1. The Pamphlet
The pamphlet with its long tradition is doubtless the number one genre in political discourse. The number of pamphlets amounts to at least half the number of all the other genres taken together. If political journalism were seen in purely quantitative terms, the significance of the pamphlet, a genre of usually considerable length, would be even more obvious, but in terms of quality, too, it occupied a prominent position in the public debate.
In the armoury of the two camps' wooing of public opinion, the pamphlets were the flagships, with smaller craft positioned around them. The authors' mutual calumnies notwithstanding, the pamphlet was the most prestigious instrument for stating one's political views with the greatest effect, and it was also the most thoroughly argumentative means of expression in the often complex process of polemical interaction. The pamphlet was the most significant medium in the public debate because it was free of any space restrictions and thus provided the necessary scope for a detailed exposition of different viewpoints, for explaining the rationale of political decisions.
Although the other genres were occasionally used as icebreakers - for example in the gradual undermining of the Duke of Marlborough's reputation in the Examiner - it was only through the participation of pamphlets which brought about a filtering process that any political dispute would gain stature, because only there would the essentials stand out in sharp relief. The pamphlets' detailed political analyses gave muscle to the often ramifying debates and substantially fostered the formation of partisan positions. Owing to their argumentative nature, pamphlets, at least up to a point, had the same function in the cultural environment under Queen Anne as was in the nineteenth century to be taken over by the editorial article. While to some people Defoe, the author of the Review, is the first leader writer, the periodical essay, although it increasingly became a platform for political debate, did not yet acquire the unique position of the later editorial. It was the function of the essay - often in well orchestrated co-operation with the pamphlet - to prepare the battle ground rather than to carry out the essential strike. Other genres like the broadside and the occasional poem played a complementary though by no means insignificant role. They provided an emotional outlet during the debate, even if they did not actually promote it through sound argumentation. In the main this even applies to Arbuthnot's popular History of John Bull (1712), the individual parts of which were termed pamphlets, although, in the guise of fiction, they in fact emotionally exploited the change of public opinion that pamphlets had brought about. The prominent position of the pamphlet, which of course did not only rely on arguments but was also adept at stirring political resentment, is further illustrated by the fact that the public image of Whigs and Tories depended largely on how they were represented in pamphlet literature. Decreasing productivity of pamphleteers in both parties perceptively weakened the protagonists' positions in the propaganda war. Pamphlets were the pillars that supported the parties' propaganda platforms. As will be briefly outlined below, their most prominent specimens enable us to retrace the course of the debate.
The Government's intention - manifest from the beginning though not publicly stated - to end the War of the Spanish Succession by concluding a peace even without victory, was accompanied by increasingly intense journalistic activity. The Harley Ministry's long-term peace policy was reflected in the echeloned battle order of the different public genres with the pamphlet in the front line. Strategically the pamphlet became especially important for the Tories after they had taken the initiative. They did not only use the pamphlet as a clearing house for political arguments but often also as an instrument for tentatively advancing the public debate about the issue of war and peace. Through the debate initiated by the publication of Faults on Both Sides (1710) more serious doubts were raised for the first time about the wisdom of the war policy, though these were still marked by restraint. In the course of the election campaign of 1710 St. John's pilot publication A Letter to the Examiner unfolded the entire range of Tory arguments to signal the impending change of policy. In the spring of 1711 Defoe's pamphlet The Succession of Spain Consider'd - in line with political exigencies and its author apparently conscious of the secret negotiations in progress - introduced several new arguments into the debate. Defoe adapted the balance-of-power doctrine to the new situation and directed the reproach of seeking hegemony at Austria instead of France, thereby putting an important aspect of the new Tory policy on the propaganda agenda. Then in early October 1711, before the publication of the Preliminaries, under mounting Whig pressure, it was Defoe's pamphlet Reasons why this Nation Ought to Put a Speedy End to this Expensive War that created a breakwater, partly anticipating the tide of Opposition attacks. Stepping up his very personal rhetoric in support of the balance-of-power argument and adding a powerful emotional appeal, Defoe gave fresh impetus to the Government's unflagging effort to settle the question of peace on its own terms. Defoe's Reasons Why was a first tentative step towards taking the offensive in the public debate. Then, at the end of November 1711, with the Opposition intensifying its rhetoric of objection to the Government's political course and amid growing tension, the actual turn in the debate was initiated with the publication of Swift's The Conduct of the Allies. This pamphlet with its high circulation was the stimulus which Tory propaganda needed to move into top gear. Considerable polemical energy was released by The Conduct of the Allies. Swift's second important pamphlet of February 1712, Some Remarks on the Barrier Treaty, was prompted by current events in Parliament in the wake of rising anti-Dutch feelings and heightened the emotional tone that had been set by The Conduct of the Allies.
An analysis of the specific function of the pamphlet shows that in the Government's propaganda strategy it was used to gradually roll back the enemy's positions, to undermine the Whigs' journalistic bastions. The Conduct of the Allies, the Tories' most formidable weapon, virtually achieved a quantum leap in the efficiency of Government propaganda. A closer look at how certain pilot pamphlets influenced the course of the debate reveals the contribution of some outstanding personalities - in particular Defoe and Swift - to conquering territory for the Government's propaganda attacks. If the protean Defoe provided Harley with an indispensable, ever available all-purpose weapon, it was Swift who, with the trenchant polemical tone of The Conduct of the Allies, finally gave Tory propaganda the necessary clout.
On the Whig side, too, the pamphlet was the most efficient weapon in their entire propaganda arsenal. The Whigs, however, used it in a more defensive manner in order to build rhetorical barricades through the constant repetition of identical arguments and less to propagate new ideas like the Tories. The Whigs made use of the pamphlet for the purpose of lucid argumentation to lay open the unquestionable rationale of their politics. Maynwaring, the co-ordinator of Whig propaganda until 1712, employed the leading genre to fend off any signs of an emerging Tory offensive. His defensive rhetoric was intended to compensate for the fact that it was the Tories who had actually taken the initiative. As early as November 1710 Maynwaring had in the first of the so-called Management tracts - ascribed to Hare but revised by himself - pointed to the new Government's carefully-planned formation of its propaganda forces. In June 1711 there appeared Reflections upon the Examiner's Scandalous Peace and A Letter to a Member of the October-Club; these were followed in October 1711 by A Vindication of the Present M-y and Remarks on the Preliminary Articles Offer'd by the French King, and in November 1711 by A Letter to a High-Churchman and Remarks upon the Present Negotiations of Peace Begun between Britain and France. In December of the same year there came Remarks on a False, Scandalous and Seditious Libel, Intituled, The Conduct of the Allies and, to support it, Hare's The Allies and the Late Ministry Defended against France. This well co-ordinated barrage of pamphlets, two at a time and in quick succession, with their massive rhetoric was intended to erect high obstacles in the path of the Tory propaganda campaign. Maynwaring's circumspection gave Whig pamphleteering a high degree of rhetorical coherence, which was only surpassed by the impact of The Conduct of the Allies. It was precisely this element of coherence which made the pamphlet the leading genre for the Whigs also. It is therefore not surprising that when the Whigs' public image was at its highest in late autumn 1711, this coincided with a particularly skilful use of the pamphlet, and when their public standing was at its lowest in the summer of 1712, the pamphlet, too, performed rather badly. When after the end of 1712 Whig propaganda was gathering pace, this was again mainly due to pamphlets such as The Present State of Fairy-Land (1713) and Observations upon the State of the Nation (1713). The course of the debate as seen from a Whig perspective shows that without vigorous use of the pamphlet their propaganda lacked its polemical thrust. It is quite revealing that on the Government side, too, it was a pamphlet - The Testimonies of Several Citizens of Fickleborough (1713) - which contributed effectively to neutralizing the Whigs' efforts at regaining the initiative in influencing public opinion. In the proven emotional manner this pamphlet directed the charge of complicity, which had originally been levelled at Marlborough and Godolphin, at the Whigs and the Dutch. The following detailed analysis of some typical Tory and Whig pamphlets will show the genre's rhetorical potential. Precisely for the assessment of propaganda it is necessary to carry out an analysis of technique, which is often neglected by historians because of their traditional bias towards content.
a) Defoe, Reasons why this Nation Ought to Put a Speedy End to this Expensive War (1711)
Defoe was the Government's most prolific pamphleteer, and Swift its most brilliant. It seems reasonable therefore to describe the rhetorical characteristics of Reasons Why and The Conduct of the Allies because these pamphlets staked the journalistic ground and, although they were not published together, complemented each other in structuring the turning-point debate. It was the task of Defoe's pamphlet to contribute new arguments to the debate and set its high emotional pitch in further dealing with the war theme; his pamphlet was perhaps also intended to temporarily divert attention from the Government's true intentions by pretending to be aiming at a consensus. Swift's pamphlet on the other hand marks the beginning of the end of Whig opposition to the Government's peace policy. With its emotional aggressiveness it was a catalyst for the Government's mighty propaganda machinery.
