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that finds fault with that expression of the " pomp
peace among the woes of war," as well as of “ offering unasked.” As for the Nile, how Icarus and Phaëton came to be joined with it, I cannot conceive. I must confess, they have been formerly used to represent the fate of rash, ambitious men; and I cannot imagine why the author should deprive us of those particular similes for the future. The next criticism upon the stars seems introduced for no other reason, but to mention Mr. Bickerstaff, whom the author everywhere endeavours to imitate and abuse. But I shall refer the Examiner to the frog's advice to her little one, that was blow
-Non si te ruperis, inquit, Par eris The allusion to the victim may be a gallimatia in French politics, but is an apt and noble allusion to a true English spirit. And as for the Examiner's remarks on the word bleed, (though a man would laugh to see impotent malice so little able to contain itself,) one cannot but observe in them the temper of the banditti whom he mentions in the same paper, who always murder where they rob. The last observation is upon
the line “ Ingratitude's a weed of every clime.” Here he is very much out of humour with the doctor, for having called that the weed, which Dryden only terms the growth of every clime. But, for God's sake, why so much tenderness for ingratitude ?
But I shall say no more. We are now in an age wherein impudent assertions must pass for arguments; and I do not question, but the same who has endeavoured here to prove that he who wrote the Dispensary was no poet, will very suddenly undertake to show that he who gained the battle of Blenheim is no general.
No. 2. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21.
Et cantare pares — I NEVER yet knew an author that had not his admirers. Bunyan and Quarles have passed through several editions, and please as many readers as Dryden and Tillotson. The
Examiner had not written two half-sheets of
before he met with one that was astonished at “the force he was master of,” and approaches him with awe when he mentions state subjects, as "encroaching on the province that belonged to him," and treating of things "that deserved to pass under his pen.” The same humble author tells us, that
the Examiner can furnish mankind with an “antidote to the i poison that is scattered through the nation.”. This crying
up of the Examiner's antidote puts me in mind of the first appearance that a celebrated French quack made in the streets of Paris. A little boy walked before him, publishing with a shrill voice, Mon pere guerit toutes sortes de maladies,
My father cures all sorts of distempers ;" to which the doctor, who walked behind him, added, in a grave and composed manner, L'enfant dit vrai, “ The child says true.”
That the reader may see what party the author of this letter is of, I shall show how he speaks of the French king and the duke of Anjou, and how of our greatest allies, the emperor of Germany and the States-General. "In the mean while the French king has withdrawn his troops from Spain, and has put it out of his power to restore that monarchy to us, was he reduced low enough really to desire to do it. The duke of Anjou has had leisure to take off those whom he suspected, to confirm his friends, to regulate his revenues, to increase and form his troops, and above all, to rouse that spirit in the Spanish nation, which a succession of lazy and indolent princes had lulled asleep. From hence it appears probable enough, that if the war" continue much longer on the present foot, instead of regaining Spain, we shall find the duke of Anjou in a condition to pay the debt of gratitude, and support the grandfather in his declining years ; by whose arms, in the days of his infancy, he was upheld.” What expressions of tenderness, duty, and submission! The panegyric on the duke of Anjou, is by much the best written part of this whole letter; the apology for the French king is, indeed, the same which the Post-boy has often made, but worded with greater deference and respect to that great prince. There are many strokes of the author's good-will to our confederates, the Dutch and the emperor, in several parts of this notable epistle: I shall only quote one of them, alluding to the concern which the Bank, the States
General, and the emperor expressed for the ministry, by their humble applications to her Majesty, in these words.
“Not daunted yet, they resolve to try a new expedient, and the interest of Europe is to be represented as inseparable from that of the ministers.
Haud dubitant equidem implorare quod usquam est;
Flectere si nequeunt Superos, Acheronta movebunt. The members of the Bank, the Dutch, and the court of Vienna, are called in as confederates to the ministry.” This, in the mildest English it will bear, runs thus : They are resolved to look for help wherever they can find it; if they cannot have it from heaven, they will go to hell for it;" that is, to the menrbers of the Bank, the Dutch, and the court of Vienna. The French king, the pope, and the devil, have been often joined together, by a well-meaning Englishman; but I am very much surprised to see the Bank, the Dutch, and the court of Vienna, in such company.
still see this gentleman's principles, in the accounts which he gives of his own country : speaking of “the G-1, the quondam T—r, and the J—to," which, every one knows, comprehends the Whigs, in their utmost extent; he adds, in opposition to them, “ For the queen and the whole body of the British nation,
Nos numerus sumus."
