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Inhalts sind sie höchst schätzbar. Swift war ein Munn von mannigfaltigen, gründlichen Kenntnissen, und ein ungemein feiner Beobachter der Menschen; als solchen zeigt er sich auf jeder Seite seiner Werke. Diese sind grösstentheils satyrischen Inhalts, und züchtigen die Unarten, Thorheiten und Laster des menschlichen Geschlechts auf eine Art, wie es wenigen seiner Nachfolger gelungen ist. Zunächst hat es Swift freilich nur mit den Narren seiner Zeit zu thun;' doch bleibt noch genug übrig, was zur Erbauung und Besserung der Narren jeder folgenden Zeit gereichen kann. Von seinen Gedichten, in denen durchaus eine grosse Leichtigkeit und Laune herrscht, und welche den 39 und 40sten Theil der Johnsonschen Dichtersammlung ausmachen, sehe man den 2ten Theil dieses Handbuchs. Seine sämmtlichen Werke sind 1755 von Dr. Hawkes worth in 6 Bänden in 4. und 12 Bänden in 8. mit erläuternden Anmerkungen und einem Essay on the life, writings and character of Dr. Swift herausgegeben und nachher häufig aufgelegt worden, z. B. Dublin 1774, 15 Vols. 8. London 1776 79, 25 Vols. 8. 1784, 17 Vols. 8. Nach den Englischen Miszellen ( 4ten Bandes item Stück) ist folgende neue Ausgabe der Werke Swift's angekündigt worden, von deren Erscheinung wir nicht näher unterrichtet sind: The works of the Reverend Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Pas trick's, Dublin. Arranged by Thomas Sheridan M. A. corrected by John Nichols, F. S. A. Edinburg and Perth, with notes by Dr. Hawkesworth, Lord Orrery, Dr. Delany, Deane Swift Esq., Dr. Birch, Mr. Sheridan and the editor. With a Portrait of the Author, London, Johnson, Robinson
not. His sentences are commonly negligently arranged; distinctly enough as to the sense; but without any regard to moothness of sound; often without much regard to compactness or elegance. If a metaphor, or any other figure, chanced to render his satire more poignant, he would, perhaps, vouchsafe to adopt it, when it came in his way; but if it tended only to embellish and illustrate, he would rather throw it aside. Hence in his serious pieces, his style often borders upon the dry and unpleasing; in his humorous ones, the plainness of his manner gives his wit a singular edge, and sets it off to the highest advantage. There is no froth, nor affectation in it; it flows without any studied preparation; and while he hardly appears to smile himself, he makes his reader laugh heartily. To a writer of such a genius as Dean Swift, the plain style was most admirably fitted. Blair, Lect XVIII.
etc. Die neueste Ausgabe ist von dem Schottischen Dichter Walter Scott besorgt und zu. Edinburgh 1817 bei dem Buchhändler Constable in 19 Bänden in 8. (Preis g l. 19 sh, 6 den., brochirt und auf Königspapier 15-l. 4 sh.) erschienen. Voran geht eine Biographie des Verfassers. Z11 den andern vorzüglichern Lebensbeschreibungen Swift's gehören, ausser der gedachten Biographie von Hawkes worth, die Remarks on the life and writings of Dr. Swift by John Earl Orrery, London 1752. 8., und the Life of the Rev. Dr. Swift by Sheridan, Dublin 1787, 8. Deutsch: Jon. Swift's Leben von Thomas Sheridan geschrieben, abgekürzt und aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Philippine Freyinn Knigge. Hannover 1795, 8. (Man vergleiche damit die Recension dieser Schrift in der Neuen Allg. Deutschen Bibliothek 23sten Bandes istem Stück.) Ausserdem verdient noch folgendes Werk angeführt zu werden: Swiftjana; or Bon Mots, Anecdotes, fugitive Observations, and Facts,' connected with the Life, Times and Contemporaries of Dean Swift, illustrated with engravings and curious Fac Similies, on the plan of the Walpoliana and Addisoniana, in 2 elegant Volumes, 8. with plates. London, Philips, 1804. (10 sh. 6 den.)
1) To LORD TREASURER OXFORD. (On the death of his Daughter the Alarchioness of Caermarthen.)
Nov. 21, 1713. My Lord,
, Your Lordship is the person in the world to whom every body ought to be silent upon such an occasion as this, which is only to be supported by the greatest wisdom and strength of mind: wherein, God knows, the wisest and best of us, who would presume to offer their thoughts, are far your
inferiors. It is true, indeed, that a great misfortune is apt to weaken the mind, and disturb the understanding. This, indeed, might be some pretence to us to administer our consolations, if we had been wholly strangers to the person gode. But, my Lord, whoever had the honour to know her, wants a comforter as much as your Lordship; because though -their loss is not so great, yet they have not the same firmness and prudence, to support the want of a friend, a patroness, a benefactor, as you have to support that of a daughter.
