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[From the Letter from Italy.]

For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise;
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground;1
For here the muse so oft her harp has strung,
That not a mountain rears its head unsung;
Renown'd in verse each shady thicket grows,
And every stream in heavenly numbers flows.
See how the golden groves around me smile,
That shun the coast of Britain's stormy isle;
Or when transplanted and preserved with care,
Curse the cold clime, and starve in northern air.
Here kindly warmth their mounting juice ferments
To nobler tastes, and more exalted scents;
Even the rough rocks with tender myrtle bloom,
And trodden weeds send out a rich perfume.
Bear me, some god, to Baia's gentle seats,
Or cover me in Umbria's green retreats;
Where western gales eternally reside,
And all the seasons lavish all their pride;
Blossoms, and fruits, and flowers together rise,
And the whole year in gay confusion lies.
How has kind heaven adorn'd the happy land,
And scatter'd blessings with a wasteful hand!
But what avail her unexhausted stores,
Her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores,
With all the gifts that heaven and earth impart,
The smiles of nature, and the charms of art,
While proud oppression in her valleys reigns,
And tyranny usurps her happy plains?
The poor inhabitant beholds in vain
The redd'ning orange, and the swelling grain:
Joyless he sees the growing oils and wines,
And in the myrtle's fragrant shade repines:
Starves in the midst of nature's bounty curst,
And in the loaded vineyard dies for thirst.

O liberty, thou goddess heavenly bright,
Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight!
Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
And smiling plenty leads thy wanton train;
Eas'd of her load, subjection grows more light,
And poverty looks cheerful in thy sight;
Thou mak'st the gloomy face of nature gay,
Giv'st beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day.

Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores;
How has she oft exhausted all her stores,
How oft in fields of death thy presence sought,
Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought!
On foreign mountains may the sun refine
The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine;
With citron groves adorn a distant soil,
And the fat olive swell with floods of oil:
We envy not the warmer clime, that lies
In ten degrees of more indulgent skies;
Nor at the coarseness of our heaven repine,
Though o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine:
'Tis liberty that crowns Britannia's isle,
And makes her barren rocks and her bleak mountains

smile.

Ode.

How are thy servants blest, O Lord!
How sure is their defence!
Eternal wisdom is their guide,
Their help Omnipotence.

In foreign realms, and lands remote,
Supported by thy care,
Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,
And breathed in tainted air.

1 Malone states that this was the first time the phrase classic ground, since so common, was ever used. It was ridiculed by some contemporaries as very quaint and affected.

Thy mercy sweeten'd every soil,
Made every region please;
The hoary Alpine hills it warm'd,
And smooth'd the Tyrrhene seas.

Think, O my soul! devoutly think,
How, with affrighted eyes,
Thou saw'st the wide-extended deep
In all its horrors rise.

Confusion dwelt on every face,
And fear in every heart,

When waves on waves, and gulfs on gulfs,
O'ercame the pilot's art.

Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord!
Thy mercy set me free;
Whilst in the confidence of prayer

My soul took hold on thee.

For though in dreadful whirls we hung
High on the broken wave,*

I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.

The storm was laid, the winds retir'd,
Obedient to thy will;

The sea that roar'd at thy command,
At thy command was still.

In midst of dangers, fears, and death,
Thy goodness I'll adore;
I'll praise thee for thy mercies past,
And humbly hope for more.

My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
Thy sacrifice shall be;
And death, if death must be my doom,
Shall join my soul to thee.

Ode.

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great original proclaim:
Th' unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wond'rous tale,
And nightly to the list'ning earth
Repeats the story of her birth:
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.

What, though in solemn silence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though nor real voice nor sound
Amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
For ever singing, as they shine,
The hand that made us is divine.

*The earliest composition that I recollect taking any pleasure in was the Vision of Mirza, and a hymn of Addison's, beginning, "How are thy servants blest, O Lord!" I particularly remember one half-stanza, which was music to my boyish ear:

"For though in dreadful whirls we hung
High on the broken wave."
"

Burns-Letter to Dr Moore.

