Imágenes de páginas

under pre

Several beauties of the * ancient and modern historians, the impartial temper of Herodotus ; the gravity, austerity, and strict morals of Thucydides, the extensive knowledge of Xenophon, the sublimity and grandeur of Titus Livius; and, to avoid the carelėss style of Polybius, I have borrowed considerable ornaments from Dionysius Halicar. naffeus and Diodorus Siculus. The specious gilding of Tacitus I have endeavoured to shun. Mariana, Davila, and Fra. Paulo, are thole among the moderns whom I thought most worthy of imitation; but I cannot be lo digngenuous, as not to own the infinite obligacions I have to the Pilgrim's Progress of John Bunyan,and the Tenter Belly of the referend Joseph H:11.

Froin luch encouragement and helps, it is easy to guess to what a degree of perfection I might have brought this great work, had it not been nipt in the bud by some illiterate people in both houses of parliament, who envying the great figure I was to make in future

ages, tence of railing money for the war, have padlockedt all those very pens that were to celebrate the actions of their heroes, by filencing at once the whole university of Grubstreet. I am persuaded that nothing but the prospect of an approaching peace could have encouraged them to make so bold a step. But suffer me, in the name of the reft of the matriculates of that famous university, to ask them fome plain questions: Do they think that peace will bring along with it the golden age? Will there be never a dyo ing lpeech of a traitor ? Are Cethegus and Citiline tursed fo tame, that there will be no opportunity to cry about the streets, a dangerous plot ? Will peace bring such plenty, that no gentleman will have occasion to go upon the highway, or break into a house ; I am sorry, that the world should be so much impoled upon by the dreams of a false prophet, as to iinagine the Millennium is at band. Ő Grub-ftreet! tio: fruitful nursery of towering genius's! How do I lament iliy dor: ofál? Thy ruin could never be meditated by any who meant well in English liberty: vo modern Lycæum will ever equal thy glory : whether in

* A parody on Boyer's preface to his history of Queen Anne.

† Aa restraining the liberty of the press, etc. which was passed in 1712 ; and the peace of Utrecht, concluded in 1713.


[ocr errors]

oft pastorals thou didft sing the flames of pampered apprentices and coy cook•maids; or mournful ditties of de. parting lovers; or if to Maeonian strains thou raised'lt thy voice, to record the stratagems, the arduous exploits, and the nocturnal fealade of needy heroes, the terror of your peacetul citizens, describing the powerful Betty or the artful Picklock, or the secret caverns and grotto's of Vulcan sweating at his forge, and stamping the queen's image on viler metals, which he retails for bect, and pots of ale : or if thou wert content, in simple parrative, io relate the cruel acts of implacable revenge, or the complaints of ravilhed virgins, blushing to tell their adventures before the listening croud of city damsels; whilft in thy faithful history thou intermingleft the graveft counsels and the purest morals. Nor less acute and piercing wert thou in thy search and pompous defcription of the works of nature; whether in proper and emphatic terms thou diust paint the biazing coinet's fiery tail, the Atupendous force of dreadful thunder and earthquakes, and the unrelenting inundations. Sometimes, with Machiavelian fagacity, thou unravellest intrigues of state, and the traiterous conspiracies of rebels, giving wise counsel to monarchs. How didst thou move our terror and our pity with thy passionate scenes between Jack-Catch and the heroes of the Old-Bailey! How diuit thou describe their intrepid march up Holborn-hill! Nor didit i hou shine less in ihy theological capacity, when thou gaveft ghostly counselio dying felons, and didft record the guilty pangs of fabbathbreakers. How will the noble arts of John Overton's * painting and fulpture now linguish ! where rich invention, proper expression, correct design, divine attitudes, and artful contrast, heightened with the beauties of Glare Obscur. embellished thy celebrated pitces, to the delight and astonilhment of the judicious multitude! Adieu, persuasive eloquence! the quaint metaphor, the poignant irony, the proper epithet, and the lively fimile, are fled for ever! Instead of these, we shall have, I know not what! The illiterate will tell the rest with pleasure +!