Reasons Why played a key role in supporting the Government's peace plans by introducing new arguments into the debate and thereby overcoming the stranglehold caused by the Whigs' staccato-style insistence on retaining the status quo. The number of rejoinders - Maynwaring's A Letter to a High-Churchman was the most substantial response - only partly reflects this key function of Defoe's pamphlet. However, in his A Vindication of the Present M-y, from the Clamours Rais'd against them upon Occasion of the New Preliminaries Maynwaring saw quite clearly that the assumption of a changed political constellation after the Emperor's death - Defoe's favourite topic - had "the colour of an Argument" and might bring relief to the beleaguered Government. The Observator of 3-7 November 1711 also pointed out the significance of Reasons Why. This pamphlet documents the fact that it was the Government's long-term strategy - in defensive guise in the early stages - to go through with its peace plans against all opposition. It looks as if at the beginning of the turning-point debate the Government, also with the Court Whigs in mind, was aiming for a consensus; the idea seems to have been to test whether Marlborough, too, was prepared to compromise. But then the emotional pitch of the pamphlet left little doubt as to the Government's intention to cross the Rubicon and make its stance on the question of war and peace unmistakably clear.
The micro- and macrostructures of Reasons Why show that by refocusing on the war theme - in the literal photographic sense - Defoe attempted both to bring about a general change of feeling towards the war and to underpin the Government's position by introducing new and convincing arguments. The pamphlet immediately sets the tone: it begins with an emotional appeal to the reader no longer to ignore "The Miseries, Sufferings and Distresses" of his country. According to the author England, which used to bear any burden, was now in such a dismal plight that in his introductory pages Defoe immediately states his thesis "But the Case is alter'd Now". In the following months he devoted a great deal of his journalistic activity, both in his pamphlets and the Review, to skilful variations of this theme with an impressive display of rhetoric and considerable pertinacity. In Reasons Why the casuistic technique he employs to argue his case is combined with a highly effective polemical style, which - at about the same time as Mrs. Manley's rejoinders to Hare - emotionalized the debate even before Swift's Conduct. His argument that the situation has changed is skilfully strengthened by the antithesis that "we went out full, but are return'd empty". England's military successes are referred to by such paradoxes as "how do those very Victories ruine us?" or "such Victories would vanquish the Conqueror", which anticipate similar gibes in The Conduct of the Allies and finally lead to the question which Swift, too, was to ask the following month: "What is this to ending the War?". Such polemical similarities between Reasons Why and The Conduct of the Allies show the journalistic and strategic fine-tuning between the two pamphlets. And even if - as must be assumed - Defoe and Swift worked to a large extent independently of one another and without personal contact, there still seems to have been some co-ordination, possibly from above.
After a critical reminder of how the war in Flanders was conducted and of previous attempts to conclude a peace, which also anticipates similar passages in The Conduct of the Allies, Defoe concentrates on two points: first the particular circumstances in England and second those of her Allies. It must be said, however, that, as in his other writings, non-political as well as political, Defoe is repetitive, and constantly refers back to what has been said before in order to give his argument more force. As to his first point he argues that England is faced with an unacceptable alternative - "Two ruinous Extreams" - if she wants to continue the war: either to levy an excise duty on food and clothing, or to pay no more interest on the war loan! This horrifiying alternative is accompanied by yet another emotional reference to the plight of the poor and the ordinary people, which shows that this affective technique is one of the two fulcrums that give Defoe's pamphlet leverage.
His other point, the specific situation of the warring parties, is dealt with in the second part of his pamphlet. He uses this opportunity to concentrate on his favourite theme: the allegedly changed circumstances in Europe after Emperor Joseph I's death, so propitious to the Government's plans, and the danger to the European balance of power by adopting a solution that would favour the House of Habsburg. Whereas Defoe shared with others the emotional handling of the war theme, among them the author of the broadside Look, before You Leap, or; England Have a Care of your Candle (1711), the elaborate thesis of the changed European circumstances was virtually his own. Here he preferred a dispassionate exchange of arguments which posed as a rational approach and was intended to win over swing voters with loose party affiliations but susceptible to moderately argued positions. Like a refrain Defoe states his favourite argument: because the situation has fundamentally changed, the position of the House of Habsburg has been strengthened and England should maintain equidistance to both France and Austria. This seemingly reasonable argument marks a change of policy which is reflected in the use of "exorbitant"; this word which had again and again been applied by the Whigs to France, to which country it had exclusively referred in the past, is now applied to Austria. Towards the end of the pamphlet he makes two alternative proposals for a partition to solve the Spanish question. This may be regarded as the rhetorical correlative of his opportune accommodation to the political circumstances. Thus Defoe presents this and other pamphlets like The Ballance of Europe (1711) as proof of his honest will to follow the dictates of reason and enter into a dialogue on the need to adapt to the changed situation with people who held different views and were not necessarily close to the Government. This fits in with Harley's policy, who never directed his propaganda solely at Tory sympathisers. The emotional tone and humanitarian approach of Reasons Why - the very last words of the pamphlet are an outcry against "this Bloody and Expensive War", thus venting indignation at those not accessible to balanced reasoning - was typical of the initial stage of the turning-point debate in so far as there was not yet any invective against the Allies; in A Vindication of the Present M-y Maynwaring, recalling Mrs. Manley's The D. of M-h's Vindication (1711), identified this emotional appeal as the Government's latest propaganda ploy.
b) Swift, The Conduct of the Allies, and of the Late Ministry, in Beginning and Carrying on the Present War (1711)
Swift's famous "wonder-working pamphlet" with its undisguised aggressiveness represents the other, increasingly dynamic, side of Harley's Janus-headed propaganda strategy. Unlike Reasons Why, the structure of The Conduct of the Allies has been analysed elsewhere, and the remarkable thematic and linguistic repercussions of this pamphlet have been traced in the chapter "Focus". In the present context of analysing paradigmatic examples of Whig and Tory political rhetoric, it will suffice simply to summarise the main features of Swift's text. In contrast to Reasons Why, the intended thrust of The Conduct of the Allies is conveyed even by the layout of the front page. The idea behind the front-page layout of Reasons Why with its confusing variety of type-faces was obviously - in spite of the italicization of the adjective "Expensive" - to call attention to the pamphlet's topic as early and as comprehensively as possible, whereas in The Conduct of the Allies the visual characteristics of the front-page clearly serve a rhetorical purpose. Its double frame gives it the appearance of an official document and in the centre the heavy lettering of "Late Ministry" puts into relief the central target around which other key-words have been arranged.
Swift's pamphlet was directed mainly at true-blue Tories, to strengthen the faith of those who belonged to the flock rather than convert the unbelieving. Its essential structural feature, therefore, is polarisation. The very first sentence of the preface, which functions as an exordium, illustrates this with its ironic distinction between the majority of "Landed Men" and the minority of "Moneyed Men". Swift uses antithesis as a rhetorical device to introduce his friend-foe concept. He rigorously exploits the patterns of classical rhetoric and with a feeling for effective propaganda paints a picture of united forces whose aim has been for a long time to undermine England's position, a process that began with the Dutch King William III's policy and culminated in the deliberate exploitation of the nation by the Whig clique around the Duke of Marlborough. Although on the surface the pamphlet seems little more than a discursive commentary on the current situation, it is this central idea which gives it the unity and density of fiction, the memorable quality of a good story. What is presented as a mass of facts speaking for themselves is in fact a subtle display of polemical propaganda. Suppression of details, distortion of facts together with emotional appeals are designed to turn the mood against the opponent on domestic as well as foreign-policy issues. In The Conduct of the Allies the pamphlet - the most highly regarded genre - was used to exaggerate party-political differences and foster national antagonisms by presenting the arguments with the transparency of fiction.