[The Battle of Blenheim.]

6

[From The Campaign."]

But now the trumpet terrible from far,
In shriller clangours animates the war;
Confed'rate drums in fuller concert beat,
And echoing hills the loud alarm repeat:
Gallia's proud standards to Bavaria's join'd,
Unfurl their gilded lilies in the wind;
The daring prince his blasted hopes renews,
And while the thick embattled host he views
Stretch'd out in deep array, and dreadful length,
His heart dilates, and glories in his strength.

The fatal day its mighty course began,
That the griev'd world had long desir'd in vain;
States that their new captivity bemoan'd,
Armies of martyrs that in exile groan'd,
Sighs from the depth of gloomy dungeons heard,
And prayers in bitterness of soul preferr'd;
Europe's loud cries, that providence assail'd,
And Anna's ardent vows, at length prevail'd;
The day was come when Heav'n design'd to show
His care and conduct of the world below.

Behold, in awful march and dread array
The long-extended squadrons shape their way!
Death, in approaching, terrible, imparts
An anxious horror to the bravest hearts;
Yet do their beating breasts demand the strife,
And thirst of glory quells the love of life.
No vulgar fears can British minds control;
Heat of revenge, and noble pride of soul,
O'erlook the foe, advantag'd by his post,
Lessen his numbers, and contract his host;
Though fens and floods possess'd the middle space,
That unprovok'd they would have fear'd to pass;
Nor fens nor floods can stop Britannia's bands,
When her proud foe rang'd on their borders stands.

But O, my muse, what numbers wilt thou find
To sing the furious troops in battle join'd!
Methinks I hear the drum's tumultuous sound,
The victor's shouts and dying groans confound;
The dreadful burst of cannon rend the skies,
And all the thunder of the battle rise.
'Twas then great Marlbro's mighty soul was prov'd,

Amidst confusion, horror, and despair,
Examin'd all the dreadful scenes of war;
In peaceful thought the field of death survey'd,
To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid,
Inspir'd repuls'd battalions to engage,
And taught the doubtful battle where to rage.
So when an angel, by divine command,
With rising tempests shakes a guilty land,
Such as of late o'er pale Britannia pass'd,
Calm and serene he drives the furious blast,
And, pleas'd th' Almighty's orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.

[The concluding simile of the angel has been much celebrated, and was so admired by the lord treasurer, that on seeing it, without waiting for the completion of the poem, he rewarded the poet by appointing him, in the place of Mr Locke (who had been promoted), a commissioner of appeals.]

[From the Tragedy of Cato.]

Act iv.-Scene iv.

Cato.
Hah! what has he done!
Has he forsook his post? has he given way?
Did he look tamely on, and let them pass!

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Portius.

Long may they keep asunder!
Lucius. O Cato! arm thy soul with all its patience;
See where the corse of thy dead son approaches!
The citizens and senators, alarmed,
Have gather'd round it, and attend it weeping.
Cato. [meeting the corpse.]

Welcome, my son! here lay him down, my friends,
Full in my sight, that I may view at leisure
The bloody corse, and count those glorious wounds.
How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue!
Who would not be that youth? what pity is it
That we can die but once to serve our country!
Why sits this sadness on your brows, my friends?
I should have blushed if Cato's house had stood
Secure, and flourished in a civil war.
Portius, behold thy brother, and remember
Thy life is not thy own when Rome demands it.
Juba. Was ever man like this!
[Aside.
Alas! my friends,
Why mourn you thus ? let not a private loss
Afflict your hearts. 'Tis Rome requires our tears.
The mistress of the world, the seat of empire,
The nurse of heroes, the delight of gods,
That humbled the proud tyrants of the earth,
And set the nations free, Rome is no more.
O liberty! O virtue! O my country!

Cato.

Juba. Behold that upright man! Rome fills his

Juba. While Cato lives, Caesar will blush to see
Mankind enslaved, and be ashamed of empire.

