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country might well have spared him. Because his convictions gushed vehemently from uninstructed feeling, and could never appeal to a satisfied judg. ment, they lacked in their expression the dignity of reason and the moderation of truth. The laughers were all against him and revelled in his inconsistency. And how frequently did inconsistency appear ? Fresh from an attack upon Byron, whom he branded as chief of the Satanic School and reproached for his want of reverence, he wrote his own Vision of Judgment, which for irreverent and daring dealing with the mysteries of Heaven can hardly be surpassed. Groaning in one breath over the ignorance of the people he denounced in another all London universities and mechanics'institutes. Protesting against the crude theories of all political economists, he oftener than once suggested economical schemes even more impracticable and absurd than his first boyish plan of rescuing society by means of Pantisocracy. One day he walks into Rowland Hill's chapel, and is shocked by the absence of the decorum and ceremonial observances that belong to his own orthodox and established church; the next he is proposing open air preaching, and a departure from custom and order at which decent dissenters themselves would stand aghast.
No words can express the thorough contempt which Southey felt for political economists, and no language, we fear, can make known his own great want of acquaintance with the first principles of government. What shall be said of the statesman who eternally laments the glaring fact, that public opinion has finally become the law of administration in England, instead of directing all his energies towards the elevation of that opinion by the wide dissemination of education and of every known means of social improvement? What shall be said of the politician who in the maturity of his years, and in the height of a popular struggle, in which the cause of the people was hallowed by justice, boldly announced that concession to the multitude and their political advancement were impossible, because “in divinity, in ethics, and in politics there can be no new truths;" and because “ in any well-ordered state” it is impossible for the masses to have too little authority, independence, and power? What idea can we have of the reasoning faculties of the philosopher and the divine—for Southey wrote Books on the Church, and was deeply read in divinity—who saw growing around him institutions for dispelling ignorance and imparting useful knowledge, and yet could discern“ in all these things nothing more than a purpose of excluding religion, and preparing the way for the overthrow of the Church ? " We have said that the key to Southey's inconsistencies lies open in these volumes. Let the reader take it up, and unlock more of a good man's intellectual failings if he is so disposed. We have revealed enough. But before we part company with Robert Southey, let us take together, in charity, one final glance into the little room where sits the grey-haired man, “working hard and getting little-a bare maintenance, and hardly that; writing poems and history for posterity with his whole heart and soul; one daily progressing in learning, not so learned as he is poor, not so poor as proud, not so proud as happy.” Great men have invited him to
HIS ABIDING HAPPINESS.
London, and he is now answering the invitation. The thought of the journey plagues him. “Oh dear, oh dear!” he writes, “there is such a comfort in one's old coat and old shoes, one's own chair and own fireside, one's own writing desk and own library-with a little girl climbing up to my neck and saying, 'Don't go to London, Papa, you must stay with Edith'and a little boy whom I have taught to speak the language of cats, dogs, cuckoos, jackasses, &c., before he can articulate a word of his own-there is such a comfort in all these things, that transportation to London seems a heavier punishment than any sins of mine deserve.” Gently let us close the door upon such happiness.
GREATER men than Dean Swift may have lived. A more remarkable man never left his impress upon the age, immortalized by his genius. To say that English history supplies ,no narrative more singular and original than the career of Jonathan Swift, is to assert little. We doubt whether the histories of the world can furnish, for example and instruction, for wonder and pity, for admiration and scorn, for approval and condemnation, a specimen of humanity at once so illustrious and so small. Before the eyes of his contemporaries, Swift stood a living enigma. To posterity he must continue for ever a distressing puzzle. One hypothesis and one alone-gathered from a close and candid perusal of all that has been transmitted to us upon this interesting subject, helps us to account for a whole life of anomaly, but not to clear up the mystery in which it is shrouded. From the beginning to the end of his days Jonathan Swift was more or less MAD.
Intellectually and morally, physically and religiously, Dean Swift was a mass of contradictions. His career yields ample materials both for the biographer who would pronounce a panegyric over his tomb, and for the censor whose business it is to improve one generation at the expense of another. Look at CONTRADICTIONS IN HIS CHARACTER. 215 Swift with the light of intelligence shining on his brow, and you note qualities that might become an angel. Şurvey him under the dark cloud, and every feature is distorted into that of a fiend. If we tell the reader what he was, in the same breath we shall communicate all that he was not. His virtues were exaggerated into vices, and his vices were not without the savour of virtue. The originality of his writings is of a piece with the singularity of his character. He copied no man who preceded him. He has not been successfully imitated by any who have followed him. The compositions of Swift reveal the brilliancy of sharpened wit, yet it is recorded of the man that he was never known to laugh. His friendships were strong, and his antipathies vehement and unrelenting, yet he illustrated friendship by roundly abusing his familiars, and expressed hatred by bantering his foes. He was economical and saving to a fault, yet he made sacrifices to the indigent and poor sternly denied to himself. He could begrudge the food and wine consumed by a guest, yet throughout his life refuse to derive the smallest pecuniary advantage from his published works, and at his death bequeath the whole of his fortune to a charitable institution. From his youth Swift was a sufferer in body, yet his frame was vigorous, capable of great endurance, and maintained its power and vitality from the time of Charles II. until far on in the reign of the second George. No man hated Ireland more than Swift, yet he was Ireland's first and greatest patriot, bravely standing up for the rights of that kingdom when his chivalry might have cost him his head. He was eager for