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In all probability the origin of the quarrel is to be
1 See Jebb's Bentley, pp. 15–16.
2 Life of Richard Bentley, second edition (1833), Vol. I,
3 See p. 300 of the Bibliography to this vol.
were Tories: there may have been some ill-feeling in Oxford at the appointment of Bentley to deliver the first Boyle lecture; for Robert Boyle, at least by residence, was an Oxford man: Bentley was not of high birth, and his overbearing manners tended to deepen the impression that he was a sort of ploughboy who had been developed into a learned boor'-a great deal of this contempt for an upstart scholar will be noticed in Boyle's Examination: lastly, Bentley knew the things that Boyle's tutors professed to know, and they felt all the hatred of the fluent charlatan for the genuine scholar.
Recollecting, then, Bentley's reputation for arrogance, and the dislike of him caused by his birth, his politics, and his learning, one may understand partly, at least, the feeling which dictated the phrase bro singulari sua humanitate.
The Present Edition
The present reprint of the Battle of the Books is based upon a comparison of the first, third, fifth, and sixth editions. A list of the significant variants is given
at pp. 291-2. The notes printed with the text are those which originally formed part of the book; the notes added to the fifth edition (see pp. xlviii.-ix.) are given at the end of the volume along with the editorial notes.
The Appendix consists of extracts from the literature of the Ancient and Modern Learning Controversy. The text followed is indicated at the head of each extract. Temple's Essay could not be given in full, or the Appendix, already long, would have been very much longer. The argument is, therefore, occasionally summarised, but the summaries are as nearly as possible in the words of the original text. The translation of the Epistles of Phalaris has been made from Boyle's text by Mr R. S. Bate, M.A. The text of Boyle's Examination has been made from a comparison of the first and third editions. The slight differences are indicated in the notes. In the extracts all marginal references have been omitted except those which seemed likely to interest the modern reader. Those which appeared interesting have been printed with the notes, in each case with an indication of their origin. The space thus saved has been used for a Bibliography.
The two letters at pp. 293-6 have been printed from photographs made in the Bodleian by the courteous permission of Bodley's Librarian.
In the notes an attempt has been made to illustrate the Battle of the Books from the literature of the controversy to which it belongs. The notes on the other pieces reprinted are much less elaborate, and are mainly intended to assist the reader who is interested in Swift's work.
The editor's debt to previous writers on the Ancient and Modern Learning Controversy-particularly to Jebb and Monk-is too obvious to need acknowledgement. In writing the notes on the Battle he has occasionally made use of the editions of Sir Henry Craik, Mr C. Egerton, and Mr Temple Scott. The second, in particular, has suggested some classical parallels.
Prof. Spingarn's Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century appeared as this book was passing through the press.
To his friend Mr C. D. Chambers, M.A., Lecturer in Latin in the University of Birmingham, the editor would offer his thanks for much valuable help.
BATTLE OF THE BOOKS
The Bookseller to the Reader
The Preface of the Author
A Full and True Account of the Battle,
APPENDIX: EXTRACTS FROM
LETTER OF DR EDM. GIBSON
LETTER OF GEO. GIBSON
Temple's Essay upon the Ancient and
Wotton's Reflections upon Ancient and
Bentley's first Dissertation (1697)
Bentley's second Dissertation (1699)