I. The Public Controversy over the Ending of the War of the Spanish Succession: The Main Outlines

1. The War of the Spanish Succession as Reflected in Public Discussion until the Summer of 1710

This preliminary chapter briefly describes the impact of the public political culture as outlined above concerning the war which broke out in 1701. It aims to provide a backdrop for the distinctive features of the actual debate on how to end the war, which started in the latter part of 1710 and which must be regarded as the first instance of a fully developed political discourse in eighteenth-century England. Our aim is to enable both the themes and the functions of the genres participating in the debate up to 1710 to emerge in basic form. A detailed description of this debate in its successive stages lies beyond the scope of this part of the book, whose sole purpose is to prepare the way for the following chapters on the crucial phase of the discussion about war and peace. Unlike the main body of the book this section is not based on a systematic consideration of the entire corpus of relevant texts.

    From the beginning the War of the Spanish Succession, which closely concerned the continuance of the political order established by the Revolution of 1688/89, had immense repercussions on the public scene in Britain. As early as December 1701, and shortly before the death of William III, the Whig-oriented dramatist and poet Nicholas Rowe brought out Tamerlane, in which he emphatically voiced insular expectations with regard to the fate of the French tyrant King Louis XIV and the outcome of the war. When the war broke out, British domestic politics had largely returned to its former basic division between Whigs and Tories, whose growing dichotomy, immediately noticeable in denominational tensions, was to shape political life under Queen Anne. Whigs and Tories tended to have different views of the war, which quite often led to diametrically opposite positions in the public debate. Whereas the Whigs - because of their strong commitment to the Protestant Succession - tended to support the war on the Continent whole-heartedly, the more insular Tories, who had marked xenophobic inclinations, tended to be suspicious of, if not hostile to, the British involvement in Europe. Thus, almost from the outset, the War of the Spanish Sucession also assumed the role of a public catalyst for party-political rivalries.

    Early in 1701, Robert Harley, the newly elected Speaker of the House of Commons, who was later to build an extensive propaganda agency to put through Parliament the Treaty of Utrecht, had tried to bring about a non-partisan stance on the approaching war. Publications such as Charles Davenant's Essays upon Peace at Home, and War Abroad (1704) and John Toland's The Art of Governing by Partys (1701) and Anglia Libera (1701) - all sponsored by Harley - urged the need for domestic peace and a united front in face of the national challenge. With its strong Protestant and European components the last-named pamphlet already leaned towards a more strictly Whiggish point of view. In the immediately following context of closely contested parliamentary elections and mixed cabinets since late 1701 the War of the Spanish Succession was increasingly discussed in terms of party politics. The Whigs in particular, whose successful performance in the paper war of 1701 had proved the effectiveness of exerting pressure within doors by appealing to public opinion without doors, made skilful use of all the means of public persuasion, which included the whole gamut of genres from the noisy broadside to discursive pamphlets and sophisticated poetry.

    Although the British entry into the war did not meet with the same single-minded applause from both parties, and although a growing lack of enthusiasm on the part of the Tories was noticeable by 1704, the victory at Blenheim in the summer of 1704 and the subsequent British successes secured broad acceptance of the war for a number of years. This does not mean that party-political altercations ceased altogether. Thus, for instance, Ned Ward, the Grub Street poet, even tried to give a Tory colouring to the triumph gained by the Duke of Marlborough, whereas High Tories did their best to play off the successes of Sir George Rooke and the Navy at Gibraltar and Malaga against Marlborough's exploits at Blenheim. But the basic objectives of the war did not become a bone of public contention until much later. Discordant opinions mainly related to the effectiveness of the conduct of the war; thus, from John Dennis' An Essay on the Navy (1702) onwards stronger maritime efforts were regularly called for, though this hardly assumed the proportions of a major theme. Sometimes strategy in the Peninsula was subjected to critical examination. On the whole, however, Marlborough's military exploits exerted a masterful means of cohesion, as testified by the unprecedented volume of panegyric poetry of which Addison's The Campaign (1705) is merely the outstanding example. In the process, Marlborough, against whom High Tory criticism had been perceptively voiced as early as the autumn of 1704, increasingly became the popular idol of the Whigs, although by no means Whiggish by inclination; Trevelyan puts the case correctly: "Marlborough now became the hero of the Whigs, though he was never a Whig hero". Interestingly, criticism of the Dutch share in the war developed at a comparatively early stage - notably from The D- Deputies. A Satyr (1705) and The D-h Politicks Examin'd: Or, the Danger of a Defensive War to the Confederates (1705) onward - into a minor theme by no means drowned by the trumpets of patriotic jubilation.

    Only after 1708 did the war begin to appear as a serious burden in the eyes of the general public, and Whig demands for its vigorous prosecution as expressed, for instance, in Addison's pamphlet The Present State of the War, and the Necessity of an Augmentation, Consider'd (1708) met with decreasing approval, especially after the summer of 1709. In September 1709, apparently, complaints were already being voiced against Marlborough and the Earl of Godolphin for prolonging the war. During the phase of the Junto hegemony following the summer of 1708 the discarded Harley tried to recover politically by putting before the public incriminating views of Whig rule - a deliberate appeal to the electorate in order to embarrass the Administration. More particularly, An Account of a Dream at Harwich (1708), which has basic affinities to the approach adopted by Harley in his manuscript pamphlet Plaine English of the same year, was a Harleyite publication that aimed at long-term undermining effects by launching the evocative symbol of 'the family' for the spoils system erected by the Marlborough-Godolphin combination. Here the conspiracy thesis that was later to be relentlessly exploited by Swift in the Examiner and The Conduct of the Allies (1711) was hatched in allegorical disguise. In spite of allusions to the attempted Jacobite invasion of Scotland there are, however, no concrete references to the war; English policy in the War of the Spanish Succession is not discussed. The same is true with regard to Mary de la RiviŠre Manley's The New Atalantis (1709), which is said to have done the most damage to the Ministry in 1709 through its salacious stories about Whig politicians, particularly the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. Rumblings of discontent concerning the war still remained below the surface. Until the late summer of 1710 the liquidation of the war did not emerge as the paramount priority in domestic politics; the most controversial issues concerning its final outcome had not yet been put irrevocably on the public agenda, despite the foretaste of serious peace discussions after the publication of the rejected French proposals in 1709 and despite the increasingly ominous repercussions of the ill-advised Sacheverell trial early in 1710.

    How does the prelude to the discussion of the ending of the war present itself in terms of genres and their share in public discourse - the more specific concern of this monograph? Some basic observations may be made. All the genres contributing to the debate on the war in its crucial phase at the end of Queen Anne's reign did so from the beginning. However, there is a marked difference in conduct between the earlier stages and the later stages of the debate starting in the late summer of 1710. First of all, the exceptionally high proportion of panegyric writings spawned by sustained military fortune is immediately noticeable. The plethora of panegyric poems, in particular, gives a less professional appearance to this phase of the debate than to its concluding stage, the more so as the exultant mood of these encomia was not really matched by deflating rhetoric on a corresponding scale. Apparently the awareness of being participants in a successfully waged war put a premium on reportorial 'pamphlets' that stand out as a distinct sub-genre, with Francis Hare among its more noteworthy practitioners. As the comparatively modest output indicates, the pamphlet proper, however, does not yet seem to have played its later dominant role as undisputed premier moyen de propagande; in the subsequent controversy about how to end the war it assumed a pilot function in structuring the public debate and quite often relegated other genres to a subordinate position. It is revealing that, until the beginning of the peace debate proper in the summer of 1710, Arthur Maynwaring, destined to become the most important writer in the Whig camp, produced only one short pamphlet, Advice to the Electors of Great Britain (1708), which belongs in the context of the election campaign of the summer of 1708 and exploited the fears of Jacobitism, thus striking a note of opportune anti-Tory rhetoric.

    As regards the 'division of labour' between the various forms of public persuasion, the discussion up to 1710 does not yet show the more sophisticated and complex pattern of the peace debate proper, but certain tentative conclusions may be drawn. For instance, in the context of the French peace-offer of 1709 pamphlets such as Semper eadem: Or, Great Britain's Assurance of an Honourable Peace (1709), which were preceded by documentary publications, took upon themselves the main burden of the argument, while supporting broadsides such as The Character of the French King (1709) sought to discredit Louis XIV by means of personal satire. A similar fine tuning of genres according to their specific capacity for conveying political ideas can also be observed later, although in more concentrated form. With respect to the utilization of minor genres under party-political banners some surprisingly simple findings must be recorded. The full-scale prose romance as practised by Mrs. Manley in the form of the chronique scandaleuse seems to have been used almost solely as a Tory propaganda medium throughout the reign of Queen Anne. In the more important genre of the drama a diametrically opposed situation prevailed. The systematic Whig patronage of the theatre, especially through the agency of the Junto-sponsored Kit-Cat Club, made the drama a virtually exclusive domain of Whig propaganda. When signs of flagging enthusiasm for the war became apparent in 1704, Dennis' tragedy Liberty Asserted (1704), to quote but one pertinent example, forcefully voiced the Whig ideology of resolute engagement against the French tyrant in the name of liberty. In prologues and epilogues alike England's efforts in the War of the Spanish Succession were emphatically and well-nigh unanimously encouraged. Right up to the Tory political backlash in 1710, when Henry St. John (later Lord Bolingbroke) applied himself to the task of supervising the theatres, the stage play was the favoured literary province of Whig endeavours to influence public opinion.

    Although the clear-cut pattern emerging in the drama is, perhaps, exceptional, the Whigs obviously got the better of the Tories as regards the utilization of literary genres for political purposes. In travel literature, too, the Whig perspective, as illustrated by Addison's A Letter from Italy (1703), dominated. On the whole the Whigs were more alert to the need of cultivating public opinion and more agile in its implementation. The Whig preponderance in propaganda activity is corroborated statistically by a survey of political literature between 1701 and 1710. The professional dissemination of political propaganda by the Whigs through the theatre is proof enough that they set great store by appealing to the political nation without doors. This evaluation does not square with the appraisal of J.A. Downie for the years 1708 to 1710. Though Marlborough and Godolphin - who were not orthodox Whigs, by the way - may have been indifferent to printed propaganda, the Junto Whigs clearly were not. That the Whigs "failed to establish further ministerial papers, or to forge stronger links with existing whig journals" during that period was probably due to the fact that they felt sure of public consent at least until late in 1709 and saw no necessity to strengthen the existing propaganda apparatus. And though the Whigs may have been taken by surprise by the wave of extreme Tory sympathies aroused by the Sacheverell affair, the dexterity of their response to the journalistic moves of the reinvigorated Tories after the summer of 1710 confirmed the competence they had acquired in matters of public dispute. When the ministerial changes were made by the Queen, the man at the head of the new Government realised that, in spite of the somewhat embarrassing wave of Tory popularity produced by the Sacheverell trial, tremendous efforts would be required to beat the Whigs on their own ground and win public support for the peace policy which the new Ministers were determined to carry through. Public political culture in England was about to assume a new dimension.

2. The Temporal Structure of the Public Debate on how to End the War

This chapter outlines the course of the public debate from the summer of 1710 to the conclusion of the Peace of Utrecht in the spring of 1713. Its aim is to show the macrostructure of the discussions on the ending of the War of the Spanish Succession. The following chapter entitled "Focus" investigates the context of the turning-point debate between autumn 1711 and spring 1712, a period when the Government not only succeeded in pushing its active policies through against the Opposition, but also won the public relations battle for the support of the people. This chapter looks at the microstructure of rhetorical strategies.

a) Summer 1710

It was the commotion caused by Henry Sacheverell's sermon The Perils of False Brethren in November 1709 and the Doctor's subsequent trial that put party rivalries without doors on a new footing. The Sacheverell affair, incompetently handled by the vindictive, ill-advised Whig Government, proved the major catalyst for the change of public opinion, which also altered the nation's attitude towards the war. If it had not been for this stroke of luck the Tories would have experienced far greater difficulties in appealing to the country over the switch in their war-policy since late 1710. The sheer bulk of printed matter, among which loyal addresses to the Queen formed a major part, put on record the momentum of the volte-face in the public mood. The paper war set off by the Sacheverell trial was an unmistakable indicator that popular support was veering round towards High Church sentiments, a process whose effectiveness was spectacularly underlined in the early summer of 1710 by Sacheverell's triumphant tour of the country after his rather lenient sentence.

    The beginning of the gradual challenge to the Whigs' war policy by the revitalized Tories must be placed within the context of the campaign launched on behalf of that flamboyant spokesman for extravagant High Church principles. Although the war rarely received direct treatment in the Sacheverell controversy, which hinged on religious and constitutional issues, it was at least indirectly dealt with most of the time. Thus, most frequently, the disparagement - whether overt or covert - of the principles of the Glorious Revolution and the concomitant declarations in favour of unlimited hereditary right also questioned the purpose of a war which was waged not least to secure the Protestant Succession. Although the Sacheverell controversy is not dealt with in detail in this study of the public dispute over the conduct of the war, it has to be kept in mind that it was instrumental in invigorating Tory morale and in encouraging the Tories to call their adversaries to account on all aspects of the Government's policy.

    The public controversy about the ending of the War of the Spanish Succession has never been charted in its precise temporal dimensions. The attempt to do so is, of course, encumbered with the knotty problem of dating. In spite of many imponderables it is possible to delineate the time-structure of the debate by carefully evaluating the available evidence on a broad textual basis. Our main endeavour is directed at reconstructing the controversy by laying open the dynamics of its rhetoric. For this purpose the writings participating in the debate will be placed in a comprehensive network of interacting media; particular attention will be paid to the structuring role of certain primary texts that set the pace of the public debate.

