An original note cites `Xenophon.' The passage occurs in Xenophon's short treatise on the Athenian Republic, chap. 2. 18:
'They allow no one to turn to ridicule, or speak ill of, the people, that they may not hear themselves ill spoken of; but if any one wishes to satirize another they bid him do it as a personal matter, being well aware that the individual who is turned to ridicule does not, as a rule, belong to the people or the multitude, but is either a rich man, or one of noble birth, or powerful.'—Aristophanes (The Knights, v. 42)
'the People, gathered in its common assembly, is an ill-tempered, deaf old dotard'—is quoted against the truth of Xenophon's saying.
Swift himself certainly did not follow the Athenian practice. His attacks on individuals are comparatively rare; the weight of his bitterest satire falls upon humanity.
` He hated and detested that animal called man...,he loved only individuals' (Swift to Pope, Sept. 29, 1725).
`Upon the foundation of misanthropy,' he says, 'the whole building of his (Gulliver's) travels was erected.' Cf. his solemn warning to Pope and Gay upon their attacks on individuals (printed in my Life of Swift, p. 399).