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OF THE MOST EMINENT
BY SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
A NEW EDITION, CORRECTED AND REVISED.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
PRINTED FOR G. WALKER, J. AKERMAN, E. EDWARDS; G. AND J.
ROBINSON, LIVERPOOL; E. THOMSON, MANCHESTER; J. NOBLE,
London: printed by Thomas Davison, Lombard-street, Whitefriars.
AN account of Dr. Swift has been already collected, with great diligence and acuteness, by Dr. Hawkesworth, according to a scheme which I laid before him in the intimacy of our friendship. I cannot therefore be expected to say much of a life, concerning which I had long since communicated my thoughts to a man capable of dignifying his narrations with so much elegance of language and force of sentiment.
JONATHAN SWIFT was, according to an account said to be written by himself*, the son of Jonathan Swift, an attorney, and was born at Dublin on St. Andrew's day, 1667: according to his own report, as delivered by Pope to Spence, he was born at Leicester, the son of a clergyman, who was minister of a parish in Herefordshiret. During his life the place of his birth was undetermined. He was contented to be called an Irishman by the Irish; but would occasionally call himself an Englishman. The question may, without much regret, be left in the obscurity in which he delighted to involve it.
* This account was really written by the Dean; and exists in his own hand-writing, in the library of Dublin College.
+ Spence's Anecdotes, vol. ii. p. 273.