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A Letter From a Clergyman to his Friend,

THE AUGUSTAN REPRINT SOCIETY

A LETTER FROM A Clergyman to his Friend, WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE TRAVELS OF Captain _LEMUEL GULLIVER_.

(Anonymous)

(1726)

_Introduction by_ MARTIN KALLICH

PUBLICATION NUMBER 143 WILLIAM ANDREWS CLARK MEMORIAL LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES 1970

GENERAL EDITORS

William E. Conway, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_ George Robert Guffey, _University of California, Los Angeles_ Maximillian E. Novak, _University of California, Los Angeles_

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

David S. Rodes, _University of California, Los Angeles_

ADVISORY EDITORS

Richard C. Boys, _University of Michigan_ James L. Clifford, _Columbia University_ Ralph Cohen, _University of Virginia_ Vinton A. Dearing, _University of California, Los Angeles_ Arthur Friedman, _University of Chicago_ Louis A. Landa, _Princeton University_ Earl Miner, _University of California, Los Angeles_ Samuel H. Monk, _University of Minnesota_ Everett T. Moore, _University of California, Los Angeles_ Lawrence Clark Powell, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_ James Sutherland, _University College, London_ H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., _University of California, Los Angeles_ Robert Vosper, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY

Edna C. Davis, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

Roberta Medford, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_

INTRODUCTION

We have a Book lately publish'd here which hath of late taken up the whole conversation of the town. Tis said to be writ by Swift. It is called, The travells of Lemuell Gulliver in two Volumes. It hath had a very great sale. People differ vastly in their opinions of it, for some think it hath a great deal of wit, but others say, it hath none at all.

John Gay to James Dormer (22 November 1726)

As Gay's letter suggests, details concerning the contemporary reception of _Gulliver's Travels_ exhibit two sides of Jonathan Swift's character--the pleasant (that is, merry, witty, amusing) and the unpleasant (that is, sarcastic, envious, disaffected). A person with a powerful ego and astringent sense of humor, Swift must have been a delightful friend, if somewhat difficult, but also a dangerous enemy. _A Letter from a Clergyman_ (1726), here reproduced in a facsimile of its first and only edition, is a reaction typical of those who regard Swift and the sharp edge of his satire with great suspicion and revulsion. It displays the dangerously Satanic aspect of Swift--that side of his character which for some people represented the whole man since the allegedly blasphemous satire in _A Tale of a Tub_, published and misunderstood early in his career, critically affected, even by his own admission, his employment in the Church. It is this evil character of the author, the priest with an indecorous and politically suspect humor, that offended some contemporary readers. To them, the engraved frontispiece of Jonathan Smedley's scurrilous _Gulliveriana_ (1728) is the proper image of the author of the _Travels_. It portrays Swift in a priest's vestments that barely conceal a cloven hoof.


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