating his heart,' says Thackeray, and which he dares to inscribe on his tombstone, as if the wretch who lay under that stone, waiting God's judgment, had a right to be angry, breaks out from him in a thousand pages of his writing, and tears and rends him.' Swift believed he had a right to be angry-angry against oppression, against triumphant wrong, corruption, and hypocrisy. Doest thou well to be angry?' was the question asked of the Hebrew prophet of old, and he answered: ‘I do well.' So thought Swift, often self-deluded, mistaking hatred for duty, faction for patriotism; misled by passion, by egotism, and caprice.

Swift's fortune, amounting to about £10,000, he left chiefly to found a lunatic asylum in Dublin.

He gave the little wealth he had

To build a house for fools and mad;
To shew, by one satiric touch,
No nation wanted it so much.

Gulliver's Travels' and the Tale of a Tub' must ever be the

*Hic depositum est corpus JONATHAN SWIFT, S. T. P., hujus ecclesiæ Cathedralis Decani, ubi sæva indignatio ulterius cor lacerare nequit. Abi viator et imitare, si poteris strenuum pro virili libertatis vindicem, &c.

chief corner-stones of Swift's fame. The purity of his prose style renders it a model of English composition. He could wither with his irony and invective; excite to mirth with his wit and invention; transport as with wonder at his marvellous powers of grotesque and ludicrous combination, his knowledge of human nature-piercing quite through the deeds of men-and his matchless power of feigning reality, and assuming at pleasure different characters and situations in life. He is often disgustingly coarse and gross in his style and subjects; but he is never licentious; his grossness is always repulsive, not seductive.

Swift's poetry is perfect, exactly as. the old Dutch artists were perfect painters. He never attempted to rise above this visible diurnal sphere.' He is content to lash the frivolities of the age, and to depict its absurdities. In his too faithful representations, there is much to condemn and much to admire. Who has not felt the truth and humour of his City Shower,' and his description of 'Morning? Or the liveliness of his Grand Question Debated,' in which the knight, his lady, and the chambermaid, are so admirably drawn? His most ambitious flight is his Rhapsody on Poetry,' and even this is pitched in a pretty low key. Its best lines are easily remembered:

Not empire to the rising sun,
By valour, conduct, fortune won;
Not highest wisdom in debates
For framing laws to govern states;
Not skill in sciences profound,
So large to grasp the circle round,
Such heavenly influence require,
As how to strike the Muses' lyre.
Not beggar's brat on bulk begot;

Not bastard of a pedler Scot;

Not boy brought up to cleaning shoes,
The spawn of Bridewell or the stews;
Not infants dropt, the spurious pledges
Of gipsies littering under hedges,
Are so disqualified by fate

To rise in church, or law, or state,
As he whom Phoebus in his ire
Hath blasted with poetic fire.

Swift's Verses on his own Death are the finest example of his peculiar poetical vein. Hs predicts what his friends will say of his illness, his death, and his reputation, varying the style and the topics to suit each of the parties. The versification is easy and flowing, with nothing but the most familiar and common-place expressions. There are some little touches of homely pathos, which are felt like trickling tears, and the effect of the piece altogether is electrical: it carries with it the strongest conviction of its sincerity and truth; and we see and feel-especially as years creep on-how faithful a depicter of human nature, in its frailty and weakness, was the misanthropic Dean of St. Patrick's.

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The small-coal man was heard with cadence deep,
Till drowned in shriller notes of chimney-sweep:

Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet,

And brick-dust Moll had screamed through half the street.
The turnkey now his flock returning sees,

Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees;

The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands,

And school-boys lag with satchels in their hands.

A Description of a City Shower.

Careful observers may foretell the hour
(By sure prognostics) when to dread a shower.
While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er
Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more.
Returning home at night, you'll find the sink
Strike your offended sense with double stink.
If you be wise, then go not far to dine;

You'll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine.
A coming shower your shooting corns presage,
Old aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage:
Sauntering in coffee-house is Dulman seen;
He damns the climate, and complains of spleen.
Meanwhile the south, rising with dabbled wings,
A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings,
That swilled more liquor than it could contain,
And, like a drunkard, gives it up again.
Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope,
While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope;
Such is that sprinkling, which some careless quean
Flirts on you from her mop-but not so clean;
You fly, invoke the gods; then turning, stop
To rail; she, singing, still whirls on her mop.
Not yet the dust had shunned the unequal strife,
But aided by the wind, fought still for life,

And wafted with its foe by violent gust,

'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust.
Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid,

When dust and rain at once his coat invade ?
Sole coat, where dust cemented by the rain
Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain !

Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down,
Threatening with deluge this devoted town.
To shops in crowds the daggled females fly,
Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy.
The Templar spruce, while every spout 's a-broach,
Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a coach.
The tucked-up sempstress walks with hasty strides,
While streams run down her oiled umbrella's sides.
Here various kinds, by various fortunes led,
Commence acquaintance underneath a shed.
Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs,
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs.
Boxed in a chair the beau impatient sits,
While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits;
And ever and anon with frightful din
The leather sounds; he trembles from within.
So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steed,
Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed-
Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do,
Instead of paying chairmen, run them through-
Laocoon struck the outside with his spear,

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And each imprisoned hero quaked for fear.
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
And bear their trophies with them as they go:
Filths of all hues and odours seem to tell

What street they sailed from by their sight and smell.
They, as each torrent drives, with rapid force,

From Smithfield or St. 'Pulchre's shape their course,
And in huge confluence joined at Snowhill ridge,
Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn Bridge.
Sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and blood,
Drowned puppies, stinking sprats, all drenched in mud,
Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling down the flood.

Baucis and Philemon.-Imitated from the Eighth Book of Ovid— Written about 1708.

In ancient times, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.

It happened on a winter night-
As authors of the legend write-
Two brother-hermits, saints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguised in tattered habits, went
To a small village down in Kent;
Where, in the stroller's canting strain,
They begged from door to door in vain;
Tried every tone might pity win,
But not a soul would let them in.

Our wandering saints in woful state, Treated at this ungodly rate, Having through all the village past, To a small cottage came at last, Where dwelt a good old honest yeoman, Called in the neighborhood Philemon, Who kindly did the saints invite In his poor hut to pass the night. And then the hospitable sire Bid Goody Baucis mend the fire, While he from out the chimney took A flitch of bacon off the hook, And freely from the fattest side Cut out large slices to be fried; Then stepped aside to fetch them drink, Filled a large jug up to the brink, And saw it fairly twice go round; Yet what was wonderful-they found 'Twas still replenished to the top, As if they ne'er had touched a drop. The good old couple were amazed, And often on each other gazed: For both were frightened to the heart, And just began to cry: "What art?' Then softly turned aside to view Whether the lights were burning blue. The gentle pilgrims soon aware on't, Told them their calling and their errant: 'Good folks, you need not be afraid, We are but saints,' the hermits said; 'No hurt shall come to you or yours; But, for that pack of churlish boors,

Not fit to live on Christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drowned:
While you shall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes.'
They scarce had spoke, when fair and

The roof began to mount aloft;
Aloft rose every beam and rafter,
The heavy wall climbed slower after.
The chimney widened and grew higher;
Became a steeple with a spire.

The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fastened to a joist;
But with the up-side down, to shew
Its inclination for below:

In vain; for some superior force,
Applied at bottom, stops its course;
Doomed ever in suspense to dwell,
"Tis now no kettle, but a bell.

A wooden jack, which had almost
Lost by disuse the art to roast,
A sudden alteration feels,
Increased by new intestine wheels;
And, what exalts the wonder more,
The number made the motion slower;
The flier, though it had leaden feet,
Turned round so quick you scarce could


But, slackened by some secret power,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
The jack and chimney, near allied,
Had never left each other's side:
The chimney to a steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone,
But, up against the steeple reared,
Became a clock, and still adhered:
And still its love to household cares,
By a shrill voice at noon, declares;
Warning the cook-maid not to burn
That roast meat, which it cannot turn.
The groaning chair began to crawl,
Like a huge snail, along the wall;
There stuck aloft in public view,
And with small change a pulpit grew.
The porringers, that in a row
Hung high, and made a glittering show,

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