Bolingbroke and Poetry

Bolingbroke and Poetry Abstract This essay examines for the first time the poetry of Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke. Although Bolingbroke is now best known as a political theorist, historical writer, and opposition propagandist, he started his career as a poet. He published widely during the latter part of the reign of William III and his poems circulated in manuscript. Bolingbroke’s poems, this essay contends, illuminate the ideological consistency of his early career. An introductory section documents Bolingbroke’s involvement with John Dryden during the 1690s, and a second section then charts his collaborations with other members of Dryden’s circle and unpacks the cultural politics of their poetry. The essay then explores the intertextuality of Bolingbroke’s poems and the implications on the poet’s intellectual milieu. The final sections of the essay investigate Bolingbroke’s literary patronage during his tenure as a minister of state, before documenting the influence of Bolingbroke’s early oppositional rhetoric through his later campaign against Sir Robert Walpole. Historians of political thought now accept Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, as both an important political actor and a major political theorist.1 Bolingbroke’s writings on national history and on parties are classic texts. Recent scholarship has meticulously recovered the intellectual and political contexts of Bolingbroke’s thought. And yet both historians and literary scholars have followed the lead of Herbert Butterfield by concentrating almost exclusively on the period following Bolingbroke’s return from exile in France and his leadership of the opposition to Sir Robert Walpole.2 Certainly, this was the period in which Bolingbroke produced his most enduring works, including A Dissertation upon Parties (1733–1734), On the Spirit of Patriotism (1736) and The Idea of a Patriot King (1738). It was also his most intense period of intellectual cross-fertilization with Alexander Pope.3 By contrast, we know ‘surprisingly little’ about Bolingbroke’s early life and the development of his nascent ideas about politics.4 But that is not because Bolingbroke failed to put pen to paper in his youth. It is because when he wrote, he wrote poetry. About Bolingbroke’s poetry historians have said little or nothing.5 Adrian Lashmore-Davies describes Bolingbroke as ‘a minor published poet’ in his youth, but ignores the substance of those texts.6 In our most thorough biography of the statesman, H. T. Dickinson dismisses Bolingbroke’s poems as ‘poor efforts, far better forgotten’.7 Quentin Skinner and Isaac Kramnick mention them not at all.8 David Armitage chose not to print the poems in his important but selective edition of Bolingbroke’s Political Writings (1997).9 Literary scholars have been no more attentive. Even Christine Gerrard, whose seminal account of Bolingbroke’s literary opposition to Walpole pays closest attention to matters of poetic language, form, and genre, fails to acknowledge their existence.10 And yet to ignore Bolingbroke’s poetic output is fundamentally to distort our understanding of his early career and intellectual foundations. Bolingbroke’s first publication appeared before his twentieth birthday: a prefatory verse to John Dryden’s important translation of The Works of Virgil (1697). He followed up with numerous dramatic prologues, some amatory verses, and an unidentified contribution or contributions to the miscellany Poems on Affairs of State in 1703. Before he was elected as an MP for Wootton Bassett in February 1701, Bolingbroke, if he was known at all, was known as a poet. My primary aim in what follows is to illustrate how Bolingbroke’s poetic writings might contribute to our understanding of his political ideas. I make no apologies for quoting long passages of verse and for discussing them in relation to both literary and political contexts. Bolingbroke was a forcefully allusive writer whose chief interest was imitation not originality. Consequently, we must first recover the intertextual dimensions of Bolingbroke’s poems before we can truly understand the development of his early political ideas and influences. We will also need to consider Bolingbroke’s intellectual milieu and attitudes towards literary patronage. The final part of the essay will trace the influence of ideas expressed in the poems through Bolingbroke’s later campaign against Walpole, where, I want to suggest, he adapted the critical rhetoric of his poems to condemn new opponents in the very different medium of prose polemic. A secondary but no less important aim of the present essay is to marshal the resources of literary scholarship to demonstrate the importance of poetic texts to the history of political thought.11 I Only seven of Bolingbroke’s poems are known to survive, of which none was printed separately nor acknowledged on a title page. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the facts about Bolingbroke’s poetic career are not widely known and so must be sketched out in some detail here. Bolingbroke’s earliest literary activities show him working in the orbit of John Dryden, to whom he was probably introduced by their longstanding mutual friend Sir William Trumbull.12 According to Joseph Warton, who traced his information back to Alexander Pope, the young Bolingbroke was sufficiently friendly with Dryden in November 1697 to visit the poet unannounced in the morning.13 That Bolingbroke sought Dryden’s patronage and not that of Nahum Tate, the current poet laureate, is significant. Dryden was a controversial figure during the 1690s, having been ejected from the laureateship in 1689 after his refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the new sovereigns.14 Stripped of his government income, Dryden began writing professionally for the stage. But his larger project in this period was a translation of Virgil’s complete works. His intention from the outset was to dedicate the edition to James II upon his anticipated restoration to the British throne, as he explained in a letter to the Earl of Chesterfield: ‘I have hinder’d it thus long in hopes of his return, for whom, and for my Conscience I have sufferd, that I might have layd my Authour at his feet’.15 By the start of 1697, though, Dryden could not delay publication any longer. Among the young poets whom he selected to introduce the edition with dedicatory verses was Henry St John. Dryden’s publisher Jacob Tonson was not privy to his schemes.16 A firm supporter of the new Whig establishment, Tonson had originally hoped that The Works of Virgil would be dedicated to William III. As Dryden himself acknowledged in a letter to his sons, Tonson had ‘prepard the Book’ for a dedication to the king, ‘for in every figure of Eneas, he has causd him to be drawn like K. William, with a hookd Nose’.17 Rather than dedicate the entire work to William, Dryden instead dedicated each section to one of the king’s most prominent critics: the Eclogues to the son of the Catholic nonjuror Hugh Clifford, Baron Chudleigh; the Georgics to Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield; and the Æneis to John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave and Normanby and later Duke of Buckingham.18 Dryden contacted his dedicatees at a crucial juncture, in the immediate aftermath of both Sir John Fenwick’s collapsed plot for a Jacobite invasion and a parallel failed scheme to assassinate the king in 1696.19 Both Clifford and Mulgrave had publicly refused to take the new loyalty oath required after the discovery of the plot, and consequently became figureheads among English supporters of the Jacobites. By dedicating the edition to Mulgrave and other nonjurors, Dryden and his collaborators expressed solidarity at a moment of real crisis within the Jacobite camp. Some contributors of commendatory poems had similar connections to the failed assassination plot. Henry Grahme had returned to England only recently, after serving the exiled Stuart court at Saint-Germain-en-Laye with his uncle Fergus Grahme. His father, James Grahme, was temporarily arrested in 1696 for his suspected involvement in the plot. Bolingbroke’s marriage to Frances Winchcombe in 1700 directly linked him to the Grahme family, as Frances was related to James Grahme’s first wife Dorothy. In their earliest extant correspondence, Bolingbroke referred to James Grahme as ‘my good Kinsman & Friend’ and to Henry simply as ‘Harry’.20 Another contributor to Virgil was George Granville, later Lord Lansdowne.21 Granville retreated to the country after the revolution—only to be teased out of retirement by his cousin Elizabeth Higgons—although most of his family accompanied James into France.22 As a boy Granville had written some accomplished panegyrics on the Duke of York and Mary of Modena, before celebrating his accession as James II in verses that received praise from Edmund Waller. Granville’s uncle Denis Granville became chaplain to the exiled Stuart court after 1688, where he was soon joined by his nephews (and George Granville’s cousins) Bevil, George, and Thomas Higgons. Bevil Higgons had previously made his literary debut while a student at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, with celebratory verses ‘To the Queen on the Birth of the Prince’ in 1688.23 He was later on first name terms with James Francis Edward, returning to England to help raise Jacobite regiments in 1692 and again on John Caryll’s orders in 1696.24 The circumstances surrounding Higgons’s second mission to England are hazy. He and his brothers were involved in the Fenwick plot. Yet Higgons was soon approached by Sir George Barclay and his splinter group, and seems to have become privy to their plans to assassinate the king. In our only full-length account of the plot, Jane Garrett asserts that the Higgons boys ‘refused to have anything to do with it’.25 Evidence suggests otherwise. A huge reward of £2000 was issued for their capture soon after the plot was discovered.26 Luckily the brothers escaped on bail after the government failed to gather sufficient intelligence. This was the circle in which Bolingbroke now moved. Bolingbroke’s contribution to Dryden’s Virgil is consistent with the poems by Granville and Grahme. It is sufficiently interesting and little enough known to merit transcription in full: No undisputed Monarch Govern’d yet With Universal Sway the Realms of Wit: Nature cou’d never such Expence afford, Each several Province own’d a several Lord. A Poet then had his Poetick Wife, One Muse embrac’d, and Married for his Life. By the stale thing his appetite was cloy’d, His Fancy lessned, and his Fire destroy’d. But Nature grown extravagantly kind, With all her Treasures did adorn your Mind. The different Powers were then united found, And you Wit’s Universal Monarch Crown’d. Your Mighty Sway your great Desert secures, And ev’ry Muse and ev’ry Grace is yours. To none confin’d, by turns you all enjoy, Sated with this, you to another flye. So Sultan-like in your Seraglio stand, While wishing Muses wait for your Command. Thus no decay, no want of vigour find, Sublime your Fancy, boundless is your Mind. Not all the blasts of time can do you wrong, Young spight of Age, in spight of Weakness strong. Time like Alcides, strikes you to the ground, You like Antaeus from each fall rebound.27 This poem has drawn no commentary from Dryden’s editors or commentators. Its principal aim is to call attention to Dryden’s mastery of multiple genres: of heroic drama, epic, panegyric, and satire. Nonetheless, the poem is also saturated with political rhetoric. Bolingbroke describes Dryden as a despot of terrifying power: he is a ‘Universal Monarch’ whose ‘Universal Sway’ extends over all his fellows wits; unlike the monogamous poets of previous ages, the ‘Sultan-like’ Dryden has a full harem of Muses. ‘Sublime your Fancy, boundless is your Mind’ draws on The Conquest of Granada (1670), where the hero Almanzor is introduced with the same formula: ‘Vast is his Courage; boundless is his mind’.28 This is all firmly tongue-in-cheek: Almanzor is hardly a sympathetic character, whose speeches are steeped in the rhetoric of Hobbes. But, equally, the parallels between Bolingbroke’s portrayal of Dryden and depictions in contemporary propaganda of Louis XIV as the ‘universal monarch of English Protestant nightmares’ are striking.29 And the young Bolingbroke must have been aware of the significances attached to phrases such as ‘undisputed Monarch’ during an era of intense dynastic instability. Extracting any definitive political meanings from this poem would be futile. Yet the text certainly illustrates Bolingbroke’s awareness of the ideological complexities of his milieu. II Soon after the publication of Dryden’s Virgil in July 1697, Granville enlisted Bolingbroke’s services for the prologue to his tragedy Heroick Love, which opened at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in January 1698.30 In this collaboration he was joined by Dryden, who contributed an important commendatory poem, ‘To Mr Granville, on His Excellent Tragedy, Call’d Heroick Love’, and by Bevil Higgons, who wrote the epilogue and whose earlier ‘To Mr. Dryden on his Translation of Persius’ (1693) may have influenced Bolingbroke’s poem ‘To Mr. Dryden’ in the Virgil.31 Although Granville’s play lacks the tacit political engagement of Dryden’s translation, the political disaffection of these surrounding poems must be acknowledged and placed in context. Bolingbroke’s prologue opens: How hard’s the Poet’s task, in these our days, Who such dull Pallates is condemn’d to please, As Damn all Sense, and only Fustian praise: Charm’d with Heroick Non-sense, lofty strains, Not with the Writers, but the Players pains, And by the Actors Lungs, judge of the Poet’s Brains.32 Higgons’s epilogue rounds off the play in a similar vein, bemoaning the dramatic trends of this ‘Barbarous Age’, against which Granville is said to rebel.33 Although ‘Murder and Blood have long possess’d the Stage’, writes Higgons, ‘There’s not one Man destroy’d in all our Play’.34 Dryden too laments the state of theatre in the 1690s. Acknowledging Granville as a worthy successor, Dryden writes: Thine be the Lawrel then; thy blooming Age Can best, if any can, support the Stage: Which so declines, that shortly we may see, Players and Plays reduc’d to second Infancy. Sharp to the World, but thoughtless of Renown, They Plot not on the Stage, but on the Town, And in Despair their Empty Pit to fill, Set up some Foreign Monster in a Bill: Thus they jog on; still tricking, never thriving; And Murd’ring Plays, which they miscal Reviving.35 Sources for Dryden’s antipathy here include the influx of French and Italian singers, commercialism, and botched revivals of his own plays. By inviting Bolingbroke, Higgons, and Dryden to contribute to his play, Granville ensured that Heroick Love would be framed as hostile to the prevailing literary establishment. Such accusations of cultural decline were an established topos of the dramatic prologue by the 1690s. Yet Bolingbroke’s critique of contemporary literature also entailed implicit political judgements. By rejecting ‘Heroick Non-sense’, he was alluding not only to plays but also to recent epic poems such as Sir Richard Blackmore’s Prince Arthur (1695), which was substantially revised and expanded into King Arthur in 1697. Blackmore’s credentials as a keen supporter of and propagandist for William III have been amply documented by several generations of literary scholars.36 His poems glorified William and his victories against Louis XIV in terms that rejected classical epic models in favour of an explicitly protestant and vernacular framework. In this Blackmore was not alone. The project of Whig epic gathered huge momentum during the 1690s, in the poems of Joseph Addison and Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax. But Whig epic—and Blackmore in particular—also attracted criticism. While much of that criticism centred on matters of literary propriety, it was, as David Womersley has shown, politically motivated.37 Attacks on Blackmore’s ‘rumbling’ lines and ‘hideous Verse’ in Sir Samuel Garth’s The Dispensary (1699) make this clear—and Bolingbroke would soon praise Garth for his satire of Blackmore in A Pindarick Ode in Honour of Almahide and the Muses (1701).38 Tom Brown’s ironically titled collection of Commendatory Verses on the Author of the Two Arthurs (1700) was likewise a largely Tory production.39 After the publication of Blackmore’s A Paraphrase on the Book of Job in 1700, Dryden himself remarked: One would have thought he could no lower jog, But Arthur was a level, Job’s a bog: There, though he crept, yet still he kept in sight, But here he flounders in, and sinks down right.40 This was the context within which Bolingbroke assaulted the ‘dull Pallates’ and ‘Heroick Non-sense’ of contemporary Whig authors. By his twentieth birthday Bolingbroke had aligned himself firmly with the literary opposition to William III and his poets. His earliest published verses show him siding with Dryden’s wits and rejecting Whig literary culture. Bolingbroke left for the continent soon after the premier of Heroick Love, travelling first to Paris and then onwards to Geneva and Italy. Correspondence during this period shows him mixing with young men from across the political spectrum, including the future Whig minister James Stanhope, and studying Roman law. Yet Bolingbroke’s main priorities upon his return to London in 1700 were literary and political. In the general elections of February 1701, Bolingbroke succeeded his father as the MP for Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire. Before the end of the year he had also written another prologue, for a revival at Lincoln’s Inn Fields of Altemira by the late Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery. Altemira had originally been staged privately in Dublin in 1662 before it was revived in London as The Generall in 1664.41 The play dramatized the events of 1659, with a Cromwellian ‘Tirant and usurper’ displaced by agents of the rightful king Melizer, ‘Whose virtues are soe great, his right soe good, / Hee should bee King by choice as well as bloud’.42 Orrery’s grandson, Charles Boyle, prepared the text for revival in 1701, working alongside the up-and-coming lawyer-poet Francis Manning, and presumably in consultation with Bolingbroke. Boyle substantially revised Orrery’s original, adding lines that emphasized the topical dynastic resonances of this royalist drama. By