I hope,

• The engraver of the cuts before the Grub-ftreet papers.
+ Vid. the preface to four fermons by William Fleetwood,


I hope, the reader will excuse this digression, due by way of condolence to iny worthy brethren of Grub-street, for the approaching barbarity that is likely to overspread all its regions, by this oppressive and exorbitant tax. It has been my good fortune to receive my education there; and so long as I preserved fome figure and rauk amongst the learned of that society, I scorned to take my degree either at Utrecht or Leyden, though I was offered it gratis by the professors in those universities,

Aud now, that posterity may not be ignorant in what age so excellent a history was written (which would otherwise, no doubt, be the subject of its enquiries), I think it proper to inform the learned of future times, that it was compiled when Lewis the XIVth was king of France, and Philip his grandson of Spain; when England and Holland, in conjunction with the emperor and ihe allies, entered into a war against thele two princes, which lasted ten years under the management of the Duke of Marlborough, and was pu: to a conclusion by the treaty of Utrecht, une der the miniltry of the Earl of Oxford, in the year 1713. bishop of St. Asaph, printed in 1712; where having displayed the beautiful aud pleasing propelt which was opened by the war, he complains that the spirit of discord had given us in i:s stead-I know not what Our cnemies will tell the rest with picafure. This preface was, by order of the House of Commons, burat iy the hangman in Palace-yard, Westminster. Hawkcf.

Many at that time did imagine the bistory of John Bull, and the personages mentioned in it, to be allegorical, which the au. thor would never own.' Notwithstanding, to indulge the reader's fancy and curiosity, I have printed at the bottom of the page the fippslid allusions of the most obscure parts of the story.



P A R T I.

CH A P. 1.

The occasion of the law-fuit.

[ocr errors]

NEED not tell you of the great quarrels, that have happened in our neighbourhood lince the death of

the late Lord Strutt* ; how the parson t, and a $ cunning attorney, got him to settle bis eitate upon his cou. fin || Philip Baboon, to the great disappointmeni of his cou. fin* Esquire South. Some stick not to say, that the parfin and the attorney forged a will, for which they were well paid by the faniily of the Baboons: let that be as it will, it is matter of fact, that the honour and estate have continued ever lince in the person of Philip Baboon,

You know, that the Lord Strutts have for many years been poffeffed of a very great landed estate, well.condiii. oned, wooded, watered, with coal, salt, tin,, copper, iron, etc. atl within them elves; that it has been the mil, fortune of that family to be the property of their stewards, tradesmen, and inferior servants, which has brought great incumbrances upon them ; at the fame time, their noi a. bating of their expensive way of living has forced them to

* Charles II. of Spain died without issue, and + Card. Portocarero, and the

Marshal of Harcourt, employed, as is supposed, by the house of Bourbon, prevailed upon him to make a will, by which he settled the succession of the Spanish monarchy upon

|| Philip of Bourbon Duke of Anjou, though his right bad, by the most folemn renunciations, been barred in favour of * The Archduke Charles of Austria ;

mortgage * the English, and

mortgage their best manors : it is credibly reported, that the butchers and bakers bill of a Lord Strutt, that lived two hundred years ago, are not yet paid.

When Philip Baboon came first to the possession of the Lord Strutt's eitate, bis tradesmen, as is ufual upon fuch occasions, waited upon him to with him joy and be peak his custom : the two chief were * John Bull the clothier, and + Nic. Frog the linen-draper : they told him, that the Bulls and the Frogs had served the Lord Strutts with drapery.ware for many years; that they were honest and fair' dealers; that their bilis had never been questioned ; that the Lord Strutts lived generously, and never uled to dirty their fingers with pen, ink, and counters ; that his lordship might depend upon their honesty; that they would use him as kindly, as they had done his predeceffors. The young Lord seemed to take all in good part, and dismissed then with a deal of seeming content,

affur. ing them he did not intend to change any of the houourable maxims of his predecessors.


How Bull and Frog grew jealous, that the Lord Strutt

intended to give all his cufion to his grandfather Lewis Baboon I


T happened unfortunately for the peace of our neigh

bourhood, that this young Lord had an old cunning, rogue, or (as the Scots call it) a false loon, of a grandfather, that one might justly call a Jack of all trades * sometimes


would fee him behind his counter telling broad-cloth, sometimes measuring linen; next day be would be dealing in mercery-ware; high-heads, ribbons, gloves, fans, and lace, lie understood to a nicety; Charles

t the Dutch, congratulated Philip upon a füccession, which they were not able to prevent : but to disappoint the ambition of

# Lewis the XIV. and hinder the French nation, whose * trade and character are shus described, and whose king had a

« AnteriorContinuar »