    Since the spring of 1710 there had been growing signs that Tory efforts to capitalize on the mood created by the Sacheverell trial would increasingly affect the war. From the pulpit, for example, the habitual Whig manifestations of unflagging resoluteness were increasingly matched and soon outdistanced by Tory statements of displeasure at the long continuance of the war. As early as 15 March 1710, in his fast sermon before the House of Commons, even the moderate Tory Philip Bisse, the future bishop of Hereford, cautiously but unmistakably voiced misgivings about the fact that war gains were so slow to materialise, while at the same time emphatically warning against an ill-grounded peace. By the summer of 1710 the grumbling voices had become so clamorous that Goddard, in his sermon preached on 25 June and dedicated to, and printed on, the recommendation of the Duchess of Marlborough, openly expressed his anxiety that British war aims might be endangered by growing dissension at home. On the same occasion he also clearly linked increasing dissatisfaction with the Government's war policy with the general disaffection spreading in the wake of the Sacheverell affair. In July 1710, during a performance of George Farquhars The Recruiting Officer at the Haymarket Theatre, a ballad lashing out at Marlborough's avarice apparently led to a vehement outburst of resentment among the audience.

    Until then displeasure at the conduct of the war, if expressed at all, was uttered by a multiplicity of individual voices and not in chorus. Up to that time there was no organized propaganda by the Opposition with regard to the war. At least no co-ordinating efforts can be discerned which indicate anything like the convergence of the media engaged in public discussion. The situation changed rather abruptly during the summer of 1710. The controversy sparked off by the publication, probably in late July or early August, of Simon Clement's seemingly impartial Faults on Both Sides (1710), his reply to Benjamin Hoadly's ironical pamphlet The Thoughts of an Honest Tory (1710), must be seen as the first genuine though not full-scale propaganda contest between Whigs and Tories during the last four years of Queen Anne's reign. It emerged from the journalistic maze of the Sacheverell campaign and extended beyond the caesura of the October election. Thirty-three writings, including republications and translations, have been identified as belonging to that controversy, but there were more. For the first time a clear-cut alignment of competing forces can be recognized, with Hoadly setting the Junto standard, Clement disseminating Harley's advances for moderation, and Joseph Trapp, in Most Faults on One Side (1710), voicing an uncompromisingly Tory standpoint. In A Supplement to the Faults on Both Sides (1710) Defoe, newly enlisted by the energetic Harley, was also coming out in favour of a coalition government and reconciliation between men of goodwill of both parties. The importance of the controversy is shown by the fact that not only pamphlets, but also other genres such as periodicals and poems participated in it, albeit less extensively than in subsequent controversies. Moreover, there was a systematic tug of war between opposing points of view documented by the number of replies and counter-replies, so that the Faults controversy already showed the characteristics of a fairly complex, interconnecting debate.

    In terms of the public debate about the ending of the war, however, the Faults controversy can at most be regarded as an advance-guard skirmish. Neither in its first stage nor later did the war receive full attention, being little more than a side-issue. Referred to ominously by Hoadly in his Thoughts of an Honest Tory, but dealt with only in passing by Clement in Faults on Both Sides and even in Trapp's reply Most Faults on One Side, it was touched upon by other writers without ever occupying centre-stage. Rather, as corroborated even by Clement's late reply to journalistic objections, A Vindication of the Faults on Both Sides (1710), it loomed as an impending issue upon which argumentative energies would be released after the contending parties had thrown down the gauntlet. The Faults controversy, in which the various political groups tried hard to come to grips with the past over party-political fundamentals, merely set the stage for the fierce debate on the burning issue of the immediate future.

    This debate did not really gain momentum until after the election in October 1710. Its tentative beginnings must, however, be placed in the summer of that year. At about the same time as the semi-independent Faults controversy, which commenced in August 1710 and was continued into the following year, the discussion about further British involvement in the war was opened. It shows none of the neat outlines of the Faults controversy. Whereas the latter, especially in its more important first stage, developed within a clearly recognizable cluster of closely interrelated writings, the nascent war debate spread rather irregularly though by no means haphazardly. It can, somewhat surprisingly, be said to have been started by the Whigs. Disturbed by the growing signs of Tory recovery, the first changes in the Ministry and the impending dissolution of Parliament it was they who took preventive action in the summer of 1710 in order to forestall their complete overthrow. Although, admittedly, they were far from being a match for the Tories in capitalizing on the Sacheverell trial, they were not as disconcerted as is sometimes maintained. For example, the Whigs harassed the Tories with the threatened collapse of public credit so that Defoe, starting in August 1710 with An Essay upon Publick Credit, was commissioned to write repeatedly on this subject. In the matter of war, where they might still have thought they had the better hand, they went on the offensive, outnumbering the Tories in the production of pamphlets bearing upon this subject. Thus Maynwaring's folio broadside A Letter from Monsieur Pett(ecu)m to Monsieur B(u)ys and his longer pamphlet Four Letters to a Friend in North Britain, upon the Publishing the Tryal of Dr. Sacheverell, which both appeared about the beginning of August 1710, mark the starting point of a more serious dispute about the war. Both were effective pieces of propaganda and challenged the buoyant Tories over any reversal of war policy that might be envisaged, apart from trying to forestall the complete overthrow of the Ministry. By trying to attach the blanket stigma of Jacobitism to the Tories in his Four Letters Maynwaring repeated the approach successfully tested in his Advice to the Electors of Great Britain and gave prominence to a standard reproach which was to re-echo in Whig rhetoric throughout the entire war controversy. Hoadly chose a similar line of attack in his provocative prose sheet The French King's Thanks to the Tories of Great-Britain (1710), which charged the Tories with playing the French game; only through their assistance could Marlborough's successes be thwarted. In The Fears and Sentiments of all true Britains (1710), published at about the same time, Hoadly also sounded the alarm-bells and - in the midst of ministerial replacements and in anticipation of the imminent dissolution of Parliament - hurled the accusation against the Tories that they "encourage all the Jacobites and Nonjurors in the Nation; retard a good Peace and the Progress of the War both". These concerted measures clearly show that, contrary to Mary Ransome's assessment, the doctrine of Non-Resistance was not "the only stick the Whigs possessed with which to beat the Tories in 1710 [...]".

    The Tories' reaction indicated that they were well aware of the potential danger of the Whigs' preemptive attack. They managed to respond immediately to the Whig challenge to their rising popularity by means of a new weekly paper, The Examiner, which was opportunely launched at that very time. Its purpose was to call the outgoing Government to account for its past record; later, in Swift's hands, it became the leading ministerial organ. The Examiner replied to the Letter from Monsieur Pett(ecu)m to Monsieur B(u)ys in its first and third numbers and to The French King's Thanks to the Tories of Great Britain in its second number. On the whole its response can be regarded as typical of the vast majority of Tory journalism until well beyond the election of October 1710. Although it resolutely countered the charges levelled against the Tories by the Whig pamphleteers, it did so without so much as hinting that a switch of war policy aiming at a hasty peace was intended by the Tories. In its very first number the Examiner pronounced it absurd to assume that the Duke of Marlborough could be forced to lay down his command as a consequence of the change of the ministry. Immediately afterwards the short pamphlet Reasons why the Duke of Marlborough Cannot Lay down his Commands (1710) slyly joined the Examiner in its expectations while at the same time expressing forebodings of possible recriminations. In fact, open defiance of the Duke's position by Tory writers began much later. To be sure, in religious and constitutional matters the newly established journal was quite outspoken, censured unbecoming moderation and even openly spoke out in favour of Non-Resistance, thus diverging from Harley's line of policy. In matters relating to the war, however, the Examiner did not reveal any views which might be embarrassing to the Tory platform. Right up to when it was taken over by Swift it pursued a remarkably disciplined approach and did not jeopardize the reserved position initially adopted. Downie's statement, "The Examiner, from August to November 1710, continued to adopt an unconciliatory stance. Swift was given the responsibility of editorship to take the wind out of tory sails", must be qualified with regard to the war; Swift rather tightened up on the issue of war and peace. There is no essential disagreement over the peace issue between the Examiner and Abel Boyer's Harleyite publication A Letter from a Foreign Minister in England, to Monsieur Pettecum of 15 September 1710, intended in part for distribution abroad, which, while admitting that a reelected House of Commons might take up the problem of the peace, emphatically denied any dispositions on the part of the new Ministry to being less committed to the common cause. This pamphlet, which, somewhat belatedly, sought to neutralize any negative effects the Dutch Memorial might have produced, also firmly asserted that the Duke of Marlborough would be left in his command whatever ministerial changes were made. Until the election in October 1710 the majority of writers in the Tory interest took up a defensive position on the war question, while the Whigs seized upon the subject as a welcome means of improving their by now precarious public standing. The most plausible explanation of the comparative neglect of the peace issue by the Tories seems to be that they had misgivings about the state of opinion in the country concerning the war and did not want to put the matter to the test until firmly entrenched in power by the election. This situation might also account for the impression of a slight uneasiness sometimes discernible in Tory writings dealing with the issue of war, in contrast to the more forward handling of the topic by their Whig counterparts. Thus, while it is largely correct to say that the Whigs "fought a stalling action", writing against ineluctable developments, this assessment benefiting from hindsight ought not to prevent us from appreciating that for a long time they took a bold stand on an issue which they did not think to be a foregone conclusion and which, at least rhetorically, might enable them to gain the upper hand again for a while.

    The general impression of judicious restraint on the part of the Tories regarding discussion of the war between the summer and autumn of 1710 is spoiled by St. John's almost single-handed sally in his Letter to the Examiner, which appeared in early August 1710. Whereas the rhetoric of most Tory writers self-confidently played down the issue, St. John, whose authorship was wittily revealed by Addison in the second number of The Whig-Examiner, unabashedly took the offensive. Brashly asserting that Britain had been cheated by her double-dealing Allies into taking part as a principal in a war in which she ought to have engaged only as a confederate, he neatly laid the blame for the protraction of the war, unaccountably concentrated in Flanders, on the selfishness of the Godolphin Ministry, which not only domineered over the Queen but also acted against British interests. Though not stated explicitly, the conspiracy thesis with its implications of personal enrichment at the expense of the nation was subtly hinted at in this pamphlet. Swift was to elaborate it and give it its full propaganda appeal by concentrating on the emotive symbol of 'the family' early utilized by Harley as an effective ploy of anti-Whig polemics. St. John further underscored the polarising tendency of his pamphlet by shrewdly capitalizing on the increasing unpopularity of the Dutch: "[...] may not the King of France reasonably Hope, tho' Holland should be aggrandiz'd, that Britain will be in proportion weaken'd?". Anti-Dutch feeling, to which Davenant, too, pandered in Sir Thomas Double at Court, and in High Preferments (1710), was to be cleverly expatiated upon by Swift in The Conduct of the Allies. Thus the Letter to the Examiner, without yet setting the tone for Tory rhetoric, already exhibited the indispensable characteristics of its future direction. The existence of this seminal piece of propaganda also shows that differences of opinion in the Tory camp about the course to be adopted towards the Whigs rose to the surface from the very beginning of the serious debate on the war. It will be seen that diverse shades of opinion continued to be expressed in Tory rhetoric right to the conclusion of the war; they affected every genre and can be noticed, for instance, in the nuanced comments of the peace poems celebrating the Treaty of Utrecht. In the slowly developing rivalry between Harley and St. John over determining the party's platform the Examiner had not yet taken sides. As late as in its election appeal in number 10 it did not go further than to recommend, rather diplomatically, voting for those candidates "who would push on the War with the utmost vigour, in order to end it by a safe and speedy Peace". At most its warning, in the same issue, against candidates "who wou'd avoid reducing the Power of France, in order to perpetuate their own" sounded like a discreet adumbration of harsher public oratory in store for changing conditions.

    The Whigs recognized the defiant self-assuredness of the Letter to the Examiner and tried to retaliate. However, Lord Cowper's attempt, in A Letter to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.; Occasion'd by the Letter to the Examiner (1710), to pay St. John in his own coin by discerning "a real Conspiracy, not of the Whigs to inslave their Sovereign, but of the Tories to inslave the Nation" sounded rather like a tit-for-tat response, thereby confirming the difficulties experienced by writers in a defensive position in coping with a vigorous line of attack. By fastening the standard indictment of Jacobitism on his adversary, Cowper had recourse to a well-tried polemical device to be used over and over again by the Whigs and which, dexterously employed, might always be counted upon to score a point, but which also posed the risk of losing its effect in spite of its repetitive pertinacity. That the Whigs continued to rely upon this weapon ready to be hurled at their antagonists was underlined by the publication of A Letter from a Gentleman at the Court of St. Germains, to one of his Friends in England (1710), in which Maynwaring seems to have had a hand. In the summer of 1710, they faced at least some problems in reciprocating the brazen rhetoric of St. John, who had introduced a new note into public polemics. This becomes evident from the switch of stances in the Whig-Examiner, which was set up in opposition to the new party-political organ of the Tories. Addison, who had difficulties in accommodating his bland style to the rough and tumble of political strife, wrote only the first two numbers himself; his rather lenient treatment of St. John's pamphlet in the second number of the Whig-Examiner gave way to the more trenchant criticism exhibited in the fourth number of that short-lived journal. By that time the Medley had been launched permitting a more forceful, though by no means unproblematic, presentation of the Whig platform. Without putting its stamp on the entire debate the appearance of the Letter to the Examiner had a somewhat disquieting effect on the Whigs and harshly compelled them to summon adequate means of response. The stir caused by St. John's pilot publication was an important prelude to the war debate as it developed much later when the peace offensive was launched by the Tories under more propitious circumstances.

