The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 2/General Preface
AN Advertisement in the first volume has, in some degree, explained the nature of the present edition. This Preface shall give the history of those which have preceded it.
"The Works of Dr. Jonathan Swift were written and published at very distant periods of his life, and had passed through many editions before they were collected into volumes, or distinguished from the productions of cotemporary wits, with whom he was known to associate.
"The Tale of a Tub, the Battle of the Books, and the Fragment, were first published together in 1704; and the Apology, and the notes from Wotton, were added in 1710; this edition the Dean revised a short time before his understanding was impaired, and his corrections will be found in this impression.
"Gulliver's Travels were first printed in the year 1726, with some alterations which had been made by the person through whose hands they were conveyed to the press; but the original passages were restored to the subsequent editions.
"Many other pieces, both in prose and verse, which had been written between the years 1691 and 1727, were then collected and published by the Dean, in conjunction with Mr. Pope, Dr. Arbuthnot, and Mr. Gay, under the title of Miscellanies. Of all these pieces, though they were intended to go down to posterity together, the Dean was not the author, as appeared by the title pages: but they continued undistinguished till 1742; and then Mr. Pope, having new-classed them, ascribed each performance among the prose to its particular author in a table of contents; but of the verses he distinguished only the Dean's, by marking the rest with an asterisk.
"In the year 1735, the pieces of which the Dean was the author were selected from the Miscellany, and, with Gulliver's Travels, the Drapier's Letters, and some other pieces which were written upon particular occasions in Ireland, were published by Mr. George Faulkner, at Dublin, in four volumes. To these he afterward added a fifth and a sixth, containing the Examiners, Polite Conversation, and some other tracts; which were soon followed by a seventh volume of letters, and an eighth of posthumous pieces.
"In this collection, although printed in Ireland, the tracts relating to that country, and in particular the Drapier's Letters, are thrown together in great confusion; and the Tale of a Tub, the Battle of the Books, and the Fragment, are not included.
"In the edition which is now offered to the publick, the Tale of a Tub, of which the Dean's corrections sufficiently prove him to have been the author, the Battle of the Books, and the Fragment, make the first volume; the second is Gulliver's Travels; the Miscellanies will be found in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth; and the contents of the other volumes are divided into two classes, as relating to England or Ireland. As to the arrangement of particular pieces in each class, there were only three things that seemed to deserve attention, or that could direct the choice; that the verse and prose should be kept separate; that the posthumous and doubtful pieces should not be mingled with those which the Dean is known to have published himself; and that those tracts which are parts of a regular series, and illustrate each other, should be ranged in succession, without the intervention of other matter: such are the Drapier's Letters, and some other papers published upon the same occasion, which have not only in the Irish edition, but in every other, been so mixed as to misrepresent some facts and obscure others: such also are the tracts on the Sacramental Test, which are now first put together in regular order, as they should always be read by those who would see their whole strength and propriety.
"As to the pieces which have no connexion with each other, some have thought that the serious and the comick should have been put in separate classes; but this is not the method which was taken by the Dean himself, or by Mr. Pope, when they published the Miscellany, in which the transition
'From grave to gay, from lively to severe,'
appears frequently to be the effect rather of choice than accident. However, as the reader will have the whole in his possession, he may pursue either the grave or the gay with very little trouble, and without losing any pleasure or intelligence which he would have gained from a different arrangement.
"Among the Miscellanies is the history of John Bull, a political allegory, which is now farther opened by a short narrative of the facts upon which it is founded, whether supposititious or true, at the foot of the page.
"The notes which have been published with former editions have for the most part been retained, because they were supposed to have been written, if not by the Dean, yet by some friend who knew his particular view in the passage they were intended to illustrate, or the truth of the fact which they asserted.
"The notes which have been added to this edition contain, among other things, a history of the author's works, which would have made a considerable part of his life; but, as the occasion on which particular pieces were written, and the events which they produced, could not be related in a series, without frequent references and quotations, it was thought more eligible to put them together; in the text innumerable passages have been restored, which were evidently corrupt in every other edition, whether printed in England or Ireland.
"Among the notes will be found some remarks on those of another writer; for which no apology can be thought necessary, if it be considered that the same act is justice if the subject is a criminal, which would have been murder if executed on the innocent.
"Teach me —————
To hide the faults I see,"
that, where he has not found the appearance of a fault, he has laboured hard to make one.
"Lord Orrery has also supposed the Dean himself to have been the editor of at least six volumes of the Irish edition of his works; but the contrary will incontestibly appear upon a comparison of that edition with this, as well by those passages which were altered under colour of correction, as by those in which accidental imperfections were suffered to remain.
"The editor of the Irish edition has also taken into his collection several spurious pieces in verse, which the Dean zealously disavowed, and which therefore he would certainly have excluded from any collection printed under his inspection and with his consent. But there is evidence of another kind to prove that the Dean never revised any edition of his works for Faulkner to print; and that on the contrary he was unwilling that Faulkner should print them at all. Faulkner, in an advertisement published Oct. 15, 1754, calls himself the editor as well as publisher of the Dublin edition; and the Dean has often renounced the undertaking in express terms. In his letter to Mr. Pope, dated May 1, 1733, he says, that when the printer applied to him for leave to print his works in Ireland, he told him he would give no leave; and when he printed them without, he declared it was much to his discontent; the same sentiment is also more strongly expressed in a letter now in the hands of the publisher, which was written by the Dean to the late Mr. Benjamin Motte, his bookseller in London."
In 1762, the thirteenth and fourteenth volumes were added by the late learned and excellent printer Mr. William Bowyer; whose advertisement is worth preserving:
"The pleasure Dean Swift's Works have already afforded will be a sufficient apology for communicating to the reader, though somewhat out of season, these additional volumes; who will be less displeased, that they have been so long suppressed, than thankful that they are now at last published. We have no occasion to apologize for the pieces themselves; for, as they have all the internal marks of genuineness, so, by their farther opening the author's private correspondence, they display the goodness of his heart, no less than the never-ceasing sallies of his wit. His answer to "The Rights of the Christian Church" is a remarkable instance of both; which, though unfinished, and but the slight prolusions of his strength, show how sincere, how able a champion he was of religion and the church. So soon as these were printed in Dublin, in a new edition of the Dean's works, it was a justice due to them to select them thence, to complete the London edition. Like the author, though they owe their birth to Ireland, they will feel their maturity in England; and each nation will contend which shall receive them with greater ardour.
