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“A person of great honour in Ireland used to tell me that
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The biographical part of this work must be regarded as subordinate to the literary. I have attempted to describe and illustrate Swift's chief writings, merely giving such a sketch of his career as is required for a due understanding of their import.
The quotations from Swift's works and correspondence have been intentionally made as numerous and as full as possible ; it being, in my opinion, easier to give an idea of an author's genius in this way than by means of unsupported critical disquisitions. The latter are always delusive, except when a good knowledge of the works criticised has been previously obtained by the reader.
In my quotations I have modernised the spelling, and have given up the use of capital letters in the case of common nouns prevalent in Swift's time. I have also altered a few words and phrases, the crudity of which suits not with present ideas.
The edition of Swift's works mainly used has been that of Roscoe, published in 1864 by Bohn.
In dealing with Swift's character, I have contented myself with the explanation of motives, without offering any comment thereon. The reader will notice that my view differs considerably from that of certain modern write's. The latter, in a spirit of reaction against the