the start of the eighteenth century, Orrery’s mode of heroic drama was closely associated with high Toryism and Jacobitism.43 His incorporation of themes of usurpation and restoration into the play made the political significances of this mode doubly conspicuous. Audiences accustomed to seeing political events depicted à clef on stage must have found it easy to draw contemporary parallels when encountering characters who resolve ‘to try all lawful Ways, that might / Restore our injur’d Monarch to his Right’.44Altemira was only one of several plays that addressed these themes in late 1701, in the immediate aftermath of James II’s death in exile and Louis XIV’s proclamation of young James Francis Edward Stuart as ‘James III’. Nicholas Rowe’s new play Tamerlane debuted in December at Little Lincoln’s Inn opposite Higgons’s The Generous Conquerour at Drury Lane. Rowe’s tragedy was unashamed Whig allegory, with William represented by Tamerlane while the Turkish emperor Bajazet reflects Louis XIV—although, as recent commentators point out, Rowe’s political views were not always straightforward.45 Tamerlane is no usurper, but rather a warrior king who earns his position. The Generous Conquerour, by contrast, was interpreted from the outset as a Jacobite production. Like Dryden with his Æneis, Higgons dedicated the play to Mulgrave, whose ‘Frequent Appearance’ in the audience recommended him to Higgons as a patron, and introduced the text with poems by Granville and Henry Grahme.46 Like Altemira, the story offered a barely coded commentary on the politics of succession in this moment. The play begins with Almerick, king of Lombardy by conquest, and Rodomond, the rightful Lombard prince and son of the deposed king Gondibert. The plot centres on a love triangle between these two contenders for power. Although Higgons maintained ‘the Innocence of this Play’ from political allegory, the author of A Comparison Between the Two Stages (1702) was not ‘perswaded the Author cou’d pursue such a Story without having in his eye the Affairs of his own Country’. In a neat example of applicative reading, this anonymous critic argued that Higgons ‘cou’d not write any thing of this kind without being sensible of that application which wou’d be made of it; and it does not appear done by Chance but Choice.’47 Contemporary audiences would surely have drawn similar conclusions from Altemira. Bolingbroke’s prologue highlighted the topical significances of Orrery’s plot. Describing the author as ‘the softest Charmer of a Charming Age’—softness and smoothness being key virtues of courtly verse—he also presented the reign of Charles II as      a time when all those Passions felt, And soothing Bards could stubborn Heroes melt. An Amorous Monarch fill’d a peaceful Throne, And laughing Cupids Perch’d upon his Crown.48 Despite this departure from the historical realities of Stuart rule, Bolingbroke’s romanticized vision of the Carolean court had numerous analogues. In his preface to the second part of Edmund Waller’s Poems (1690), for instance, the Oxford churchman Francis Atterbury questioned whether ‘in Charles the Second’s Reign, English did not come to its full perfection; and whether it has not had its Augustan Age, as well as the Latin’.49 And in his An Essay on Unnatural Flights in Poetry (1701) Granville located the zenith of English literary culture in the ‘steady Judgment’ and ‘lofty Sounds’ of wits such as Mulgrave and Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, who guided authors—among them Dryden—away from the vogue for bombastic drama after ‘Our King return’d, and banisht Peace restor’d’.50 Reflecting on the literary culture of the Restoration in An Essay on Criticism (1711), Alexander Pope closely echoed Bolingbroke’s sentiments: When Love was all an easie Monarch’s Care; Seldom at Council, never in a War: Jilts rul’d the State, and Statesman Farces writ; Nay Wits had Pensions, and young Lords had Wit.51 Such artistic patronage was nowhere to be found, writes Pope, in the ‘Foreign Reign’ of William III. In his prologue, Bolingbroke anticipates Pope’s contrast between the flourishing arts of the Stuart court and the philistinism of Williamite England: But in this Iron Age your Souls to move, In vain we try by Honour or by love. The certain way to please your Vitious Tast, Are Streams of Blood and Volleys of Bombast. Dancers and Tumblers now the Stage Prophane, Musick and Furie alone our Plays sustain, And Art and Nature leave the trifling Scene.52 Tonally this prologue is very similar to the poems surrounding Heroick Love. It also tallies with the verses that introduced Higgons’s The Generous Conqueror, especially ones by Granville and Grahme, the latter of whom bemoaned this ‘hardned Age’ and denounced members of the ‘conscious Faction’ who boycotted Higgons’s play.53 Higgons pursued a similar theme in his prologue to Granville’s contemporaneous play The Jew of Venice (1701), an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (c.1596), which, as Richard Braverman argues, ‘expressed support for a Jacobite succession’ in the ‘critical juncture’ between the death of the Duke of Gloucester in the summer of 1700 and the passage of the Act of Settlement in the following spring.54 Here Higgons once again lacerated his ‘Ungenerous Age’ by summoning the ghosts of Dryden and Shakespeare. The recently deceased former laureate complains to the bard about his audience: Their sickly Judgments, what is just, refuse, And French Grimace, Buffoons, and Mimicks choose; Our Scenes desert, some wretched Farce to see; They know not Nature, for they tast not Thee.55 Bolingbroke’s prologues adhere to the same aesthetic and polemical rules as those by Granville, Higgons, Grahme, and the other wits who rallied around Dryden after the failure of the assassination plot in 1696. Those authors repeatedly contrasted the flourishing arts of the Stuart court against the debased theatrical culture of the 1690s. This vision of English literary history implied that cultural distinction was conditional on the return of a Stuart monarch to the English throne.56 III Bolingbroke’s early contribution to Dryden’s Virgil contains a passing reference to The Conquest of Granada, as we have already seen. Yet Bolingbroke’s most sustained allusion to Dryden’s play comes in his A Pindarick Ode in Honour of Almahide and the Muses (1701), where he appropriated the name of Dryden’s heroine as his muse. Bolingbroke may well have been prompted by one of Granville’s most recent poems, The Progress of Beauty (c.1700), where The Conquest of Granada features as the zenith of Carolean cultural achievement, and in which Granville mentions Charles II’s love for the princess Almahide as played by Nell Gwynn in the original production: Thus flourish’d Love, and Beauty reign’d in state, ’Till the proud Spaniard gave these glories date; Past is the Gallantry, the Fame remains, Transmitted safe in Dryden’s lofty Scenes; Granada lost, beheld her pomps restor’d, And Almahide again by Kings ador’d. The tenor of Granville’s allusion tallies with nostalgic portrayals of Charles as an ‘Amorous Monarch’ in Bolingbroke’s prologue to Altemira and in An Essay on Criticism. Granville himself also features in Almahide. Most of his circulating poems were amorous lyrics on Myra, an imaginary figure whom he originally based on Mary of Modena and latterly perhaps on the Countess of Newburgh. Thus, writes Bolingbroke, Granville ‘begins’ and ‘ends’ all his poems ‘in Myra’s praise’, and ‘Nothing but Myra dwells upon his tongue, / Charm of his heart, and subject of his Song’.57 Granville re-enters the ode in the closing lines: Thus when the Moon on Larian-Latmus lay, And rapt in Pleasure laugh’d her Hours away, Her Beauty and her Light to all Mankind, Without Distinction shin’d, But to Endymion was her love confin’d.58 To this Bolingbroke adds the following marginal comment: ‘The last thought and the last line are taken from a Paper of Verses of Mr Granville’s. For I think my self oblig’d to own the Debt, tho I am unable to pay it’.59 Specifically, Bolingbroke was drawing on a couplet from Granville’s poem on ‘Lady Hyde Sitting at Sir Godfrey Kneller’s for Her Picture’ (c.1693): ‘Like the chaste moon she shines to all mankind, / But to Endymion is her love confin’d’.60 Granville’s verses on Lady Hyde would remain in manuscript until their publication in Poems upon Several Occasions (1712), so Bolingbroke’s adaptation of these lines from ‘a Paper of Verses’ indicates healthy manuscript circulation between the two writers. While the form and tenor of Almahide owes much to Granville’s amatory poems, Bolingbroke also draws on recent topical verse. Garth is praised for his defence of both ‘Physick and Poetry’ in The Dispensary, which, we have already noted, included attacks on the Whig poet-physician Blackmore and his allies. Bolingbroke’s description of ‘lazy vapours’ also owes something to Garth’s ‘lazy Fogs, and drissing Vapours’ and possibly even to Dryden’s ‘Ceyx and Alcyone’ from Fables, Ancient and Modern (1700).61 Besides Granville and Garth, Bolingbroke also drew on the Irish cleric Edmund Arwaker’s pastoral verses on the marriage in 1685 of James Butler, Earl of Ossory and future Duke of Ormond, to Lady Mary Somerset: Bolingbroke’s ‘The wish of all the Nymphs, and envy of the Swains. / How often have I heard his charming voice’ distinctly echoes Arwaker’s ‘Joy of the Nymphs and envy of the Swains; / Whose charming voyce each melting passion moves’.62 If it seems unlikely that Bolingbroke would have read such a minor poem by an Irish cleric, it is worth remembering that Ormond was Dryden’s most steadfast patron during his final years.63 That Dryden might have possessed—and later passed onto his protégé—a copy of Arwaker’s verses on the marriage of their shared patron is firmly within the realms of possibility. Whether or not this latter echo was intended to be recognized as an allusion (or was, more likely, unconscious appropriation) it does shed light on Bolingbroke’s reading in this period. By drawing attention to his borrowings from Granville and his allies elsewhere, Bolingbroke was defining his literary milieu. The manner of Bolingbroke’s allusiveness might best be explained by his education in the studia humanitatis, which required the memorization and precise imitation of classical texts.64 Bolingbroke applied his classical learning to contemporary literature too. ‘He has so great a memory as well as judgement’, explained Alexander Pope, ‘that if he is alone and without books he can sit down by himself (as another man would in his study) and refer to the books, or such a particular subject within them, in his own mind’.65 Voltaire remarked that Bolingbroke had ‘found time for learning everything and retaining everything’.66 In 1719 Bolingbroke boasted in a letter to Swift that he had ‘twenty fine quotations att the end of my pen’.67 Textual recall was crucial for authors interested in imitation and allusion. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu conceded that the ‘great part of Lord B.’s Letters are designed to show his reading, which, indeed, appears to have been very extensive’.68 Bernard Cottret interprets this as a ‘charge of plagiarism’ and a denial of Bolingbroke’s ‘originality’.69 Yet this is to miss the point. That Bolingbroke ever strived for originality is extremely unlikely. Consider his Reflections upon Exile (1716) which was such an accurate imitation of Seneca’s style that, again according to Pope, ‘was [Seneca] living now among us one should conclude that he had written every word of it’.70 When Joseph Spence questioned how ‘so fine and easy a writer as Lord Bolingbroke’ could write the ‘stiff’ inscription on the monumental column at Blenheim Palace, Pope explained ‘What may seem too stiff to you in it is from that Lord’s imitating the best old inscription style on that occasion’.71 Accurate imitation and allusion were priorities for Bolingbroke. Originality was not. Bolingbroke’s next published poem appeared in the miscellany Poems on Affairs of State in 1703.72 His name appears with some letters removed as ‘Mr St. J—n’ in the list of contributors on the title page. Whichever of the poems in the collection belongs to Bolingbroke is a mystery. Giles Barber, Bolingbroke’s bibliographer, writes that ‘no particular poem’ in the volume ‘can be definitely attributed to him’.73 We can, however, narrow down the possibilities. Of the near-fifty unattributed verses in Poems on Affairs of State, more than half cannot have been written by Bolingbroke for reasons of chronology: either the poems date from before Bolingbroke’s earliest poems of 1696 or else address English political topics from the period of his European tour. Further poems must be discounted for myriad reasons: they attack Bolingbroke’s friends and patrons such as Dryden or are simply incompatible with his political views and literary style. What remains includes a cluster of anonymous satires on state affairs written around 1696 and 1697. Out of those poems, several exhibit patterns of allusion consistent with Bolingbroke’s known writings. It would be foolish to speculate that Bolingbroke was the author of any specific poem without further evidence—preferably in the form of a holograph manuscript. However, we can say with confidence that any of Bolingbroke’s poems included in this volume was likely intended for manuscript circulation only and published without his knowledge or permission.74Almahide was printed from ‘An incorrect Copy’ and without Bolingbroke’s consent.75 Doubtless more of Bolingbroke’s early poems circulated in a manuscript format and are now lost. IV Bolingbroke stopped writing and publishing poetry when his administrative responsibilities increased following his appointment as Secretary at War in 1704. But the records show that he continued to support the literary and visual arts through patronage. Just as he had been encouraged, like Pope, by ‘great Dryden’s friends before’, so now he groomed a new generation of poets.76 Bolingbroke’s first discovery was John Philips, a nonjuring scholar based at Christ Church, Oxford, whose mock-Miltonic fragment The Splendid Shilling (1701) had brought him attention some years earlier. In the autumn of 1704—and in consultation with Robert Harley—Bolingbroke commissioned Philips to write a panegyric commemorating the allied victory at Blenheim, the aim of which was to praise the war effort in a manner that avoided sycophantic eulogy of Marlborough. Bolingbroke hosted Philips at his ‘delicious Rural Seat’ at Bucklebury in Berkshire, ‘where warbling Birds provoke / The Silent Muse’, and oversaw the composition of the poem that became Blenheim.77 Ideological differences between Philips’s Blenheim and Joseph Addison’s famous Whig panegyric The Campaign (1704) have been explored at length by several literary critics and require no further explication here.78 Bolingbroke recognized Philips’s potential as a key propagandist for the Tories and supported his work accordingly. Bolingbroke continued with Harley to cultivate Philips, directing his energies towards political georgic in his most famous poem Cyder (1708). When Leonard Welsted published his elegy on Philips after his untimely death in 1710, he dedicated the poem to Bolingbroke and described the dead poet as ‘thy St. John’s Boast’.79 Philips’s earliest biographer, George Sewell, listed Bolingbroke as one ‘of the most eminent Encouragers and Patrons of Letters that have appeared in our Age’.80 Granville shared Bolingbroke’s priorities, and they occasionally worked together to encourage new artists and poets. Edward Young grouped them together in his Epistle to Granville (now Lord Lansdowne) in 1713.81 The pair posed for a group portrait by the Scottish artist Thomas Murray, together with their rakish friend Thomas Coke, possibly painted during Granville’s retreat to Bucklebury in September 1709.82 The painting is lost, but we do have an anonymous poem describing the image, which cast Bolingbroke as a Dionysian figure: Thus in his Hand the Chrystal Goblet flow’d, Thus in his Cheeks, the kindling Passion glow’d, And ev’ry Look confess’d a double God. He’s warm’d with Mirth, and well dissembled Wine, Which point his Wit, and in his Humour shine.83 As this visual portrayal suggests, Bolingbroke was known among friends for his love of the grape. In his Latin Ode ad Henricum St John (1707), Philips gave thanks to his patron for supplying him with claret.84 When Jonathan Swift complained about the cost of organizing a dinner at the Thatched House Tavern in December 1711, Bolingbroke promised to supply the drink.85 Surviving in the Brotherton Library at Leeds is an elaborately prepared manuscript essay in praise of wine by the Jacobite classical scholar Joshua Barnes, dedicated to Bolingbroke and acknowledging his gift in 1705 of ‘an Hogshead of Incomparable Red Wine, wch himself had but lately receiv’d from Portugal’.86 The essay contains drinking songs linking Bolingbroke’s patronage (and his cellar of quality port) with ‘ye Poet’s joy’: BRING us a Boule, when I call, Of generous St John’s Portugal: Bring me, bring me quickly, Boy, Great HARRY’s gift, ye Poet’s joy. Now fill the Glass. Oh! Wondrous Red; Anacreon gives it, now he’s dead. Let us, like him, then take it down: As men; that mean to swim, not drown.87 The reference to Anacreon, the ancient author of Bacchanalian hymns, is particularly clever. Bolingbroke presented Barnes with the wine following a chance encounter at the War Office, where the classicist was seeking Marlborough’s patronage for his new edition of Anacreon’s lyrics, which he was to dedicate to the general.88 However, the essay suggests an enduring attachment thereafter between the pair, and Barnes proceeded to dedicate his Anacreon Christianus (1705) to the young Secretary at War.89 Bolingbroke was expanding his intellectual network across the universities. Although Barnes was technically a Cambridge man, his friends and principal scholarly collaborators were all based in Oxford, where his Bachelor of Divinity was incorporated in July 1706.90 Bolingbroke had already been awarded an honorary doctorate at Oxford during the queen’s visit in 1702.91 He and Barnes shared contacts at Christ Church, where Philips, Francis Atterbury, William King and others were based. Bolingbroke’s desire to combine social activities with political and artistic patronage led him to form the Society of Brothers in the summer of 1711.92 Bolingbroke’s old Tory friends were invited to join the Society, including