The Conduct of the Allies marks a considerable improvement of Tory propaganda. With the politically and socially emotive concept of the 'family' as its centrepiece the conspiracy thesis, namely that the General and Commander-in-Chief was conspiring against the nation for personal gain, attempts to discredit the Duke of Marlborough once and for all. Swift was actually exploiting for his own propaganda purposes what Harley had hinted at in his unpublished pamphlet Plaine English (1708), and what Boyer had also referred to in his A Letter from a Foreign Minister in England to Monsieur Pettecum (1710); namely that the sinister family clan around Marlborough and Godolphin was plundering the nation. The thesis, early adumbrated in other Harleyite publications and The Examiner, culminates in the allegation that Marlborough had wanted to become King. In exposing Marlborough's seemingly boundless ambition in this way Swift was bringing to its rhetorical conclusion a strand of Tory propaganda which the author of Faults on Both Sides had initiated by first referring - though still with self-restraint - to the Duke's request to be made Captain-General for life. The 'royal' charge and lesser allegations, e.g. that Marlborough had luck on his side, will from this point be staples of Tory propaganda, ad hoc topoi of journalistic warfare, employed whenever needed in the ultimate aim to literally dissect the Whig hero. The relentless and unrestrained attempt to mobilise emotions in The Conduct of the Allies shows that the Tories had trained their sights irreversibly on Marlborough. In the immediate aftermath of The Conduct of the Allies Tory propaganda used this pamphlet as a platform from which its efforts to publicly dismantle Marlborough were co-ordinated, from which diverse other genres could operate effectively in close polemical interaction.
The technique of polarisation, visible in both the pamphlet's micro- and macrostructures, amounted to publicly throwing the Allies and the Dutch to the wolves. Another feature of The Conduct of the Allies is the new dimension of ruthlessness in the denigration of the Dutch Ally, still spared by Defoe, inspired by satirical aggressiveness. For instance, with the intention of denouncing the Barrier Treaty the author of The Conduct asks whether Dutch assistance in defending the Act of Succession can be regarded as "an Equivalent to those many unreasonable exorbitant Articles in the rest of the Treaty", thus applying the highly charged word "exorbitant", traditionally associated with France, to England's Ally. In order to neutralize the Whigs' constant references to England's contractual obligations and loyalty towards the Dutch Ally, Swift stirs xenophobic emotions and uses them as a weapon to gain terrain in the propaganda war. By focusing his attacks on the Dutch Swift stepped up the emotionalization of the debate which Mrs. Manley and Defoe had initiated, without, however, any specific target. The nationalist tone of The Conduct of the Allies provides a counterpoint to the Whigs' liberal and patriotic rhetoric with its European element and ample scope for further rhetorical elaboration in the immediate future. In the guise of factual information the rhetoric in The Conduct of the Allies aims at the total mobilisation of the emotions. Swift's great skill at playing this game may be highlighted by the passage in which he delivers memories of Marlborough's triumphs up to bitter derision, a passage which at the same time underlines his knack of ruthless simplification: "It will, no doubt, be a mighty Comfort to our Grandchildren, when they see a few Rags hang up in Westminster-Hall, which cost an hundred Millions, whereof they are paying the Arrears, and boasting, as Beggars do, that their Grandfathers were Rich and Great". As the key-text of Tory political journalism The Conduct of the Allies fulfilled its function perfectly: it initiated a propaganda offensive and attacked the enemy head-on after pretended attempts to reach compromise and understanding had failed. Its rhetorical militancy bears witness to the Government's will to continue with its peace policy to the very end regardless of mounting resistance. It is a measure of the unique and long-term effect of The Conduct of the Allies that in 1713, when Whig propaganda tried to reposition itself on the journalistic scene, The Testimonies of Several Citizens of Fickleborough took over Swift's conspiracy thesis and applied it to the Dutch and the Whigs in yet another attempt to stifle Opposition criticism of Government policy.
c) Maynwaring, Reflections upon the Examiner's Scandalous Peace (1711)
This is a perfect example of the 'factographic' pamphlet, a form which played such a prominent role in Whig propaganda. This and similar pamphlets illustrate the Opposition strategy: through endless repitition of the facts which bore witness to the nation's attitude towards the war, the Whigs underlined their demand for retaining the status quo and assumed a role not unlike that of a court of law supervising the faithful compliance with this policy. The conspicuous factualism of the Reflections and similar pamphlets was the rhetorical equivalent to the historical situation, namely that - contrary to circumstances under William III, who had been bound only by a secret treaty - Anne had publicly committed herself to a foreign policy sanctioned by Parliament from which the new Government could not easily extricate itself. In Reflections upon the Examiner's Scandalous Peace Maynwaring has recourse to the whole gamut of parliamentary resolutions, addresses, royal speeches and similar texts as evidence of the Government's pro-war policy since the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession. Such concentrated documentary evidence reflects the author's attempt at a dispassionate treatment of the facts.
At the same time, however, rhetoric is also skilfully employed to enhance the persuasive force of these very facts. For example, there is the occasional polemical remark like "till the beginning of the Examiner's My". Maynwaring increases the impact of the parliamentary resolutions he quotes by interpolating at the beginning of the pamphlet highly emotive words and phrases like "Liberty", "Balance of Europe" and "the Exorbitant Power of France", all taken from the documents themselves, which enables him to hide his polemics behind quotations from authentic texts. By repeatedly referring to earlier manifestations of England's pro-war stance Maynwaring seeks to underline the static nature of existing facts, and his personal comments written in the present tense - interspersed at regular intervals - are intended as a stabilising factor. An example of this is his comment after quotations from the Queen's Speech on 9 November 1703; he writes: "This is the declar'd Design of all the Parties to the Grand Alliance: this is what the Queen herself declares she makes the War for; this is what both Houses of Parliament extol and bless her for, the Commons as well as the Lords". The comments show the quintessential conclusion from the passages quoted, and the present tense in which they are written reveals Maynwaring's intention to carry over the political will of the recent past into the present, to underline the continuing relevance of recent events. In Reflections upon the Examiner's Scandalous Peace the continual use of the present tense indicates the author's intention to retain the validity of past consensus for the present, to stress the immutability and timelessness of a particular political position, whose reasonableness is demonstrated by repeating and thereby sanctioning the initial demand. Both Maynwaring - in this and similar pamphlets - and Hare, for example, in The Allies and the Late Ministry Defended against France, seem to fully trust in the power of Parliament to stem the tide of events. Such over-confident posturing seems to have been a clear misjudgment of the opponent's room for manouevre, taking for granted that progress was unstoppable and the prevailing of liberal-Protestant aims a matter of course. It is certainly not too bold to assume that such a Whig attitude shaped the rhetorical profile of Opposition journalism. This is corroborated by a remark that Maynwaring made in a letter to the Duchess of Marlborough in the summer of 1711: "[...] Folly and knavery and ingratitude, and every thing in short that is ill cannot get the better long of reason and truth and nature. For this is an unnatural Turn of Affairs, and the foundation of it is unnatural, and senseless stupid, odious Passion".
After letting the facts speak for themselves, it is only towards the end of the pamphlet that Maynwaring makes his own summarising comment, not, however, without striking an even more polemical note. His peroration in particular is a skilful blend of objective and affective elements. With the authority of his documentary evidence of a national consensus, Maynwaring can put the challenging question to the Examiner at the beginning of the peroration, "when it first began to be presumptuous and criminal for a Parliament to make an Address to the Queen, that she wou'd not consent to a Peace that shou'd leave Spain in the Hands of the House of Bourbon". In the peroration Maynwaring takes up what was said in the pamphlet and once again points to the consensus in Parliament as it existed until recently. He pointedly asks what may have caused the Examiner's volte-face and in the light of what had been said before he rules out any factual arguments. At the end of the pamphlet's penultimate paragraph the author uses a sequence of parallelisms, beginning with "when", to show that the circumstances are as propitious as ever for achieving the objective of the war. In the final paragraph parenthesis is used to score once again and - to convey once more the idea of continuing relevance - it is written in the present tense. This is how the author, in keeping with the pamphlet's rhetorical strategy, skilfully refers to an official political statement by the Queen, so much revered by the Tories around Swift: "(as we are assur'd in the Words of her Sacred Majesty, in her Gracious Answer to the Address of her Parliament the 23d of Decemb. 1707)".
