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Many very ingenious and fabulous accounts are given of the origin of this quarrel; and, if we were not pincbed for time and room, we should, in imitation of our comical brother bistorians, set our poor brains to work, and produce a number of marvellous tales which Every body will allow to be very pretiy, though nobody will allow that they are very true.
The grand foundation, then, of this contest, origi- nated in the partiality of many celebrated authors and orators of the day to particular and favourite letters, in erpunging some, and thrusting others in violently by the head and shoulders, without the least' apparent ; symptom of necessity or provocution. The injured : letters thinking themselves a very respectable corps, rose, vi et armis, against this formidable attack on their i credit and validity.
The war I am about to describe will bave an evident advantage over many other recorded contests. For instance, the war of Troy, the battles of the frogs and mice, and the combats of the cranes and the pigmies may, (he it spoken with all due reverence,) be termed poetical wars; now, my war is literal, in every sense of the word.
In this contest, the ever-renowned great A was the most formidable leader of one party, and the truly magnanimous great H was the most distinguished hero in the ranks of the enemy. Both these warriors had suffered many hardships, having been most: barharously hacked and mangled by the different orators of the day: besides this, they were spurred on by daily and violent encroachments on the rights of each other. , Their several partisans were equally violent and vindice
tive; each side contemptuously rejecting or adding its favourite or neglected letter. For instance, if the animal or building of their several names were to be mentioned, the enemy of H would talk of his orse, or his ouse, and so forth. In some particular circumstances, (as is pretty much the case among the leaders of all parties and factions,) there was a set of men who did not seruple to drop a small portion of their H-onesty. The admirers of H, equally vigilant on the other side, would always repair any loss or damage he sustained this way, by placing him before his antagonist, without rhyme or reason; they were resolved to have their H-oxen, their H-altars, and their H-orna. ments. . V and W stood exactly in the same predicament. They were subalterns in the two opposite factions, and like two noisy little flies, were so fond of their finery, and so jealous of each other, that the whole army was pestered with their janglings. V, partial to himself, (as those in the army who have the least pretensions are most apt to be,) was always asking W V-y be V-as- so foolish as to compare with him, V-en he knew it V-as all in vain? W had his reply ready, and would often answer that it was W-ery W-exatious, but that W-irtue would W-anquish: that V was a W-ile W.arlet, and as sour as W-inegar. ; U, another inveterate enemy to great A, took every opportunity of stepping into his place, and perpetually talking of his veng-u-nce, and his defi-U-nice. U, during the whole war, continued to make stolen marches on the united troops of A and I, becquse he said he was cert-u-n they were two vill-u-ns.
E and R, a couple of turbulent letters, like pert swaggerers as they were, whenever they could thrust their noses in any place, never had the good manners to wait for an invitation, and propriety was very much shocked at the improp-BR-iely of their conduct.
The modern orators, anxious as they were, with the aid of all the authors, to put an end to these perplexing disputes,) instead of appeasing, added fresh fuel to the fames of discord; each letter insisting that he could produce an equal number of authorities in his favour, to those his antagonist boasted himself able to bring forward.
The ludies divided their favours so impartially AMONG THEM all, one day adopting one side, and changing their minds the next, that most learned philosophers were inadequate to name the parties they either countenanced or rejected.
The more fashionable, the more were both sexes in confusion; but the critics increased that confusion into à “confusion worse confounded.”
Now, I should not describe my battle like a great scholar, if I did not lug in a number of Gods and GODDesses. It is the fashion to introduce these gentlefolks into the epic style of writing, and it is of much use to our modern authors, for two good reasons: first, it hath been done so often, that it costs little labour, and no invention. Secondly, and with us a very material point, it fills up.
Well, then, the gods and goddesses began wrangling and fighting like so many devils; Envy, Malice, and Spleen were divided between both parties: Wisdom was for neither.
Jove, weary of this jar about nothing, called a council of all the wits and critics in heaven. 1
He flatly told the Wits they were a pack of fools; -: they murmured, but Truth, touching them with her
wand, confirmed the decree. He pronounced the same sentence against the critics, who immediately began to revenge themselves by finding fault with his works, maintaining he knew nothing of what was the effect
of his own invention; that light was darkness, and - darkness light.
Jove, enraged, told them they were as pert as jack-
Truth cried, Anien!
From Flanders Fawkes went to Italy, and from thence came to England, where he passed for the servant of Piercy, under the fictitious name of Guy Johnson. '
He was principally employed in placing the gunpowder, faggots, &c. in proper order for explosion, and at the same time for concealment for too curious observation; as the doors of the cellar were left open for public inspection, to avoid suspicion. · Fawkes was apprehended at the entrance of the cellar-door, about midnight, by Sir Thomas Knevett, (a gentleman of his majesty's privy-chamber, and a justice of peace. in Westminster) who immediately carried him before the privy council; before whom he is affirmed, that had he been within the doors at the time of his apprehension, he would have blown himself up, with all those that were about him at the time.
He was afterwards examined at Whitehall; where no man, of whatever rank, was denied access or speech with him; and, notwithstanding the continued teasing, and impertinent questions that were put to him, it was observed, he neither changed countenance nor lost his temper the whole day; treating the better sort with contemptuous scorn, and jestingly mocking the rest. " · He was from the council conveyed to the Tower; a where, although he was showed and threatened with the rack, he still seemed fixed in his first purpose of denying any accomplice whatever; and it is asserted, he was prevailed on to make what confession he did from the following circumstance being told him, upon such authority as he could not doubt. .. “There was a Mr. Pickering, of Tichmarsh-Grove, in Northamptonshire, who was in great esteem with