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No Author in the British language has enjoyed the extensive popularity of the celebrated Dean of St Patrick's. Neither the local and temporary nature of the subjects on which his pen was frequently engaged, nor other objections of a more positive nature, have affected the brilliancy of his reputation. In spite of the antiquated and unpopular nature of his politics,-in spite of the misanthropical and indelicate tone of some of his writings, and the trifling character of others, the vivid and original power of his genius has supported him in the general opinion, to an extent only equalled by his friend Pope, and far surpassing any other of
those geniuses who flourished in the Augus
tan age of Queen Anne.
Yet of all authors, perhaps, who ever wrote, Swift appears to have been the most inattentive to literary reputation, and to have flung from him his numerous productions, with the least interest in their future fate. The valuable and laborious edition of Mr Nicol, was the first which presented to the public any thing resembling a complete collection of Swift's works; and unquestionably those who peruse it, must admire the labour and accuracy of the editor. It has nevertheless been generally understood, that fugitive pieces of the Dean of St Patrick's, letters and anecdotes throwing light on his remarkable history and character, still remained excluded from this ample collection; and above all, that a distinct and combined account of his life, selected from the various sources afforded by his contradictory biographers and commentators, continued to be a desideratum.
The attempt to fill up such a blank by a more complete edition of Swift's works, can only be justified by stating the various advantages which have been afforded to the present Editor, and of which, if he has not been able to avail himself, the blame undoubtedly rests with himself, and not with those friends whose liberality has furnished him with such copious materials.
The present edition of this incomparable English Classic is offered to the Public with the advantage of possessing considerably upwards of a hundred original Letters, Essays, and Poems, by Dean Swift, which have not hitherto been printed with his works. These have been recovered from the following authentic sources :-First, The most liberal communications have been made by Theophilus Swift, Esq. Dublin, son of the learned Deane Swift, the near kinsman and biographer of the celebrated Dean of St Patrick's. Secondly, A collection of Manuscripts, of various descriptions, concerning Swift and his
affairs, which remained in the hands of Dr Lyons, the gentleman under whose charge Swift was placed during the last sad period of his existence. To the use of these materials the Editor has been admitted by the favour of Thomas Steele, Esq. the nephew of Dr Lyons. Thirdly, Fourteen original Letters from Dean Swift, never before published, two of which are addressed to Mr Addiand the others to Mr Tickell the poet. This interesting communication the Editor owes to the liberality and kindness of Major Tickell, the descendant of the ingenious friend of Swift and Addison. Fourthly, Several unpublished pieces, from the originals in Swift's hand-writing, in the possession of Leonard Macnally, Esq. barrister-at-law. Fifthly, The unwearied friendship of Matthew Weld Hartstonge, Esq. has furnished much curious and interesting information, the result of long and laborious research through various journals and collections of rare pamphlets and loose sheets, in which last form many of Swift's satires made their