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In this action, it is said, prince Eugene was wounded, as also the duke of Aremberg, and lieutenant-general Webb. The count of Oxenstern, colonel Lalo, and sir Thomas Pendergrass, were killed.
This wonderful success, obtained under all the difficulties that could be opposed in the way of an army, must be acknowledged as owing to the genius, courage, and conduct of the duke of Marlborough, a consummate hero ; who has lived not only beyond the time in which Cæsar said he was arrived at a satiety of life and glory, but also been so long the subject of panegyric, that it is as hard to say any thing new in his praise, as to add to the merit which requires such eulogiums.
WILL'S COFFEE-HOUSE, SEPTEMBER 5. THE following letter being very explanatory of the true design of our lucubrations, and at the same time an excellent model for performing it, it is absolutely necessary, for the better understanding our works, to publish it.
• To Isaac BICKERSTAFF, Esquire”:
"Though I have not the honour to be of the family of the Staffs”, nor related to any branch of it, yet I applaud your wholesome project of making wit useful.
• This is what has been, or should have been, intended by the best comedies. But nobody, I think, before you, thought of a way to bring the stage as it were into the coffee-house, and there attack those gentlemen who thought themselves out of the reach of raillery, by prudently avoiding its chief walks and districts. I smile when I see a solid citizen of threescore read the article from Will's coffee-house, and seem to be just beginning to learn his alphabet of wit in spectacles; and to hear the attentive table sometimes stop him with pertinent queries, which he is puzzled to answer, and then join in commending it the sincerest way, by freely owning he does not understand it.
z John Hughes, esq. was the author of this letter. See Hughes's 'Correspondence, vol. iii. p. 3.
a See Tatler, No. 11. b See Dedication to the Tatler, vol. i. and Tatler, Nos. 184.108.40.206.and 271.
• In pursuing this design, you will always have a large scene before you, and can never be at a loss for characters to entertain a town so plentifully stocked with them. The follies of the finest minds, which a philosophical surgeon knows how to dissect, will best employ your skill: and of this sort, I take the liberty to send you the following sketch :
• Cleontes is a man of good family, good learning, entertaining conversation, and acute wit. He talks well, is master of style, and writes not contemptibly in verse. Yet all this serves but to make him politely ridiculous; and he is above the rank of common characters, only to have the privilege of being laughed at by the best. His family makes him proud and scornful; his learning, assuming and absurd ; and his wit, arrogant and satirical. He mixes some of the best qualities of the head with the worst of the heart. Every body is entertained by him, while nobody esteems him. • I am, Sir, your most affectionate monitor,
• Josiah COUPLET'.'
*** Lost, from the Cocoa-tree, in Pall-mall, two Irish dogs, belonging to the pack of London: one a tall white wolf-dog ; the other a black nimble grey
• See Tatler, No. 56. note.
hound, not very sound, and supposed to be gone to the Bath, by instinct, for cure. The man of the inn from whence they ran, being now there, is desired, if he meets either of them, to tie them up. Several others are lost about Tunbridge and Epsom; which whoever will maintain may keep".
No. 65. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1709. *
WILL'S COFFEE-HOUSE, SEPTEMBER 7. I CAME hither this evening, and expected nothing else but mutual congratulations in the company on the late victory; but found our room, which one would have hoped to have seen full of good humour and alacrity upon so glorious an occasion, full of sour animals, inquiring into the action, in doubt of what had happened, and fearful of the success of their countrymen. It is natural to believe easily what we wish heartily; and a certain rule, that they are not friends to a glad occasion who speak all they can against the truth of it; who end their argument against our happiness, that they wish it otherwise.
