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 up, and peruses it with great Satisfaction. An M and an h, a T and an r , with a short Line between them, has sold many an Insipid Pamphlet. Nay I have known a whole Edition go off by vertue of two or three well written &c--'s.
A sprinkling of the Words Faction, Frenchman, Papist, Plunderer, and the like significant Terms, in an Italick Character, have also a very good Effect upon the Eye of the [Purchaser; ] not to mention Scribler, Lier, Rogue, Rascal, Knave, and Villain, without which it is impossible to carry on a Modern Controversie.
Our Party-writers are so sensible of the secret Vertue of an Innuendo to recommend their Productions, that of late they never mention the Q--n or P--l 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 Satyrical 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 Satyr, 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
nor *. These People may cry Ch-rch, Ch-rch, as long as they please, but, to make use of a homely Proverb, The Proof of the P-dd-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-p-t-s has been disobliged? Or is it reasonable that our English Fleet, which used to be the Terror of the Ocean, should lie Windbound 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 will not make my Court to an ill Man, tho' 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-ss, &c., &c.
The remaining Part of this Political Treatise, which is written after the manner of the most celebrated Authors in Great Britain, I may communicate to the Publick at a more convenient Season. In the mean while I shall leave this with my curious Reader, as some ingenious Writers do their Enigmas, and if any sagacious Person can fairly unriddle it, I will print his Explanation, and, if he pleases, acquaint the World with his Name.
I hope this short Essay 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 Readers, I intend shortly to publish a SPECTATOR, that shall not have a single Vowel in it.
[Footnote 1: For 'Marlborough' and 'Treasurer.']
[Footnote 2: [Reader.]]Translation of motto: