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The attempt to fill up such a blank by a more complete edition of Swift's works, can only be justified by stating the various advantages which have been afforded to the present Editor, and of which, if he has not been able to avail himself, the blame undoubtedly rests with himself, and not with those friends whose liberality has furnished him with such copious materials.
The present edition of this incomparable English Classic is offered to the Public with the advantage of possessing considerably upwards of a hundred original Letters, Essays, and Poems, by Dean Swift, which have not hitherto been printed with his works. These have been recovered from the following authentic sources :—First, The most liberal communications have been made by Theophilus Swift, Esq. Dublin, son of the learned Deane Swift, the near kinsman and biographer of the celebrated Dean of St Patrick's. Secondly, A collection of Manuscripts, of various descriptions, concerning Swift and his affairs, which remained in the hands of Dr Lyons, the gentleman under whose charge Swift was placed during the last sad period of his existence. To the use of these materials the Editor has been admitted by the favour of Thomas Steele, Esq. the nephew of Dr Lyons. Thirdly, Fourteen original Letters from Dean Swift, never before published, two of which are addressed to Mr Addison, and the others to Mr Tickell the poet. This interesting communication the Editor owes to the liberality and kindness of Major Tickell, the descendant of the ingenious friend of Swift and Addison. Fourthly, Several unpublished pieces, from the originals in Swift's hand-writing, in the possession of Leonard Macnally, Esq. barrister-at-law. Fifthly, The unwearied friendship of Matthew Weld Hartstonge, Esq. has furnished much curious and interesting information, the result of long and laborious research through various journals and collections of rare pamphlets and loose sheets, in which last form many of Swift's satires made their first appearance. From such sources several additions have been made to Swift's publications upou Wood's scheme, as well as to his other Tracts upon Irish affairs. Sixthly, The Rev. Mr Berwick, so well known to the literary world, has obliged the Editor with some curious illustrations of the Dean's last satirical Tracts, and particularly of that entitled the Legion Club; and has also communicated to him the suppressed correspondence between Swift and Miss Vanhomrigh, which has been so long a desideratum in all editions of the author. The Editor might mention many other gentlemen of literary eminence, who have had the goodness to give countenance to his undertaking. But enough has been said for the present purpose, which is only to give an account to the public of some of the facilities afforded to the Editor of improving the present edition of Swift's Works, both by the recovery of original compositions, and by collating, correcting, and enlarging those which have been already published.
. In the Biographical Memoir, it has been the object of the Editor to condense the information afforded by Mr Sheridan, Lord Orrery, Dr Delany, Deane Swift, Dr Johnson, and others, into one distinct and comprehensive narrative. Some preliminary critical observations are offered on Swift's most interesting productions; and historical explanations and anecdotes accompany his political treatises. So that, upon the whole, it is hoped this Edition may be considered as improved, as well as enlarged ; and, in either point of view, may have some claim to public favour.
ABBOTSFORD, 1st July 1814.