After Temple's death in 1699, Swift returned to Dublin as chaplain and secretary to the Earl of Berkeley, who was then going to Ireland as a lord justice. During the ensuing years he was in England on some four occasions--in 1701, 1702, 1703, and 1707 to 1709--and won wide recognition in London for his personal charm and his wit as a writer. He had resigned his position as vicar of Kilroot, but early in 1700 he was preferred to several posts in the Irish church. His public writings of this period show that he kept in close touch with affairs in both Ireland and England. Among them is the essay "Discourse of the Contests and Dissensions between the Nobles and the Commons in Athens and Rome," in which Swift defended the English constitutional balance of power between the monarchy and the two houses of Parliament as a bulwark against tyranny. In London he became increasingly well known through several works: his religious and political essays; A Tale of a Tub; and certain impish works, including the "Bickerstaff" pamphlets of 1708-09, which put an end to the career of John Partridge, a popular astrologer, by first prophesying his death and then describing it in circumstantial detail. Swift's works brought him to the attention of a circle of Whig writers led by Joseph Addison, but Swift was uneasy about many policies of the Whig administration. He was a Whig by birth, education, and political principle, but he was also passionately loyal to the Anglican church, and he came to view with apprehension the Whigs' growing determination to yield ground to the Nonconformists.
Career as satirist, political journalist, and churchman
A momentous period began for Swift when in 1710 he once again found himself in London. A Tory ministry headed by Robert Harley (later Earl of Oxford) and Henry St. John (later Viscount Bolingbroke) was replacing that of the Whigs. The new administration, bent on bringing hostilities with France to a conclusion, was also assuming a more protective attitude toward the Church of England. Swift's reactions to such a rapidly changing world are vividly recorded in his Journal to Stella, a series of letters written between his arrival in England in 1710 and 1713, which he addressed to Esther Johnson and her companion, Rebecca Dingley, who were now living in Dublin. The astute Harley made overtures to Swift and won him over to the Tories. But Swift did not thereby renounce his essentially Whiggish convictions regarding the nature of government. The old Tory theory of the divine right of kings had no claim upon him. The ultimate power, he insisted, derived from the people as a whole and, in the English constitution, had come to be exercised jointly by king, lords, and commons.
Swift quickly became
the Tories' chief pamphleteer and political writer and, by the end of October
1710, had taken over the Tory journal, The Examiner,
which he continued
to edit until June 14, 1711. He then began preparing a pamphlet in support
of the Tory drive for peace with France. This, "The Conduct of the Allies,"
appeared on Nov. 27, 1711, some weeks before the motion in favour of a
peace was finally carried in Parliament. Swift was rewarded for his services
in April 1713 with his appointment as dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in
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