Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

LETTER TO fraternity (dealers in words), to write an encomium upon Such. But, whatever changes our language may undergo (and every thing that is English is given to change), this happy word is sure to live in your immortal preface. Your lordship does not end yet; but, to crown all, has another such in reserve, where you tell the world, “ We were just entering on the “ ways that lead to such a peace as would have 66 answered all our prayers,” &c. Now, perhaps some snarling tory mighit impertinently inquire, when we might have expected such a peace? I answer, when the Dutch could get nothing by the war, nor we whigs lose any thing by a peace; or, to speak in plain terms (for every one knows I am a free speaker as well as a freethinker), when we had exhausted all the nation's treasure (which every body knows could not have been long first), and so far enriched ourselves, and beggared our fellow subjects, as to bring them under a necessity of submitting to what conditions we should think fit to impose ; and this too we should have effected, if we had continued in power. But, alas! just in that critical juncture, when (as we thought) our designs were ripe for execution, the scene changed : “God, for our sins," as your lordship wisely, observes, “ permitted the * spirit of discord” (that is, the doctrine of obedience and submission to princes) “ to go forth, and, by " troubling the camp, the city, and the country “ (and O that it had spared the places sacred to his ,66 worship !) to spoil, for a time, this beautiful and “ pleasing prospect, and give us in its stead, I know « not what ......" O exquisite ! how pathetically does your lordship complain of the downfall of

: whiggism, whiggism, and Daniel Burgess's meeting house * ! The generous compassion your lordship has shown upon this tragical occasion makes me believe your lordship' will not be unaffected with an accident that had like to have befallen a poor whore of my acquaintance about that time, whọ, being big with whig, was so alarmed at the rising of the mob, that she had like to have miscarried upon it; for the logical jade presently concluded (and the inference was natural enough) that, if they began with pulling down meeting houses, it might end in demolishing those houses of pleasure where she constantly paid her devotion; and, indeed, there seems a close connexion between extempore prayer and extempore love. I doubt not, if this disaster had reached your lordship before, you would have found some room in that moving parenthesis, to have expressed your concern for it.. ii.in · I come now to that last stroke of your lordship's almighty pen ; I mean that expressive dash...,... which you give when you come to the new ministry, where you break off with an artful aposiopesis, and, by refusing to say any thing of theni yourself, leave your readers to think the worst they possibly can. Here your lordship shows yourself a most consum

* The mob that attended Dr. Sacheverell to his trial attacked Mr. Burgess's meeting house, Feb. 28, 1709-10; and, having pulled down the pulpit, pews, &c. made a bonfire of them in Lin. coln's Inn Fields; and would have thrown the preacher in, if they had found him. A proclamation was issued, March 2, offering a reward of a hundred pounds, for apprehending any of the rioters. It appears that the only two who were discovered (whose names were Damaree and Purchase) were unhappy ignorant whigs, who did not even know which party their conduct was assisting : they both rea ceived the queen's pardon,

L2

...' mate

mate orator, when even your very silence is thus

eloquent. * Before I take my leave, I cannot but congratulate your lordship upon that distinguishing mark of honour which the house of commons has done your preface, by ordering it to be burnt*. This will add a never failing lustre to your character, when future ages shall read, how a few pages of your lordship's could alarm the representative body of the nation. I know your lordship had rather live in a blaze, than lie buried in obscurity; and would at any rate pur." chase immortality, though it be in flames.' Fire,

a mounting element, is a proper emblem of your lordship's aspiring genius.

I shall detain your lordship no longer; but, according to your example, conclude with a short prayer (though praying, I confess, is not my talent)—May you never want opportunities of thus signalizing yourself; but be “transmitted to posterity,” under the character of one who dares sacrifice every thing that is most dear to you (even your own darling labours) to promote the interest of our party ; and stand sainted in the whig calendar, as a martyr for the cause! This is the sincere wish of the greatest (next yourself) of your lordship’s admirers, WHARTON.

* This was performed May 12, 1712. See an admirable letter on that occasion to bishop Burnet, June 17, 1712, in the preface to bishop Fleetwood's works.-The vote was carried in the house by a majority of 119, against 54; among the dissenting voices, were sir Peter King, sir Joseph Jekyll, Mr. Lechmere, and others of the long robe. “ The complaint” (says the bishop) “ was made " by Hungerford, and seconded by Manley (people that indeed « should have been ordered to have burnt it), and thirded by what « we call the court; and carried by numbers, without a wise word ,said against it."-The dean's “ Remarks on the Bishop's Preface," formerly printed at the end of this tract, will be found in vol. XVI. p. 339.

A MODEST

MODEST INQUIRY

INTO THE

REASONS OF THE JOY

EXPRESSED BY

A CERTAIN SET OF PEOPLE,

UPON THE

SPREADING OF A REPORT

OF

HER MAJESTY'S DEATH.

FIRST PUBLISHED, FEB; 4, 1713-14.

This tract was written by Mrs. Manley, with the assistance of Dr. Swift *. .

* On the 24th of December, 1713, the queen was taken with an ague, of which her majesty had two fits. It was immediately reported “ that “ a dangerous illness had seized the queen at Windsor ; and that, during “ the consterpation under it, the lord treasurer who had held ņo correspond“ ence with Lambeth for above two years, wrote a letter to the archbishop, " giving an account of the dubious state of her majesty's health, and pro« mising farther information as occasion should require ; and that his “ grace returned an answer in writing, expressing his affection and duty to " the queen, and his prayers for her full and perfect recovery, and his hopes " that she might be soon able to return to London, for the better satisfac. « tion of the minds of the people.” See “ The Wisdom of looking back “ ward, 1915," p. 326.--The Examiner, on the 8th of January following, took up the matter in a jocular manner, by way of laughing at the whigs; and heavily incensed that party, as appears by Abel Boyer's account of it in the Political State.

A MODERT

« AnteriorContinuar »