The pamphlet's rhetorical structure reflects the Whig strategy of constantly referring to a national political consensus agreed in Parliament in order to prevent any Tory deviation. The factographic approach of the pamphlet must be seen as a rhetorical device intended to force the Government time and again to accept what are non-negotiable irreversible essentials of British foreign policy, any disregard of which, in view of their unambiguousness, would amount to a scandal. Like a large number of Whig pamphlets, Reflections upon the Examiner's Scandalous Peace aims to contain - through the impact of accumulated factual evidence - any inclination towards political change or vacillation on the Tory side, to make constancy and continuity a point of honour.
d) Maynwaring, Remarks on a False, Scandalous, and Seditious Libel, Intituled, The Conduct of the Allies, and of the Late Ministry, etc. (1711)
This text is an example of the emotion-directed type of Whig pamphlet. Its polemical nature and lack of dispassionate argumentation make it the very opposite of Reflections upon the Examiner's Scandalous Peace. The majority of Whig pamphlets, however, show a mixture of both extremes and blend factographic and emotional elements.
It is significant that Remarks is quite obviously Maynwaring's rejoinder to Swift's The Conduct of the Allies, which so strongly stirred the emotions, a case of answering like with like, of drawing a similarly simplistic picture to that drawn by Swift, whose pamphlet was to revolutionize the public debate. Maynwaring's Remarks is the first hastily written and improvised response to Swift's The Conduct of the Allies, even though synchronised with Hare's much more balanced reply in The Allies and the Late Ministry Defended against France. Both authors denigrate Swift by comparing him with Roper, and both authors, too, use highly affective phrases like "Protestant Religion" and "Liberties of Europe" to appeal to people's emotions. When at the end of the preface to Remarks Maynwaring says that he is not going to write any "Particular Defence of the Treaties we have made", this shows quite clearly that his pamphlet was written with Hare's in mind.
After the initial appearance of emotive words such as "Constitution" and "Revolution" in the preface, there are virtual clusters of them in what follows in order to enhance the reader's readiness to identify with the text. A dense catalogue of such political key-terms at the beginning of the pamphlet addressed to authors like Swift shows the impact that The Conduct of the Allies had: "[...] their Business is all the same, to vilify the Revolution, King William, the Protestant Succession, Credit, Trade, the Dutch, and all our Confederates [...]". After the author of The Conduct has been depicted as a libeller and hack writer, he is denounced as a traitor and friend of the Pretender. From page four Maynwaring presents his own conspiracy thesis, which determines the character of the entire pamphlet and counters Swift's with one not less simplistic although by no means original. The main point of Maynwaring's thesis is that those who advocate a peace that would favour France are in league with the Pretender and want to overthrow the post-revolutionary order in Britain. It is this antithetical structure, the Whigs' peace policy seen as supportive of Britain's liberal constitution and the Tory policy of Jacobitism, that determines the character of the pamphlet and manipulates the reader's sympathies. Maynwaring parries Swift's attack on Marlborough, namely that he favours his own family, by pointing to the Tory Jacobites, who support the family of the Pretender. And with regard to the passage in The Conduct of the Allies where Swift plays down the power of the Pretender's followers in England, Maynwaring pointedly remarks: "The Lessening the Interest of the Pretender at the same time that he writes for him, is one of the cunningest Parts he is to act".
Remarks is not a well-organized pamphlet, its purpose is not to invalidate Swift's criticism of the Allies' policy by reasoned argument. Remarks is intended to keep the Opposition on the alert, strengthen its ranks in the face of the Government's allegedly anti-Revolution policy and its departure from consensus with the Allies, especially the Dutch. To achieve this, the strokes of Maynwaring's brush are somewhat bold, his language is sloganising and bellicose. Remarks is a militant appeal to rally round the flag, and only rarely are there signs of Maynwaring's characteristic rhetorical sophistication, for example when his exposure of alleged Dutch misdemeanours borders on the grotesque in an effort to neutralize Swift's attacks. As the first response to The Conduct of the Allies, Remarks aims at instant polarisation and massive bombardment of the enemy with highly charged language. It does this in a less disciplined polemical manner than another similarly emotional Whig pamphlet of 1713, The Present State of Fairy-Land. In Several Letters from Esquire Hush, an Eminent Citizen of Fickle-Borough, to the King of Slave-Onia. Unlike the restrained polemics of this pamphlet and the matter-of-fact tone of A Full Answer to The Conduct of the Allies (1712), Maynwaring virtually throws his invectives and slogans about, repeating his conspiracy thesis "The friends of France cannot love whom France hates" like a refrain and firing salvos of affective language to drive home his point: liberal order versus slavery and tyranny. There is not much reasoning and what little there is is sometimes ill-placed. The pamphlet seems somewhat haphazard, an immediate tit-for-tat, erratic in places as if all the author had in mind was a quick rejoinder to Swift's pamphlet. The end is actually not bad. There the author settles his personal account with his opponent, and to direct attention to the latter's dubious position he asks several rhetorical questions: "Is it enough to pretend a Zeal for the Church, and a hatred of Indulgence; a concern for Land, and a contempt of Credit; an Inclination to France, and an Aversion to the Dutch?".
Remarks shows the Whigs' political will to hold their own, it employs rhetoric for the purpose of instant and rather crude retribution. This is why Maynwaring makes such generous use of emotive and thus polarising terms popularized through Whig propaganda. It is one of the flaws of Remarks, however, that, its militant tone notwithstanding, references to leading Government politicians remain rather vague - obviously a deliberate device of Whig journalism - and that Maynwaring hardly goes beyond an ironical jibe at the men behind Swift and other Tory writers. In several places the raving repartees seem uncontrolled and indicate the degree of perplexity that The Conduct of the Allies caused in the ranks of the Opposition. Remarks is an extreme example of emotional rhetoric, of polarisation and the massive use of politically manipulative language. And yet it is representative of all Whig pamphlet literature, which in its fight to swing the public mood in its favour never relied on the power of facts alone.
Reflections upon the Examiner's Scandalous Peace and Remarks on a False, Scandalous, and Seditious Libel are two extremes between which the subtle nuances of rhetoric in Whig pamphlet literature unfolded.
Although the pamphlet was the established genre for serious political discourse, the significance of the essay increased under Queen Anne. Political essays appeared in weekly periodicals and similar publications, which specialised in commenting on political events that had been reported elsewhere, particularly in the daily papers. During Queen Anne's reign the opinion-forming periodicals concentrating on the political essay had a perceptible influence on the public debate. John Tutchin's Observator, which still used the dialogue format, had been founded as far back as 1702; this had been followed in 1704 by Defoe's Review, which introduced the 'leader' article into contemporary journalism. When the Examiner appeared in 1710 - immediately after the new Government had established itself - the significance of the political essay was further enhanced, and it was to become a serious rival of the pamphlet as the hitherto leading genre.
One of the characteristics of journalism under Queen Anne is the fact that the leading political authors of the day - Swift and Defoe on the Tory side, Maynwaring, Ridpath and, before him, Tutchin on the Whig side - were essayists as well as pamphleteers. This shows how closely connected the two genres were in the struggle to shape public opinion. Especially during the turning-point debate essayists and pamphleteers worked together in propagating specific political views. Such co-operation took place in October 1711, when Defoe's Review and some of his own pamphlets like Reasons why this Nation Ought to Put a Speedy End to this Expensive War pursued a common strategy in order to inform the public about how the existing political balance would be disturbed if Austria were to gain the Spanish throne. A similar relationship developed between The Conduct of the Allies and the revived Examiner, whose function it was to propagate Swift's propaganda first disseminated in his pamphlet. And as long as Opposition propaganda was co-ordinated by Maynwaring, it was the Medley and several Opposition pamphlets which jointly addressed readers to strengthen Whig positions. In these cases pamphlets and essays were like communicating tubes.