Cato. Cæsar ashamed! has not he seen Pharsalia!
Lucius. Cato, 'tis time thou save thyself and us.
Cato. Lose not a thought on me, I'm out of
danger.
Heaven will not leave me in the victor's hand.
Cæsar shall never say I conquer'd Cato.
But oh! my friends, your safety fills my heart
With anxious thoughts: a thousand secret terrors
Rise in my soul: how shall I save my friends!
"Tis now, O Cæsar, I begin to fear thee!

Lucius. Caesar has mercy, if we ask it of him.
Cato. Then ask it, I conjure you ! let him know
Whate'er was done against him, Cato did it.

Re-enter PORTIUS.

Portius. Misfortune on misfortune! grief on grief! Add, if you please, that I request it of him,
My brother Marcus

The virtue of my friends may pass unpunish'd.
Juba, my heart is troubled for thy sake.
Should I advise thee to regain Numidia,
Or seek the conqueror ?

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The Roman empire fallen! O curst ambition!
Fallen into Cæsar's hands! our great forefathers
Had left him nought to conquer but his country.

:

Juba.
If I forsake thee

What means this heaviness that hangs upon me! Whilst I have life, may heaven abandon Juba! This lethargy that creeps through all my senses ?

Cato. Thy virtues, prince, if I foresee aright, Nature oppress’d, and harass'd out with care,
Will one day make thee great ; at Rome, hereafter, Sinks down to rest. This once I'll favour her,
"Twill be no crime to bave been Cato's friend. That my awaken'd soul may take her flight,
Portius, draw near! My son, thou oft has seen Renew'd in all her strength, and fresh with life,
Thy sire engaged in a corrupted state,

An offering fit for heaven. Let guilt or fear Wrestling with vice and faction : now thou seest me Disturb man's rest : Cato knows neither of them; Spent, overpower'd, despairing of success :

Indifferent in his choice to sleep or die.
Let me advise thee to retreat betimes
To thy paternal seat, the Sabine field,

JONATHAN SWIFT.
Where the great Censor toiled with his own hands,
And all our frugal ancestors were blest

JONATHAN SWIFT, one of the most remarkable In humble virtues and a rural life.

men of the age, was born in Dublin in 1667. His There live retired ; pray for the peace of Rome; father was steward to the society of the King's Inns, Content thyself to be obscurely good.

but died in great poverty before the birth of his disWhen vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, tinguished son. Swift was supported by his uncle The post of honour is a private station.

and the circumstances of want and dependence with Portius. I hope my father does not recommend A life to Portius that he scorns himself.

Cato. Farewell, my friends ! if there be any of you
Who dare not trust the victor's clemency,
Know, there are ships prepared by my command
(Their sails already opening to the winds)
That shall convey you to the wish'd-for port.
Is there aught else, my friends, I can do for you?
The conqueror draws near. Once more farewell !
If e'er we meet hereafter, we shall meet
In happier climes, and on a safer shore,
Where Cæsar never shall approach us more.

[Pointing to his dead son.
There the brave youth, with love of virtue fired,
Who greatly in his country's cause expired,
Shall know he conquer'd. The firm patriot there
(Who made the welfare of mankind his care),
Though still, by faction, vice, and fortune crost,
Shall find the generous labour was not lost.

Act V.-Scene I.
[Cato. alone, sitting in a thoughtful posture : in his hand
Plato's book on the Immortality of the Soul. A drawn sword
on the table by him.)
It must be 40—Plato, thou reason'st well !--
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality ?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought! why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction ?

which he was early familiar, seem to have sunk deep 'Tis the divinity that stirs within us;

in his haughty soul. Born a posthumous child, 'Tis heaven itself that points out an hereafter,

says Sir Walter Scott, ‘and bred up an object of And intimates eternity to man.

charity, he early adopted the custom of observing Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought !

