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Our party-writers are so sensible of the secret virtue of an innuendo 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 1pace, 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 Brwn*, 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 pleafed, 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,
* Tom Brown.
" and ruin their native country, I think every
honest Englishman 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 men<tion *** nor ***. These people may cry
ch-rch, chếrch, as long as they please; • but, to make use of a homely proverb, "" The " proof of the pmdd ng is in the eating.' • This I am sure of, that if a certain Prince < should concur with a certain prelate, (and we
have Monsieur Z- n's word for it) our • posterity would be in a sweet p ckle. Must • the British nation suffer, forsooth, because my • Lady Q-q-t-s has been disobliged? Or is it
reasonable that our English fleet, which used ! to be the terror of the ocean, should lie wind• bound for the sake of a ? I love to
speak out and declare my mind clearly, when "I am talking for the good of my country. I I will not make my court to an ill man, • though he were a B- y or a T- t. • Nay, I would not stick to call so wretched a
politician a traitor, an enemy to his country, and a Bl-nd-rb-fs, &c. &c.' · The remaining part of this poetical treatise, which is written after the manner of the celebrated authors in Great-Britain, I may communicate to the public at a more convenient leafon. In the mean while I shall leave this with my curious reader, as some ingenious writers do their enigmas; and, if any fagacious person can fairly unriddle it, I will print his explana
tion, and, if he pleases, acquaint the world with his name.
I hope this short effay will convince my readers it is not for want of abilities that I avoid state tracts, and that, if I would apply my mind to it, I might in a little time be as great a master of the political scratch as any the most eminent writer of the age. I shall only add, that, in order to outshine all this modern race of Syncopists, and thoroughly content my. English reader, I intend shortly to publish a SPECTATOR that shall not have a single vowel in it.
Friday, July 16, 1714.
- Dum recitas, incipit esse tuus.
S MART. Epig. i. Reciting makes it thine. 7 WAS yesterday in a coffee-house not far
from the Royal-Exchange, where I observed three persons in close conference over a pipe of tobacco; upon which, having filled one for my own use, I lighted it at the little wax candle that stood before them; and, after having thrown in two or three whiffs amongst them, lat down and made one of the company, I need not tell my reader that lighting a man's pipe at the same candle is looked upon among brother smokers as an overture to conversation and friendTip. As we here laid our heads together in a very amicable manner, being entrenched under a cloud of our own raising, I took up the last SPECTATOR, and casting my eye over it, “ The " SPECTATOR,” says I, 6c is very witty to“ day;" upon which a lusty lethargic old gentleman, who fat at the upper end of the table, having gradually blown out of his mouth a great deal of smoke, which he had been collecting for some time before, “Ay,” says he, “ more witty than wise, I am afraid.” His neighbour, who sat at his right hand, immediately coloured, and, being an angry politician, laid down his pipe with so much wrath that he broke it in the middle, and by that means furnished me with a tobacco-stopper, I took it up very sedately, and, looking him full in the face, made use of it from time to time all the while he was speaking : “ This fellow,” says he, “ cannot for his life keep out of politics. Do “ you see how he abuses four great men here?" I fixed my eyė very attentively on the Paper, and asked him if he meant those who were represented by asterisks. « Asterisks,” says he, os do you call them? they are all of them “ stars—he might as well have put garters to " them. Then pray do but mind the two or " three next lines. Ch-ch and p-dd-ng in the “ fame sentence! Our clergy are very much “ beholden to him !". Upon this the third
* By Addison. See final Note to No.7; and No. 221. In this eighth Vol. there were no signatures, and ADDISON'S Papers in it are given on the authority of Mr. Thomas Tickell.
gentleman, who was of a mild difpofition, and, as I found, a whig in his heart, desired him not to be too severe upon the SPECTATOR neither; “ for," says he, “ you find he is very “ cautious of giving offence, and has therefore o put'two dashes into his pudding." " A fig “s for his dash,” says the angry politician; “ in 6 his next sentence he gives a plain innuendo " that our posterity will be in a sweet p-ckle. " What does the fool mean by his pickle ? “ Why does he not write it at length, if he 66 means honestly? I have read over the whole 6 sentence,” says I; 66 but I look upon the 66 parenthesis in the belly of it to be the most
dangerous part, and as full of insinuations as " it can hold. But who,” says I, “ is my Lady r6 0-p-t-s?”. 66 Ay, answer that if you can. “ Sir,” says the furious statesman to the poor whig that fat over against him. But without giving him time to reply, “I do assure you," says he, “ where I my Lady Q-p-t-s, I would “ fue him for fcandalum magnatum. What is cs the world come to? Muit every body be 66 allowed to-?” He had by this time filled a new pipe, and applying it to his lips, when we expected the last word of his sentence, put us off with a whiff of tobacco; which he redoubled with so much rage and trepidation that he almost stified the whole company. After a Thort pause, I owned that I thought the SpecTATOR had gone too far in writing so many letters of my Lady Q-p-t-s's name; but, “ however," says i, “ he has made a little