Lansdowne, John Freind, Sir William Wyndham, Simon Harcourt, Matthew Prior, Lord Bathurst, Charles Boyle (now Earl of Orrery), and newer associates such as Dr John Arbuthnot and Swift, who became the club’s unacknowledged secretary. The Brothers were united by their shared Tory and Jacobite proclivities. In a letter inviting Orrery to join, Bolingbroke described ‘the two great ends of our society’ as the ‘improvement of friendship, and the encouragement of letters’, while Swift described the ‘end’ of the Society as ‘to advance conversation and friendship, and to reward deserving persons with our interest and recommendation’—but not, according to Swift, with money.93 Although Bolingbroke encouraged the Society to donate money to struggling authors, Swift complained to Esther Johnson early in 1712 that a recent Society dinner ‘cost me a guineas contribution to a poet’. Other members gave two guineas to the nameless writer, but the niggardly Swift claimed that ‘next time I will give nothing’.94 Thomas Parnell, though not a member of the Society, solicited the advice of both Bolingbroke and Swift before publishing An Essay on the Different Stiles of Poetry in 1713.95 Rather than collaborate on their own literary projects—like the Scriblerus Club over at St James’s Palace—Bolingbroke and the Society instead cultivated a new generation of poets. Pope was foremost among the Society’s literary protégés and already a longstanding and loyal friend of Bolingbroke’s.96 He dedicated his Stuart panegyric Windsor-Forest to Lansdowne and every Brother later subscribed to his translations of Homer.97 Both Bolingbroke and Lansdowne featured prominently in Pope’s controversial preface to the Iliad.98 The most thoroughly documented apprenticeship to the Society was, however, that of the Oxford-educated parson William Diaper. Although Diaper and his works have largely been forgotten, he was an important rising star of Tory poetry during the last years of Queen Anne.99 Diaper was inducted into the Society of Brothers in March 1712, at the recommendation of Swift and Wyndham.100 Bolingbroke was pleased by Diaper’s innovative collection of ‘sea-eclogues’ Nereides (1712), and subsequently invited Diaper to Bucklebury, where the action of his peace poem Dryades (1712) is set: How happy, when I view’d the calm Retreat, And Groves o’er look’d by Winchcomb’s ancient Seat? Here the smooth Kennet takes his doubtful Way, In wanton Rounds the lingring Waters play, And by their circling Streams prolong the grateful Stay.101Dryades included some fairly standard Tory praise of Bolingbroke and Wyndham for their part in negotiating the peace settlement: ‘When St. John speaks, Who would refuse to hear? / Mars smooths his Brow, and Pallas drops her Spear’.102 Yet in its nostalgia for ‘rightful Kings’ and ‘kingly Oaks’, and its venom against ‘Foreign Aid’ and the invasion of ‘crafty Hengist with his Saxons’, readers of Dryades would also find implicitly Jacobite messages.103 Diaper expressed in verse his hope that Bolingbroke would ‘with a Smile / Reward the Song’ upon publication, and indeed Bolingbroke later instructed Swift to pay him an unspecified ‘Sum of money’ for the poem.104 Months later, when Diaper was ‘very sick’ in February 1713, Swift couriered another twenty guineas from Bolingbroke to the ailing poet.105 Bolingbroke was selective in the writers he supported. Whig panegyric was of no interest to him. V We must now address a key problem. Squaring what Blair Worden has dismissed as the ‘republican cliché’ of Bolingbroke’s later canonical writings with his earlier defection to Saint-Germain has proved difficult.106 Historians have typically dealt with this issue by rejecting any ideological basis for Bolingbroke’s Jacobite activities. His negotiations with James Francis Edward ‘were purely expedient’ and he ‘was not ideologically committed’ to the Stuarts.107 He was ‘utterly destitute of the beliefs and enthusiasms of a genuine Jacobite’.108 He sought personal power through his ‘adventures’ in France rather than real dynastic change.109 Not until his return from exile and spirited opposition to the Walpole ministry did Bolingbroke show any ‘clear vein of political principle’.110 In other words, Bolingbroke developed a conscience only after his ejection from the Jacobite court in 1716, at which point he embraced the republican teachings of Harrington and Machiavelli, and started writing on political topics. Mapping our findings about Bolingbroke’s early career onto this later and more significant period is not without problems. Nonetheless, his poems force us to question these easy platitudes. Firstly, the canard that Bolingbroke actually subscribed to the republican beliefs communicated in his polemical writings has long since been demolished by Quentin Skinner, who has instead argued powerfully that ‘Bolingbroke’s political writings may chiefly have been designed to remind the whigs of their own political principles rather than to set out any principles in which he himself necessarily believed’.111 He ‘tinker[ed] with the arguments of the republican tradition in order better to serve his partisan goals’.112 The notion that we must reconcile his sham republican polemics with his earlier activities may thus be abandoned. And yet the oppositional rhetoric of Bolingbroke’s early poems cannot be so easily dismissed as the results of a propaganda war. As we have seen, Bolingbroke’s poems from the 1690s situated him firmly amidst the Jacobite diaspora, and not with the neo-Harringtonians of that decade such as Walter Moyle, John Toland, and Robert Molesworth, alongside whom he is usually grouped by historians such as Isaac Kramnick and Pocock. Despite his father’s staunch Whig background, Bolingbroke’s early poems are public statements of hostility towards the Williamite regime. His rhetoric is drawn almost exclusively from contemporary oppositional literature, and certainly not from the radical teachings of Toland and his associates. As a minister of state he patronized Jacobite authors while simultaneously corresponding with James Francis Edward Stuart and his servants. Jacobite taxonomy is a notoriously fraught subject and certainly I do not wish to revive the whole debate.113 But in terms of culture, if not politics, young Bolingbroke was Jacobite to the core. Examining his poems and his defection side-by-side, one is forced to confront the ideological consistency of Bolingbroke’s early career. Bolingbroke abandoned the Jacobite cause only after James Francis Edward dismissed him as Secretary of State in March 1716. His concomitant renunciation of Jacobitism stemmed not from a rejection of old Tory principles, but rather, as he explained in his celebrated Letter to Sir William Wyndham (1717), from his lack of faith in James’s leadership and a profound distrust of his closest advisers. Bolingbroke spent much of the next decade in retirement at his villa in Orleans, where his literary interests shifted from poetry towards philosophy and history.114 Only one of Bolingbroke’s poems survives from this period of exile, and here Bolingbroke appears to have rejected the polemical strain of his earlier verse in favour of philosophical introspection: Survey mankind, observe what risks they run, What fancy’d ills, thro’ real dangers, shun, Those fancy’d ills, so dreadful to the great, A lost election, or impair’d Estate. Observe the merchant, who, intent on gain Affronts the terrors of the Indian main, Tho’ storms arise, & broken Rocks appear, He flys from poverty, & knows no other fear. Vain Men! who might arrive, with toil far less, By smoother paths, att greater happiness; For ’tis superior bliss not to desire That trifling good, which fondly you admire, Possess precarious, & too dear acquire.115 Unlike the earlier dedicatory verse and prologues, this paraphrase of Horace’s first Epode was never intended for publication. Bolingbroke wrote the poem for diversion while riding in his chaise and sent the results in a letter to Swift. Nonetheless, the text provides crucial evidence that the shift in Bolingbroke’s interests from politics to philosophy also affected his verse. When Bolingbroke retired from politics, he also turned his back on the decline of English letters. The two themes were connected. And yet this period of exile and philosophical study was not to last. Bolingbroke returned to the English political fold in 1725 and launched his own opposition campaign in 1727 with a short-lived series of pamphlets called The Occasional Writer. Lengthy prose tracts were an entirely new genre of writing for Bolingbroke—albeit one for which he had an undeniable talent. The generic disparities between short dramatic prologues and these lengthy polemics should not be underestimated, nor should the different audiences for whom and purposes with which these texts were written. One thing we have learned from our analysis of Bolingbroke’s early writing is his awareness of and appreciation for generic convention. Amidst the manifold differences, however, are underlying rhetorical affinities between Bolingbroke’s early poems and his polemical writings. The key polemical argument of his poems (and those by his early associates) is that literature and the arts have deteriorated under William III. After breaking from this theme for more than a decade, ‘gloomy prognostications about the decline of the arts in England’ once again became a central feature of his propagandist writings in 1727.116 I now want to suggest that Bolingbroke drew on and adapted the oppositional rhetoric of his earlier poems for the campaign against Walpole. In the Occasional Writer pamphlets Bolingbroke called attention to the ministry’s disregard of literary merit by assuming the guise of a hack author seeking employment from Walpole.117 ‘Employ me, sir, as you please; I abandon myself intirely to you; my pen is at your disposition’, he writes: ‘I cancel at once all former obligations and friendship, and will most implicitly follow your instructions in panegyric on yourself and friends, in satyr on your adversaries, in writing for or against any subject’.118 Bolingbroke continues in the ironic mode, praising Queen Elizabeth’s chief advisor William Cecil, Lord Burleigh, for declining ‘the payment of an hundred pounds’ to Edmund Spenser for The Faerie Queene.119 Although his focus has shifted over the years from bad drama to print, Bolingbroke’s central message here is that Walpole presides over the debasement of English literary culture, just as had William in the poems three decades earlier. Rather than blaming the writers—as did satirists such as Pope—Bolingbroke criticizes the conditions that stifle the production of great literature. This is classically Bolingbrokean. Back in his dramatic prologues he took aim at the ‘Vitious Tast’ of philistine audiences and theatre managers; playwrights cater to the tastes of the town, but cannot be blamed for doing so. Now in The Occasional Writer it is Walpole who is to blame for encouraging ‘every little paultry prostitute of his pen’; ‘hireling scribblers’ are merely the ‘tools of an evil statesman’, he elaborates, ‘and when I see all such discouraged, and none of them about a minister, I think my self obliged to suppose that his designs are honorable, and his measures directed to the public good’.120 The Occasional Writer pamphlets reinforce Bolingbroke’s earlier suggestion that bad writing cannot exist in a vacuum. Rather it is evidence of broader political malaise. The medium and technique of Bolingbroke’s attack has changed; but he has returned to the theme of his youth. Early essays for The Craftsman in February 1727 expanded on Bolingbroke’s mode of critique in The Occasional Writer, which had appeared in the immediately preceding weeks. ‘Muses pine in obscurity, and Learning is look’d on as a Disqualification’ in Walpole’s England; ‘it is ridiculous to expect that Arts, Wit or Learning should flourish, in any Degree, under such a rapacious, selfish and usurious Administration’.121 In another essay Bolingbroke’s ally and collaborator William Pulteney explains the collapse of ‘the Companies of Drury-Lane and Lincolns-Inn Fields’ by accusing the theatre managers of being on Walpole’s payroll: ‘He has not yet put us to one Farthing Expence on the Account of secret Service; and I am confident that He will always scorn to shelter any Sum under that Head. If He cannot conquer, He will not corrupt; and as he has veteran Troops in the Opera Service, He thinks them sufficient for his Service, without hiring or standing in need of mercenary Auxiliaries’.122 These initial salvoes against Walpole’s patronage of Italian maestros and Grub Street hacks were coordinated with activity in parliament. On 21 February 1727, Pulteney himself motioned parliament to deliver a full account of the £125,000 reportedly spent on secret service business, but which was widely suspected to have been squandered on Grub Street hacks. All this is not to suggest that Bolingbroke’s thinking had remained stagnant. Rather, the context for this new assault was full acceptance of the Hanoverian succession without the taint of Jacobitism. Walpole and not William III or George I is responsible for the decline of the arts in England. One final example may help nuance this difference. In the poems Bolingbroke diagnoses the problem of cultural decline, though his remedy is only ever implicit: English letters reached their zenith after the restoration of Charles II, he suggests, so that golden age may be reached again with removal of William III and the restoration of Stuart monarchy. The campaign against Walpole is very different insofar as Bolingbroke offers a clear solution. Corrupt and corrupting politicians are responsible for English cultural decline, and ought to be replaced by patriots who care for the arts. The monarch has been replaced by a minister. Compare this against the most famous contemporary attack on cultural decline by Pope in The Dunciad (1728, 1729, 1742, 1743), which Brean Hammond has linked with the opposition campaign being waged in The Craftsman.123 Whereas Bolingbroke blames Walpole, Pope targets ‘Dunce the second’ (i.e. George II), suggesting just how easily the residual Jacobitism of this recycled mode of satire could return to the surface.124 By 1726, at least, Bolingbroke appears to have reconciled his critique of cultural decline with support for the Hanoverian dynasty and the Protestant succession. Although the Dutch king had been replaced by an English minister, the symptoms of misrule remained the same. In his An Historical Account of the Lives and Writings of Our Most Considerable English Poets (1720), the legal writer and literary historian Giles Jacob described Bolingbroke as ‘A Statesman and Poet’.125 To forget either of Bolingbroke’s careers is to distort our understanding of both. My aim in this essay has been to demonstrate how a more thorough evaluation of Bolingbroke’s cultural life can nuance our understanding of his political allegiances and activities. This is not to vindicate Bolingbroke as a man of principle. Instead, what I have sought to demonstrate in the present essay is that one can find clear and unambiguous evidence of hostility towards the revolution settlement in Bolingbroke’s poems. Critical evaluations of Bolingbroke’s ideology have hitherto been grounded on his later polemical works only. Those later works have been found incompatible with the Jacobite inclinations evinced in his early career. The rhetoric of Bolingbroke’s verse, by contrast, is entirely consistent with his actions before 1716. After his return from exile in 1725, Bolingbroke found little difficulty adapting the critical rhetoric of his earlier poems to his new political opponents. Footnotes 1 For the sake of clarity I refer to St John as ‘Bolingbroke’ throughout, although he did not receive that title until the summer of 1712. 2 Sir Herbert Butterfield, The Statecraft of Machiavelli (London, 1940), 135. 3 Brean Hammond, Pope and Bolingbroke: A Study of Friendship and Influence (Columbia, MO, 1984). 4 H. T. Dickinson, Bolingbroke (London, 1970), 1. 5 This follows the general trend among historians of political thought, who continue either to neglect literary texts by major theorists or to read them uncritically, without attention to matters of genre, tone, and allusion: see David Womersley, ‘Literature and the History of Political Thought’, The Historical Journal, 39 (1996), 511–20. 6 The Correspondence of Henry St John and Sir William Trumbull, 1698–1710, ed. Adrian C. Lashmore-Davies: a special issue of Eighteenth-Century Life, 32 (2008), 1. The poems are not mentioned in Lashmore-Davies’s doctoral thesis, ‘Viscount Bolingbroke and the Moral Reform of Politics, 1710–1738’ (University of Cambridge, 2004). 7 Dickinson, Bolingbroke, 9. 8 Quentin Skinner, ‘Augustan Party Politics and Renaissance Constitutional Thought’, in Visions of Politics, 3 vols (Cambridge, 2002), ii. 344–67; Isaac Kramnick, Bolingbroke and His Circle: The Politics of Nostalgia in the Age of Walpole (Ithaca, NY, 1968). 9 Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Political Writings, ed. David Armitage (Cambridge, 1997). Armitage’s edition is a student text and makes no claim of total coverage. Nor were the poems included in Bolingbroke’s posthumous Philosophical Works (1754), on which see John C. Riely, ‘Chesterfield, Mallet, and the Publication of Bolingbroke’s Works’, The Review of English Studies, 25 (1974), 61–5; Sandro Jung, ‘David Mallet and Lord Bolingbroke’, ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews, 18 (2005), 27–31. 10 Christine Gerrard, The Patriot Opposition to Walpole: Politics, Poetry, and National Myth, 1725–1742 (Oxford, 1994). 11 See Karen O’Brien, ‘Poetry and Political Thought: Liberty and Benevolence in the Case of the British Empire c. 1680–1800’, in David Armitage (ed.), British Political Thought in History, Literature and Theory, 1500–1800 (Cambridge, 2006), 168–87. 12 The Unpublished Letters of Henry St John, First Viscount Bolingbroke, ed. Adrian C. Lashmore-Davies, 5 vols (London, 2013), i. x. 13 Joseph Warton, An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope, 2 vols (London, 1756–1782), ii. 20. 14 On Dryden’s career after the revolution, see David Bywaters, Dryden in Revolutionary England (Berkeley, CA, 1991); Paul Hammond, ‘Dryden’s Virgilian Kings’, The Seventeenth Century, 29 (2014), 153–71. 15 The Letters of John Dryden, ed. Charles E. Ward (Durham, NC, 1942), 85–6. 