That the political essay was the most important newcomer on the propaganda stage is shown by - among other things - the new genre's role as a catalyst in bringing about long-term swings of the public mood. During the period of transition from the old Government to the new the Examiner was the spearhead of the Harley Ministry and was outstandingly efficient in the ongoing effort to change the public's perception. Beginning in the late autumn of 1710, Swift's Examiner persistently undermined Marlborough's prestige to prepare the terrain from which the final attack to annihilate the Whig hero was to be launched at the politically most favourable moment. At the end of April 1711 Swift broke the 'No peace without Spain' taboo in his weekly paper. This was a comparatively inconspicuous attempt to test public reaction to the Government's intended volte-face in its war policy. The otherwise tight rhetorical structure of Swift's political papers was neglected in this case in favour of the essay genre's traditional task of heretically calling into question seemingly undisputed positions! The Examiner thus enabled the Government to cross another threshold without as yet risking open confrontation. Although the Medley succeeded quite well in its self-imposed task of countering the arguments of the Examiner, the latter, as the Government's propaganda spearhead, performed extremely well in eroding the residual prestige of the preceding Ministry by launching vitriolic attacks on leading Whig politicians and at the same time opening new perspectives. In a manner similar to Swift's, and also at the same time, Defoe used the political essay to break the ice, as it were. As in The Succession of Spain Consider'd, he has some critical thoughts on Austria in the wake of the Emperor's death in the Review of 28 April 1711, where he points to the possible future consequences for the European balance of power.
The essay was not only a quick and easy way to spread Government-inspired political messages but was also a very adequate instrument for keeping certain topics alive in the public mind and thereby strengthening the Government's role as the leading force in shaping public opinion. As a propaganda weapon the political essay could be used for short flashes as well as for sustained fire. In October 1711, for example, Defoe used his Review to systematically strengthen the Government's position vis-à-vis the Whigs' rhetoric of protest by painting the looming danger of hegemony on the European Continent, making Austria the culprit instead of France. The reaction of the Observator, which devoted a whole series of issues to refuting Defoe, who had switched camps and virtually assumed the role of a Government journalist, shows to what extent he had in fact succeeded in regaining the initiative for the Government and in binding enemy forces.
On the Tory side pamphlets and other genres took advantage of the Examiner's force and prestige, often used it as a point of reference and acknowledged it as an authority. On the Whig side it was rather the opposite. It was the periodicals which often referred back to the pamphlets to strengthen their own version of Whig policy. This trend changed of course when The Conduct of the Allies was published, which henceforth became the principal reference point for all other publications.
Towards the end of Queen Anne's reign it was the periodical essay that created an environment in which the political essay could flourish. This is why, after he had taken over the Examiner, Swift 's initial format was similar to that of the periodical essayists. The immediate success of the Tatler brought additional motivation to the political periodicals, although as propagators of party propaganda they could not be as courteous in tone and manner.
But overall, the leading political weeklies did profit in different measures from the esteem in which the public held the periodical essay because of its literary qualities. Like the periodical essay, the political essay had little in common with the fact-oriented newspapers and the ponderous and somewhat long-winded style of the regular pamphlets. The political essay steered clear of both superficiality and pedantry. It offered a skilful combination of immediate reaction to and detailed comment on political issues. As to rhetorical sophistication and effect the political essay was often second to none. The political weeklies combined the dailies' topicality with the pamphlets' discursive method, which gave them a middle status of enviable flexibility between reporting news and commenting on it. Such flexibility had already been displayed by the Tatler, which, during the peace negotiations in 1709, had skilfully arranged the facts in a manner that turned news items into commentaries.
The political essay was a discursive genre whose purpose was to create political awareness, stir public emotions and sustain them over long periods. This it did with greater frequency and ease than any of the other genres at the time. It was indispensable as an instrument for keeping certain issues alive in the public consciousness and exerting constant pressure on the political opponent. Through all this it contributed to the diversity of the journalistic scene under Queen Anne compared to that under her predecessor. To use a metaphor - not entirely inappropriate in view of the militancy of polemical exchanges - the pamphlets were the battleships in the journalistic armoury, some occasionally even serving as the flagship, whereas most political essays were the light cruisers with only some in the heavy cruiser class. The following brief analysis of the rhetorical features of the more important political weeklies will reveal the particular configuration of forces putting their impact on this genre during the debate about war and peace at the end of Queen Anne's reign.
The Rhetorical Profile of the Main Political Periodicals
a) The Examiner
The Harley Ministry's demand for a foreign-policy change was nowhere more clearly expressed than in the Examiner. From the moment Swift took over the journal it became a weapon whose rhetoric was employed with one objective in mind: polarisation. The prevailing rhetorical device to serve this purpose in both style and argument was antithesis, which created straight front lines. Polemical antithesis was used both as a micro- and macrostructural element, sometimes dominating a whole series of issues as the predominant rhetorical feature. Swift wanted to make the Examiner the journalistic focus in his campaign to discredit the previous Government and in particular its war policy. This intention became quite obvious in the self-assured manner in which he signalled a new beginning and virtually ignored his opponents. He was no doubt convinced that distancing himself from others and passing over what they had to say - especially the author of the Medley - would contribute to the intended effect. And in the rare cases where he did react it was probably to enhance the effect of his own statements, whereas the snide attacks of his opponents suffered from attrition through over-use. The authoritative pose that Swift adopted in the Examiner, occasionally provoking ironic comments from his adversaries, but more often wry smiles, was part and parcel of the Examiner's technique.
Swift's approach of introducing a persona and adopting a moderate easy-going style was obviously intended to capitalise on the favourable public image of the essay periodicals - the Tatler was an instant success from the start. But he soon discontinued the persona device and chose a disembodied voice instead. Gradually he also changed his tone and style, and his very own rhetoric of polarisation became the hallmark of his periodical, while at the same time retaining some of the periodical essayists' moderate stance. In all this Swift displayed considerable cunning, as a few examples will show. In numbers 17 (23 November 1710), 18 (30 November 1710) and 28 (8 February 1711) Swift castigated the seeming lack of gratitude towards the Duke of Marlborough, exposed the Earl of Wharton, thinly disguised as Verres, and in a letter to Crassus drew up the Duke of Marlborough's catalogue of misdeeds yet again. In these issues the author begins on the moderate note of a periodical essayist and then develops the antithesis between the previous Government's corruption and the new Government's sense of responsibility. In these carefully structured articles he adapts classical rhetorical devices to suit his polemical and satirical style. In the Examiner Swift resorted to stinging satire because the new Tory Government would only enjoy public approval if the previous Government's prestige could be destroyed through systematic attacks on the Duke of Marlborough.
Swift created the impression that his sharp-tongued appeals were directed at the entire nation, but it was really the landed gentry he addressed, because unlike the Whig-oriented moneyed men, parvenus of the 1688 Revolution, they were to him the backbone of the nation and the heart of the Tories. In his propaganda campaign for the new Government Swift relentlessly made use of polarisation and through sheer linguistic chutzpah succeeded in breaking through the solid bulwark of his opponents' defences. Hyperbole such as his allegation in Examiner 18 (30 November 1710) that "Nine Parts in ten of the Kingdom" support Harley's political course was supposed to show the authority and strength of the new Government, whereas the Whig opposition was reduced to and stigmatised as "a routed Cabal of hated Politicians". Time and again he presented his antithesis of the new Ministry serving Queen and Country and the old Ministry with the family clique around Marlborough and Godolphin as its nucleus, who for reasons of self-interest had prolonged the war. Swift's staccato style ensured that his antitheses were etched on the public mind, preparing the terrain for the massive propagada strike of The Conduct of the Allies late in November 1711.
With his sloganising rhetoric - directing his acid ad hominem attacks consistently at leading Whig politicians, while sparing his journalist colleagues in the Opposition camp - he kept up the pressure on the political foe and gradually set the Harley Ministry's offensive in motion. Number 39 (26 April 1711) of the Examiner illustrates Swift's technique of using rhetoric in order to skilfully tap into political issues, even if sometimes only tentatively. It is here that he performs a salto mortale by distancing himself from the 'No peace without Spain' policy while at the same time having the effrontery to denounce the policy sanctioned by the House of Lords Address of 1707 as a "monstrous Step in Politicks". Perhaps such exaggeration was meant to contain any emerging self-doubt among the Tories, but Swift's main intention, of course, was to shift the responsibility to the Whigs in the forthcoming debate on the Spanish question. By denouncing the past policy towards Spain he puts the ball in the court of the Whigs, whom he accuses of steering a perverse course, thereby forcing them to justify themselves. Swift's overdoses of rhetoric enhanced the publicity of his statements. Although the Medley, specialising in polemical rejoinders to the Examiner, gave no quarter and finally became a thorn in the latter's flesh, Swift had caused the Opposition considerable loss of terrain whilst at the same time amassing vast propaganda capital which was to yield rich interest when at the decisive stage of the debate The Conduct of the Allies was published.