"We have added, in the last volume, an Index to all the Works; wherein we have ranged the bons mots scattered throughout them under the article Swiftiana, by which their brightness is collected, as it were, into a focus, and they are placed in such open day, that they are secured, for the future, from the petty larceny of meaner wits."
The fifteenth and sixteenth volumes were published in 1765, under the immediate direction of Deane Swift, esq., with this Preface:
"It may appear somewhat strange to the world, and especially to men of taste and learning, that so many poetical, historical, and other miscellaneous productions of Dr. Swift should have lain dormant such a number of years, after the decease of an author so universally admired in all nations of the globe, which have any share of politeness. However, not to be over and above particular on this occasion; were it of any consequence to relate by what extraordinary means these several papers were rescued from the injuries of time and accidents; or, to insist upon some other circumstances, which, at present, we choose to pass over in silence; it would, perhaps, seem rather more astonishing, that ever indeed they should have had the good fortune to make their appearance at all. It may suffice to observe, that, in order to gratify the curiosity of the publick, we shall ascertain these writings to be genuine; although to every man of taste and judgment they carry their own marks of authenticity. And therefore, as all the original manuscripts, not to mention two or three poems taken from the publick prints, are in the doctor's own hand; or, transcribed by his amanuensis, have the sanction of his indorsement; some few copies, for which indeed we have the honour to be obliged to our friends, only excepted; we shall deposite them in the British Museum, provided the governors will please to receive them into their collection."
Three volumes of Epistolary Correspondence were thus prefaced by Dr. Hawkesworth in 1766.
"The letters here offered to the publick were a present from the late Dr. Swift to Dr. Lyon, a clergyman of Ireland, for whom he had a great regard; they were obtained of Dr. Lyon by Mr. Thomas Wilkes, of Dublin, and of Mr. Wilkes by the booksellers for whom they are published.
"As many of them mention persons who have been long dead, and allude to incidents not now generally known, they would have been too obscure to afford general entertainment or information, if they had not been elucidated by notes.
"This necessary elucidation I have endeavoured to supply, at the request of the proprietors, from such knowledge of the Dean's connexions and writings as I was able to acquire, when I revised twelve volumes of his works, which were published about ten years ago, with notes of the same kind, and some account of his life.
"Many passages, however, occurred, which, though they wanted explanation, I could not explain: these I made the subject of queries; which being shown to the late reverend Dr. Birch, he furnished answers to most of them, which are distinguished from the other notes by inverted commas. The favour cost him some trouble; but he conferred it with that readiness and pleasure, which has made his character amiable upon many occasions of much greater importance.
"It has been thought best to print all the letters in order of time, without regarding by whom they are written; for if all the letters of each person had been classed together, the pleasure of the reader would have been greatly lessened, by passing again and again through the same series, as often as he came to a new collection; whereas the series is now preserved regular and unbroken through the whole correspondence. Those which, being of uncertain date, could not be brought into this series, are printed together in an appendix.
"Three letters from, the Dean to the late earl of Bath, general Pulteney was pleased to communicate to the editor, by the favour of the reverend Dr. Douglas; two of these will be found in the appendix, the other had been already printed from a copy in the Dean's hand-writlng. In the appendix will also be found some letters between the Dean and Mrs. Esther Vanhomrigh, with a few others, which did not come to the hands of the proprietors till the rest of the work was printed.
"Some letters of a private nature, and some that relate to persons who are still living, have been suppressed; but the number is very small. Some are inserted that persons still living have written; but they are such as would reflect no dishonour upon the highest character.
"For the publication of letters, which certainly were not written for the publick, I shall however make no apology in my own name, because the publication of them is not my own act, nor at my own option; but the act of those to whom they had been sold for that purpose, before I knew they were in being.
"It may, however, be presumed, that though the publication of letters has been censured by some, yet that it is not condemned by the general voice, since a numerous subscription, in which are many respectable names, has been lately obtained, for printing other parts of the Dean's epistolary correspondence, by a relation who professes the utmost veneration for his memory; and a noble lord has permitted Mr. Wilkes to place this under his protection.
"A recommendation of these volumes is yet less necessary than an apology; the letters are indisputably genuine; the originals, in the handwriting of the parties, or copies indorsed by the Dean, being deposited in the British Museum; except of those in the appendix, mentioned to have come to the proprietors hands after the rest was printed, the originals of which are in the hands of a gentleman of great eminence in the law in Ireland.
"They are all written by persons eminent for their abilities, many of whom were also eminent for their rank; the greater part are the genuine effusions of the heart, in the full confidence of the most intimate friendship, without reserve, and without disguise. Such in particular are the letters between the Dean and Mrs. Johnson, and Mrs. Dingley, lord Bolingbroke, and Dr. Arbuthnot, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Ford, and Mr. Gay.
"They relate many particulars, that would not otherwise have been known, relative to some of the most interesting events that have happened in this century: they abound also with strains of humour, turns of wit, and refined sentiment; they are all strongly characteristick, and enable the reader 'to catch the manners living as they rise.' Those from the Dean to Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Dingley are part of the journal mentioned in his life; and from them alone a better notion may be formed of his manner and character than from all that has been written about him.
"But this collection must not be considered as affording only entertainment to the idle, or speculative knowledge to the curious; it most forcibly impresses a sense of the vanity and brevity of life, which the moralist and the divine have always thought an important purpose, but which mere declamation can seldom attain.
"In a series of familiar letters between the same friends for thirty years, their whole life, as it were, passes in review before us; we live with them, we hear them talk, we mark the vigour of life, the ardour of expectation, the hurry of business, the jollity of their social meetings, and the sport of their fancy in the sweet intervals of leisure and retirement; we see the scene gradually change; hope and expectation are at an end; they regret pleasures that are past, and friends that are dead; they complain of disappointment and infirmity; they are conscious that the sands of life which remain are few; and while we hear them regret the approach of the last, it falls, and we lose them in the grave. Such as they were, we feel ourselves to be; we are conscious to sentiments, connexions, and situations like theirs; we find ourselves in the same path, urged forward by the same necessity, and the parallel in what has been is carried on with such force to what shall be, that the future almost becomes present, and we wonder at the new power of those truths, of which we never doubted the reality and importance.
"These letters will therefore contribute to whatever good may be hoped from a just estimate of life; and for that reason, if for no other, are by no means unworthy the attention of the publick."
Three similar volumes succeeded in 1767, with the following epistle from Deane Swift, esq.
