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The BOOKSELLER'S ADVERTISEMENT.
HE following discourse came into my hands perfect and entire. But there being several things in it which the prefent age would not very well bear, I kept it by me fome years, refolving it should never fee the light. At length, by the advice and affiftance of a judicious friend, I retrenched those parts that might give most offence, and have now ventured to publish the remainder. Concerning the author, I am wholly ignorant : Neither can I conjecture, whether it be the fame with that of the two foregoing pieces; the original having been fent me at a different time, and in a different hand. The learned reader will better determine; to whofe judgment I entirely fubmit it.
" CONCERNING THE
MECHANICAL OPERATION of the SPIRIT.*
For T. H. Efq; at his chambers in the academy of the Beaux-Efprits in New England.
T is now a good while fince I have had in my head fomething, not only very material, but abfolutely neceffary to my health, that the world fhould be informed in. For, to tell you a fecret, I am able to contain it no longer. A 2 However,
* This discourse is not altogether equal to the former, the best parts of it being omitted. Whether the bookfeller's account be true, that he durft not print the rest, I know not: nor indeed is it eafy to determine, whether he may be relied on in any thing he fays of this, or the former treatifes, only as to the time they were writ in which, however, appears more from the discourses themselves, than his relation.
This difcourfe is a fatire against enthusiasm, and thofe affected infpirations, which constantly begin in folly, and very often end in vice. In this treatise, the author has revelled in too licentious a vein of sarcasm: many of his ideas are naufeous, some are indecent, and others have an irreligious tendency. Nor is the piece itfelf equal in wit and humour, either to The Tale of a Tub, or The Battle of the Books. 1 fhould conftantly chufe rather to praife, than to arraign any part of Swift's writings: but in those tracts where he tries to make us uneafy with ourselves, and unhappy in our present existence, there I must yield him up entirely to cenfure: Orrery.
† Suppofed to be Col. Hunter.