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imagine, if this had fallen into the fancy of the ancient poets, they would have dressed it up after their manner into an agreeable fiction; and given as a genealogy and description of merit, perhaps not very different from that which follows. A poetical genealogy and description of

MERIT. « THAT true Merit was the son of " Virtue and Honour; but that there was “ likewise a spurious child, who usurped " the name, and whose parents were Vanity and Impudence. That at a distance “ there was a great resemblance between “ them, and they were often mistaken for “ each other. That the bastard issue ḥad “ a loud sbrill voice, which was perpetually

employed in cravings and complaints; « while the other never spoke louder than “ a whisper, and was often so bashful, that “ he could not speak at all. That in all

great assemblies the false Merit would “ step before the true, and stand just in “ his way; was constantly at court, or

great mens levees, or whispering in some « minister's ear. That the more you


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« him,

« him, the more hungry and importunate “ he grew. That he often passed for the « true son of Virtue and Honour, and the

genuine for an impostor. That he was “ born distorted and a dwarf, but by force « of art appeared of a handsome shape, " and taller than the usual fize; and that

none but those, who were wise and good

as well as vigilant, could discover his “ littleness or deformity. That the true Merit had been often forced to the in

dignity of applying to the false for his “ credit with those in power, and to keep “ himself from starving. That false Merit « filled the anti-chambers with a crew of “ his dependents and creatures, such as

projectors, schematists, occasional converts to a party, prostitute flatterers, starveling « writers, buffoons, shallow politicians, empty

orators, and the like; who all owned “ him for their patron, and grew

discontented, if they were not immediately

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o fed.”

This metaphorical description of false Merit is, I doubt, calculated for most countries in christendom; as to our own,

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I believe it may be said with a suffi-
cient reserve of charity, that we are fully
able to reward every man among us ac-
cording to his real deservings: and I think,
I add without suspicion of flattery,
that never any prince had a ministry with
a better judgment to distinguish between
false and real merit, than that which is now
at the helm; or whose inclination, as well
as interest, was greater to encourage the lat-
ter. And it ought to be observed, that those
great and excellent persons we see at the
head of affairs, are of the queen's own,
personal, voluntary choice; not forced upon
her by any infolent, over-grown favourite,
or by the pretended necessity of complying
with an unruly faction.

Yet these are the persons, whom those scandals to the press in their daily pamphlets and papers openly revile at so ignominious a rate, as I believe was never tolerated before under any government. For surely no lawful power derived from a prince should be so far affronted, as to leave those who are in authority exposed to every scurrilous libeller : because in this point I make a mighty difference between those who are in, and those who are out of power; not upon any regard to their persons, but the stations they are placed in by the sovereign. And if my distinction be right, I think I might appeal to any man, whether if a stranger were to read the invectives which are daily published against the present ministry, and the outrageous fury of the authors against me for censuring the last; he would not conclude the whigs to be at this time in full possession of power and favour, and the tories entirely at mercy. But all this now ceases to be a wonder, since the queen herself is no longer spared; witness the libel published fome days ago under the title of A letter to fir Jacob Banks, where the reflections upon her facred majesty are much more plain and direct, than ever the Examiner thought fit to publish against the most obnoxious persons in a ministry discarded for endeavouring the ruin of their prince and country. Cæsar indeed threatened to hang the pirates for presuming to disturb him, while he was their prisoner aboard their ship. But it was Cæsar who did so, and he did it to a crew



of publick robbers; and it became the greatness of his spirit, for he lived to execute what he had threatened. Had they been in his power and sent such a message, it could be imputed to nothing but the extremes of impudence, folly, or madness.

I had a letter last week relating to Mr. Greenshields an episcopal clergyman of Scotland, and the writer secms to be a gentleman of that part of Britain. I remember formerly to have read a printed account of Mr. Greenfields's case, who has been prosecuted and silenced for no other reason besides reading divine service after the manner of the church of England to his own congregation, who desired it; though, as the gentleman who writes to me says, there is no law in Scotland against those meetings; and he adds, that the sentence pronounced against Mr. Greenshields will soon be affirmed, if some care be not taken to prevent it

. I am altogether uninformed in the particulars of this case, and besides, to treat it justly would not come within the compass of my paper ; therefore I could wish the gentleman would undertake it in a discourse by itself; and I should be glad



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