When the Examiner reappeared early in December 1711 it lacked Swift's rhetorical brilliance, but it was still a skilfully edited propaganda medium. The revived Examiner was to The Conduct of the Allies what the cushion of a billiards table is to the balls. The pamphlet provided the periodical with multiple opportunities for its polemical arguments to rebound. Thus the periodical helped in its more modest way to bring about a change in the war policy debate and - a measure of its efficacy - was constantly in the Opposition's sights.
b) A Review
The second pillar on which the new Administration's propaganda rested was Defoe's Review, whose rhetorical profile ideally complemented that of the Examiner. The latter was to attack the Opposition head-on. The Review, however, in addition to addressing moderate Tories, was above all to seek assent to the Government's peace policy among those still undecided in the Opposition camp, which led Defoe to adopt a well-balanced rhetoric that considered alternative options and in an obliging tone suggested that readers do the same. The Review was the soft-spoken advocate of the Government's new policy. Determined and yet conciliatory it tried to win the support and acclaim of the sceptics. Its rhetoric was that of consensus, not polarisation. Aimed at advancing Harley's political objective of a broader political base, it took into account the diverse political leanings among the Government's possible supporters.
The Review of 13 October 1711 executed the turnaround on the Spanish question, the justification being that reason demanded that a distinction be made between "The whole undivided monarchy of Spain" and "Old Spain". From now on the Review followed a course of equidistance to France and Austria, neither of which, as was explained in great detail, was to be allowed to increase its power to the point of unsettling the political balance in Europe. The issues of 25 October 1711 and 6 March 1712 are good examples of the rhetorical technique that was the Review's hallmark: arguments are well-balanced, opposing views are carefully weighed, positions are considered from a seemingly non-partisan point of view and the middle-of-the-road solutions that the Harley Ministry would be prepared to go along with are presented. The typical structure of an issue of the Review reflects a way of thinking aloud which considers both sides of a coin. Repetition is used to create the impression of painstaking thoroughness and openness, which may even include the readiness to admit errors. After the policy change on the Spanish question the prevailing technique of the Review consisted in translating into rhetoric Defoe's central point after the death of Emperor Joseph I: "The case is altered now". Defoe's manifest aversion to the "exorbitance" of any one power, no matter which, finds its structural equivalent in his balanced rhetoric, which in turn shows his readiness to follow the dictate of reason and avoid extremes. The insistence on the danger which any strengthening of Austria would create illustrates the kind of labour-sharing relationship between Defoe and Swift as pamphleteers and also as essayists; while the Review played the Austrian card in the run-up to the Government's propaganda offensive, Swift shortly afterwards gave the go-ahead for the calumnious polemics against the Dutch, whom Defoe had spared. The need for a change of attitude towards Austria in the wake of changed circumstances remained the Review's staple argument until the spring of 1713. The aim was to increase the periodical's credibility and lend conviction to its author, who had deviated from the Whig course, a step which forced him on to a somewhat tortuous path.
Defoe's conciliatory rhetoric, which sought consensus even with those who held opposing views, embraced everything to do with the peace issue, e.g. on 30 October 1711, when he denounced the parties' extreme positions, or on 21 February 1712, when he attacked an altogether too narrow interpretation of the commitment that the alliance imposed on its members. Unlike Swift in the Examiner and Maynwaring in the Medley, Defoe only rarely used party-political labels for polemical ends. The Review seemed so balanced in tone because the critical element regarding opposing views only slightly outweighed the author's aim to state his own position clearly. Direct attacks were rare, ad hominem assaults almost absent. This shows Defoe's effort to maintain a tone of disciplined reasoning. However, beginning in October 1711, he introduced an emotional element into the hitherto matter-of-fact presentation of the war and peace issue. He thus adapted his consensus rhetoric to the increasingly heated debate between Whigs and Tories. In this, too, Defoe the essayist made a concerted effort with Defoe the pamphleteer.
From approximately mid-October 1711, the Review fulfilled an important complementary function; together with Reasons Why and others of Defoe's pamphlets it helped to establish a bridgehead for the Government to prepare the ground for its forthcoming propaganda offensive. After his about-turn on the Spanish question, the author of the Review found it decidedly more difficult to sound convincing in his protestations of independence than, for instance, in his earlier rejoinder to the Examiner on 14 December 1710, and the Observator's continual attacks on the renegade were not without effect. He was noticeably ill at ease having to unequivocally come out on the Government's side in an atmosphere of increasing polarisation. During the Government's head-on attack on Marlborough and the Whig Opposition in the first quarter of 1712, the Review's performance was less impressive and less self-assured than before. During the mud-slinging campaign against Marlborough, of which Defoe, who had been generous in his praise of the General, disapproved, it was difficult for the periodical to make itself heard. Significantly it was only in the pamphlet that Defoe, who had a public past as the author of the Review, was able to adopt a sometimes aggressive tone towards Marlborough from the security of comparative anonymity.
c) The Medley
It soon became apparent that the Whig-Examiner was ineffective. Therefore, to counter the impact of the Examiner, a new periodical was launched whose tone was belligerent right from the beginning. By pitting Maynwaring against Swift, the new Whig mouthpiece was committed to a style of personalised antagonism. As Ellis has shown, Maynwaring was sharp-witted and sarcastic, always eager to read what his opponent had to say. Maynwaring's strategy may be described as 'meticulous response'. He would normally deal with those of his opponent's arguments which were particularly vulnerable. But since Swift usually chose to remain silent, there was not much of a 'dialogue'. What mostly happened is illustrated in number 37 of The Medley (11 June 1711). After quoting from the Examiner, the specific argument brought forward by Swift is refuted step by step, following which Maynwaring deals with the topic in question from his own point of view.
This fault-finding approach, not unlike an accountant's, enabled Maynwaring to present Swift as "The Blunderer". And on several occasions he did indeed succeed in exposing a number of errors, sometimes on important points of fact, as for example in number 37 of the Medley, where he corrects Swift with the help of a reader's letter to the editor. In Medley 10 (4 December 1710), which deals with the obligation to show gratitude towards the Duke of Marlborough, Maynwaring shows with skilful rhetoric that Examiner 17 (23 November 1710) offers a good example of what Swift must have had in mind when in Examiner 15 (9 November 1710) he wrote about the deliberate telling of lies in political matters. Medley 19 (5 February 1710) advises the Tories not to credit the Whigs with any part in the Revolution of 1688/89, in which only good churchmen had a share. Towards the end of this issue Maynwaring wittily takes a dig at Swift's preference for landed men by pointing out that the financially potent Dutch hardly count "because they have a Trading Interest only; no Landed Interest, no Church Interest, in which we have a great advantage over them".
But were such sallies, though admittedly witty, sufficient to neutralize the belligerent Tory periodical? The latter's authoritative pose, noted, for example, in issues 13 (25 December 1710) and 19 (5 February 1711) of Maynwaring's periodical, and much resented by the Medley in spite of its own self-assured repartees, was based on the claim that what it had to say was so unprecedented, so important that any criticism of detail was simply beside the point. Maynwaring's (and occasionally Oldmixon's) casuistry verged on the pedantic and did more damage to the personal image of their opponent than to the political substance of his periodical. The Medley remained defensive, the initiative was always on the side of its opponent, who might at times prove vulnerable on individual points of fact but could hardly be seriously harmed in his general approach. The Medley's technique of being doggedly reactive, of fragmentizing the issues, its lack of vision, led to personal skirmishes instead of parrying the opponent's challenges and concentrated more on fault-finding than on offering political alternatives. In Medley 20 (12 February 1711) Maynwaring's cutting remark that the Examiner "differs with his own Majority of Nine Parts in Ten of the Kingdom", is really nothing but cheap repartee. The Medley's persistent but somehow mulish personal attacks and at the same time its failure to offer the public a more positive perspective amounted to a serious fault in its overall strategy. The Protestant Post-Boy, whose author treated Roper ("my Friend Abel") in the same condescending way as Swift had been treated by Maynwaring, found it much easier to project such an image. It was also typical of the Medley to launch personal attacks almost exclusively at Swift, the ersatz target in a somewhat anaemic war, whose own ad hominem sorties were nearly always directed at Whig politicians.
