« EelmineJätka »
NU M B E R
TO THE SAME.
Quis te, juvenum confidentiffime, noftras Juffit adire domos? Quidve hinc petis ? inquit. At ille, Scis Proteu, seis ipse; neque eft te fallert cuiquam.
MOST NOBLE SIR,
WHEN I writ the postscript to my last letter, I believed firmly that the Answer to the Occasional Writer was neither writ by you, nor published by your order. Many confiderations determined me to this opinion. For instance: I could not think, that in order to vent yourself in a fit of railing, you would draw a picture out of your own imagination, which cannot pass for that of the person who writ to you, even in the low and vile character he afsumed, and which you will hardly venture to own that you meant to be the resemblance of any man in Britain. I could not persuade myfelf that you would give occasion, as I apprehend very much that you have done, to the drawing of another
picture after the life, which no one will mistake, and which you will not be curious to place in your collection of paintings. I have, with the rest of mankind, a great regard for some of your friends; but I have, with the rest of mankind likewise, a great regard for your particular enemies, among whom it feemed impossible to me that you, who knew them so well, should presume to find either slaves or cri. minals, or insolvent debtors. I dare affirm, that there is not one of them, who ever“ mortgaged “ his estate for more than its value, or reduced “ himself near the necessity of living by contri« bution."
These are some of the motives which induced me to acquit you of the scandal, as I then thought it, of writing this paper. But, upon better information, and farther reflection, I have changed my opinion ; and I see nothing inconsistent with my respect for you, in believing that you did write it.
As great an advantage as it is in all the affairs of life for a man to keep his temper, it is often excusable, and perhaps sometimes even praise-worthy, to lose it. When a minister is contradicted in matters relating to his administration, and when busy people shall presume to ask his reasons, instead of submitting to his authority, can we wonder if his passion transports him into rhodomontades, and if he behaves himself a little wildly? But when the virtue of a minister like you, whose whole life has been one bright example of public and private vir tue, shall be suspected, so far as to be tempted to passion; who can refuse him even applause, if his generous soul, transported with a juit indignation, breathes forth such expressions, as might, upon a less occasion, pass for indecent ribaldry ?
This was your care, most noble Sir, in the trial which I presumed lately to make, with too much
boldness perhaps, but surely with a very good defign. A man writes to you from his garret, describes himself as a prostitute fcribbler, and offers you the service of his pen : this, and this alone, appears to you ; upon which a noble indignation seizes you, and you strike boldly, though you strike in the dark. There is really somewhat fine in this fally of resentment, and it confirms, in the highest degree, the sentiments I have long entertained of your
integrity, of your ability, and of a certain grace which accompanies and gives a lustre to every part of your conduct.
The share I have had in this adventure affords me great satisfaclion. Your anger fell on a feigned character, and hurts me not; but the honor of having drawn an answer from a first minister, and an answer in print, accrues to me, and is such a one, as the greatest of our weekly authors could never boast.
Give me leavė, therefore, to be transported in my turn, but to be transported with joy, and to insert an abstract of your answer in this paper, as Balzac placed at the head of his works, a letter from the Cardinal de Richlieu. I consult my own honor, it must be confeffed, in doing this; but I consider still more that just applause and admiration which I, with the rest of the world, am obliged on this occafion to give you.
To those parts of the Occasional Writer's letter, which shew that you are at this juncture in want of fuch services as the scoundrel he personated might be fit to do, you make no reply. The want you feem to admit, but the offer of service you reject : let the public hear in what manner.
Page 1. 66 THOUGH you have not
have not signed your name, I know you. Because a man who “ is without all principles of honesty, who in no « one thing can be relied upon, a betrayer of “ his friend, a traitor to his prince, an enemy to « his country, a perjured, ungrateful, unfaithful “ rascal, must be you; one who is a composition % of all these, can be only you.
Page 2 “ You are an infamous fellow, who “ make a reputation of doing mischief; and He“ rostratus and Nero were not greater villains than
“ You are of fo profligate a character, that in “ your prosperity no body envied you, and in your
disgrace no body pities you. “ You were in the interest of France, and of the pope, as hath appeared by your writings, and
you went out of the way to save yourself from " the gallows.
" You are a fellow who have no con“ science at all, or a damnable complying one: and “ if you would lend it to me, it would be of no $6 use to me.
" You have no abilities; you are an emancipated " flave, a proscribed criminal, and an insolvent " debtor : and I am not in such a desperate for“ lorn condition, to employ a fellow who hath no 66 talents.
Page 4. “ You have been a traitor, and should 66 be used like one. And I love my master so well, « that I will never advise him to use
you “ fhould jostle me out of my employment.
“ The majority are of my opinion. One side “ rails at you, the other dislikes you; and that “ Palinurus would deserve to be drowned indeed, “ who let you have the rudder, if he could help
I do not value what you or your company fay of me; neither am I to be frighted “ with a parliamentary fcrutiny. You rail at me, " because you envy me; and I despise all that a “ man in the impotence of disgrace can do against “ me, who could never terrify me in the zenith of
4 his power.
Then follow these admirable arguments. Page 6, 7, 8.
" I. You may talk what you will 66 of France, Spain, and the emperor ; power is « fluctuating, and perhaps I know who is Britain's. “ enemy as well as another. II. Though we did “ lend the emperor a helping hand, we are not to « let him do what he pleases; and when we fet him
up, it was good politics, and now it is equally « good to take him down. III. I do not question 66 but we shall humble him. IV. I must tell
you “ plainly, you and I, as to foreign affairs, dif« fer widely in opinion. V. When our neighbours
grow faucy and encroaching, it is high time to “ look about us, and not to be taken napping. « VI. I know you are like the emperor, because