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under the pseudonym 'Will. Johnson,' had contributed to a sheet called The Country Gentleman a homely apologue in derision of Walpole. The minister here appears as coachman to the worthy Caleb D'Anvers at his little country place near the town (in The Craftsman, of which D'Anvers was the figurehead, he is usually designated as of Gray's inn); he proves untrustworthy, and ends by breaking his neck when his horses have been scared by an angry rustic populace1.

The Craftsman had a much longer, as well as a merrier, life than was reached by most of the political periodicals proper of the early Hanoverian period-The Englishman, The Examiner and the rest (it is unnecessary to go back upon earlier sheets of a more mixed kind); for, in one way or another, it lasted for nine or ten years, and, according to Goldsmith2, sold much more rapidly than of old had The Spectator itself. It was edited by Nicholas Amhurst, a light-hearted Oxonian, who, a few years earlier, had been invited to leave his university for his university's good, and was published by him in conjunction with an enterprising London printer, Richard Francklin. The signatures of the contributors were intentionally chosen and interchanged so as to mystify the ill- and defy the well-informed (including Walpole, who employed more than one doughty pen on the preparation of retorts). Among these contributors were, in addition to Amhurst (who started the paper under the name Caleb D'Anvers), Bolingbroke, Pulteney and Pulteney's cousin David; also, the chief of the opposition wits (in truth, there were not many wits on the other side), Arbuthnot and Swift, and, probably, Gay and Pope. Amhurst was, in 1741, succeeded in the editorship by Thomas Cooke (commonly called 'Hesiod Cooke' from his translation of Hesiod, 1728); and among the later writers in the journal were Lyttelton and Akenside. Eustace Budgell, formerly a follower of Addison and a writer in The Spectator, as well as a whig official, had, after (according to his own account) losing a fortune in the South Sea, turned against Walpole and became a contributor to The Craftsman.

Of Bolingbroke's contributions, with which we are here chiefly concerned, the bulk is held to belong to the years 1727-31. The

1 Printed in vol. 1 of the 1731 edition of The Craftsman. See, also, Sichel, W., u.8., pp. 246 ff., where will be found the most recent account of The Craftsman and its contributory forces.

2

* See Life in Works, vol. 1, pp. lix-lx. The circulation of The Craftsman is said, at one time, to have exceeded 10,000 copies a week (it was only for a time a bi-weekly publication); but it is not easy to verify such statements. So early as 1737, it was reprinted in an edition which reached 14 volumes.

first of these, as it seems, appeared in no. 16 of The Craftsman (27 January 1727), with the title The First Vision of Camelick1. Under the thin disguise of an eastern allegory, this piece is a virulent attack on the arbitrary rule of Walpole, who is denounced, with extreme malignity, as a vizier of 'blunt, ruffianly malignity... his face bronzed over with a glare of confidence.' He tramples on the backs of the parliament men on his way to the throne; nor is it till his collapse that the radiant volume of the constitution reappears, while heaven and earth resound with the cry of liberty, and 'the Heart of the King is glad within him.' Among other acknowledged papers by Bolingbroke in the earlier numbers of The Craftsman are two out of three bearing the signature 'John Trot' (afterwards qualified as 'yeoman'), of which the earlier2 controverts, not very frankly, the arguments of The London Journal, then supposed to be under the direction of Benjamin Hoadly (bishop of Salisbury, and, afterwards, of Winchester3), on the subject of the unwillingness of Walpole's government to declare war against Spain. A later paper, which forms one of a supplementary set printed by Francklin', as The Craftsman Extraordinary, discusses the alleged failure of the ministry to obtain anything from that power in the preliminaries of the congress of Cambray, and ends with an adjuration to the bishop to feed 'the Flock committed to his Charge,' in obedience to the Apostolical Constitutions, lib. II. c. 6, cited for his benefit in both Latin and English.

