« PreviousContinue »
March 27, 1923 EM.
C ο Ν Τ Ε Ν Τ S.
I N T R O D U C T I O N.
LIFE of DOCTOR
From bis Birth to the Death of Sir William Temple
SE C T I O N II.
DË TUR DIGNISSIMO.
Here present the world with the Life of Dr.
Swift : a man, whose original genius, and uncommon talents, have raised him, in the general estimation, above all the Writers of the age. But, from causes to be hereafter explained, his character as a man, has hitherto been very problematical ; nor shall I find it easy, notwithstanding the most convincing proofs, to persuade mankind, that one who flourished in the beginning of this century, in times of great corruption, should afford in himself a pattern of such perfect virtue, as was rarely to be found in the annals of the ancient Republic of Rome, when virtue was the mode.
Yet if it can be shewn that even at this day, when corruption seems to have arrived at its utmost pitch, when prostitution is openly avowed, and public spirit turned into a jeft: if in such times as these, in fæce Romuli, there lives a man fully equal to Svift in all the moral virtues attributed to him ; the improbability of the existence of such a character at a former period, will be much lessened. In the following history Swift has been represented as a man of the most disinterested principles, regardless of self, and constantly employed in doing good to others. In acts of charity and liberality, in proportion to his means, perhaps without an equal, in his days. A warm champion in the cause of liberty, and support of the English Constitution.
A firm Patriot, in withstanding all attempts against his country, either by oppreffion, or corruption; and indefatigable in pointing out, and encouraging the means to render her state more flourishing. Of incorruptible integrity, inviolable truth, and fteadiness in friendship. Utterly free from vice, and living in the conftant discharge of all Moral and Christian duties. If, in these times, there should be found a man resembling him in all these points, it is fit the memorial of him, together with that of his immortal compeer, fhould be handed down to latest posterity: and that such a one does exist, will be acknowledged by all who have ever heard the univerfally revered name of Sir GEORGE SAVILe.
To him, therefore, is the following Life of a congenial Patriot infcribed by its Author; who has long admired his character, and been well acquainted with his worth, though a ftranger to his perfon.
POST SCRIP T.
THE above was committed to the Prefs fome weeks before the much-lamented death of the excellent man, to whom it was addreffed; but the publication has by fome accidents been deferred 'till now. That the Author had no interested view in his choice of a Patron (though he muft ever regret the occafion) he has now an opportunity of fhewing, by letting the above Dedication remain in it's original ftate, and thus confecrating to the memory of the dead, that tribute of praise, fo juftly due to the living.