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To the Second Scotch Edition, in 1756.
HE works of Dr JONATHAN Swift have been" universally admired, and have passed through
many editions both in England and Ireland. How they have been received in Scotland, appears
from the quick sale of an edition printed at Edinburgh and Glasgow in 1752. A second Scotch edition is now offered to the public, which 'tis hoped will meet with a favourable reception. As this edition is partly upon a different plan, is more complete, and is illustrated with a far greater number of notes, than any that hath yet appeared ; we think it is necessary to give an account of the method used in conducting it. But as of all the editions of Swift's works which we have seen, that published by Mr John Hawkesworth, in 1755, in fix volumes quarto, and twelve volumes octavo, appears to be the best ; it may not be improper first to give that gentleman's preface entire, as it contains some remarks on former editions, and other things, not unworthy the reader's perusak. To this preface we have added some occasional notes, from which the agreement and diversity of the two editions will appear.
TH "HE works of Dr JONATHAN SWIFT were writ
ten and published at very distant periods of his life, and had palled through many editions, before they were collected into volumes, or distinguished from the productions of contemporary wits, with whom he was known to associate.
The Tale of a Tub, the Battle of the Books, and the Fragment, were first published together in 1704 ; and the apology, and the notes from Wotton, were added in 1710. This edition the Dean revised a short time before his underítanding was impaired, and his corrections will be found in this impreffion.
Gulliver's Travels were first printed in the year 1726
* The corrected copy is now in the hands of Mr Dean Swift, Hawkes.], author of the Essay on Dr Swift's life, &c. The coré rations have been attended to in this edition,
with some alterations, which had been made by the perfon through whose hands they were conveyed to the press ; but the original passages were restored to the 1ubsequent cditions.
Many other pieces, both in prose and verse, which had been written between the years 1691 and 1727, were then collected, and published by the Dean in conjunction with Mr Pope, Dr Arbuthnot, and Mr Gay, under the title of Miscellanies t. Of all these pieces, though they were intended to go down to pofterity together I, the Dean was not the author, as appeared by the title-pages : but they continued undistinguished till 174?; and then Mr Pope, having new-claffed them, alcribed each performance among the prose to its particular author in a table of contents ; but of the verses lie distinguished only the Dean's, by marking the reft with an atterik !!.
In the year 1735, the pieces of which the Dean was the author, were selected from the Miscellany, and,
ith Gulliver's Travels, the Drapier's Letters, and some cther pieces wliich were written upon particular occafions in Ireland, were published by George Faulkner, at Dublin, in four volumes. To these he afterwards [in the func year] added a fifth and a axth, containing the Exorniners, Polite Conversation, and some other tracts; which were foon (in 1741) followed by a seventh volume of letters, and (in 1745) an eighth of pofthumous pieces.
In this collection, although printed in Ireland, the tracts relating to that country, and in particular the Drapier's Letters, are thrown together in great confufion,
and the Tale of a Tub, the Battle of the Books, and the Fragment, are not included **.
* See the letter to Sympson, and note, vol. 4. p. 5. 8.9. + See the preface to vol. 2. figned by the Dean and Mr Pope. . At all adventures, yours and my name shall stand linked as friends to pofterity, both in verse and prose.
Pope to Swift, Marib 23.1727-8. (vol. 8. p. 76.]
| All the poems wrote by Mr Pope are in this edition pointed out by notes.
** Upon a review of Dr Swift's writings, it cannot be sufficiently limentel, that there is no jut er perfect cdition of his works,
In the edition which is now offered to the public, the Tale of a Tub, of which the Dean's corections sufficiently prove him to have been the author, the Battle of the
Faulkner's edition, at least the four first volumes of it, (for there are, now eight), were published by the permission and connivance, if not by the particular appointment of the Dean himself. But the several pieces are thrown together without any order or regularity whatever ; so that like the ancient chaos, which contained an immense collection of various treasures, they remain in their state of confusion, rue dis indigestaque moles : and yet the incoherency of situation is perhaps one of the most excufable faults in the collection ; for the materials are of fo different and fo incongruous a nature, that it seems as if the author (who was in reality the editor) imagined the public under an absolute necessity of accepting the baseft coin from the same hand that had exhibited the purest. Surely the idle amusements of a man's private and domestic life, are not be sent forth as sufficient entertainments for the witty or the learned. Pofthumous works indeed are often worthless and improper, from the ill-judged zeal of ignorant executors, or imprudent friends : but a living author remains without excuse, who either wilfully or wantonly imposes upon the world. The English edition of Swift's works I have scarce seen ; and I have had little inclination to examine it, because I was acquainted with the Dean, at the time when Faulkner's edition came out, and therefore muft always look upon that copy as most authen-tic; well knowing that Mr Faulkner had the advantage of printing his edition, by the consent and approbation of the author himself. The four firit volumes were published by subscription, and every fheet of them was brought to the Dean for his revisal and correction. The two next were published in the same manner. The seventhvolume was printed from a number of surreptitious letters published in England : and the eighth volume did not come out till after the Dean's death. In the publication of the fix first volumes, the fituation and arrangement of each particular piece, in verfe and prose, was left entirely to the editor. In that point, the Dean either could not, or would not give him the least assistance. The dates were often guefied at, and every scrap was thrust into the parcel that might auginent the collection. Such a conduct has been productive of a confusion that offends the eye, and misleads the understanding. We have less pleasure in looking at a palace built at different times, and put together by ignorant workmen, then in viewing a plain regular building, composed by a masterly hand in all the beauty of symmetry and order. The materials of the former may be more valuable, but the fimplicity of the latter is more acceptable. For health and exercise, who would not chuse rather to walk upon a platform than in a labyrinth? or who does not wish to see an edition of Swift'sWorks becoming the genius and digsity of the author"? When such an edition is undertaken, I should hope that all the minutie of his ide hours might be entirely excluded, or at least placed, like out
Books, and the Fragment*, make the first volume; the second is Gulliver's Travels ; the Miscellanies will be found in the third, fourth, fifth, fixth, and seventh ; and the contents of the other volumes are divided into two classes, as relating to England or Ireland. As to the arrangentent of particular pieces in each class, there were only three things that seemed to deserve attention, or that could direct the choice ; that the verse and profe fhould be kept separate; that the posthumous and doubtful pieces should not be mingled with those which the Dean is known to have published himself; and that those tracts which are parts of a regular series,
and illuftrate each other, should be ranged in fuccession without the intervention of other matter. Such are the Drapier's Letters, and some other papers publifhed upon the same occasion, which have, not only in the Irish edition, but in every other, been so mixed, as to mifrepresent some facts, and obscure others. Such also are the tracts on the sacramental tejf; which are now first put together in regular order, as they should always read, by those who would see their whole strength and propriety t.
As to the pieces which have no connection with each other, some have thought that the serious and the comic should have been put in separate classes. But this is not the method which was taken by the Dean himself, or
buildings, at a distance from the chief edifices of state. Orrery-
* These three pieces, says Lord Orrery, although not absolutely owned by the Dean, aut Erasmi funt aut Diaboli. Let. 23;
+ The plan of arrangement proposed by Mr Hawkesworth has been followed, with this improvement, that the Drapier's letters, and the tracts relating to the sacramental teit, and some other affairs peculiar to Ireland, are now first collected in one volums, which, even in his edition, are in a vague situation,