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I congratulate you first upon what you call your Couzen's wonderful Book, which is publica trita manu at present, and I prophecy will be in future the admiration of all men....

I find no considerable man very angry at the book; some indeed think it rather too bold, and too general a Satire: but none that I hear of accuse it of particular reflections (I mean no persons of consequence, or good judgment; the mob of Criticks, you know, always are desirous to apply Satire to those that they envy for being above them).... Motte receiv'd the
copy (he tells me) he knew not from whence, nor from whom, dropp'd at his house in the dark, from a Hackney-coach: by computing the time, I found it was after you left England, so for my part, I suspend my judgment.

Alexander Pope to Swift, November 16, 1726

I wondered to hear him say of Gulliver's Travels, "When once you have thought of big men and little men, it is very easy to do all the rest." I endeavoured to make a stand for Swift, and tried to rouse those who were much more able to defend him...."

Boswell, Life of Johnson, 1775

Swift's greatness lies in the intensity, the almost insane violence, of that "hatred of bowels" which is the essence of his misanthropy and which underlies the whole of this book.

Aldous Huxley, Do What You Will, 1930

Animal rationale-animal rationis capax! Swift's somewhat scholastic distinction turns out, in the light of seventeenth century thought, to be by no means scholastic. It symbolizes, in fact, the chief intellectual battle of the age. Swift seems to have seen clearly enough that in assaulting man's pride in reason, he was attacking the new optimism at its very root.

T. O. Wedel, "On the Philosophical Background of Gulliver's Travels," from Studies in Philology, 23 (1926)

I tell you after all that I do not hate Mankind, it is vous autres who hate them because you would have them reasonable Animals, and are Angry for being disappointed. I have always rejected that definition and made another of my own.

Jonathan Swift to Alexander Pope, November 26, 1725


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