To Mr. William Johnston.
|"SIR,||Worcester, July 25, 1767.|
"Although I gave you my reasons, some time ago, for not troubling either the publick or myself with any Preface to these volumes of Dr. Swift's writings, you still press for some kind of Advertisement, by way of ushering them into the world. But what occasion is there for such formality? If the letters now printed merit general regard, they will have a chance to live as long as the rest of his epistles: if they deserve contempt, their days will be of short continuance. And as for the reigns of William Rufus, Henry the First, and Stephen; it is supposed they will appear to be such a model of English history, as will make all men of taste, and especially foreigners, regret that he pursued his plan no farther.
"I can tell you a secret, which I was not apprised of myself until about a year ago, and which perhaps may give you pleasure. There are many of the Doctor's writings, long since printed (don't be surprised, for I am supported in what I say by the authority of manuscripts now in my own study) which are not to be met with in any collection of his works: so indifferent he was, and careless, whether they lived or died. Yet even these, by one means or other, as I know their titles, and conjecture where they can be found, I hope I shall be able to recover, and send down to posterity.
"To the best of my recollection, when I talked to you last November of a preface to these volumes, I had some thoughts of opening a scene, which would have exposed to view several things which are still involved in darkness. But, as I have neither youth, leisure, nor inclination, to engage in altercations of any sort, I think it is better to postpone what I have principally to say relating to these matters, and particularly to the subject of Dr. Swift's writings, until a more convenient and proper season; when perhaps it would be thought early enough to inform the curious, by what a strange variety of accidents the Doctor's works have happened to make their appearance in so disorderly, uncouth, and miserable a condition (to say nothing of a thousand mistakes and blunders committed by several editors, both in England and Ireland) as they do at present.
"I am, Sir, wishing you all success in your publication, your most sincere, and very humble servant,
In this state was the collection, when, in the latter end of 1774, the present Editor, having occasion to peruse with attention the fifteenth and sixteenth volumes, was induced to read, in a regular series, the whole of Dr. Swift's Correspondence. In this pursuit, he could not but be astonished to perceive that many pieces, which the Dean acknowledges as his own, were not to be found in the most expensive editions of his works. In truth, from the volumes having been published at different periods, the smaller editions may be said to have been complete, while those in which exactness might well be looked for have remained defective. To remedy that inconvenience, he published in 1775 the seventeenth volume; consisting of materials, which, if not entirely new to the world, were such in the editions just mentioned. From the preface to this volume a short extract shall be given.
"The several pieces now offered to the publick are of too miscellaneous a nature to need any formal apology. Many of them are admirable; some of them indifferent; and some, perhaps, rather below mediocrity. Yet there are few readers who would not wish (as Swift has said of Sir William Temple) 'to see the first draught of any thing from this author's hand.' And the present editor hopes to escape the imputation of reviving 'libels born to die,' if he expresses a wish that the less valuable parts of the whole collection were removed from the places they now possess, and (by being classed in a separate volume) consigned to whatever fate their respective degrees of merit may deserve."
One very material part of the last-mentioned volume consisted of Swift's "History of the Four last Years of Queen Anne;" which having been adopted by Mr. Sheridan, will be found in the fourth volume of this collection, introduced with some prefatory remarks by the present editor.
Encouraged by the favourable attention of the publick, the twenty-fourth volume was brought forward in 1776, with this apology:
"Additions to the works of an author already esteemed too voluminous, it is acknowledged, should be made with caution. The editor, however, with confidence relies on the merit as well as authenticity of his materials; and, if any particular article which has been admitted should appear liable to objection, will rest his appeal on the real motive for entering on a task not unattended with labour — a desire of preserving those scattered materials without which the works of Swift can never be completed: an event the world has long had reason to expect from the person in every respect best qualified for such an undertaking, 'Many of the Doctor's writings' (says Mr. Deane Swift, the worthy guardian of his kinsman's fame), 'long since printed, are not to be met with in any collection of his works.' The pieces now presented to the reader are exactly under this predicament; and some of them, it is presumed, are part of what Mr. Swift alludes to.
"In the state in which the Dean's writings now stand, the editor flatters himself, he shall not be censured for what is added. He does not pretend to say, that the whole ought to be adopted in a regular edition: yet, whenever such a work shall be actually undertaken, he doubts not but the present volume will be considered as an interesting part of it; and at the same time will be a proper appendage to all former editions; being strictly, what it professes to be, a Collection of Miscellanies by Dr. Swift and his most intimate friends.
"The first part consists of several scarce tracts, originally published in that memorable period the four last years of the queen: some of which are avowedly the Dean's, though hitherto they have never appeared under his name; and others are ascribed to him, on his own authority, either as having written a part of them, or at least as having suggested the hints.
" As the sound politician and indefatigable champion of Ireland, our author already stands unrivalled. But, when we consider him as the confidential friend of an able ministry involved in perpetual disputes, in vain do we look among his works for the writings which exalted him to such consequence. The Examiners excepted, they are thinly scattered through the collection, and far inferiour in number to what might naturally be expected from the pen of so ready a writer. Like Virgil's mariners,
' Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto!'
That he was not idle in that busy period, a slight perusal of the Journal to Stella will demonstrate; and what is here collected may be considered as a specimen of his labours.
"It is much to be lamented indeed that he did not follow the advice given him in the year 1733:'I have long had it at heart,' says his friend Mr. Ford, 'to see your works collected, and published with care. It is become absolutely necessary, since that jumble with Pope, &c. in three volumes, which put me in a rage whenever I meet with them. I know no reason why, at this distance of time, the Examiners, and other political papers written in the queen's reign, might not be inserted. I doubt you have been too negligent in keeping copies: but I have them bound up, and most of them single besides. I lent Mr. Corbet that paper to correct his Gulliver by; and it was from that I mended my own. There is every single alteration from the original copy; and the printed book abounds with all those errours which should be avoided in the new edition.'
"Had Dr. Swift attended to this advice, the present publication would undoubtedly have been superseded; or, could the editor have fortunately obtained the collection so diligently made by Mr. Ford, it would have been a collateral proof of authenticity, and have probably increased the number of the Dean's political pamphlets. Those which are now printed are all which the editor has met with; and each of them is separately left to vouch for its own excellence, and for the authority on which it has been admitted into this volume.
"The lighter prose parts of the collection have been selected, by various accidents, from different sources. For a few of them, the editor readily acknowledges himself indebted to Mr. Faulkner; to whose diligence the reader is also obliged for the additional letters; and for some entertaining anecdotes, particularly in matters relative to Ireland.
"Many of the poetical essays are the Dean's, and all of them such as are immediately connected with his writings. Among these, the productions of Dr. Delany are particularly distinguished.
