« ÎnapoiContinuă »
borne up into publicity by the strength of that singularly forcible, but unruly and paradoxical mind. But Hurd had neither inclination nor power for the region of the storms. When Warburton died, his wing drooped, and he rapidly sank into the literary tranquillity which, to a man of talents, is a dereliction of his public duty; but to a man stimulated against his nature into fame, is policy, if not wisdom.
Arnald was the prince's tutor in science. He had been senior wrangler at Cambridge, an honour which he had torn from Law, the friend of Paley, and brother of the late Lord Ellenborough. It is a curious instance of the impression that trifles will make, where they are not superseded by the vigorous and useful necessities of active life; to find the defeated student making a topic of his college overthrow to the last hour of his being. Not even Law's elevation to the opulent Irish bishopric of Elphin could make him forget or forgive the evil done at Cambridge to his budding celebrity. To the last he complained that the laurel had not fallen on the right head, that some unaccountable partiality had suddenly veiled the majestic justice of Alma Mater, and that he must perish without adding the solid glories of the wranglership to the airy enjoyments of the peerage and ten thousand pounds a year.
Lord North's spirit was peace, though plunged in perpetual quarrel at home and abroad, in the
palace, in parliament, with the people, with the old world, and with the new. On this occasion he softened the irritation of the exiled governors and tutors by lavish preferment. The Marquess of Carmarthen, married to Lord Holdernesse's daughter, obtained the appointment, valuable to his habits, of Lord of the Bedchamber; Markham was made Archbishop of York; and Cyril Jackson received the rich preferment of the deanery of Christ Church. Even Lord Bruce's classical pangs were balmed by the earldom of Aylesbury, an old object of his ambition.
The name of Cyril Jackson still floats in that great limbo of dreams, college remembrance. He was Dean of Christ Church during twenty-six years, and fulfilled the duties of his station, so far as superintendence was concerned. In this period he refused the Irish primacy-a refusal which was idly blazoned at the time as an act of more than Roman virtue. But heroic selfdenial is rare among men ; and Jackson had obvious reasons for declining the distinction. His income. was large, his labour light, and his time of life too far advanced to make change easy or dig
Preferment in Ireland, too, is seldom a strong temptation to the opulent part of the English clergy. The remoteness from all their customary associations, and the perplexity of mingling among a new people, with new habits, and those not
seldom hostile to the churchman, naturally repel the man of advanced life. The probability of being speedily forgotten by the great distributors of ecclesiastical patronage makes Irish preferment equally obnoxious to the younger clergy who have any hopes at home. Swift's correspondence is a continual complaint of the misfortune of having the Channel between him and the life he loved and his language has been echoed by almost every ecclesiastic who has suffered his English interest to be expended in Irish pro
If Swift at length abandoned his complaints, it was only for revenge. He cured his personal querulousness by turning it into national disaffection. Gifted with extraordinary powers of inflaming the popular mind, he resolved to shew the British government the error which they had committed in sending him into what he to the last hour of his life called "his banishment." In the fierce recollections and national misery of Ireland, then covered with the unhealed wounds of the civil war, and furious with confiscations and party rage, Swift found the congenial armoury for the full triumph of embittered genius. His sense of ministerial insult was balmed by being expanded into hatred to the English name. Despairing of court favour, his daring and unprincipled spirit made occupation for itself in mob patriotism. Swift's was the true principle for
a great demagogue. From the time of his first drawing the sword he shewed no wavering, no inclination to sheathe it, no faint-hearted tendency to make terms with the enemy. He shook off the dust of his feet against the gates of England, and once excluded, never deigned to approach them again, but to call down the fires of popular hatred upon their battlements. Even at this distance of time, and with the deepest condemnation of Swift's abuse of his talents, it is difficult to look upon him. without the reluctant admiration given to singular ability, and inflexible and inexorable resolve, let the cause be what it may. For good or evil he stood completely between the government and the nation. The shadow of this insolent and daring dictator extinguished the light of every measure of British benevolence, or transmitted it to the people distorted, and in colours of tyranny and blood and unquestionably, if popular idolatry could repay a human heart for this perpetual paroxysm of revenge, no idol ever enjoyed a thicker cloud of popular incense. Swift was the virtual viceroy, in whose presence the English representative of the monarch dwindled down into a cipher. And this extraordinary superiority was not a mere passing caprice of fortune. Among a people memorable for the giddiness of their public attachments, his popularity continued unshaken through life. To the last he enjoyed his criminal indulgence in thwarting the British government;
exulted in filling with his own gall the bosoms of the generous, yet rash and inflammable race, whom he alternately insulted and flattered, but whom, in the midst of his panegyrics, he scorned; libelled the throne, while he bore the sentence of court exile as the keenest suffering of his nature; solaced his last interval of reason by an epitaph, which was a libel on the human species; and died, revenging his imaginary wrongs, by bequeathing to the people a fierce and still unexpired inheritance of hatred against the laws, the institutions, and the name of England.
Jackson, in 1809, finding age coming heavy upon him, resigned his deanery at sixty-four, and then had the merit, which deserves to be acknowledged, of feeling that there is a time for all things, and that man should interpose some space between public life and the grave. Refusing a bishopric, offered to him by his former pupil, the Prince Regent, the old man wisely and decorously retired to prepare himself for the great change. He lived ten years longer, chiefly in the village of Felpham, in Sussex, amusing himself by occasional visits to his old friends in London, or to the prince at Brighton, by whom he was always received with scarcely less than filial respect; and then returning to his obscure, but amiable and meritorious life of study, charity, and prayer. He died of a brief illness in 1819.