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The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D. — Volume 06 The Drapier's Letters   By: (1667-1745)

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To be completed in 12 volumes, 3s. 6d. each .

THE PROSE WORKS

OF

JONATHAN SWIFT, D.D.

EDITED BY

TEMPLE SCOTT

VOL. I. A TALE OF A TUB AND OTHER EARLY WORKS. Edited by TEMPLE SCOTT. With a biographical introduction by W.E.H. LECKY, M.P. With Portrait and Facsimiles.

VOL. II. THE JOURNAL TO STELLA. Edited by FREDERICK RYLAND, M.A. With two Portraits of Stella and a Facsimile of one of the Letters.

VOLS. III. & IV. WRITINGS ON RELIGION AND THE CHURCH. Edited by TEMPLE SCOTT. With Portraits and Facsimiles of Title pages.

VOL. V. HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL TRACTS ENGLISH. Edited by TEMPLE SCOTT. With Portrait and Facsimiles of Title pages.

VOL. VI. THE DRAPIER'S LETTERS. Edited by TEMPLE SCOTT. With Portrait, Reproductions of Wood's Coinage, and Facsimiles of Title pages.

VOL. VIII. GULLIVER'S TRAVELS. Edited by G. RAVENSCROFT DENNIS. With Portrait, Maps and Facsimiles.

VOL. IX. CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE "EXAMINER," "TATLER," "SPECTATOR," &c. Edited by TEMPLE SCOTT. With Portrait.

VOL. X. HISTORICAL WRITINGS. Edited by TEMPLE SCOTT. With Portrait.

To be followed by:

VOL. VII. HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL TRACTS IRISH.

VOL. XI. LITERARY ESSAYS.

VOL. XII. BIBLIOGRAPHY AND INDEX TO COMPLETE WORKS.

LONDON: GEORGE BELL AND SONS.

BOHN'S STANDARD LIBRARY

THE PROSE WORKS OF JONATHAN SWIFT VOL. VI

GEORGE BELL AND SONS

LONDON: YORK ST. COVENT GARDEN CAMBRIDGE: DEIGHTON, BELL & CO. NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO. BOMBAY: A.H. WHEELER & CO.

[Illustration: Jonathan Swift from a painting in the National Gallery of Ireland once in the possession of judge Berwick and ascribed to Francis Bindon]

THE PROSE WORKS

OF

JONATHAN SWIFT, D.D.

EDITED BY

TEMPLE SCOTT

VOL. VI

THE DRAPIER'S LETTERS

LONDON

GEORGE BELL AND SONS

1903

CHISWICK PRESS CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON

INTRODUCTION

In 1714 Swift left England for Ireland, disappointed, distressed, and worn out with anxiety in the service of the Harley Ministry. On his installation as Dean of St. Patrick's he had been received in Dublin with jeering and derision. He had even been mocked at in his walks abroad. In 1720, however, he entered for the second time the field of active political polemics, and began with renewed energy the series of writings which not only placed him at the head and front of the political writers of the day, but secured for him a place in the affections of the people of Ireland a place which has been kept sacred to him even to the present time. A visitor to the city of Dublin desirous of finding his way to St. Patrick's Cathedral need but to ask for the Dean's Church, and he will be understood. There is only one Dean, and he wrote the "Drapier's Letters." The joy of the people of Dublin on the withdrawal of Wood's Patent found such permanent expression, that it has descended as oral tradition, and what was omitted from the records of Parliament and the proceedings of Clubs and Associations founded in the Drapier's honour, has been embalmed in the hearts of the people, whose love he won, and whose homage it was ever his pride to accept.

The spirit of Swift which Grattan invoked had, even in Grattan's time, power to stir hearts to patriotic enthusiasm. That spirit has not died out yet, and the Irish people still find it seasonable and refreshing to be awakened by it to a true sense of the dignity and majesty of Ireland's place in the British Empire.

A dispassionate student of the condition of Ireland between the years of Swift's birth and death between, say, 1667 and 1745 could rise from that study in no unprejudiced mood. It would be difficult for him to avoid the conclusion that the government of Ireland by England had not only degraded the people of the vassal nation, but had proved a disgrace and a stigma on the ruling nation. It was a government of the masses by the classes, for no other than selfish ends. It ended, as all such governments must inevitably end, in impoverishing the people, in wholesale emigration, in starvation and even death, in revolt, and in fostering among those who remained, and among those whom circumstances exiled, the dangerous spirit of resentment and rebellion which is the outcome of the sense of injustice... Continue reading book >>


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