"Facts and circumstances of a temporary nature are so soon forgotten, that little apology seems necessary for the number and minuteness of the notes. It has ever been the editor's opinion, that every book should include an explanation of the obscure and less known passages in it, without obliging the reader to refer to other sources of information. When it is considered that these helps are designed for the use of such as are not general readers, it is presumed those who are more informed will pardon the insertion of some circumstances, which to them may appear superfluous."
To these, in 1779, was added the twenty-fifth volume; from the preface to which, a very few lines shall be taken:
"After what the editor of this volume has prefixed to those he before introduced to the press, it is needless to enlarge on the motives, or even on the contents, of the present publication. The numerous corrections in the 'Journal to Stella' are too material to pass totally unnoticed. That part of it which was published by Dr. Hawkesworth, appearing abundantly more polished than the other given to the world by Mr. Deane Swift; it was natural to imagine that some alteration had been made. On examining, I find that in the originals, now in the British Museum, beside a few corrections which appear to have been by the Dean at the time of writing them, there are some obliterations, and many whole sentences omitted. It is true, they relate principally to private matters. But how far there is a propriety in making such corrections, the reader will best determine, on a perusal of the passages here restored; many of which he will plainly perceive to have arisen from the carelessness of a transcriber, who frequently omitted what he could not read.
"It may perhaps be objected against some of the articles which will be found throughout Swift's works, that they are too trifling, and were never intended by the author for the eye of the publick. But it was thought it would be an agreeable entertainment to the curious, to see how oddly a man of his great wit and humour could now and then descend to amuse himself with his particular friends. 'His bagatelles,' lord Chesterfield tells us, 'are much more valuable than other people's;' an observation which will fully justify the publication of his 'Remarks on Dr. Gibbs's Psalms.'
"The editor returns thanks to those respectable gentlemen who have so liberally honoured him with their communications; and particularly to the friend whose assistance has been of the most singular use to him in these researches. The titles of such pieces as are known to have been written by the Dean, not yet recovered, shall here be given:
1. His Letter to the Bishop of Killaloe. "Tooke is going on with my Miscellany. I'd give a penny the letter to the bishop of Killaloe was in it; it would do him honour: Could not you contrive to say you hear they were printing my things together; and that you wish the bookseller had that letter among the rest? but don't say any thing of it as from me. I forgot whether it was good or no; but only having heard it much commended, perhaps it may deserve it." If this was ever printed, it must have been in or before the year 1708.
2. A Tract, "On Reading, and the Corruption of Taste in Writing." This tract was written by Swift, and sent to sir Andrew Fountaine. It never was printed; but is probably alluded to in the Journal to Stella, Nov. 4, 1710. 'I writ a pamphlet when I was last in London, that you and a thousand have seen, and never guessed it to be mine.' Oct. 12, he says, 'They have fixed about fifty things on me since I came; I have printed but three.' Q. What were they?
3. "A Ballad (full of Puns) on the Westminster Election, 1710." In the Journal to Stella, Oct. 17, 1710, he says, 'This morning Delaval came to see me, and we went together to Kneller's, who was not in town. In the way we met the electors for parliament-men: and the rabble came about our coach, crying, ' A Colt, a Stanhope, &c.' We were afraid of a dead cat, or our glasses broken; and so were always of their side.' Journal to Stella, Oct. 5, 1710. — 'There is a Ballad full of Puns on the Westminster Election, that cost me half an hour: it runs, though it be good for nothing.' .
4. "Dunkirk still in the Hands of the French, being a plain and true Discovery of a most notorious Falsehood, invented by Jacobites and Tories, that the Town of Dunkirk was lately delivered to the English. Price 1d." Advertised July 17. — This and the three following are certainly part of the seven penny papers Swift mentions to Stella, Aug. 7, 1712.
5. "A Hue and Cry after Dismal; being a full and true Account how a Whig Lord was taken at Dunkirk in the Habit of a Chimney Sweeper, and carried before General Hill. Price 1d."
6. "It's out at last, or French Correspondence clear as the Sun. Price 1d."
7. "A Dialogue upon Dunkirk, between a Whig and a Tory, on Sunday Morning the 6th Instant. Price 1d."
9. When the Earl of Oxford was under prosecution, Swift saw a pamphlet called 'The Conduct of Lord Treasurer impartially considered;' upon which he wrote observations; but whether he published them, does not appear.
10. He wrote in 1725 more papers against Wood than are printed.
13. The rev. Mr. Harte, author of the Life of Gustavus Adolphus, &c. informed some of his friends, that he had read eleven sermons of the Dean's, which he had lent to Mr. Pope, who assured Mr. Harte, they were the best he ever had read; and Mr. Harte has said the same, who was very circumstantial in telling, 'they were not only stitched together, but in a black leather case; that they were among Mr. Pope's papers, when he died; and that he believed that Dr. Warburton, who had the revisal and publication of all Pope's writings after his death, might have seen them.'
14. An original letter of the Dean's (unprinted) is in the possession of lord Dartrey. Mr. York of Erthig has another, containing a criticism on Pope's Homer. Three more to miss Waryng of Belfast, to whom Swift seriously paid his addresses, are existing.
"The poetical writings of Swift have been long obscured by the mode in which they are scattered through his numerous writings. They are now collected in a regular point of view, and arranged in a chronological series. This is one of the advantages for which the publick are indebted to the late excellent Supplement to Dean Swift's Works. It would be endless to point out the many useful additions in these volumes; they must be seen, to show their value."
The Dedication and Preface of Mr. Sheridan to the edition of 1784 shall be given at large:
"TO HENRY GRATTAN, ESQ.
FOUNDER OF THE LIBERTIES OF IRELAND —
THIS NEW EDITION OF THE WORKS
OF HIS GREAT PRECURSOR,
THE IMMORTAL DRAPIER!
IN WHOSE FOOTSTEPS HE HAS TRODDEN,
AND WHOSE IDEAS REALIZED,
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED
BY HIS GRATEFUL COUNTRYMAN,
(NOW MADE PROUD OF THE NAME OF IRISHMAN)
"Never did any writer show less solicitude about the fate of his Works, than Swift. From the time they were sent into the world, he seems not to have had any farther concern about them. As soon as his eaglets were fledged —
He whistled them off, and let them down the wind.
To prey at fortune. Shakspeare.
And ever after he was as careless about their fate, as birds are with regard to their dispersed broods.
