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writers, such as Sir Thomas More, Ascham, Hooker, Spenser, archbishop Sandys, Jewel, Chillingworth, Hales, of Eton, and others, formed a new one, consisting in original phrases and new combinations of the integral parts of sentences, which, with the infusion of words derived from the Latin and accommodated to our idiom, were such an improvement of the language as greatly tended to enrich it : Cave therefore thought him a fit person to conduct this part of his monthly publication, and, dismissing Guthrie, committed the care of it to Johnson.
Before this change of hands, Cave had been checked by some intimations from the clerks of the house of commons, that his printing the debates had given offence to the speaker, and might subject him to cenfure : this he, for some time, regarded but little, relying possibly upon the indulgence that had been shewn as well to the publishers of the Political State of Great Britain, who were the first that ventured on this practice, as to himself ; but a resolution of the house at length gave him to understand, that it would be prudence in him to desist from it. The thought of putting his readers on short allowance was very unpleasing to him, and this, with the apprehension that the sale of his Magazine might be affected by the omission of a kind of intelligence which they had been accustomed to, drove him to many contrivances to evade the prohibition, out of which he chose one that scarce any man but himself would have thought of: it was the giving to the public the debates in the British fenate under a fictitious designation. Every one, he knew,.was acquainted with Gulliver's Travels; he therefore, in his magazine VOL. I. H
for June 1738, begins the month by feigning, that the debates in the senate of Magna Lilliputia were then extant; and referring to the resolution of the house of commons; above-mentioned, whereby he was forbidden to insert any account of the proceedings of the British parliament, he pretends to doubt not but his readers will be pleased with the infertion of what he calls the appendix to captain Gulliver's account of Lilliput, in their room. A change of fictitious for real names of persons, countries, and provinces, was absolutely necessary for the carrying on this design, and accordingly, by transposing the letters and otherwise anagrammatizing proper names, he has, through the medium of nonsense, given light to that which he would be thought to conceal.
Farther to aid his reader as to the names of countries, &c. he published, at the end of his magazine for 1738, a fictitious proposal for printing, by subscription, a work, intitled, Anagrammata Rediviva, or the art of composing and refolving anagrams, with a reference to the booksellers, agents, and masters of ships, in the cities, countries, and provinces therein described by barbarous names opposed to those which they are meant to signify: he also, at the end of the magazines for 1739, 1740, 1741, 1742, and 1743, gave a list of christian and surnames pretendedly synonimous, forming thereby a key to that otherwise unintelligible jargon which Cave, by this subterfuge, had introduced into the debates.
The proprietors of the London Magazine, who also gave the debates, but from documents less authentic than those of Cave, compelled by the same necessity
that forced him to this artifice, took another course : they feigned to give the debates in the Roman senare, and by adapting Roman names to the several speeches, rendered them more plausible than they appear under Cave's management.
The artifice however succeeded in both instances : the resolution of the commons was never enforced, and the debates were published with impunity. I will not disgrace my page by the insertion of any of those barbarous appellations which Cave had invented, and which, I dare say, were music to his ear; but content myself with saying, that Guthrie acquiesced in Cave's fictiðn and the nonsense which it involved, and as it was found to answer its end, Johnson scrupled not to adopt it.
The debates penned by Johnson were not only more methodical and better connected than those of Guthrie, but in all the ornaments of stile superior : they were written at those seasons when he was able to raise his imagination to such a pitch of fervour as bordered upon enthusiasm, which, that he might the better do, his practice was to shut himself up in a room assigned him at St. John's gate, to which he would not suffer any one to approach, except the compositor or Cave's boy for matter, which, as fast as he composed it, he tumbled out at the door.
Never were the force of reasoning or the powers of popular eloquence more evidently displayed, or the arts of sophistry more clearly detected than in these animated compositions. Nor are they more worthy of admiration for these their excellencies than for that peculiarity of language which discriminates
the debates of each assembly from the other, and the various colouring which he has found the art of giving to particular speeches. The characteristic of the one assembly we know is Dignity; the privilege of the other Freedom of Expression. To speak of the first, when a member thereof endowed with wisdom, gravity, and experience, is made to rise, the stile which Johnson gives him is nervous, his matter weighty, and his arguments convincing; and when a mere popular orator takes up a debate, his eloquence is by him represented in a glare of false rhetoric, specious reasoning, an affectation of wit, and a disposition to trifle with subjects the most interesting. With great judgment also does Johnson adopt the unrestrained oratory of the other house, and with equal facility imitate the deep-mouthed rancour of Pulteney, and the yelping pertinacity of Pitt.
As an illustration of the former part of this position, I shall here give two speeches, the one of the lordchancellor Hardwicke on the motion of lord Carteret for an address to his Majesty, beseeching him to remove Sir Robert Walpole from his presence and councils for ever; and the other of lord Chesterfield on a bill, intitled ' An act for repealing certain • duties on spirituous liquors, and on licences for
retailing the same, and for laying other duties on
spirituous liquors and on licenses for retailing the ' said liquors. That of lord Hardwicke is as follows:
* My Lords, · Though I very readily admit that crimes ought "to be punished, that a treacherous administration
of public affairs is in a very high degree criminal, that even ignorance, where it is the consequence of neglect, deserves the severest animadversion, and that it is the privilege and duty of this house to watch over the state of the nation, and inform his Majesty of any errors committed by his ministers ;
yet I am far from being convinced either of the * justice or necessity of the motion now under consi
deration. * The most fagrant and invidious part of the charge against the right honourable gentleman appears to consist in this, that he has engrossed an exorbitant degree of power, and usurped an unlimited influence over the whole system of government, that he difposes of all honours and preferments, and that he is not only first but fole minister.
But of this boundless usurpation, my lords, what proof has been laid before you? what beyond loud
exaggerations, pompous rhetoric, and specious ' appeals to common fame? common fame which at
least may sometimes err, and which though it may ' afford fufficient ground for suspicion and enquiry, was never yet admitted as conclusive evidence, where the immediate necessities of the public did not preclude the common forms of examination, ' where the power of the offender did not make it
dangerous to attack him by a legal prosecution, or where the conduct of the accuser did not plainly