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HE Works of Dr. JONATHAN SWIFT have been univerfally admired, and have paffed through many editions both in England. and Ireland. How they have been received in Scotland, appears from the quick fale of three Scotch editions fince the year 1752. A fourth one is now offered to the public, which it is hoped will meet with a favourable reception. As this edition is partly upon a different plan, more comple e, and illuftrated with a far greater number of notes, than any that hath yet appeared in England; we judge it neceffary to give an account of the method. ufed in conducting it.
In the edition which is no v offered to the public, the Tale of a Tub, of which the Dean's corrections fufficiently prove him to have been the author, the Battle of the Books, and the Fragment, make the first volume; the fecond is Gulliver's Travels; the Mifcellanies will be found in the third, fourth, fifth, fixth, and feventh; and the contents of the other volumes are divided into two claffes, as relating to England or Ireland. As to the arrangement of particular pieces in each clafs, there were only three things that feemed to deferve attention, or that could direct the choice that the verfe and profe fhould be kept fepara e; that the pofthumous and doubtful pieces thould not be mingled with thofe which the Dean is known to have publfhed himfelf; and that thofe tracts, which are parts of a regular feries, and illuftrate cach other, fhould be ranged in fucceffion without the intervention of other matter. Such are the VOL. I. Drapier's
Drapier's Letters, and fome other papers published upon the fame occafion, which have not only in the Irish edition, but in every other, been fo mixed, as to mifreprefent fome facts, and obfcure others. Such alfo are the tracts on the Sacramental Teft; which are now put together in a regular order, as they fhould always be read, by thofe who would fee their whole ftrength and propriety.
As to the arrangement of the different pieces, we have claffed them in the order which appeared to us the most natural, and by which we could most conveniently complete the work in eight volumes, of a fize near equal.
The first volume contains the Tale of a Tub, the Battle of the Books, the Fragment, fome tracts relating to religion, and the posthumous fermons. In the fecond are part of the mifcellanies relating to politics. The Drapier's Letters, the tracts concerning the Sacramental Teft, and Irish Affairs, will be found in the third. Gulliver's Travels, and fome humorous and political pieces, compofe the fourth. The fifth confifts of thofe tracts which Dr. Swift wrote, (in conjunction with Dr. Arbuthnot, Mr. Pope, and Mr. Gay), which are now collected in one volume. The fixth and Seventh contain the mifcellanies in verfe. In the feventh is likewife a part of the mifcellanies in profe, with Polite Converfation, and Directions to Servants. The eighth and laft contain a complete collection of all the Letters to and from the Dean, with a variety of Pofthumous Pieces, and his Laft Will.
As to the Notes, this edition will be found to contain double the number that is inferted in any London edition. Mot part of thofe notes to which no name is annexed, are taken from the Dublin and other editions. The greatest part of the other notes are taken from the Earl of Orrery's remarks on the life and writings of Dr. Swift, Mr. Deane Swift's Effay on the fame fubject, and War
burton's edition of Pope's Works. A few notes of reference, and fome historical remarks, are inferted by the editor. To fome of the large extracts from Orrery and Swift, we have given the title of Criticifms, as at the beginning of the 1ft, 6th, and 8th volumes. And care has been taken not to omit any remark of importance contained in the writings of thefe authors upon any piece of Swift's works.
Several pieces, both in profe and verse, do now make their firft appearance in Dr. Swift's works. Among the profe, the most confiderable are, Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus, in vol. 5. and the letters 1. 90. 91. 92. and 93. with the addrefs of the inhabitants of the liberty of St. Patrick's, &c. in vol. 8. Among the poetry are the following: Stella to Dr. Swift on his birthday; Toland's invitation to Difmal; Mrs. Pilkington to Dr. Swift on his birthday; An epitaph on the Dean's dog; Swift's letter to the Athenian fociety; A dialogue between Dr. Swift and a lawyer, &c. Thofe pieces are moftly taken from Orrery's letters, and Mr. Deane Swift's eftay.
And that this edition is more complete than any preceding one, will be evident to every person, who fhall take the trouble to compare them. However, we fhall here point out feveral pieces contained in this edition, befides thofe mentioned in the foregoing paragraph *.
In vol. 1. The 5th fermon; and, A proposal for preventing the growth of Popery.
In vol. 2. The laft fix Examiners.
In vol. 3. Confiderations about paffing Wood's brafs money; the Drapier demolished; and the Intelligencer, No. 15.
In vol. 6. p. 245. A letter from Dr. Swift to Dr. Sheridan.
*None of which are to be found in that of Mr. Hawke worth, though it is more complete than any that preceded it,
In vol. 7. The preface to the beafts confeffion to the priest; verses upon stealing a crown when the Dean was afleep, by Dr. Sheridan; the Dean's anfwer; Probatur aliter; Tom's metamorphofis into a poet and fpaniel; and, The life and character of Dr. Swift.
In vol. 8. Befides the Letters already mentioned, all those from No. 2. to No. 89.; a Letter from Dr. Swift to Mr. Kendall; a Defence of the lady's dreffing-room, &c.
As to the difference betwixt the prefent, and the Scotch edition in 1752, which was printed from the Dublin one, and on the fame plan, with the addition of a ninth and a tenth volume, it is unneceffary to defcend to particulars. Upon a minute comparison, it will be found that this edition contains upwards of one hundred pieces more
As to the Life of Dr. Swift, many accounts have been published of it. Thefe have mutually reflected light upon each other, afcertained controverted facts, and rectified mistakes, which, if they had ftill been traditional and oral, would still have been believed. Several little incidents, which thewed the peculiarities of his converfation and do. meftic life, were related by Mrs. Pilkington in her memoirs; though thefe could be believed only in proportion as they verified themfelves. Lord Orrey's letters contained many of the principal events, intermingled with many characteristic incidents, fupported in general upon better authority; but fometimes founded upon falfe information. Some of thefe miftakes were detected by a volume of letters figned J. R. in which were also fome new ma terials; and the account fince published by Mr. Swift, with an imperfect sketch by the Dean himfelf, has furnished yet more. It was not thought neceffary (fays he) to relate every trifling particular that has been recorded, but only to felect fuch as: