The Satire of Jonathan Swift


Satyr is a sort of Glass, wherein Beholders do generally discover every body's face but their Own; which is the chief Reason for that kind of Reception it meets in the World, and that is why few are offended with it.

WHETHER or not that is the reason for the reader's satisfaction there can be no doubt that it is for his satire that Jonathan Swift is read, and will continue to be read. And this explanation of the effect of satire does account for the fact that people of all parties can equally enjoy and even applaud the strokes of a satirist like Swift. Two hundred years after his death he is remembered not perfunctorily, not just by scholars or collectors, but by those who would use his satire for their own present purposes. In London and Dublin the echoes of his voice might be expected to reverberate from Marlborough's wars to Churchill's wars, from Dublin's struggle against dependency on the Whig government of George I to Dublin's present independent neutrality. But his satire is no less alive and satisfying to the reader in an America staggering beneath the weight of her . . .

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1947


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