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an elegant and spirited Inquiry into the life of Dean Swift is prefixed.*
The Gentleman's Magazine for the last twenty years has been an occasional store-house, whence many of the articles now first collected have been carefully extracted.
The only publication which remains to be mentioned is a collection of the Dean's Poetry, in “ The works of the British Poets, with Prefaces Biographical and Critical, by Robert Anderson, M. D. 1795;" to which the ingenious editor has prefixed a Life of Dr. Swift, and some remarks on his character and writings. These are very properly closed with that furnished by Dr: Johnson ; which, though“ less favourable” than those of his preceding biographers, will “by no means warrant the severe recrimination of Mr. Sheridan.”+
* See some copious extracts from it at the end of vol. II.
+ That the Reader may judge for hiinself, Dr. Johnson's character of Swift shall be inserted at the end of the Second Volume of the present edition.
I HERE present the world with the Life of Dr. Swift : a man, whose original genius, and unconimon 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 shown 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 jest ; if in such times as these, in fæce Romuli, there lives a man fully equal to Swift 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 warni champion in the cause of liberty, and support of the English constitution. A firm patriot, in withstanding all attempts against his country, either by oppression, or corruption ; and indefatigable in pointing out, and encouraging the means to render her state more flourishing. Of incorruptible integrity, inviolable truth,