« AnteriorContinuar »
them upon the peace we are likely to enjoy; by which they will be at leisure to reap the harvest of their blood and toil, take their rest at home, and be relieved from the burden and danger of a cruel war. And as our gratitude will be ever due to them, for delivering us from our distant enemy the French, so shall we have reason to bless whoever are the authors of peace to these distressed nations, by which we may be freed from those nearer and much more formidable enemies, discontent and poverty at home.
“ The Vindication of the Duke of Marlborough” is entirely of the Author of the Atalantis *.
Journal to Stella, Oct. 22, and Nov. 3, 1711.
* Mrs. Manley, daughter of sir Roger Manley, a zealous royalist, was carly in life cheated into marriage with a near relation, of the same name, who had at the same time a former wife living. Deserted by her husband, she was patronized by the duchess of Cleveland, a mistress of Charles II; but the duchess, being of a fickle temper, grew tired of Mrs. Manley in six months, and discharged her on pretence that she intrigued with her son. Retiring into solitude, she wrote her first tragedy, “ The Royal Mischief.” This play being acted in 1696 with great success, she received such unbounded incense from admirers, that her apartment was crowded with men of wit and gayety, which in the end proved fatal to her virtue. In the same year, she also published “ The Lost Lover, or Jealous Husband," a comedy. In her retired hours she wrote the “ Atalantis;" for which, she having made free in it with several distinguished characters, her printer was appre. hended, by a warrant from the secretary's office. Mrs. Manley, unwilling an innocent person should suffer, presented herself before the court of king's bench as the author. Lord Sunderland, then secretary of state, being curi. ous to know from whom she got information of several particulars which were supposed above her own intelligence; she replied, with great humility, " that she had no design in writing, farther than her own amusement and “ diversion in the country, without intending particular reflections and cha. “ racters; and did assure them that nobody was concerned with her." When this was not believed, and the contrary urged against her by several circumstances; she said, “ then it must be by inspiration ; because, knowing her “ own innocence, she could account for it no other way." Whether those in power were ashamed to bring a woman to trial for a few amorous trifles, or whether (her characters being under feigned names) the laws did not actually reach her; she was discharged after several publick examinations. On the change of the ministry, she lived in reputation and gayety, and amused herself in writing poems and letters, and conversing with the wits. A second edition of a volume of her letters was published in 1713. “Lucius,". a well received tragedy, was written by her, and acted in 1717. It was de. dicated to sir Richard Steele, who was then on such friendly terms with her, that he wrote the prologue to this play, as Mr, Prior did the epilogue. She died, July 11, 1724.
DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH'S
WAS always satisfied of the stupidity and disingenuity of the author who called himself “ The “ Medley;" but never till now so thoroughly convinced of his assurance. He (or one who personates him) appears, in a little book called “ Bouchain, as if he were in close conference and great intimacy with the Examiner ; where, according to the unfair manner of modern dialogue, he' reserves all the wit and reasoning for himself, and makes the poor Examiner one of the silliest, dullest rogues, that ever pretended to speak or hear of politicks : nay, he has even treated him worse than the real Medley * did ; who, though hired by the party to call him names by the week, had still so much modesty, not to take away his understanding, though he did his
* A periodical paper, five numbers of which were published un. der the title of “ The Whig Examiner,” by Mr. Addison and Mr. Arthur Maynwaring; and which was continued by the latter (under that of “ The Medley') in professed opposition to “ The Exa. “ miner." Rudely as Dr. Swift was often attacked by Mr. Maynwaring, it must be owned he was the politest of his opponents. VoL, XVIII. - F