16 On Tonson, see Stephen Bernard, ed., The Literary Correspondences of the Tonsons (Oxford, 2015), 6–40; Kathleen M. Lynch, Jacob Tonson: Kit-Cat Publisher (Knoxville, TN, 1971). 17 Dryden, Letters, 93. On the dedication and plates, see Steven N. Zwicker, Politics and Language in Dryden’s Poetry: The Arts of Disguise (Princeton, NJ, 1984), 177–205. 18 On Mulgrave’s literary patronage, see Joseph Hone, ‘Pope, Bathurst, and the Duchess of Buckingham’, Studies in Philology, 115 (2018), 397–416. 19 John Barnard, ‘Dryden’s Virgil (1697): Gatherings and Politics’, The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 109 (2015), 131–9. On the workings of the two plots, see Jane Garrett, The Triumphs of Providence: The Assassination Plot, 1696 (Cambridge, 1980); on the aftermath, see Rachel Weil, A Plague of Informers: Conspiracy and Political Trust in William III’s England (New Haven, CT, 2013), 248–80. 20 H. T. Dickinson, ‘Letters from Bolingbroke to James Grahme’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 68 (1968), 117–31 at 119 and 121. 21 On Granville, see Elizabeth Handasyde, Granville the Polite: The Life of George Granville, Lord Lansdowne, 1666–1735 (London, 1933); Pat Rogers, Pope and the Destiny of the Stuarts: History, Politics, and Mythology in the Age of Queen Anne (Oxford, 2005), 74–91. 22 A Collection of Poems (London, 1701), 175; George Granville, Lord Lansdowne, Poems upon Several Occasions (London, 1712), 94; Leeds, Brotherton Library, MS Lt 36, fol. 10. 23 Illustrissimi Principis Ducis Cornubiae et Comitis Palatini (Cambridge, 1688), sig. a3v. 24 James Francis Edward simply calls him ‘Bevil’ in his correspondence: see, for example, Calendar of Stuart Papers Belonging to His Majesty the King, Preserved at Windsor Castle, Historical Manuscripts Commission, 7 vols (London, 1902–1923), i. 379. During preparations for the invasion in 1715, James Francis Edward appeared glad that Higgons was staying on at Saint-Germain, the mission being ‘most dangerous’ (i. 394). 25 Garrett, Triumphs of Providence, 116. 26 Calendar of Treasury Books, ed. William A. Shaw, 32 vols (London, 1904–1957), xi. 85 and 106. 27 The Works of John Dryden, ed. Earl Miner et al., 20 vols (Berkeley, CA, 1956–2000), v. 61–2. A revised version of this poem appeared as ‘To the Ingenious & Learned Doctor Mathanasius, on his most elaborate Commentary on the Excellent Master-piece of an unknown Author’, in Le chef c’oeuvre d’un inconu par M. le Docteur Chrisostome Matanasius (The Hague, 1714), sig. *5v. The poem is attributed to ‘H. D. B. A. A. S.’ and it is unclear whether or not Bolingbroke was responsible for this revision. 28 Dryden, Works, xi. 31. 29 Gabriel Glickman, ‘Christian Reunion, the Anglo-French Alliance and the English Catholic Imagination, 1660–72’, English Historical Review, 128 (2013), 263–91 at 266. On portrayals of Louis XIV as a ‘Sultan-like’ oriental despot, see Ros Ballaster, Fabulous Orients: Fictions of the East in England, 1662–1785 (Oxford, 2005), 175. 30 John Baird posits an interesting connection between Heroick Love, which is based on the first book of the Iliad, and Dryden’s translation of that book around the same time: see his ‘Renunciation as Tragedy and Triumph in George Granville’s Heroick Love’, Lumen: Selected Proceedings from the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 23 (2004), 115–31. 31 Examen Poeticum: Being the Third Part of Miscellany Poems (London, 1693), 250–2. 32 George Granville, Heroick Love: A Tragedy (London, 1698), sig. a1r. 33 Cf. Elijah Fenton, ‘An Epistle to Mr. Southerne’ (1711) in The Works of Mr. Thomas Southerne, 2 vols (London, 1713), i. sig. a1v. 34 Granville, Heroick Love, sig. a1v. 35 Dryden, Works, xii. 10. 36 Richard C. Boys, Sir Richard Blackmore and the Wits (Ann Arbor, MI, 1949); David Womersley, ed., Augustan Critical Writing (London, 1997); Abigail Williams, Poetry and the Creation of a Whig Literary Culture 1681–1714 (Oxford, 2005). 37 Womersley, ed., Augustan Critical Writing, xiv–xl. 38 Poems on Affairs of State: Augustan Satirical Verse, 1660–1714, ed. George de Forest Lord et al., 7 vols (New Haven, CT, 1963–1975), vi. 101–2; A New Miscellany of Original Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1701), 103. Blackmore was also subject to attacks from within his own camp: see John Dennis, Remarks on a Book Entituled, Prince Arthur (London, 1696). 39 In his unpublished essay on ‘The Wits Who Beset Sir Richard Blackmore’, Paul W. Nash has suggested possible contributors to the Commendatory Verses based on an annotated copy in the library of St Edmund College, Oxford, shelfmark JJ 138. 40 Dryden, Works, xvi. 263. 41 Pepys attended the London premiere of The Generall on 28 September 1664, which he found ‘poorly acted’: The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Robert Latham and William Matthews, 11 vols (London, 1970–1983), v. 282. 42 The Dramatic Works of Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, ed. W. S. Clark, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA, 1937), i. 110 (line 35) and 135 (lines 207–8). See Nancy Klein Maguire, Regicide and Restoration: English Tragicomedy, 1660–71 (Cambridge, 1992), 170–74; David Haley, Dryden and the Problem of Freedom: The Republican Aftermath, 1649–1680 (New Haven, CT, 1997), 181–2. 43 Elaine M. McGirr, Heroic Mode and Political Crisis, 1660–1745 (Newark, DE, 2009); Bridget Orr, Empire on the English Stage, 1660–1714 (Cambridge, 2001), 28–60. 44 Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, Altemira: A Tragedy (London, 1702), 2; cf. Orrery, Dramatic Works, i. 110 (lines 60–61). 45 The Plays and Poems of Nicholas Rowe, ed. Stephen Bernard et al., 5 vols (London, 2017), i. 35–55; Paulina Kewes, ‘“The State is out of Tune”: Nicholas Rowe’s Jane Shore and the Succession Crisis of 1713–14’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 64 (2001), 283–308; Brett Wilson, ‘Jane Shore and the Jacobites: Nicholas Rowe, the Pretender, and the National She-Tragedy’, English Literary History, 72 (2005), 823–43. 46 Bevil Higgons, The Generous Conquerour: or, The Timely Discovery (London, 1702), sig. A2r. 47 A Comparison Between the Two Stages, with an Examen of The Generous Conqueror (London, 1702), 127–8. On this mode of reading, see the important essays by John M. Wallace, ‘Dryden and History: A Problem in Allegorical Reading’, English Literary History, 36 (1969), 265–90 and ‘“Examples Are Best Precepts”: Readers and Meanings in Seventeenth-Century Poetry’, Critical Inquiry, 1 (1974), 273–90; Alan Roper, ‘Drawing Parallels and Making Applications in Restoration Literature’, in Richard Ashcraft and Alan Roper (eds), Politics as Reflected in Literature, Papers Presented at a Clark Library Seminar 24 January 1987 (Los Angeles, CA, 1989), 29–65. On the difficulties of applying this mode of reading to the stage, see Robert D. Hume, ‘The Politics of Opera in Late Seventeenth-Century London’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 10 (1998), 15–43. 48 Orrery, Altemira, sig. A3v. Bolingbroke’s prologue was spoken by Thomas Betterton. 49 The Second Part of Mr Waller’s Poems (London, 1690), sig. A4r. 50 Womersley, ed., Augustan Critical Writing, 128–9. 51 The Twickenham Edition of the Poems of Alexander Pope, ed. John Butt et al., 11 vols (London, 1939–1969), i. 298. 52 Orrery, Altemira, sig. A3v. 53 Higgons, The Generous Conquerour, sig. A4r. 54 Richard Braverman, ‘Politics in Jewish Disguise: Jacobitism and Dissent on the Post-Revolutionary Stage’, Studies in Philology, 90 (1993), 347–70 at 351. 55 George Granville, The Jew of Venice: A Comedy (London, 1701), sig. A4r. 56 Cf. Womersley, ed., Augustan Critical Writing, xv. 57 A New Miscellany, 105. 58 A New Miscellany, 114. 59 A New Miscellany, 115. 60 Lansdowne, Poems upon Several Occasions, 52. Cf. Bevil Higgons, ‘To Sir Godfrey Kneller, Drawing My Lady Hyde’s Picture’, in Examen Poeticum, 253. Lady Jane Hyde was identified as the inspiration behind Granville’s Myra in the key to Delarivier Manley’s The New Atalantis (1709): see Ros Ballaster’s edition of The New Atalantis (London, 1991), 97, 282. 61 Sir Samuel Garth, The Dispensary: A Poem in Six Cantos (London, 1699), 50 (cf. 6 and 12); Dryden, Works, vii. 357. 62 Lycidus: or, The Lover in Fashion (London, 1688), 74. 63 Jane Ohlmeyer and Steven Zwicker, ‘John Dryden, the House of Ormond, and the Politics of Anglo-Irish Patronage’, The Historical Journal, 49 (2006), 677–706. 64 Jeffrey Hart, Viscount Bolingbroke: Tory Humanist (London, 1965). 65 Joseph Spence, Observations, Anecdotes, and Character of Books and Men, ed. James M. Osborn, 2 vols (Oxford, 1966), i. 120. 66 Voltaire’s Correspondence, ed. Theodore Besterman, 107 vols (Geneva, 1953–1965), i. 178. 67 The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift, D.D., ed. David Woolley, 5 vols (Oxford, 1999–2014), ii. 294–5. 68 The Letters and Works of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, ed. James, Baron Wharncliffe, 2 vols, 3rd edn (London, 1861), ii. 257. 69 Bolingbroke’s Political Writings: The Conservative Enlightenment, ed. Bernard Cottret (Basingstoke, 1997), 5. 70 Spence, Observations, i. 120. 71 Spence, Observations, i. 120. 72 Bolingbroke’s last published poem was ‘An Epistle to Miss Lucy Atkins’, which remained unprinted until 1766. Although Michael Suarez states that Bolingbroke wrote this poem ‘when he was young’, the only surviving manuscript states that it was written ‘8 years before he Died’ (Northamptonshire Records Office, Powys Verse 27), i.e. circa 1743 and well beyond the limits of our present inquiry. Suarez also wrongly states that it is ‘Bolingbroke’s only published poem’: Suarez, ed., A Collection of Poems by Several Hands, 6 vols (London, 1997), vi. 289; i. 127. 73 Giles Barber, ‘A Bibliography of Henry Saint John, Viscount Bolingbroke’ (unpublished M.Litt. thesis, University of Oxford, 1963), 5–6. 74 On manuscript circulation, see Harold Love, Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford, 1993); Peter Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and Their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford, 1998); Henry Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts, 1558–1640 (Oxford, 1996); Stephen Karian, Jonathan Swift in Print and Manuscript (Cambridge, 2010); Daniel Starza Smith, John Donne and the Conway Papers: Patronage and Manuscript Circulation in the Early Seventeenth Century (Oxford, 2014); Noah Millstone, Manuscript Circulation and the Invention of Politics in Early Stuart England (Cambridge, 2016). 75 Mr Pope’s Literary Correspondence For Thirty Years, 5 vols (London, 1734–1737), v. 16. 76 Pope, Poems, iv. 105. 77 John Philips, Bleinheim: A Poem Inscrib’d to the Right Honourable Robert Harley, Esq. (London, 1705), 22. For the chronology, see John D. Baird, ‘Whig and Tory Panegyrics: Addison’s The Campaign and Philips’s Blenheim Reconsidered’, Lumen: Selected Proceedings from the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 16 (1997), 163–77. Philips received £100 from secret service funds for writing the poem: Kew, The National Archives, T/48/17, fol. 3. 78 Andreas K. E. Mueller, ‘Politics, Politeness, and Panegyrics: Defoe, Addison, and Philips on Blenheim’, Philological Quarterly, 94 (2015), 121–47; Williams, Whig Literary Culture, 140–43; Baird, ‘Whig and Tory Panegyrics’; Robert D. Horn, ‘Addison’s Campaign and Macaulay’, Publications of the Modern Language Association, 63 (1948), 886–902. 79 Leonard Welsted, A Poem to the Memory of the Incomparable Mr Philips (London, 1710), 12. Juan Christian Pellicer emphasizes Harley’s patronage but sidelines Bolingbroke in his ‘Harleian Georgic from Tonson’s Press: The Publication of John Philips’s Cyder, 29 January 1708’, The Library, 7th ser. 7 (2006), 185–98. 80 George Sewell, ‘The Life of Mr John Philips’, in The Whole Works of Mr John Philips (London, 1720), xi. 81 Edward Young, An Epistle to the Right Honourable the Lord Lansdown (London, 1713), 14. 82 Dickinson, ‘Letters of Bolingbroke to Grahme’, 128. Granville stayed at Bucklebury for at least a week from 9 September 1709. A different triple portrait by Murray (c.1692) survives in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich (item BHC2547), showing Thomas Phillips, John Benbow, and Sir Ralph Delavall. 83 Poems and Epistles on Several Occasions (London, 1710), 72. The author of this poem is unknown. There are, however, traces of Dryden’s ‘To Mr Granville, on His Excellent Tragedy, Call’d Heroick Love’ in the condemnation of Italian arts as ‘Foreign Monsters’ (78). 84 Philips too was a drinker, as Edmund Smith observes in his A Poem on the Death of Mr John Philips (London, [1710]), 5: ‘Redstreak he quaffs beneath the Chianti Vine, / Gives Tuscan yearly for thy Scud’more’s Wine, / And ev’n his Tasso would exchange for thine’. 85 The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift, ed. Claude Rawson et al., 17 vols (Cambridge, 2008–), ix. 350. 86 Leeds, Brotherton Library, MS Lt 97, fols 19r. For the Jacobite inclinations of this essay dedicated to Bolingbroke, see Barnes’s opinions on smoking, which ‘is said to be particularly hateful to ye Royal Family of ye STUARTS; for wch alone it deserves to be stigmatiz’d’ (fol. 92r). 87 MS Lt 97, fol. 31r. 88 Hart, Tory Humanist, 32. 89 See Kristine Louise Haugen, Richard Bentley: Poetry and Enlightenment (Cambridge, MA, 2011), 126. 90 Kristine Louise Haugen, ‘Barnes, Joshua (1654–1712), Greek scholar and antiquary’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 91 Joseph Hone, Literature and Party Politics at the Accession of Queen Anne (Oxford, 2017), 85–91; Nigel Aston, ‘Queen Anne and Oxford: The Royal Visit of 1702 and Its Aftermath’, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 37 (2014), 171–84; James Anderson Winn, Queen Anne: Patroness of Arts (Oxford, 2014), 249–56. 92 The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1690–1715, ed. David Hayton, Eveline Cruickshanks, and Stuart Handley, 5 vols (Cambridge, 2002), i. 763–4; Rogers, Destiny of the Stuarts, 81–3; Alexander Pope et al., The Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus, ed. Charles Kerby-Miller (New York, NY, 1966), 5–7. 93 Letters and Correspondence, Public and Private, of the Right Honourable Henry St John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, ed. Gilbert Parke, 4 vols (London, 1798), i. 150; Swift, Works, ix. 227. 94 Swift, Works, ix. 366. 95 Collected Poems of Thomas Parnell, ed. Claude Rawson and F. P. Lock (Newark, DE, 1989), 432–3; Swift, Works, ix. 499. 96 Hammond, Pope and Bolingbroke, 24–37; Rogers, Destiny of the Stuarts, 57–61. 97 On Windsor-Forest as a Stuart panegyric see Rogers, Destiny of the Stuarts; Joseph Hone, ‘Pope and the Politics of Panegyric’, The Review of English Studies, 66 (2015), 106–23. On the Homer subscriptions, see Pat Rogers, ‘Pope and His Subscribers’, in Essays on Pope (Cambridge, 1993), 190–227. The Society dissolved in 1713. 98 The Prose Works of Alexander Pope, ed. Norman Ault, 2 vols (Oxford, 1936–1986), i. 254–5. 99 Diaper deserves more attention. The only recent critical essay is Dirk F. Passmann and Hermann J. Real, ‘From “Mossy Caves” to “Rowling Waves”: William Diaper’s Nereides: or, Sea-Eclogues’, in Hermann J. Real and Peter E. Firchow (eds), The Perennial Satirist: Essays in Honour of Bernfried Nugel (Münster, 2005), 29–47. 100 Swift, Works, ix. 407. 101 The Complete Works of William Diaper, ed. Dorothy Broughton (London, 1952), 58. 102 Diaper, Works, 71. 103 Diaper, Works, 79. 104 Diaper, Works, 68; Swift, Works, ix. 471. 105 Swift, Works, ix. 496. 106 Blair Worden, ‘English Republicanism’, in J. H. Burns and Mark Goldie (eds), The Cambridge History of Political Thought 1450–1700 (Cambridge, 1991), 443–75 at 475; cf. J. G. A. Pocock, Politics, Language, and Time: Essays on Political Thought and History (London, 1971), 104–47; Linda Colley, In Defiance of Oligarchy: The Tory Party 1714–60 (Cambridge, 1982), 90. On Pocock’s reading of Bolingbroke, see Robert Sparling, ‘The Concept of Corruption in J. G. A. Pocock’s The Machivallian Moment’, History of European Ideas, 43 (2017), 156–70. 107 Lashmore-Davies, ed., Unpublished Letters, i. xi. 108 William Lecky, A History of England in the Eighteenth Century, 8 vols (London, 1878–1917), i. 133; cf. H. N. Fieldhouse, ‘Bolingbroke’s Share in the Jacobite Intrigue of 1710–1714’, English Historical Review, 52 (1937), 637–62. 109 Skinner, ‘Augustan Party Politics’, 345. 110 Dickinson, Bolingbroke, 184. 111 Skinner, ‘Augustan Party Politics’, 366. 112 Shelley Burtt, Virtue Transformed: Political Argument in England, 1688–1740 (Cambridge, 1992), 89. 113 Andrew Hanham, ‘“So Few Facts”: Jacobites, Tories, and the Pretender’, Parliamentary History, 19 (2000), 233–57; Clyve Jones: ‘Evidence, Interpretation and Definitions in Jacobite Historiography: A Reply to Eveline Cruickshanks’, English Historical Review, 113 (1998), 77–90; Jones, ‘Jacobitism and the Historian: The Case of William, First Earl Cowper’, Albion, 22 (1991), 681–96; Jones, ‘1720–23 and All That: A Reply to Eveline Cruickshanks’, Albion, 26 (1994), 41–53. Cf. Hone, Literature and Party Politics, 7–11. 114 Dickinson, Bolingbroke, 154–72. 115 Swift, Correspondence, ii. 294–5. 116 Gerrard, Patriot Opposition, 49; cf. Christine Gerrard, Aaron Hill: The Muses’ Projector, 1685–1750 (Oxford, 2003), 133. 117 Cf. Bertrand A. Goldgar, Walpole and the Wits: The Relation of Politics to Literature, 1722–1742 (Lincoln, 1976), 44. 118 The Works of the Late Right Honourable Henry St John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, ed. David Mallet, 5 vols (London, 1754), i. 134. 119 Bolingbroke, Works, i. 132. 120 Bolingbroke, Works, i. 144–5. 121 The Craftsman, 20 (13 February 1727). 122 The Craftsman, 24 (27 February 1727); cf. Thomas McGreary, The Politics of Opera in Handel’s Britain (Cambridge, 2013), 139–44; David Nokes, John Gay: A Profession of Friendship (Oxford, 1995), 408–9. The essay is ascribed to ‘C’ to designate Pulteney’s authorship: see The Works of the Right Reverend Thomas Newton, D.D., 3 vols (London, 1782), i. 71–2. On the reliability of these ascriptions, see Thomas Lockwood, ‘Did Fielding Write for The Craftsman?’, The Review of English Studies, 59 (2007), 86–117. 123 Hammond, Pope and Bolingbroke, 51–6. 124 Pope, Twickenham Edition, v. 61. 125 Giles Jacob, An Historical Account of the Lives and Writings of Our Most Considerable English Poets (London, 1720), 306. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press 2018; all rights reserved http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of English Studies Oxford University Press

