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gold and silver for coin worth perhaps not a
of its nominal value.
The nation was alarmed; the new coin was universally refused : but the governors of Ireland considered resistance to the King's patent as highly criminal; and one Whitshed, then Chief Justice, who had tried the printer of the former pamphlet, and fent out the Jury nine times, till by clamour and menaces they were frighted into a special verdict, now presented the Drapier, but could not prevail on the Grand Jury to find the bill.
Lord Carteret and the Privy Council published a proclamation, offering three hundred pounds for discovering the author of the Fourth Letter. Swift had concealed himself from his printers, and trusted only his butler, who transcribed the paper. The man, immediately after the appearance of the proclamation, strolled from the house, and staid out all night, and part of the next day. There was reafon enough to fear that he had betrayed his master for the reward; but he came home, and the Dean ordered him to put off his livery, and leave the houfe; “for,” says he, “I know that my VOL. III.
“ life is in your power, and I will not bear,
out of fear, either your insolence or negli
gence.” The man excused his fault with great submission, and begged that he might be confined in the house while it was in his power to endanger his master; but the Dean resolutely turned him out, without taking farther notice of him, till the term of inforination had expired, and then received him again. Soon afterwards he ordered him and the reit of the servants into his presence, without telling his intentions, and bade them take notice that their fellow-fervant was no longer Robert the butler ; but that his integrity had made him Mr. Blakeney, verger
of St. Patrick's; an officer whose income was between thirty and forty pounds a year, but he still continued for some years to serve his old inafter as his butler.
Swift was known from this time by the appellation of The Dean. He was honoured by the populace, as the champion, patron, and instructor of Ireland; and gained such power as, considered both in its extent and duration, scarcely any man has ever enjoyed without greater wealth or higher station.
He was from this important year the oracle of the traders, and the idol of the rabble, and by consequence was feared and courted by all to whom the kindness of the traders or the populace was necessary. The Drapier was a sign; the Drapier was a health ; and which way soever the eye or the ear was turned, fome tokens were found of the nation's
gra titude to the Drapier.
The benefit was indeed great; he had rescued Ireland from a very oppressive and predatory invasion; and the popularity which he had gained he was diligent to keep, by appearing forward and zealous on every occafion where the publick interest was supposed to be involved. Nor did he much scruple to boast his influence; for when, upon fome attempts to regulate the coin, Archbishop Boalter, then one of the Justices, accused him of cxasperating the people, he exculpated himself by saying, “ If I had lifted up my finger,
they would have torn you to pieces.”
But the pleasure of popularity was foon interrupted by domestic misery. Mrs. Johnfon, whose conversation was to him the great
foftener of the ills of life, began in the year of the Drapier's triumph to decline ; and two years afterwards was so wasted with fickness, that her recovery was considered as hopeless.
Swift was then in England, and had been invited by Lord Bolingbroke to pass the winter with him in France; but this call of calamity hastened him to Ireland, where perhaps his presence contributed to restore her to imperfect and tottering health.
He was now fo much at ease, that (1727) he returned to England ; where he collected three volumes of Miscellanies in conjunction with Pope, who prefixed a querulous and apologetical Preface.
This important year sent likewise into the world Gulliver's Travels, a production fo new and strange, that it filled the reader with a mingled emotion of merriment and amazement. It was received with such avidity, that the price of the first edition was raised before the second could be made ; it was read by the high and the low, the learned and illi
terate. Criticism was for a while loft in wonder ; no rules of judgement were applied to a book written in open defiance of truth and regularity. But when distinctions came to be made, the part
gave sure was that which describes the Flying Island, and that which gave most disgust must be the history of the Houghnhnms.
While Swift was enjoying the reputation of his new work, the news of the king's death arrived ; and he kissed the hands of the new King and Queen three days after their acceffion,
By the Queen, when she was Princess, he had been treated with some distinction, and was well received by her in her exaltation
; but whether she gave hopes which she never took care to satisfy, or he formed expectations which she never meant to raise, the event was, that he always afterwards thought on her with malevolence, and particularly charged her with breaking her promise of fome medals which fhe engaged to send him.