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THE JOURNAL TO STELLA 1710?1713 lI. THE JOURNAL TO STELLA /et. 42 ?
45. PROM September, 1710, to June, 1713, Swift was in England, and
chiefly in London, engaged in the fierce fight of politics: it was
now that he wrote the series of " Examiners," the biting satires,
the telling broadsides, the elaborate and convincing pamphlets,
that told so severely upon Marlborough and the War Party, and
rendered the Peace of Utrecht palatable to the nation. During these
years of vigorous pamphleteering we shall use few letters to
illustrate the life of the writer. There are many; but we shall not
require them. The most perfect picture that can be demanded is
found in that wonderful " Journal to Stella," in which Swift " set
down day by day the incidents of three momentous years; which
received every hope, fear, or fancy in its undress as it rose to
him; which was written for one person's private pleasure, and has
had indestructible attractiveness for everyone since; which has no
parallel in literature for the historic importance of the men and
the events that move along its pages, or the homely vividness of
the language that describes them; and of which the loves, the
hates, the joys and griefs, the expectations and disappointments,
the great and little in closest neighbourhood, the alternating
tenderness and bitterness, and, above all, the sense and nonsense
in marvellous mixture and profusion, remain a perfect microcosm of
human life." The picture of Swift's life during the three eventful
E years of the Harley administration as presented even in the
following extracts, which form but a tenth part of the whole
journal, is so complete that further description is superfluous. As
a record of the writer's thoughts and deeds, the " Journal " is
unrivalled. We may wish tha...
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