In themselves to this Profession” and earn

In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest wrote 300 aphorisms on living life called “The Art of Worldly Wisdom.” Join our newsletter below and read them all, one at a time.10 Ibid. 13In this verbose justification, Tooke converts an attack on lawyers themselves into a situation in which no one is really to blame; note the impersonal construction “it came to pass”. He also directly elevates lawyers in general, who have “dedicated themselves to this Profession” and earn a “fair and justifiable … Income.” As for Swift’s comment that lawyers have enslaved everyone else, Tooke softens it so that some lawyers have “in a Manner … made Slaves of … the Vulgar.”10 (“Vulgar” derives from the Latin vulgus, meaning the common people.)One of the most critical elements of the 18th century was the increasing availability of printed material, both for readers and authors. Books fell in price dramatically and used books were sold at Bartholomew Fair and other fairs. Additionally, a brisk trade in chapbooks and broadsheets carried London trends and information out to the farthest reaches of the kingdom. That was furthered with the establishment of periodicals, including The Gentleman’s Magazine and the London Magazine. People in York aware of the happenings of Parliament and the court, but people in London were also more aware than before of the happenings of York. Furthermore, before copyright, pirate editions were commonplace, especially in areas without frequent contact with London. Pirate editions thereby encouraged booksellers to increase their shipments to outlying centres like Dublin, which further increased awareness across the whole realm. That was compounded by the end of the Press Restriction Act in 1693, which allowed for provincial printing presses to be established, creating a printing structure that was no longer under government control (Clair 158–176).37Facsimile editions reproduce aesthetic aspects otherwise absent from most modern editions, such as original title-pages, typography, and layout. The effects of these aspects are sometimes difficult to determine, but they certainly point to the historical distance that separates us from earlier periods. Eighteenth-century books look “strange” to us, and this strangeness can be a source of insight into how contemporary readers responded to them. In the case of Gulliver, a facsimile edition would accomplish a variety of purposes, reminding us that the work was originally published as a travel narrative purportedly authored by Lemuel Gulliver, and with no mention of Swift. One scholar argues that Motte’s edition employs typographical devices conventional to the travel narratives of Swift’s day, and so reproducing these might evoke this context.16 Indeed, Motte’s editions contain frontispiece portraits of Gulliver, a practice continued by Faulkner. Faulkner, however, published his edition of Gulliver as volume three of Swift’s collected Works, which places the work in an entirely different context. Reproducing Faulkner’s edition would emphasize Gulliver’s important position in Swift’s oeuvre and the various ways Swift employed pseudonyms. Put simply, Motte’s text highlights the generic context, Faulkner’s the biographical.Particularly after Swift’s success, parodic satire had an attraction for authors throughout the 18th century. A variety of factors created a rise in political writing and political satire, and Robert Walpole’s success and domination of House of Commons was a very effective proximal cause for polarized literature and thereby the rise of parodic satire. The parodic satire takes apart the cases and plans of policy without necessarily contrasting a normative or positive set of values. Therefore, it was an ideal method of attack for ironists and conservatives—those who would not be able to enunciate a set of values to change toward but could condemn present changes as ill-considered. Satire was present in all genres during the Augustan period. Perhaps primarily, satire was a part of political and religious debate. Every significant politician and political act had satires to attack it. Few of these were parodic satires, but parodic satires, too, emerged in political and religious debate. So omnipresent and powerful was satire in the Augustan age that more than one literary history has referred to it as the “Age of satire” in literature.The essay, satire, and dialogue (in philosophy and religion) thrived in the age, and the English novel was truly begun as a serious art form. Literacy in the early 18th century passed into the working classes, as well as the middle and upper classes (Thompson, Class). Furthermore, literacy was not confined to men, though rates of female literacy are very difficult to establish. For those who were literate, circulating libraries in England began in the Augustan period. Libraries were open to all, but they were mainly associated with female patronage and novel reading.Joseph Addison also wrote a play, entitled Cato, in 1713, which concerned the Roman statesman Cato the Younger. The year of its première was important, with Queen Anne in serious illness at the time, and both the Tory ministry of the day and the Whig opposition (already being led by Robert Walpole) were concerned about the succession. Both groups were contacting the Old Pretender about bringing the Young Pretender over. Londoners sensed the anxiety, as Anne had no heirs, and all of the natural successors in the Stuart family were Roman Catholic or unavailable. Therefore, the figure of Cato was a transparent symbol of Roman integrity, and the Whigs saw in him a champion of Whig values, and the Tories saw in him an embodiment of Tory sentiments or, like the Tory Examiner, tried to claim that Cato was above political “faction”. Both sides cheered the play, but Addison was himself clearly a Whig (Bloom and Bloom 266, 269). John Home’s play Douglas would have a similar fate to Cato in the next generation, after the Licensing Act.

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