« VorigeDoorgaan »
have since gone through by the oppression of landlords, the impossibility of paying rent without money or trade, the want of common sustenance, with neither house nor clothes to cover them from the inclemencies of the weather, and the most inevitable prospect of entailing the like or greater miseries upon their breed for ever.
I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavouring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine years old, and my wife past child-bearing.
[The first edition of “Gulliver's Travels” appeared in 1726, but Swift had had the work in hand for many years. His dominant motive in writing the book is confessed in the letter to Pope, September 29, 1725, published in this volume. In a letter to the Abbé des Fontaines, in August, 1727, Swift remarks: “This Gulliver's adherents, who are very numerous here, maintain that his book will last as long as our language, because he does not derive his merit from certain modes of expression or thought, but from a series of observations on the imperfections, follies, and vices of mankind.” By a singular literary fate, thi bitter satire against mankind has been handed down from generation to generation because of its extraordinary qualities as a work of fiction merely. It has been one of the most widely read of children's books, and the first two voyages, at least, may be read almost without suspicion of the terrible irony of the author.]
THE ARRIVAL IN LILLIPUT.
[From "A Voyage to Lilliput,” Chap. I.] My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire; I was the third of five sons. He sent me to Emanuel College in Cambridge, at fourteen years old, where I resided three years, and applied myself close to my studies; but the charge of maintaining me (although