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What stranger creature yet is he
That has four legs, then two, then three;
Then lofes one.
But now comes the difficulty that has puzzled the whole town, and which I must confefs has kept me awake for thefe three nights;
Then gets two more,
And runs away at laft on four.
I at last thought the Treasurer of Thebes might have walked upon crutches, and fo ran away on four legs, viz. two natural and two artificial. But this I have no authority for; and therefore upon mature confideration do find that the words (Then gets two more) are only Greek expletives, introduced to make up the verfe, and to fignify nothing; and that Runs, in the next line, fhould be Rides. I fhall therefore reftore the true ancient reading of this riddle, after which it will be able to explain itfelf.
Now in your turn, 'tis juft methinks,
Who has four legs, then two, then three;
I must now inform the reader, that Thebes was on the continent, fo that it was easy for a man to ride out of its dominions on horfeback, an advantage that a British Statesman would be deprived of. If he would run away, he must do it in an open boat;' for to fay of an Engifhman in this fenfe, that he runs away on all four, would 0 4
be as abfurd as to fay, he clapped fpurs to his horfe at St. James's gate, and galloped away to the Hague.
Before I take my farewel of this fubject, Ifhall advise the Author for the future to fpeak his meaning more plainly. I allow he has a happy talent at doggrel, when he writes upon a known fubject: Where he tells us in plain intelligible language, how Sprifca's ladle was loft in one hole, and Hans Carvel's finger in another, he is very jocular and diverting, but when he wraps a lampoon in a riddle, he must confider that his jeft is loft to every one, but the few merry wags that are in the fecret. This is making darker fatires than ever Perfius did. After this curfory view of the Examiner's performance, let us confider his remarks upon the Doctor's. That gene ral piece of rallery which he paffes upon the Doctor's confidering the Treasurer in feveral different views, is that which might fall upon any poem in Waller, or any other writer who has diverfity of thoughts and allufions: And though it may appear a pleasant ridicule to an ignorant reader, is wholly groundless and unjust. I do likewise diffent with the Examiner, upon the phrases of ⚫ paffions being poised,' and at the retrieving merit,
from dependence,' which are very beautiful and poetical. It is the fame cavilling fpirit that finds fault with that expreffion of the pomp of peace among the woes
of war,' as well as of offering unasked.' As for the Nile, how Icarus and Phaeton came to be joined with it, I cannot conceive. I must confefs they have been for merly used to represent the fate of rash ambitious men ; and I cannot imagine why the Author should deprive us of thofe particular fimilies for the future. The next criticifm upon the ftars, feems introduced for no other reafon but to mention Mr. Bickerstaff, whom the Author every where endeavours to imitate and abuse. But I fhall refer the Examiner to the frog's advice to her little one, that was blowing itself up to the fize of an ox:
Non fi te ruperis, inquit,
The allufion to the victim may be a gallimatia in French politics, but it is an apt and noble allufion to a true English fpirit. And as for the Examiner's remarks on the word bleed (though a man would laugh to fee impotent malice fo little able to contain itself) one cannot but obferve in them the temper of the banditti whom he mentions in the fame paper, who always murder where they rob. The laft obfervation 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-fake, why fo much tendernefs for ingratitude?
But I fhall fay no more. We are now in an age wherein impudent affertions muft pafs for arguments: And I do not question but the fame, who has endeavoured here to prove that he who wrote the Difpenfary was no Poet, will very fuddenly untertake to fhew, that he who gained the battle of Blenheim is no General.
N° 2. Thursday, September 21.
an Author that had not his admirers. yet knew Bunyan and Quarles have paffed through several editions, and please as many readers, as Dryden and Tilloffon. The Examiner had not written two half sheets of paper before he met with one that was aftonished at the force he was mafter of,' and approaches him with awe,
Et cantare pares
when he mentions state-subjects, asincroaching on the province that belongs to him,' and treating of things that deferved to pass under his pen.' The fame humble Author tells us, that the Examiner can furnish mankind with an Antidote to the poifon that is fcattered through
the nation. This crying up of the Examiner's antidote, puts me in mind of the firit appearance that a celebrated French quack made in the streets of Paris. A little boy walked before him, publifhing, with a fhrill voice, Mon pere querit toutes fortes de maladies., My fa⚫ther cures all forts of distempers:' To which the Doctor who walked behind him, added in 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 fhall fhew how he fpeaks of the French King and the Duke of Anjou, and how of our greatest allics, 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 reftore that monarchy to us, was he reduced low enough really to defire to do it. The Duke of Anjou has had leifure 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 roufe that spirit in the Spanifb nation, which a fucceffion of lazy and indolent Princes had lulled allecp. From hence it appears probable enough, that if the war continue much longer on the prefent foot, instead of regaining Spain, we shall find the Duke of Anjou in a condition to pay the debt of gratitude, and fupport the grandfather in his declining years; by whof arms, in the days of his infancy, he was upheld.' What expreffions of tendernefs, duty and fubmiffion! 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 fame which the Poft-boy has often made, but worded with the greater deference and refpect to that great Prince. There are many frokes of the Author's good-will to our confederates, the Duth and the Emperor, in feveral parts of
this notable epiftle; I fhall only quote one of them, alluding to the concern which the Bank, the Staes-General, and the Emperor, expreffed for the miniftry by their hnmble applications to her Majefty in these words.
'Not daunted yet, they refolve to try a new expedi⚫ent, and the intereft of Europe is to be reprefented as ⚫ infeparable from that of the minifters.
Haud dubitant equidem implorare quod ufquam eft ;:
The members of the Bank, the Dutch, and the court of Vienna, are called in as confederates to the miniftry.' This, in the mildeft English it will bear, runs thus. They are refolved to look for help where-ever they can find it; if they cannot have it from heaven, ⚫ they will go to hell for it; That is, to the members 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 furprised to see the Bank, the Dutch, and the court of Vienna, in fuch company. We may still fee the Gentleman's principles in the accounts which he gives of his own country; fpeaking of the General, the quon
dam Treasurer, and the junto,' which every one knows comprehends the Whigs, in their utmost extent; he adds. in oppofition to them,. For the Queen and the whole body of the Britifb nation,'
Nos fumerus fumus..
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 fo difrefpectful to her Majefty, as to separate her in fo faucy a manner from