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926. Life of Margery, alias John Young, com-
294. Letters on Education....
Swift. 267. On appointed Seasons for Devotion-Lord
271. Conclusion, Design of the work, and Ac-
Volume the First.
HE 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, 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 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 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 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, Sir,
Your most obliged, most obedient,
Arthur May nwaring, Esq.
Volume the Second.
and most humble servant,
EDWARD WORTLEY MONTAGUE, ESQ.*
WHEN I send you this volume, I am rather to make you a request than a Dedication. I
must desire, that if you think fit to throw, away any moments on it, you would not do it after reading those excellent pieces with which
* Second son of the Hon. lady Wortley Montague, and grandson of Edward Montague, the first earl of Sandwich.
you are usually conversant. The images which | you will meet with here, will be very faint, after the perusal of the Greeks and Romans, who are your ordinary companions. I must confess I am obliged to you for the taste of many of their excellences, which I had not observed until you pointed them to me. I am very proud that there are some things in these papers which I know you pardon; and it is no small pleasure to have one's labours suffered by the judgment of a man, who so well under
This seems to amount to a declaration that E. Wortley Montague, Esq. was himself a writer in these papers.
stands the true charms of eloquence and poesy. But I direct this address to you; not that I think I can entertain you with my writings, but to thank you for the new delight I have, from your conversation, in those of other men.
May you enjoy a long continuance of the true relish of the happiness heaven has bestowed upon you! I know not how to say a more affectionate thing to you, than to wish that you may be always what you are; and that you may ever think, as I know you now do, that you have a much larger fortune than you want. I am, Sir, your most obedient, and most humble Servant,
Volume the Third.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE WILLIAM LORD COWPER,
BARON OF WINGHAM.
This gives you a certain dignity peculiar to your present situation, and makes the equity, even of a lord high chancellor, appear but a
AFTER having long celebrated the superior graces and excellences, among men, in an imaginary character, I do myself the honour to show my veneration for transcendent merit under my own name, in this address to your lordship. The just application of those high accomplishments of which you are master, has been an advantage to all your fellow-subjects; and it is from the common obligation you have laid upon all the world, that I, though a private man, can pretend to be affected with, or take the liberty to acknowledge, your great talents and public virtues.
It gives a pleasing prospect to your friends, that is to say, to the friends of your country, that you have passed through the highest offices, at an age when others usually do but form to themselves the hopes of them. They may expect to see you in the house of lords as many years as you were ascending to it. It is our common good, that your admirable eloquence can now no longer be employed, but in the expression of your own sentiments and judgment. The skilful pleader is now for ever changed into the just judge; which latter cha-kind are distinguished from other creatures, racter your Lordship exerts with so prevailing reason and speech. an impartiality, that you win the approbation even of those who dissent from you, and you always obtain favour, because you are never moved by it.
If these gifts were communicated to all men in proportion to the truth and ardour of their hearts, I should speak of you with the same force as you express yourself on any other subject. But I resist my present impulse as
degree towards the magnanimity of a peer of Great Britain.
Forgive me, my lord, when I cannot conceal from you, that I shall never hereafter be hold you, but I shall behold you, as lately, defending the brave and the unfortunate.*
When we attend to your lordship engaged in a discourse, we cannot but reflect upon the many requisites which the vain-glorious speakers of antiquity have demanded in a man who is to excel in oratory; I say, my lord, when we reflect upon the precepts by viewing the example, though there is no excellence proposed by those rhetoricians wanting, the whole art seems to be resolved into that one motive of speaking, sincerity in the intention. The graceful manner, the apt gesture, and the assumed concern, are impotent helps to persuasion, in comparison of the honest countenance of him who utters what he really means. From whence it is, that all the beauties which others attain with labour, are in your lordship but the natural effects of the heart that dictates.
It is this noble simplicity, which makes you surpass mankind in the faculties wherein man
The duke of Marlborough.
agreeable as it is to me; though, indeed, had | choose an argument, upon which he himself I any pretensions to a fame of this kind, I should, above all other themes, attempt a panegyric upon my lord Cowper; for the only sure way to a reputation for eloquence, in an age wherein that perfect orator lives, is to
must of necessity he silent.
most obedient, and most humble servant,
Volume the Fourth.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE CHARLES, LORD HALIFAX.