But the most elaborate of Bolingbroke's invective, though coupled, in this instance, with some historical comments not devoid of interest, is to be found in Remarks upon the History of England, which appeared between 5 September 17305 and 22 May 1731, with the signature 'Humphry Oldcastle.' The argument of these letters is carried on in the conversational framework familiar to both Clarendon and Burnet, the main part in the discussion being taken by 'an old gentleman,' whose views, of course, are Bolingbroke's and who, equally of course, is moved by 'the true old English spirit,' the direct reverse of 'the blind and furious spirit of party.' Assuming the existence of a great danger

1 Reprinted in Works, vol. 11.

2 In no. 129, 4 January 1729.

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The family of the Publicolas are very numerous.... I do not presume to say, for instance, that such a piece was written by Ben, or such a one by Robin.'

4 Various pamphlets published about this time by Francklin, in which Bolingbroke may have had a hand, cannot be noticed here.

5 No. 218.

• No. 255. Both are in vol. vII of the 14 volume edition.

to liberty, and insisting on the need of keeping up that 'spirit of liberty' by losing which the Romans lost their freedom itself, the demonstration in the fourth letter reaches English ground. But, though the printer of The Craftsman-one can hardly see why1— is said to have been arrested on account of the remarks on the later Plantagenets, it was only when dealing with the Lancastrian kings that the writer discovers his purpose by openly attacking those who advocate the dependence of parliament upon government. He has now found his footing. In Letter VIII, where he solemnly recalls the revival of the spirit of liberty as exemplified in the parliamentary call of Edward II to the throne, he also insinuates a comparison between queen Caroline and queen Elizabeth Woodville! His account of Henry VII (Letter IX) may not uncharitably be surmised to have been intended to reflect on George I; and Wolsey, who could not sustain his power save by force and corruption (Letter X), is, quite manifestly, put forward as the prototype of Walpole. Thus, Humphry Oldcastle's public is gradually brought nearer to its own times, and, after being treated to an outburst of wrath against the wicked minister, is instructed how, under Elizabeth, the check on absolutism was the will of the people itself; how her encouragement of commerce and her prudent policy in the earlier part of her reign, together with her abstinence, throughout its course, from the conclusion of unnecessary treaties or unsafe alliances, brought the nation safe through a great crisis of its history (Letters XII-XVI). In all this there is some point-and a great deal of sting.

Then, however, there set in the lamentable change. Government itself may be turned into faction. James I, who has been wrongly blamed for not entangling himself more than he did, 'and as is done now,' in European (German) affairs, yet, being 'afraid where no fear was,' allowed the British flag, which had waved proudly in the days of queen Elizabeth (queen Anne), to be insulted with impunity. In the reign of Charles I, who came as a party man to the throne, the faction of the court tainted the nation. The claim of James I (like the pretender's) to hereditary right was untenable; the corruption by means of which he tried to govern was unEnglish; and his patronage of popery did nobody good but the puritans (Letters XVII-XXII). Under James I, and, still more, under his son and the universally hated minister Buckingham,

1 Except that the reign of Richard II had long before proved itself a dangerous subject for modern treatment.

the policy of the crown was confronted by the spirit of liberty and broken by an unremitting struggle of almost twoscore years. If we look around us now, we see the whole posse of ministerial scribblers assembled in augmented numbers-perhaps with augmented pensions—and the insects, albeit they have been dispersed by every flap of The Craftsman's pen, gathered again, after their kind, and renewing their din. But the objects of their attack-the gentleman who conscientiously left his friends and party (Pulteney), and another gentleman, who has been accused of ingratitude and of treachery (Bolingbroke)-need not fear the charges heaped upon their heads; and, with a spirited apologia for the political conduct of this 'other gentleman,' this unique breviarium of English history comes to a close (Letters XXIII-XXIV).

