The Works of Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin, Volume 3
W. Bowyer, C. Bathurst, W. Owen, W. Strahan, J. Rivington, J. Hinton, L. Davis, and C. Reymers, R. Baldwin, J. Dodsley, S. Crowder and Company and B. Collins., 1768
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Page 387 - When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
Page 396 - The common fluency of speech in many men, and most women, is owing to a scarcity of matter, and a scarcity of words; for whoever is a master of language, and hath a mind full of ideas, will be apt, in speaking, to hesitate upon the choice of both; whereas common speakers have only one set of ideas, and one set of words to clothe them in, and these are always ready at the mouth. So people come faster out of a church when it is almost empty, than when a crowd is at the door.
Page 136 - For it is confidently reported, that two young gentlemen of real hopes, bright wit, and profound judgment, who, upon a thorough examination of causes and effects, and by the mere force of natural abilities, without the least tincture of learning...
Page 312 - My lord, I do here, in the name of all the learned and polite persons of the nation, complain to your lordship, as first minister, that our language is extremely imperfect; that its daily improvements are by no means in proportion to its daily corruptions; that the pretenders to polish and refine it, have chiefly multiplied abuses and absurdities; and that in many instances it offends against every part of grammar.
Page 137 - Great wits love to be free with the highest objects, and if they cannot be allowed a God to revile or renounce, they will speak evil of dignities, abuse the Government, and reflect upon the Ministry...
Page 142 - Sundays than other days? is not that the chief day for traders to sum up the accounts of the week, and for lawyers to prepare their briefs? But I would fain know, how it can be pretended, that the churches are misapplied? where are more appointments and rendezvouses of gallantry? where more care to appear in the foremost box with greater advantage of dress? where more meetings for business, where more bargains driven of all sorts? and where so many conveniences or enticements to sleep?
Page 393 - Although men are accused for not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps as few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold, which the owner knows not of.
Page 307 - ... now at best but the reverse of what it was, a tree turned upside down, the branches on the earth, and the root in the air...
Page 152 - What wonderful productions of wit should we be deprived of, from those whose genius by continual practice hath been wholly turned upon raillery and invectives against religion, and would therefore never be able to shine or distinguish themselves upon any other subject. We are daily complaining of the great decline of wit among us, and would we take away the greatest, perhaps the only topic we have left?