Bolingbroke and Poetry

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Abstract

Abstract This essay examines for the first time the poetry of Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke. Although Bolingbroke is now best known as a political theorist, historical writer, and opposition propagandist, he started his career as a poet. He published widely during the latter part of the reign of William III and his poems circulated in manuscript. Bolingbroke’s poems, this essay contends, illuminate the ideological consistency of his early career. An introductory section documents Bolingbroke’s involvement with John Dryden during the 1690s, and a second section then charts his collaborations with other members of Dryden’s circle and unpacks the cultural politics of their poetry. The essay then explores the intertextuality of Bolingbroke’s poems and the implications on the poet’s intellectual milieu. The final sections of the essay investigate Bolingbroke’s literary patronage during his tenure as a minister of state, before documenting the influence of Bolingbroke’s early oppositional rhetoric through his later campaign against Sir Robert Walpole. Historians of political thought now accept Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, as both an important political actor and a major political theorist.1 Bolingbroke’s writings on national history and on parties are classic texts. Recent scholarship has meticulously recovered the intellectual and political contexts of Bolingbroke’s thought. And yet both historians and literary scholars have followed the lead of Herbert Butterfield by concentrating almost exclusively on the period following Bolingbroke’s return from exile in France and his leadership of the opposition to Sir Robert Walpole.2 Certainly, this was the period in which Bolingbroke produced his most enduring works, including A Dissertation upon Parties (1733–1734), On the Spirit of Patriotism (1736) and The Idea of a Patriot King (1738). It was also his most intense period of intellectual cross-fertilization with Alexander Pope.3 By contrast, we know ‘surprisingly little’ about Bolingbroke’s early life and the development of his nascent ideas about politics.4 But that is not because Bolingbroke failed to put pen to paper in his youth. It is because when he wrote, he wrote poetry. About Bolingbroke’s poetry historians have said little or nothing.5 Adrian Lashmore-Davies describes Bolingbroke as ‘a minor published poet’ in his youth, but ignores the substance of those texts.6 In our most thorough biography of the statesman, H. T. Dickinson dismisses Bolingbroke’s poems as ‘poor efforts, far better forgotten’.7 Quentin Skinner and Isaac Kramnick mention them not at all.8 David Armitage chose not to print the poems in his important but selective edition of Bolingbroke’s Political Writings (1997).9 Literary scholars have been no more attentive. Even Christine Gerrard, whose seminal account of Bolingbroke’s literary opposition to Walpole pays closest attention to matters of poetic language, form, and genre, fails to acknowledge their existence.10 And yet to ignore Bolingbroke’s poetic output is fundamentally to distort our understanding of his early career and intellectual foundations. Bolingbroke’s first publication appeared before his twentieth birthday: a prefatory verse to John Dryden’s important translation of The Works of Virgil (1697). He followed up with numerous dramatic prologues, some amatory verses, and an unidentified contribution or contributions to the miscellany Poems on Affairs of State in 1703. Before he was elected as an MP for Wootton Bassett in February 1701, Bolingbroke, if he was known at all, was known as a poet. My primary aim in what follows is to illustrate how Bolingbroke’s poetic writings might contribute to our understanding of his political ideas. I make no apologies for quoting long passages of verse and for discussing them in relation to both literary and political contexts. Bolingbroke was a forcefully allusive writer whose chief interest was imitation not originality. Consequently, we must first recover the intertextual dimensions of Bolingbroke’s poems before we can truly understand the development of his early political ideas and influences. We will also need to consider Bolingbroke’s intellectual milieu and attitudes towards literary patronage. The final part of the essay will trace the influence of ideas expressed in the poems through Bolingbroke’s later campaign against Walpole, where, I want to suggest, he adapted the critical rhetoric of his poems to condemn new opponents in the very different medium of prose polemic. A secondary but no less important aim of the present essay is to marshal the resources of literary scholarship to demonstrate the importance of poetic texts to the history of political thought.11 I Only seven of Bolingbroke’s poems are known to survive, of which none was printed separately nor acknowledged on a title page. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the facts about Bolingbroke’s poetic career are not widely known and so must be sketched out in some detail here. Bolingbroke’s earliest literary activities show him working in the orbit of John Dryden, to whom he was probably introduced by their longstanding mutual friend Sir William Trumbull.12 According to Joseph Warton, who traced his information back to Alexander Pope, the young Bolingbroke was sufficiently friendly with Dryden in November 1697 to visit the poet unannounced in the morning.13 That Bolingbroke sought Dryden’s patronage and not that of Nahum Tate, the current poet laureate, is significant. Dryden was a controversial figure during the 1690s, having been ejected from the laureateship in 1689 after his refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the new sovereigns.14 Stripped of his government income, Dryden began writing professionally for the stage. But his larger project in this period was a translation of Virgil’s complete works. His intention from the outset was to dedicate the edition to James II upon his anticipated restoration to the British throne, as he explained in a letter to the Earl of Chesterfield: ‘I have hinder’d it thus long in hopes of his return, for whom, and for my Conscience I have sufferd, that I might have layd my Authour at his feet’.15 By the start of 1697, though, Dryden could not delay publication any longer. Among the young poets whom he selected to introduce the edition with dedicatory verses was Henry St John. Dryden’s publisher Jacob Tonson was not privy to his schemes.16 A firm supporter of the new Whig establishment, Tonson had originally hoped that The Works of Virgil would be dedicated to William III. As Dryden himself acknowledged in a letter to his sons, Tonson had ‘prepard the Book’ for a dedication to the king, ‘for in every figure of Eneas, he has causd him to be drawn like K. William, with a hookd Nose’.17 Rather than dedicate the entire work to William, Dryden instead dedicated each section to one of the king’s most prominent critics: the Eclogues to the son of the Catholic nonjuror Hugh Clifford, Baron Chudleigh; the Georgics to Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield; and the Æneis to John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave and Normanby and later Duke of Buckingham.18 Dryden contacted his dedicatees at a crucial juncture, in the immediate aftermath of both Sir John Fenwick’s collapsed plot for a Jacobite invasion and a parallel failed scheme to assassinate the king in 1696.19 Both Clifford and Mulgrave had publicly refused to take the new loyalty oath required after the discovery of the plot, and consequently became figureheads among English supporters of the Jacobites. By dedicating the edition to Mulgrave and other nonjurors, Dryden and his collaborators expressed solidarity at a moment of real crisis within the Jacobite camp. Some contributors of commendatory poems had similar connections to the failed assassination plot. Henry Grahme had returned to England only recently, after serving the exiled Stuart court at Saint-Germain-en-Laye with his uncle Fergus Grahme. His father, James Grahme, was temporarily arrested in 1696 for his suspected involvement in the plot. Bolingbroke’s marriage to Frances Winchcombe in 1700 directly linked him to the Grahme family, as Frances was related to James Grahme’s first wife Dorothy. In their earliest extant correspondence, Bolingbroke referred to James Grahme as ‘my good Kinsman & Friend’ and to Henry simply as ‘Harry’.20 Another contributor to Virgil was George Granville, later Lord Lansdowne.21 Granville retreated to the country after the revolution—only to be teased out of retirement by his cousin Elizabeth Higgons—although most of his family accompanied James into France.22 As a boy Granville had written some accomplished panegyrics on the Duke of York and Mary of Modena, before celebrating his accession as James II in verses that received praise from Edmund Waller. Granville’s uncle Denis Granville became chaplain to the exiled Stuart court after 1688, where he was soon joined by his nephews (and George Granville’s cousins) Bevil, George, and Thomas Higgons. Bevil Higgons had previously made his literary debut while a student at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, with celebratory verses ‘To the Queen on the Birth of the Prince’ in 1688.23 He was later on first name terms with James Francis Edward, returning to England to help raise Jacobite regiments in 1692 and again on John Caryll’s orders in 1696.24 The circumstances surrounding Higgons’s second mission to England are hazy. He and his brothers were involved in the Fenwick plot. Yet Higgons was soon approached by Sir George Barclay and his splinter group, and seems to have become privy to their plans to assassinate the king. In our only full-length account of the plot, Jane Garrett asserts that the Higgons boys ‘refused to have anything to do with it’.25 Evidence suggests otherwise. A huge reward of £2000 was issued for their capture soon after the plot was discovered.26 Luckily the brothers escaped on bail after the government failed to gather sufficient intelligence. This was the circle in which Bolingbroke now moved. Bolingbroke’s contribution to Dryden’s Virgil is consistent with the poems by Granville and Grahme. It is sufficiently interesting and little enough known to merit transcription in full: No undisputed Monarch Govern’d yet With Universal Sway the Realms of Wit: Nature cou’d never such Expence afford, Each several Province own’d a several Lord. A Poet then had his Poetick Wife, One Muse embrac’d, and Married for his Life. By the stale thing his appetite was cloy’d, His Fancy lessned, and his Fire destroy’d. But Nature grown extravagantly kind, With all her Treasures did adorn your Mind. The different Powers were then united found, And you Wit’s Universal Monarch Crown’d. Your Mighty Sway your great Desert secures, And ev’ry Muse and ev’ry Grace is yours. To none confin’d, by turns you all enjoy, Sated with this, you to another flye. So Sultan-like in your Seraglio stand, While wishing Muses wait for your Command. Thus no decay, no want of vigour find, Sublime your Fancy, boundless is your Mind. Not all the blasts of time can do you wrong, Young spight of Age, in spight of Weakness strong. Time like Alcides, strikes you to the ground, You like Antaeus from each fall rebound.27 This poem has drawn no commentary from Dryden’s editors or commentators. Its principal aim is to call attention to Dryden’s mastery of multiple genres: of heroic drama, epic, panegyric, and satire. Nonetheless, the poem is also saturated with political rhetoric. Bolingbroke describes Dryden as a despot of terrifying power: he is a ‘Universal Monarch’ whose ‘Universal Sway’ extends over all his fellows wits; unlike the monogamous poets of previous ages, the ‘Sultan-like’ Dryden has a full harem of Muses. ‘Sublime your Fancy, boundless is your Mind’ draws on The Conquest of Granada (1670), where the hero Almanzor is introduced with the same formula: ‘Vast is his Courage; boundless is his mind’.28 This is all firmly tongue-in-cheek: Almanzor is hardly a sympathetic character, whose speeches are steeped in the rhetoric of Hobbes. But, equally, the parallels between Bolingbroke’s portrayal of Dryden and depictions in contemporary propaganda of Louis XIV as the ‘universal monarch of English Protestant nightmares’ are striking.29 And the young Bolingbroke must have been aware of the significances attached to phrases such as ‘undisputed Monarch’ during an era of intense dynastic instability. Extracting any definitive political meanings from this poem would be futile. Yet the text certainly illustrates Bolingbroke’s awareness of the ideological complexities of his milieu. II Soon after the publication of Dryden’s Virgil in July 1697, Granville enlisted Bolingbroke’s services for the prologue to his tragedy Heroick Love, which opened at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in January 1698.30 In this collaboration he was joined by Dryden, who contributed an important commendatory poem, ‘To Mr Granville, on His Excellent Tragedy, Call’d Heroick Love’, and by Bevil Higgons, who wrote the epilogue and whose earlier ‘To Mr. Dryden on his Translation of Persius’ (1693) may have influenced Bolingbroke’s poem ‘To Mr. Dryden’ in the Virgil.31 Although Granville’s play lacks the tacit political engagement of Dryden’s translation, the political disaffection of these surrounding poems must be acknowledged and placed in context. Bolingbroke’s prologue opens: How hard’s the Poet’s task, in these our days, Who such dull Pallates is condemn’d to please, As Damn all Sense, and only Fustian praise: Charm’d with Heroick Non-sense, lofty strains, Not with the Writers, but the Players pains, And by the Actors Lungs, judge of the Poet’s Brains.32 Higgons’s epilogue rounds off the play in a similar vein, bemoaning the dramatic trends of this ‘Barbarous Age’, against which Granville is said to rebel.33 Although ‘Murder and Blood have long possess’d the Stage’, writes Higgons, ‘There’s not one Man destroy’d in all our Play’.34 Dryden too laments the state of theatre in the 1690s. Acknowledging Granville as a worthy successor, Dryden writes: Thine be the Lawrel then; thy blooming Age Can best, if any can, support the Stage: Which so declines, that shortly we may see, Players and Plays reduc’d to second Infancy. Sharp to the World, but thoughtless of Renown, They Plot not on the Stage, but on the Town, And in Despair their Empty Pit to fill, Set up some Foreign Monster in a Bill: Thus they jog on; still tricking, never thriving; And Murd’ring Plays, which they miscal Reviving.35 Sources for Dryden’s antipathy here include the influx of French and Italian singers, commercialism, and botched revivals of his own plays. By inviting Bolingbroke, Higgons, and Dryden to contribute to his play, Granville ensured that Heroick Love would be framed as hostile to the prevailing literary establishment. Such accusations of cultural decline were an established topos of the dramatic prologue by the 1690s. Yet Bolingbroke’s critique of contemporary literature also entailed implicit political judgements. By rejecting ‘Heroick Non-sense’, he was alluding not only to plays but also to recent epic poems such as Sir Richard Blackmore’s Prince Arthur (1695), which was substantially revised and expanded into King Arthur in 1697. Blackmore’s credentials as a keen supporter of and propagandist for William III have been amply documented by several generations of literary scholars.36 His poems glorified William and his victories against Louis XIV in terms that rejected classical epic models in favour of an explicitly protestant and vernacular framework. In this Blackmore was not alone. The project of Whig epic gathered huge momentum during the 1690s, in the poems of Joseph Addison and Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax. But Whig epic—and Blackmore in particular—also attracted criticism. While much of that criticism centred on matters of literary propriety, it was, as David Womersley has shown, politically motivated.37 Attacks on Blackmore’s ‘rumbling’ lines and ‘hideous Verse’ in Sir Samuel Garth’s The Dispensary (1699) make this clear—and Bolingbroke would soon praise Garth for his satire of Blackmore in A Pindarick Ode in Honour of Almahide and the Muses (1701).38 Tom Brown’s ironically titled collection of Commendatory Verses on the Author of the Two Arthurs (1700) was likewise a largely Tory production.39 After the publication of Blackmore’s A Paraphrase on the Book of Job in 1700, Dryden himself remarked: One would have thought he could no lower jog, But Arthur was a level, Job’s a bog: There, though he crept, yet still he kept in sight, But here he flounders in, and sinks down right.40 This was the context within which Bolingbroke assaulted the ‘dull Pallates’ and ‘Heroick Non-sense’ of contemporary Whig authors. By his twentieth birthday Bolingbroke had aligned himself firmly with the literary opposition to William III and his poets. His earliest published verses show him siding with Dryden’s wits and rejecting Whig literary culture. Bolingbroke left for the continent soon after the premier of Heroick Love, travelling first to Paris and then onwards to Geneva and Italy. Correspondence during this period shows him mixing with young men from across the political spectrum, including the future Whig minister James Stanhope, and studying Roman law. Yet Bolingbroke’s main priorities upon his return to London in 1700 were literary and political. In the general elections of February 1701, Bolingbroke succeeded his father as the MP for Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire. Before the end of the year he had also written another prologue, for a revival at Lincoln’s Inn Fields of Altemira by the late Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery. Altemira had originally been staged privately in Dublin in 1662 before it was revived in London as The Generall in 1664.41 The play dramatized the events of 1659, with a Cromwellian ‘Tirant and usurper’ displaced by agents of the rightful king Melizer, ‘Whose virtues are soe great, his right soe good, / Hee should bee King by choice as well as bloud’.42 Orrery’s grandson, Charles Boyle, prepared the text for revival in 1701, working alongside the up-and-coming lawyer-poet Francis Manning, and presumably in consultation with Bolingbroke. Boyle substantially revised Orrery’s original, adding lines that emphasized the topical