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No 567. WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 1714.
-Inceptus clamor frustratur biantes,
VIRG. Æn. vi. 499. - The weak voice deceives their gasping throats.
DRYDEN. I HAVE received private advice from some of my correspondents, that if I would give my paper a general run, I should take care to season it with scandal. I have indeed observed of late that few writings sell which are not filled with great names and illustrious titles. The reader generally casts his eye upon a new book, and, if he finds several letters separated from one another by a dash, he buys it up and peruses it with great satisfaction. An M and an h, a T and an r*, with a short line
* M and an b means Marlborough, and T and an , means Treasurer.
between them, has sold many insipid pamphlets. Nay, I have known a whole edition go off by virtue of two or three well-written fe
A sprinkling of the wordsfaction, French. man, papist, plunderer, and the like significant terms, in an italic character, have also a very good effect upon
the eye of the purchaser; not to mention 'scribbler, liar, rogue, rascal, knave, and vil Jain,' without which it is impossible to carry on a modern controversy.
Our party writers are so sensible of the secret virtue of an inuendo to recommend their produc. tions, that of late they never mention the QR or P--t at length, though they speak of them with honour, and with that deference which is due to them from every private person. It gives a secret satisfaction to a peruser of these mysterious works, that he is able to decypher them without help, and, by the strength of his own natural parts, to fill up a blank space, or make out a word that has only the first or last letter to it.
Some of our authors indeed, when they would be more satirical than ordinary, omit only the vowels of a great man's name, and fall most unmerci. fully upon all the consonants.
of writing was first of all introduced by T-m Bmwn", of fa. cetious memory, who, after having gutted a proper name of all its intermediate vowels, used to plant it in his works, and make as free with it as he pleased, without any danger of the statute.
That I may imitate these celebrated authors, and publish a paper which shall be more taking than ordinary, I have here drawą up a very curious libel, in which a reader of penetration will find a great deal of concealed satire, and, if he be acquainted
* Tom Brow#.
with the present posture of affairs, will easily disco. ver the meaning of it.
. If there are four persons in the nation who endeavour to bring all things into confusion, and ruin their native country, I think every honest Eng. liskman ought to be upon his guard. That there are such, every one will agree with me who hears
with his first friend and favourite ***, not to mention nor ***. These people may cry ch-rch, ch-rch, as long as they please; but, to make use of a homely proverb, “ The proof of the p-dd-ng is in the eating.” This I am sure of, that if a certain prince should concur with a certain prelate, (and we have monsieur Z--n's word for it) our posterity would be in a sweet p-ckle. Must the British nation suffer, forsooth, because my lady Q-p-t-s has been disobliged? Or is it reasonable that our English fleet, which used to be the terror of the ocean, should lie wind-bound for the sake of a -? I love to speak out, and declare my mind clearly, when I am talking for the good of my country. I will not make my court to an ill-man, though he were a B--y or a T--t. Nay, I would not stick to call so wretched a politician a traitor, an enemy to his country, and a Blond-rb-s8, &c. &c.'
The remaining part of this political treatise, which is written after the manner of the celebrated authors in Great Britain, I may communicate to the public at a more convenient season. Io the mean while I shall leave this with my curious reader, as some ingenious writers do their enigmas; ani, i any sagacious person can fairly unriddle it, I will print his explanation, and, if he pleases, acquaint the world with his name,
I hope this short essay will convince my readers it is not for want of abilities that I avoid state tracts,
and that, if I would apply my mind to it, I might in a little time be as great a master of the political scratch as any the most eminent writer of the age. I shall only add, that in order to outshine all this modern race of syncopists, and thoroughly content my English reader, I intend shortly to publish a Spectator that shall not have a single vowel in it.
N° 568. FRIDAY, JULY 16, 1714.
Dum recitas, incipit esse tuus.
MART. Epig. i. 39.
I was yesterday in a coffee-house not far from the Royal Exchange, where I observed three persons in close conference over a pipe of tobacco; upon which, having filled one for my own use, I lighted it at the little wax candle that stood before them ; and, after having thrown in two or three whiffs amongst them, sat down and made one of the com. pany. I need not tell my reader that lighting a man's pipe at the same candle is looked upon among brother smokers as an overture to conversation and friendship. As we here laid our heads together in a very amicable manner, being entrenched under a cloud of our own raising, I took up the last Specta. tor, and casting my eye over it, The Spectator, says I, is very witty to-day :' upon which a lusty lethargic old gentleman, who sat at the upper end of the table, having gradually blown out of his
mouth a great deal of smoke, which had been col. lecting for some time before, Ay,' says he, more witty than wise, I am afraid.' His neighbour, who sat at his right hand, immediately coloured, and, being an angry politician, laid down his pipe with so much wrath that he broke it in the middle, and by that means furnished me with a tobacco. stopper. I took it up very sedately, and, looking him full in the face, made use of it from time to time all the while he was speaking: This fellow,' says he, cannot for his life keep out of politics. Do you see how he abuses four great men here?' I fixed my eye very attentively on the paper, and asked him if he meant those who were represented by asterisks.
Asterisks,' says he, do you call them? they are all of them stars—he might as well have put garters to them. Then pray do but mind the two or three next lines. Ch-rch and p-dd.ng in the same sentence! Our clergy are very much beholden to him! Upon this the third gentleman, who was of a mild disposition, and, as I found, a whig in his heart, desired him not to be too severe upon the Spectator neither; 'for,' says he, 'you find he is very cautious of giving offence, and has therea fore put two dashes into his pudding. "A fig for his dash,' says the angry politician; in his next S:n tence he gives a plain inuendo that our posterity will be in a sweet p-ckle. What does the fool mean by his pickle? Why does he not write it at length, if he means honestly? I have read over the whole sentence,' says l; but I look upon the parenthesis in the belly of it to be the most dangerous part, and as full of insinuations as it can hold. But who,' says 1, is my lady Q-p-t-s?' “Ay, answer that if you cau, sir, says:h: furious statesman to the poor whig that sat over aga n t him. But without giving him time to reply, I do assure you,' says he,