SATIRE ON ROBERT WALPOLE

With an exact Genealogy of the most illustrious Family, and some Account of his serene Highness the Duke of Lorraine, and now residing in England. Done from the French …

London: Printed in the year 1731.

8vo., pp. 30, [2], including engraved frontispiece and final advertisement leaf for books published by Edmund Curll, as doubtless was this pamphlet; slightly browned but a very good copy; disbound (recent paper wrappers).

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First edition of this satire on Sir Robert Walpole, the ostensible occasion for which is the arrival into England of the twenty-five year old Duke of Lorraine, Leopold Clement, afterward Emperor of Germany. The author proposes that ‘a People so politically speculative as the English are, should cause some Enquiry and Earnestness to know the History of his Descent’. There follows an obsequious genealogy in prose, and a selection of Remarks and Maxims by Charles V. Late Duke of Lorraine which offer nuggets of martial and peace-time advice for the ideal ruler. Leopold Clement is not viewed favourably in the light of his ancestor, and is cast as a threat to the Protestant Succession.

The dispirited conclusion argues that the ‘Attempts of W___ P___, Esq. … together with the unanimous reception which the Duke of Lorraine meets wherever he goes, sinks the Spirits of our Anti-Courtiers to the last Degree of Despondency’. Walpole is known to have entertained the Duke at Houghton, and the untouchable monopoly of his influence is lamented in the closing ‘Ode to Ambition’:

But if the dire Mischance I hear,
Of Walpole’s hated name,
Again Ambition swells my Breast,
Envy and Rancour break my Rest,
And Reason I disclaim.

Craftsmen, and Libels, I devise;
And jumble Rhapsodies of Lies,
His Merit to defame.
All Day his Ruin I pursue;
By Night, sometimes, I’ve wrought it too,
But then alas! I Dream.

ESTC records copies at only the British Library (2), Harvard, Yale and the University of Minnesota, to which COPAC adds Manchester and the NLS.

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