1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Jonathan Swift

Thomas Green, 12 September 1796; Extracts from the Diary of a Lover of Literature (1810) 2.



Finished, afterwards, Gulliver's Travels. Could this severe satire on poor human nature, be designed to reform it; or was it the overflowing merely of that "saeva indignatio," which in Swift, it is to be suspected, sprung less from a strong abhorrence of vice, than the exacerbations of mortified ambition? I am afraid we cannot hesitate in adopting the latter alternative. — Nothing can transcend the felicity of his contrivance for exposing our follies and our frailties, nor the consummate skill with which he has availed himself of it.