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Swift's Disappointment

"I remember when I was a little boy, (writes Swift in a letter to
Bolingbroke,) I felt a great fish at the end of my line, which I
drew up almost on the ground, but it dropt in, and the disappointment
vexes me to this day; and I believe it was the type of all my future

"This little incident," writes Percival, "perhaps gave the first wrong
bias to a mind predisposed to such impressions; and by operating with
so much strength and permanency, it might possibly lay the foundation
of the Dean's subsequent peevishness, passion, misanthropy, and final

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