his birth-day as a term, not of joy, but of sorrow, Through what variety of untried being,

and of reading, when it annually recurred, the Through what new scenes and changes must we pass ? striking passage of Scripture in which Job laments The wide, th' unbounded prospect, lies before me ; and execrates the day upon which it was said in But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.

his father's house “that a man-child was born." Here will I hold. If there's a power above us, Swift was sent to Trinity college, Dublin, which he (And that there is, all nature cries aloud

left in his twenty-first year, and was received into Through all her works), he must delight in virtue; the house of Sir William Temple, a distant relation And that which he delights in must be happy. of his mother. Here Swift met King William, and But when ? or where This world was made for indulged hopes of preferment, which were never reaCæsar.

lised. In 1692 he repaired to Oxford, for the purI'm weary of conjectures. This must end them. pose of taking his degree of M.A., and shortly after

[Laying his hand on his sword. obtaining this distinction he resolved to quit the Thus am I doubly armà : my death and life, establishment of Temple and take orders in the My bane and antidote are both before me:

Irish church. He procured the prebend of Kilroot, This in a moment brings me to an end ;

in the diocese of Connor, but was soon disgusted But this informs me I shall never die.

with the life of an obscure country clergyman with The soul, secured in her existence, smiles

an income of £100 a-year. He returned to MoorAt the drawn dagger, and defies its point.

park, the house of Sir William Temple, and threw The stars shall fade away, the sun himself

up his living at Kilroot. Temple died in 1699, and Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years ; the poet was glad to accompany Lord Berkeley to But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,

Ireland in the capacity of chaplain. From this Unhurt amidst the wars of elements,

nobleman he obtained the rectory of Aghar, and The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds. the vicarages of Laracor and Rathveggan; to which

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Jonat: Swift.

35

.

was afterwards added the prebend of Dunlarin, But books, and time, and state affairs,
making his income only about £200 per annum. Had spoiled his fashionable airs ;
At Moorpark, Swift had contracted an intimacy He now could praise, esteem, approre,
with Miss Hester Johnson, daughter of Sir William But understood not what was love:
Temple's steward, and, on his settlement in Ireland, His conduct might hare made him styled
this lady, accompanied by another female of middle A father, and the nymph his child.
age, went to reside in his neighbourhood. Her future That innocent delight he took
life was intimately connected with that of Swift, To see the riryin mind her book,
and he has immortalised her under the name of Was but the master's secret joy
Stella.

In school to hear the finest boy. In 1701, Swift became a political writer on the The tragedy continued to deepen as it approached side of the Whigs, and on his visits to England, he the close. Eiglit years had Vanessa nursed in soliassociated with Addison, Steele, and Arbuthnot. In tude the hopeless attachment. At length she wrote 1710, conceiving that he was neglected by the mi

to Stella, to ascertain the nature of the connexion nistry, he quarrelled with the Whigs, and united with between her and Swift; the latter obtained the fatal Harley and the Tory administration. He was re- letter, and rode instantly to Marley abbey, the received with open arms. I stand with the new

sidence of the unbappy Vanessa. • As he entered people, he writes to Stella, 'ten times better than the apartment,' to adopt the picturesque language ever I did with the old, and forty times more

of Scott in recording the scene, the sternness of his caressed.' He carried with him shining weapons countenance, which was peculiarly formed to express for party warfare — irresistible and unscrupulous the stronger passions, struck the unfortunate Vanessa satire, steady hate, and a dauntless spirit. From with such terror, that she could scarce ask whether his new allies, he received, in 1713, the deanery of he would not sit down. He answered by flinging a St Patrick's. During his residence in England, he letter on the table; and instantly leaving the house, had engaged the affections of another young lady, mounted his horse, and returned to Dublin. When Esther Vanhomrigh, who, under the name of Vanessa opened the packet, she only found her own Vanessa, rivalled Stella in poetical celebrity, and in letter to Stella. It was her death-warrant. She personal misfortune. After the death of her father, sunk at once under the disappointment of the delayed this young lady and her sister retired to Ireland, yet coerished hopes which had so long sickened her where their father had left a small property near heart, and beneath the unrestrained wrath of him Dublin. Human nature has, perhaps, never before for whose sake she had indulged them. How long or since presented the spectacle of a man of such she survived this last interview is uncertain, but transcendent powers as Swift involved in such a