    In the beginning controversy over the war, pamphlets had the lion's share both quantitatively and qualitatively. As regards the argumentative handling of current affairs they took pride of place. Weekly periodicals increased their significance and played a complementary part in the public dispute. Their complementarity is born out by the fact that the main argumentative business in the press was handled by reference to outstanding pamphlets that set the pace in the debate, while intraperiodical exchange was less frequent. Pamphlets and periodicals also had the main share in subsequent debates and may be regarded as the primary media of political discourse. Usually they took the lead in shaping public opinion. The secondary media such as broadsides (mainly in verse), sermons, poems and prose narratives of different kinds, however, must on no account be neglected in any analysis of the public political culture evolving in the England of Queen Anne. Often the public debate received its characteristic features through the rich instrumentation of a variety of media, each performing its own specific function not easily transferable to other genres. Thus, for instance, in the intellectual climate at the end of Queen Anne's reign, especially during the turning-point debate, the sermon assumed some importance in the concert of printed propaganda as a multiplier of party-political convictions, both on the Tory and - to a slightly lesser degree - on the Whig side.

    Since the function of the main genres is dealt with in the fourth chapter, it seems appropriate at this point to briefly comment on some more occasional forms. The first is the full-length prose romance. Mrs. Manley, who had made a notable contribution to the airing of discontent with the Junto through scandal-mongering in The New Atalantis, followed with another work of the same kind, Memoirs of Europe, the first volume of which appeared in May 1710. Though by no means suitable for an intellectually adequate approach to politics, it may nevertheless be supposed to have performed a useful function in furthering disaffection with the Whig Government. By denouncing Marlborough's avarice, for instance, it played a contributory part, preparing the ground on the level of society gossip for Swift's more incisive and damaging indictments. Expressing hopes of putting an end to the protracted war, the Memoirs of Europe, which reviewed the relations of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough with the Queen during previous reigns, even anticipated a drastic change of the ministry before the dismissal of Sunderland had occurred. Books like Mrs. Manley's with their strong emphasis on corruption made it easy to commit oneself and provided Tory propaganda with an emotional undercurrent which could be counted on to have a persistently undermining effect and to do its work among readers from different walks of life. That The New Atalantis, which was published at a merely preparatory stage of Tory propaganda when the Whig Ministry was still in full power, can be ascribed such a general, subversive function can be inferred from the fact that Marlborough's description as "Count Fortunatus" was tailored to the pattern of the corrupt court-favourite and not to that of a war-mongering Whig politician. It is no mere coincidence that the second volume of Memoirs of Europe appeared in November 1710, when the new Government had to tackle the difficult problem of peace and further depended on sustained popular support. In this second volume Mrs. Manley, in keeping with the development of Tory propaganda, stressed the dangers to the Crown issuing from Marlborough's (Stauracius's) ruthless ambition, which is emotionally highlighted. At about the same time The Secret History of Arlus and Odolphus (1710) appeared, a notable specimen of a related genre focusing on the seamy side of Court life; for its propagandistic effect this short narrative, which justified the ministerial changes owing to insider knowledge and further damaged Marlborough's prestige in the guise of Fortunatus, also relied on the willingness of readers to be drawn into a world of political make-believe pandering to innate curiosities.

    The second remark concerns the use of occasional poetry for propaganda purposes. When, in August 1710, the Tories' campaign of addresses reached its climax with the address presented to the Queen by the Bishop of London and the clergy of London and Westminster, the Whigs arranged for the publication of a broadside poem, possibly by Maynwaring, entitled The Humble Address of the Clergy of London and Westminster, Paraphras'd (1710). In the guise of a high-flying London divine it mockingly prayed for scattering "those that delight in the War" in order to prevent Louis XIV from being utterly ruined. Conceived as an anticlimax to High Church enthusiasm, which was threatening to drown oppositional opinion in a flood of co-ordinated statements, it was intended to take the wind out of the Tories' sails by rudely awakening them to the consequences of their about-face in foreign policy. But even when there was a lull in the public controversy, occasional poetry was also able to attract attention, thus fulfilling a useful function, albeit a modest one. Newburgh Hamilton's militant High Church poem The Changes: Or, Faction Vanquish'd, published in May 1711, for example, gave expression to anti-Whig feelings in order to make readers alert to the political opponent supported by the Dutch. Of course it is difficult if not impossible to judge the effect of such propaganda. However, the fact that such publications belonged to the indispensable paraphernalia of a full-blown debate shows that they were supposed to fulfil a necessary function, to open, above all, a short cut to temporary political commitment, however short-lived, whereas a prose romance by Mrs. Manley, with its malicious poisoning, relied rather on long-term impact. Their regular appearance testifies to calculated efforts to show the flag on all levels of political discourse. As a quick and pungent public relations instrument they specialized in rousing political emotions at short notice. Ephemeral poetry of this kind increased with the intensification of the public debate during the following years. Its relative importance at that time may also be gauged by the fact that the political print as a weapon of propaganda only gained genuine signficance in the later decades of the eighteenth century. Of course occasional poetry of a more substantial literary character really came into its own at the conclusion of the Treaty of Utrecht, as will be illustrated in the third chapter.

b) Autumn 1710 until Spring 1711

Although the elections in October 1710, which, in London, for example, also roused pacifist feelings, resulted in a clean sweep for the Tories, the character of the public debate over the war did not change overnight. During the next six months or so, i.e. until the death of Emperor Joseph I changed the political face of Europe, the antagonists tested each other's strength, but did not really go for each other's throats. The reason why the war debate was so slow in gaining momentum must be sought in the new Government's refusal to lay open their peace plans, which were, however, pursued from the beginning. Of course the Government had to guard itself against a possible revulsion of public feeling with regard to the war. As early as December 1710 Harley secretly reopened peace negotiations with France, but preferred to pretend that there would be no slackening of Allied efforts in pursuing the war to its just and proper end. Thus the Queen, in her speech at the opening of Parliament on 25 November 1710, set forth Harley's public policy by vigorously endorsing the continuation of the war, thereby corroborating the expectations raised by Harleyite propaganda. It is certainly no coincidence that Thomas Swift in the sermon entitled Noah's Dove, which he delivered on 7 November 1710 and dedicated to Harley, concluded his appeal for unity above the level of party politics with a promise of a forceful prosecution of the war. Just before Boyer had declared in an openly Harleyite publication that "our New Ministry, and the New Parliament, will insist on the Restitution of the whole Monarchy of Spain" and had even held out the prospect of better conditions for the Allies. Moreover, Harley sought a modus vivendi with the disgruntled Bank of England, which he did not intend to antagonize for long. The debate starting after the election received its special imprint from the Whigs' obstinate but somehow vague suspicion that something was going on underhand and the Tories' simultaneous endeavours to deny any reversal of the war aims while at the same time noticeably stepping up their criticism of the former Ministry. Outspoken criticism of the peace policy of previous administrations, found to be gravely deficient in several respects, was vented by the author of The Secret History of Arlus and Odolphus published in the first half of November 1710. In Examiner 19 (7 December 1710) Swift, characteristically, took refuge behind the Queen's Speech, though cleverly pointing out the difficulties which would beset the new Government if it were to reverse the Whigs' war policy. The overall impression resulting from the uncertainty about the further direction of foreign policy may be summed up in the metaphor that the combatants on the public scene were constantly firing at each other weapons of light or medium power while actually lying in wait for the discharge of heavy artillery.

    In view of the anticipated challenge to their war policy the Whigs' main propaganda efforts consisted in creating high barriers which were not easy for the Tories to surmount in their imminent bid for public approval. The Whigs' defensive barricade consisted of an extensive presentation of circumstantial evidence establishing once again the correct conduct of the former Administration with regard to the war by pointed references to parliamentary resolutions and similar documents of seemingly unassailable conclusiveness. Hare's Management tracts, which appeared in four parts in January and February 1711, and which were probably revised by Maynwaring, became the major instrument of the Whigs in their attempt to confront the Tories with ineluctable facts. The publication of the Management tracts, a substantial vindication of Marlborough, set in motion what, excepting the Galway and Guiscard episodes, turned out to be practically the only major controversy of any significance for the war between the election in October 1710 and the reorientation of the public discussion in April 1711. They reminded the Tories of the premises for going to war, denied any unwillingness on the part of the former Government to work seriously for peace during previous negotiations, and emphasised - in spite of some underlying misgivings - that the common ground of the Grand Alliance, the need to recover Spain for Austria in order to put an end to the exorbitant power of France, was still valid. Of course the standard reproach of Jacobitism, which Maynwaring had also put forward in the summer, was not lacking. Thus the Whigs, clearly resolved to apply pressure, of a polemic nature at least, on their opponents, continued to put up high barriers for the Tories to overcome, although their incessant war-cry of 'No peace without Spain' had lost much if not all of its persuasive power since the surrender of General Stanhope's army at Brihuega, news of which reached London in December 1710. In spite of their cool adherence to the solid facts of the case Maynwaring, the Whigs' chef de propagande in the coming struggle, and Hare realised that systematic efforts were being made by their adversaries to undermine if not openly attack the very foundations of the English involvement. In the first of the pamphlets, the letter dated 23 November 1710 and reprinted in The Management of the War; in Four Letters to a Tory-Member (1711), the author shrewdly surveyed the body of printed propaganda so far produced on behalf of the new Government to call into question the fundamentals of British policy in the War of the Spanish Succession. Referring, in this order, to the Letter to the Examiner, The Secret History of Arlus and Odolphus, Davenant's Sir Thomas Double at Court, and in High Preferments, the Letter from a Foreign Minister in England to Monsieur Pettecum, Faults on Both Sides and Defoe's Essay upon Publick Credit, he surmised that it was the organizing skill of Harley that lay behind the variety of approaches to rally public opinion in support of the new Ministry. Besides attributing the Letter from a Foreign Minister to Harley himself, his only other mistake was to put St. John's Letter to the Examiner under the auspices of the new Prime Minister. The motives behind Harley's clever co-ordination of Tory propaganda were summed up thus: "But whatever various Figures these Engines of his affect to move in, and whatever different ways they take, they all make to the same End [...]; I mean in censuring the Management of the War, and endeavouring to ruin the Reputation of those, who have been hitherto the chief Directors of it". Though the Letter from a Foreign Minister received his highest praise and Arlus and Odolphus was mentioned frequently in the pamphlets, it is St. John's more daring piece of propaganda, which openly calls into question the entire rationale of the war, is mentioned first and deprecated in the supercilious manner of the author of the Medley, that seems to have had most portentous implications for the author, for the first letter ends on an anti-Jacobite note - more typical of Maynwaring than of Hare - by evoking the danger from "our Domestick Invaders", pursuing French interests in the face of Protestant Englishmen.

    The Whigs' task of exposing the true aims of the new Government proved by no means easy. Through the agency of Swift, who possibly took a hand in writing replies to the first two of Hare's and Maynwaring's pamphlets in the form of an Examination and its sequel, the Management controversy also got linked up with the Examiner, where, however, it received a rather summary treatment, indicating that openly taking on Marlborough's apologist did not yet appear opportune to Swift nor - for that matter - the Ministry. For his part Maynwaring, Swift's weekly antagonist in the Medley, was instrumental in producing An Answer to the Examination of the Management of the War. Written by the Medley's Footman (1711). It was by no means accidental that the controversy about the Management pamphlets was, as it were, also treated as a side-issue by authors whose main business by then included weekly journalism. By quickly establishing itself as the leading opinion-journal in the Tory camp, the Examiner had necessitated the founding of a rival paper of comparable calibre, which was conducted by the ablest of the Whig writers. This personal constellation noticeably added to the importance of the periodical press as a medium of public debate after the installation of the new Government. The author of Remarks upon Dr. Hare's Four Letters to a Tory Member, concerning the Management of the War (1711), for example, frankly acknowledged the Examiner's superior claim to setting the pace in public dispute! Although the pamphlet, of course, did not even temporarily lose its significance as a major conveyor of political propaganda, the weekly journal gained in relative importance and to an increasing degree put its stamp on the public debate. Although it was common for the media to pay particular attention to their own kind, with regard to the weeklies this was a sign of their growing self-confidence if one considers the massive output of pamphlets, the traditional heavyweights in the journalistic fray. There were comparatively more references now in pamphlets to periodicals like the Examiner and the Medley than vice versa.

