It was now that Swift wrote the two little books which first made him famous.
Swift imagines a real battle to have taken place among the books in the King's library at St.
And yet it is the book above all others which one must read, and read with understanding, if one would get even a little knowledge of Swift's special genius.
A Tale of a Tub like The Battle of the Books is a satire, and Swift wrote it to show up the abuses of the Church.
When Sir William Temple died Swift went back to Ireland, and after a little time he once more received a Church living there.
Sir William had left Swift some money; he had also left some to Esther Johnson, the little girl Swift used to teach.
During these years Swift corresponded with friends in England, among them Pope, whom he bitterly urged to 'lash the world for his sake,' and he once or twice visited England in the hope, even then, of securing a place in the Church on the English side of St.
The complexity of Swift's character and the great difference between the viewpoints of his age and of ours make it easy at the present time to judge him with too great harshness.
'Pray, madam, are you as proud and ill-natured to-day as when I saw you last?' It seems, indeed, that throughout his life Swift's mind was positively abnormal, and this may help to excuse the repulsive elements in his writings.
Swift's prose style has substantially the same qualities.
The great range of the satires which make the greater part of Swift's work is supported in part by variety of satiric method.
Swift, then, is the greatest of English satirists and the only one who as a satirist claims large attention in a brief general survey of English literature.