6 October, 1710

Dear Brother,

I have heard from many Sources recently that the Queen has dismissed from their Positions nearly every Member of the Parliament and Ministry. From what I can assess, it wou’d appear that this Action has much to do with the War, in which I am told the Queen wishes to cease England’s involvement. I am yet uncertain of how to think on this Development, as from what I understand this War is to guarantee the Safety and future Peace of our great Nation and her Allies. The Gentleman who pens The Examiner (a Paper I have as of Late grown quite fond of) informs me that an Election will be held shortly in which a new Parliament will be decid’d to replace the One so recently depos’d. If you have Chance to come across this Issue, I would greatly recommend a Reading of it, as the Author has a good many Suggestions for Consideration before casting one’s Vote. For Instance, he informs me that Members of the Whig Party wish to sink the Publick Credit, in order to destroy Her Majesty’s Affairs. Can you imagine? Men of Parliament seeking to go against the desire of the Queen? These should be hung for Treason, lest be elect’d to a Position to make Decisions regarding our Government. He tells me also that these same Men reject the very Idea of the Queen’s hereditary Right to the Throne, that they work to overturn our Constitution. It baffles me so to consider that these Men are even allowed to be in the Running. Please do take into Consideration these Advices, that you may not be misled by those Politicians who, tho’ they feign sincerity, would undermine all that makes this Land so great. I am somewhat concern’d you take less int’rest in this Matter than you shou’d, and solemnly wish for you to inform yourself on’t.

24 December, 1710

Dear Brother,

First, allow me to take this Opportunity to bestow upon you the happiest of Wishes for this Christmas Season. Having said that, I wou’d like to express how sad it makes me to hear of your Thoughts on the newly elect’d Parliament of our fair Nation, as well as your Laments on the current State of the War. The Paper I mention’d you in my last Letter rais’d some excellent Topicks this Week for your Consideration, if you are not oppos’d to hearing them repeat’d from me. Too oft do we involve ourselves in Matters concerning the Royal Army: Questions about why such a Victory was not pursued, Complaints that a Town cost more Men and Mony than it was worth to take it, &c. I hear such Conversations in Coffeehouses all over the City, but have never stop’d to consider the Perspective The Examiner gives, which is that it is not at all our Place to discuss such issues, as Men not involv’d with the War. We know nothing of Military Affairs aside from what we read in the Papers or hear in the Streets, compar’d with those Gentlemen who participate in the Fighting. We must try to refrain from speaking as though we know better than such Men, and understand that there are Factors beyond our Knowledge that contribute to the Outcomes of these Battles.
Secondly, I am concern’d about the Extremes to which your Views are held toward our new Ministry. I have heard many a Man recently drink to the damnation of the new Party, and to those who had any Involvement with turning out the Old. As the Author describ’d above points out, such Toasts are done against those whom Her Majesty has solely trusted as being fit to employ in her Affairs. Such Toasts, it can be argued, are but Tirades against the Queen herself, whose divine Right must be recognized and whose Will must be trusted. I trust that you do not take Drink with Men who do drink to such Thoughts, tho’ I cannot but worry that One may soon mistake you for a Traitor if you do associate with such Persons.

9 January, 1711

Dear Brother,

I have heard recently much Criticism over the Queen’s Desire to cease the War in which we are currently involv’d, particularly from those Men who don the Uniform of Military Service. It wou’d seem to me that, were any One to know what is in the best interest of our Nation militarily, it wou’d be Members of the Army, who have express’d to me extreme Discontent with the Replacement of the Parliament that so recently transpir’d. I am yet unsure of the Path to prolong’d Peace and Security, be it the Continuation of this War or a Cessation of our Involvement therein, as there has been much Quarreling over this Topic in the Coffeehouses, to little Avail as each Side refuses to concede to the Points of th’ Other. I frequent these Establishments that I might stay inform’d of our Nation’s Politicks and take Sides as I see fit to do so, but this is one Topick that has me in a Quandary. As for the Opinions of those in the Coffeehouse, I am uncertain as to who wou’d appear correct. However, as for the Military Men I above mention’d, I must confess to a Point I have read in this week’s issue of The Examiner. The Author pens that it wou’d only make Sense that those in the Army wou’d support the late Party in Parliament and the Prolonging of the War, but that their Opinions need not affect those of us in the Civilian Population. He states that these Men, tho’ they be the Best of Men in Terms of Battle, are largely devoid of other useful Skills on which they can rely here in London. So long as the War persists, these Men have a Means of earning Money by fighting. Without the War, these Men wou’d almost all find themselves without both Work and Income. It is without Surprise, then, that such men wou’d favor the Party of the Whigs, that wishes to keep the Fighting active. We shou’d not, therefore, let ourselves be sway’d be the Opinions of such Men that act out of their own Self-Interest. If ever any One attempts to use the Views of the Army to convince your political Stance, please remember this one Point of Refutation.