    The difficulties of the Whigs in engaging their opponents can be exemplified in the Medley's stubborn contest with the Examiner and corroborated by complementary observations regarding other media. The general constellation prevailing from November 1710 through the spring of 1711 was characterized by the pertinacity of Tory writers of a quite different stamp to do permanent damage to the Whig stand on the war without admitting to a change of principles. That the official attitude towards the war was changing without becoming as yet explicitly redefined was clearly reflected in Andrew Snape's fast sermon preached before the House of Commons on 28 March 1711. This seemingly balanced sermon, while admitting the justice of the struggle against France, sent noticeable signals of English war-weariness. The final part in particular, with its unmistakable references to his private enrichment, made it clear that the discrediting of Marlborough was already well under way. However, the Government could not yet afford an open rupture, depending, as it did, on his services during the next campaign in order to retain confidence in its handling of the war. Apparently the authors writing in the Tory interest were commissioned by the Harley Government to prepare for any eventuality, and to conduct a campaign of attrition instead of engaging in a battle of destruction. As early as November 1710 Mrs. Manley, in her devious way confirming Boyer's previous statement, had intimated in the second volume of her Memoirs of Europe that Marlborough would keep his command, and as late as Examiner 38 (19 April 1711), Swift triumphantly expostulated with his opponents that "All Care is taken to support the War". Harley's policy of camouflaging his ulterior intentions in order to maintain his freedom of action resulted in the constant harassment of Whig positions short of open revocation of official commitments.

c) Spring and Summer 1711

The real transmutation of the war debate - at first only noticeable in erratic moves on the journalistic plane - began in April 1711, when the death of Emperor Joseph I changed the setting of international affairs. In order to evaluate the process of the debate properly it is important to distinguish between its successive interconnecting phases, which permit a broad temporal placing of the printed material. This is lacking, for example, in the ninth chapter of Coombs' Dutch-centered study, which therefore tends to blur the inner dynamics of the debate. Immediately after the Emperor's death the discussion of its political repercussions set in. As can be observed throughout the debate, Harley followed a double policy, presenting a soft approach - personified by Defoe - and a hard approach - personified by Swift - to the task of winning support for revising the aims of the war. These complementary approaches largely merged at the beginning of 1712, when Tory propaganda reached its climax of self-assertiveness. Defoe, among others, published a pamphlet, The Succession of Spain Consider'd: Or, a View of the Several Interests of the Princes and Powers of Europe, as they Respect the Succession of Spain and the Empire, which appeared at the end of April or the beginning of May 1711 and carefully drew attention to the need to reconsider the question of the balance of power. This pamphlet, in a kind of concerted action, appeared at about the same time as the Review of 28 April 1711, which saw this problem as a political issue and also realised the difficulties that would arise if the policy towards Spain were continued after the Emperor's death. Only a week after his roguish reassurance of unflagging war efforts Swift renounced the public consensus on war aims in Spain, which had not been openly challenged till then, although a Tory pamphleteer had already called "groundless" the assumption that the accession of the Duke of Anjou to the crown of Spain implied the unification of the French and Spanish monarchies. In this essay (Examiner 39 of 26 April 1711), after expatiating on the machinations of the former Ministry and ominously mentioning their endeavours permanently to beguile the nation through addresses cunningly pressed upon it, he rather unexpectedly focuses on the point in question: "I MUST be so free to tell my Meaning in this; that among other Things, I understand it of the Address made to the QUEEN about three Years ago, to desire that her Majesty would not consent to a Peace, without the entire Restitution of Spain". He adds succinctly that the Whigs thereby intended "to pin down the War upon us; consequently to increase their own Power and Wealth, and multiply Difficulties on the QUEEN and Kingdom [...]". With this indictment the corrosion of the main bastion of Whig war policy had been initiated. It turned out to be an arduous process of public wrangling. Significantly, the Post Boy of 26 to 28 April 1711 contained a paragraph about supposed French peace intentions. Though the journal declared this to be "a meer chimera", its hint that the Allies' "Demand of the Restitution of Spain and the Indies" seemed unacceptable to the French, occurring, as it did, in close conjunction with the Examiner's move, must be regarded as sly assistance to Swift's ballon d'essai. However, it is by no means clear what immediate function Swift's challenge to the 'No peace without Spain' policy fulfilled in the overall strategy of Tory propaganda. Undoubtedly its basic function, fraught with long-term consequences, was to divest of its prohibitive aura a subject which had so far not been openly dealt with by ministerial propagandists. Though it radically questioned the rationale of Whig war policy it combined aggressiveness with discretion. Maynwaring's reply in Medley 31 (30 April 1711) significantly accused Swift and the Tories of "pleading for the Duke of Anjou, and a Partition of Spain". Had Swift, who only doubted the feasibility of reconquering Spain for the House of Habsburg, successfully put out a bait to ensnare the Whigs? Perhaps its more immediate purpose was to spur the investigations of the Commons, whose Representation, charging the former Government with breach of public trust in the conduct of the war, was presented to the Queen at the beginning of June. The publicity which the calumnious 'pamphlet' Oliver's Pocket Looking-Glass, published in May 1711, received in the advertising columns of Examiner 42 (17 May 1711) and Examiner 44 (31 May 1711) indicated that the Government was not letting up in its hostility towards the war or towards its figurehead. In any case, we are confronted with the remarkable fact that Swift's kite-flying hardly produced any tangible effects, at least in the beginning. The other Tory papers did not follow suit on a corresponding note, nor did the Medley, though smelling a rat, pursue the argument until it ceased to appear in June 1711. Still, Swift's Examiner essay must at least have been seminal in removing taboos from a topic which, considering the Queen's reassuring message to the House of Commons after the Emperor's death, seemed to pose no immediate practical threat to the Allies' cause.

    Though Defoe, in the penultimate section of his Eleven Opinions about Mr. H-y; with Observations, published about the beginning of June 1711, explicitly confirmed the validity of a tried policy and even stressed the mutual confidence between the Allies, the Whigs in that month, when rumours about an approaching peace were spreading in London, suddenly sounded the alarm bells. After hinting at secret peace moves in the last stanza of his broadside An Excellent New Song, Called, Credit Restored (1711), which satirized Harley's South Sea scheme, Maynwaring, who was convinced that testing the terrain with a view to a possible peace had reached a decisive stage, in July fully blew the Whig trumpet in Reflections upon the Examiner's Scandalous Peace (1711). In this densely factual pamphlet the author tries to erect a defensive barrier by cataloguing all the official resolutions backing the Austrian claim to the entire Spanish monarchy. In a companion piece, A Letter to a Member of the October-Club (1711), which emphasised the economic drawbacks of giving up this position, Maynwaring, collaborating once again with Hare, made his point by repeatedly warning "that giving Spain to the Duke of Anjou, will be giving it to the French King". At about the same time the Review of 16 June 1711 still marvelled that "such a Peace" as giving Spain and the Indies to the Duke of Anjou could well be conceived. The Review remained true to this line until October 1711! As Maynwaring's bewildered request in the Reflections that Swift state his reasons for his sudden and portentous revelation showed, the Whigs were still somehow groping in the dark as to the Government's concrete intentions. In April 1711, Swift had given the go-ahead for the final stage of calling the political enemy to account, but the public discussion went on rather erratically for the time being. Apparently the uncertainty about the progress of international politics then hindered more extensive encounters, and the Whigs, who could not but rest content with uttering Maynwaring's words of caution, wanted to give proof of being on their guard against all eventualities. The discontinuation of the Examiner, which was finally suspended on 26 July 1711, even led to a temporary cessation of journalistic hostility towards Marlborough, who in that month let Harley know that he was interested in coming to terms with Godolphin's successor, a reconciliatory move not left unreciprocated on the part of the Government, at least on the face of it. It was not until the end of August 1711, when Prior's preliminary mission leaked out, and not until the beginning of September 1711, when Marlborough's victory at Bouchain gave a new boost to Whig morale that a bitter, extensive and protracted public battle ensued that reached its densest polemical interaction in the turning-point debate between the autumn of 1711 and the spring of 1712.

d) Autumn 1711 until Spring 1712

The repercussions of the leaking of Prior's secret mission - Swift tried straightaway to ward off the most dreadful anticipations through the "Serious Banter" of A New Journey to Paris (1711) - were for the time being offset by Marlborough's dashing victory at Bouchain, the news of which followed hard on the diplomatic disclosure. Bouchain turned out to be a valuable incentive for the Whigs, who, even before the middle of September, appeared on the public scene with, for instance, the broadside To the Duke of Marlborough, on the Taking of Bouchain (1711), whose final phrase of "Lasting Peace" struck a recurrent and somehow wishful note of opposition rhetoric. Roused by ominous divulgences in the Post Boy of 21 to 23 August and particularly in the edition of 6 to 8 September 1711 about overtures of peace, which at last broached the possibility of a partition of Spain, the Whigs really went out of their way to expose what they hoped would be seen as the Government's disgraceful retreat from essentials which were more than ever within reach of England and her Allies. Hare, in his sermon The Charge of God to Joshua, preached on 9 September 1711 and published on the 25th of the same month on Maynwaring's initiative, resolutely hoisted the Whig standard and thought fit to drive home the familiar, but highly seasonable lesson of the providential character of England's military success that unmistakably pointed towards a victorious peace that was not to be given away lightly. Although Hare also adopted a self-confident if not aggressive stance in Bouchain: In a Dialogue between the late Medley and Examiner (1711), this pamphlet, published a few days before the sermon, indicated that the Whigs, in spite of trying to force their adversaries to adhere to the approved principles of peace policy, did not merely return to the old agenda. Their rhetoric, which had received a considerable impetus, did not so much aim at the Government's readiness to correct itself by its own free will but rather at the eventual intervention of Parliament. Their preventive oratory apparently addressed to the Tory Government, which was publicly challenged by an author supposed to be a Marlborough confidant, was increasingly directed at Parliament as the last bulwark of national interests. Thus the Bouchain dialogue, which, by didactically confronting the leading spokesmen for the Whig and Tory camps, forcefully demonstrates that any idea of a retreat from the 'No peace without Spain' line was untenable, put its main argumentative thrust on the conviction that it was inconceivable that Parliament would ever consent to a dishonourable peace with France. Maynwaring's broadside An Excellent New Song, Called Mat's Peace, Or, the Downfall of Trade, which appeared about the beginning of October 1711 and painted the dire consequences of surrendering Spain to the House of Bourbon, also set its hope on Parliament's corrective power. In view of the probability of the Government's defection from the status quo the Whigs directed their efforts at Parliament as the final court of appeal without changing their basic rhetorical armoury. Of course, the publication of the Preliminaries on 13 October 1711 added highly explosive fuel to Whig ardour. Again, Maynwaring, in his ironic, well-written and effective Vindication of the Present M-y, from the Clamours Rais'd against them upon Occasion of the New Preliminaries (1711), published in November and probably his most influential contribution to the controversy about the Preliminaries, apparently came to the defence of the Government, which could not in fairness be suspected of such an unprecedented neglect of British interests. By harping on the shocking implications of such suppositions he at bottom appealed to the discretionary power of Parliament for dispelling Whig misgivings. A peace not commensurate with the sacrifices made by Britain ought to be rejected. This pamphlet also clearly states that the Examiner's plans never assumed the evacuation of Spain and that the Emperor's death was only the pretext for relinquishing the former position on Spain. Maynwaring's complementary piece, the slightly earlier Remarks on the Preliminary Articles Offer'd by the French King, in order to Procure a General Peace (1711), had already highlighted the flagrant disregard of British interests by carefully pointing out the differences between the old and new Preliminaries.

    The quick succession of the taking of Bouchain and above all the premature publication of the highly controversial Mesnager Preliminaries in the Daily Courant of 13 October 1711 gave fresh impetus to the Whigs' publicity campaign to confront the Government on its peace plans. The Tories, though by no means taken aback by the vigour of their adversaries, did betray some embarrassment about how to match the Opposition's concerted efforts. Between September and the end of November 1711 Harley's journalistic forces were rather less efficiently arrayed than before and especially afterwards. The Whigs' propaganda battalions were comparatively strong even in the light of the fact that the Tories immediately launched a counterattack with Mrs. Manley's two rejoinders addressed to Hare, which showed both skill and verve. Altogether the Tory policy seems to have been to counter the Whigs' polyphonic invocation of national essentials by raising the emotive pitch of their own writings. From about September 1711 Tory propaganda distinctly appealed to the emotions - apparently intended as an antidote to the crescendo of Whig preventive oratory. Thus Mrs. Manley, in The D. of M-h's Vindication (1711), her reply to Bouchain, invoked the immense losses of human lives. A Learned Comment upon Dr. Hare's Excellent Sermon Preach'd before the D. of Marlborough, on the Surrender of Bouchain (1711), Manley's (and Swift's) witty reply to Hare's panegyric, also struck a populist note; it concluded by calling for gratitude to "the Authors of Peace to these distressed Nations, by which we may be freed from those nearer and much more formidable Enemies, Discontent and Poverty at Home". This shift of emphasis pointed ahead, of course, to the polemical colouring of The Conduct of the Allies.

    The growing emotionalization of Government propaganda manifested itself most clearly in Defoe's infuential Reasons why this Nation Ought to Put a Speedy End to this Expensive War, published on 6 October 1711, exactly a week before the Preliminaries appeared in print. This pamphlet, which the Whigs tried to counter immediately with the somewhat laboured optimism of A Proposal for Carrying on the War. In a Letter to a Nobleman (1711), published on the same day, reached three editions in the month of publication and deliberately appealed to the humanitarian feelings of its readers. Within this emotional framework the author, who was the initiator and most persistent proponent of this line of thought, concentrated on the supposed shift of power from France to Austria and pleaded for British equidistance from both. Defoe, who had already discussed the underlying principles of the balance-of-power issue, now became the prime advocate of this topic, which proved to be convenient for the Government. His above-mentioned pamphlet must be regarded as an important move on the part of the Tories, a sort of liberating stroke, to escape from the increasing barrage of Whig propaganda and to regain scope of action. What he envisaged early on as a volte-face on the Spanish question - there are two partition plans at the end of the pamphlet - was seconded with due delay by concomitant steps in the Review. Although the author of Reasons Why pretended there was some difference of opinion in this matter between him and the author of the Review, the latter journal, while vehemently denying or at least not openly admitting any partition plans as late as its issue of 11 October 1711, chimed in from 13 October 1711 and in successive numbers emphasised the necessity of dividing the Spanish Monarchy to maintain the European balance of power now threatened by the Austrian Emperor. The Review of 23 October 1711, in particular, dramatically asserted in its final paragraph that the parliamentary resolutions with regard to Spain would never have been taken if the present situation had already existed. Defoe had unmistakably come round to Harley's line of policy. With its rhetoric of moderation and prudent weighing of altered circumstances Reasons Why, which also paid due attention to commercial aspects, addressed itself particularly to Defoe's former Whig clientele and in several respects showed well-calculated attunement to readership response with the trenchant and polarising rhetoric of Swift's more formidable Conduct of the Allies. In his attempt to create something like a broad-based platform Defoe also pointed to the overbearing British treatment of the French during the recent Geertruidenberg negotiations and to the iniquity of Whig endeavours "to destroy the publick Credit". His insistent question with regard to military exploits, "What is this to ending the War?", linked Reasons Why with the main body of Government propaganda, which, in this matter, was certain of being in tune with the public mood.