the time does not seem to have exceeded a few pitiable labyrinth of the affections. His pride or

weeks.'* ambition led him to postpone indefinitely his mar- Even Stella, though ultimately united to Swift, riage with Stella, to whom he was early attached. dropped into the grave without any public recogniThough, he said, he loved her better than his life a tion of the tie; they were married in secrecy in the thousand millions of times,' he kept her hanging garden of the deanery, when on her part all but life on in a state of hope deferred, injurious alike to her had faded away. The fair sufferers were deeply peace and her reputation. Did he fear the scorn avenged. But let us adopt the only charitableand laughter of the world, if he should marry the perhaps the just-interpretation of Swift's conduct; obscure daughter of Sir William Temple's steward? the malady which at length overwhelmed his reason He dared not afterwards, with manly sincerity, de might then have been lurking in his frame; the clare his situation to Vanessa, when this second heart might have felt its ravages before the intelvictim avowed her passion. He was flattered that

lect. A comparison of dates proves that it was a girl of eighteen, of beauty and accomplishments,

some years before Vanessa's death that the scene sighed for a gown of forty-four,' and he did not occurred which has been related by Young, the stop to weigh the consequences. The removal of author of the Night Thoughts.' Swift was walking Vanessa to Ireland, as Stella had gone before, to be with some friends in the neighbourhood of Dublin. near the presence of Swift-her irrepressible passion,

Perceiving he did not follow us,' says Young, I which no coldness or neglect could extinguish--- her life of deep seclusion, only chequered by the occa

* The talents of Vanessa may be seen from her letters to sional visits of Swift, each of which she commemo- Swift. They are further evinced in the following Ode to rated by planting with her own hand a laurel in the Spring, in which she alludes to her unhappy attachment:garden where they met — her agonizing remon

Hail, blushing goddess, beauteous Spring! strances, when all her devotion and her offerings

Who in thy jocund train dost bring had failed, are touching beyond expression.

Loves and graces siniling hoursThe reason I write to you,' she says, 'is because

Balmy breezes-fragrant flowers ; I cannot tell it to you, should I see you. For when

Come, with tints of roseate hue, I begin to complain, then you are angry; and there

Nature's faded charms renew! is something in your looks so awful, that it strikes

Yet why should I thy presence bail? me dumb. 0! that you may have but so much re

To me no more the breathing gale gard for me left, that this complaint may touch

Comes fraught with sweets, no more the rose your soul with pity. I say as little as ever I can.

With such transcendent beauty blows, Did you but know what I thought, I am sure it

As when Cadenus blest the scene, would move you to forgive me, and believe that I

And shared with me those joys serene. cannot help telling you this, and live.'

When, unperceived, the lambent fire

Of friendship kindled new desire ; To a being thus agitated and engrossed with the

Still listening to his tuneful tongue, strongest passion, how poor, low cruel, must have

The truths which angels might have sung, seemed the return of Swift!

Divine imprest their gentle sway,

And sweetly stole my soul away. Cadenus, common forms apart,

My guide, instructor, lover, friend, In every scene had kept his heart;

Dear names, in one idea blend ; Had sighed and languished, vowed and writ,

Oh! still conjoined, your incense rise, For pastime, or to shcw his wit;

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And waft sweet odours to the skies!

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went back, and found him fixed as a statue, and artists were perfect painters. He never attempted
earnestly gazing upward at a noble elm, which in to rise above this visible diurnal sphere.' He is
its uppermost branches was much decayed. Point-
ing at it, he said, “I shall be like that tree; I shall
die at the top." ”). The same presentiment finds ex-
pression in his exquisite imitation of Horace (book
ii. satire 6.), made in conjunction with Pope :-

I're often wished that I had clear
For life six hundred pounds a-year,
A handsome house to lodge a friend,
A river at my garden's end,
A terrace-walk, and half a rood
Of land, set out to plant a wood.

