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THE state of conversation and business in this town having been long perplexed with pretenders in both kinds, in order to open men's eyes against such abuses, it appeared no unprofitable undertaking to publish a Paper,
a Arthur Maynwaring, esq. His works set the character of his genius above the reach of the criticism of others, and he was himself allowed universally to be the best critic of his times.'-Biographia Britannica, art. Hughes. Remark L.
'His learning was without pedantry; his wit without affectation; his judgment without malice; his friendship without interest; his zeal without violence: in a word, he was the best subject, the best friend, the best relation, the best master, the best critic, and the best political writer in Great Britain.'-Egerton's Memoirs of Mrs. Oldfield.
He died in 1712, aged 44, and left his estate to be equally divided between his sister, his son, and his son's mother. It amounted to little more than 3000l. His Life and Posthumous Works' were published by Mr. Oldmixon, 1715, 8vo.; whence a full account of him has been inserted in the Biographical Dictionary.
which should observe upon the manners of the pleasurable, as well as the busy part of mankind. To make this generally read, it seemed the most proper method to form it by way of a Letter of Intelligence, consisting of such parts as might gratify the curiosity of persons of all conditions, and of each sex. But a work of this nature requiring time to grow into the notice of the world, it happened very luckily, that, a little before I had resolved upon this design, a gentleman had written predictions, and two or three other pieces in my name, which had rendered it famous through all parts of Europe; and, by an inimitable spirit and humour, raised it to as high a pitch of reputation as it could possibly arrive at.
By this good fortune the name of Isaac Bickerstaff gained an audience of all who had any taste of wit; and the addition of the ordinary occurrences of common Journals of News brought in a multitude of other readers. I could not, I confess, long keep up the
b Dr. Swift.-See the Dean's Works, passim.—See also Steele's Original Preface to the Tatler, prefixed to this volume.
Although the Tatler joined an odd surname to no very common Christian one, there was a man found in this large town who owned both the names.'-Swift's Letters, vol. xv. p. 408.
opinion of the town, that these Lucubrations were written by the same hand with the first works which were published under my name; but, before I lost the participation of that author's fame, I had already found the advantage of his authority, to which I owe the sudden acceptance which my labours met with in the world.
The general purpose of this Paper is to expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of cunning, vanity and affectation, and to recommend a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and our behaviour. No man has a better judgment for the discovery, or a nobler spirit for the contempt of all imposture, than yourself; which qualities render you the most proper patron for the author of these Essays. In the general, the design, however executed, has met with so great success, that there is hardly a name now eminent among us for
During the prevalence of parties and prejudices, he that would be believed by every body should be known to nobody, lest, instead of listening to the good advice of the censor, the censured should endeavour, by retorting on his frailties, to extenuate or justify their own.'
• See more concerning the purposes of this paper, Nos. 3. 5. 9. 51. 64. and 271.-See also Dr. Johnson's Lives of English Poets,' vol. ii. p. 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, and 366.
ed. 8vo. 1781.
power, wit, beauty, valour, or wisdom, which is not subscribed for the encouragement of these volumes. This is, indeed, an honour for which it is impossible to express a suitable gratitude ; and there is nothing could be an addition to the pleasure I take in it but the reflection, that it gives me the most conspicuous occasion I can ever have, of subscribing myself,
Your most obliged, most obedient,
And most humble Servant,