In the autumn of 17321, Bolingbroke's Remarks upon the History of England were followed by three papers of similar purport, discussing the policy of the Athenians with a view to the lessons to be drawn thence by a student of English history and politics. In the previous year (1731), in A Final Answer to the Remarks on The Craftsman's Vindication2-a pamphlet which may be regarded as the climax of the weekly efforts of the scribes in Walpole's pay, though neither it nor Bolingbroke's retort put an end to the inky war of which they formed part-he renewed his self-defence, on the lines followed in the last of his letters in the Remarks. So far as his own conduct is concerned, everything really turns on his far from ingenuous assertion, advanced already in the Letter to Sir William Wyndham, that neither before nor after his service with the pretender was he a Jacobite. But, as an exercise in the art of invective, delivered as from a high pinnacle of virtue, this diatribe against the 'noble pair of brothers' (Robert and Horace Walpole), professing to come from one whose 'ambition, whatever may have been said or thought about it, hath been long since dead,' must be allowed to have few superiors.

Before adverting to what Goldsmith describes as Bolingbroke's 'parting blow' against the object of his concentrated political and personal hatred, it may be convenient to notice the important additions made by Bolingbroke to the political writing by him actually contributed to The Craftsman, in the form of certain papers put forth, from January 1727 onwards, under the title The Occasional Writer. Of these, which seem to be four in

1 See vol. vin of 14 vol. edn., nos. 324-6 (16-30 September). Reprinted in ▲ Collection of Political Tracts, printed anonymously in 1748.

2 Reprinted in Works, vol. vi.

number, the first, written in a style of mock humility, is inscribed 'to the PERSON, to whom alone it can belong,' and in whose service, inasmuch as great statesmen set no value upon high literary ability, its composition is professed to have been undertaken. In reality, it is an indictment of Walpole's conduct of foreign affairs, and, more especially, of his alleged subservience to France1. Against his wont, Walpole gratified his adversary by inspiring an angrily contemptuous reply, spurning 'the Occasional Writer's' 'proffered services'; and this ministerial answer, already noted in a brief postscript to his second paper, is, in the third, disputed 'with strict impartiality.' In a postscript to a fourth paper, which may or may not be by Bolingbroke, and which is addressed to 'his Imperial Majesty' (to whom the writer tenders counsel in a very superior way), the author of the first paper pretends to disclaim the authorship of the third.

The last and most important of the series belonging to this group of Bolingbroke's writings is the celebrated Dissertation upon Parties, which appeared in The Craftsman in the autumn of 17332. In April of this year, Walpole's virtual abandonment of the Excise bill had severely shaken his authority and encouraged the opposition to fresh efforts. A general election was at hand in 1734; but the prospect of accomplishing the overthrow of the minister was impeded by divisions among his adversaries. In particular, Pulteney and the malcontent whigs disliked the proposed repeal of the Septennial act-a measure on which Bolingbroke was intent and which, fully aware of his authorship of it, Walpole induced the expiring parliament to throw out, in March 17348. Thus, it was in order to bring the long struggle against Walpole to a successful issue, and, with this end, to conciliate the dissatisfied element in the opposition, that A Dissertation was

1 The second letter, though with a different turn of irony, carries on the same theme, inveighing against the fatuous pursuit of the ideal of a balance of power. A reference must suffice to Bolingbroke's remarkably luminous pamphlet The Case of Dunkirk consider'd (1730), which is commended, and from which ample quotations are made, in The Craftsman, no. 207 (20 June 1730). Cf., as to this, Collins, J. Churton, u.s., p. 179.

2 The series extends from no. 382 (with breaks) to no. 443, from 27 October 1733 onwards. See vols. xII and xIII of the 14 vol. edition, where many of the letters are signed 'O.' and the reprint in Works, vol. II.

This is the debate, with Walpole's attack upon Bolingbroke, and its supposed consequence, his retirement to France, imaginatively reproduced in 'the Opposition Scene in the last century' in Smythe, George A. F. P. Sydney (Lord Strangford), Historic Fancies (1844). Bolingbroke comments on the debate in a pathetic speech, in which he apostrophises Liberty as the heritage of the people of the future.

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