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Or setter'd in their fears.
cious, that men are naturally fond of liberty till
He has debauch'd the genius of our country, those unborn ideas and desires are effaced by
And rides triumphant, while her captive sons
Await his nod, the silken slaves of pleasure, literature.
The author, if he be not a man mewed up.in Thus is that decent submission to our superiors, his solitary study, and entirely unacquainted with the conduct of the present ministry, must know and that proper awe of authority which we are that we have hitherto acted upon different prin- taught in courts, termed base fear and the serriciples. We have always regarded letters as
lity of the soul. Thus are those gayeties and engreat obstructions to our scheme of subordina- joyments, those elegant amusements and lulling tion, and have therefore, when we have heard of pleasures, which the followers of a court are any man remarkably unlettered, carefully noted blessed with, as the just rewards of their attendhim down as the most proper person for any em
ance and submission, degraded to lust, grossness, ployments of trust or honour, and considered him and debauchery. The author ought to be told, as a man in whom we could safely repose our that courts are not to be mentioned with so litte most important secrets.
ceremony, and that though gallantries and From among the uneducated and unlettered we
amours are admitted there, it is almost treason have chosen not only our ambassadors and other to suppose them infected with debauchery or
lust. negotiators, but even our journalists and pamphleteers; 'nor have we had any reason to change has conceived
any thought of an uncommon ma
It is observable, that when this hateful writer our measures, or to repent of the confidence which we have placed in ignorance.
lignity, a thought which tends in a more partiAre we now therefore to be told, that this cular manner to excite the love of liberty, ani. law is
mate the heat of patriotism, or degrade the
majesty of kings, he takes care to put it in the Stamp'd upon th' unletter'd mind ?
mouth of his hero, that it may be more forcibly Are we to suspect our placemen, our pensioners, impressed upon his reader. Thus Gustavus, our generals, our lawyers, our best friends in speaking of his tatters, cries out, both houses, all our adherents among the atheists -Yes, my Arvida, and infidels, and our very gazetteers, clerks and Beyond the sweeping of the proudest train court-pages, as friends to independency? Doubt
That shades a monarch's heel, I prize these weeds, less this is the tendency of his assertion, but we
For they are sacred to my country's freedom. have known them too long to be thus imposed Here this abandoned son of liberty makes a full upon, the unlettered have been our warmest and discovery of his execrable principles; the tatters most constant defenders, nor have we omitted of Gustavus, the usual dress of the assertors of any thing to deserve their favour, but have these doctrines, are of more divinity, because always endeavoured to raise their reputation, and magnificent robes of regality itself. Such
they are sacred to freedom, than the sumptuous extend their influence, and increase their number.
In his first act he abounds with sentiments sentiments are truly detestable, nor could any very inconsistent with the ends for which the thing be an aggravation of the author's guilt, power of licensing was granted; to enumerate except his ludicrous manner of mentioning a them all would be to transcribe a great part of monarch. his play, a task which I shall very willingly leave his heel, is a thing too venerable and sacred to
The heel of a monarch, or even the print of to others, who, though true friends to the government, are not inflamed with zeal so fiery and im- be treated with such levity, and placed in conpatient as mine, and therefore do not feel the trast with rags and poverty. He that will speak same emotions of rage and resentment at the contemptuously of the heel of a monarch, will, sight of those infamous passages, in which vena- whenever he can with security, speak contemp lity and dependence are represented as mean in tuously of his head. themselves, and productive of remorse and infe
These are the most glaring passages which licity.
have occurred, in the perusal of the first pages; One line which ought, in my opinion, to be my indignation will not suffer me to proceed farerased from every copy by a special act of parlia- ther, and I think much better of the licenser, ment, is mentioned by Anderson, as pronounced than to believe he went so far. by the hero in his sleep,
In the few remarks which I have set down,
the reader will easily observe, that I have strained 0 Sweden, O my country, yet I'll save thee.
no expression beyond its natural import, and This line I have reason to believe thrown out as have divested myself of all heat, partiality, and a kind of a watch-word for the opposing faction, prejudice. who, when they meet in their seditious assem
So far therefore is Mr. Brooke from having reblies, have been observed to lay their hands upon ceived any hard or unwarrantable treatment, their breasts, and cry out with great vehemence that the licenser has only acted in pursuance of of accent,
that law to which he owes his power, a law
which every admirer of the administration must OBmy country, yet l'll save thee.
