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The BOOKSELLER'S ADVERTISEMENT.
HE following discourse came into my hands
perfect and entire. But there being several things in it which the present age would not very well bear, I kept it by me some years, resolving it should never see the light. At length, by the advice and assistance of a judicious friend, I retrenched those parts that might give most offence, and have now ventured to publish the remainder. Concerning the author, I am wholly ignorant : Neither can I conjecture, whether it be the same with that of the two foregoing pieces; the original having been sent me at a different time; and in a different hand. The learned reader will better determine; to whose judgment I entirely submit it.
DISCO U RS E
MECHANICAL OPERATION of the SPIRIT.*
For T. H. Efq; † at his chambers in the academy of
the Beaux-Esprits in New England.
T is now a good while since I have had in
my head something, not only very material,
but absolutely necessary to my health, that the world should be informed in. For, to tell you a secret, I am able to contain it no longer.
However, * This discourse is not altogether equal to the former, the best parts of it being omitted. Whether the bookfeller's account be true, that he durft not print the rest, I know not : nor indeed is it easy to determine, whether he may be relied on in any thing he says of this, or the former treatises, only as to the time they were writ in: which, however, appears more from the discourses themselves, than his relation.
This discourse is a satire against enthusiasm, and those affected inspirations, which constantly begin in folly, and very often end in vice. In this treatise, the author has revelled in too licentious a vein of sarcasm : many of his ideas are nauseous, fome are indecent, and others have an irreligious tendency. Nor is the piece it felf equal in wit and humour, either to The Tale of a Tub, or The Battle of the Books. I should constantly chuse rather to praise, than to arraign any part of Swift's writings : but in those tracts where he tries to make us uneasy with ourselves, and unhappy in our present existence, there I mult yield him up entirely to cenure: Orrery.
† Supposed to be Col. Hunter.