Le Brocquy argues that Swift conducted a protracted love affair with Vanessa, producing a child during a sojourn together in Berkshire in 1713, which child was fostered out to the printer Kendall, whose wifes maiden name MLoghin was given him (Bryan MLoghlin), and that Vanessa, when she knew herself to be dying of tuberculosis as her siblings had died before her, turned to Stella requesting that she look to the childs welfare, whereon Stellas hatred of deceit compelled her to confront Swift, who in turn savagely berated Vanessa, accelerating her death (possibly through despair and drink), and triggering the famous alertation in her will; but that Stella and Swift were later somewhat reconciled, and that Stella took Bryan MLoghlin into her household, so that he appears in her will as a child living with her on charity; that an overheard conversation concerning the owning of some matter relates to this. In an appendix she lends support and extends Denis Johnstons theory that Swift was the illegitimate son of Sir John Temple (not Sir William).
Elements of the
TRACES Kendall [mentioned in the letter of 1 June, 1722, supra] to a bookbinder in St. Andrews Parish, who married a MLoughlin, being the name of the child in the keeping of Vanessa
INFERS that Kendall provided the place of assignation for Swift and Vanessa in Dublin. A letter of Vanessas, written four years before the publication of Gullivers travels, clearly shows that she had read the manuscript, and had therefore been intimate with him during that period; Swift himself speaks of seeing her every week of their acquaintance, and also of their meetings in which the same scene has passed forty time [...] yet each has ses agréments particuliers (Letter from Clogher, 1 June, 1722)
CONJECTURES that, having nursed tubercular siblings, Vanessa was herself dying in the Spring of 1723; that she wrote to Stella seeking a home for her son by Swift, Brian OLoughlin; in consequence of her admissions, Stella had seen Swift in his naked shame; she was noted as a woman of honour who despised hypocrisy; there was no appeal (p.105); CITES a poem on curst Discretion, by Swift which was found in Vanessas papers on her death, and which suggests that he learned to regard his discretion as his greatest enemy; refers also to a sentence in the letter to Varina: Love, with the gall of too much discretion, is a thousand times worse than with none at all. (Le Brocquy, p.48).
CITES overheard conversation during Stellas last illness in which the Dean was heard to say Well, my dear, if you wish it, it shall be owned, to which she replied, It is too late. (Le Brocquy, p.114).
CONTENDS that on Stellas retirement to Woodford after the crisis, Delany was the informant of whom he himself wrote at second-hand in his account of the matter, viz., [...] there my informant often saw her and, I have reason to believe, used his utmost endeavour to relieve, support and amuse her in this sad situation. (Cited Le Brocquy, p.99-100, with the comment that Dr. Delany was himself the informant.)
DRAWS ATTENTION to an entry in the burials Register of St. patricks Cathedaral, dated Aug. 21 1731, recording a burial without a name: Intrd in the Tomb of the Old Churchyard, falling at a date that may coincided with the demise of Bryan MLoghlin. (p.117, and pl. facing).
CITES Letitia Pilkingtons testimony that her mother vomited when she first she read The Ladys Dressing Room, and further comments, It is as if some demon drave a lapsed lover to desecrate, with obscene scrawlings, the shrine at which he had once worshipped. (p.118)
CITES a persistent legend that, after his death an envelope was found on which the words Only a womans hair, the hair being brown, not black - as Stellas was (p.118)
APPENDIX (I) supports Denis Johnstons theory that Thomas, Jane, and Jonathan Swift were all in fact illegitimate children of Sir William Temple by Abigail Erick of Dublin, for whom a specially licensed marriage to Swifts father was seemingly secured in June 1664; she further reflects on the story of Swifts removal by an overly-affectionate nurse and then brought back to Dublin by the same; she offers the explanation that Jonathan, having been identified as an infant prodigy in the age of infant prodigies, became the object of educational investment beyond his siblings by his real father.
CITES quotes Hawkesworth, on the kidnapping: again carried to England by his nurse and replaced under the protection of his Uncle Godwin; these events characterised by Swift as very unusuell (p.123)
CONSIDERS that a MS record of the Dean putting on mourning for his dead sister in Dec. 1737 properly refers to the demise of his unacknowledged brother Thomas Swift, in Northampton (recorded in parish records as brother of Dean Swift of Dublin), of whom he may have gained knowledge by that date. She further conjectures that the contents of a trunk gone missing through some fault of Mr. Fenton may have contained papers intended for Swift with such disclosures in them. (131-36).
Swifts Journal to Stella
Letter of Dr Evans, Bishop of Meath, to Archbishop of Canterbury: I think it not improper to acquaint your Grace with a passage lately happened here wherein Jonathan Swift is said to be pretty much concerned. A young woman, Mrs. Van Omrig (a pretended vain wit), and ye Dean had great friendship, many letters and papers passed betwixt them (the subject I know nothing of); they give out, there was a marriage promise between them, but this I cant affirm [...] In April, last, she discovered the D was married to Mrs. Johnson (a natural daughter of Sir W. Temple, a very good woman), upon which she expressed great indignation, making a new will and leaving all to Dr. Berkeley of this College [...] and to one of Mr. Marshall, who was charged by her (on her deathbed) to print all the letters and papers which had passed between the D and herself [...] Ye Archbishop of Dublin and ye whole Irish posse have (I fear) prevailed with Mr. Marshall (ye ladys executor) not to print the papers, etc., as she desired, lest one of their own dear joyes should be trampled on by the Philistines. (Le Brocquy, p.43-44)
Swifts earliest extant letter, wooing Miss Waring: Surely, Varina, you have but a mean opinion of the joys that accompany a true, honourable, unlimited love; yet either nature or our ancestors have hugely deceived us, or else all sublunary things are dross in comparison. Is it possible that you cannot be yet unsensible to the prospect of a rapture and delight so innocent and so exalted? Trust me, Varina, Heaven has given us nothing else worth the loss of a though. Ambition, high appearance, friends and fortune are all tasteless and insipid when they come in competition; yet millions of such glorious minutes we are perpetually losing, for every losing, irrecoverably losing, to gratify empty forms and wrong notions [...] To resist the violence of our inclinations in the beginning is a strain of self denial that may have some pretences to set up for a virtue; but when they are grounded at first upon reason, when they have taken firm root and grown to a height, it is folly - folly as well as injustice - to withstand their dictates; for this passion has a property peculiar to itself, to be more commendable in its extremes; and it is as possible to err in the excess of piety as of love. ([q.d.]; cited; Le Brocquy, pp.47-48), and further, to Vanessa: I am confident you came chiding into the world and will continue so while you are in it.
