Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift

(1667 - 1745)

“The chief end I propose to myself in all my labors is to vex the world, rather than divert it,” wrote Jonathan Swift in 1725. “And if I could compass with that design without hurting my own person or fortune, I would be the most indefatigable writer you have ever seen.” Having been ordained an Anglican priest in 1695 at the age of twenty-seven, Swift published A Tale of a Tub in 1704, Gulliver’s Travels in 1726, and A Modest Proposal in 1729.

All Writing

Usually speaking, the worst-bred person in company is a young traveler just returned from abroad.

—Jonathan Swift, c. 1730

I am weary of friends, and friendships are all monsters.

—Jonathan Swift, 1710

Voices In Time

c. 1720 | Lilliput

The Crack-Up

Jonathan Swift makes eggs meet.More

Voices In Time

1726 | Lagado


“Men are never so serious, thoughtful, and intent as when they are at stool.”More

War is the child of pride, and pride the daughter of riches.

—Jonathan Swift, 1697

No man will take counsel, but every man will take money: therefore money is better than counsel.

—Jonathan Swift, 1702

Lord! I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing.

—Jonathan Swift, 1738

A traveler’s chief aim should be to make men wiser and better, and to improve their minds by the bad—as well as good—example of what they deliver concerning foreign places.

—Jonathan Swift, 1726

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

If a man will observe as he walks the streets, I believe he will find the merriest countenances in mourning coaches.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

No wise man ever wished to be younger.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

No preacher is listened to but time, which gives us the same train and turn of thought that elder people have in vain tried to put into our heads before.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

Voices In Time

1731 | Dublin

Parthian Shot

Jonathan Swift predicts what his friends and neighbors will say about him after he is dead.More

Issues Contributed