We are cyphers. How properly the Tories may be called the whole body of the British nation, I leave to any one's judging; and wonder how an author can be so disrespectful to her Majesty, as to separate her, in so saucy a manner, from that part of her people, who, according to the Examiner himself,“ have engrossed the riches of the nation;" and all this to join her, with so much impudence, under the common denomination of We; that is, "WE queen and Tories are cyphers." Nos
” numerus sumus, is a scrap of Latin, more impudent than Cardinal Wolsey's Ego et Rex meus. We find the same particle, “WE,” used with great emphasis and significancy in the eighth page of this letter ; “But nothing decisive, nothing which had the appearance of earnest, has been so much as attempted, except that wise expedition to Toulon, which WE suffered to be defeated before it began.” Whoever did,
God forgive them ; there were, indeed, several stories of dis
; coveries made, by letters and messengers that were sent to France.
Having done with the author's party and principles, we now shall consider his performance, under the three heads of wit, language, and argument. The first lash of his satire falls upon the censor of Great Britain, who, says he, resembles the famous censor of Rome in nothing but espousing the
cause of the vanquished.” Our letter-writer here alludes to that known verse in Lucan,
Victrix causa diis placuit, sed victa Catoni. “The gods espoused the cause of the conquerors, but Cato espoused the cause of the vanquished.” The misfortune is, that this verse was not written of Cato the censor, but of Cato of Utica. How Mr. Bickerstaffe, who has written in favour of a party that is not_vanquished, resembles the younger Cato, who was not a Roman censor, I do not well conceive, unless it be in struggling for the liberty of his country. To say, therefore, that the censor of Great Britain resembles that famous censor of Rome, in nothing but espousing the cause of the vanquished, is just the same as if one should say, in regard to the many obscure truths, and secret histories, that are brought to light in this letter, that the author of these new revelations resembles the ancient author of the Revelations “in nothing but venturing his head.” Besides that there would be no ground for such a resemblance, would not a man be laughed at by every common reader, should he thus mistake one St. John for another, and apply that to St. John the evangelist, which relates to St. John the Baptist, who died many years before him ?
Another smart touch of the author we meet with in the fifth page, where, without any preparation, he breaks out all on a sudden into a vein of poetry, and, instead of writing a letter to the Examiner, gives advice to a painter in these strong lines : «
Paint, sir, with that force which you are master of, the present state of the war abroad; and
expose to the public view those principles upon which, of late, it has been carried on, so different from those upon which it was originally entered into. Collect some few of the indignities which have been this year offered to her Majesty, and of those unnatural struggles which have betrayed the weak
ness of a shattered constitution.” By the way, a man may be said to paint a battle, or if you please, a war; but I do not see how it is possible to paint the present state of a war. So a man may be said to describe or to collect accounts of indignities and unnatural struggles ; but to collect the things themselves is a figure which this gentleman has introduced into our English prose. Well, but what will be the use of this picture of a state of the war ? and this collection of indignities and struggles ? It seems, the chief design of them is to make a dead man blush, as we may see in those inimitable lines which immediately follow : “And when this is done, D-n shall blush in his grave among the dead, W- _le
among the living, and even Vol- e shall feel some remorse.” Was there ever anything, I will not say so stiff and so unnatural, but so brutal and so silly! this is downright hacking and hewing in satire. But we see a master-piece of this kind of writing in the twelfth page; where, without any respect to a duchess of Great Britain, a princess of the empire, and one who was a bosom friend of her royal mistress, he calls a great lady“ an insolent woman, the worst of her sex, a fury, an executioner of divine vengeance, a plague ;” and applies to her a line which Virgil writ originally upon Alecto. One would think this foulmouthed writer must have received some particular injuries either from this great lady or from her husband; and these the world shall be soon acquainted with, by a book which is now in the press, entitled “ An Essay towards proving that Gratitude is no Virtue.” This author is so full of satire, and is so angry with every one that is pleased with the Duke of Marlborough's victories, that he goes out of his way to abuse one of the queen's singing-men, who, it seems, did his best to celebrate a thanksgiving day in an anthem; as you may see in that passage : “ Towns have been taken, and battles have been won; the mob has huzzaed round bonfires, the Stentor of the chapel has strained his throat in the gallery, and the Stentor of sm has deafened his audience from the pulpit." Thus you see how, like a true son of the highchurch, he falls upon a learned and reverend prelate, and for no other crime but for preaching with an audible voice. If a man lifts up his voice like a trumpet to preach sedition, he is received by some men as a confessor; but if he cries aloud, and spares not, to animate people with devotion and grati