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A Tale of a Tub..

The Author's apology,

Treatifes written by the fame author, &..

The bookfeller's dedication,

The bookfeller to the reader,





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A difcourfe concerning the mechanical operation of the Spirit,


An argument against abolishing Christianity


A project for the advancement of religion,


The fentiments of a church of England-man with refpect to religion and government,


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By the Earl of ORRERY.

F we confider Swift's profe works, we fhall find a certain masterly concifenefs in their style, that hath never been equalled by any other writer. The truth of this affertion will more evidently appear, by comparing him with fome of the authors of his own time. Of thefe Dr. Tillotson and Mr. Addison are to be numbered among the most eminent. Addifon hath all the powers that can captivate and improve his diction is eafy, his periods are well turned, his expreffions are flowing, and his humour is delicate. Tillotson is nervous, grave, majeftic, and perfpicuous. We must join both thefe characters together to form a true idea of Dr. Swift yet as he outdoes Addison in humour, he excels Tillotfon in perfpicuity. The archbishop indeed confined himself to fubjects relative to his profeffion : but Addison and Swift are more diffufive writers. They continually vary in their manner, and treat different topics in a different ftyle. When the writings of Addison terminate in party, he lofes himself extremely, and from a delicate and just comedian, deviates into one of the lowest kind *. Not fo Dr. Swift. He appears like a masterly gladiator. He wields the fword of party with ease, juftnefs, and dexterity: and while he entertains the ignorant and the vulgar, he draws an equal attention from the learned and the great. When he is serious, his gravity becomes him, when he laughs, his readers muft laugh with him. But what shall be faid for his love of trifles, and his want of delicacy and decorum? errors, that if he did not contract, at least he increafed in Ireland. They are without a parallel. I hope they will ever remain fo.

* See the papers called the Freebelder,


The first of them arose merely from his love of flattery, with which he was daily fed in that kingdom: the fecret proceeded from the mifanthropy of his difpo-" fition, which induced him peevishly to debase mankind, and even to ridicule human nature itself. Politics were his favourite topic, as they gave him an opportunity of gratifying his ambition, and thirft of power: yet in this road he has feldom continued long in one path. He has written miscellaneoufly, and has chofen rather to appear a wandering comet, than a fixed ftar. Had he applied the faculties of his mind to one great and useful work, he must have shined more gloriously, and might have enligtened a whole planetary fyftem in the political world.

There are fome few pieces in his works that I defpife, others that I loath, but many more that delight and improve me. The former are not worthy of notice. They are of no further ufe than to fhew us, in general, the errors of human nature; and to convince us, that neither the height of wit nor genius can bring a man to fuch a degree of perfection, as vanity would often prompt him to believe.

In a difquifition of this fort, I fhall avoid as much as poffible any annotations upon that kind of fatire in which the Dean indulged himself against particular perfons moft of whom it is probable provoked his rage by their own misconduct, and confequently owed to their own rafhnefs the wounds which they received from his pen. But I have no delight in those kind of writings, except for the fake of the wit, which, either in general or in particular fatire, is equally to be admired. The edge of wit will always remain keen, and its blade will be bright and fhining, when the ftone upon which it has been whetted, is worn out, or thrown afide and forgotten. Perfonal fatire against evil magiftrates, corrupt minifters, and thofe giants of power, who gorge themselves with the entrails of their country, is different from that perfonal fatire, which too often proceeds merely from felf-love or ill nature. The one is written in defence of the public, the other in defence of ourselves. The one is armed by the sword of justice, and encouraged not only by the voice of the


people, but by the principles of morality; the other is dictated by paffion, fupported by pride, and applauded by flattery. At the fame time that I fay this, I think every man of wit has a right to laugh at fools, who give offence, and at coxcombs, who are public nuifances. Swift indeed has left no weapon of farcasm untried, no branch of fatire uncultivated; but while he has maintained a perpetual war against the mighty men in power, he has remained invulnerable, if not victorious.

See the criticisms prefixed to vols, 6, & 8,

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