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633. On Oratory--Advantages from Christianity
N° 567. WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 1714.
--Inceptus clamor frustratur hiantes.
VIRG. Æn. vi. 493.
DRYDEN. I HAVE received private advice from some of my correspondents, that if I would give my paper a general run, I should take care to season it with scandal. I have indeed observed of late, that few writings sell which are not filled with great names and illustrious titles. The reader generally casts his eye upon a new book, and if he finds several letters separated from one another by a dash, he buys. it
peruses it with great satisfaction. An M and an h, a T and an p*, with a short line between them, has sold many an insipid pamphlet. Nay, I have known a whole edition go off by virtue of two or three well-written 8c-s.
A sprinkling of the words 'faction, Frenchman, papist, plunderer,' and the like significant terms, in an Italic character, have also a very good effect upon the eye of the purchaser; not to mention •scribbler, liar, rogue, rascal, knave, and villain,' with*** M and h mean Marlboroughi, and T auil an t mean Trea
out which it is impossible to carry on a modern controversy.
Our party writers are so sensible of the secret virtue of an inuendo to recommend their productions, that of late they never mention the Q- nor P-t at length, though they speak of them with honour, and with that deference which is due to them from every private person. It gives a secret satisfaction to a peruser of these mysterious works, that he is able to decipher them without help, and, by the strength of his own natural parts, to fill up a blank space, or make out a word that has only the first or last letter to it.
Some of our authors indeed, when they would be more satirical than ordinary, omit only the vowels of a great man's name, and fall most unmercifully upon all the consonants. This way of writing was first of all introduced by T-m Br—wn*, of facetious memory, who, after having gutted a proper name of all its intermediate vowels, used to plant it in his works, and make as free with it as he pleased, without any danger of the statute.
That I may imitate these celebrated authors, and publish a paper which shall be more taking than ordinary, I have here drawn up a very curious libel, in which a reader of penetration will find a great deal of concealed satire, and, if he be acquainted with the present posture of affairs, will easily discover the meaning of it.
• If there are four persons in the nation who endeavour to bring all things into confusion, and ruin their native country, I think every honest Engl-shm-n ought to be upon his guard. That there are such, every one will agree with me who hears me name with his first friend and favourite *** not to mention
These people may cry ch-rch, ch-rch,
* Tom Brown.