For a long time his several productions remained in a detached state, without the name of any author; nor could the general admiration they excited, provail on him to reveal himself, or claim them as his own. In this respect, he seems to have been actuated by the same principle which governed his whole conduct in life, that of the most perfect disinterestedness; and as he had laid it down for a maxim, from the beginning, that he never would receive any pecuniary gratification for his writings, so he used his best endeavours to avoid, as much as possible, even the reward of fame. Or if, in process of time, the author of works bearing the stamp of such uncommon genius, should be discovered, it would be allowed that he courted not fame, but fame followed him. The improvement of mankind being the chief object he had in view in all his publications, he thought the extraordinary talent, bestowed on him, for this purpose, with so liberal a hand, ought to be as liberally employed, without any mean mixture of selfish motives.
"The first time that any of his straggling pieces were collected together, with his own consent, was so late as the year 1726, when he was far advanced in life. These were published by Mr. Pope in some volumes of Miscellanies, interspersed with works of his own, preceded by a Preface to which both their names were subscribed.
"Seven or eight years after this, the first collection of his Works, unmixed with those of others, was made by George Faulkner, printer and bookseller in Dublin, in four volumes octavo. This was carried on, not only without the Dean's consent, but much against his inclination, as may be seen by several of his Letters written to different persons about that time. Yet Faulkner, in order to stamp a credit on his edition, had the confidence to assert (not indeed till after the Dean had lost his senses) in some of the latter volumes, that the whole was carried on under his inspection; nay that he even corrected the press, sheet by sheet: the falsehood of which must appear to every one, who sees what a number of absurd and stupid notes are to be found there. But, indeed, he was so far from encouraging the Work, that he never could be prevailed on to give the least information about any other of his writings, not before publickly known to be his, though frequently importuned on that head by Dr. Sheridan, and many others of his friends, who were inclined to serve Faulkner, and wished to make the edition as complete as possible: on which account they could, at that time, furnish out only four volumes. There was but one point in which he interfered; that of not suffering his name to be prefixed, but only the initial letters.
"The avidity with which these works were devoured by the Publick, brought on a search for all the other writings of the Author, not contained in this collection, and several successive volumes were published as they were found out. Out of these the ingenious Dr. Hawkesworth formed an elegant edition enriched with notes, many of which are retained in this.
"When all that had hitherto been printed was exhausted, the curiosity was keener with regard to original pieces, and such manuscripts as had never seen the light. Among these none have met with a more favourable reception from the Publick, than the collection of his Epistolary Correspondence; for, though it is evident that none of these letters (if we except only Mr. Pope's) were intended for the press, yet this very circumstance seems to have enhanced their value, according to an observation of lord Bolingbroke's in one of his Epistles to Swift, where he says — 'Pliny writ his letters for the publick; so did Seneca; so did Balsac, Voiture, &c. Tully did not, and therefore these give us more pleasure than any which have come down to us from antiquity. When we read them, we pry into a secret which was intended to be kept from us. That is a pleasure. We see Cato, and Brutus, and Pompey, and others, such as they really were, and not such as the gaping multitude of their own age took them to be, or as historians and poets have represented them to ours. That is another pleasure.'
"When we reflect that among his correspondents are to be found the celebrated names of Bolingbroke, Pope, Addison, Gay, Arbuthnot, Prior, archbishop King, Peterborow, Pulteney, Voltaire, &c. we need not wonder that the curiosity of the present times has been so highly gratified by their publication. Nor is there any doubt but that their value will continue to increase with posterity, in proportion to the distance of time, down to the latest period. And even among those correspondents of an inferiour class, the letters will perhaps be found the best patterns in our language, whether of the easy, familiar, or elegant style; in which some of the ladies have distinguished themselves, particularly the duchess of Queensberry and lady Betty Germain. But Swift's own style, in his Epistles, as in every thing else, will always remain unrivalled, until some great original genius like himself shall arise.
"In this collection nothing is more valuable, or has more highly gratified the curiosity of the publick, than his Journal to Stella; as it lets us more into the real character of Swift than all his other writings put together. In this Journal, daily addressed to his bosom friend, every thought as it rises in his mind, and every feeling of his heart, are laid open in all the nakedness of truth. Throughout the whole he is thinking aloud, as if he were conversing with her tête à tête; and out of this as true a portrait may be made of the peculiar features and complexion of his mind, as could be done of his external form, by any artist, to whom he might sit for his picture; and to this I have been chiefly indebted, for the proofs produced in support of his character.
"The first thing to be done in this edition, was, to disembroil these works from the chaos in which they have hitherto appeared, and reduce them into some regular order under proper heads.
"The first volume is wholly taken up with the History of his Life.
"The fifth, his Essays on various Subjects.
"The tenth, his sermons, and a variety of detached Pieces written in Ireland.
"The eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth volumes contain the whole of his Epistolary Correspondence. As the several parcels containing these Letters had fallen into different hands, and were published at different times, they were printed without any regard to order, insomuch that the answers to numbers of the Letters were to be sought for in different volumes. They are here digested in a regular series according to their dates. The correspondence between Mr. Pope and the Dean, not in the former edition, is here added, as published by Pope; and the whole closed with his Journal to Stella, in an uninterrupted series.
"In the sixteenth volume are thrown together all his Sketches and unfinished Pieces.
"The seventeenth volume consists of Martinus Scribleras, John Bull, and various other Pieces in prose and verse, published in Pope's Miscellanies. As these Pieces are admirable in themselves, and as it is well known that Swift had a great share in some of the most capital, though, according to his usual practice, he never claimed any, but let his friends Arbuthnot and Pope enjoy the whole reputation as well as profit arising from them; and as these have always made a part of Swift's Works, where only they are now to be found collected, it was thought proper to add this volume to the rest.
"As Swift has been universally allowed to write the purest and most correct English, of any of our Authors, I thought it might be of publick benefit, to point out all grammatical errours, solecisms, or inaccuracies, that might occur in his style. For —
Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile.
This I have done throughout, as occasion offered, in notes; except in his more familiar letters, where, some degree of negligence is allowable, and the use of colloquial phrases, not consistent perhaps with strict propriety, is permitted, as giving them a more natural air. Nor have I taken notice of many inaccuracies of a similar kind in his Gulliver's Travels; where he sometimes purposely makes use of phrases and expressions not strictly grammatical, in order that the style might seem more in character, as coming from a seafaring man. The not adverting to this, has been the reason that several criticks, who have taken upon them to point out Swift's inaccuracies, have produced almost all their instances from Gulliver's Travels.
