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THE state of conversation and business in this town having been long perplexed with pretenders in both kinds; in order to open men's eyes against such abuses, it appeared no unprofitable undertaking to publish a Paper, which should observe
" Arthur Maynwaring, Esq. an eminent political writer, was born at Ightfield, in Shropshire, in 1668. At the age of seventeen, he was sent to Christ Church, Oxford, and placed under the care of Dr. Smalridge, afterwards bishop of Bristol. After several years residence at Oxford he went into Cheshire, where he lived some time with his uncle, Mr. Francis Cholmondley, a very honest gentleman, but extremely averse to the government of King William III. to whom he refused to take the oaths. Here Mr. Maynwaring prosecuted his studies in polite literature with great vigour; and upon his coming up to London applied to the study of the law. He was hitherto very zealous in the anti-revolutional principles in which he had been educated, and wrote several pieces in favour of King James the Second's party; but upon being introduced to the duke of Somerset and the earls of Dorset and Burlington, he began to entertain very different notions in politics. His father left him an estate of near £ 800 a year, but so incumbered, that the interestmoney amounted to almost as much as the revenue. Upon the conclusion of the peace he went to Paris, where he became acquainted with Boileau. After his return he was
upon the manners of the pleasurable, as well as the busy part of mankind. To make this generally read, it seemed the most proper method to form it by way of a Letter of Intelligence, consisting of such parts as might gratify the curiosity of persons of all conditions, and of each sex. work of this nature requiring time to grow into the notice of the world, it happened very luckily, that, a little before I had resolved upon this de
made one of the commissioners of the customs, in which post he distinguished himself by his skill and fidelity. He was also admitted a member of the Kit-Kat-Club, and was looked upon as one of the chief ornaments and supports of it by his pleasantry and wit. In the beginning of Queen Anne's reign the lord treasurer Godolphin gave him the patent office of auditor of the imprests, worth about 20001. a year in a time of business. In the parliament which met in 1705 he was chosen a member for Preston, in Lancashire, and died at St. Alban's, Nov. 13, 1712, leaving Mrs. Oldfield (the actress) his executrix, by whom he had a son named Arthur Maynwaring. The property, amounting to little more than 30001. he equally divided between his sister, Mrs. Oldfield, and her son.—He published a great number of compositions in verse and prose which gained him much credit. The writers of the Biographia Britannica say of him, that ' his works set the character of his genius above the reach of the criticism of others, and he was himself allowed universally to be the best critic of his times.' In Egertou's Memoirs of Mrs. Oldfield, Mr. Maynwaring (whose
chere amie she was) is thus mentioned : ‘His learning was without pedantry; his wit without affectation; his judgment without malice ; his friendship without interest; his zeal without violence; in a word, he was the best subject, the best friend, the best relation, the best master, the best cris tic, and the best political writer in Great Britain.'
sign, a gentleman' had written predictions, and two or three other pieces in my name, which rendered it famous through all parts of Europe ; and, by an inimitable spirit and humour, raised it to as high a pitch of reputation as it could possibly arrive at.
By this good fortune the name of Isaac Bickerstaff gained an audience of all who had any taste of wit; and the addition of the ordinary occurrences of common journals of news brought in a multitude of other readers. I could not, I confess, long keep up the opinion of the town, that these Lucubrations were written by the same hand with the first works which were published under my name; but before I lost the participation of that author's fame, I had already found the advantage of his authority, to which I owe the sudden accept. ance which my labours met with in the world.
The general purpose of this paper is to expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of cunning, vanity, and affectation, and to recommend a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and our behaviour. No mau hath a better judgment for the discovery, or a nobler spirit for the contempt of all imposture, than yourself; which qualities, render you the most proper patron for the author of these Essays. In the general, the design, however executed, has met with so great success, that there is hardly a name now eminent among us for power, wit, beauty, valour, or wisdom, which is not subscribed for the encouragement of these volumes. This is, indeed, an honour, for which it is impossible to express a suitable gratitude; and there is nothing could be an addition to the pleasure I take in it but the reflection, that it gives me the most conspicuous occasion I can ever have of subscribing myself,
2 Dean Swift. See Preface to the fourth volume of the Tatler; and also Swift's Works, vol. v. p. 10, et seqq.; Xviii. p. 210, 11, Svo edit, 1801,