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11 Among the advantages to arise from the future years of William's reign, he mentions Societies for useful Arts, and among them Some that with care true eloquence
shall teach, And to just idioms fix our doubtful
fpeech; · That from our writers distant realms may
know The thanks we to our monarch owe, And schools profess our tongue through
every land, That has invok'd his aid, or bless'd his
Tickell, in his Propeat of Peace, has the same hope of a new academy :
In happy chains our daring language
bound, Shall sport no more in arbitrary sound.
Whether the fimilitude of those passages which exhibit the same thought on the fame occasion proceeded from accident or imitation, is not easy to determine. Tickell might have been impressed with his expectation by Swift's Proposal for ascertaining the English Language, then lately published.
In the parliament that met in 1701, he was chosen representative of East · Grinstead. Perhaps it was about this
time that he changed his party; for he voted for the impeachment of those lords who had persuaded the king to the Par
tition-treaty, à treaty in which he had himself been ministerially employed.
A great part of queen Anne's reign was a time of war, in which there was little employment for negotiators, and Prior had therefore leisure to make or to polish verses. When the battle of Blenheim called forth all the verse-men, Prior, among the rest, took care to shew his delight in the increasing honour of his country by an Epistlé to Boileau.
He published soon afterwards a volume of poems, with the encomiastick character of his deceased patron the duke of Dorset : 'it began with the College I and ended with the Nutbrown Maid.
The battle of Ramillies foon afterwards (in 1706) excited him to another effort of poetry. On this occafion he had fewer or less formidable rivals; and it would be not easy to name any other composition produced by that event which is now remembered.
Every thing has its day. Through the reigns of William and Anne no profperous event passed undignified by poetry. In the last war, when France was disgraced and overpowered in every quarter of the globe, when Spain coming to her assistance only shared her calamities, and the name of an Englishman was reverenced through Europe, no poet was heard amidit the general acclamation;
the fame of our counsellors and heroes was intrusted to the Gazetteer..
The nation in time grew weary of the war, and the queen grew weary of her ministers. The war was burdensome, and the ministers were infolent. Harley and his friends began to hope that they might, by driving the Whigs. from court and from power, gratify at once the queen and the people. There was now a call for writers, who might convey intelligence of past abuses, and thew the waste of publick money, the unreasonable Conduet of the Allies, the avarice of generals, the tyranny of minions, and the general danger of approaching ruin.