dynastic resonances of this royalist drama. By the start of the eighteenth century, Orrery’s mode of heroic drama was closely associated with high Toryism and Jacobitism.43 His incorporation of themes of usurpation and restoration into the play made the political significances of this mode doubly conspicuous. Audiences accustomed to seeing political events depicted à clef on stage must have found it easy to draw contemporary parallels when encountering characters who resolve ‘to try all lawful Ways, that might / Restore our injur’d Monarch to his Right’.44Altemira was only one of several plays that addressed these themes in late 1701, in the immediate aftermath of James II’s death in exile and Louis XIV’s proclamation of young James Francis Edward Stuart as ‘James III’. Nicholas Rowe’s new play Tamerlane debuted in December at Little Lincoln’s Inn opposite Higgons’s The Generous Conquerour at Drury Lane. Rowe’s tragedy was unashamed Whig allegory, with William represented by Tamerlane while the Turkish emperor Bajazet reflects Louis XIV—although, as recent commentators point out, Rowe’s political views were not always straightforward.45 Tamerlane is no usurper, but rather a warrior king who earns his position. The Generous Conquerour, by contrast, was interpreted from the outset as a Jacobite production. Like Dryden with his Æneis, Higgons dedicated the play to Mulgrave, whose ‘Frequent Appearance’ in the audience recommended him to Higgons as a patron, and introduced the text with poems by Granville and Henry Grahme.46 Like Altemira, the story offered a barely coded commentary on the politics of succession in this moment. The play begins with Almerick, king of Lombardy by conquest, and Rodomond, the rightful Lombard prince and son of the deposed king Gondibert. The plot centres on a love triangle between these two contenders for power. Although Higgons maintained ‘the Innocence of this Play’ from political allegory, the author of A Comparison Between the Two Stages (1702) was not ‘perswaded the Author cou’d pursue such a Story without having in his eye the Affairs of his own Country’. In a neat example of applicative reading, this anonymous critic argued that Higgons ‘cou’d not write any thing of this kind without being sensible of that application which wou’d be made of it; and it does not appear done by Chance but Choice.’47 Contemporary audiences would surely have drawn similar conclusions from Altemira. Bolingbroke’s prologue highlighted the topical significances of Orrery’s plot. Describing the author as ‘the softest Charmer of a Charming Age’—softness and smoothness being key virtues of courtly verse—he also presented the reign of Charles II as      a time when all those Passions felt, And soothing Bards could stubborn Heroes melt. An Amorous Monarch fill’d a peaceful Throne, And laughing Cupids Perch’d upon his Crown.48 Despite this departure from the historical realities of Stuart rule, Bolingbroke’s romanticized vision of the Carolean court had numerous analogues. In his preface to the second part of Edmund Waller’s Poems (1690), for instance, the Oxford churchman Francis Atterbury questioned whether ‘in Charles the Second’s Reign, English did not come to its full perfection; and whether it has not had its Augustan Age, as well as the Latin’.49 And in his An Essay on Unnatural Flights in Poetry (1701) Granville located the zenith of English literary culture in the ‘steady Judgment’ and ‘lofty Sounds’ of wits such as Mulgrave and Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, who guided authors—among them Dryden—away from the vogue for bombastic drama after ‘Our King return’d, and banisht Peace restor’d’.50 Reflecting on the literary culture of the Restoration in An Essay on Criticism (1711), Alexander Pope closely echoed Bolingbroke’s sentiments: When Love was all an easie Monarch’s Care; Seldom at Council, never in a War: Jilts rul’d the State, and Statesman Farces writ; Nay Wits had Pensions, and young Lords had Wit.51 Such artistic patronage was nowhere to be found, writes Pope, in the ‘Foreign Reign’ of William III. In his prologue, Bolingbroke anticipates Pope’s contrast between the flourishing arts of the Stuart court and the philistinism of Williamite England: But in this Iron Age your Souls to move, In vain we try by Honour or by love. The certain way to please your Vitious Tast, Are Streams of Blood and Volleys of Bombast. Dancers and Tumblers now the Stage Prophane, Musick and Furie alone our Plays sustain, And Art and Nature leave the trifling Scene.52 Tonally this prologue is very similar to the poems surrounding Heroick Love. It also tallies with the verses that introduced Higgons’s The Generous Conqueror, especially ones by Granville and Grahme, the latter of whom bemoaned this ‘hardned Age’ and denounced members of the ‘conscious Faction’ who boycotted Higgons’s play.53 Higgons pursued a similar theme in his prologue to Granville’s contemporaneous play The Jew of Venice (1701), an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (c.1596), which, as Richard Braverman argues, ‘expressed support for a Jacobite succession’ in the ‘critical juncture’ between the death of the Duke of Gloucester in the summer of 1700 and the passage of the Act of Settlement in the following spring.54 Here Higgons once again lacerated his ‘Ungenerous Age’ by summoning the ghosts of Dryden and Shakespeare. The recently deceased former laureate complains to the bard about his audience: Their sickly Judgments, what is just, refuse, And French Grimace, Buffoons, and Mimicks choose; Our Scenes desert, some wretched Farce to see; They know not Nature, for they tast not Thee.55 Bolingbroke’s prologues adhere to the same aesthetic and polemical rules as those by Granville, Higgons, Grahme, and the other wits who rallied around Dryden after the failure of the assassination plot in 1696. Those authors repeatedly contrasted the flourishing arts of the Stuart court against the debased theatrical culture of the 1690s. This vision of English literary history implied that cultural distinction was conditional on the return of a Stuart monarch to the English throne.56 III Bolingbroke’s early contribution to Dryden’s Virgil contains a passing reference to The Conquest of Granada, as we have already seen. Yet Bolingbroke’s most sustained allusion to Dryden’s play comes in his A Pindarick Ode in Honour of Almahide and the Muses (1701), where he appropriated the name of Dryden’s heroine as his muse. Bolingbroke may well have been prompted by one of Granville’s most recent poems, The Progress of Beauty (c.1700), where The Conquest of Granada features as the zenith of Carolean cultural achievement, and in which Granville mentions Charles II’s love for the princess Almahide as played by Nell Gwynn in the original production: Thus flourish’d Love, and Beauty reign’d in state, ’Till the proud Spaniard gave these glories date; Past is the Gallantry, the Fame remains, Transmitted safe in Dryden’s lofty Scenes; Granada lost, beheld her pomps restor’d, And Almahide again by Kings ador’d. The tenor of Granville’s allusion tallies with nostalgic portrayals of Charles as an ‘Amorous Monarch’ in Bolingbroke’s prologue to Altemira and in An Essay on Criticism. Granville himself also features in Almahide. Most of his circulating poems were amorous lyrics on Myra, an imaginary figure whom he originally based on Mary of Modena and latterly perhaps on the Countess of Newburgh. Thus, writes Bolingbroke, Granville ‘begins’ and ‘ends’ all his poems ‘in Myra’s praise’, and ‘Nothing but Myra dwells upon his tongue, / Charm of his heart, and subject of his Song’.57 Granville re-enters the ode in the closing lines: Thus when the Moon on Larian-Latmus lay, And rapt in Pleasure laugh’d her Hours away, Her Beauty and her Light to all Mankind, Without Distinction shin’d, But to Endymion was her love confin’d.58 To this Bolingbroke adds the following marginal comment: ‘The last thought and the last line are taken from a Paper of Verses of Mr Granville’s. For I think my self oblig’d to own the Debt, tho I am unable to pay it’.59 Specifically, Bolingbroke was drawing on a couplet from Granville’s poem on ‘Lady Hyde Sitting at Sir Godfrey Kneller’s for Her Picture’ (c.1693): ‘Like the chaste moon she shines to all mankind, / But to Endymion is her love confin’d’.60 Granville’s verses on Lady Hyde would remain in manuscript until their publication in Poems upon Several Occasions (1712), so Bolingbroke’s adaptation of these lines from ‘a Paper of Verses’ indicates healthy manuscript circulation between the two writers. While the form and tenor of Almahide owes much to Granville’s amatory poems, Bolingbroke also draws on recent topical verse. Garth is praised for his defence of both ‘Physick and Poetry’ in The Dispensary, which, we have already noted, included attacks on the Whig poet-physician Blackmore and his allies. Bolingbroke’s description of ‘lazy vapours’ also owes something to Garth’s ‘lazy Fogs, and drissing Vapours’ and possibly even to Dryden’s ‘Ceyx and Alcyone’ from Fables, Ancient and Modern (1700).61 Besides Granville and Garth, Bolingbroke also drew on the Irish cleric Edmund Arwaker’s pastoral verses on the marriage in 1685 of James Butler, Earl of Ossory and future Duke of Ormond, to Lady Mary Somerset: Bolingbroke’s ‘The wish of all the Nymphs, and envy of the Swains. / How often have I heard his charming voice’ distinctly echoes Arwaker’s ‘Joy of the Nymphs and envy of the Swains; / Whose charming voyce each melting passion moves’.62 If it seems unlikely that Bolingbroke would have read such a minor poem by an Irish cleric, it is worth remembering that Ormond was Dryden’s most steadfast patron during his final years.63 That Dryden might have possessed—and later passed onto his protégé—a copy of Arwaker’s verses on the marriage of their shared patron is firmly within the realms of possibility. Whether or not this latter echo was intended to be recognized as an allusion (or was, more likely, unconscious appropriation) it does shed light on Bolingbroke’s reading in this period. By drawing attention to his borrowings from Granville and his allies elsewhere, Bolingbroke was defining his literary milieu. The manner of Bolingbroke’s allusiveness might best be explained by his education in the studia humanitatis, which required the memorization and precise imitation of classical texts.64 Bolingbroke applied his classical learning to contemporary literature too. ‘He has so great a memory as well as judgement’, explained Alexander Pope, ‘that if he is alone and without books he can sit down by himself (as another man would in his study) and refer to the books, or such a particular subject within them, in his own mind’.65 Voltaire remarked that Bolingbroke had ‘found time for learning everything and retaining everything’.66 In 1719 Bolingbroke boasted in a letter to Swift that he had ‘twenty fine quotations att the end of my pen’.67 Textual recall was crucial for authors interested in imitation and allusion. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu conceded that the ‘great part of Lord B.’s Letters are designed to show his reading, which, indeed, appears to have been very extensive’.68 Bernard Cottret interprets this as a ‘charge of plagiarism’ and a denial of Bolingbroke’s ‘originality’.69 Yet this is to miss the point. That Bolingbroke ever strived for originality is extremely unlikely. Consider his Reflections upon Exile (1716) which was such an accurate imitation of Seneca’s style that, again according to Pope, ‘was [Seneca] living now among us one should conclude that he had written every word of it’.70 When Joseph Spence questioned how ‘so fine and easy a writer as Lord Bolingbroke’ could write the ‘stiff’ inscription on the monumental column at Blenheim Palace, Pope explained ‘What may seem too stiff to you in it is from that Lord’s imitating the best old inscription style on that occasion’.71 Accurate imitation and allusion were priorities for Bolingbroke. Originality was not. Bolingbroke’s next published poem appeared in the miscellany Poems on Affairs of State in 1703.72 His name appears with some letters removed as ‘Mr St. J—n’ in the list of contributors on the title page. Whichever of the poems in the collection belongs to Bolingbroke is a mystery. Giles Barber, Bolingbroke’s bibliographer, writes that ‘no particular poem’ in the volume ‘can be definitely attributed to him’.73 We can, however, narrow down the possibilities. Of the near-fifty unattributed verses in Poems on Affairs of State, more than half cannot have been written by Bolingbroke for reasons of chronology: either the poems date from before Bolingbroke’s earliest poems of 1696 or else address English political topics from the period of his European tour. Further poems must be discounted for myriad reasons: they attack Bolingbroke’s friends and patrons such as Dryden or are simply incompatible with his political views and literary style. What remains includes a cluster of anonymous satires on state affairs written around 1696 and 1697. Out of those poems, several exhibit patterns of allusion consistent with Bolingbroke’s known writings. It would be foolish to speculate that Bolingbroke was the author of any specific poem without further evidence—preferably in the form of a holograph manuscript. However, we can say with confidence that any of Bolingbroke’s poems included in this volume was likely intended for manuscript circulation only and published without his knowledge or permission.74Almahide was printed from ‘An incorrect Copy’ and without Bolingbroke’s consent.75 Doubtless more of Bolingbroke’s early poems circulated in a manuscript format and are now lost. IV Bolingbroke stopped writing and publishing poetry when his administrative responsibilities increased following his appointment as Secretary at War in 1704. But the records show that he continued to support the literary and visual arts through patronage. Just as he had been encouraged, like Pope, by ‘great Dryden’s friends before’, so now he groomed a new generation of poets.76 Bolingbroke’s first discovery was John Philips, a nonjuring scholar based at Christ Church, Oxford, whose mock-Miltonic fragment The Splendid Shilling (1701) had brought him attention some years earlier. In the autumn of 1704—and in consultation with Robert Harley—Bolingbroke commissioned Philips to write a panegyric commemorating the allied victory at Blenheim, the aim of which was to praise the war effort in a manner that avoided sycophantic eulogy of Marlborough. Bolingbroke hosted Philips at his ‘delicious Rural Seat’ at Bucklebury in Berkshire, ‘where warbling Birds provoke / The Silent Muse’, and oversaw the composition of the poem that became Blenheim.77 Ideological differences between Philips’s Blenheim and Joseph Addison’s famous Whig panegyric The Campaign (1704) have been explored at length by several literary critics and require no further explication here.78 Bolingbroke recognized Philips’s potential as a key propagandist for the Tories and supported his work accordingly. Bolingbroke continued with Harley to cultivate Philips, directing his energies towards political georgic in his most famous poem Cyder (1708). When Leonard Welsted published his elegy on Philips after his untimely death in 1710, he dedicated the poem to Bolingbroke and described the dead poet as ‘thy St. John’s Boast’.79 Philips’s earliest biographer, George Sewell, listed Bolingbroke as one ‘of the most eminent Encouragers and Patrons of Letters that have appeared in our Age’.80 Granville shared Bolingbroke’s priorities, and they occasionally worked together to encourage new artists and poets. Edward Young grouped them together in his Epistle to Granville (now Lord Lansdowne) in 1713.81 The pair posed for a group portrait by the Scottish artist Thomas Murray, together with their rakish friend Thomas Coke, possibly painted during Granville’s retreat to Bucklebury in September 1709.82 The painting is lost, but we do have an anonymous poem describing the image, which cast Bolingbroke as a Dionysian figure: Thus in his Hand the Chrystal Goblet flow’d, Thus in his Cheeks, the kindling Passion glow’d, And ev’ry Look confess’d a double God. He’s warm’d with Mirth, and well dissembled Wine, Which point his Wit, and in his Humour shine.83 As this visual portrayal suggests, Bolingbroke was known among friends for his love of the grape. In his Latin Ode ad Henricum St John (1707), Philips gave thanks to his patron for supplying him with claret.84 When Jonathan Swift complained about the cost of organizing a dinner at the Thatched House Tavern in December 1711, Bolingbroke promised to supply the drink.85 Surviving in the Brotherton Library at Leeds is an elaborately prepared manuscript essay in praise of wine by the Jacobite classical scholar Joshua Barnes, dedicated to Bolingbroke and acknowledging his gift in 1705 of ‘an Hogshead of Incomparable Red Wine, wch himself had but lately receiv’d from Portugal’.86 The essay contains drinking songs linking Bolingbroke’s patronage (and his cellar of quality port) with ‘ye Poet’s joy’: BRING us a Boule, when I call, Of generous St John’s Portugal: Bring me, bring me quickly, Boy, Great HARRY’s gift, ye Poet’s joy. Now fill the Glass. Oh! Wondrous Red; Anacreon gives it, now he’s dead. Let us, like him, then take it down: As men; that mean to swim, not drown.87 The reference to Anacreon, the ancient author of Bacchanalian hymns, is particularly clever. Bolingbroke presented Barnes with the wine following a chance encounter at the War Office, where the classicist was seeking Marlborough’s patronage for his new edition of Anacreon’s lyrics, which he was to dedicate to the general.88 However, the essay suggests an enduring attachment thereafter between the pair, and Barnes proceeded to dedicate his Anacreon Christianus (1705) to the young Secretary at War.89 Bolingbroke was expanding his intellectual network across the universities. Although Barnes was technically a Cambridge man, his friends and principal scholarly collaborators were all based in Oxford, where his Bachelor of Divinity was incorporated in July 1706.90 Bolingbroke had already been awarded an honorary doctorate at Oxford during the queen’s visit in 1702.91 He and Barnes shared contacts at Christ Church, where Philips, Francis Atterbury, William King and others were based. Bolingbroke’s desire to combine social activities with political and artistic patronage led him to form the Society of Brothers in the summer of 1711.92 Bolingbroke’s old Tory friends were