Obrázky na stránke

in their nostrils. Why should not a revolution in the ministry be sometimes necessary, as well as a revolution in the crown? It is to be presunied, the former is at least as lawful in itself, and perhaps the experiment not quite so dangerous. The revolution of the sun about the earth, was formerly thought a necessary expedient to solve appearances, although it left many difficulties unanswered; until philosophers contrived a better, which is that of the earth's revolution about the sun. This is found, upon experience, to save much time and labour, to correct many irregular motions, and is better suited to the respect due from a planet to a fixed star.

No. XIX.


Sunt quibus in sutira videar nimis acer, et ultra
Legem tendere opus : sine nervis altera quicquid
Composui pars esse putat-

There are to whom too poignant l appear,
Beyond the laws of satire too severe.
My lines are weak, unsinewed, others say,
A man may spin a thousand such a-day.

When the printer came last week for his copy, he brought along with him a bundle of those papers, which, in the phrase of Wbig coffee-houses, have swinged off the Examiner; most of which I had never seen or heard of before. I remember some time ago, in one of the Tatlers, to have read a letter, wherein several reasons are assigned for the present corruption and degeneracy of our taste; but I think the writer has omitted the principal one, which I take to be the prejudice of parties. Neither can I excuse either side of this infirmity: I have heard the arrantest drivellers pro and con, commended for their shrewdness, even by men of tolerable judgment; and the best performances exploded as nonsense and stupidity. This indeed may partly be imputed to policy and prudence; but it is chiefly owing to that blindness, which prejudice and passion cast over the understanding: I mention this, because I think it properly within my province in quality of Examiner. And having granted more than is usual for an enemy to do, I must now take leave to say, that so weak a cause, and so ruined a faction, were never provided with pens more resembling their condition, or less suited to their occasions,

Non tali auxilio, acc defensoribus istis,
Tempus eget

This is the more to be wondered at, when we consider, they have the full liberty of the press; that they have no other way left to recover themselves; and that they want not men of excellent parts to set their arguments in the best light they will bear. Now, if two men would argue on both sides with fairness, good sense, and good manners, it would be no ill entertainment to the town, and perhaps be the most effectual means to reconcile us. But I am apt to think, that men of great genius are hardly brought to prostitute their pens in a very odious cause; which, besides, is more properly undertaken by noise and impudence, by gross railing and scurrility, by calumny and lying, and by little trifling cavils and carpings in the wrong place, which those whifflers use for arguments and an



I was well enough pleased with the story of one of these answerers, who, in a paper last week, found many faults with a late calculation of mine. Being, it seems, more deeply learned than his fellows, he was resolved to begin his answer with a Latin verse, as well as other folks. His business was to look out for something against the Examiner, that would pretend to tax accounts; and, turning over Virgil, he had the luck to find these words,

fugiant examina taxos ; So down they went, and out they would have come, if one of his unlucky prompters had not hindered it: *

I here declare, once for all, that if these people

* This answerer may

have been honest Daniel De Foe; at least it is certain he was very impatient under the charge of want of literature. “ I know another," says he, pointing obviously at Swift, “ that is an orator in the Latin, a walking index of books, has all the libraries in Europe in his head, from the Vatican at Rome to the learned collection of Dr Salmen at Fleet-ditch; but, at the same time, he is a cynic in behaviour, a fury in temper, unpolite in conversation, abusive and scurrilous in language, and ungovernable in passion. Is this to be learned? Then inay I be still illiterate. I have been in my time pretty well master of five languages, and have not lost them yet, though I write ng bill over my door, or set Latin quotations in the front of my Review. But, to my irreparable loss, I was bred but by halves; for my father, forgetting Juno's royal academy, left the language of Billinsgate quite out of my education : hence I am perfectly illiterate in the polite style of the street, and am not fit to converse with the porters and carmen of quality, who grace their diction with the beauties of calling names, and curse their neighbour with a bonne grace."-Review of the State of the British Nation, No. 114.

per a value.

will not be quiet, I shall take the bread out of their mouths, and answer the Examiner myself; which I protest I have never yet done, although I have been often charged with it; neither have those answers been written or published with my privity, as malicious people are pleased to give out; nor do I believe the common Whiggish report

, that the authors are hired by the ministry, to give my pa

But the friends of this paper have given me more uneasiness with their impatience, than its enemies by their answers. I heard myself censured last week, by some of the former, for promising to discover the corruptions of the late administration, but never performing any thing. The latter, on the other side, are thundering out their anathemas against me, for discovering so many. I am at a loss how to decide between these contraries, and shall therefore proceed after my own way, as I have hitherto done; my design being of more importance than that of writing only to gratify the spleen of one side, or provoke that of the other, although it may occasionally have both effects.

I shall therefore go on to relate some facts, that, in

my humble opinion, were no hindrance to the change of the ministry.

The first I shall mention, was that of introducing certain new phrases into the court style, which had been very seldom, or never, made use of in former times. They usually

usually ran in the following terms: “Madam, I cannot serve you while such a one is in employment. I desire, humbly, to resign my commission, if Mr--- continues secretary of state. I cannot answer that the city will lend money, unless my ld be president of the council. I must beg leave to surrender, except

has the staff.

I must not accept the seals, unless

comes into the other office." * This has been the language of late years from subjects to their prince. Thus they stood upon terms, and must have their conditions to ruin the nation. Nay, this dutiful manner of capitulating had spread so far, that every understrapper began at length to perk up and assume; he expected a regiment; or his son must be a major; or his brother a collector; else he threatened to vote according to his conscience.

Another of their glorious attempts was, the clause intended in the bill for the encouragement of learning, by taking off the obligation upon fellows of colleges, in both universities, to enter upon holy orders : the design of which, as I have heard the undertakers often confess, was to remove the care of educating youths out of the hands of the clergy, who are apt to infuse into their pupils too great a regard for the church and the monarchy. But there was a farther secret in this clause, which may best be discovered by the first projectors, or at least the garblers of it; and these are known to be Collins and Tindall, in conjunction with a most pious lawyer, their disciple.

What shall we say to their prodigious skill in arithmetic, discovered so constantly in their decision of elections; where they were able to make out by the rule of false, that three were more than three-and-twenty, and fifteen than fifty ? Nay, it was a maxim, which I never heard any of them dispute, that in determining elections they were not

* The dismissal of Harley from the post of secretary, in 1707-8, was wrested from the queen greatly contrary to her wishes, by Marlborough and Godolphin, who threatened to retire, unless their demand was complied with. And the same threat was used with the same success, to prevent the queen from bestowing a regiment on Hill, the brother of her favourite, Mrs Masham.


2 A

« PredošláPokračovať »