“But, beside the particular passages which I have commented upon in the notes, there are some general improprieties which run through the whole body of the works, not only of our author, but of all other English writers. These have been established by long custom, and suffered to keep their posts through an unpardonable neglect of studying our own language. To point these out wherever they occurred, would have been an endless task, and occasioned a disgusting repetition; I have therefore corrected them throughout; and that the reader may judge of the propriety of so doing, I here subjoin a list of them.
“As the living speech has never engaged our attention, the whole being employed about the written language, many barbarous words of uncouth sound are still retained, notwithstanding there are others of the same import, more pleasing to the ear. Such as —
No final sound can be more disagreeable than that of st — as it is only the sudden stop of a hiss.
What occasion is there for continuing the final s in those words?
Further — farther —
Far, farther, farthest?
Beside — besides —
These two words being of similar sound, are very improperly used promiscuously, the one for the other. When employed as a preposition, the word beside should always be used: when as an adverb, besides — The first signifies — over and above — The last, moreover. As in the following sentences. Beside (over and above) what has been advanced upon this subject, it may lead us to inquire, &c.
"Besides, (moreover) what has been advanced upon this subject, may lead us to inquire, &c.
"It is always an imperfection in a language to have the same individual word belong to different parts of speech; but when there are two words differently pronounced, and differently spelt, used promiscuously for each other, both in point of meaning, and in discharging the different offices of preposition and adverb, it savours much of barbarism, as it is so easy to allot their peculiar province to each. When I said that the word beside — should be always used as the preposition, and — besides — as the adverb, the choice was not made at random. In its prepositional state, it must be closely united to the following word; in its adverbial, it should always have a pause after it. Now the word beside — not loaded with the final s, is rendered more apt to run glibly into the following word: and the word besides, always preceding a pause, has, by the addition of the s, a stronger sound to rest upon.
Like — likely.
"These two words also, from a similitude of sound, though of such different meanings, are used promiscuously. Like — should be confined to similitude, — Likely — to probability.
No-ways — nowise —
"No-ways — is a vulgar corruption from nowise, and yet has got into general use, even among our best writers. The terminating — wise — signifies manner; as — likewise — in like manner — otherwise — in a different manner. It should be always written — nowise, in no manner.
From whence — whence.
"The preposition — from — in the use of this phrase, is for the most part redundant, as it is generally included in the word whence. Thus — whence come you? signifies — from what place come you? Whence it follows — from which it follows.
No — not. —
"The particle — no — is often substituted in the place of — not; as — I care not whether you believe me or no — To show the absurdity of this, it will be only necessary to add the words after — no — which are understood — as thus — I care not whether you believe me, or no believe me — instead of do not believe me. The adverbs no and yes, are particles expressive of the simple dissent or assent of the speaker, and can never be connected with any following word; and we might with as much propriety say — I care not whether you do not believe me or yes — as make use of its opposite — no — in that manner. This vulgarism has taken its rise from the same cause before-mentioned, the similarity of sound between no and not.
Never so — ever so —
"This is a strange solecism in language. Never so, signifies not ever so. Let us substitute the one for the other, and the absurdity will be apparent. Thus, when we say — I will do it, let him be never so angry — how contrary to the intention would it appear, should the phrase be changed to — let him not be ever so angry. Or if we use the same word in a phrase of like import — I will do it however angry he may be — how glaring would the absurdity appear, should any one say — hownever angry he may be!
— I had rather —
"This phrase is strangely ungrammatical; rather — means — more willingly. Now let us substitute the one in the place of the other — as — I had more willingly go, than stay — rather — is expressive of an act of the will, and therefore should be joined to the verb — to will — and not to the auxiliary — to have. Instead of I had rather — it should be — I would rather.
A — an —
"In the use of this article, it has been laid down as a rule, that it should be written — a — before a consonant, and — an — before a vowel; but by not attending to the exceptions to this rule, the article an — has been very improperly placed before words of a certain class, which ought to be preceded by the vowel singly. All words beginning with u, when the accent is on it, or when the vowel is sounded separately from any other letter, should have a, not an, before them. As, a únit, a úniverse, a úseful project, &c. For the vowel u, in this case has not a simple sound, but is pronounced exactly in the same manner as the diphthongs commencing with y, as in you the pronoun, the individual sound given to the name of the vowel u. Now, an, is never written before any words beginning with y; nor should it be placed before words commencing with u, when sounded exactly in the same manner; if we write — a youth, we should also write — a use.
"In like manner — an — never precedes words commencing with w nor should it therefore the vowel o, when it forms the same sound. Thus the word, one, has the same sound as if written, won, and yet it has been the custom to write — such an one. In both cases contrary to the usage of speech.
"When words begin with the letter h, they are preceded sometimes by a, sometimes by an; and this by an invariable rule in speaking. When the h or aspirate, is sounded, the article a is used; as a house, a horse: when the h is mute, an is employed; as, an hour, an honour; pronounced as if written an our, an onnur. And yet in all books published of late years, the article an precedes all words beginning with h alike — as an house, an horse, &c. Surely the printers ought to reform this abuse, when they have such an obvious rule to guide them. They have nothing to do but to follow the established mode of speech, whereof printing ought, as nearly as possible, to be the transcript.
"I have also taken the liberty of changing throughout an affected use of the third persons singular in verbs, by employing the termination eth, long since become obsolete, as, loveth, readeth, writeth, instead of — loves, reads, writes. This habit seems to have been caught from his professional use of the Church Service, the Bible, sermons, &c. for in the early editions of his first publications, it had not obtained; nor indeed in any of the others has it uniformly prevailed, as not only in the same page, but even the same sentence, the different modes are frequently to be found; and the terminating es, is, out of all proportion oftener used than that of eth; which would not have been the case, had it been the effect of judgment, or of choice. Now, as this singularity is not to be met with, in any of the polished writers from the days of Charles the second to this hour, I thought it should no longer have the sanction of so distinguished a name, by the casual use of it here and there in his works; especially as the change was much for the better, and founded upon good taste. None of the elements of speech have a less agreeable sound to the ear, than that of eth; it is a dead obtuse sound, formed of the thickened breath, without any mixture of the voice; resembling the noise made by an angry goose, from which indeed it was borrowed; and is more disagreeable than the hissing s, which has at least more of sharpness and spirit in it. On this account, as well as some other causes arising from the genius of our tongue, not necessary to be explained here, it has been long disused by our best writers; but as it yet remains in the translation of the Bible, and in the Common Prayerbook, it may be still employed, even to advantage, in sermons, and works of divinity; as it borrows a kind of solemnity, and somewhat of a sanctified air, from being found only in those sacred writings; on which account, I have suffered it to remain in such of Swift's Works as may be classed under those heads.
