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For J U L Y, 1965:
The Works of Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin.
Vol. VII. Collected and Revised by Deane Swift, Esq; of Goodrich, in Herefordshire.
4to. 125. sew'd. The Same, in Two Vols. being the XV. and XVI. of the Large
Oitavo Edition. Pr. 105. And in Three Vols. being the 15th, 16th and 17th of the small Oftave. Pr. 75. 6d. Johnston. N our Review for October 1762, we gave an account of two
additional volumes (being the 7th of the quarto, and the 13th and 14th of the octavo editions) of the writings of our immortal Swift. We have now more last words of this celebrated Writer ; and, very shortly, it seems, we are ty have more ftill: for we learn that two other volumes, of the Dean's pieces, which have never yet seen the light, are now in the press, under the inspection of a gentleman of very
considerable eminence in the literary world. Hence, it is to be apprehended; that, from being solely regarded as the wittiest writer of his age, the Dean will henceforth be looked upon also as one of the most voluminous : a circumstance which he would himself have contemplated with very little satisfaction. But it was his own fault. He thould have been careful to destroy, in time, every production of his pen, which he did not think worthy of being transmitted to pofterity :-He, who was, so early in life, aware of the indiscreet officiousness of Friends, and the indea fatigable industry of Booksellers !-Vid. Pref. to the ist Edit. of Swift's and Pope's Miscellanies.
But, whatever fate may befal the Author's reputation, from the multiplicity and various merit of his writings, those who are warm admirers of the Dean's genius and literary talents, (and who is not an admirer of them ?) will be pleased with every new acquisition, every additional mite thrown by the hand of that great master, into the public treasury of wit and humour. Vol. XXXIII, B
To To such, then, the main object of attention will be, the authenticity of the publications. This is a point that every reader and purchaser will consider as previously necessary to be settled.
With regard to the genuineness of the present volumes, befides the internal evidence which is visibly stamped on the pieces they contain, it chiefly rests, or the credit of Mr. Deane Swift; their Editor: a gentleman whose name and character are too well established with the public, to admit of the least fufpicion, in this respect. Such of our Readers as have not seen his Esay on the Life. Vritings, and Character of Dr. Jonathan Swift, may turn to the account of that performance, in the Twelfth Volume of our Review. Mr. Swift is a near relation of the cele. brated Dean : his nephew, if we mistake not.
But that the authenticity of these remains may not appear to reft folely on the reputation of our Editor, he informs us, in his preliminary address to the Reader, that all the original manuscripts, not to mention two or three poems taken from the public prints, are in the Doctor's own hand; or, transcribed by his emanuensis, have the sanction of his endorsement; some few copies, for which indeed we have the honour to be obliged to our friends, only excepted.'— These manuscripts, he adds, "we shall deposite in the British Museum, provided the governors will please to receive them into their collection.?
The papers contained in this collection, are ----Political Tracts - Letters to various Persons—and Poems on several Occasions.
A.mong the first class we have, 1. • Memoirs relating to that Change which happened in the Queen's Ministry, in the Year 1710.' In this tract, the Dean, fondly dwelling on the idea of his own importance, and consequence with the Tory ministry, gives some account of his unsuccessful endeavours to obtain, from persons in power, the proper materials for writing the hiltory of her majesty's reign. That this intended work might the more naturally come from his pen, he tells us, that he was then ready to accept, and did actually folicit, the historiographer's place, although of inconfiderable value, and of which he must expect to have been deprived at the queen’s death. The Dean, however, obtained neither the place nor the materials: a fhrewd token that he was, as hath been often supposed, rather the dupe than the confidante of that ministry to which he appears to have been so zealouily attached: Whether or not the world hath a great loss, in being deprived of the history which Swift intended, of Queen Anne's reign, it is impossible to determine ; but if we may be allowed to guess, the public detriment, on this account, could not be very
considerable: for it would, most probably, have been a partial and party business, conceived rather in the heat and ferment of faction, than in the genuine temper and spirit of History, Nor is this an unchari
table surmise ; for he hath afforded sufficient grounds for it, by a passage in this very paper. • I have often, says he, pressed the Earl of Oxford, then lord treasurer, and my Lady Masham, who were the fole persons which brought about that great change, to give me a particular account of every circumstance and passage during that whole transaction : nor did this request proceed from curiosity or the ambition of knowing and publishing important secrets; but from a sincere honest design of JUSTIFYING the queen, in the measures the then took, and after pursued, against a load of scandal which would certainly be thrown on her memory, with some appearance of tru:h.' Here we have a plain confession that our volunteer historiographer intended to take a part, and an open declaration what part, in the political contests of those times. At all events the tory-queen was to be justified; that queen too, of whom and of whose government, he gives in this identical memoir, but a very indiffe. rent character, and is here represented as an artful, dissembling, capricious woman; narrow and contracted in friendship, and so insensible of heart, that she could hardly be said to love or to hate any body.' So that whatever virtues the poffeffed as a sovereign, she was, according to this representation, not highly to be admired for her private virtues. Harley, too, Harley the nation's great support,' makes a less respectable figure here, than in the Dean's other writings. Speaking of his disappointment in his scheme for writing the history of the queen’s reign, he says, “ That incurable disease, either of negligence or procrastination, which influenced every action both of the queen and the Earl of Oxford, did in some fort infect every one who had credit or business in court: for, after foliciting near four years, to obtain a point of so great importance to the queen and her servants, from whence I could propose nothing but trouble, malice, and envy to myself, it was perpetually
What a glorious administration of public affairs must that have been, where the administrators languished under fo fatal a political distemper as negligence, or procrastination! Yet this negligent or procrastinating government was to be jufiified, at all events !-But was there not an hidden cause for their procrastie. nation, with regard to the Dean's defign,-a secret into which he did not penetrate ? Is it not possible they were too conscious that it might not be altogether advisable to entrust him with, or to expose to the public eye, those circumstances and pallages' which he wanted to know*? They, possibly, were too well
We find a like furmiso thrown out by the noble Remarker on the life and writings of Swift : “ He (the Dean) was employed, not trusted;
aware, that a thorough justification of all their measures, was a task beyond even the abilities of Swift to accomplish *.