* STEELE'S. d See Tatler, Nos. 56. 57. 59. 61. 62. 65. &c.
e “La parti tori commençant à reprendre de nouvelles forces, il ne put s'elever qu'en abaissant le ministère de my lord Marlborough, et de my lord Godolphin. Le victoire remportée sur les François près de Mons le 11 Sept. N.S. donnoit à ces seigneurs un grand avantage. Les toris ne négligèrent donc rien pour en diminuer l'eclat, ou pour l'empoisonner. Ils dirent que cette victoire avoit coûté bien chere; que c'étoit perdre que de gagner ainsi; qu'il y avoit eu de l'imprudence à tenter l'avanture; que cela
When I came into the room, a gentleman was declaiming: If,' says he, we have so great and complete a victory, why have we not the names of the prisoners ? Why is not an exact relation of the conduct of our generals laid before the world ? Why do we not know where or whom to applaud ? If we are victorious, why do we not give an account of our captives and our slain ? But we are to be satisfied with general notices we are conquerors, and to believe it so. Sure this is approving the despotic way of treating the world, which we pretend to fight against, if we sit down satisfied with such contradictory accounts, which have the words of triumph, but do not bear the spirit of it. I whispered Mr. Greenhat', · Pray, what can that dissatisfied man be? • He
n’abutissoit qu'à verser du sang; qu'on n'en retireroit point d'autre fruit; qu'après tout on étoit rédevable du succès à des officiers ennemis du général, et que le général avoit exposés ou aux plus grands dangers ou aux lieux les plus dangereux. Le duc d'Argyle et le major-general Webb étoient les principaux de ces officiers ennemis de duc de Marlborough. L'auteur releve donc ici cette malignité des toris, et pour le faire de meilleure grace, il affecte de joindre des louanges de duc d'Argyle, et du general Webb, à celles du general en chef de l'armée. Je n'aurois point traduit cet article, s'il ne m'avoit paru que cette scene est à peu près de tous les pais où il y a des mécontens qui osent parler.'-Le Nouvelliste Philosophe.
f What is said here raises a supposition that Addison was at this very time in London; and perhaps Swift, who might have come over with him to England. The gazettes and newspapers published about this period, from the year 1708 to 1716, and indeed to 1730, would be of singular service in the illustration of these papers. This writer thinks he has read somewhere, that Addison landed in England on the 5th or 6th of Sept. 1709. This is offered merely as conjecture, no authority occurring at present to support it. The family of the Greenhats seems, however, to have been pretty numerous. Zedekiah Greenhat, mentioned in Tatler, No. 59. might be in England, for what appears, at the time that his brethren Obadiah and Tobiah were in Ireland. A passage in the next paper seems to imply that Swift, the person probably alluded to under the name of Obadiah Greenhat, was actually in London on the 9th of Sept. 1709.
Whether he was then in England or Ireland, he was certainly the real · author of the first part of the following paper, of some part at least of
Tatler, Nos. 67. 74. and 81. See these numbers, and notes. C.
is,' answered he,' a character you have not yet perhaps observed. You have heard of battle-painters, have mentioned a battle-poet; but this is a battlecritic. He is a fellow that lives in a government so gentle, that, though it sees him an enemy, suffers his malice because they know his impotence. He is to examine the weight of an advantage before the company will allow it.' Greenhat was going on in his explanation, when Sir George England thought fit to take up the discourse in the following manner :
Gentlemen, the action you are in so great doubt to approve of, is greater than ever has been performed in any age; and the value of it. I observe from your dissatisfaction: for battle-critics are like all others; you are the more offended, the more you ought to be, and are convinced you ought to be, pleased. Had this engagement happened in the time of the old Romans, and such things been acted in their service, there would not be a foot of the wood which was pierced but had been consecrated to some deity, or made memorable by the death of him who expired in it for the sake of his country. It had been said on some monument at the entrance, here the duke of Argyle drew his sword, and said “ March.” Here Webb, after having an accomplished fame for gallantry, exposed himself like a common soldier. Here Rivett, who was wounded at the beginning of the day, and carried off as dead, returned to the field, and received his death. Medals had been struck for our general's behaviour when he first came into the plain. Here was the fury of the action, and here the hero stood as fearless as if invulnerable. Such certainly had been the cares of that state for their own honour, and in gratitude to their heroic subjects. But the wood intrenched, the plain made more impassable than the wood, and all the difficulties op