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Such being the principles, by the zealous profession of which he had first obtained distinction and preferment, and been admitted to the friendship of such men as Somers, Addison, and Steele, it only remains to be seen on what occasion, and on what considerations, he afterwards renounced them. It is, of itself, a tolerably decisive fact, that this change took place just when the Whig ministry went out of power, and their adversaries came into full possession of all the patronage and interest of the government. The whole matter, however, is fairly spoken out in various parts of his own writings:-and we do not believe there is any where on record a more barefaced avowal of political apostasy, undisguised and unpalliated by the slightest colour or pretence of public or conscientious motives. It is quite a singular fact, we believe, in the history of this sort of conversion, that he nowhere pretends to say that he had become aware of any danger to the country from the continuance of the Whig ministry-nor ever presumes to call in question the patriotism or penetration of Addison and the rest of his former associates, who remained faithful to their first professions. His only apology, in short, for this sudden dereliction of the principles which he had maintained for near forty years-for it was at this ripe age that he got the first glimpse of his youthful folly—is a pretence of ill usage from the party with whom he had held them; a pretence to say nothing of its inherent baseness-which appears to be utterly without foundation, and of which it is enough to say, that no mention is made, till that same party is overthrown. While they remain in office, they have full credit for the sincerity of their good wishes, (see vol. xv. p. 250, &c.):-and it is not, till it becomes both safe and profitable to abuse them, that we hear of their ingratitude. Nay, so critically and judiciously timed is this discovery of their unworthiness, that, even after the worthy author's arrival in London in 1710, when the movements had begun which terminated in their ruin, he continues, for some months, to keep on fair terms with them, and does not give way to 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 a twig, while they are drowning,-and their great men are making me their clumsy 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 complete-he 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 intim te, 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. 350.) 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 spoke so many things of personal kindness and es. teem, 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, set 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 to any of them all? Rot them, ungrate ful dogs. I will make them repent their usage of me, before I leave this place. They say the same thing here of my leaving the Whigs but they own they cannot blame me, considering the treatment I have had,' &c. &c.
If he scrupled about going lengths with his Whig friends, he 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 attacks upon the body of the party 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, 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 no man 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 to his 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, Itold 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 to exclude the only apology which the partiality of his biographer has been able to suggest, viz. that though, from first to last, a Whig in politics, he was all along 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 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 churchman at all. It appears pretty 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 from 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 Affairs, which he wrote just before the Queen's death, and which Bolingbroke himself thought too strong for publication even at that critical period. His leading injunction there, is to adopt a system of the most rigorous exclusion of all Whigs from any kind of employment; and that, as they cannot be too much or too soon 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 stood, he 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, it followed, to have led to a civil After this adnassion, 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 overpowering 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 the 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,' &c. &c.
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 his 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 note for fifty pounds, and refused, to be his chaplain, this was very plainly because he considered these as no sufficient pay for his servicesby no means because he wished them to be received without pay. Very soon after his profession of Toryism, he writes to StellaThis 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 extremely little; and I would likewise gladly be somewhat richer than I 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,' &c. And in the page following we find, that all his love for his dear friend the Lord Treasurer, would not