At the death of Vanessas sister Malkin from consumption Swift distanced himself from Vanessa with the advice: In Gods sake get your friends about you, to advise and order everything in the forms [...] I want comfort myself in this case and can give little. Time alone must give it to you. Nothing now is your part but decency. Le Brocquy ascribes some elements of the language of Gullivers Travels and the Houynnhyms to the secret language of the Journal; also sees the term somerset (in lieu of somersaults) descriptive of courtiers antics in Gullivers Travels as a slight on the Duchess of Somerset.
Swifts Correspondence with Vanessa
[...] But now, when my misfortunes are increased by being in a disagreeable place, amongst strange, prying, deceitful people, whose company is so far from an amusement that it is a very great punishment you fly from me and give me no reason but that we are amongst fools and must submit. I am very well satisfied that we are amongst such but know no reason for having my happiness sacrifice to their caprice. You once had a maxim, which was to act what was right and not to mind what the world said. I wish you would keep it now. Pray what can be wrong in seeing and advising an unhappy young woman? I cant imagine. You cant but know that you frowns make my life unsupportable. You have taught me to distinguish, and then you leave me miserable [...]. I have a nobler soul tat to sit struggling with misfortunes, when at the end I cant promise myself any real happiness. Forgive me; and I beg youd believe it is in my power to avoid complaining as I do. (Letter from Vanessa to Swift, Dublin 1714; Le Brocquy, p.57-58).
Swifts most complimentary letter to Vanessa, written in French and dates 12th May 1719, tells her that her commandment is something that he dares not violate; that she is incapable of sottise; that jya toujours remarqué que ni en conversation particuliere ni generale aucun mot a echappe de votre bouche, wui pavouat etre mieux exprimé; and that la coquetrie, laffectation, la pruderie sont des imperfections que vous navais jamais connu; [&c.] (cited Le Brocquy, pp.61-62).
Swifts letter for 15 Oct. 1720 and days following (from London): October 18th - I am getting an ill head in this cursed town, for want of exercise. I wish I were to walk with you fifty ties about your garden, and the - drink your coffee; before the end of the letter he tells her he has dreamt of her in the early morning, but all too briefly, and that there would be reproaches when next she drank her coffee; Soon after she is writing, Oh, -, -, -, how you have forgot me. You endeavour by severities to force me from you [...]. Put my passion under the utmost restraint, send me as distant from you as the earth will allow, yet you cannot banish those charming ideas, which will ever sticky my me, whilst I have the use of memory. Nor is the love I bear you only seated in my soul, for there is not a single atom of my frame that is not blended with it. Therefore, dont flatter yourself that separation will every change my sentiments, for I find myself unquiet in the midst of silence and my heart is at once pierced by sorrow and by love. For Heavens sake tell me what has caused this prodigious change in you, which I have found of late [...] dont suffer me to live a life like a languishing death, which is the only life I can lead, if you have lost any of your tenderness for me. (Celbridge, 1720; le Brocquy, p.80-81).
Writing to Vanessa from Gaulstown, nr. Kinnegad, Swift writes again of coffee and makes the profession that Le Brocquy chooses as the title of her second book: I can say no more, being called away, mais soyez assurée que jamais personne du monde a été, honorée, estimée, adorée par votre ami que vous. I drank no coffee since I left you, nor intend to till I see you again. There is no worth drinking but yours, if myself may be the judge. (15 July, 1721; Le Brocquy, p.85)
It would have been infinitely better to have met Kendall, and so forth, where one might pass three or four hours in drinking coffee in the morning, or dining tete-a-tete and drinking coffee again till seven. (Clogher, 1 June, 1722; Le Brocquy, p.87).
Later on in the same, he writes: God send you though your law and your reference; and remember that riches are nine parts in ten of all that is good in life, and health is the tenth. Drinking coffee comes long after, and yet it is the eleventh; but without two former you cannot drink it right; and remember the china in the old house, and Ryder Street, and the Colonels journey to France, and the London Wedding, and the sick lady at Windsor, and the strain by the books at London [...] . (Le Brocquy, p.88).
There is a pleasure in being reverenced, and that is alwayw in your powers, by your superioirity of sense and an easy fortune. The best maxim I know in this life is, to drink your coffee when you can, and when you cannot, to be easy without it. While you continue to be splenetic, count upon it I will always preach. Thus much I sympathise with you, that I am not cheerful enough to write, for I believe coffee once a week is necessary to that. (Letter from Loughgall, 13 July 1722; Le Brocquy, p.94).