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in justice be called poetry. After perusing one of his early metrical pieces, Dryden remarked, "Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet." This judgment, which does credit to Dryden's critical sagacity, cost him the implacable dislike of Swift. Swift's mind was lacking in warm imagination and delicate sensibility. He saw things in their reality. In spite of its intellectual power, his mind had an abnormal tendency to what is low and disgusting. His verse is disfigured, as is much of his prose, by a coarseness and obscenity which are no longer tolerated among respectable people.

His style is in perfect keeping with the man. He was too proud for affectation.. He wrote as he lived; and in all his works we find him direct, unconventional, strong. In the language of Thackeray, who is far from being partial to the dean," He shuns tropes and metaphors, and uses his ideas and words with a wise thrift and economy, as he used his money, with which he could be generous and splendid upon great occasions, but which he husbanded when there was no need to spend it. (He never indulges in needless) extravagance of rhetoric, lavish epithets, profuse imagery. He lays his opinion before you with a grave simplicity and a perfect neatness."

In his social relations Swift exhibited some of the eccentricities of genius. He disdainfully trampled on conventional forms and amenities, assuming to be a law unto himself. He was sometimes outrageous in his insolence and pride. Dining one day with the Earl of Burlington, he said to the mistress of the house, "Lady Burlington, I hear you can sing; sing me a song." The lady naturally resented this freedom of address, and promptly de

clined. "Why, madam," he exclaimed, "I suppose you take me for one of your poor English hedge-parsons; sing when I bid you." The lady burst into tears and left the room. The next time he met her, his salutation was, "Pray, madam, are you as proud and ill-natured now as when I saw you last?"

But, notwithstanding these faults, there was something in his strong individuality that possessed an unusual charm. He was much sought after in London society, and during his stay there, as we learn from the "Journal to Stella," scarcely a day passed that he did not dine with some celebrity. His friendships were as strong as his dislikes were bitter. He warmly promoted Pope's translation of Homer and declared his purpose not to let the poet publish a line till he had raised for him a thousand guineas. He loved his mother tenderly; and when she died in 1710, he wrote: "I have now lost the last barrier between me and death. God grant that I may be as well prepared for it as I confidently believe her to have been! If the way to Heaven be through piety, truth, justice, and charity, she is there."

The closing years of his life were pitiful. Walking with some friends, one day, just outside of Dublin, he remained behind. He was gazing intently at a lofty tree, the top of which had been blasted. Upon the approach of Dr. Young, one of the party, Swift pointed to it, and said with significance, "I shall be like that tree, and die first at the top." His forebodings were fulfilled. About the year 1736 his memory began to fail. The giddiness and deafness, from which he had suffered nearly all his life, greatly increased. He lost all taste for society and no longer took pleasure in writing or in books; his days, filled with

pain and desolateness, dragged heavily along. At last his understanding failed him, and in 1740 it became necessary to appoint guardians of his person and estate. From this sad condition he was released by death, in 1745. He lies buried in the cathedral of St. Patrick.

Swift is one of the most tragic figures in English literature. His character exhibits strength without elevation. His dominant passion was an imperious pride that sought to bend everything to his will. In his lust for power, he acted largely on the principle of "rule or ruin." His frequent disappointments filled his heart with bitterness, yet he was not without kind and generous impulses; but, to escape the praises or gratitude of men, he frequently concealed his charities, or accompanied them with a wilfully offensive brusqueness. His piety has been unjustly questioned. While he waged a relentless war on hypocrisy and formalism, he was deeply religious at heart; and in his hour of greatest need he lifted his soul in agonizing prayer to God.


ORATORS. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816), orator, politician, and dramatist. Pitt said of his speech in the trial of Warren Hastings, "that it surpasses all the eloquence of ancient or modern times." Two of his dramas, "The Rivals" (1775) and "The School for Scandal" (1777), take high rank.


Edmund Burke (1730-1797). Orator, statesman, and author. His principal works are his "Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful” (1756) and his "Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790).

HISTORIANS. David Hume (1711-1776). Historian and philosopher. Author of " Essays Moral and Political" (1741), “Inquiry Concerning the Human Understanding" (1748), “History of England" (1754-1762), etc.

William Robertson (1721-1793). Clergyman and historian. Author of "History of Scotland" (1759), "History of Charles V." (1769), and "History of America" (1777).

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794). Author of "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (1776-1788), etc.

POETS. — Mark Akenside (1721-1771). His principal book is his "Pleasures of the Imagination" (1744), suggested by Addison's essay on the same subject in the Spectator.

Thomas Gray (1716-1771). His poem "A Distant Prospect of Eton College" (1742) attracted attention. His best-known poem is the "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" (1750). "Progress of Poesy" (1755) and "The Bard,” which was not completed, are his other productions. One of the most artistic of English poets.

William Collins (1721-1759). A lyrical poet of fine genius. His volume of "Odes," published in 1747, fell still-born from the press.

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