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that part of her people, who, according to the Examiner himself, have engrossed the riches of the nation ;' and all this to join to her, with so much impudence, under the coinmon denomination of, We, that is. WE, Queen and Tories' are cyphers. Nos numerus fumus is a scrap of Latin more impudent than Cardinal Woolsey's Ego & Rex meus,
We find the same particle W E, used with great emphasis and significancy in the eighth page of this letter; But, nothing decisive, nothing which had • the appearance of earnest, has been so much as at• tempted, except that wife expedition to Tboulon, which • W È suffered to be defeated before it began.' Whoever did, God forgive them : There were indeed several stories of discoveries made, by letters and messengers that were fent to France.
Having done with the Author's party and principles, we shall now consider his performance, under the three heads of wit, language, and argument. The first lath of his fatire falls upon the Cenfor of Great-Britain, who, says he, resembles the famous Cenfor of Rome, in nothing but espousing the 'cause of the vanquished.? Our letterwriter here alludes to that known verse in Lucan,
Vidrix caufa Diis placuit, fed vida Catoni. • The Gods espoused the cause of the conquerors, but
Cato espoused the cause of the vanquished. The misfortune is, that this verse was not written of Cato the Cenfor, but of Cate of Utica. How Mr. Bickerftaff, who has written in favour of a party that is not vanquished, resembles 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 say therefore, that the Cenfor of Great-Britain resembles that famous Censor of Rome in • nothing but espousing the cause of the vanquished ;' is just the same as if one fhould say, in regard to the many obscure truths and secret histories that are brought to light in this letter, that the author of these new revelations resembles the ancient author of the revelations 4.in nothing but venturing his head.' Befides that there
would be no ground for such a resemblance, would not a man be laughed at by every common readers should he thus mistake one St. John for another, and apply that to St. Jobn the Evange ift which relates to St. John the Baptist, 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 sudden into a vein of poctry; and instead of writing a letter to the Examiner, gives advice to a painter in thele itrong lines: “ Paint, Sir, with that • force wiich you are master of, the present flare of the
war abroad; and expose to the public view those prin• ciples upon which, oi late, it has been carried on, so • different from those upon which it was originally en• tered into. Collect some few of the indignities which • have been this year offered to her Majesty, and of those • unnatural struggles which have betrayed the weakness r of a shattered conftitution. By the way, a man may be said to paint a battle, or if you please a war; but I do not see how it is poflible to paint the present state of
So a inan may be said to describe or to collect accounts of indignities and unnatural struggles; but to collect the things themselves, is a figure which this Gentleman has introduced into our English prose. Well, but what will be the use of this picture of a state of the war? And this collection of indignities and struggles; It seems the chief design of them is to make a dead man blush, as we may see in those inimitable lines which immediately follow : 'And when this is done, Dan • shall blush in his grave among the dead, Walpole among " the living, and even Volpone * Thall feel some remorse. Was there ever any thing, I will not say so stiff and so unnatural, but fo brural and so filly! this is downright hacking and hewing in salire. But we see 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 Godolpbin, a nick-name given him by Doctor Sacheverel, in one of his sermons.
Princess of the Empire, and one who was a bosom friend of her Royal Mistress, he calls a great Lady an insolent • 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 Alecio. One would think this foul mouthed writer must have received some particular injuries, either from this great Lady, or froin her husband; and these the world shall be soon acquainted with, by a book which is now in the press, entitled, “ An essay towards proving that gratitude is no virtue.' This author is so angry with every one that is pleased with the Duke of Mariboruugb's victories, that he goes out of his way to abuse one of the Queen's singing-men, who it. feeins did his best to celebrate a thanksgiving-day in an anthem: as you may see in that passage : •Towns have • been taken, and battles have been won; the mob has, • huzzaed before bonfires, the Stentor of the chapel has • strained his throat in the gallery, and the Stentor of • Sarum has deafened his audience from the pulpit.? Thus you
see how like a true son 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 á man lifts up his voice like a trumpet to preach sedition, he is received by some men as a confessor ;. but if he cries aloud, and spares not, to animate people with devotion and gratitude, for the greateft public blessings that ever were bestowed on a-sinful nation, he is reviled as a Stentor.
I promised in the next place to consider the language of this excellent author, who I find takes himself for an orator. In the first page he censures several for the poifon which they prutusely scatter through the na* tion ;' that is, in plain English, for "squandering away • their poison. In the second 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 rises in his expressions, where he speaks of those who would persuade the people, that the
: 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. Suppose a foreign Minister should advise her Majesty in the following manner, (for certainly it is her Majesty only to whom the sense of the compliment ought to be paid) Madam, you
• the object of the confidence of the allies,' or Madam, your Majesty 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, some of his other phrases, as page seven, where he tells us,
"That the balance of power in • Europe, would be still precarious. What would a tradesinan think, if one should tell him in passion, 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 usurped the • royal feat, resolved to venture overturning the chariot • of government, rather than to lose their place in it.' A plain spoken man would have left the Chariot out of this sentence, and so have made it good English. As it is there, it is not only an impropriety of speech, but of metaphor; it being impossible 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 sound as well, and serve his turn inuch better. I could be longer on the Errata of this very small work, but will conclude this head wish 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 some an Anticlimax, an instance of which we bave in the tenth page; where he tells us that Britain may expect to have this only glory left her, • 'That she has proved a farm to the bank, a province ' to Holland, and a jest to the whole world.'
I never met with so sudden a downfal in so promising a sentence; a, jest to the whole world,' gives such an unexpecied
turn to this happy period, that I was heartily troubled and surprised to meet with it. I do not remember in all my reading, to have observed 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.
Allez vous, lui dit il, sans bruit chez vos parens,
But we need not go further than the letter before us for examples of this nature, as we may find in page
the elèventh. • Mankind remains convinced, that a Queen
poffefred of all the virtues requisite to bless a nation,
or make a private family happy, lits on the throne. Is this. panegyric or burlesque? To fee so gl rious a Queen celebrated in such a manner, gives every good subject a secret indignation; and looks like Scarron's character of the great Queen Semiramis, who, says that author, “ was the founder of Babylon, Conqueror of the East, and an excellent housewife.”
The third subject being the argumentative part oft his Letter, I shall leave until another occafion.