Page:Essays and phantasies by James Thomson.djvu/295

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283
A NOTE ON FORSTER'S SWIFT.

Mr. Forster tells us that more than a hundred and fifty new letters had been placed at his disposal. He obtained additions to the fragment of autobiography first printed by Mr. Deane Swift; and questions raised by that autobiography in connexion with Swift's university career are settled by one of the Rolls of Trinity College which fell into his hands. "Two original letters written from Moor Park clear up that story of the Kilroot living which has been the theme of extravagant misstatement. Unpublished letters in the palace at Armagh . . . show clearly Swift's course as to questions which led to his separation from the Whigs." Mr. Forster also secured Swift's note books and books of account; a large number of unpublished pieces in prose and verse interchanged between himself and Sheridan; the copy of the Life by Hawkesworth enriched with MS. notes by Dr. Lyon, who had charge of Swift's person in his last illness; letters relating to Gulliver, some to Stopford, and some to Arbuthnot of peculiar value; an unpublished journal in Swift's handwriting, singular in its character, and of extraordinary interest, written on his way back to Dublin, amid grave anxiety for Esther Johnson (Stella), then dangerously ill; a copy of the first edition of Gulliver, interleaved for alterations and additions by the author, and containing several interesting passages, mostly in the Voyage to Laputa, which have never yet been given to the world; a copy of Swift's correspondence with his friend Knightley Chetwode during the seventeen years (1714-1731) which followed his appointment to the Deanery of St. Patrick's, "the richest addition to the correspondence of this most masterly of English letter-writers since it was first collected." To my mind the most interesting novelty in this first volume is contained in the Sixth Book (Appendix), under the heading of "Unprinted and Misprinted Journals"; being the restoration, by collation with the originals in the