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Swift's Loves

The first of these ladies, whom Swift romantically christened Varina,

was a Miss Jane Waryng, to whom he wrote passionate letters, and whom,

when he had succeeded in gaining her affections, he deserted, after a

sort of seven years' courtship. The next flame of the Dean's was the

well-known Miss Esther Johnson, whom he fancifully called Stella.

Somehow, he had the address to gain her decided attachment to him,

though co
siderably younger, beautiful in person, accomplished, and

estimable. He dangled upon her, fed her hopes of an union, and at length

persuaded her to leave London and reside near him in Ireland. His

conduct then was of a piece with the rest of his life: he never saw

her alone, never slept under the same roof with her, but allowed her

character and reputation to be suspected, in consequence of their

intimacy; nor did he attempt to remove such by marriage until a late

period of his life, when, to save her from dissolution, he consented to

the ceremony, upon condition that it should never be divulged; that she

should live as before; retain her own name, &c.; and this wedding, upon

the above being assented to, was performed in a garden! But Swift never

acknowledged her till the day of his death. During all this treatment of

his Stella, Swift had ingratiated himself with a young lady of fortune

and fashion in London, whose name was Vanhomrig, and whom he called

Vanessa. It is much to be regretted that the heartless tormentor should

have been so ardently and passionately beloved, as was the case with the

latter lady. Selfish, hardhearted as was Swift, he seemed but to live in

disappointing others. Such was his coldness and brutality to Vanessa,

that he may be said to have caused her death.

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