invited to join the Society, including Lansdowne, John Freind, Sir William Wyndham, Simon Harcourt, Matthew Prior, Lord Bathurst, Charles Boyle (now Earl of Orrery), and newer associates such as Dr John Arbuthnot and Swift, who became the club’s unacknowledged secretary. The Brothers were united by their shared Tory and Jacobite proclivities. In a letter inviting Orrery to join, Bolingbroke described ‘the two great ends of our society’ as the ‘improvement of friendship, and the encouragement of letters’, while Swift described the ‘end’ of the Society as ‘to advance conversation and friendship, and to reward deserving persons with our interest and recommendation’—but not, according to Swift, with money.93 Although Bolingbroke encouraged the Society to donate money to struggling authors, Swift complained to Esther Johnson early in 1712 that a recent Society dinner ‘cost me a guineas contribution to a poet’. Other members gave two guineas to the nameless writer, but the niggardly Swift claimed that ‘next time I will give nothing’.94 Thomas Parnell, though not a member of the Society, solicited the advice of both Bolingbroke and Swift before publishing An Essay on the Different Stiles of Poetry in 1713.95 Rather than collaborate on their own literary projects—like the Scriblerus Club over at St James’s Palace—Bolingbroke and the Society instead cultivated a new generation of poets. Pope was foremost among the Society’s literary protégés and already a longstanding and loyal friend of Bolingbroke’s.96 He dedicated his Stuart panegyric Windsor-Forest to Lansdowne and every Brother later subscribed to his translations of Homer.97 Both Bolingbroke and Lansdowne featured prominently in Pope’s controversial preface to the Iliad.98 The most thoroughly documented apprenticeship to the Society was, however, that of the Oxford-educated parson William Diaper. Although Diaper and his works have largely been forgotten, he was an important rising star of Tory poetry during the last years of Queen Anne.99 Diaper was inducted into the Society of Brothers in March 1712, at the recommendation of Swift and Wyndham.100 Bolingbroke was pleased by Diaper’s innovative collection of ‘sea-eclogues’ Nereides (1712), and subsequently invited Diaper to Bucklebury, where the action of his peace poem Dryades (1712) is set: How happy, when I view’d the calm Retreat, And Groves o’er look’d by Winchcomb’s ancient Seat? Here the smooth Kennet takes his doubtful Way, In wanton Rounds the lingring Waters play, And by their circling Streams prolong the grateful Stay.101Dryades included some fairly standard Tory praise of Bolingbroke and Wyndham for their part in negotiating the peace settlement: ‘When St. John speaks, Who would refuse to hear? / Mars smooths his Brow, and Pallas drops her Spear’.102 Yet in its nostalgia for ‘rightful Kings’ and ‘kingly Oaks’, and its venom against ‘Foreign Aid’ and the invasion of ‘crafty Hengist with his Saxons’, readers of Dryades would also find implicitly Jacobite messages.103 Diaper expressed in verse his hope that Bolingbroke would ‘with a Smile / Reward the Song’ upon publication, and indeed Bolingbroke later instructed Swift to pay him an unspecified ‘Sum of money’ for the poem.104 Months later, when Diaper was ‘very sick’ in February 1713, Swift couriered another twenty guineas from Bolingbroke to the ailing poet.105 Bolingbroke was selective in the writers he supported. Whig panegyric was of no interest to him. V We must now address a key problem. Squaring what Blair Worden has dismissed as the ‘republican cliché’ of Bolingbroke’s later canonical writings with his earlier defection to Saint-Germain has proved difficult.106 Historians have typically dealt with this issue by rejecting any ideological basis for Bolingbroke’s Jacobite activities. His negotiations with James Francis Edward ‘were purely expedient’ and he ‘was not ideologically committed’ to the Stuarts.107 He was ‘utterly destitute of the beliefs and enthusiasms of a genuine Jacobite’.108 He sought personal power through his ‘adventures’ in France rather than real dynastic change.109 Not until his return from exile and spirited opposition to the Walpole ministry did Bolingbroke show any ‘clear vein of political principle’.110 In other words, Bolingbroke developed a conscience only after his ejection from the Jacobite court in 1716, at which point he embraced the republican teachings of Harrington and Machiavelli, and started writing on political topics. Mapping our findings about Bolingbroke’s early career onto this later and more significant period is not without problems. Nonetheless, his poems force us to question these easy platitudes. Firstly, the canard that Bolingbroke actually subscribed to the republican beliefs communicated in his polemical writings has long since been demolished by Quentin Skinner, who has instead argued powerfully that ‘Bolingbroke’s political writings may chiefly have been designed to remind the whigs of their own political principles rather than to set out any principles in which he himself necessarily believed’.111 He ‘tinker[ed] with the arguments of the republican tradition in order better to serve his partisan goals’.112 The notion that we must reconcile his sham republican polemics with his earlier activities may thus be abandoned. And yet the oppositional rhetoric of Bolingbroke’s early poems cannot be so easily dismissed as the results of a propaganda war. As we have seen, Bolingbroke’s poems from the 1690s situated him firmly amidst the Jacobite diaspora, and not with the neo-Harringtonians of that decade such as Walter Moyle, John Toland, and Robert Molesworth, alongside whom he is usually grouped by historians such as Isaac Kramnick and Pocock. Despite his father’s staunch Whig background, Bolingbroke’s early poems are public statements of hostility towards the Williamite regime. His rhetoric is drawn almost exclusively from contemporary oppositional literature, and certainly not from the radical teachings of Toland and his associates. As a minister of state he patronized Jacobite authors while simultaneously corresponding with James Francis Edward Stuart and his servants. Jacobite taxonomy is a notoriously fraught subject and certainly I do not wish to revive the whole debate.113 But in terms of culture, if not politics, young Bolingbroke was Jacobite to the core. Examining his poems and his defection side-by-side, one is forced to confront the ideological consistency of Bolingbroke’s early career. Bolingbroke abandoned the Jacobite cause only after James Francis Edward dismissed him as Secretary of State in March 1716. His concomitant renunciation of Jacobitism stemmed not from a rejection of old Tory principles, but rather, as he explained in his celebrated Letter to Sir William Wyndham (1717), from his lack of faith in James’s leadership and a profound distrust of his closest advisers. Bolingbroke spent much of the next decade in retirement at his villa in Orleans, where his literary interests shifted from poetry towards philosophy and history.114 Only one of Bolingbroke’s poems survives from this period of exile, and here Bolingbroke appears to have rejected the polemical strain of his earlier verse in favour of philosophical introspection: Survey mankind, observe what risks they run, What fancy’d ills, thro’ real dangers, shun, Those fancy’d ills, so dreadful to the great, A lost election, or impair’d Estate. Observe the merchant, who, intent on gain Affronts the terrors of the Indian main, Tho’ storms arise, & broken Rocks appear, He flys from poverty, & knows no other fear. Vain Men! who might arrive, with toil far less, By smoother paths, att greater happiness; For ’tis superior bliss not to desire That trifling good, which fondly you admire, Possess precarious, & too dear acquire.115 Unlike the earlier dedicatory verse and prologues, this paraphrase of Horace’s first Epode was never intended for publication. Bolingbroke wrote the poem for diversion while riding in his chaise and sent the results in a letter to Swift. Nonetheless, the text provides crucial evidence that the shift in Bolingbroke’s interests from politics to philosophy also affected his verse. When Bolingbroke retired from politics, he also turned his back on the decline of English letters. The two themes were connected. And yet this period of exile and philosophical study was not to last. Bolingbroke returned to the English political fold in 1725 and launched his own opposition campaign in 1727 with a short-lived series of pamphlets called The Occasional Writer. Lengthy prose tracts were an entirely new genre of writing for Bolingbroke—albeit one for which he had an undeniable talent. The generic disparities between short dramatic prologues and these lengthy polemics should not be underestimated, nor should the different audiences for whom and purposes with which these texts were written. One thing we have learned from our analysis of Bolingbroke’s early writing is his awareness of and appreciation for generic convention. Amidst the manifold differences, however, are underlying rhetorical affinities between Bolingbroke’s early poems and his polemical writings. The key polemical argument of his poems (and those by his early associates) is that literature and the arts have deteriorated under William III. After breaking from this theme for more than a decade, ‘gloomy prognostications about the decline of the arts in England’ once again became a central feature of his propagandist writings in 1727.116 I now want to suggest that Bolingbroke drew on and adapted the oppositional rhetoric of his earlier poems for the campaign against Walpole. In the Occasional Writer pamphlets Bolingbroke called attention to the ministry’s disregard of literary merit by assuming the guise of a hack author seeking employment from Walpole.117 ‘Employ me, sir, as you please; I abandon myself intirely to you; my pen is at your disposition’, he writes: ‘I cancel at once all former obligations and friendship, and will most implicitly follow your instructions in panegyric on yourself and friends, in satyr on your adversaries, in writing for or against any subject’.118 Bolingbroke continues in the ironic mode, praising Queen Elizabeth’s chief advisor William Cecil, Lord Burleigh, for declining ‘the payment of an hundred pounds’ to Edmund Spenser for The Faerie Queene.119 Although his focus has shifted over the years from bad drama to print, Bolingbroke’s central message here is that Walpole presides over the debasement of English literary culture, just as had William in the poems three decades earlier. Rather than blaming the writers—as did satirists such as Pope—Bolingbroke criticizes the conditions that stifle the production of great literature. This is classically Bolingbrokean. Back in his dramatic prologues he took aim at the ‘Vitious Tast’ of philistine audiences and theatre managers; playwrights cater to the tastes of the town, but cannot be blamed for doing so. Now in The Occasional Writer it is Walpole who is to blame for encouraging ‘every little paultry prostitute of his pen’; ‘hireling scribblers’ are merely the ‘tools of an evil statesman’, he elaborates, ‘and when I see all such discouraged, and none of them about a minister, I think my self obliged to suppose that his designs are honorable, and his measures directed to the public good’.120 The Occasional Writer pamphlets reinforce Bolingbroke’s earlier suggestion that bad writing cannot exist in a vacuum. Rather it is evidence of broader political malaise. The medium and technique of Bolingbroke’s attack has changed; but he has returned to the theme of his youth. Early essays for The Craftsman in February 1727 expanded on Bolingbroke’s mode of critique in The Occasional Writer, which had appeared in the immediately preceding weeks. ‘Muses pine in obscurity, and Learning is look’d on as a Disqualification’ in Walpole’s England; ‘it is ridiculous to expect that Arts, Wit or Learning should flourish, in any Degree, under such a rapacious, selfish and usurious Administration’.121 In another essay Bolingbroke’s ally and collaborator William Pulteney explains the collapse of ‘the Companies of Drury-Lane and Lincolns-Inn Fields’ by accusing the theatre managers of being on Walpole’s payroll: ‘He has not yet put us to one Farthing Expence on the Account of secret Service; and I am confident that He will always scorn to shelter any Sum under that Head. If He cannot conquer, He will not corrupt; and as he has veteran Troops in the Opera Service, He thinks them sufficient for his Service, without hiring or standing in need of mercenary Auxiliaries’.122 These initial salvoes against Walpole’s patronage of Italian maestros and Grub Street hacks were coordinated with activity in parliament. On 21 February 1727, Pulteney himself motioned parliament to deliver a full account of the £125,000 reportedly spent on secret service business, but which was widely suspected to have been squandered on Grub Street hacks. All this is not to suggest that Bolingbroke’s thinking had remained stagnant. Rather, the context for this new assault was full acceptance of the Hanoverian succession without the taint of Jacobitism. Walpole and not William III or George I is responsible for the decline of the arts in England. One final example may help nuance this difference. In the poems Bolingbroke diagnoses the problem of cultural decline, though his remedy is only ever implicit: English letters reached their zenith after the restoration of Charles II, he suggests, so that golden age may be reached again with removal of William III and the restoration of Stuart monarchy. The campaign against Walpole is very different insofar as Bolingbroke offers a clear solution. Corrupt and corrupting politicians are responsible for English cultural decline, and ought to be replaced by patriots who care for the arts. The monarch has been replaced by a minister. Compare this against the most famous contemporary attack on cultural decline by Pope in The Dunciad (1728, 1729, 1742, 1743), which Brean Hammond has linked with the opposition campaign being waged in The Craftsman.123 Whereas Bolingbroke blames Walpole, Pope targets ‘Dunce the second’ (i.e. George II), suggesting just how easily the residual Jacobitism of this recycled mode of satire could return to the surface.124 By 1726, at least, Bolingbroke appears to have reconciled his critique of cultural decline with support for the Hanoverian dynasty and the Protestant succession. Although the Dutch king had been replaced by an English minister, the symptoms of misrule remained the same. In his An Historical Account of the Lives and Writings of Our Most Considerable English Poets (1720), the legal writer and literary historian Giles Jacob described Bolingbroke as ‘A Statesman and Poet’.125 To forget either of Bolingbroke’s careers is to distort our understanding of both. My aim in this essay has been to demonstrate how a more thorough evaluation of Bolingbroke’s cultural life can nuance our understanding of his political allegiances and activities. This is not to vindicate Bolingbroke as a man of principle. Instead, what I have sought to demonstrate in the present essay is that one can find clear and unambiguous evidence of hostility towards the revolution settlement in Bolingbroke’s poems. Critical evaluations of Bolingbroke’s ideology have hitherto been grounded on his later polemical works only. Those later works have been found incompatible with the Jacobite inclinations evinced in his early career. The rhetoric of Bolingbroke’s verse, by contrast, is entirely consistent with his actions before 1716. After his return from exile in 1725, Bolingbroke found little difficulty adapting the critical rhetoric of his earlier poems to his new political opponents. Footnotes 1 For the sake of clarity I refer to St John as ‘Bolingbroke’ throughout, although he did not receive that title until the summer of 1712. 2 Sir Herbert Butterfield, The Statecraft of Machiavelli (London, 1940), 135. 3 Brean Hammond, Pope and Bolingbroke: A Study of Friendship and Influence (Columbia, MO, 1984). 4 H. T. Dickinson, Bolingbroke (London, 1970), 1. 5 This follows the general trend among historians of political thought, who continue either to neglect literary texts by major theorists or to read them uncritically, without attention to matters of genre, tone, and allusion: see David Womersley, ‘Literature and the History of Political Thought’, The Historical Journal, 39 (1996), 511–20. 6 The Correspondence of Henry St John and Sir William Trumbull, 1698–1710, ed. Adrian C. Lashmore-Davies: a special issue of Eighteenth-Century Life, 32 (2008), 1. The poems are not mentioned in Lashmore-Davies’s doctoral thesis, ‘Viscount Bolingbroke and the Moral Reform of Politics, 1710–1738’ (University of Cambridge, 2004). 7 Dickinson, Bolingbroke, 9. 8 Quentin Skinner, ‘Augustan Party Politics and Renaissance Constitutional Thought’, in Visions of Politics, 3 vols (Cambridge, 2002), ii. 344–67; Isaac Kramnick, Bolingbroke and His Circle: The Politics of Nostalgia in the Age of Walpole (Ithaca, NY, 1968). 9 Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Political Writings, ed. David Armitage (Cambridge, 1997). Armitage’s edition is a student text and makes no claim of total coverage. Nor were the poems included in Bolingbroke’s posthumous Philosophical Works (1754), on which see John C. Riely, ‘Chesterfield, Mallet, and the Publication of Bolingbroke’s Works’, The Review of English Studies, 25 (1974), 61–5; Sandro Jung, ‘David Mallet and Lord Bolingbroke’, ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews, 18 (2005), 27–31. 10 Christine Gerrard, The Patriot Opposition to Walpole: Politics, Poetry, and National Myth, 1725–1742 (Oxford, 1994). 11 See Karen O’Brien, ‘Poetry and Political Thought: Liberty and Benevolence in the Case of the British Empire c. 1680–1800’, in David Armitage (ed.), British Political Thought in History, Literature and Theory, 1500–1800 (Cambridge, 2006), 168–87. 12 The Unpublished Letters of Henry St John, First Viscount Bolingbroke, ed. Adrian C. Lashmore-Davies, 5 vols (London, 2013), i. x. 13 Joseph Warton, An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope, 2 vols (London, 1756–1782), ii. 20. 14 On Dryden’s career after the revolution, see David Bywaters, Dryden in Revolutionary England (Berkeley, CA, 1991); Paul Hammond, ‘Dryden’s Virgilian Kings’, The Seventeenth Century, 29 (2014), 153–71. 15 The Letters of John Dryden, ed. Charles E. Ward (Durham, NC, 1942), 85–6. 