"Those who are advocates for the change of s into eth, assign as a reason for it, that in so doing we avoid the frequent repetition of that hissing letter, objected to our language as an imperfection. But in this, as in many other instances where sound is concerned, they judge by the eye, not the ear: for the letter s, after every consonant in our language, except four, loses its own power, and assumes that of z, one of our most pleasing sounds.
"In this edition I have given all the genuine Writings of Swift hitherto published, of whatever kind, and however trifling; as it was the general opinion, that an edition which should omit any thing of his, printed in a former one, would be considered as imperfect. The eagerness with which every thing has been sought after, which casually dropped from his pen, confirms this opinion. His slightest sketches, like those of some great painter, still show a masterly hand; and his most imperfect pieces, however great may be the quantity of alloy, still contain some particles of gold worth extracting. If the more fastidious criticks should object that there is some trash to be found among them, I shall give them the same answer that lord Chesterfield did to one of that sort, 'It is true, there is some stuff to be found there, but still it is Swift's stuff."
In 1789, a small volume of Dean Swift's "Miscellanies in Prose and Verse" was published by Mr. Dilly; which the anonymous Editor thus modestly introduced:
"To the Miscellanies now presented to the publick little preface is necessary. The productions of Dean Swift will ever speak for themselves. The publisher has only to lament that the death of a literary friend, to whom he owes the communication of the greater part of this volume, has deprived him of that satisfactory elucidation the collection would otherwise have received; and to acknowledge the assistance of another friend, from whom he has had some valuable additions.
"Whenever a complete edition shall be formed of Swift's Writings, it must be by an accurate comparison of the seventeen volumes published by Mr. Sheridan, with the twenty-five volumes in the editions of Dr. Hawkesworth and Mr. Nichols. When that is done, the present volume will form an interesting part; and till then it may be considered either as an eighteenth volume of the one edition, or as a twenty-sixth of the other."
In the same year, 1789, seven letters from Dr. Swift, and nine from his housekeeper Mrs. Whiteway, appeared in a valuable publication, by the late George Monck Berkeley, esq. entitled, "Literary Relicks;" to which an Inquiry into the Life of Dean Swift is prefixed, which shall be duly noticed in the nineteenth volume of this collection.
The Gentleman's Magazine for the last twenty years has been an occasional storehouse, whence many of the articles now first collected have been carefully extracted.
The only publication which remains to be mentioned is a collection of the Dean's Poetry, in "The Works of the British Poets, with Prefaces Biographical and Critical, by Robert Anderson, M.D. 1795;" to which the ingenious editor has prefixed a Life of Dr. Swift, and some remarks on his character and writings. These are very properly closed with that furnished by Dr. Johnson; which, though "less favourable" than those of his preceding biographers, will "by no means warrant the severe recrimination of Mr. Sheridan."
- From a corrected copy then in the hands of the late Deane Swift, esq.
- "At all adventures, yours and my name shall stand linked friends to posterity both in verse and prose." Pope to Swift, March 23, 1727-8.
- This was Dr. Hawkesworth's arrangement; Mr. Sheridan's will be described hereafter.
- "Our Miscellany is now quite printed. I am prodigiously pleased with this joint volume, in which methinks we look like friends side by side, serious and merry by turns—diverting others just as we diverted ourselves." Pope to Swift, March 8, 1726-7.
- See this letter, dated , 1735, in vol. XVIII.
- See this thought poetically expressed, vol. VIII. p. 238.
- Richard earl Temple.
- See vol. xvi, p. 356.
- The following note, written by bishop Warburton, was printed with the letters of Dr. Swift, Mr. Pope, and others, concerning this history: "These papers some years after were brought finished by the Dean into England, with an intention to publish them. But a friend on whose judgment he relied dissuaded him from that design. He told the Dean, there were several facts he knew to be false, and that the whole was so much in the spirit of party-writing, that though it might have made a seasonable pamphlet in the time of their administration, it was a dishonour to just history. The Dean would do nothing against his friend's judgment; yet it extremely chagrined him: and he told a common friend, that since —— did not approve the history, he would cast it into the fire, though it was the best work he had ever written. However, it did not undergo this fate, and is said to be yet in being." So says the right reverend annotator. And yet it is certain, that a friend of Dr. Swift's took occasion (in some conversation with lord Bolingbroke at Battersea in 1750) to ask his lordship about the facts mentioned in the said work, alleging, that a great part of the materials was furnished from his lordship's papers, when secretary of state; who replied, "That indeed he did not recollect any thing he might object to, as concerning the matters of fact, but one; which was about the suspension of arms being mentioned there as a transaction of the queen's ministry. Whereas, said he, I do assure you, I was utterly unacquainted with that measure; having advised against it, until it was fully agreed upon in concert with Dr. Swift's hero (meaning lord Oxford), nor had I any other hand in that matter more than to ask the queen in council, after the written order for suspending all military operations was put into my hands, Madam, is it your majesty's pleasure that this order be signed?" In a letter to Mr. Pope, Jan. 10, 1721, the Dean says, "I had indeed written some memorials of the four last years of the queen's reign, with some other informations which I received, as necessary materials to quality me for doing something in a place then designed me; but, as it was at the disposal of a person who had not the smallest share of steadiness or sincerity, I disdained to accept it." The office here alluded to was in the gift of Henry Grey duke of Kent.
- The six volumes of Letters were numbered XVIII — XXIII.
- See before, p. xvii.
- This was the case in Mr. Sheridan's edition of 1784.
- "My letters will at least be a good history, to show you the steps of this change," says Dr. Swift to Stella, on an interesting event, Dec. 9, 1711. — And again, "My letters would be good memoirs, if I durst venture to say a thousand things that pass." March 14, 1712-13.