The Medley never started a big counter-offensive, seeking engagement in separate theatres of war instead. Like the Whig pamphlets, its aim was to narrow the enemy's scope for political change by constant reference to binding parliamentary resolutions and similar decisions. Hardly ever did the Medley come forward with any position of its own. A rare exception is number 30 of 23 April 1711, which was prompted by the appointment of new Governors of the Bank of England. Unlike Whig pamphlets, especially in the second half of 1711, the Medley lacked the drive to successfully promote its policy of preserving the status quo. Stylistically its defensive method of simply reacting to the enemy's moves is apparent in the sparing use of charged words like "Jacobite" and "Pretender". Not even "Revolution" appears anywhere near as often as in the Examiner. Number 31 (30 April 1711) illustrates the periodical's self-imposed restraint in being purely reactive. Swift's comparatively inconspicuous presentation of his policy change on the Spanish question is immediately noticed but then, in the Medley's fragmentising technique, the author quietly passes on to other topics and never takes it up again in subsequent issues. On whatever topic the Medley scored points, its successes were always partial and never amounted to a substantial territorial gain that would have forced back the enemy. The Medley never propagated any uplifting political message, its sometimes almost scholastic rhetoric was the expression of a pedantic and cavelling mindset.
In the spring of 1712 the Medley returned - although too late - twice weekly, and this time without Maynwaring's participation. Right from the first issue (3 March 1712) it was clear that henceforth it would not limit its activities to responding to individual opponents but would broaden its scope to provide a platform for its own version of political truth. There was less verbal wit in the new Medley, but more thrust in its rhetoric, which focused uncompromisingly on the deep and principled disagreement on war policy between the Government and the Opposition. Number 3 (10 March 1712) lucidly described the Government's long-term and successful strategy to lend plausibility to its volte-face on war policy, thus at the same time highlighting the territorial gains of Tory propaganda. Occasionally the Medley adopted Maynwaring's and Hare's technique of fact-oriented refutation of enemy positions - e.g. in the above-mentioned third issue - but by and large the political situation, favourable to the Tories, forced it to make ad hoc responses in order to penetrate enemy lines wherever there was an opening in order to regain some lost territory. However, as late as the summer of 1712 the new Medley had not gained any rhetorical profile which would have enabled it to seriously embarrass the Tories.
d) The Observator
The Observator came into its own particularly after the war-and-peace debate intensified, following the publication of the Preliminaries in mid-October 1711, and during the ensuing polemical exchanges it became an unmistakable feature on the journalistic landscape. It was quite characteristic that in its issue of 13-17 October 1711 the Observator immediately chose as its target Roper's radical Post Boy in order to attack the Government's political volte-face on the question of peace. During the following period of intensifying propaganda it was through its sheer persistence that the Observator contributed to increasing and stabilizing Whig pressure. Thus, between 20-24 October and 7-10 November 1711 there was an uninterrupted series of comments on the Tory argument that the threat of hegemony had shifted, a point that had been dealt with in previous issues and was to be taken up again later. In its summarising headlines the Observator made regular prominent use of the word "exorbitant", which Defoe had launched against Austria, thus presenting familiar content in a familiar form. The Observator had frequent recourse to rhetorical questions in order to avoid any ambiguity and - as illustrated in its issue of 17-21 November 1711 - largely dispensed with irony, the effect of which could never be calculated with certainty. It stood up to its rivals with considerable journalistic skill and gave its Whig clientele something to identify with. This in turn led to an excessive number of references to France, the denounced enemy, never more so than in the last quarter of 1711.
The Observator sent unmistakable signals of Whig perseverance and, from the issue of 24-28 November 1711, began to expose the author of the Review as a turncoat, causing him considerable discomfort, as is shown by Defoe's reaction in the Review. Beginning with the issue of 1-5 December 1711, which by way of introduction cites at length Maynwaring's pamphlet Remarks upon the Present Negotiations of Peace Begun between Britain and France as an authority, the Observator now trained its guns on The Conduct of the Allies. The key position of The Conduct of the Allies, like previously that of Defoe's Reasons Why, did not go unnoticed. However, the immediate and intense attacks on Swift, accusing him, as might have been expected, of being a Jacobite, show that one serious danger posed by Swift's pamphlet had escaped the Observator, namely the snowballing effect of continually stirring anti-Dutch emotions, which finally resulted in a virtual avalanche of anti-Dutch sentiment.
The Observator's uncompromising collision course, aimed at directly engaging the enemy, gave Whig propaganda an idiosyncratic touch of militant perseverance. The Observator's straightforward rhetoric exposed very convincingly to what extent the Tories had deviated from essential Whig positions which had once been theirs as well. Repetition became the Observator's hallmark, a kind of didactic 'recycling' of arguments, which turned out to be more efficient than the Medley's fragmentizing method, which squandered rhetorical energy instead of focusing it. Occasionally, the Observator used forceful imagery, as for example in the issue of 12-15 March 1712, where its opponents are accused of having tried everything "to Mohawk the Union and Barrier-Treatys, the Empire, and the Dutch Commonwealth". In this case the Observator, in retorting to Tory authors who had calumniated the Whigs as Mohocks, seems almost to have coined a new verb; in Johnson's Dictionary, at any rate, "mohawk" is only a noun. Like the Whig pamphlets, the Observator incessantly pointed to the factual evidence of parliamentary resolutions and similar texts. On every possible occasion it brandished the accusation of Jacobite leanings and pro-French feelings like a cudgel against the peace faction in the Government camp. With its strong didactic streak the defiant Observator came close to the Opposition's most important newspaper, the Flying-Post, which even in difficult times loudly sounded the Whig trumpet.
Newspapers and periodicals were different in both function and structure. The 'news' papers provided the public with basic factual information, the kind of raw material that the periodicals used for detailed discussion. Only on very few occasions did the functions of the two genres overlap so that one did the job of the other or both did the same. Carrying news was the job of the newspaper, with news from abroad as their first property and domestic news in second place. This was the format of the official London Gazette, the Daily Courant, the first daily paper, the Evening Post, the first evening paper, and the British Mercury.
Although reporting news was the first priority, our concern is the occasional merging of news items and opinion-forming comment. Thus the London Gazette of 6-8 December 1711 first informed its readers about the Queen's Speech in Parliament of 7 December, which, printed in full, was directed against "the Arts of those who delight in War". This was tantamount to a partisan comment and set a precedent for further attempts to influence public opinion. Sermons and other genres not long afterwards also referred to the Queen's Speech, which gave Government propaganda some respite at a critical moment and shortly afterwards gave impetus to the Government media when these went on the offensive. Sometimes mere information was demonstrably not the papers' prime objective. Especially foreign news was interspersed with rumours, moods, interpretation and guesses; the Flying-Post of 6-9 December 1712, for example, mingled opinion and news. Although details of places and dates were supposed to create the impression of authenticity, the reader - especially with news from abroad - was often hardly able to distinguish between the opinions of people concerned, the opinion of the correspondent or even that of the editor. A good example is the Post Boy of 26-28 April 1711. Home news was usually more neutral, especially when official announcements were printed. But even here there was a concomitant partisan note as for example in the Flying-Post and the Post Boy, which regularly followed up reporting - already tainted by party bias - with aggressive polemics.
Opinion-forming was not limited to odd bits of polemical comment mixed with news but was done even more deliberately with particular targets in view. To demonstrate this form of participation in the polemical interaction of the time, we shall take a look at the parties' two ideologically most outspoken papers, the Tory Post Boy and the Whig Flying-Post. The Post Boy usually had a number of news items, both from abroad and at home, on military and diplomatic matters with occasionally some information on trade and finance, as its issues of 14-17 April 1711 and 15-17 April 1712 illustrate. Such seemingly neutral reporting would at times have a partisan slant. In its issue of 26-28 April 1711, for example, there was a report from The Hague in which it became apparent that the paper advocated putting out feelers with a view to negotiating a peace. In a paper committed to straightforward reporting without any argumentative interpretation such interpolation of opinion posing as information could act as a stimulus in the process of shaping public opinion. In fact the Tories regularly used Roper's Post Boy to fly a kite. The issue of 26-28 April 1711, for instance, reported on French objections to ceding Spain but declared the alleged beginning of peace talks a mere chimera. Together with Swift's pilot essay in the Examiner this must be seen as a synchronised effort to test the public's reaction to new political steps. Taboos were thus broken and a long-term process of changing public opinion was initiated. That the Post Boy was simply acting on cue from the Government is shown by the fact that Swift never distanced himself from it, whereas in number 16 of the Examiner (16 November 1710) he characterized Leslie's Rehearsal as extremist only to present himself as moderate and reasonable.
