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No. XVII.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1710.

Quas res luxuries in flagitiis, avaritia in rupinis, superbia in contu

meliis efficere potuisset ; eas omnes sese, hoc uno prætore per triennium, pertulisse aiebant.

These things were the effect of his scandalous and unbounded luxe

ury, his insatiable avarice, his contumelious insolence. These were the sufferings of that unhappy nation, for three years, under his oppressive government.

When I first undertook this paper, I was resolved to concern myself only with things, and not with

persons. Whether I have kept or broken this resolution, I cannot recollect; and I will not be at the pains to examine, but leave the matter to those little antagonists who may want a topic for criticism. Thus inuch I have discovered, that it is in writing as in building; where, after all our schemes and calculations, we are mightily deceived in our accounts, and often forced to make use of any materials we can find, that the work may be kept a going. Besides, to speak my opinion, the things I have occasion to mention are so closely linked to persons, that nothing but time (the faiher of oblivion) can separate them. Let me put a parallel case : suppose I should complain, that last week my coach was within an inch of overturning in a smooth even way, and drawn by very gentle horses; to be my friends would immediately lay the fault upon John, * because they knew he then presided in my coach-box. Again, suppose I should discover some uneasiness to find myself, I knew not how, over head and ears in debt, although I were sure my tenants paid their rents very well, and that I never spent half my income; they would certainly advise me to turn off Mr Oldfox, † my receiver, and take another. If, as a justice of

sure, all

I should tell a friend, that my warrants and mittimuses were never drawn up as I would have them; that I had the misfortune to send an honest man to gaol, and dismiss a knave; he would bid me no longer trust Charles and Harry, I my two clerks, whom he knew to be ignorant, wilful, assuming, and ill-inclined fellows. If I should add, that my tenants made me very uneasy with their squabbles and broils among themselves, he would counsel me to cashier Will. Bigamy, || the seneschal of my manor. And lastly, if my neighbour and I happened to have a misunderstanding about the delivery of a message, what could I do less than strip and discard the blundering or malicious rascal who carried it? *

peace,

• John Duke of Marlborough.
+ Lord Godolphin, lord-treasurer.

| Earl of Sunderland, and Henry Boyle, Esq. secretaries of state.

|| In the youth of William Earl Cowper, (lord high chancellor under Godolphin's administration,) he is said to have contracted an informal marriage with Mrs Elizabeth Culling, of Hertingfordbury Park, by whom he had a son and daughter. The former died soon after he came of age, and the latter sold Hertingfordbury Park to Judge Cowper, who conveyed it to the chancellor; so it is now a seat of the family. Notwithstanding Swift's malicious insinuation, Cowper's connection with this lady was not such as to prevent him marrying, first, Judith, daughter and heiress of Sir Robert Booth of London ; and after her death, Mary, daughter of John Clavering of Chopwell, in the bishopric of Durham. See his life in the Biographia Britannica, edit. 1789, and COLLins's Peerage.

It is the same thing in the conduct of public affairs, where they have been managed with rashness or wilfulness, corruption, ignorance, or injustice. Barely to relate the facts, at least while they are fresh in memory, will as much reflect upon the persons concerned, as if we had told their names at length.

I have therefore since thought of another expedient, frequently practised with great safety and success by satirical writers; which is, that of looking into history for some character bearing a resemblance to the person we would describe; and, with the absolute power of altering, adding, or suppressing what circumstances we please, I conceive we must have very bad luck, or very little skill, to fail. However, some days ago in a coffee-house, looking into one of the politic weekly papers, found the writer had fallen into this scheme; and I happened to light on that part where he was describing a person, who, from small beginnings, grew (as I remember) to be constable of France, and had a very haughty imperious wife. t I took the author as a friend to our faction; for so, with great propriety of speech, they call the queen and

I

* Horatio Walpole, secretary to the English Embassy at the treaty of Gertruydenberg. Swift, in the Conduct of the Allies, accuses him of misleading the nation, by falsely stating, that the French had willingly acceded to the preliminary articles, and would even have made farther concessions, when he must have known the contrary.

+ In the MEDLEY, No. 6. and No. 7, is an account of the rise and fall of the Marquis D'Ancre, and his wife Galigai, so told as to shadow forth Harley and Mrs Masham, Queen Anne's minister and favourite. Swift insinuates, with justice, that the character of Galigai would better have suited the Duchess of Marlborough.

of

ministry, almost the whole clergy, and nine parts in ten of the kingdom ; and I said to a gentleman near me, that although I knew well enough what persons the author meant, yet there were several particulars in the husband's character, which I could not reconcile ; for that of the lady, it was just and adequate enough. But it seems I mistook the whole matter, and applied all I had read to a couple

persons, who were not at that time in the writer's thoughts.

Now, to avoid such a misfortune as this, I have been for some time consulting Livy and Tacitus, to find out a character of a princeps senatus, a pretor urbanus, a quæstor ærarius, a Cæsari ab epistolis, and a proconsul: but among the worst of them, I cannot discover one from whom to draw a parallel without doing injury to a Roman memory: so that I am compelled to have recourse to Tully. But this author relating facts only as an orator, I thought it would be best to observe his method, and make an extract from six harangues of his against Verres, only still preserving the form of an oration. I remember a younger brother of mine, who deceased about two months ago, presented the world with a speech of Alcibiades against an Athenian brewer. Now I am told for certain, that in

* While the Westminster election was contested by General Stanhope, and Mr Cross, a brewer, Addison, in the third number of the Whig Examiner, introduced a pretended extract from a Greek manuscript, containing the oration of Alcibiades against Taureas, an Athenian brewer, supposed to have disputed with him for a certain prize to be conferred by the voice of the people. The speech has much Addisonian humour, and a happy mimicry of the ancient style of declamation. “ But, О ye men of Athens, what has this man done to deserve your voices ? You say he is honest; I believe it, and therefore he shall brew for me. You say he is assiduous in his calling; and is he not grown rich VOL. III.

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those days there was no ale in Athens; therefore that speech, or at least a great part of it, must needs be spurious. The difference between my brother and me is this; he makes Alcibiades say a great deal more than he really did, and I make Cicero say a great deal less. This Verres had been the Ronian governor of Sicily for three years ; and, on his return from his government, the Sicilians entreated Cicero to impeach him in the senate; which he accordingly did in several orations, whence I have faithfully translated and abstracted that which fol

lows:

“ My Lords, “ A pernicious opinion has for some time prevailed, not only at Rome, but among our neighbouring nations, that a man who has money enough, although he be ever so guilty, cannot be condemned in this place. But however industriously this opinion be spread to çast an odium on the senate,

my com

by it? Let him have your custom, but not your votes.

You are now to cast your eyes upon those who can detect the artifices of the common enemy; that can disappoint your secret foes in council, and your open enemies in the field. Let it not avail petitor, that he has been tapping his liquors while I have been spilling my blood; that he has been gathering hops for you, while I have been reaping laurels. Have I not borne the dust and heat of the day, while he has been sweating at his furnace ? Behold these scars ; behold this wound which still bleeds in your service. What can Taureas shew you of this nature? What are his marks of honour ? Has he any other wound about him except the accidental scaldings of his wort, or bruises from the tub or barrel ? Let it not, O Athenians, let it not be said, that your generals have conquered themselves into your displeasure, and lost your favour by gaining you victories." This short specimen will enable the reader to compare the light and comic style of Addison's parody, with the fierce, stern, and vindictive tone of Swift's philippic against the Earl of Wharton, under the name of Verres.

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