Jonathan Swift, afterward the celebrated dean of St. Patrick's, was born on the 30th of November 1667, in Hoey's court, Dublin. When he was but a year old, he was, without the knowledge of his mother or relations, stolen away by his nurse, and carried to Whitehaven; which place she was under a necessity of visiting, on account of the illness of a relation, from whom she expected a legacy; and, as is usual among Irish nurses, she bore such an affection to the child, that she could not think of going without him. There he continued for almost three years; and she took such care of him, that he had learned to spell, and could read any chapter in the Bible before he was five years oId.
At the age of fix he was sent to the school of Kilkenny; and at fourteen admitted into the university of Dublin. The expense of his education being defrayed by his uncle Godwin Swift, the eldest of the brothers who had settled in Ireland. He was a lawyer of great eminence, and had made considerable sums of money, which were for the most part squandered away in idle projects. By means of which, soon after his nephew had entered the college, he found himself involved in great difficulties; and being father of a numerous offspring by four wives, he was under a necessity of reducing the stipend allowed to his nephew for his support at the university, as low as possible.
The real situation of Godwin's affairs not being then known to the world, and as he was looked upon to be much the richest of the family, Swift's other relations seemed at that time to think that their aid was not at all necessary; so that he was obliged to make the best shift he could, with the wretched allowance that his uncle gave him. Thus was one of the most aspiring and liberal minds in the world, early checked and confined, by the narrowness of his circumstances;
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