Imatges de pÓgina

the revisal and publication of all Pope's writings afier his death, might have seen them.

14. An original letter of the Dean's (uuprinted) is in the possession of lord Dartrey *. Mr. York of Erthig + has another, containing a criticism on l'ope's Homer. Three niore to miss Waryng of Belfast I, to whom Swift seriously paid his addresses, are existing.

In the same year, 1779, the poetry of Dr. Swift, as arranged by the present editor in the collection then published ainder the superintendance of Dr. Johnson, was thus noticed :

“ 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. She ridan to the edition of 1784 shall nest be given :

“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)

-THE EDITOR. * See the seventeenth volume of this collection, under 1726. † From the information of a gentleman of distinction.

Two letters to this lady are already in this collection. $ The late Rev. John Duncombe, in Gent. Mag. XLIX 552

“ 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 wbistled them off, and l'et them down the wind,
To prey at fortune.

SHAKŠPEARE, 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, prevail 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.

In Swift's letter to Mr. Pulteney, dated May 12, 1735, we have a confirmation of what I have advanced, 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 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 mach 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 lefore their pul:lication. 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 bim, 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 alicred, &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 in. deed 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, witho!t 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.

“ 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

* 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, not I believe ever sball." March 8, 1734. Again, May 12, 1735,

“ 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 Enge land. The man was civil and humble, but I had no dealiligs with him; and therefore he consulted some friends, who were readier to direct bim than I desired they should." S.

he says,

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 impor. tuned 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 Dean's assignment of these papers to Mr. Pilkington is printed in the present Preface, p. xxi. N.

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