My Lord, both religion and reason forbid me to have the least concern for that Lady's death, upon her own account; and he must be an ill Christian, or a perfect stranger to her virtues, who would not wish himself, with all submission to God Almighty's will, in her condition. But your Lordship, who hath lost such a daughter, and we, who have lost such a friend, and the world, which háth lost such an example, have in our several degrees greater cause to lament, than, perhaps, was ever given by any private person, before. For, my Lord, I have sat down to think of every amiable quality that could enter into the composition of a lady, and could not single out one, which she did not possess in as high a perfection as human nature is capable of. But, as to your Lordship's own particular, as it is an unconceivable misfortune to have had such a daughter, so it is a possession which few can boast of to have had such a daughter. I have often said to your Lordship, that I never knew any one, by many degrees, so happy in their domestics as you; and I affirm you are so still, though not by so many degrees; from whence it is very obvious, that your Lordship should reflect upon what you have left, and not upon what you have lost.
To say the truth, my Lord, you began to be too happy for a mortal; much more happy than is usual with the disa pensations of providence long to continue. You had been the great instrument of preserving your country from foreign and domestic ruin: you have had the felicity of establishing your family in the greatest lustre, without any obligation to the bounty of your prince, or any industry of your own; you have triumphed over the violence and treachery of your enemies, hy your courage and abilities; and, by the steadiness of your femper, over the inconstancy and caprice of your friends. Perhaps your Lordship has felt too much complacency within yourself, upon this universal success: and God Almighty, wo would not dissappoint your endeavours for the publie, thought fit to punish you with a domestic loss, where he knew your heart was most exposed; and, at the saine time has fulfilled his own wise purposes, by rewarding, in a better life, that excellent creature he has taken from you.
I know not, my Lord, why I write this to you, nor bardly what I am writing. I am sure it is not from any compliance with form; it is not from thinking that I can give your Lordskip any casc. I' think it was an impulse upon me
that I should say something. And whether I shall send you what I have written, I am yet in doubt, etc.
Sept. 29, 1725. I am now returning to the noble scene of Dublin, into the grand monde, for fear of burying my parts; to signalize myself among curates and vicars, and correct all corruptions crept in relating to the weight of bread and butter, through those dominions where I govern.“ I have employed my time (besides ditching) in finishing, correcting, amending, and transcribing my travels *), in four parts complete, newly augmented, and intended for the press when the world shall deserve them, or rather when a printer shall be found brave enough to venture his ears. I like the scheme of our meeting after distresses and dispersions: but the chief end I propose to myself in all labours, is to vex the world, rather than divert it; and if I could compass that design without hurting my own person or fortune, I would be the most indefatigable writer. you bave ever seen, without reading. I am exceedingly pleased that you have done with **) translations. Lord Treasurer Oxford lamented, that a rascally world should lay you under a necessity of mis-employing your genius for so long a time. But since you will now be so much better employed, when you
think of the world, give it one lash the more at my request, I have ever hated all nations, professions and communities, and all my love is towards individuals. For instance, I hate the tribe of lawyers; but I love counsellor such a one, and judge such a one. "Tis so with physicians, (I will not speak of my own trade) soldiers, English, Scotch, French and the rest. But principally I hate and detest that animal called man, although I heartily love John, Peter, Thomas, and so forth. This is the system upon which I have governed myself many years, (but do not tell) and so I shall go on till I have done with them. I have got materials towards a treasise, proving the falsity of that definition animal rationale, and to shew it should be only rationis capas. Upon this great foundation of misanthropy (though not in
ich habe ihn unter
*) Gulliver's travels. **) I have done with dem entsagt, ich habe es gelassen.
Timon's manner) the whole building of my travels is erected; and I never will have peace of mind till all honest men are of my opinion. By- consequence you are to embrace it immediately, and procure that all who deserve my esteen may do so too. The matter is so clear, that it will admit of no dispute; nay, I will hold a hundred pounds that you and I agree in the point.
I did not know your Odyssey was finished, being yet in the country, which I shall leave in three days. I thank you kindly for the present; but shall like it three-fourths the less, for the mixture you mention of other hands *): however I am glad you saved yourself so much drudgery, - I have been long told by Mr. Ford of your great atchievements in building and planting, and especially of your subterranean passage to your garden,' whereby you turaçd a blunder into a beauty, which is a piece of ars poetica,
I have almost done with harridans, and shall soon become old enough to fall in love with girls of fourteen. The lady whom you describe to live at court, to be deaf, and no party-woman, I take to be mythology, but know not how to moralize it. She cannot be Mercy; for Mercy is neither deaf, nor lives at court: Justice is blind, and perhaps deaf; but peither is she a court - lady: Fortune is both blind and deaf, and a court -lady; but then she is a most damnable party, woman, and will never make me easy, as you promise. It must be Riches, which answers all your description. I am glad she visits you; but my voice is so weak, that I doubt abe will never hear me,
Mr, Lewis sent me an account of Dr. Arbuthnot's illaess; which is a very sensible affliction to me, who, by living so long out of the world, have lost that hardness of heart contracted by years and general conversation, I am daily losing friends, and neither seeking nor getting others. Oh, if the world had but a dozen of Arbuthnots in it, I would burn my travels! But however he is not without fault. There is
passage in Beda *), highly commending the piety and learning of the įrish in that age; where, after abundance of
*) Elijah Fenton und William Broome, s. oben S. 99 **) Beda Venerabilis, geboren 672, gest. 735. S. von
andern Wachler's Versuch einer allgemeinen Geschichte der Literatur, 2ten Band, Seite 107.