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church and state were on a sandy foundation, and that there could be no solid establishment for them, till the whigs were all turned out of their employments, and a total end put to their power; he determined not only never to fall in with the queen's measures, but on the contrary openly to oppose them. Though at the same time he must have been conscious that this was the most certain way to bar his own preferment.
The only employment that Swift ever asked for during all that time, was that of historiographer; and his reasons for desiring it are thus set forth, in his memorial to the queen, April 1, 1714.
“ The change of ministry about four years ago, the fall of the Duke of Marlborough, and the proceedings since, in relation to the peace and treaties, are all capable of being very maliciously represented to posterity, if they should fall under the pen of some writer of the opposite party, as they probably may.
Upon these reasons it is necessary, for the honour of the
queen, and in justice to her servants, that some able hand should be immediately employed, to write the history of her majesty's reign, that the truth of things may be transmitted to future ages, and bear down the falsehood of malicious pens.
“ The Dean of St. Patrick's is ready to undertake this work, hunibly desiring her majesty will please to appoint him her historiographer; not from any view of the profit (which is so inconsiderable, that it will hardly serve to pay the
expense of searching offices) but from an earnest desire to serve his queen and country : for which that employment will qualify him, by an opportunity of access to those places, where papers and records are kept, which will be necessary to any who undertake such a history."
But it appears
We see upon what disinterested principles Swift desired this office; and he seems to have been highly provoked at his not obtaining it, laying the blame very unjustly on Lord Bolingbroke, as may be seen in his letter to Miss Vanhomrigh, August 1, 1714. “ I am not of your opinion about Lord Bolingbroke, perhaps he may get the staff, but I cannot rely on his love to me. He knew I had a mind to be historiographer, though I valued it not but for the public service; yet it is gone to a worthless rogue, that nobody knows." from a letter of Dr. Arbuthnot's, July 17, 1714, that Lord Bolingbroke was most hearty in his cause; where
“ I gave your letter, with the inclosed memorial, cavalièrement to Lord Bolingbroke. He read it, and seemed concerned at some part of it, expressing himself thus : “ That it would be among the eternal scandals of the government, to suffer a man of your character, that had so well deserved of them, to have the least uneasy thoughts about those matters.” But the truth is, that it was out of
lord's power to have served him in this point, as the memorial was not put into his hands till a fortnight after the place had been disposed of.* So that it is probable it never was presented to the queen. And his friend Ford, to whom he had also communicated his suspicions of Bolingbroke, vindicates him from the charge, in a letter written five days after the queen's death, where he says, “ I really believe Lord Bolingbroke was very sincere in the professions he made of you, and he could have done any thing. No minister. was ever in that height of favour, and Lady Masham was at least in as much credit, as she had been in any time of her life. But these are melancholy reflections."
* In a letter from Charles Ford, Esq. to Dr. Swift, July 20, 1714, is the following passage: 'I thought you had heard the historiographer's place had been disposed of this fortnight. I know no more of him who has it, than that his name is Maddocks.' $.
There is a passage in a letter from Swift to Pope, Jan. 10, 1721, relative to this office, which at first view seems to contradict what he himself had said about it, as related above. “ I had indeed written some memo rials of the four last years of the queen's reign with some other informations, which I received, as necessary materials to qualify me for doing something in an employment then designed for me; but, as it was at the disposal of a person who had not the smallest share of steadiness or sincerity, I disdained to accept it.”
But this apparent contradiction may easily be thus solved. Swift scorned to accept the employment as a favour, from the officer in whose department it was, for the reason he assigns, and would receive it only from her majesty's own appointment, to whom he therefore personally applied by memorial.*
I shall take leave of this period of Swift's life, by observing that he was thrown into the world at a most fortunate era to gratify the ruling passions of his heart. The chief pleasures of his life seem to have arisen from friendship contracted with men of worth and talents, and the society of persons of wit and genius; and never was there an era in which he could be so amply indulged with regard to both. I know there are numbers who laugh at those who speak with admiration of past times, and lament the degeneracy of the present, as idle declaimers, laudatores temporis acti ; with which the world has con-stantly been furnished in all nations, from age to age; but that in reality all times have been much alike. In order that a fair comparison may be made between the period I have been speaking of, and that which followed, to the present time, I shall here set down a list of the extraordinary men who then flourished together.
* The circumstance of the disposal of this post from Swift, has afforded Lord Orrery an opportunity of exposing his ignorance, and invidious disposition to lower Swift's consequence to he utmost. He says, He (Swift) knew how useful he was to administration in general; and in one of his letters he mentions, that the place of historiographer was intended for him, but I am apt to suspect that he flattered himself too highly.” Surely his lordship must have been either so ill informed, as to suppose this post to be a very considerable one, or that Swift was without any degree of credit. He flattered himself too highly. Good en! that such a man as Swift should be accused of flattering himself too highly, in expecting an employment, attended with much trouble, and without any degree either of honour or profit! S.
LIST OF LITERARY CHARACTERS.
Temple, Dryden, Swift, Addison, Pope, Arbuthnot, Otway, Rowe,
OF MEN IN HIGH RANK.
Duke of Marlborough, Lord Anglesea,
Earl of Dorset,
Lord Roscommon, Lord Bolingbroke,
Lord Halifax, Lord Bathurst,
Sir William Wyndham, Lord Carteret,
Sir Thomas Hanmer. Duke of Argyll,
Beside many others that might be mentioned, of no small note. When they who are advocates for the above opinion, shall attempt to draw out a list of names in the present times, to be put in competition with these, they will soon be obliged to confess and retract their error.
From his return to Ireland to his Death.
IMMEDIATELY after the decease of the queen, Swift returned to Ireland, where he found things in the highest ferment: the whigs all in triumph, threatening vengeance on the whole body of the desponding tories, as soon as power should come into their hands. However violent the proceedings of the whigs in England might afterward be, their animosity against the opposite party was moderate, in comparison with the hatred which their brethren of Ireland bore to the tories. All the stories fabricated in England by the whigs, of an intention to bring in the pretender by the late ministry, and which were only calculated for the more violent of their party, and the vulgar, were universally and implicitly believed in Ireland. The dreadful and detested days of James II. of which there were still so many living witnesses in that kingdom, and in which the whole body of Protestants suffered so much, came fresh into their minds, and raised the utmost abhorrence of all who were supposed to be abettors of such a measure. They were taught to consider the words Tory and Jacobite, as synonymous terms; and as Swift was known to have been highly in the confidence of the late ministry, he was of course supposed to have been deeply concerned with them in the plot of bringing in the pretender. Being the only one then in Ireland, against whom a charge could be made of having an immediate hand in such a design, he became the chief object upon which the madness of party vented its rage. He was constantly insulted 'with opprobrious language as he walked the streets, and some of the vuore violent, used to take up dirt from the