own to be very necessary, and to have produced In the second scene he endeavours to fix epi- very salutary effects. thets of contempt upon those passions and de I am indeed surprised, that this great office sires which have been always found most useful is not drawn out into a longer series of deputato the ministry, and most opposite to the spirit tions, since it might afford a gainful and reputaof independency.
ble employment to a great number of the friends
of the government; and I should think, instead Base fear, the laziness of lust, gross appetites, These are the ladders and the grovelling footstool
of having immediate recourse to the deputyFrom whence the tyrant rises
licenser himself, it might be sufficient honour Secure and scepter'd in the soul's servility. | for any poet, except the laureat, to stand bare
headed in the presence of the deputy of the de- mighty burden of state affairs! with how much puty's deputy in the nineteenth subordination. security might our ministers enjoy their honours,
Such a number cannot but be thought neces- their places, their reputations, and their admirers, sary, if we take into consideration the great work could they once suppress those malicious invecof drawing up an index expurgatorius to all the tives which are at present so industriously proold plays; which is, I hope, already undertaken, pagated, and so eagerly read; could they hinder or if it has been hitherto unhappily neglected, I any arguments but their own from coming to the take this opportunity to recommend.
ears of the people, and stop effectually the voice The productions of our old poets are crowded of cavil and inquiry! with passages very unfit for the ears of an Eng I cannot but indulge myself a little while by lish audience, and which cannot be pronounced dwelling on this pleasing scene, and imagining without irritating the minds of the people. those halcyon-days, in which no politics shall be
This censure I do not confine to those lines in read but those of the Gazetteer, nor any poetry which liberty, natural equality, wicked minis- but that of the Laureat; when we shall hear of ters, deluded kings, mean arts of negotiation, nothing but the successful negotiations of our venal senates, mercenary troops, oppressive of ministers, and the great actions of ficers, servile and exorbitant taxes, universal cor How much happier would this state be than ruption, the luxuries of a court, the miseries of those perpetual jealousies and contentions which the people, the decline of trade, or the happiness are inseparable from knowledge and liberty, and of independency are directly mentioned. These which have for many years kept this nation in are such glaring passages as cannot be suffered perpetual commotions.
pass without the most supine and criminal ne But these are times rather to be wished for gligence. I hope the vigilance of the licensers than expected, for such is the nature of our unwill extend to all such speeches and soliloquies quiet countrymen, that if they are not admitted as tend to recommend the pleasures of virtue, to the knowledge of affairs, they are always susthe tranquillity of an uncorrupted head, and the pecting their governors of designs prejudicial to satisfactions of conscious innocence; for though their interest; they have not the least notion of such strokes as these do not appear to a common the pleasing tranquillity of ignorance, nor can eye to threaten any danger to the government, be brought to imagine that they are kept in the yet it is well known to more penetrating obser- dark, lest too much light should hurt their eyes. vers, that they have such consequences as can. They have long claimed a right of directing their not be too diligently obviated, or too cautiously superiors, and are exasperated at the least menavoided.
tion of secrets of state. A man, who becomes once enamoured of the This temper makes them very readily encoucharms of virtue, is apt to be very little concerned rage any writer or printer, who, at the hazard of about the acquisition of wealth or titles, and is his life or fortune, will give them any informatherefore not easily induced to act in a manner tion: and while this humour prevails, there contrary to his real sentiments, or to vote at the never will be wanting some daring adventurer word of command; by contracting his desires, who will write in defence of liberty, and some and regulating his appetites, he wants much less zealous or avaricious printer who will disperse than other men, and every one versed in the arts his papers. of government can tell, that men are more easily It has never yet been found that any power, influenced in proportion as they are more neces- however vigilant or despotic, has been able to sitous.
prevent the publication of seditious journals, This is not the only reason why virtue should ballads, essays, and dissertations; “Consideranot receive too much countenance from a licens- tions on the present state of affairs,” and “Ined stage; her admirers and followers are not quiries into the conduct of the administration.” only naturally independent, but learn such a Yet I must confess, that considering the sucuniform and consistent manner of speaking and cess with which the present ministry has hitherto acting, that they frequently by the mere force of proceeded in their attempts to drive out of the artless honesty surmount all the obstacles which world the old prejudices of patriotism and public subtlety and politics can throw in their way, and spirit, I cannot but entertain some hopes, that obtain their ends in spite of the most profound what has been so often attempted by their preand sagacious ministry.
