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The Letters of Sir Walter Scott, ed. Herbert J. C. Grierson (1932-37), II, 79. Hereafter this edition will be referred to as Letters.


The Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin (1814), 19 vols., 8°, to be referred to hereafter as "Scott." The exact date of publication is in question. Lockhart states that the edition came out on July 1, 1814 (Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. [1838], I, 474). But that this cannot have been the case is clear from Scott's letter to Matthew Weld Hartstonge of July 18, 1814: "Constable has again changed his mind and publishes instantly . . ." (Letters, III, 464). In connection with this passage, Grierson points out that Lockhart is mistaken (III, 464, n. 2) but repeats the mistake himself at another point (IV, 490, n. 1): "Scott's edition of Swift appeared on the 1st July 1814."


Cadell to Constable, May 6, 1814. Quoted by Grierson, Letters, I, xl, n. 2.


British Museum General Catalogue of Printed Books (1964), vol. 233, p. 430, s.v. "Swift (Jonathan) Dean of St. Patrick's. [Works]."


The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, D. D., Dean of St. Patrick's Dublin (1808), 19 vols., to be referred to hereafter as "Nichols" unless a more exact identification is necessary. Signatures, pagination, texts, and notes in the British Museum copies are identical with those of volumes XI and XII of Nichols' 1808 edition. I use a microfilm of the British Museum copies.


The running title "Epistolary Correspondence" has been deleted, too, even though Scott did not mark it for deletion. The compositor may have dropped it of his own initiative, or Scott may have indicated the deletion on the proof-sheet.


This transcript was sent to Scott by his Irish correspondent Matthew Weld Hartstonge, who was responsible, directly or indirectly, for procuring for Scott thirty-one of the eighty-five previously unpublished letters of Swift which Scott printed for the first time. The letter to Blachford mentioned above is one of three to Blachford which Hartstonge sent in transcript, having copied them, he said, from the originals which were temporarily in his possession (Hartstonge to Scott, July 2, 1811, National Library of Scotland MS. 881, fol. 86r).


I am grateful to Mrs. Oliver Orr, former reference assistant in the University of North Carolina Library, for having called these volumes to my attention. I should like also to express my appreciation to Mr. John D. Gordan, Curator of the Berg Collection, for permission to consult these volumes. I quote here the card catalogue entry in the Berg Collection.


Among them A Proposal for Giving Badges to the Beggars in All the Parishes of Dublin, which appears in the Nichols 1808 edition at IX, 70-82, reprinted at Scott VII, 581-592. On the next to the last page of this tract (i.e., p. 81, sig. G in the Berg Collection copy) is printed "VOL. IX."


A letter from Sir John Browne to Swift dated April 4, 1728 (Nichols XII, 15-20, reprinted at Scott VII, 366-369). This letter is missing from the British Museum copy of Nichols XII.


Four of the five tracts mentioned are from volume IX: The Story of the Injured Lady (pp. 307-315), The Answer to the Injured Lady (pp. 316-319), The Substance of What Was Said by the Dean of St Patrick's to the Lord Mayor and Some of the Aldermen of Dublin; When His Lordship Came to Present the Said Dean With His Freedom in a Gold Box (pp. 65-69), and To the Honourable House of Commons, &c. The Humble Petition of the Footmen in and about the City of Dublin (pp. 411-413). Scott reprints these tracts at VII, 334-342, 343-345, 467-472, and 550-552. The fifth tract, the Advertisement by Dr Swift, in his Defence against Joshua, Lord Allen, appears in Nichols' 1801 edition at XIII, 471-472; Scott reprints it at VII, 473-474.


I have collated the texts under discussion here. Harold Williams, ed. Jonathan Swift: Journal to Stella (1948), p. lii, notes, too, that Scott was "content to take his text directly from Nichols" (i.e., from the 1801 edition).


An undated letter from Scott to Constable provides something of a clue in the matter: "The volumes of Swift (besides the first) which are wanting in the copy sent me are the 7th. 8th. and 18th. I should be glad to have them as soon as possible & also the Examiner which is become most essential" (Letters, II, 5). Grierson places this letter among those written in January, 1808, which is surely too early, for on February 28th of that year Scott was only "on the eve of concluding a bargain with a bookseller to edit Swift's work" (II, 26). It was not until July 25th that he settled the terms of the contract with Constable (II, 79). In another undated letter, which Grierson (rightly, I believe) places among those written late in October, 1808, Scott asks: "Have you ever got me a copy of the Examiner. I am in great want of it" (II, 112). The two letters clearly relate to each other through the reference to Swift's Examiner, and it would seem reasonable to place the earlier one in August or September, 1808 — that is, after the formalizing of the contract but before Scott's second request for the Examiner. If this date is even roughly accurate, the edition referred to in the earlier letter must be the 1801 edition, since the 1808 edition did not in fact appear until much later in the year (see below, n. 17). It is not likely that Constable failed to provide Scott the volumes which were "wanting."


