CHAPTER VII
HIBERNIAN ASSOCIATIONS

Ann. Dom. 1714-1723. Aet. suae 46-56

DURING the first three years of his residence in Ireland as Dean of St. Patrick's, Swift was cut off from anyone at all likely to kindle the flame of versification. Such a part would have been well filled by Parnell, who had been intimate with Swift in London, and was considered by Swift, before he knew Pope and in the absence of Prior, to exceed all London poets "by a barlength,"(1) but the insufficiency of Parnell's tory faith divided him from Swift. At that time Swift could not tolerate anyone who countenanced a whig, and he intrenched himself within a circle of the strongest sympathizers that he could find, a proceeding that brought him into much disrepute with the government of the day, as at least one of the circle was prepared to go beyond Swift's policy of passive resistance and actively to assist the Jacobite cause.

But at the end of three years the circle was enlarged by the addition of two friends satisfying the political test, who were destined to draw Swift into many contests in versification, the Reverend Thomas Sheridan, whose fame mainly rests on his being a friend of Swift's and grandfather of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and the

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