decessors, is reserved to be accomplished by Such then are the passages to be expunged by their superior abilities. the licensers: in many parts indeed the speeches If I might presume to advise them upon this will be imperfect, and the action appear not great affair, I should dissuade them from any regularly conducted, but the Poet Laureat may direct attempt upon the liberty of the press, easily supply these vacuities, by inserting some which is the darling of the common people, and of his own verses in praise of wealth, luxury, therefore cannot be attacked without immediate and venality.
danger. They may proceed by a more sure and But, alas! all those pernicious sentiments silent way, and attain the desired end without which shall be banished from the stage, will be noise, detraction, or oppression. vented from the press, and more studiously read There are scattered over this kingdom several because they are prohibited.
little seminaries, in which the lower ranks of I cannot but earnestly implore the friends of people, and the youngest sons of our nobility the government to leave no art untried by which and gentry are taught, from their earliest inwe may hope to succeed in our design of ex- fancy, the pernicious arts of spelling and readtending the power of the licenser to the press, ing, which they afterwards continue to practise, and of making it criminal to publish any thing very much to the disturbance of their own quiet, without an imprimatur.
and the interruption of ministerial measures. How much would this single law lighten the These seminaries may, by an act of parlia
ment, be at once suppressed, and that our pos- | power of the court not only above the insults of terity be deprived of all means of reviving this the poets, but in a short time above the necessity corrupt method of education, it may be made of providing against them. The licenser having felony to teach to read without a license from his authority thus extended, will in time enjoy the Lord Chamberlain.
the title and the salary without the trouble of This expedient, which I hope will be care- exercising his power, and the nation will rest at fully concealed from the vulgar, must infallibly length in ignorance and peace. answer the great end proposed by it, and set the
GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, 1738.
The usual design of Addresses of this sort is by giving the picture of St. Paul's instead of to implore the candour of the public! we have St. John's gate; it was however thought indisalways had the more pleasing province of re- pensably necessary to add, printed in St. John's turning thanks, and making acknowledgments Street, though there was then no printing-house for the kind acceptance which our Monthly Col- in that place. lections have met with.
That these plagiaries should, after having thus This, it seems, did not sufficiently appear stolen their whole design from us, charge us with from the numerous sale and repeated impres. robbery, on any occasion, is a degree of impusions of our books, which have at once exceeded dence scarcely to be matched, and certainly enour merit and our expectation; but have been titles them to the first rank among false heroes still more plainly attested by the clamours, rage, We have therefore inserted their names* at and calumnies of our competitors, of whom we length in our February Magazine, p. 61; being have seldom taken any notice, not only because desirous that every man should enjoy the repuit is cruelty to insult the depressed, and folly to tation he deserves. engage with desperation, but because we con Another attack has been made upon us by the sider all their outcries, menaces, and boasts, as author of Common Sense, an adversary equally nothing more than advertisements in our fa- malicious as the former, and equally despicable. vour, being evidently drawn up with the bitter- What were his views, or what his provocations, ness of baffled malice and disappointed hope; we know not, nor have thought him considerable and almost discovering in plain terms, that the enough to inquire. To make him any further unhappy authors have seventy thousand London answer would be to descend too low: but as he Magazines mouldering in their warehouses, re- is one of those happy writers, who are best exturned from all parts of the kingdom, unsold, posed by quoting their own words, we have given unread, and disregarded.
his elegant remarks in our Magazine for DecemOur obligations for the encouragement we ber, where the reader may entertain himself at have so long continued to receive, are so much his leisure with an agreeable mixture of scurthe greater, as no artifices have been omitted to rility and false grammar. supplant us. Our adversaries cannot be denied For the future we shall rarely offend him by the praise of industry; how far they can be cele- adopting any of his performances, being unbrated for an honest industry we leave to the willing to prolong the life of such pieces as dedecision of the public, and even of their brethren serve no other fate than to be hissed, torn, and the booksellers, not including those whose ad- forgotten. However, that the curiosity of our vertisements they obliterated to paste their in- readers may not be disappointed, we shall, whenvectives in our book.
