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will fufficiently diftinguish the peculiarities of his character and manners, and tranfmit a knowledge of him to posterity, of the fame kind, if not in the fame degree, as was obtained by thofe among his contemporaries, who were admitted to his converfation and friendship.
In the account of Dr. Swift's Life, feveral anecdotes, and different relations of particular incidents, are thrown into notes; and fome critical remarks on his character, taken from Lord Orrery and Mr. Swift, are now added. An abridgment of Mrs. Pilkington's account is annexed. In the eighth volume, immediately after the Dean's Will, are two letters defcribing his furiofity. After which is given Lord Orrery's account of Swift's death, and his Lordship's differtation on lunacy and idiotifm, occafioned by the melancholy fituation of the Dean's understanding, fome years before his death; not inferted in any London edition.
In works of great extent, the utility of indexes is obvious to every reader, and the want is generally complained of: Yet none of the London editions have any index. Therefore, to fupply fo material a defect, three indexes are annexed. The firft is of the titles of the pieces in profe; the fecond, of thofe of the poetry; and the third is of the principal matters.
Care has been taken to print this edition as cor. rectly as poffible; and it is hoped, that, in point of accuracy, it will not be found inferiour to any former one. In fhort, no pains or expence have been fpared to render this a complete and correct edition of the works of the celebrated Dean of St. Patrick's.
Lord Orrery tells us, that Dr. Swift left behind him few manuscripts; not one of any confequence, except an account of the peace of Utrecht, which he called An hiftory of the four last Years of 2. Anne. The title of an hiftory (adds his Lordihip) is too pompous
pompous for fuch a performance. In the hiftoricat ftile, it wants dignity and candour: But as a pamphlet, it will appear the best defence of Lord Oxford's adminiftration, and the clearest account of the treaty of Utrecht. His Lordship further tells us, that in fome of his leifure-hours, he had begun an history of England, and had purfued it through two or three reigns from William the Conqueror; but that the contempt he conceived of the ancient monarchs, made him him foon lay the defign afide; and that his averfion to kings was invincible.
Befides the letters contained in the eighth volume, Dr. Swift wrote a great many to Stella and Mifs Vanhomrigh. Extracts from fome of the former have been inferted in Mr. Swift's Effay, but none of the latter have yet appeared. From the letters to Stella are taken feveral occurrences in his life that could not otherwife have been known; particularly thofe relating to his political conduct during the four laft years of the reign of Q. Anne, which is univerfally owned to have been one of the most confiderable periods of his life, and in which his merit as a writer was moft diftinguifhed.
N. B. In the references to be found in the Life, D. S. ftands for Mr. Deane Swift's Effay on the Life, Writings, and Character of Dr. Jonathan Swift; O. for Orrery's remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift; J. R. for J. R.'s obfervations on Lord Orrery's Remarks, generally fuppofed to have been written by Dr. Delany; Sketch, for a fragment, intitled, The family of Swift, written by the Dean himself, immediately hereafter inferted; and Letter to S. Letters from the Dean to Stella, mentioned by Mr. Swift, but not published. The other references relate to the volumes of this edition.
R. JONATHAN SWIFT, an illuftrious
D'English wit, and juftly celebrated alfo
for his political knowledge, was defcended from a very ancient family, and born on the 30th of November 1667. His grandfather, Mr. Thomas Swift, was vicar of Goodrich in Herefordshire, and married Mrs. Elizabeth Dryden, aunt of Dryden the poet; by whom he had fix fons, Godwin, Thomas, Dryden, William, Jonathan, and Adam. Thomas was bred at Oxford, but died young, Godwin was a barrister of Gray's-Inn; and William, Dryden, Jonathan, and Adam, were attornies. Godwin having married a relation of the old Marchionefs of Ormond, the old Duke of Ormond made him his attorneygeneral
general in the palatinate of Tipperary in Ireland. Ireland was at this time almoft without lawyers, the rebellion having converted men of all conditions into foldiers. Godwin therefore determined to attempt the acquifition of a fortune in that kingdom, and the fame motive induced his four brothers to go with him. Jonathan, at the age of about twenty-three, and before he went into Ireland, married Mrs. Abigail Erick, a gentlewoman of Leicesterfhire; and about two years after left her a widow with one child, a daughter, and pregnant with another, having no means of fubfiftence but an annuity of 20 1. which her hufband had purchased for her in England, immediately after his marriage. In this distress she was taken into the family of Godwin, her husband's eldest brother; and there, about feven months after his death, delivered of a son, whom the called Jonathan, in remembrance of his father, and who was afterwards the celebrated Dean of St. Patrick's.
It happened, by whatever accident, that Jonathan was not fuckled by his mother, but by a nurfe, who was a native of Whitehaven; and when he was about a year old, her affection for him was become so strong, that finding it neceffary to vifit a fick relation there, the carried him with her, without the knowledge of his mother or uncle. At this place he continued about three years; for, when the matter was difcovered, his mother fent
orders not to hazard a fecond voyage, till he fhould be better able to bear it. Mrs. Swift, about two years after her hufhand's death, quitted the family of Mr. Godwin Swift in Ireland, and retired to Leicester, the place of her nativity; but her fon was again carried to Ireland by his nurfe, and replaced. under the protection of his uncle Godwin. It has been generally believed, that Swift was born in England; and, when the people of Ireland dipleafed him, he has been heard to fay, "I am not of this vile country, I am an Englishman:" but this account of his birth is taken from that which he left behind him in. his own hand-writing. Some have also thought, that he was a natural fon of Sir William Temple, because Sir William expreffed a particular regard for him but that was impoffible for Sir William was refident abroad in a public character from the year 1665, to 1670; and his mother, who was never out of the British dominions, brought him into the world in 1667.
At about fix years of age he was fent to the fchool of Kilkenny, and having continued there eight years, he was admitted a ftudent of Trinity college in Dublin. Here applying himfelf to books of hiftory and poetry, to the neglect of academic learning, he was, at the end of four years, refufed his degree of bachelor of arts for infufficiency; and was at laft admitted fpeciali gratia, which is there B 2 confidered