2. The second paper in this publication, is entitled, Preface to the History of the Four lap Years of Queen Anne's Reign. Of this History, an edition was published, from uncertain authority, in 1758; and an account was given of it in the 18th Vol. of our Review. In this short preface, there is nothing that deserves great notice, unless it be the Dean's high pretensions to impartiality and integrity of heart, with regard to his views in writing the history of that glorious period. I am persuaded in my own mind, says he, that I am doing my duty to God and man, by endeavouring to set future ages right in their judgment of that HAPPY REIGN, [risum tencatis ! ] and as a faithful hiftorian, I cannot suffer fallhoods to run on any longer, not only against all appearance of truth, as well as probability, but even against those happy events which owe their success to the very measures then fixed in the general peace.' ---It is unnecessary. to make any comment on this passage. It may be sufficient barely to remind the English Reader that the peace which this Tory Historiographer is eternally extolling, was the tory peace of Utrecht!
3. We have · An Enquiry into the behaviour of the late Queen's Ministry, with relation to their Quarrels among themfelves, and the Design charged upon them, of altering the Succeffion of the Crown.'-In this piece, the Dean takes great pains to shew the falshood, the improbability, and even the impossibility and absurdity of the design said to have been formed by Anne and her last ministry, to alter the succession, by fete ting aside the Hanover family, and bringing in the pretender. This is, in truth, a very sensible tract; in which the admirable Author seems to have talked his abilities, to prove his point : notwithstanding which, it will, if we mistake not, still be difficult, even at this day, (wherсin the mists of party are in a great measure dispelled, and the retrospective view of those times is so much cleared up) to convince a majority of the public, that no fuch scheme was ever formed, and would not really have been attempted, had it not been rendered abortive by the quecn's
and at the same time that he imagined himself a subtile diver, who dexterously shot into the profoundett regions of politics, he was suffered only to found the shallows nearest the shore, and was scarce admitted to descend below the froth at the top. Pirhaps the deeper best-ms were too muddy for his infeffion'
ORRERY. How far, after all, Swift actually did accomplish part of his defigil, the public have seen, in his History of the Four last Years of Queen Anne ; of which work we have already delivered our sentiments : see Rev. Voli XVIII. p. 258, 381.
death. But whatever credit be given to the Dean's representation of the conduct of his tory friends, this tract must be ale lowed its merit, as a piece of composition. The Author's fketches of some favourite characters, though perhaps partially couched, bear, undoubtedly, strong resemblance to the originals, and are especially worth notice ; for example:
OR MOND. Of this nobleman's attainder, the Dean speaks with a tone of astonishment, as an event which no one person in the three kingdoms did ever pretend to foresee;' and now it is done,' adds he, ' it looks like a dream to those who will consider the nobleness of his birth, the great merits of bis ancestors, and his own ; his long unspotted loyalty, his affability, generosity, and sweetness of nature. I knew him long and well, continues the Dean, “and, excepting the frailties of his youth, which had been for some years over, and that easiness of temper, which did sometimes lead him to follow the judgment of those who had, by many degrees, less understanding than himself; I have not conversed with a more faultless person; of great justice and chasity, a true sense of religion, without oftentation; of undoubted valour, thoroughly skilled in his trade of a soldier ; a quick and seady apprehension, with a good share of understanding, and a general knowlege in men and history, although under some difadvantage by an invincible modesty, which however could not but render him yet more amiable to those who had the honour and happiness of being thoroughly acquainted with him.'To this short and professedly imperfect character of the Duke of Ormond, Swift adds his own private conjecture, (and a very al
lowable one it will appear, to every candid reader) that when, "s by the direct and repeated commands of the queen, his mistress,
the duke committed those faults for which he hath now forfeited his country, his titles, and his fortune; he no more conceived himself to be acting high treason, than he did when he was wounded and a prisoner at Landen t, for his sovereign king Wil fiam, or when he took and burned the enemy's fleet at Vigo.'
BOLINGBROKE, • It happens to very few men, in any age or country, to come into the world with so many advantages of nature and forgune, as the late secretary Bolingbroke : descended from the best families in England, heir to a great patrimonial estate, of a sound conftitution, and a most graceful, amiable person; but all these, bad they been of equal value, were infinitely below, in degree, to* the accomplishments of his mind, which was # It is printed London in the book, both in the 400 and 8vo editions.
The language of this sentence is somewhat inaccurate; but we have transcribed it literally,