ever we find him a little excelling himself, perThe success of the Gentleman's Magazine haps print his dissertations upon our blue covers, has given rise to almost twenty imitations of it, that they may be looked over, and stripped off, which are either all dead, or very little regarded without disgracing our collection, or swelling by the world. Before we had published sixteen our volumes. months, we met with such a general approba We are sorry that by inserting some of his tion, that a knot of enterprising geniuses, and essays, we have filled the head of this petty sagacious inventors, assembled from all parts of writer with idle chimeras of applause, laurels, the town, agreed with a unanimity natural to understandings of the same size to seize upon
* The gay and learned C. Ackers, of Swan Alley, our whole plan, without changing even the title. Printer; the polite and generous T. Cox, under the Some weak objections were indeed made by one Royal Exchange; the eloqpient and courtly J. Clark,
the modest, ciril and of them against the design, as having an air of of Duck Lane; servility, dishonesty, and piracy; but it was con- Astley, of St. Paul's Church yard, booksellers. All theso
names appeared in the title of the London Magazine, cluded that all these imputations might be avoided begun in 1732,
and immortality, nor suspected the bad effect of viting title of Common Sense. How papers of our regard for him, till we saw in the Postscript so little value came to be rescued from the comto one of his papers a wild* prediction of the mon lot of dulness, we are at this distance of honours to be paid him by future ages. Should time unable to conceive, but imagine that perany mention of him be made, or his writings, by sonal friendship prevailed with Urban to admit posterity, it will probably be in words like these: them in opposition to his judgment. If this was * In the Gentleman's Magazine are still pre- the reason, he met afterwards with the treatment served some essays under the specious and in- which all deserve who patronize stupidity; for
the writer, instead of acknowledging his favours, * Common Sense Journal, printed by Purser of White complains of injustice, robbery, and mutilation; friars, March 11, 1731.
"I make no doubt but after some grave historian, but complains in a style so barbarous and indethree or four hundred years hence, has described the cent, as sufficiently confutes his own calumcorruption, the baseness, and the flattery, which men nies.” In this manner must this author expect run into in these times, he will make the following ob. to be mentioned.—But of him, and our other servation :- In the year 1737, a certain unknown author adversaries, we beg the reader's pardon for havhis writing came out weekly in litle detached essays, ing said so much. We hope it will be rememsome of which are political, some moral, and others hu- bered in our favour, that it is sometimes necessary moroug. By the best judgment that can be formed of a to chastise insolence, and that there is a sort work, the style and language of which is become so obsolete that it is scarcely intelligible, it answers the title of men who cannot distinguish between forbearwell." &c.
ance and cowardice.
AN APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC.
FROM THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, MARCH, 1739.
Men' moveat cimex Pantilius ? aut crucier, qnod
Laudat, amat, cantat nostros mea Roma libellos,
Meque sinus omnes, me manus omnis habel.
Hoc volo, nunc nobis carmina nostra placent.--Martial.
It is plain, from the conduct of writers of the posed to allow him. This is a principle so well first class, that they have esteemed it no dero- established among them, that we can produce gation from their characters to defend themselves some who threatened printers with their highest against the censures of ignorance, or the calum- displeasure for their having dared to print booke nies of envy.
for those that wrote them. It is not reasonable to suppose that they always judged their adversaries worthy of a formal
Hinc iræ, hinc odia. confutation, but they concluded it not prudent This was the first ground of their animosity, to neglect the feeblest attacks; they knew that which for some time proceeded no farther than such men have often done hurt who had not abi- private murmurs and petty discouragements. At lities to do good; that the weakest band, if not length, determining to be no longer debarred from timely disarmed, may stab a hero in his sleep; a share in so beneficial a project, a knot of them that a worm, however small, may destroy a fleet combined to seize our whole plan; and without in the acorn; and that citadels, which have de- the least attempt to vary or improve it, began fied armies, have been blown up by rats. with the utmost vigour to print and circulate the
In imitation of these great examples, we think London Magazine, with such success, that in a it not absolutely needless to vindicate ourselves few years, while we were printing the fifth edifrom the virulent aspersions of the Craftsman tion of some of our earliest numbers, they had and Common Sense, because their accusations, seventy thousand of their books returned un though entirely groundless, and without the least sold upon their hands. proof, are urged with an air of confidence, which It was then time to exert their utmost efforts the unwary may mistake for consciousness of to stop our progress, and nothing was to be left truth.
