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It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads and cabbin-doors crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and importuning every passenger for an alms. These mothers instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in stroling to beg sustenance for their helpless... more...

Predictions For The Year 1708 Wherein the month, and day of the month are set down, the persons named, and the great actions and events of next year particularly related, as will come to pass. Written to prevent the people of England from being farther imposed on by vulgar almanack-makers. By Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq. I have long consider'd the gross abuse of astrology in this kingdom, and upon debating the matter with myself, I could not... more...

INTRODUCTION Of late years, that is to say, within the last thirty odd years, there has existed a certain amount of doubt as to whether or no the work known to us as "The History of the Four Last Years of the Queen," was really the product of Swift's pen. That a work of this nature had occupied Swift during his retirement at Windsor in 1713, is undoubted. That the work here reprinted from the edition given to the world in 1758, "by an anonymous... more...

INTRODUCTION Swift has been styled the Prince of Journalists. Like most titles whose aim is to express in modern words the character and achievements of a man of a past age, this phrase is not of the happiest. Applied to so extraordinary a man as Jonathan Swift, it is both misleading and inadequate. At best it embodies but a half-truth. It belongs to that class of phrases which, in emphasizing a particular side of the character, sacrifices truth... more...

LETTER I. TO THE SHOP-KEEPERS, TRADESMEN, FARMERS, AND COMMON-PEOPLE OF IRELAND. NOTE About the year 1720 it was generally acknowledged in Ireland that there was a want there of the small change, necessary in the transaction of petty dealings with shopkeepers and tradesmen. It has been indignantly denied by contemporary writers that this small change meant copper coins. They asserted that there was no lack of copper money, but that there was a... more...


In the "foreword" to the reprint of this tract in the "Miscellanies" of 1711, Swift remarks: "I have been assured that the suspicion which the supposed author lay under for writing this letter absolutely ruined him with the late ministry." The "late ministry" was the Whig ministry of which Godolphin was the Premier. To this ministry the repeal of the Test Act was a matter of much concern. To test the effect of such a repeal it was determined to... more...

PREFACE. The inquiry into the religious thought of the eighteenth century forms one of the most interesting subjects for speculation in the history of the intellectual development of western nations. It is true, that in that history Swift takes no special or distinguished part; but he forms a figure of peculiar interest in a special circle of his own. Swift had no natural bent for the ministry of a church; his instincts, his temperament, his... more...

PREFACE The history of the publication of the Journal to Stella is somewhat curious. On Swift's death twenty-five of the letters, forming the closing portion of the series, fell into the hands of Dr. Lyon, a clergyman who had been in charge of Swift for some years. The letters passed to a man named Wilkes, who sold them for publication. They accordingly appeared in 1766 in the tenth volume of Dr. Hawkesworth's quarto edition of Swift's works;... more...

A LETTER FROM CAPTAIN GULLIVER TO HIS COUSIN SYMPSON. Written in the Year 1727. I hope you will be ready to own publicly, whenever you shall be called to it, that by your great and frequent urgency you prevailed on me to publish a very loose and uncorrect account of my travels, with directions to hire some young gentleman of either university to put them in order, and correct the style, as my cousin Dampier did, by my advice, in his book called... more...