    Although the publication of Reasons Why furnished further proof of the Government's stamina, the Tories were granted no respite from the pursuit of the Whigs. As Maynwaring's supercilious remark in A Vindication of the Present M-y indicated, "'Tis not Declamations on the Misery of the People will prove the Point, it must be done by comparing our Condition with that of the Enemies'", the Whigs still relied mainly on factual enlightenment. Pamphlets such as Anguis in Herba: Or the Fatal Consequences of a Treaty with France (1711), opportunely reprinted, and A Letter from an Exchange Broker to a Country Gentleman concerning the Peace and South-Sea Stock (1711), with different emphasis, argued the identity of French and Spanish interests, while Maynwaring, in his Letter to a High-Churchman (1711), calmly referred the author of Reasons Why to his earlier Remarks on the Preliminary Articles for pertinent instruction. In Remarks upon the Present Negotiations of Peace Begun between Britain and France, probably published in the second half of November 1711, Maynwaring again settled accounts with the author of Reasons Why, among others, and produced a kind of authoritative critique of the Tory manoeuvres to force the nation to come to terms with new approaches to peace. In this pamphlet he firmly substantiated the well-known Whig positions, once again pointing to Parliament as a last resort for redressing the evils of a misguided peace policy. While confidently asserting the merits of the case, Maynwaring added some indispensable emotional ingredients at the end and invoked "the Cause of Truth and Liberty" on the English side. His conclusion "That the present Proposals of Peace, or any future Proposals of what kind soever, That shall leave Spain and the Indies to the House of Bourbon, ought by every true Englishman to be rejected with Scorn and Indignation" somehow put the final seal on the prophylactic incantations that had become part and parcel of Whig rhetoric at this stage of the peace controversy. A broadside like The Procession: A New Protestant Ballad, a satirical comment on the prohibited spectacle planned for the celebration of Queen Elizabeth's birthday on 17 November 1711, capped this emotional appeal by evoking the always seasonable alternative between the Protestant Elector and the Popish Pretender. Another broadside published about this time and probably by Maynwaring, A New Song (1711), also exploited fears of restoring the Pretender by warning against "A Peace which our Hanover's Title destroys".

    Whig propaganda was characterized by a remarkable degree of co-ordination in which Maynwaring's guiding hand can be recognized. Numerous cross-references show the close interlinking of Whig writings. Thus, to quote but one relevant example, the anonymous author of The Ballance of Power: Or, a Comparison of the Strength of the Emperor and the French King (1711) repeatedly referred back to Maynwaring's A Letter to a Member of the October-Club for support of his views. Defoe, who had been instrumental in putting this topic on the public agenda, made the most of it in publications such as The Ballance of Europe (1711), where he again stressed to what extent the European situation had changed after the Emperor's death and once again slyly transferred the notion of "Exorbitant Greatness" from France, with which it was traditionally associated, to Austria. In other pamphlets like An Essay at a Plain Exposition of that Difficult Phrase a Good Peace (1711) he also painstakingly tried to dispel misgivings about leaving the Duke of Anjou in possession of Spain. He deserves the greatest credit for continued and unremitting Tory presence in a critical phase of the Government's public relations policy. That Defoe, who had retreated from his former Whig principles, must have experienced increasing difficulties in preserving his integrity became clear from the reactions of, among others, the penetrating author of A Caveat to the Treaters (1711), who took him to task on his reversal of opinion and exposed the fallacy of Defoe's reasoning in the pamphlets referred to in this and the preceding paragraph. In Armageddon, also published at the end of October or the beginning of November 1711, Defoe actually curried favour with his former Whig clientele and emphatically denied any abandonment of the 'No peace without Spain' policy, although his consent to a possible prolongation of the war sounded rather hollow. The pressure of Whig resistance is also indicated by Boyer trying in October to recommend himself to Harley as a possible journalistic ally along moderate Whig lines in An Account of the State and Progress of the Present Negotiation of Peace (1711). In spite of the bold front presented especially by Defoe, one has the impression that, until the end of November 1711, the Tories, who till then had shrunk from opening the sluices of unrestrained disparagement of the Allies, did not match the Whigs in public efficacy. It was more than mere coincidence that, in October 1711, the Government again had recourse to repressive measures against Opposition writers. By the end of that month Swift thought the nation "half bewitched against a Peace". Although Tory writings of that particular period convey the impression of having popular feeling on their side, the massive circumstantial evidence accumulated by the Whigs in favour of existing obligations had not yet been overcome. Something was still lacking to offset the Whigs' expertise in gathering and presenting information by propagandist means of greater virulence.

    This is precisely what Swift's famous pamphlet The Conduct of the Allies, and of the Late Ministry, in Beginning and Carrying on the Present War published on 27 November 1711 achieved. In terms of sheer numbers of replies, it was certainly the most effective single publication on the war during the entire debate. It exhibited the determined and ruthless effort on Swift's - and the Government's - part to put public discussion on a new footing. It soon gave a new spirit and quality to Tory propaganda and forced upon the Whigs a modified debate to the latters' disadvantage. As its title implies, the pamphlet shifted attention away from problematic peace plans towards the poor war record of the Allies and the discarded British politicians acting in collusion with them. Skilfully combining a plain, vigorous and unaffected prose style with rhetorical incisiveness according to classical precepts, Swift caps the Whigs' factualism by relentlessly compiling a list of the sins committed by the Allies, particularly the Dutch. Their defects are virtually shouted from the housetops. However, he is not only beating his adversaries at their own game; his factualism is merely the pretext for unrestrained emotionalism. By unabashedly opening the sluices of emotion for the purpose of vituperating the Dutch, Swift creates a new focus of public attention. He is obviously pursuing a strategy of changing gear in the war debate. Although, in quite a number of points, he in substance summarises views already expressed by other Tory journalists, he fails to acknowledge such references and instead creates the illusion of starting all over again with a clean slate. Concomitantly, in spite of a few ironic reverberations, he entirely ignores the objections to a new war policy carefully built up by the Whig writers. In this manner Swift tries to circumvent the enemy's lines. Even in the latter part of his pamphlet, where he wants to make the 'No peace without Spain' position appear an arbitrary addition to the original war aims and also stresses the changed situation in Europe after the death of Joseph I, he disdains to engage in battle with Whig journalists. By high-handedly concentrating on the defects of the Allies, he can wonder at English forbearance and ask in bewilderment "by what Motives, or what Management, we are thus become the Dupes and Bubbles of Europe?". The ensuing conspiracy thesis then developed aims, of course, at the Duke of Marlborough and 'the family' who exploited England for private interests. In the rhetorical climax of the pamphlet the Duke, who was still a major obstacle to Tory peace plans, is even suspected of aspiring to royal dignity.

    The publication of The Conduct, whose timing pointed towards the reopening of Parliament on 7 December 1711, indicated unmistakably that the Government's policy of apparent understanding with the Allies had been given up. Despite its immediate impact it took some time before Swift's bombshell could give the hoped-for boost to Tory propaganda and make the latter recrystalize in new, co-ordinated vigour. In December 1711 the Tories still had to cope with temporary difficulties of realignment and were handicapped by the course of political events. While Defoe, in The Felonious Treaty (1711), tried further to drive home the new notion of equidistance from France and Austria, political events somewhat ruffled the Government's composure. On 5 December 1711 the Elector of Hanover's Memorial against peace without Spain was published in The Daily Courant, and two days later the House of Lords carried Lord Nottingham's motion that no peace which allotted Spain and the West Indies to any branch of the House of Bourbon would be acceptable. Swift instantly tried to throw a spanner in the Whig works by exposing Nottingham's time-serving practices in his trenchant ballad An Excellent New Song, Being the Intended Speech of a Famous Orator against Peace, which appeared on 6 December 1711.

    The pressure of adverse political events on the Tories coincided with the closing of the journalistic ranks on the part of the Whigs. Significantly, the Post Boy of 4-6 December 1711 while welcoming the resumption of the Examiner drew attention to the strong Whig presence on the public scene. About the date when Parliament reconvened two major Whig pamphlets appeared in close succession, the Opposition's answer to Swift's challenge. Contrary to what Coombs assumes they were well-concerted and fulfilled complementary functions in order to parry jointly the thrust of the Conduct of the Allies. The first was probably Maynwaring's Remarks on a False, Scandalous, and Seditious Libel, Intituled, The Conduct of the Allies, and of the Late Ministry, etc. (1711). In this pamphlet the author, who at once notices Swift's strict avoidance of dealing with the serious arguments accumulated by the Whig writers, acts according to the maxim that crudeness must be met with crudeness and counters Swift's conspiracy thesis with a conspiracy thesis of his own: the Tories, who are in favour of a bad peace and want to give Spain to the Duke of Anjou, are playing into the hands of the French and the Pretender. Instead of being "ineffective" because of its "appeal to reason rather than feeling" - Coombs' general assessment of the first three substantial replies to The Conduct - it makes its appeal to the emotions and bristles with highly charged political key-terms which can be found throughout the text. Though not as carefully structured as Swift's pamphlet, Maynwaring's was a seasonable and emphatic counterblast to Swift's trumpet-call.

    As announced at the end of the preface to Maynwaring's Remarks, a companion piece, Hare's massive The Allies and the Late Ministry Defended against France, and the Present Friends of France. In Answer to a Pamphlet, Intituled, The Conduct of the Allies (1711), the first part of which appeared immediately after Maynwaring's reply, rather performed the task of exposing the factual incompetence of the author of The Conduct. As its title indicates, Hare's pamphlet chimes in with the allegation that the Tories are acting as a French faction. It contains most of the political watchwords used by Maynwaring, such as "universal Monarchy" and "Liberty of Europe", often in close conjunction, and continues the strategy of emotional retaliation. At the same time it has a tighter argumentative grasp and clashes with Swift's text on points of material inconsistency. Thus, to quote the most conspicuous example, towards the end of his pamphlet Hare convicts his antagonist of falsely representing the eighth article of the Grand Alliance of 1701 under the pretext of reliable documentation. Factual refutation is here dexterously applied to the purpose of arousing moral indignation. Hare, who perceives that the author of The Conduct calumniates the Allies in order to justify a separate peace without Spain, identifies those who are in favour of overturning the Grand Alliance with enemies of the Revolution of 1688/89, thus giving an ominous ring to his warnings of the final consequences of a bad peace. Hare's rather heavy-handed pamphlet, which makes use of the standard repertoire of Whig polemics against a premature peace, was a weighty reinforcement of Maynwaring's more clamorous pamphlet.

    In their combined endeavour to contain the pernicious influence of The Conduct of the Allies the two main Whig journalists received unexpected assistance from Defoe, who, apparently in a last valiant effort to achieve at least a modicum of independence from Harley's controlling hand, about the same time published A Defence of the Allies and the Late Ministry: Or, Remarks on the Tories New Idol. Being a Detection of the Manifest Frauds and Falsities, in a Late Pamphlet, Entituled, The Conduct of the Allies...(1711). This energetic pamphlet, in which Defoe, by the way, was not playing up to the Whigs at all, lays open Swift's frivolous belittlement of French aspirations to hegemony and also clearly recognizes Swift's intention to slander the Allies in order to prepare the ground for a separate peace. Instead of "denying [...] that Swift [...] spoke for the ministry", it voices the opinion that the author of The Conduct was briefed by the Government; at the end this author is also stigmatized as subscribing to "Frenchified Principles".

    Thus, before Swift's momentous pamphlet really had its effect, it had received three substantial replies. December, with the Government crisis as a result of the obstruction of the Tory peace plans in the House of Lords, was a critical month for Tory propaganda. Though the Tories tried to keep up morale, the Whig journalistic presence was indeed impressive. Maynwaring's well-timed and pungent ballad The Queen's Speech (1711) increased the emotional stir created by the pamphlets by affixing to the resolute enemy the unwonted yet revealing label of "The French, our allies". At least until mid-December the Whigs had the stronger journalistic battalions. That the Tories, whose pamphleteers hardly came to the fore, felt the need for reinvigorating measures is corroborated by the revival of the Examiner - under William Oldisworth's editorship - on 6 December 1711. A sort of relief attack was launched by Robert Ferguson's aggressive Account of the Obligations the States of Holland Have to Great-Britain, and the Return they Have Made both in Europe and the Indies. With Reflections upon the Peace. This pamphlet, which showed that the Government did not intend to eat humble pie and supplements Swift's disparagement of the Dutch on their past record, appeared on 20 December 1711, the same day as the fifth edition of The Conduct of the Allies, which was gradually gaining ground. The unusually dense salvo of ideologically virulent catchwords in the latter part of Ferguson's Account - the Whigs are fiercely reproached with pursuing the republican principles of their precursors of 1641 - indicated the pressure which had been brought to bear on the Tories by their robust adversaries. The Tories, who were further harassed by Harley's defeat in the House of Lords on 20 December 1711 over the Duke of Hamilton's case, were only relieved from this predicament through the dismissal, on 31 December 1711, of the Duke of Marlborough from all his official positions, and through the concomitant creation of twelve new Peers in order to gain control of the House of Lords. These spectacular measures restored confidence to Government propaganda, which was henceforth gradually put on the offensive.

    It took the Tories until the early spring of 1712 to get the better of the Whigs in their public performance. As early as the turn of the year the broadside The Truth's Come out at last: Or, the Downfall of a Great Favourite (1711), one of an unusually large number of the same kind, exulted at the dismissal of the General and pointed expectantly towards the laying bare of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough's fraudulent practices: "Tho' Britain has long time been wrong'd of its right, / Their treacherous Deeds are now coming to light". In December 1711 the House of Commons had decided to lay a report before them against the Duke of Marlborough by the Commissioners of Public Accounts; during the following months anticipation and exploitation of parliamentary investigations into war finance raised the spirit of Tory propaganda and put a damper on Whig mettle. The Whigs did their best to pay the Tories back in their own coin. While the broadside The King of France's Letter to the Cardinal de Noailles, Archbishop of Paris (January 1712) imagined how Louis XIV rejoiced in Marlborough's disgrace, Maynwaring's A New Protestant Litany (1712) tried to make Harley's remarkable sleight of hand, the creation of twelve new Peers, appear like French and Jacobite knavery.