unattempted that interest could suggest. It will In order to set the proceedings of these ca- be easily imagined that their influence among lumniators in a proper light, it is necessary to those of their own trade was greater than ours, inform such of our readers as are unacquainted and that their Collections were therefore more, with the artifices of trade, that we originally in- industriously propagated by their brethren; bat curred the displeasure of the greatest part of the this being the natural consequence of such a booksellers by keeping this Magazine wholly relation, and therefore excusable, is only menin our own hands, without admitting any of that tioned to show the disadvantages against which fraternity into a share of the property. For no- we are obliged to struggle, and to convince the thing is more criminal in the opinion of many reader, that we who depend so entirely upon his of them, than for an author to enjoy more ad approbation, shall omit nothing to deserve it. vantage from his own works than they are dis They then had recourse to advertisements, in
which they sometimes made faint attempts to be I did not attempt to extenuate his crime, but enwitty, and sometimes were content with being treated the judge to beware of hanging a Good merely scurrilous; but finding that their attacks, Man. while we had an opportunity of returning hosti This writer we thought, however injudiciously, lities, generally procured them such treatment worthy, not indeed of a reply, but of some coras very little contributed to their reputation, rection, and in our Magazine for December, 1738, they came at last to a resolution of excluding us and the preface to the Supplement, treated him from the Newspapers in which they have any in such a manner as he does not seem inclined influence; by this means they can at present to forget. insult us with impunity, and without the least From that time, losing all patience, he has danger of confutation.
exhausted his stores of scurrility upon us; but Their last, and indeed their most artful expe- our readers will find upon consulting the pasdient, has been to hire and incite the weekly sages above mentioned, that he has received too journalists against us. The first weak attempt much provocation to be admitted as an impartial was made by the Universal Spectator, but this critic. we took not the least notice of, as we did not In our magazine for January, p. 24, we made imagine it would ever come to the knowledge of a remark upon the Craftsman; and in p. 3, the public.
dropped sorne general observations upon the Whether there was then a confederacy be weekly writers, by which we did not expect to tween this journal and Common Sense, as at make them more our friends. Nor, indeed, did present between Common Sense and the Crafts- we imagine that this would have inflamed Caleb man, or whether understandings of the same to so high a degree. His resentment has arisen form receive at certain times the same impres- so much above the provocation, that we cannot sions from the planets, I know not, but about but impute it more io what he fears than wha. that time war was likewise declared against us he has felt. He has seen the solecisms of his by the redoubted author of Common Sense: an brother Common Sense exposed, and remembers adversary not so much to be dreaded for his abi- that, lities as for the title of his paper, behind which he has the art of sheltering himself in perfect
-Tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet. security. He defeats all his enemies by calling He imagines that he shall soon fall under the them "en mies to Common Sense,” and silences same censure, and is willing that our criticisms the strongest objections and the clearest reason- shall appear rather the effects of our resentment ings by assuring his readers that “they are con- than our judgment trary to Common Sense.”
For this reason, I suppose, (for I can find no I'must confess to the immortal honour of this other,) he has joined with Common Sense to great writer, that I can remember but two in-charge us with partiality, and to recommend the stances of a genius able to use a few syllables to London Magazine as drawn up with less regard such great and so various purposes. One is, the to interest or party. A favour which the authors old man in Shadwell, who seems, by long time of that collection have endeavoured to deserve and experience, to have attained to equal per- from them by the most servile adulation. fection with our author; for “when a young But as we have a higher opinion of the canfellow began to prate and be pert,” says he, "I dour of our readers, than to believe that they silenced him with my old word, Tace is Latin will condemn us without examination, or give for candle."
up their right of judging themselves, we are The other, who seems yet more to resemble not unconcerned at this charge, though the most this writer, was one Goodman, a horse-stealer, atrocious and malignant that can be brought who being asked, after having been found guilty against us. We entreat only to be compared by the jury, what he had to offer to prevent with our rivals, in full confidence, that not only sentence of death from being passed upon him, I our innocence, but our superiority, will appear