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with so much applause, and so universal a good reception from all men of wit and taste, as to prompt the booksellers, who had heard that soine other of these tracts were in manuscript in some gentleman's hands, to seek by any means to procure them ; which should they compass, they would without question publish in a manner as little to the author's credit and reputation, as they have already done those few which unfortunately have fallen into their possession. This being a known fact, I hope will be sufficient to make this publication, though without the author's consent or knowledge, very consistent with that respect I sincerely bear him ; who, if it should not appear to be perfectly without fault, can with little justice complain of the wrong he receives by it, since it has prevented his suffering a much greater, no more than a man who is pushed down out of the way of a bullet, can with reason take as an affront, either the blow he fålls by, or the dirt he rises with.
“ But indeed I have very little uneasiness upon me for fear of any injury the author's credit or reputation may receive from any imperfection or incorrectness in these following tracts; since the persons from whom I had them, and in whose hands I have reason to believe the author left them, when bis affairs called him out of this kingdom, are of so much worth themselves, and have so great a regard for the author, that I am confident they would neither do nor suffer any thing that might turn to his disadvantage. I must confess I am on another account under some censure, which is, lest soine of the following papers are such as the author perhaps would rather should not have been published at all; in which case, I should look upon myself highly cbliged
to ask his pardon : but even on this supposition, as there is no person named, the supposed author is at liberty to disown as much as he thinks fit of what is here published, and so can be chargeable with no more of it than he pleases to take upon himself.
“ From this apology I have been making, the reader may in part be satisfied how these papers came into my hands; and to give him a more particular information therein will prove little to his use, though perhaps it might somewhat gratify his curiosity, which I shall think not material any farther to do, than by assuring him, that I am not only myself sufficiently convinced that all the tracts in the following collection, excepting two, before both of which I have in the book expressed my doubtfulness, were wrote by the same hand; but several judicious persons, who are well acquainted with the supposed author's writings, and not altogether strangers to his conversation, have agreed with me herein, not only for the reasons I have before hinted at, but upon this account also, that there are in every one of these pieces some particular beauties that discover this author's vein, who exccis too much not to be distinguished, since in all his writings such a surprizing mixture of wit and learning, true humour and good sense, does every where appcar, as sets him almost as far out of the reach of imitation, as it does beyond the power of censure.
“ The reception that thesc pieces will meet with from the publick, and the satisfaction they will give 10 all men of wit and taste, will soon decide it, whether there be any reason to suspect an imposition, or the author to apprehend an injury; the former I am fully satisfied will never be, and the latter I am sure I never intended : in confidence of
which, should the author when he sees these tracts appear, take some offence, and know where to place his resentment, I will be so free as to own, I could without much uneasiness sit down under some degree of it, since it would be no hard task to bear some displeasure from a single person, for that for which one is sure to receive the thanks of every body else.”
The contents of this volume of Miscellanies shall here be given.
1. “ A Discourse of the Contests and Dissentions between the Nobles and Commons in Athens and Rome, 1701 ;" 2. “ The Sentiments of a Church of England Man, 1708;" 3. " Argument to prove that the Abolishing of Christianity, &c. 1703;" 4.“A Project for the Advancement of Religion, 1709;" 5. " Meditation on a Broomstick, 1704;" 6. “ Various Thoughts, moral and diverting, 1706;" 7.“ Tritical Essay upon the Faculties of the Mind, 1707;" 8. “ Predictions for the Year 1708 ;" g. “ Account of Partridge's Death, 1708;" 10. “ Vindication of Bickerstaff, 1709;" 11. “A Famous Prediction of Merlin, 1709;" 12. “ Letters on the Sacramental Test, 1708."--The Poems were, “ Verses on a Lady's Ivory Table-book;” “ Frances Harris's Petition;" “ Ballad on Lady Betty Berkeley's adding a stanza to a former Ballad ;" “Van's House;" Salamander ;” “ Baucis and Philemon ;” “ To Biddy Floyd ;" “ The History of Van's House;" “ Grubstreet Elegy on Partridge;" “ Apollo Outwitted ;” “ Description of the Morning;" " A City Shower;" and "The Virtues of Sid Hamet's Rod."
In 1712 Swift deviated from his accustomed
habit, byaffixing his name to a favourite project, in a “ Letter to the Lord Treasurer;" and in 1714 he had prepared for the press a
History of the four last Years of the Queen;" on which he had bestowed much attention; but which the decease of his Royal Mistress threw wholly into the shade; nor, after that period, was he at all solicitous for acquiring reputation as an author.
The “ Drapier's Letters” were presented singly to the publick as they came out. The copy of “ Gulliver's Travels” which in 1726. was transmitted to the press through the medium of Mr. Pope, is thus alluded to by the Dcan, in a letter to Mr. Pulteney, May 12, 1735: “I never got a farthing by any thing I writ, except once about eight years ago, and that by Mr. Pope's prudent management for me." The sum which was received for Gulliver is stated to have been £300; and on the publication of three volumes of their joint Miscellanies, which were left wholly to the disposal of Mr. Pope*, the profit was £150.
* See Pcpe's Letter to Mr. Mottc, August 16, 1732, in vol. XII. p. 369.
+ These particulars were communicated in 1749 to Dr. Birch by Mr. Faulkner; who added that “Dr. Swift had long conceived a mean opinion of Mr. Pope, on account of his jealous, peevish, avaricious temper."
In July 1732, the Dean gave to Mrs. Pilkington the following loose assignment, the original of which is in the hands of the present Editor:
« Whereas several scattered
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 haye 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
“ 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 impowered by the Rev. Doctor Swift aforesaid :
“ In witness whereof, I have set my hand, this 5th day of October, 1732.