Mrs. Pilkington tells us, Swift cut out the leaves from a very fine book, containing a translation of Horace's Epistles; and gave her two drawers full of letters to paste into the covers, with liberty to read as she went on. The first which came to hand, she says, "was a letter from lord Bolingbroke, dated six clock in the morning. It begins with a remark, how differently that hour appeared to him now rising cool, serene, and temperate, to contemplate the beauties of nature, to what it had done in some former parts of his life, when he was either in the midst of excesses, or returning home sated with them. He proceeded to describe the numberless advantages with which temperance and virtue bless their votaries, and the miseries which attend a contrary cause. The epistle was pretty long, and the most refined piece of moral philosophy I ever met with, as indeed every one of his were; and I had the unspeakable delight of reading several of them. Nor can I be at all surprised that Mr. Pope should so often celebrate a genius, who for sublimity of thought, and elegance of style, had few equals. The rest of the Dean's correspondents were, the lady Masham, the earl of Oxford, bishop Atterbury, bishop Burnet, lord Bathurst, Mr. Addison, archdeacon Parnell, Mr. Congreve, Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Pope, and doctor Arbuthnot." — Mrs. Pilkington's story, however, in this case, appears very questionable. The note in vol. I, p. 456, shows her capable of forging any untruths; and this circumstance of the letters is connected with that falsehood there charged on her. Besides, how came so much of Swift's correspondence to be found not in this book? and of the same period too? And how many letters could she have read through and pasted into a book, before dinner, talking to the Dean about them at the time, and called off to take a walk with him in Naboth's Vineyard before she had time even to get her paste ready?
- In July, 1732, he gave to Mrs. Pilkington the following loose assignment, the original of which is in the hands of the present editor: "Whereas several scattered papers, in prose and verse, for three or four years last past, were printed in Dublin, by Mr. George Faulkner, some of which were sent in manuscript to Mr. William Bowyer, of London, printer; which pieces are supposed to be written by me; and are now, by the means of the Reverend Matthew Pilkington, who delivered or sent them to the said Faulkner and Bowyer, become the property of the said Faulkner and Bowyer: I do here, without specifying the said papers, give up all manner of right, I may be thought to have in the said papers, to Mr. Matthew Pilkington aforesaid, who informs me that he intends to give up the said right to Mr. Bowyer aforesaid.
Witness my hand, July 22, 1732.Jonath. Swift.
From the Deanery-house in Dublin, the day and year above-written."
"Pursuant to an assignment, dated the 22d day of July, 1732, granted to me by the Rev. Doctor Swift, of several pieces in prose and verse, supposed to be written by him, which pieces were printed by Mr. Faulkner in Dublin, and Mr. Bowyer in London, most of which pieces were conveyed to them by me; I do hereby give up all manner of right which is conveyed to me by the said assignment to Mr. William Bowyer of London, printer, as empowered by the Rev. Doctor Swift aforesaid. In witness whereof, I have set my hand, this 5th day of October, 1732.
- Mrs. Whiteway, in a letter to Mr. Pope, May 16, 1740, says, "A few years ago he burnt most of his writings unprinted, a few loose papers which are in my possession, and which I promise you (if I outlive him) shall never be made publick without your approbation. There is one Treatise in his own keeping, called Advice to Servants, very unfinished and incorrect; yet what is done of it has so much humour, that it may appear as a posthumous work. The History of the Four Last Years of Queen Anne's Reign I suppose you have seen with Dr. King, to whom he sent it some time ago, and, if I am rightly informed, is the only piece of his (except Gulliver) which he ever proposed making money by, and was given to Dr. King with that design."
- Dr. Swift's successor as dean of St. Patrick's.
- See these in vol. XVIII, p. 218.
- These formed a valuable article at the time; but are now in a great measure superseded by Mr. Sheridan's life of the Dean.
- See vol. XVI, p. 359.
- Isaac Reed, esq., of Staple Inn.
- See the nineteenth volume of this collection, at the end of the year 1726.
- From the information of a gentleman of distinction.
- Two letters to this lady are already in this collection, vol. I, p. 278; and vol. XVIII, p. 243.
- The late Rev. John Duncombe, in Gent. Mag. vol. XLIX. p. 552.
- In a letter from Swift to Mr. Pulteney, dated May 12, 1735, there is the following paragraph: "I never got a farthing by any thing I writ, except one about eight years ago, and that was by Mr. Pope's prudent management for me." Here we have a confirmation of what I have advanced above, that he had laid it down as a maxim not to accept of any pecuniary gratification for his writings, by the positive assertion of the author, whose veracity cannot be doubted. And that he swerved from it in this single instance he imputes to Mr. Pope's prudent management for him. By which expression he seems to insinuate that it was not altogether with his approbation.
On the other hand it has been asserted that Swift got a sum of money for his first work, The Tale of a Tub; and as a proof of this, it is said, there is still in being an entry made in the books of the first publisher of a certain sum paid for that work. But this entry does not say to whom it was paid; and I shall here produce a certain proof that it was neither to Swift nor his order. That the first edition was made without his privity or consent, appears clearly from the following passages in the Apology prefixed to his own edition in 1709, where Swift, speaking of himself, says, — "He was then a young gentleman much in the world, and wrote to the taste of those who were like himself; therefore, in order to allure them, he gave a liberty to his pen, which might not suit with maturer years, or graver characters; and which he could easily have corrected, with a very few blots, had he been master of his papers for a year or two before their publication. — How the Author came to be without his papers, is a story not proper to be told, and of very little use, being a private fact: of which the reader would believe as little, or as much, as he thought good. He had, however, a blotted copy by him, which he intended to have written over with many alterations, and this the publishers were well aware of, having put it into the Bookseller's Preface, that they apprehended a surreptitious copy, which was to be altered, &c. This, though not regarded by readers, was a real truth, only the surreptitious copy was rather that which was printed; and they made all the haste they could, which indeed was needless, the Author not being at all prepared: but he has been told the bookseller was much in pain, having given a good sum of money for the copy."
From the above passage it is evident that the first edition was printed, without the Author's privity, from a surreptitious copy, and the money was paid to the possessor of that copy; who certainly, under such circumstances, must wish to be concealed, and therefore no name is annexed to the entry in the Bookseller's account book mentioned before.
- Among many others, the following passages in two of his letters to Mr. Pulteney, will clearly prove the point. "You will hear, perhaps, that one Faulkner has printed four volumes, which are called my works. He has only prefixed the first letters of my name. It was done utterly against my will; for there is no property in printers or booksellers here, and I was not able to hinder it. I have never yet looked into them, nor I believe ever shall." March 8, 1734. Again, May 12, 1735, he says, "You are pleased to mention some volumes of what are called my Works. I have looked on them very little. — The printer applied to my friends, and got many things from England. The man was civil and humble, but I had no dealings with him, and therefore he consulted some friends, who were readier to direct him than I desired they should."
- The Dean's assignment of these papers to Mr. Pilkington is printed in the present Preface, p. xxiii.
- In this volume was inserted the Dean's "Ode to King William on his Successes in Ireland," which the present Editor had previously recovered, in 1780, in his "Select Collection of Poems."
- That the Reader may judge for himself; Dr. Johnson's character of Swift shall be given in vol. XIX.