16 On Tonson, see Stephen Bernard, ed., The Literary Correspondences of the Tonsons (Oxford, 2015), 6–40; Kathleen M. Lynch, Jacob Tonson: Kit-Cat Publisher (Knoxville, TN, 1971). 17 Dryden, Letters, 93. On the dedication and plates, see Steven N. Zwicker, Politics and Language in Dryden’s Poetry: The Arts of Disguise (Princeton, NJ, 1984), 177–205. 18 On Mulgrave’s literary patronage, see Joseph Hone, ‘Pope, Bathurst, and the Duchess of Buckingham’, Studies in Philology, 115 (2018), 397–416. 19 John Barnard, ‘Dryden’s Virgil (1697): Gatherings and Politics’, The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 109 (2015), 131–9. On the workings of the two plots, see Jane Garrett, The Triumphs of Providence: The Assassination Plot, 1696 (Cambridge, 1980); on the aftermath, see Rachel Weil, A Plague of Informers: Conspiracy and Political Trust in William III’s England (New Haven, CT, 2013), 248–80. 20 H. T. Dickinson, ‘Letters from Bolingbroke to James Grahme’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 68 (1968), 117–31 at 119 and 121. 21 On Granville, see Elizabeth Handasyde, Granville the Polite: The Life of George Granville, Lord Lansdowne, 1666–1735 (London, 1933); Pat Rogers, Pope and the Destiny of the Stuarts: History, Politics, and Mythology in the Age of Queen Anne (Oxford, 2005), 74–91. 22 A Collection of Poems (London, 1701), 175; George Granville, Lord Lansdowne, Poems upon Several Occasions (London, 1712), 94; Leeds, Brotherton Library, MS Lt 36, fol. 10. 23 Illustrissimi Principis Ducis Cornubiae et Comitis Palatini (Cambridge, 1688), sig. a3v. 24 James Francis Edward simply calls him ‘Bevil’ in his correspondence: see, for example, Calendar of Stuart Papers Belonging to His Majesty the King, Preserved at Windsor Castle, Historical Manuscripts Commission, 7 vols (London, 1902–1923), i. 379. During preparations for the invasion in 1715, James Francis Edward appeared glad that Higgons was staying on at Saint-Germain, the mission being ‘most dangerous’ (i. 394). 25 Garrett, Triumphs of Providence, 116. 26 Calendar of Treasury Books, ed. William A. Shaw, 32 vols (London, 1904–1957), xi. 85 and 106. 27 The Works of John Dryden, ed. Earl Miner et al., 20 vols (Berkeley, CA, 1956–2000), v. 61–2. A revised version of this poem appeared as ‘To the Ingenious & Learned Doctor Mathanasius, on his most elaborate Commentary on the Excellent Master-piece of an unknown Author’, in Le chef c’oeuvre d’un inconu par M. le Docteur Chrisostome Matanasius (The Hague, 1714), sig. *5v. The poem is attributed to ‘H. D. B. A. A. S.’ and it is unclear whether or not Bolingbroke was responsible for this revision. 28 Dryden, Works, xi. 31. 29 Gabriel Glickman, ‘Christian Reunion, the Anglo-French Alliance and the English Catholic Imagination, 1660–72’, English Historical Review, 128 (2013), 263–91 at 266. On portrayals of Louis XIV as a ‘Sultan-like’ oriental despot, see Ros Ballaster, Fabulous Orients: Fictions of the East in England, 1662–1785 (Oxford, 2005), 175. 30 John Baird posits an interesting connection between Heroick Love, which is based on the first book of the Iliad, and Dryden’s translation of that book around the same time: see his ‘Renunciation as Tragedy and Triumph in George Granville’s Heroick Love’, Lumen: Selected Proceedings from the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 23 (2004), 115–31. 31 Examen Poeticum: Being the Third Part of Miscellany Poems (London, 1693), 250–2. 32 George Granville, Heroick Love: A Tragedy (London, 1698), sig. a1r. 33 Cf. Elijah Fenton, ‘An Epistle to Mr. Southerne’ (1711) in The Works of Mr. Thomas Southerne, 2 vols (London, 1713), i. sig. a1v. 34 Granville, Heroick Love, sig. a1v. 35 Dryden, Works, xii. 10. 36 Richard C. Boys, Sir Richard Blackmore and the Wits (Ann Arbor, MI, 1949); David Womersley, ed., Augustan Critical Writing (London, 1997); Abigail Williams, Poetry and the Creation of a Whig Literary Culture 1681–1714 (Oxford, 2005). 37 Womersley, ed., Augustan Critical Writing, xiv–xl. 38 Poems on Affairs of State: Augustan Satirical Verse, 1660–1714, ed. George de Forest Lord et al., 7 vols (New Haven, CT, 1963–1975), vi. 101–2; A New Miscellany of Original Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1701), 103. Blackmore was also subject to attacks from within his own camp: see John Dennis, Remarks on a Book Entituled, Prince Arthur (London, 1696). 39 In his unpublished essay on ‘The Wits Who Beset Sir Richard Blackmore’, Paul W. Nash has suggested possible contributors to the Commendatory Verses based on an annotated copy in the library of St Edmund College, Oxford, shelfmark JJ 138. 40 Dryden, Works, xvi. 263. 41 Pepys attended the London premiere of The Generall on 28 September 1664, which he found ‘poorly acted’: The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Robert Latham and William Matthews, 11 vols (London, 1970–1983), v. 282. 42 The Dramatic Works of Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, ed. W. S. Clark, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA, 1937), i. 110 (line 35) and 135 (lines 207–8). See Nancy Klein Maguire, Regicide and Restoration: English Tragicomedy, 1660–71 (Cambridge, 1992), 170–74; David Haley, Dryden and the Problem of Freedom: The Republican Aftermath, 1649–1680 (New Haven, CT, 1997), 181–2. 43 Elaine M. McGirr, Heroic Mode and Political Crisis, 1660–1745 (Newark, DE, 2009); Bridget Orr, Empire on the English Stage, 1660–1714 (Cambridge, 2001), 28–60. 44 Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, Altemira: A Tragedy (London, 1702), 2; cf. Orrery, Dramatic Works, i. 110 (lines 60–61). 45 The Plays and Poems of Nicholas Rowe, ed. Stephen Bernard et al., 5 vols (London, 2017), i. 35–55; Paulina Kewes, ‘“The State is out of Tune”: Nicholas Rowe’s Jane Shore and the Succession Crisis of 1713–14’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 64 (2001), 283–308; Brett Wilson, ‘Jane Shore and the Jacobites: Nicholas Rowe, the Pretender, and the National She-Tragedy’, English Literary History, 72 (2005), 823–43. 46 Bevil Higgons, The Generous Conquerour: or, The Timely Discovery (London, 1702), sig. A2r. 47 A Comparison Between the Two Stages, with an Examen of The Generous Conqueror (London, 1702), 127–8. On this mode of reading, see the important essays by John M. Wallace, ‘Dryden and History: A Problem in Allegorical Reading’, English Literary History, 36 (1969), 265–90 and ‘“Examples Are Best Precepts”: Readers and Meanings in Seventeenth-Century Poetry’, Critical Inquiry, 1 (1974), 273–90; Alan Roper, ‘Drawing Parallels and Making Applications in Restoration Literature’, in Richard Ashcraft and Alan Roper (eds), Politics as Reflected in Literature, Papers Presented at a Clark Library Seminar 24 January 1987 (Los Angeles, CA, 1989), 29–65. On the difficulties of applying this mode of reading to the stage, see Robert D. Hume, ‘The Politics of Opera in Late Seventeenth-Century London’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 10 (1998), 15–43. 48 Orrery, Altemira, sig. A3v. Bolingbroke’s prologue was spoken by Thomas Betterton. 49 The Second Part of Mr Waller’s Poems (London, 1690), sig. A4r. 50 Womersley, ed., Augustan Critical Writing, 128–9. 51 The Twickenham Edition of the Poems of Alexander Pope, ed. John Butt et al., 11 vols (London, 1939–1969), i. 298. 52 Orrery, Altemira, sig. A3v. 53 Higgons, The Generous Conquerour, sig. A4r. 54 Richard Braverman, ‘Politics in Jewish Disguise: Jacobitism and Dissent on the Post-Revolutionary Stage’, Studies in Philology, 90 (1993), 347–70 at 351. 55 George Granville, The Jew of Venice: A Comedy (London, 1701), sig. A4r. 56 Cf. Womersley, ed., Augustan Critical Writing, xv. 57 A New Miscellany, 105. 58 A New Miscellany, 114. 59 A New Miscellany, 115. 60 Lansdowne, Poems upon Several Occasions, 52. Cf. Bevil Higgons, ‘To Sir Godfrey Kneller, Drawing My Lady Hyde’s Picture’, in Examen Poeticum, 253. Lady Jane Hyde was identified as the inspiration behind Granville’s Myra in the key to Delarivier Manley’s The New Atalantis (1709): see Ros Ballaster’s edition of The New Atalantis (London, 1991), 97, 282. 61 Sir Samuel Garth, The Dispensary: A Poem in Six Cantos (London, 1699), 50 (cf. 6 and 12); Dryden, Works, vii. 357. 62 Lycidus: or, The Lover in Fashion (London, 1688), 74. 63 Jane Ohlmeyer and Steven Zwicker, ‘John Dryden, the House of Ormond, and the Politics of Anglo-Irish Patronage’, The Historical Journal, 49 (2006), 677–706. 64 Jeffrey Hart, Viscount Bolingbroke: Tory Humanist (London, 1965). 65 Joseph Spence, Observations, Anecdotes, and Character of Books and Men, ed. James M. Osborn, 2 vols (Oxford, 1966), i. 120. 66 Voltaire’s Correspondence, ed. Theodore Besterman, 107 vols (Geneva, 1953–1965), i. 178. 67 The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift, D.D., ed. David Woolley, 5 vols (Oxford, 1999–2014), ii. 294–5. 68 The Letters and Works of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, ed. James, Baron Wharncliffe, 2 vols, 3rd edn (London, 1861), ii. 257. 69 Bolingbroke’s Political Writings: The Conservative Enlightenment, ed. Bernard Cottret (Basingstoke, 1997), 5. 70 Spence, Observations, i. 120. 71 Spence, Observations, i. 120. 72 Bolingbroke’s last published poem was ‘An Epistle to Miss Lucy Atkins’, which remained unprinted until 1766. Although Michael Suarez states that Bolingbroke wrote this poem ‘when he was young’, the only surviving manuscript states that it was written ‘8 years before he Died’ (Northamptonshire Records Office, Powys Verse 27), i.e. circa 1743 and well beyond the limits of our present inquiry. Suarez also wrongly states that it is ‘Bolingbroke’s only published poem’: Suarez, ed., A Collection of Poems by Several Hands, 6 vols (London, 1997), vi. 289; i. 127. 73 Giles Barber, ‘A Bibliography of Henry Saint John, Viscount Bolingbroke’ (unpublished M.Litt. thesis, University of Oxford, 1963), 5–6. 74 On manuscript circulation, see Harold Love, Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford, 1993); Peter Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and Their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford, 1998); Henry Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts, 1558–1640 (Oxford, 1996); Stephen Karian, Jonathan Swift in Print and Manuscript (Cambridge, 2010); Daniel Starza Smith, John Donne and the Conway Papers: Patronage and Manuscript Circulation in the Early Seventeenth Century (Oxford, 2014); Noah Millstone, Manuscript Circulation and the Invention of Politics in Early Stuart England (Cambridge, 2016). 75 Mr Pope’s Literary Correspondence For Thirty Years, 5 vols (London, 1734–1737), v. 16. 76 Pope, Poems, iv. 105. 77 John Philips, Bleinheim: A Poem Inscrib’d to the Right Honourable Robert Harley, Esq. (London, 1705), 22. For the chronology, see John D. Baird, ‘Whig and Tory Panegyrics: Addison’s The Campaign and Philips’s Blenheim Reconsidered’, Lumen: Selected Proceedings from the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 16 (1997), 163–77. Philips received £100 from secret service funds for writing the poem: Kew, The National Archives, T/48/17, fol. 3. 78 Andreas K. E. Mueller, ‘Politics, Politeness, and Panegyrics: Defoe, Addison, and Philips on Blenheim’, Philological Quarterly, 94 (2015), 121–47; Williams, Whig Literary Culture, 140–43; Baird, ‘Whig and Tory Panegyrics’; Robert D. Horn, ‘Addison’s Campaign and Macaulay’, Publications of the Modern Language Association, 63 (1948), 886–902. 79 Leonard Welsted, A Poem to the Memory of the Incomparable Mr Philips (London, 1710), 12. Juan Christian Pellicer emphasizes Harley’s patronage but sidelines Bolingbroke in his ‘Harleian Georgic from Tonson’s Press: The Publication of John Philips’s Cyder, 29 January 1708’, The Library, 7th ser. 7 (2006), 185–98. 80 George Sewell, ‘The Life of Mr John Philips’, in The Whole Works of Mr John Philips (London, 1720), xi. 81 Edward Young, An Epistle to the Right Honourable the Lord Lansdown (London, 1713), 14. 82 Dickinson, ‘Letters of Bolingbroke to Grahme’, 128. Granville stayed at Bucklebury for at least a week from 9 September 1709. A different triple portrait by Murray (c.1692) survives in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich (item BHC2547), showing Thomas Phillips, John Benbow, and Sir Ralph Delavall. 83 Poems and Epistles on Several Occasions (London, 1710), 72. The author of this poem is unknown. There are, however, traces of Dryden’s ‘To Mr Granville, on His Excellent Tragedy, Call’d Heroick Love’ in the condemnation of Italian arts as ‘Foreign Monsters’ (78). 84 Philips too was a drinker, as Edmund Smith observes in his A Poem on the Death of Mr John Philips (London, [1710]), 5: ‘Redstreak he quaffs beneath the Chianti Vine, / Gives Tuscan yearly for thy Scud’more’s Wine, / And ev’n his Tasso would exchange for thine’. 85 The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift, ed. Claude Rawson et al., 17 vols (Cambridge, 2008–), ix. 350. 86 Leeds, Brotherton Library, MS Lt 97, fols 19r. For the Jacobite inclinations of this essay dedicated to Bolingbroke, see Barnes’s opinions on smoking, which ‘is said to be particularly hateful to ye Royal Family of ye STUARTS; for wch alone it deserves to be stigmatiz’d’ (fol. 92r). 87 MS Lt 97, fol. 31r. 88 Hart, Tory Humanist, 32. 89 See Kristine Louise Haugen, Richard Bentley: Poetry and Enlightenment (Cambridge, MA, 2011), 126. 90 Kristine Louise Haugen, ‘Barnes, Joshua (1654–1712), Greek scholar and antiquary’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 91 Joseph Hone, Literature and Party Politics at the Accession of Queen Anne (Oxford, 2017), 85–91; Nigel Aston, ‘Queen Anne and Oxford: The Royal Visit of 1702 and Its Aftermath’, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 37 (2014), 171–84; James Anderson Winn, Queen Anne: Patroness of Arts (Oxford, 2014), 249–56. 92 The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1690–1715, ed. David Hayton, Eveline Cruickshanks, and Stuart Handley, 5 vols (Cambridge, 2002), i. 763–4; Rogers, Destiny of the Stuarts, 81–3; Alexander Pope et al., The Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus, ed. Charles Kerby-Miller (New York, NY, 1966), 5–7. 93 Letters and Correspondence, Public and Private, of the Right Honourable Henry St John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, ed. Gilbert Parke, 4 vols (London, 1798), i. 150; Swift, Works, ix. 227. 94 Swift, Works, ix. 366. 95 Collected Poems of Thomas Parnell, ed. Claude Rawson and F. P. Lock (Newark, DE, 1989), 432–3; Swift, Works, ix. 499. 96 Hammond, Pope and Bolingbroke, 24–37; Rogers, Destiny of the Stuarts, 57–61. 97 On Windsor-Forest as a Stuart panegyric see Rogers, Destiny of the Stuarts; Joseph Hone, ‘Pope and the Politics of Panegyric’, The Review of English Studies, 66 (2015), 106–23. On the Homer subscriptions, see Pat Rogers, ‘Pope and His Subscribers’, in Essays on Pope (Cambridge, 1993), 190–227. The Society dissolved in 1713. 98 The Prose Works of Alexander Pope, ed. Norman Ault, 2 vols (Oxford, 1936–1986), i. 254–5. 99 Diaper deserves more attention. The only recent critical essay is Dirk F. Passmann and Hermann J. Real, ‘From “Mossy Caves” to “Rowling Waves”: William Diaper’s Nereides: or, Sea-Eclogues’, in Hermann J. Real and Peter E. Firchow (eds), The Perennial Satirist: Essays in Honour of Bernfried Nugel (Münster, 2005), 29–47. 100 Swift, Works, ix. 407. 101 The Complete Works of William Diaper, ed. Dorothy Broughton (London, 1952), 58. 102 Diaper, Works, 71. 103 Diaper, Works, 79. 104 Diaper, Works, 68; Swift, Works, ix. 471. 105 Swift, Works, ix. 496. 106 Blair Worden, ‘English Republicanism’, in J. H. Burns and Mark Goldie (eds), The Cambridge History of Political Thought 1450–1700 (Cambridge, 1991), 443–75 at 475; cf. J. G. A. Pocock, Politics, Language, and Time: Essays on Political Thought and History (London, 1971), 104–47; Linda Colley, In Defiance of Oligarchy: The Tory Party 1714–60 (Cambridge, 1982), 90. On Pocock’s reading of Bolingbroke, see Robert Sparling, ‘The Concept of Corruption in J. G. A. Pocock’s The Machivallian Moment’, History of European Ideas, 43 (2017), 156–70. 107 Lashmore-Davies, ed., Unpublished Letters, i. xi. 108 William Lecky, A History of England in the Eighteenth Century, 8 vols (London, 1878–1917), i. 133; cf. H. N. Fieldhouse, ‘Bolingbroke’s Share in the Jacobite Intrigue of 1710–1714’, English Historical Review, 52 (1937), 637–62. 109 Skinner, ‘Augustan Party Politics’, 345. 110 Dickinson, Bolingbroke, 184. 111 Skinner, ‘Augustan Party Politics’, 366. 112 Shelley Burtt, Virtue Transformed: Political Argument in England, 1688–1740 (Cambridge, 1992), 89. 113 Andrew Hanham, ‘“So Few Facts”: Jacobites, Tories, and the Pretender’, Parliamentary History, 19 (2000), 233–57; Clyve Jones: ‘Evidence, Interpretation and Definitions in Jacobite Historiography: A Reply to Eveline Cruickshanks’, English Historical Review, 113 (1998), 77–90; Jones, ‘Jacobitism and the Historian: The Case of William, First Earl Cowper’, Albion, 22 (1991), 681–96; Jones, ‘1720–23 and All That: A Reply to Eveline Cruickshanks’, Albion, 26 (1994), 41–53. Cf. Hone, Literature and Party Politics, 7–11. 114 Dickinson, Bolingbroke, 154–72. 115 Swift, Correspondence, ii. 294–5. 116 Gerrard, Patriot Opposition, 49; cf. Christine Gerrard, Aaron Hill: The Muses’ Projector, 1685–1750 (Oxford, 2003), 133. 117 Cf. Bertrand A. Goldgar, Walpole and the Wits: The Relation of Politics to Literature, 1722–1742 (Lincoln, 1976), 44. 118 The Works of the Late Right Honourable Henry St John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, ed. David Mallet, 5 vols (London, 1754), i. 134. 119 Bolingbroke, Works, i. 132. 120 Bolingbroke, Works, i. 144–5. 121 The Craftsman, 20 (13 February 1727). 122 The Craftsman, 24 (27 February 1727); cf. Thomas McGreary, The Politics of Opera in Handel’s Britain (Cambridge, 2013), 139–44; David Nokes, John Gay: A Profession of Friendship (Oxford, 1995), 408–9. The essay is ascribed to ‘C’ to designate Pulteney’s authorship: see The Works of the Right Reverend Thomas Newton, D.D., 3 vols (London, 1782), i. 71–2. On the reliability of these ascriptions, see Thomas Lockwood, ‘Did Fielding Write for The Craftsman?’, The Review of English Studies, 59 (2007), 86–117. 123 Hammond, Pope and Bolingbroke, 51–6. 124 Pope, Twickenham Edition, v. 61. 125 Giles Jacob, An Historical Account of the Lives and Writings of Our Most Considerable English Poets (London, 1720), 306. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press 2018; all rights reserved

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