From the Hovel at Hamptonwick,
against their abilities for entering into affairs
est statesmen have laid down for administra
tion of affairs, are equally the familiar objects of your knowledge. But what is peculiar to your lordship above all the illustrious personages that have appeared in any age, is, that wit and learning have from your example fallen into a new æra. Your patronage has produced those arts, which before shunned the commerce of the world, into the service of life; and it is to you we owe, that the man of wit
has turned himself to be a man of business. The false delicacy of men of genius, and the objections which others were apt to insinuate
PREFACE TO THE OCTAVO EDITION, 1710.
In the last Tatler I promised some expla- | pass. I have, in the dedication of the first vonation of passages and persons mentioned in lume, made my acknowledgments to Dr. Swift, this work, as well as some account of the as- whose pleasant writings, in the name of Bickersistances I have had in the performance. I staff, created an inclination in the town toshall do this in very few words; for when a wards any thing that could appear in the same man has no design but to speak plain truth, disguise. I must acknowledge also, that, at he may say a great deal in a very narrow com- my first entering upon this work, a certain
uncommon way of thinking, and a turn in a much greater honour than he can possibly conversation peculiar to that agreeable gentle-reap from any accomplishments of his own. man, rendered his company very advantageous But all the credit of wit which was given me to one whose imagination was to be continually by the gentlemen above-mentioned, with whom employed upon obvious and common subjects, I have now accounted, has not been able to though, at the same time, obliged to treat of atone for the exceptions made against me for them in a new and unbeaten method. His some raillery in behalf of that learned advocate verses on the Shower in Town,' and the for the episcopacy of the church, and the li Description of the Morning,' are instances berty of the people, Mr. Hoadly. I mentioned of the happiness of that genius, which could this only to defend myself against the imputaraise such pleasing ideas upon occasions so bar- tion of being moved rather by party than opiren to an ordinary invention. nion; and I think it is apparent. I have with the utmost frankness allowed merit wherever I found it, though joined in interests different from those for which I have declared myself. When my Favonius is acknowledged to be Dr. Smalridge, and the amiable character of the Dean in the sixty-sixth Tatler, drawn for Dr. Atterbury; I hope I need say no more as to my impartiality.
When I am upon the house of Bickerstaff, I must not forget that genealogy of the family sent to me by the post, and written, as I since understand, by Mr. Twisden, who died at the battle of Mons, and has a monument in Westminster abbey, suitable to the respect which is due to his wit and his valour. There are through the course of the work very many incidents which were written by unknown correspondents. Of this kind is the tale in the second Tatler, and the epistle from Mr. Downes the prompter, with others which were very well received by the public. But I have only one gentleman, who will be nameless, to thank for any frequent assistance to me, which indeed it would have been barbarous in him to have denied to one with whom he has lived in an intimacy from childhood, considering the great ease with which he is able to despatch the most entertaining pieces of this nature. This good office he performed with such force of genius, humour, wit, and learning, that I fared like a distressed prince, who calls in a powerful neighbour to his aid; I was undone by my auxiliary; when I had once called him in, I could not subsist without dependence on him.
I really have acted in these cases with honesty, and am concerned it should be thought otherwise; for wit, if a man had it, unless it be directed to some useful end, is but a wanton frivolous quality; all that one should value himself upon in this kind is, that he had some honourable intention in it.
As for this point, never hero in romance was carried away with a more furious ambition to conquer giants and tyrants, than I have been in extirpating gamesters and duellists. And indeed, like one of those knights too, though I was calm before, I am apt to fly out again, when the thing that first disturbed me is presented to my imagination. I shall therefore leave off when I am well, and fight with windmills no more; only shall be so arrogant as to say of myself, that, in spite of all the force of fashion and prejudice, in the face of all the I alone bewailed the condition of an English gentleman, whose fortune and life are at this day precarious; while his estate is liable to the demands of gamesters, through a false sense of justice; and to the demands of duellists, through a false sense of honour. As to the first of these orders of men, I have not one Thus far I thought necessary to say relating word more to say of them; as to the latter, to the great hands which have been concerned I shall conclude all I have more to offer against in these volumes, with relation to the spirit them, with respect to their being prompted by and genius of the work; and am far from the fear of shame, by applying to the duellist pretending to modesty in making this acknow-what I think Dr. South says somewhere of the ledgment. What a man obtains from the liar, He is a coward to man, and a bravo te good opinion and friendship of worthy men, is God.'
The same hand writ the distinguishing cha-world, racters of men and women under the names of 'Musical Instruments,' The Distress of the News-writers,'' The Inventory of the layhouse,' and 'The description of the Therinometer,' which I cannot but look upon as the greatest embellishments of this work.