    This rhetoric of oppugnancy could not prevent the Tory campaign from gathering momentum. From the beginning of 1712 Tory propaganda reached a particularly high degree of co-ordination, with The Conduct of the Allies increasingly fulfilling the function of purveyor of polemic stings against the enemy camp. Thus Swift's dominating antithesis of the Queen and the nation versus the family and the faction, which, in substance, can even be traced in a letter from Harley to the Grand Pensionary Heinsius, was the dominant structural feature of pamphlets such as William Wagstaffe's The Representation of the Loyal Subjects of Albinia and Defoe's No Queen: Or, no General, which in the first half of January 1712 continued Swift's approach. Within the polarising framework certain special devices became highly expedient recurrent tools of rhetoric and almost assumed the character of topoi, giving coherence to the Government's resurgent, never-ending appeal to public opinion. Thus, to quote but a few relevant examples, both the broadside The Queen's and the Duke of Ormond's New Toast (1712) - the latter in the parenthetical line "(For a Town in a Year will not make the War cease)" - and Wagstaffe's Representation reiterated Swift's argument that the idea of finishing the war by just one more campaign was an illusion. Several broadsides took up Swift's reproach that Marlborough had aspired to royal dignity. A related instance of the efficient co-ordination of Government propaganda can be seen in the steady dissemination, from the beginning, of the assertion that Marlborough had merely been fortunate, by means of which the Tories wanted to detract from the General's prestige. Highly idiosyncratic pamphlets such as Wagstaffe's The Representation and Defoe's No Queen: Or, no General - the one written by a Non-Juror, the other by a dissenting journalist with Whig inclinations - made use of this agreed formula. Such verbal streamlining gave a remarkably modern ring to the public battle fought by the Tories against the Whigs.

    On 11 January 1712 the Dutch resident L'Hermitage reported home that English opinion was not yet ripe for a separate peace. The air of suspense which, in spite of rapidly increasing Tory confidence, still hung over British politics with regard to the war was reflected in the chequered appearance of the fast sermons of 16 January 1712. Roger Altham's sermon preached before the House of Commons and cautiously expressing official views diplomatically confirmed the justness of the struggle with France while at the same time stressing the calamitous consequences of an unnecessarily protracted war. Other shades of opinion were also well represented. Trapp's highly emotional sermon expressed more radical Tory sentiment and reproduced the antithetical pattern which was quickly becoming part and parcel of Tory propaganda through the proliferation of Swift's primary text of The Conduct of the Allies. Thus, in Trapp's sermon Queen Anne as the nation's protector is put into sharp contrast with Marlborough, who, though unnamed, is unmistakably made responsible for dragging out the war in order to plunder his country. Trapp's belligerent sermon voiced growing Tory determination to carry through the campaign promisingly launched by The Conduct of the Allies.

    The Whigs, too, used the pulpit to stake their claims. While Samuel Wright's moderate discourse cautioned against the proven perfidy and cruelty of Louis XIV, William Fleetwood's sermon, though avoiding a strident tone, tenaciously and pointedly reaffirmed the Opposition's fundamental objections to a precarious peace. In contrast to these temperate sermons the overtly propagandist sermon of the Dissenter Daniel Mayo utilized the whole register of polemical warfare and, raising the spectre of "Popery and Slavery", vehemently remonstrated against a peace which might put the liberties of Protestant England at the risk of being threatened by the aspirant to universal monarchy. Though differing in tone, both Fleetwood's and Mayo's ideologically well-attuned sermons put the emphasis on a "lasting" peace - in addition to the generally accepted criteria of being "just and honourable" as recently sanctioned in the carefully phrased Queen's Speech to Parliament on 7 December 1711. Thus Whigs and Tories also pitted their relative strengths against each other in the pulpit.

    In the following weeks the public destruction of the Duke of Marlborough was completed with renewed vigour by the Tories, who used the entire gamut of genres from broadsides such as the pseudo-financial prose report The D-e and D-s of M-h's Loss (1712) to accounts using the thin veil of ancient history such as Rufinus (1712), an historical essay ascribed to William King. Though the Whigs tried to counter with such lengthy productions as The Conduct of the Duke of Marlborough during the Present War, with Original Papers (1712), Hare's definitive, yet uncontentious apology for the General published on 17 January 1712, the day appointed for the parliamentary debate on Marlborough's record, the Tories were gradually getting the upper hand - which they achieved by the middle of March. For the time being they still had a lot of work on their hands to pacify, for example, the malcontents of the vindictive October Club, a difficult task Swift took upon himself in Some Advice Humbly Offer'd to the Members of the October Club published in the second half of January 1712. All the while Defoe assiduously plodded on with pamphlets, published towards the end of January 1712, like The Conduct of Parties in England, more especially of those Whigs who now Appear against the New Ministry, and a Treaty of Peace, which stressed the Junto origin of current reproaches against Marlborough, and Peace, or Poverty, which, with its pithy title, confirmed Defoe's recent attempts at dramatic gesture and once again emphatically denied any designs of a separate peace. Altogether Tory confidence must have been growing in anticipation of the results of parliamentary inquiries. As early as 19 January 1712 Swift's successful broadside poem A Fable of the Widow and her Cat had, in its last line, pointedly delivered Marlborough up to the avenging power of Parliament: "Here, Towzer! - Do Him Justice"! With the controversial Barrier Treaty brought before the House of Commons on 29 January 1712 such expectations were raised even further. This new bone of contention proved particularly conducive to propagandist exploitation by the Tories, who, from about the time - 5 February 1712 - the Commons passed their Resolutions against the insufficiency of the Dutch contribution to the War, steadily gained the advantage over their adversaries.

    The - from the Tory point of view - welcome event in Parliament was immediately highlighted by a prose broadside whose suggestive title reflected the interaction between political debates in Parliament and outside as well as the need to show the legitimacy of parliamentary decisions to the increasingly wider audience of the political nation at large. Synchronized with the proceedings in Parliament, the Resolutions without doors, upon the Resolutions within doors, in the Votes of the H- of C- Martis 5 Die Febr. 1711 (1712) transformed the sober language of the Lower House into the vindictive war cry "That no Nation, no, not a petty Conquer'd Province, was ever treated with more Contempt, or more infamously Bubbl'd and Abus'd, than Great-Britain has been by its Al-s, especially the D-h". Swift's pointedly disrespectful language in The Conduct of the Allies seems to reverberate here - evidence of a linguistic orchestration that will be illustrated in the next chapter, which focuses on the turning-point debate. The rallying call was readily echoed in all kinds of Tory propaganda. Following his own personal journalistic line, Defoe in the Review of 9 and 12 February 1712 stressed the Emperor's failure to fulfil his treaty obligations. Although the Whigs, as indefatigable as ever, tried to hit back to the best of their ability, their public performance was rather less impressive than in preceding stages of the grand controversy, and with the publication of the Representation of the House of Commons concerning the state of the war and the Barrier Treaty at the beginning of March 1712 - a parliamentary incentive with even wider repercussions - the Tories were finally precipitated on to the path of victory.

    In this parliamentary context the Whigs betrayed some uneasiness in coping with the growing tide of Tory militancy. Thomas Burnet's pamphlet Our Ancestors as Wise as We: Or, Ancient Precedents for Modern Facts (1712), which reflected prevailing Whig attitudes, obviously lacked punch. Interestingly, this pamphlet, which dealt with notable Government publications of the immediately preceding period, in concluding singled out Swift as the mastermind of Tory propaganda who especially aimed at influencing opinion among the landed gentry. In its subtitle it was also indicative of renewed Whig recourse to factual evidence based on historical precedents. Even Hare's subsequent pamphlet The Treaty between Her Majesty and the States-General (1712), which put the threat to the Protestant Succession as the ultimate issue before its readers, relied heavily on factual information and ended with an historical appendix illustrating the importance of the Dutch barrier for England. This was quite typical of Whig practice in or around February 1712. The documentary publications The Sense of the Nation, concerning the Duke of Marlborough (1712) and The Information against the Duke of Marlborough (1712) may also be named here. The fact that the Whigs were in the process of being pushed on to the defensive and felt the need to ward off mischief also became apparent in the "apotropaic refrain" of Maynwaring's A New Protestant Litany. Meanwhile the Tory demolition of Marlborough was going on at full blast with such popular pieces as Wagstaffe's The Story of the St. Alb-ns Ghost (1712).

    As things at Utrecht - the congress had been opened at the end of January 1712 - were not yet developing satisfactorily, the Tories themselves were not wholly free from misgivings in spite of increasing support at home. The sermon preached by William Ayerst before the British plenipotentiaries at Utrecht on 7 February 1712 left no doubt, however, that Dutch intransigence would not be tolerated. The divine's conclusion that, in default of Dutch acquiescence, it would be justified for Britain "to change Sides" was echoed by The Fable of the Cods-Heads: Or, a Reply to the Dutch-Men's Answer to the Resolutions of the House of Commons (1712): "Or B-ain thou art not to blame,/ If thou the Dance of War disclaim,/ By paying Europe's Piper". This broadside confirmed the careful orchestration of Tory propaganda at all levels of public discourse. Still, some additional efforts were apparently deemed necessary by the Government in order to prevail completely against their adversaries. It was with this view that Swift's Some Remarks on the Barrier Treaty, which did not come out in time for the Commons debate on 14 February 1712, was published on 22 February 1712. With their malicious exposure of the preposterous terms of this treaty and their well-timed publication of the text itself, which was then being submitted to close parliamentary scrutiny, the Remarks were intended to put the final seal on the Government's anti-Dutch campaign and adroitly did so in concert with the authoritative moves of the House of Commons. In spite of some casual attacks on the author of The Allies and the Late Ministry Defended - three parts of which had by then appeared - Swift's Remarks was not so much a response to Hare's The Treaty between Her Majesty and the States-General as a final release of vituperative energy which, irrespective of individual antagonists, completed the work begun by the The Conduct of the Allies. That the latter pamphlet was still useful in crystalizing Tory propaganda around which a wide variety of other writings could cluster was corroborated by Defoe's later A Farther Search into the Conduct of the Allies (1712), which also chimed with the recent Resolutions of Parliament.

    The publication of the Representation of the Commons to the Queen on the War in Spain, the Barrier-Treaty, and the State of the Nation coincided, significantly, exactly with the publication of John Arbuthnot's Law Is a Bottomless-Pit, the first part of his history of John Bull: both appeared on 4 March 1712. This date may well be regarded as the symbolic turning-point of the Tories' peace-campaign; from now on the Government was finally heading for victory in the public acceptance of its peace-policy. Thus the boost given to the Tory cause by the Commons' massive criticism of Allied deficiencies was immediately exploited with polemical brilliancy by Tory propaganda. Arbuthnot could all the more easily highlight those parliamentary findings as the extensive Representation itself, compared with the more prosaic and official tone of the earlier Resolution, was dressed up in combative language and did not stop short of using, for example at the end, emotionally charged words such as "private counsels of ill-designing men" with regard to the intentions of the former Ministry. In its detailed gloating over Allied shortcomings the Representation, which sometimes verges on pamphlet form proper, seems to re-echo Swift's The Conduct of the Allies.

    With Law Is a Bottomless-Pit and the further parts of the series Arbuthnot exactly hit the public mood prepared by the long-term undermining campaign against the Dutch. His vigorous political allegory of the irascible but honest Englishman John Bull shamelessley cheated by the cunning Dutchman Nicholas Frog in a protracted lawsuit graphically underpinned the Tories' insistence on the necessity of British withdrawal from a wasteful war. Marlborough was denigrated as the avaricious and cunning attorney Hocus, who is acting in collusion with Frog at the expense of his fellow-countryman. The History of John Bull (1712) proved a most effective relay station for transmitting messages whose contents had already been approved; in his down-to-earth allegory Arbuthnot utilized an ideal medium for propagating political views largely based on popular resentment. That Arbuthnot was about to win the day and successfully complete the work begun by Swift becomes apparent from the volume of Whig criticism. Significantly, the main salvos against Law Is a Bottomles-Pit and its sequels were launched in the periodical press, with the Medley and the Protestant Post-Boy taking pride of place in April 1712. Rather surprisingly, no front-rank pamphlet seems to have appeared on the Whig side.