10 January, 1711

My Dear Brother,

I know that I have but just written you and that you will not have yet received the previous Day’s Letter, but I simply must tell you of my Events last Ev’ning. I was delight’d to accompany a certain Mistress to the Drury Lane to see a Shew perform’d there, of which I had never heard before, titled The Amorous Widow: or, the Wanton Wife. Having little Expectations of Greatness for what appear’d to but a frivolous Comick Act, I was quite impress’d with the Performance. The Wit was that of Genius and the comedick Lines seem’d vital to the Story, unlike those Shews in which it is apparent that first was the Plot conceiv’d and then Humour added in thereafter for the Sake of mild Entertainment. Have you seen that One, I believe ‘tis named, The Way of the World? This Amorous Widow did so remind me of’t, with the Characters so involv’d in complex Schemes and Deception for Love’s Sake; they e’en had one Gentleman who disguis’d himself as another for the Entirety of the Performance, without ever being found out by the Widow Character he was intend’d to fool! When the final Act concluded, she still believ’d his Love genuine and his Promise of Marriage actual. What a wonderful Deception indeed, and all so the Gentleman’s friend could wed the Widow’s Niece with her Blessing. I was, of course, mildly adverse to the Notion that the Servants shou’d outwit their Masters, but the supream coquettish Nature of the Widow made this Point more acceptable; there was much Delight had in watching her be deceiv’d by all other Characters in the Play. Oh, you shou’d have heard the uproarious Laughter in the Theatre as one of the Characters hailed London as a wicked Place, I believe even stating ‘twould be impossible to live without Scandal here, tho’ my Memory of the exact Line is somewhat displac’d from the Fit I experienc’d at hearing these Words. No matter the exact Phrasing of the Line, I recall having thought that ne’er had more true Words been spoke of this City. I have not seen as of yet if they intend to conduct a second shewing of this Performance, but you must find your Way to the Theatre if ever have Opportunity to witness it.

11 February, 1711

O Dearest Brother,

Do pardon my Absence from Writing this past Month; I have found myself dreadfully busy as of late, mostly with the Matter of mine Employment. However, it has been my Realization today after having read this Week’s Paper that I have been too engross’d by matters of Money. The Gentleman behind The Examiner cites Avarice as London’s most extream Vice, greater than that of Tippling and Gambling. This Fact struck me as odd when I consider’d my own Observations, but I have been made aware of such Goings-on that I begin to see what the Author says to be true. Be you not deceiv’d by the Representation of this City through those Plays that frequent your Theatres that so attempt to shew a realistic View of London, as they so greatly undervalue the Effect of this Pox on our Society. I have learn’d recently of a Brewer who, having offer’d a Bribe, has been given the Privilege of selling Drink to the Navy, and of a Merchant who cheated The Queen out of a hefty Sum of Mony. When even the Queen cannot be sure of the Security of her Mony, an Issue is most certainly at hand. I tell all of this to you for this Reason: that I have come to realize that I too have taken part in these Practices of Greed, and regret that I have let them interfere with my Correspondence with mine own Kin. I would like to take this Moment to extend my Apologies for this Interference. I do hope we can resurrect our Practice of Communication and that you find the Time to visit in London shortly. As much as you may hear of the Vices and Corruption in the City, I feel greatly that you will find a visit to be the utmost positive Experience.