The Works of Jonathan Swift: Tale of a tub. Battle of the books. Polite conversation

Front Cover

From inside the book

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 231 - The avenues to his castle were guarded with turnpikes and palisadoes, all after the modern way of fortification. After you had passed several courts you came to the centre, wherein you might behold the constable himself in his own lodgings, which had windows fronting to each avenue, and ports to sally out upon all occasions of prey or defence.
Page 84 - This distinction was immediately approved by all, and so they fell again to examine the will; but their evil star had so directed the matter that the first syllable was not to be found in the whole writings.
Page 77 - On their first appearance, our three adventurers met with a very bad reception ; and soon, with great sagacity, guessing out the reason, they quickly began to improve in the good qualities of the town : they writ, and rallied, and rhymed, and sung, and said, and said nothing: they drank, and fought, and whored, and slept, and swore, and took snuff...
Page 162 - For the brain, in its natural position and state of serenity, disposeth its owner to pass his life in the common forms, without any thought of subduing multitudes to his own power, his reasons, or his visions; and the more he shapes his understanding by the pattern of human learning, the less he is inclined to form parties after his particular notions, because that instructs him in his private infirmities, as well as in the stubborn ignorance of the people.
Page 288 - Too intense a contemplation is not the business of flesh and blood ; it must, by the necessary course of things, in a ' little time let go its hold, and fall into matter. Lovers for the sake of celestial converse are but another sort of Platonics, who pretend to see stars and heaven in ladies...
Page 161 - There is in mankind a certain1 .... Hie multa . desiderantur. And this I take to be a clear solution of the matter. Having therefore so narrowly passed through this intricate difficulty, the reader will, I am sure, agree with me in the conclusion, that if the moderns mean by madness only a disturbance or transposition of the brain, by force of certain vapors issuing up from the lower faculties...
Page 147 - At other times were to be seen several hundred linked together in a circular chain, with every man a pair of bellows applied to his neighbour's breech, by which they blew up each other to the shape and size of a tun ; and for that reason, jvith great propriety of speech, did. usually call their bodies, their vessels.
Page 232 - By my troth, said the bee, the comparison will amount to a very good jest ; and you will do me a favour to let me know the reasons that all the world is pleased to use in so hopeful a dispute.
Page 232 - ... and devoured. However, he at length valiantly resolved to issue forth and meet his fate. Meanwhile the bee had acquitted himself of his toils, and, posted securely at some distance, was employed in cleansing his wings, and disengaging them from the ragged remnants of the cobweb. By this time the spider was adventured out, when, beholding the chasms, the ruins, and dilapidations of his fortress, he was very near at his wits' end; he stormed and swore like a madman, and swelled till he was ready...
Page 48 - THE wits of the present age being so very numerous and penetrating, it seems the grandees of church and state begin to fall under horrible apprehensions lest these gentlemen during the intervals of a long peace should find leisure to pick holes in the weak sides of religion and government.

Bibliographic information