Well, now I have all this and more,
I ask not to increase my store;
But here a grievance seems to lie,
All this is mine but till I die;
I can't but think ’twoulil sound more clerer,
To me and to my heirs for ever.

If I ne'er got or lost a groat
By any trick or any fault;
And if I pray by reason's rules,
And not like forty other fools,
As thus, ' Vouchsafe, oh gracious Maker!
To grant me this and 'tother acre;
Or if it be thy will and pleasure,
Direct my plough to find a treasure !'
But only what my station fits,
And to be kept in my right wits;
Preserve, Almighty Providence !
Just what you gave me, competence,
And let me in these shades compose

Something in verse as true as prose.
Swift was at first disliked in Ireland, but the

Tomb of Swift in Dublin cathedral. Drapier's Letters and other works gave him unbounded popularity. His wish to serve Ireland was content to lash the frivolities of the age, and to deone of his ruling passions ; yet it was something like pict its absurdities. In his too faithful representathe instinct of the inferior animals towards their tions, there is much to condemn and much to admire. offspring; waywardness, contempt, and abuse were

Who has not felt the truth and humour of his City strangely mingled with affectionate attachment and Shower, and his description of Morning? Or the ardent zeal. Kisses and curses were alternately on

liveliness of his Grand Question Debated, in which his lips. Ireland, however, gave Swift her whole the knight, his lady, and the chambermaid, are so heart-he was more than king of the rabble. After

admirably drawn? His most ambitious flight is his various attacks of deafness and giddiness, his temper Rhapsody on Poetry, and even this is pitched in a became ungovernable, and his reason gave way. pretty low key. Its best lines are easily remembered : Truly and beautifully has Scott said, 'the stage Not empire to the rising sun, darkened ere the curtain fell.' Swift's almost total By valour, conduct, fortune won ; zilence during the last three years of his life (for the Not highest wisdom in debates last year he spoke not a word) appals and overawes

For framing laws to govern states ; the imagination. He died on the 19th of October Not skill in sciences profound, 1745, and was interred in St Patrick's cathedral, So large to grasp the circle round, amidst the tears and prayers of his countrymen.

Such heavenly influence require, His fortune, amounting to about £10,000, he left

As how to strike the Muses' lyre. chiefly to found a lunatic asylum in Dublin, which Not beggar's brat on bulk begot, he had long meditated.

Not bastard of a pedler Scot,

Not boy brought up to cleaning shoes,
He gave the little wealth he had

The spawn of Bridewell or the stews,
To build a house for fools and mad,

Not infants dropt, the spurious pledges
And showed, by one satiric touch,

Of gipsies littering under hedges,
No nation wanted it so much.

Are so disqualified by fate Gulliver's Travels and the Tale of a Tub must ever To rise in church, or law, or state, be the chief corner-stones of Swift's fame. The As he whom Phoebus in his ire purity of his prose style renders it a model of Eng

Hath blasted with poetic fire. lish composition. He could wither with his irony Swift's verses on his own death are the finest and invective; excite to mirth with - his wit and in- example of his peculiar poetical vein. He predicts vention; transport as with wonder at his marvellous what his friends will say of his illness, his death, powers of grotesque and ludicrous combination, his and his reputation, varying the style and the topicsknowledge of human nature (piercing quite through to suit each of the parties. The versification is easy the deeds of men), and his matchless power of feign- and flowing, with nothing but the most familiar and ing reality, and assuming at pleasure different cha- commonplace expressions. There are some little racters and situations in life. He is often disgust- touches of homely pathos, which are felt like trick. ingly coarse and gross in his style and subjects; but ling tears, and the effect of the piece altogether is his grossness is always repulsive, not seductive. electrical : it carries with it the strongest convicSwift's poetry is perfect, exactly as the old Dutch | tion of its sincerity and truth ; and we see and feel

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