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EDINBURGH:

Printed by David Willison,
FOR ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND COMPANY, EDINBURGII : AND
LONGMAN, HURST, Rees, ORIE AND BROWN,

LONDON.

1816.

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THE

EDINBURGH REVIEW,

SEPTEMBER, 1816.

NO. LIII.

Art. I. The Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Dean of St Pa

trick's Dublin : Containing additional Letters, Tracts and Poems, not hitherto published: With Notes, and a Life of the Author, by WALTER Scort, Esq. 19 vol. Syo. Edinburgh, 1815.

By far the most considerable change which has taken place in

the world of letters, in our days, is that by which the wits of Queen Anne's time have been gradually brought down from the supremacy which they had enjoyed, without competition, for the best part of a century. When we were at our studies, some twenty-five years ago, we can perfectly remember that every young man was set to read Pope, Swift and Addison, as regu. larly as Virgil, Cicero and Horace. All who had any tincture of letters were familiar with their writings and their history; allusions to them abounded in all popular discourses and all ambitious conversation ; and they and their contemporaries were universally acknowledged as our great models of excellence, and placed without challenge at the head of our national literature. New books, even when allowed to have merit, were never thought of as fit to be placed in the same class, but were generally read and forgotten, and passed away like the transitory meteors of a lower sky; while they remained in their brightness, and were supposed to shine with a fixed and unalterable glory.

All this, however, we take it, is now pretty well altered ; and in so far as farsons of our antiquity can judge of the training and habits of the rising generation, those celebrated writers no longer form the manual of our studious youth, or enter necessarily into the institution of a liberal education. Their names, indeed, are still familiar to our ears; but their writings no long

VOL. XXVII. NO. 53.

A

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