Upon Giving Badges to the Poor
Dated 26 September 1726, and belonging to the aftermath of the Drapier's Letters, this fragment shares ideas with the Proposal for Giving Badges to the Beggars, published eleven years later.
It was previously included by Davis (vol. XIII, pp. 172–3), who used the first printed version (Deane Swift's Works, 1765), and was seemingly not aware of the manuscript, alongside others from Swift, in the Forster Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (for the history of these, see David Woolley, ‘Forster's Swift’, The Dickensian 70 (1974) 191–204); this is SwJ 479, entitled ‘About Beggars &c’ at its end. This manuscript is thus printed here for the first time, as copy text, collated against Deane Swift (1765a) and Faulkner's reprint in Works, in the same year (1765b).
The manuscript is a fair copy, likely the last version of the text before Swift stopped composition, with the left-hand side of each page left blank for insertions. It would seem that these were added at the stage of composition: the inking on all insertions longer than one word, and their placing on the blank left-hand of the page suggests authorial additions immediately after the reading through of this final draft of the fragment (and its unfinished state explains why such variants and revisions are sparse). These insertions, along with deletions, are listed separately below as variants. Apart from the adoption of the more conventional titles, there are no emendations; theHistorical Collation adds later variants from the published versions.
Copy Text V & A, Forster MS 518, F.48.G.6/2 Item 6.
Manuscript SwJ 479
Location: V & A, Forster MS 518, F.48.G.6/2 Item 6.
Description: autograph hand, 2 leaves, 194×154 mm; cropped and mounted on card by page. Fos. 1v–2r paginated 2–3 in pen, by Swift. Fos. 1r–2v paginated 1–4 (added later in pencil, in middle of top of card). Foliation ‘6’ on first leaf added later in pencil, on right of top of card.
Contents: fo. 1r ‘Badges to the Poor’ (added later to card, bottom middle); ‘2 L’ (added later to card in same hand, bottom right); 1r–2v: text in right-hand column; additions on left. 2v: ‘About Badges’ added in Swift's hand, under text in left-hand column, and at the foot of the same column, inverted, ‘Badges to the Poor’.