Imatges de pÓgina

The terminating-wise-signifies manner; as-likewise-in like manner-otherwise-in a different manner. It should be always written-nowvise, 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 followsfrom which it follows.


"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-ipstead 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 beforementioned, 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.


"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, ceded sometimes by a, sometimes by an;

they are preand 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,

rate, from which indeed it was borrowed; and is more dis; whe agreeable than the hissing s, which has at least more of onour sharpness and spirit in it. On this account, as well as yet some other causes arising from the genius of our tongue, ecede not necessary to be explained here, it has been long dishorse used by our best writers; but as it yet remains in the abuse translation of the Bible, and in the Common Prayerthem book, it may be still employed, even to advantage, in ished sermons, and works of divinity; as it borrows a kind of ya solemnity, and somewhat of a sanctified air, from being found only in those sacred writings; on which account, 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 %, 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 critics 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 1783, some letters from Dr. Swift to Dr. Atterbury were given to the public, in the "Epistolary Correspondence" of the last mentioned very eminent Dignitary.

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 public* 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

* In this volume was inserted the Dean's "Ode to King William on his successes in Ireland;" which the present Editor had previous ly recovered, in 1780, in his "Select Collection of Poems." N.

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