Volume I of Scott's edition (Memoirs of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Dean of St. Patrick's Dublin) is not properly an object of consideration at this point, although its lengthy Appendix (pp. i-cxliv) is partially reprinted from the Reverend Dr. John Barrett's Essay on the Earlier Part of the Life of Swift, printed separately for Johnson, Nichols, and others in 1808 but also as a part of the first volume of Nichols, 1808 edition (pp. lxii-cxlviii). This Essay Scott seems to have owned in its separately published form (Letters, II, 145). Other portions of Scott's Appendix were reprinted from the 1808 edition, and still others from materials sent to Scott by his Irish correspondents.


Scott's version of The History of John Bull (VI, 233-407) follows Nichols' 1808 text and reprints many of its notes, but its division into parts and chapters is unlike that in either of the Nichols editions, corresponding more nearly to the division in the first edition of the History, a copy of which is in Scott's library at Abbotsford (Catalogue of the Library at Abbotsford [1838], p. 304). Scott was quite possibly using both Nichols and the first edition.


Volumes XV-XIX are taken up almost entirely with Swift's correspondence, all of which is printed from the 1808 edition except for certain letters which Scott published for the first time.


Although the edition was announced for immediate publication in the April, 1808, issue of The British Critic (Vol. 31, Pt. 1 [January-June], p. 460), I have found no evidence in contemporary journals or newspapers that it appeared earlier than the first week of January, 1809. Something delayed its appearance — perhaps the fire which destroyed Nichols' printing office, warehouses, and most of his literary stock in February, 1808. Nichols describes the destruction in considerable detail in the Gentleman's Magazine for February, 1808 (Vol. 78, Pt. 1 [January-June], p. 99). An advertisement in The Times of London for Tuesday, December 27, 1808 (p. 2, col. 2), indicates that the edition "will speedily be published, handsomely printed in 19 volumes 8vo.," but it is not until Friday, January 6, 1809, that The Times advertises it as actually available (p. 2, col. 2). A letter from Scott to Constable & Company dated January 2, 1809, mentions the difficulty of drawing up "a complete advertisement of Swift until we should see what was contained in Nicols edition now coming out. So soon as that can be procured I will furnish you with a full advertisement" (Letters, II, 145). Again to Constable & Company, on January 22, 1809, he wrote: "After inspection of the New Edition of Swift by Nichols I conceive some advantage may be gaind in the public opinion by holding out an intention of consolidating the mass of information which they have prefixd to their edition into a distinct narrative . . ." (II, 154). Clearly the edition appeared in the last week of 1808 or the first week of 1809.


There is no evidence that Scott ever had two sets. Had he had a second he would surely have used it rather than the 1801 edition, for ease of reference if for no other reason. (He would have known already the exact place in the 1808 edition at which he would find a duplicate text.) But in almost every instance where mutilation of text occurred through rearrangement of Nichols' order, Scott replaced lost text from the 1801 edition. A few instances of longhand copying occur, but these argue, too, that Scott had only one set of 1808. Why should he have copied had he had a second? I am grateful to my colleague Mr. Robert W. Lovett for supplying me this line of argument.


Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century (1828), V, 396-397.


"The pecuniary remuneration to Sir Walter Scott was precisely thirty times as much as I had received, or expected, for my Three Ediitons" (Nichols' note, Illustrations, V, 397). Scott got £1500.


Scott wrongly attributed the tracts to Swift. Barrett's transcripts are preserved in National Library of Scotland MS. 991, foll. 33r-38v, together with other materials which Scott received in connection with the edition. Dr. Barrett was librarian of Trinity College, Dublin. See above, n. 14.


The passage forms paragraph three of this piece as it is printed by Scott (IX, 513-520). Except in this passage Scott follows the text of Nichols' 1808 edition (IX, 362-368). "I have not by me," wrote Theophilus Swift, Deane Swift's nephew, who sent the passage to Scott, "this Volume published by my father, but I have by me what is much better, the original Tract itself, which now lies before me; and from which I will transcribe the passage at large on the next sheet . . ." (National Library of Scotland MS. 882, fol. 25v). The words the original Tract itself are underlined by Swift, and refer possibly to Jonathan Swift's MS of the History, or to what Swift took to be the MS. "The word Beast in the first paragraph," he continued, "is interlined; that is, written over the word Bitch, which is half scratched out with with [sic] his pen" (MS. 882, fol. 26r). It seems likely that he was working from a manuscript copy of the tract and also likely that it was Swift's holograph. In any case, he appears to think of the changes as author changes.


The Poems of Jonathan Swift (1937), I, xliv.