Imatges de pÓgina
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that the defects of the former may protract the latter. Few of us are enough sensible how much the conjugal tie, and the several connexions which follow from it, how much even domestic troubles, when surmountable, are the physick of the soul; which, at the same time that they quicken the senses, preserve them too."

Not wishing to trouble the publick with any more last words of Dr. Swift; the Editor contented himself with writing in the margin of his own books such particulars as occurred, relative either to the Dean or to his writings; a circumstance which now enables him to supply several matters which had escaped Mr. Sheridan's observation, and to elucidate some passages which were left unexplained. Careful, however, not very materially to interfere with the general arrangement of Mr. Sheridan's edition; what has been superadded, though attended with no small labour, it is useless to the general reader to point out. To the critical collator, it would be superfluous.

For the first admission into the Dean's Works of the articles marked in the several Tables of Contents with an asterisk, the present Editor is responsible; and the authority on which the Miscellaneous Tracts are adopted is in general given.

The Epistolary Correspondence sufficiently speaks for itself, and needs no apology. Some of these are now first printed from the origi nals; and “ Letters written by wise men,” says an experienced writer, “ are of all the works of men, in my judgment, the best*.”

One advantage at least this edition possesses: a complete general Index, corrected by a Friend, whose kind attention has much facilitated the labours of the Editor.

For the critical notes the reader is almost wholly indebted to the late Mr. Sheridan. Those which are historical are selected from the former publications of lord Orrery, Dr. Delany, Dr. Hawkesworth, Deane Swift, esq., Bishop Warburton, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Warton, Mr. Bowyer, Dr. Birch, Mr. Faulkner, Mr. Chalmers, Mr. Bowles, and the present Editor.

J. NICHOLS.

* Bacon, de Augment. Scientiarum.

GENERAL PREFACE.

THE Advertisement having in some degree explained the nature of the present edition, this Preface shall give the history of those which have preceded it.

Swift's earliest appearance before the publick as a writer was in the separate Pindaric (des which appear in the beginning of the Sixteenth Volume, and in the Prefaces prefixed to the Works of his friend and patron, Sir William Temple, 1692.

In 1701 he published a pamphlet of some consequence, in quarto, under the title of “The Contests and Dissentions,” &c. which were followed in 1704 by “ The Tale of a Tub;" and by several occasional essays

and verse between that year and 1711; when, an attempt having been made to obtrude on the publick a spurious collection of his Tracts, which had now become popular; he consented that his friend John Morphew should present to the publick, but still without his

name,

in prose

name, a volume of “ Miscellanies in Prose and Verse,” to which the following Advertisement, undoubtedly with Dr. Swift's concurrence, was prefixed :

“ To publish the writings of persons without their consent, is a practice, generally speaking, so unfair, and has so many times proved an unsufferable injury to the credit and reputation of the authors, as well as a shameful imposition on the publick, either by a scandalous insertion of spurious pieces, or an imperfect and faulty edition of such as are genuine ; that though I have been master of such of the following pieces as have never yet been printed, for several months, I could never, though much importuned, prevail on myself to publish them, fearing even a possibility of doing an injury, in either of these two respects, to the person who is generally known to be the author of some ; and, with greater reason than I am at present at liberty to give, supposed to be the author of all the other pieces which make up

this collection. But as my own unwillingness to do any thing which might prove an injury to the supposed author's reputation, to whom no man pays a juster esteem, or bears a greater respect than myself, has hitherto kept me from giving the world so agreeable an entertainment as it will receive from the following papers; so the sense I had that he would really now suffer a much greater, in bóth instances, from other hands, was the occasion of my determining to do it at present: since some of the following pieces have lately appeared in print from very imperfect and incorrect copies. Nor was the abuse like to stop here; for these, with all the defects and imperfections they came out under, met

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