This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original
book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not
illustrated. 1854 edition. Excerpt: ... lecture iv. swift, pope,
churchill. Jonathan Swift, the famous Dean of St. Patrick's, has
left among his numerous volumes such a mass of Satire, and his
whole attitude towards the world was so essentially that of a
satirist, that he fairly comes within the province which I have
selected to make an excursion in. He is such a huge figure in our
literature, and his personal story is so strange, so interesting,
and so awful, that generation after generation of men gather round
his monument with wonder, and try to understand the meaning of
it;--as they gather round a pyramid, and speculate on the moral
phenomena which produced it. Compared with Swift's life, the lives
of his contemporaries are commonplace, and their characters to be
read off at first sight. A pious-minded, semi-conventional
essayist, with a fine sheen of humour playing over him, --here is
his friend Addison; Pope is not such a very difficult man to
understand; and Bolingbroke is still easier: --but Swift is a
portentous figure. We just begin, I think, to comprehend and to
judge of him fairly, when we admit that he is altogether the most
unfortunate man of genius in the history of England. That history
is not without several instances of men of genius who have suffered
from misfortune. Mere poverty is only bitter in so far as it cramps
a man's abilities, and prevents his achieving what Nature has
fitted him to achieve. It is bad enough; and Swift for a while had
his share of it. But he had to struggle all his life under far
deeper obstructions. He had giant energies, and a wretched field
for them; a soul for worship, in an age of unbelief; a heart for
love, yet under the ban of a mysterious destiny; and he had to
fight his fight under the closest of all restrictions, --the...
|Country of origin:
||246 x 189 x 3mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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