    That the pamphlet weapon as used by the Whigs had become a rather blunt weapon by the spring of 1712 is corroborated by other specimens of the same genre. Some of these, like the fourth part of Hare's The Allies and the Late Ministry Defended (1712), belong in the original context of the long drawn-out controversy initiated by Swift's Conduct. The weakening drive behind Whig propaganda is also illustrated by the fact that the last two parts of Hare's series of pamphlets published in February and March 1712 never saw a second edition. A belated and lengthy reply to Swift's pamphlet, A Full Answer to the Conduct of the Allies (1712), somewhat ineffectively interpolated the text of the Letter of the States General to the Queen about the Barrier Treaty of February 1712. The Treaty between Her Majesty and the States-General, while dealing out the tried anti-Jacobite formulae, obviously lacked punch. The same can be said with even more justification of Remarks on Some Extracts, Published in a Paper, Called The Supplement, of Friday, March 28, 1712 (1712). The latter pamphlet took up the seasonable topic of treacherous Dutch conduct at Nijmegen broached by the Examiner in March 1712 and rather tamely reproached the Government with intentions of going "into a Separate-Treaty" itself. The Reflections upon the Present Posture of Affairs: With Relation to the Treaty of Peace, now on Foot (1712), too, lacked bite and meekly appealed for a consensus between parties on matters of national interest. In other media as well the Whigs lacked mettle at that time. Thus, for instance, in Aesop at Utrecht (1712) published a few weeks earlier, the second fable conveys the time-honoured message of the French King's treacherous dispositions with innocuous blandness. These publications may be regarded as representative of Whig propaganda, which, in the spring of 1712, was to all intents and purposes losing bite. By then Tory propaganda had arrived at an unprecedented high and had clearly outdistanced its Whig counterpart.

e) Spring 1712 until Spring 1713

The Tories, meanwhile, asserted their newly won self-confidence with increasing vigour. As early as 8/19 March 1712, in his letter to the Grand Pensionary Heinsius, Harley had expressed the buoyant mood of the Government with regard to its opponents. Interestingly, the wording of this letter, which warns foreigners against mistaking "a faction for the people" and maintains that "there are not ten in a hundred against the peace", shows close affinity with Swift, who time and again hammered away at this point in almost identical phrases. While negotiations at Utrecht were not at all developing smoothly - as intimated by Thomas Dibben in his sermon preached there on 9/20 March 1712 -, the Tories expanded their journalistic platform with a good deal of self-assurance. Their growing assertiveness without doors indicated the determination of the Government to carry through its peace policy irrespective of temporary setbacks. An outward sign of the shifting of weights in party-political presentation is in the fact that within a month - from March to April 1712 - the number of pamphlets published in the Tory interest outstripped the number of those supporting the Whig cause. In the ongoing Tory publicity campaign the publication of the various parts of Arbuthnot's The History of John Bull provided focal points around which political sentiment could crystalize. The third part of the series, John Bull still in his Senses, appeared on 16 April 1712, and thus followed closely on the publication, in The Daily Courant of 7 and 8 April 1712, of the Dutch Memorial in reply to the Resolution and Representation of the House of Commons - an emergency measure of the Whigs which nettled the Tories, who took retaliatory measures. John Bull still in his Senses ridicules the Dutch objections in the guise of "Nic. Frog's Letter to John Bull", in which the latter is confronted with the following question by his Dutch partner, who still laments Marlborough's dismissal: "Why hast thou chang'd thy Attorney? Can any Man manage thy Cause better for thee?". In a similar, though more ferocious vein Charles Leslie, who had earlier reflected on Dutch insidiousness in Natural Reflections upon the Present Debates about Peace and War (1712), in the following month vilified the discarded Duke and the former Ministers for having plotted poor John Bull's ruin in Salt for the Leach. In Reflections upon Reflections (1712). The latter pamphlet, a reply to the Whig Reflections upon the Present Posture of Affairs mentioned above, high-handedly defended the Tory peace moves against Whig intransigence. In its almost exultant vituperation Salt for the Leach asserts: "Their [the Whigs'] Wickedness is Detected, and they are Abhorred of all True English Men, who see how they have been Peeled, Squeezed, and Loaded with immense Debts for Ages to come [...]". As Arbuthnot had already made the necessity of a peace unmistakably clear in the first two parts of his political allegory, the publication of the further parts apparently served as a welcome catalyst for perpetuating political resentment. A Letter from the Famous Sir Humphrey Polesworth, sometimes attributed to Arbuthnot and printed in the Examiner of 8-15 May 1712, served exactly this purpose by drawing further attention to the collusive dealings between the Whigs and the Dutch. In a way The History of John Bull took over and completed the function adopted by The Conduct of the Allies - that of a major crystalizing agent with the aid of which the Tories were able to close their ranks and fasten their grip on public opinion. The continuity of function in Swift's and Arbuthnot's writings, which will be more explicitly pointed out below, is epitomized linguistically in the pointed use of the taunting word "bubble", which - reprehensively, as the Whigs rightly saw it - is echoed in other Tory publications.

    The new relative strength of Whig and Tory performances in public, which became noticeable in spring, was maintained throughout the summer of 1712. The turning of the tables in journalistic efficiency may at least partly be ascribed to the fact that Maynwaring's co-ordinating hand was loosening its grip on Whig propaganda at that time. In any case, to judge by their printed output, the Whigs had lost much of their former resilience. Thus, in May 1712, Fleetwood's Preface to his Four Sermons (1712), reprinted by Richard Steele in The Spectator of 21 May 1712 together with a revealing passage from the Post Boy, was the most remarkable feat on the Whig side and caused quite a stir without seriously endangering the standing of the Government in the eyes of the public. To be sure, Some Observations upon Bishop Fleetwood's Four Sermons: Wherein his Preface is Fully Consider'd (1712) showed some mettle, but more characteristic was another supporting pamphlet, A few Orthodox Remarks upon a late Preface, Publish'd before some Occasional Sermons, Preach'd by the L- B- of St. Asaph (1712), which turned out to be less forceful. Even when the notorious 'Restraining Orders' to the Duke of Ormonde became known in London at the end of May 1712, this news, though embarrassing to the Government, did not result in any recovery of Opposition propaganda. Coombs' statement "the Whigs were in full cry" may be true with regard to some of their parliamentary activities but is not corroborated by their journalistic production. Although their periodicals tried to disconcert the Government, Coombs has to admit the half-heartedness of their attacks. In the other genres they were remarkably ineffective; the pamphlet was not utilized with any forcefulness - Maynwaring's The French King's Promise to the Pretender published in June 1712 merely reiterated fears about the Protestant Succession in a routine-like manner. Another pamphlet published in the same month and addressed to the ideologically most sensitive section of the Tories' clientele, All at Stake, Hannover or Perkin: In a Letter to a Country Clergy-Man (1712), stated Whig grievances correctly enough but, in spite of its dramatic title, did so in a resigned rather than in a combative spirit. The deterioration of the pamphlet as a genre utilized by the Whigs is highlighted by the fact that - between April and June 1712 - Tory pamphlets gained a remarkable numerical superiority over their Whig counterparts - a dramatic statistical volte-face. It is quite revealing that the protest of a group of Lords against the orders for not fighting published shortly after proceedings in the Upper House virtually proved the most impressive public relations measure of the Whigs at that juncture. Altogether their propagandistic endeavours were colourless and lukewarm and made it easy for their opponents to gain further ground on the public scene. While the Whigs relied heavily on documentary evidence and historical analogies (of the half dozen or so Whig pamphlets in June 1712, three were of that kind), the Tories made further progress by exploiting the by no means exhausted anti-Dutch vogue.

    Defoe again fulfilled the function of making a broad appeal in favour of the Government platform. While he stated the fallacy of Dutch remonstrances recently put forward through their Letters and Memorials in sedate and moderate terms in A Farther Search into the Conduct of the Allies, he also hung on to the bitter resentment built up against Holland. In Reasons against Fighting (1712) he briskly defended the 'Restraining Orders' as a legitimate and seasonable measure of the Government to neutralize the collusive dealings between the Whigs and the Dutch. Publications like this, which capitalized on the emotional topic of Dutch tutelage over England, had a sting which the vast majority of Whig writings at that time certainly lacked. Significantly Defoe, whose particular task was to present the Government's new policy towards the House of Habsburg, did not exempt the Emperor from criticism, and referred back to an earlier pamphlet of his, Imperial Gratitude (1712).

    In midsummer 1712 the Whigs were losing further ground to the Tories in public estimation. Boyer's assertion that the English public was surprised at the conditions of peace communicated in the Queen's Speech to both Houses of Parliament on 6 June 1712 cannot be verified by pointing to a corresponding situation in printed propaganda, although the Opposition again managed to issue a vigorous remonstrance, The Protest of the L-s upon A- Her M- for Her S-, with the Names of the L-s (1712), which was countered by Wagstaffe's The Second Representation of the Loyal Subjects of Albinia (1712). The new confidence felt in Government circles found expression, for example, in the Review of 10 June 1712, in which Defoe, while stating that he was not qualified to comment on whether King Philip's renunciation of the French Crown could be trusted, was optimistic that Holland and England would agree on a common policy. On the whole, moreover, the public debate at this time was clearly less lively than at earlier stages; in particular, the network of statements and counterstatements and similar references was less tight in pamphlet literature than it had been before. The observer's impression that, in the summer of 1712, the Whigs were unable to shake the position of the Government is confirmed by the emphatic approval of the peace moves in Parliament in June 1712. Even in the House of Lords, the former bastion of the Whigs, whom Swift addressed moderately but with self-assurance in Some Reasons in a Letter to a Whig-Lord, opportunely published on 31 May 1712, the Government, in spite of one opposition group making a last stand, carried a handsome victory and saw the last obstacle to its peace policy being removed. The judgment of a foreign observer that the Whigs had never been as insignificant as they were in the summer of 1712 is fully born out by the inconsequentiality of their propaganda performance. The slackening of Whig efforts here is all the more surprising as in the months following the Commons' Representation in March Parliament had played a minor role in the wrangling about peace policy, which had been mainly passed over to the media. At a time when forceful propaganda might have rendered final victory in Parliament somewhat more difficult for the Government, the Whigs, who as a last resort fell back upon publishing the Letter of 5 June 1712 from the States General to the Queen, failed to put their former weapon to effective use. Their temporary period of weakness in the field of propaganda is almost as hard to explain as their simultaneous weakness in the parliamentary arena.

    The situation on the public scene as reflected in the relative strength of Whigs and Tories remained very much the same throughout the mid and late summer of 1712. The Whig propaganda profile as it stood out in relief at that time can be confirmed by taking a look at such a publication as The Secret History of the Geertruydenbergh Negotiation, which was a reprint of an earlier pamphlet of the same title and appeared early in July 1712. Heavily documented and thus relying on factual information rather than on persuasion, this pamphlet took a derivative approach by recommending Hare's Management tracts for their earnestness and showed its well-meaning attitude by meekly acquitting the new Ministers of any suspicions of "consenting to a Peace that may endanger the Liberty of Europe, and the Protestant Religion" - this was Maynwaring's effective rhetoric with a difference! The republication of this uncontentious pamphlet squared with the diffidence of the Whigs' public performance at this juncture. While the Whigs showed no signs of recovering from their comparative weakness, the Tories continued their offensive. The reaction provoked by the occupation of Dunkirk in July 1712 was quite typical of the propagandistic set-up as it had by then developed. Whereas the Tories gleefuly took advantage of this occasion in order to show off the Government's achievement - with Swift firing an unusually dense barrage of writings in prose and verse - the Whigs, who, for instance, published the ineffective pamphlet Concordia Discors (1712), completely overburdened by the subject of standing armies, and exerted much more effective public pressure on the Dunkirk issue in 1713, almost completely disappeared from sight. In July and the succeeding months the Tory propagandists relentlessly pursued their anti-Dutch campaign. Pamphlets such as A Search after Dutch Honesty, The History of the Dutch Usurpations, Dutch Alliances and Defoe's The Justice and Necessity of a War with Holland all published in midsummer 1712 hammered away at Dutch intransigence, fully exploiting the topic of Holland's ingratitude towards England, with which the Tories - even through moderate statements such as The Speech of a Noble Peer (1712) - were keeping the public debate alive. With Lewis Baboon Turned Honest, and John Bull Politician, the last part of his extensive political allegory published on 31 July 1712, Arbuthnot once more seasonably expressed popular political feeling by making John Bull indignantly refer to the "Ingratitude" of his Dutch partner. Although the Whigs tried to counter, for example, with the rather innocuous pamphlet Dutch Generosity and English Gratitude (1712), their altogether meagre efforts were submerged by the Tory flood of exultant vituperation. Coombs expresses his surprise at the unremitting dissemination of anti-Dutch propaganda after the Government's successful parliamentary handling of its peace policy: "There was no longer any obvious reason for the ministry to inflame public feeling to the degree to which its hacks evidently aspired". However, as the Dutch reaction to the peace plans disclosed in the Queen's Speech of 6 June 1712 was still uncertain, the Government prudently used a proven strategy to maintain its propaganda advantage, less "as a safeguard against a popular reaction in favour of the Allies" than in order to keep control of the public debate, underpinning the process of diplomacy and - here one can agree with Coombs - "as a means of maintaining pressure on the wavering Dutch leaders". This campaign of preventive denigration did not subside until the end of September 1712, when it became obvious that the Dutch would comply with the British peace plans. In that month the Whigs issued another 'relief publication', Belga-Britannus: Or, the Hollander always in the English Interest (1712), which - somewhat plaintively - testified to the impact of previous Tory indictments. During this period the Tories consolidated their supremacy in propaganda won in the spring in the wake of the parliamentary inquiries into Allied deficiencies. The advantage gained by the Tories can be measured by the fact that practically the only Whig pamphlet of real weight to appear in the summer of 1712 was A Dialogue between a New Courtier and a Country Gentleman, probably published at the end of June. This pamphlet skilfully turned the pretended loyalism of the Tories to good party-political account by making the relinquishment of the Queen's many and carefully listed claims to the recovery of the whole of Spain for the House of Habsburg appear as a defection from received country doctrine. A similar argumentative strategy was pursued in the longer and even more heavily documented, but rhetorically less impressive pamphlet A Letter from a Tory Freeholder to his Representative in Parliament (1712), published at about the same time. The pretended acceptance of the Tory stance of loyalism in these two pamphlets indicated, of course, the defensive position into which Whiggism had been forced. While, with regard to the Dutch, the Dialogue merely deplored the fact "that nothing is too bad to be said or done to them", its more provocative appeal lay in its pointed references to the dangers lurking behind the Government's withdrawal from long accepted positions: "[...] from the hour the House of Bourbon is left in quiet Possession of Spain, and the West Indies, we may date that Universal Monarchy which the French King has so long been aspiring at". Such rhetoric was aimed at the weak point of the partition policy and adumbrated a resurgence of at least part of former Whig pugnacity.

    The political summer doldrums of 1712 dragged on longer than usual, which may to a certain extent be due to the prorogation of Parliament until the following year. That - with some exaggeration - they lasted virtually until December 1712 may in some measure be accounted for by the fact that the Government had made decisive headway with its peace policy in June 1712, which left things quiet for a while, as well as by the scarcity of news from Utrecht. From August 1712 there was a sharp fall in the overall production of political propaganda which even affected the usually prolific pamphlet. During the second half of 1712 the public debate about war and peace reached its most unproductive phase. This state of public discussion was also reflected by the periodical press, as is shown by a glance at the Review, which gave distinctly less space to peace themes. The public debate was obviously going through a period of fatigue and showed signs of revitalization only towards the end of the year. The prevailing impression of stagnation throughout the late summer of 1712 and beyond is hardly modified by some erratic publications which, amidst the scarcity of printed propaganda, even managed to attract a modicum of attention. Thus, for instance, Edmund Chishull's sermon at the assizes at Hertford, preached shortly after Lord Bolingbroke's departure to France on 2 August 1712, was an ex cathedra pronouncement of the Queen's and the Government's unremitting resolution to go through with their peace plans; in confident tones it asked: "Is not, in one word, the End of the War obtain'd?". In the following month Joseph Browne tried to curry favour with the Ministry by celebrating Bolingbroke's return from his peace mission to France in Britain's Palladium (1712). His reference to "BRITAIN's Wealth,/Imbezzel'd lately, or purloin'd by Stealth" relied on the undiminished effectiveness of the 'argument from purse', which the Tories were to serve up right to the end of the peace debate and which lent popular fervour to their vindictiveness against the Dutch. In spite of the homage paid to Bolingbroke in this poem there is no inkling of the rising differences of opinion about peace policy between Harley and Bolingbroke, which became manifest in the Cabinet in September and October 1712. Even later poems dealing with the advent of peace do not overtly reflect the growing division between the two Ministers so that Tory propaganda, at least, does not seem to have been seriously impaired on account of internal dissensions. In September 1712 Charles Hornby, in The Fourth and Last Part of a Caveat against the Whiggs, once again heaped opprobrium on the Whigs, who "by a Juggle and Combination between some crafty, selfish Neighbours, and an Intestine Faction" were said to have "been made the Cat's Paw, to pull the Dutch Chesnuts out of the Fire [...]". The publication of Ward's collection The Poetical Entertainer (1712) in October also showed that the Tory propaganda machinery was to be kept going; in particular the poem The English Foreigners: Or, the Whigs Turn'd Dutchmen, designed to prick the anti-Holland nerve, employed all the well-tried devices of journalistic warfare.

    After several months of delaying action on the part of the States General, it became known in London at the beginning of October 1712 that the Dutch were about to give in to the British peace plans. In the wake of these events attention was turned towards the effectiveness of the proposed renunciation of the French throne by Philip V. At the beginning of November 1712 the English translation of Jean Dumont's Les Soupirs de l'Europe sought to expose the inadequacy of such an arrangement to effectively separate the kingdoms of France and Spain. But this opportune publication did not have a lasting impact in favour of the Whigs and was, after causing a preliminary stir, quickly neutralized by the appearance of The Queen, the Present Ministry, Lewis XIV and Philip V Unanswerably Vindicated (1712), with its aggressive preface once again brandishing the big stick of abuse at the war-mongering Whigs. While, on the one hand, this pamphlet relied on the readers' discernment by stating with composure "That France is powerful enough to withstand the greatest Efforts of her Enemies, and yet is not strong enough to attack the Liberties of Europe", on the other hand it skilfully kindled the readers' emotions by pointing out in its conclusion that a successful continuation of the war would lead to nothing "but to double the Territories of the Dutch, and to quadruple those of the Emperor". In spite of the republication - a little later - of The Barrier-Treaty Vindicated, which set out the case for a strong barrier for the Dutch with great skill and couched in unpolemical language, the Whigs did not succeed in taking the lead again on the public scene, but remained curiously on the defensive. On the whole their journalistic performance towards the end of 1712 was, with the exception of the Flying-Post, which sometimes stung the Government almost single-handedly, characterized rather by low-spiritedness than vigorous remonstration. They still gave the impression of having somehow conceded defeat. A poem with Whig leanings published at the end of October, Thomas Tickell's complimentary To his Excellency the Lord Privy-Seal, on the Prospect of Peace (1712), took for granted the Government's ability to shape events at Utrecht according to schedule. When it became known that Marlborough would be leaving England at the end of the year, Tory malice as epitomized in the irreverent poem A Trip to Germany, or the D. of M-h's Farewel to England (1712) was rather more pronounced than the gallant defence expressed in its Whig counterpart To his Grace the Duke of Marlborough on his Going into Germany (1712). Was it a sign of the Government's self-confidence that no attempts were made by Tory propaganda to charge Marlborough personally with the design of rousing European resistance to the peace plans of the Ministry? In December the news that the Dutch would positively submit to the British demands including the abandonment of the Barrier Treaty put the seal of final success on the Government's staying power. As the year 1712 was drawing to its close, the first stanza of A New Ballad emphatically expressed Whig forebodings of the new year:

Now, now comes on the Tories Year,
Frenchmen have Hopes, and Britons Fear;
Perkin intends to govern here,
And be our Faith's Defender.
For France is become our good Ally,
Th' Emperor too and the Dutch must fly,
Unless they will bow to our M-y,
And Flanders and Spain surrender.

In its dismal mood this ballad also reflected the inability of the Whigs during the previous months to imprint their views of war and peace on the public's mind. In the course of 1712 their former combativeness had given way to rather erratic and feeble manifestations of political resistance. Whig propaganda had to a large extent lost its former punch and resilience in the previous stage of the great debate, depending rather on isolated shots than dense barrage. However, with their vivid and plucky allusion to weaknesses in the Government's position the lines quoted above also recalled earlier Whig stamina and pointed towards at least a partial recovery of Whig efficiency in propaganda. Revitalization, though at something not quite like the former level of public assertiveness by the Whigs, took place at the beginning of 1713.

    Although the Whigs were then still falling short of their usual effectiveness, the revived Examiner of 22 December 1712 noticed that the Whigs were "once more rally'd and got together" - probably in order to summon up vigilance in anticipation of a final counteraction by the Opposition. With the coming of the new year the controversy about war and peace to a certain degree regained its former vigour, the Government finding itself once again confronted with concerted Whig objections of some weight. Quantitatively a marked increase in printed propaganda gave evidence of the revitalization of the public debate. The latter was reinvigorated by the publication, in the Flying-Post of 13-15 January 1713, of parts of the Letter of the States General to the Queen, in which they put forth their reservations concerning the new Barrier Treaty demanded by Britain since December 1712. That the Whigs had not entirely lost their former mettle could be seen from the uproar raised against the French ambassador, the Duc d'Aumont, in January 1713. A satirical ballad, The Merchant a-la-Mode (1713), cast scurrilous aspersions on the latter as well as on the Ministry, which was accused of Jacobite sympathies. The Tories immediately retaliated by publishing a ballad of the same title which, significantly, called attention to the burdens of the war iniquitously loaded upon Britain - still the safest argument in the continual bid for popular support.

    Although the Whigs understandably did not disdain to fire such inflammatory broadsides of populist militancy, they made their last stand in the first months of 1713 on a predominantly somewhat different note. Apparently convinced that complete polarisation would be of little or no avail against a Government which had repeatedly demonstrated its hold on the public at large, they mainly resorted to a rhetoric of what may be called 'restrained oppugnancy'. Mindful of the efficacy of Tory reproaches of Whig disloyalty towards the monarch, they adopted a more deferential attitude towards the Queen and did not flatly deny any well-intentioned efforts on the part of her Ministers. This newly chosen approach of 'respectful dissidence' became most noticeable in pamphlet literature, which the Whigs again put to effective use; after a long period of neglect or at least restricted activity this weapon was once more dexterously wielded by the Whigs - in the first quarter of 1713 the Whigs published more pamphlets than the Tories. Whig objections to the impending peace were voiced on two interrelated planes. The revived discussion of the Dutch barrier became the Whigs' first foothold in their attempt to regain the favourable attention of the public. The appearance of the second edition of Hare's reserved but substantial The Barrier-Treaty Vindicated in December 1712, and the publication of the Letter of the States General to the Queen at the turn of the new year, set the stage for this debate. In its numbers of 11 and 18 December 1712 the Examiner had made slashing attacks on the views upheld in that pamphlet, testifying to the latter's impact through its angry retort. The intrepid Flying-Post tried to cash in on the stir caused by the publication of the Letter of the States General. At the very same time the Tory 'pamphlet' The Testimonies of Several Citizens of Fickleborough, in the Kingdom of Fairy-Land, concerning the Life and Character of Robert Hush, commonly Called, Bob, published - according to Coombs - on 20 January 1713, took pains not to release the emotional grip on the English public by again applying Swift's ready-made conspiracy thesis - as outlined by himself and quickly exploited for propaganda purposes - to the dealings of the Whigs with the Dutch. The Tories obviously felt this sort of emotional 'mugging' to be fully adequate; significantly the author of The Testimonies did not engage in factual argumentation with the author of the rhetorically effective The Present State of Fairy-Land. In Several Letters from Esquire Hush, an Eminent Citizen of Fickle-Borough, to the King of Slave-Onia (1713), a further indication of Whig recovery on the public scene. The appearance of a new edition of The Barrier-Treaty Vindicated about that date was promptly countered by the publication of Remarks on the Barrier-Treaty Vindicated (1713) and A Letter to the Examiner, concerning the Barrier Treaty Vindicated (1713). The first of these two pamphlets, in particular, conveys the impression that Tory propaganda was in general more adept at hunting down the enemy on the emotional plane than at bringing him to bay by demolishing his arguments through superior expertise. The most important contribution on the Whig side was An Answer to the Examiner's Cavils against the Barrier Treaty of 1709 (1713), which made ample use of material previously published in the Flying-Post and probably appeared about the beginning of February 1713. This pamphlet restored Whig propaganda to something of its former quality and must be regarded as one of the highlights of the newly revived debate; together with The Barrier-Treaty Vindicated and the Observations characterized in the next paragraph it posed a serious if transitory threat to Tory dominance on the public scene, where the Whigs had been on the retreat since the summer of 1712. Full of spirit and with a dogged factualism, this brisk piece of political writing summed up the Opposition standpoint in a rhetorically trenchant manner exceptional in Whig pamphleteering at that moment and raised the banner of Whig contradiction for the last time.

    Correlated efforts to show the Whig colours centred on the Observations upon the State of the Nation, in January 1712/13 (1713). Perhaps because of its posture of reluctant disapprobation and its concomitant moderateness in tone, this pamphlet with its statesmanlike approach as testified by its very title drew the most replies. The gist of the argument expanded in the Observations was that the European balance of power was going to be jeopardized by the imminent convergence of French and Spanish interests. As the Tories had made the changed situation after the death of Joseph I in the spring of 1711 the pivot of their volte-face on the Spanish question, the political discussion had come full circle. Although the Observations did not present new arguments, they were impressive because of their scrupulous insistence on a point of national magnitude which could not be relinquished in spite of the respect due to the Queen and her Government. Through his attitude of humble remonstration and by even admitting to unwarrantable behaviour of the Whigs towards the Church when they were in office, the author of the Observations seems to be appealing to the sense of responsibility of the moderate section of the Tory party. In spite of its conciliatory tone, however, the pamphlet is by no means lacking in rhetorical pithiness. Thus the Tories' overstatement of Dutch economic rivalry is mocked through the repartee "we strain at Gnats, and swallow Camels, when we bellow at the Dutch, and overlook the French in this Article of Trade". And the main point, indeed the ultimate objective of all Whig writings at that time - the danger to the Protestant Succession - is driven home in words which ironically stress the sudden confidence in the King of France's word: "[...] and the next Thing which we are to look for, is, that he will join in a Guarantee to secure the Barrier for the Dutch, and the Hannover Succession against himself".

    As can be seen from a quick glance at a number of replies, the polemics with a difference deployed in the Observations discomfited the Tories, although they did not seriously disconcert them. Even the most spirited of them showed, however, that the Tories had some difficulty in coping with the constructive antagonism of the Observations. An Answer to the Observations upon the State of the Nation, in January 1712/13. By the Author of the Examiner (1713) identified the Earl of Nottingham as the author of the Opposition pamphlet and tried to ridicule him by harping ironically on his pretended apprehensions as well as on his ostentatious modesty. George Sewell's Remarks upon a Pamphlet Intitul'd, Observations upon the State of the Nation, in January, 1712/13, published after the signing of the second Barrier Treaty on 30 January 1713, roguishly pointed to the concord that now prevailed between England and the States General. Interestingly, another reply to the Observations also published about mid-February 1713 and ascribed to Defoe, Not-am Politicks Examin'd, observed that Whig propaganda had again achieved a considerable degree of coherence. However, this Whig recuperation did not prove more than a last-ditch attack on the Tories; it could not effectually stem the tide of public opinion, which was set for the coming of peace. Notably Defoe, who clearly did not find it necessary to deal with the balance-of-power question yet again in his journal, had said on the question of peace in the Review of 24 January 1713: "[...] it is not so much the Subject of our present Debate as it used to be, the Matter is as good as over [...]". It is very much in keeping with this statement that Defoe in three subsequent issues of the Review, all dealing with the Observations, only marginally concerned himself with aspects of peace policy in the last number, concentrating instead on the alleged author of the Observations and anxieties with regard to the Pretender.

    At Utrecht things were on the verge of being brought to a conclusion, and at home - as signalled by the appearance of Defoe's pamphlets Reasons against the Succession of the House of Hanover (1713) and And what if the Pretender Should Come? (1713) - political discussion turned increasingly towards the problem of the Succession after March 1713. This new emphasis was confirmed by George Ridpath's pamphlet Some Thoughts concerning the Peace (1713), written after the conclusion of the treaty, in which, despite warnings to be vigilant in the matter of the Succession, there was nonetheless a certain resignation to the fact that the Whigs had lost not only a political, but also a public relations battle. Altogether the Government, which had successfully taken the lead in the battle for public support in the course of 1712, managed to go through with its campaign. This, however, did not prevent the Whigs from again voicing their unease at the advent of peace and later stiffening on the trade issue.