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that part of her people, who, according to the Examiner himfelf, have engroffed the riches of the nation;' and all this to join to her, with fo much impudence, under the common denomination of, We, that is WE, Queen and Tories' are cyphers. Nos numerus fumus is a scrap of Latin more impudent than Cardinal Woolfey's Ego & Rex meus. We find the fame particle W E, ufed with great emphasis and fignificancy in the eighth page of this letter; But, nothing decifive, nothing which had
the appearance of earneft, has been fo much as attempted, except that wife expedition to Thoulon, which WE fuffered to be defeated before it began.' Whoever did, God forgive them: There were indeed several ftories of discoveries made, by letters and messengers that were fent to France.
Having done with the Author's party and principles, we fhall now confider his performance, under the three heads of wit, language, and argument. The first lash of his fatire falls upon the Cenfor of Great-Britain, who, says he, refembles the famous Cenfor of Rome, in nothing but efpoufing the cause of the vanquished. Our letterwriter here alludes to that known verfe in Lucan,
Vidrix caufa Diis placuit, fed via Catoni.
The Gods efpoufed the cause of the conquerors, but Cato efpoufed the cause of the vanquished.' The miffortune is, that this verfe was not written of Cato the Cenfor, but of Cate of Utica. How Mr. Bickerstaff, who has written in favour of a party that is not vanquished, refembles 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 fay therefore, that the Cenfor of Great-Britain resembles that famous Cenfor of Rome in ⚫ nothing but efpoufing the cause of the vanquished ;' is juft the fame as if one fhould fay, in regard to the many obfcure truths and fecret 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.' Befides that there
would be no ground for fuch a refemblance, would not a man be laughed at by every common reader, fhould he thus mistake one St. John for another, and apply that to St. John the Evangelift which relates to St. John the Baptift, 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 fudden into a vein of poetry; and inftead of writing a letter to the Examiner, gives advice to a painter in thefe ftrong lines: Paint, Sir, with that force which you are master of, the prefent fate of the war abroad; and expofe to the public view thofe principles upon which, of late, it has been carried on, fo different from thofe upon which it was originally en⚫tered into. Collect fome few of the indignities which • have been this year offered to her Majefty, and of those 'unnatural ftruggles which have betrayed the weakness
of a shattered conftitution.' By the way, a man may be faid to paint a battle, or if you please a war; but I do not fee how it is poffible to paint the prefent ftate of a war. So a man may be faid to defcribe or to collect accounts of indignities and unnatural ftruggles; but to collect the things themselves, is a figure which this Gentleman has introduced into our English profe. Well, but what will be the use of this picture of a state of the war? And this collection of indignities and ftruggles; It feems the chief defign of them is to make a dead man blush, as we may fee in thofe inimitable lines which immediately follow: And when this is done, D.
fhall blush in his grave among the dead, Walpole among the living, and even Volpone* fhall feel fome remorse. Was there ever any thing, I will not say so stiff and fo unnatural, but fo brutal and fo filly! this is downright hacking and hewing in fatire. But we fee a masterpiece of this kind of writing in the twelfth page; where without any respect to a Dutchess of Great-Britain, a
The Earl of Godolphin, a nick-name given him by Doctor Sacheverel, in one of his fermons.
Princess of the Empire, and one who was a bofom friend of her Royal Miftrefs, he calls a great Lady an infolent " woinan, the worst of her sex, a fury, an executioner of
divine vengeance, a plague,' and applies to her a line which Virgil writ on Alecto. One would think this foul mouthed writer muft have received fome particular injuries, either from this great Lady, or from her husband; and thefe the world fhall be foon acquainted with, by a book which is now in the prefs, entitled, An effay towards proving that gratitude is no virtue.' This author is fo angry with every one that is pleased with the Duke of Marlborough's victories, that he goes out of his. way to abufe one of the Queen's finging-men, who it. feems did his best to celebrate a thanksgiving-day in an anthem: as you may fee in that paffage: Towns have ⚫ been taken, and battles have been won; the mob has. ⚫huzzaed before bonfires, the Stentor of the chapel has
ftrained his throat in the gallery, and the Stentor of • Sarum has deafened his audience from the pulpit.' Thus you fee how like a true fon of the high church, 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 fedition, he is received by fome men as a confeffor; but if he cries aloud, and fpares not, to animate people with devotion and gratitude, for the greatest public bleffings that ever were bestowed on a finful nation, he is reviled as a Stentor.
I promised in the next place to confider the language of this excellent author, who I find takes himself for an orator. In the first page he cenfures feveral for the poifon which they profufely fcatter through the nation; that is, in plain English, for fquandering away their poifon. In the fecond he talks of carrying 'probability through the thread of a fable;' and in the third, of laying an odium at a man's door.' In the fourth he rifes in his expreffions; where he fpeaks of those who would perfuade the people, that the • General,
General, the quondam Treasurer, and the Junto, are the only objects of the confidence of the allies, and of ⚫ the fears of the enemies.' I would advise this author to try the beauty of this expreflion. Suppofe a foreign Minifter fhould advife her Majefty in the following manner, (for certainly it is her Majefty only to whom the fenfe of the compliment ought to be paid) Madam, you are • the object of the confidence of the allies,' or Madam, your Majefty is the only object of the fears of the enemies.' Would a man think that he had learned English? I would have the author try by the fame rule, fome of his other phrafes, as page feven, where he tells us, That the balance of power in • Europe, would be still precarious.' What would a tradefman think, if one fhould tell him in paffion, that his scales were precarious;' and mean by it, that they were 'not fixed?' In the thirteenth page he speaks of certain profligate wretches, who having ufurped the royal feat, refolved to venture overturning the chariot of government, rather than to lofe their place in it.' A plain fpoken man would have left the Chariot out of this fentence, and fo have made it good English. As it is there, it is not only an impropriety of speech, but of metaphor; it being impoffible for a man to have a place in the chariot which he drives. I would therefore advise this Gentleman, in the next edition of his letter, to change the Chariot of government into the Chaise of government, which will found as well, and ferve his turn much better. I could be longer on the Errata of this very finall work, but will conclude this head with taking notice of a certain figure which was unknown to the ancients, and in which this letter-writer very much excels. This is called by fome an Anticlimax, an inftance of which we have in the tenth page; where he tells us that Britain may expect to have this only glory left her, That he has proved a farm to the bank, a province < to Holland, and a jeft to the whole world.' met with fo fudden a downfal in fo promifing a
ajeft to the whole world,' gives fuch an unexpected
turn to this happy period, that I was heartily troubled and furprised to meet with it. I do not remember in all my reading, to have obferved more than two couplets of verses that have been written in this figure; the first are thus quoted by Mr. Dryden.
Not only London echoes with thy fame,
The other are in French.
But we need not go further than the letter before us for examples of this nature, as we may find in the page elèventh. • Mankind remains convinced, that a Queen poffeffed of all the virtues requifite to bless a nation, or make a private family happy, fits on the throne.' Is this panegyric or burlefque? To fee fo glorious a Queen celebrated in fuch a manner, gives every good fubject a fecret indignation; and looks like Scarron's character of the great Queen Semiramis, who, fays that author, " was the founder of Babylon, Conqueror of the East, and an excellent housewife."
The third fubject being the argumentative part oft his Letter, I hall leave until another occafion.
Allez vous, lui dit il, fans bruit chez vos parens,