On rare occasions, which duly attracted public attention, the Post Boy went beyond inserting the odd political dig into otherwise neutral reporting and crossed into the territory of the genuinely opinion-forming periodicals. The Post Boy of 13-16 October 1711 carried the text of the French Preliminaries and preceded it with a lengthy essay-style commentary which supported the Government's peace campaign. The issue of 8-10 November 1711 contained an essay-like summary of the Tories' strongest arguments in favour of ending the war and accordingly aroused the attention of the Opposition press. The fact that Roper used the essay form at a critical stage of the debate to address his partisan readers even more directly shows that the role of the newspaper was that of complementing other genres in their journalistic function. The examples cited fit into the larger pattern of a Tory propaganda campaign in which pamphlets and periodicals were the main participants and to which the newspapers made a co-ordinated contribution. The Post Boy of 13-16 October 1711 emotionalized the war theme in the manner of Defoe, stressing the heavy toll of lives and the financial burden and offering a new view of the balance-of-power principle with regard to France and Austria. The Post Boy of 8-10 November 1711 contained the charge of war profiteering and must be seen in connection with the imminent publication of The Conduct of the Allies. When right at the beginning Roper disparagingly speaks of "a Sett of Men", for example those opposed to ending the war, this anticipates Swift's later "a sort of Men" on the first page of The Conduct of the Allies. And Roper's rhetorical question whether "the Sober, and Impartial Part of Mankind would not censure his Conduct" if the Emperor were to remain adamant also points ahead to The Conduct of the Allies by even mentioning the word "conduct". Actually, Roper had used the ominous word before in the issue of 13-16 October 1711 with reference to the Duke of Marlborough, the true target of Tory propaganda. The Post Boy's strategy to influence public opinion becomes evident also in the issues between 8-11 November and 20-22 November 1712. In the guise of a reply to The Sighs of Europe (1712), which contains a dramatic appeal never to back down on the Habsburg solution to the Spanish question, the Post Boy obviously sought to neutralize the impact of the Whig publication. Having previously - in the autumn of 1711 - imitated the essay, the Post Boy in this particular case slipped into the role of pamphleteer.
Whereas the Post Boy showed considerable versatility in its occasional adaptations of different genre-formats, the pugnacious Flying-Post was always a hybrid, mixing news and opinion. It hovered between tendentious reporting and aggressive polemics. With its use of various journalistic sub-genres it offered its readers considerable variation, whereas at the same time its strident polemical tone lent it unmistakable political contours. The issue of 17-19 July 1712, for example, contains Whig propaganda expressed in different forms, variations on the theme of the High Church-Jacobite threat. The Flying-Post made generous use of the formal scope of the essay-form, which gave it its unique position among the newspapers. Because of its polemical intrepidity it was closely observed in the enemy camp. The wide range of journalistic techniques was meant to attract attention, and the unconventional paper became the stormy petrel of Whig propaganda.
Our survey would be incomplete without mentioning the newspapers' role as convenient instruments for the publication of diplomatic statements alongside more usual propaganda, which was how in particular the Allied governments tried to put a tight rein on the Harley Ministry. It was thus the Whig Opposition which profited most from the role of the newspapers as a means of expanding the scope of diplomacy into the public sphere. The Daily Courant, for example, which had a Whig bias, published in its issue of 5 December 1711 the so-called Hanover Memorial or Bothmer Memorial, in which the Elector of Hanover opposes the Government's peace policy. Apart from the usual advertisements this issue contained no other news besides this foreign intervention. The use of the highly emotive word "Slavery" in the fourth paragraph of the Memorial seems to indicate that the document was conceived from the beginning with a view to publishing it. The Hanover Memorial was printed in the Flying-Post of 4-6 December 1711, too, and also featured prominently in the Evening Post of 4-6 December 1711 and the Protestant Post-Boy of 8-11 and 11-13 December 1711. Publication of the document by the Daily Courant and other papers lifted morale among the Whigs and annoyed the Tories. The influence of the publication on the further course of the debate is shown by the Tories' rejoinder A Letter from a Whig-Gentleman in the Country to his Friend in Town (1712). Through the publication of the Memorial the House of Hanover made known its long-term party-political leanings, thereby sending signals that did not go unnoticed among politicians in Britain. When Samuel Buckley, the editor of the Daily Courant, printed the Memorial of the States General in April 1712, this angered the Government so much that legal proceedings were initiated. This particular kind of journalism, which produced classified material for prophylactic purposes, and which even the Queen officially called a nuisance, reflected the Whig policy of containment and was the Opposition's counterpart to the practice of the Post Boy, which moved to the frontiers of journalism to explore the terrain for the Government. In her reply to the Letter of the States General the Queen rightly remarked that its publication in the Daily Courant had turned it into a "Remonstrance instead of a Representation, and an Appeal to the People instead of an Address to the Sovereign", which illustrates how the Opposition deliberately used the press to reinforce diplomatic pressure.
Apart from such exceptions the newspapers were usually not able to deal with political issues in an argumentative way and, unlike pamphlets and essays, contributed little to their elucidation. And yet, although news reporting was their domain, they always found a way to bring particular issues before the public forum and thereby stimulated the political debate. Even in military matters pertaining to statistics the news-covering media managed to take on party-political colouring. During and after the Bouchain campaign, for example, each of the contending papers printed biased reports from sources friendly or hostile to their respective views. Thus the Supplement of 19-21 September 1711 presented its readers with exaggerated figures of English losses in French accounts. These were immediately refuted by the Flying-Post in its issue of 20-22 September 1711. The papers were not only on the receiving end acting simply as conduits for the news of the day. They played an active role in shaping public opinion, a process which, circumstances permitting, they could effectively re-direct, speed up and intensify. Although the papers did not see this as their primary function, it was nevertheless the sphere where they made considerable contributions. News reporting remained their first priority but it influenced the environment for political debate. Though there were differences in degree, news was hardly ever passed on as bare facts, the denotative topic was enriched with connotative trimmings. Via its reporting of news from Vienna, for example, a partisan paper such as the Flying-Post regularly conveyed the undisguised message of resolute Austrian resistance to a premature peace, as its issues of 27-29 November and 27-29 December 1711 illustrate. In its issue of 17-19 September 1711 the non-partisan British Mercury, for instance, reported from Holland on rumours about the Dutch attitude to the peace question and thus probably raised expectations in spite of the matter-of-fact style. The Whig Daily Courant, on the other hand, in its issue of 21 April 1711 presented the Resolution of the States General after the death of Emperor Joseph I in such openly positive terms that this could be interpreted as signalling agreement, which turned the reporting of mere facts into an act of stimulating and guiding public reaction. Somewhere between the British Mercury and the Daily Courant belongs the Evening Post, with its issue of 15-18 December 1711, which informed its readers from The Hague about co-ordinating steps among the Allies. The fact that news reporting never took place in an emotional vacuum made the newspapers instruments - sometimes knowingly, sometimes unwittingly - in the opinion-forming process.
Any survey of the public genres under Queen Anne must include the broadside. It was the shortest and literally the most spectacular of the propaganda media and the fastest to react. It testified to the fact that the sharing of party-political convictions led to a cultural interchange between 'high' and 'low'. The 'noisy' broadside was the tabloid of its age, whose sensational propagation of messages reached right across the social spectrum. A contemporary pamphleteer remarked explicitly with regard to the impact of the cheap broadside material that "this is what the Rabble hear daily bawl'd about the Street, and greedily they suck in the Poison: These Scriptions reaching those who cannot buy above a Half pennyworth of Scandal at a Time; and as they make up the Numbers, the Mischief they do is the more pernicious". The broadside was the medium par excellence for spreading political messages. Its zippy presentation of controversial political views, which gave the genre a high entertainment value, made it the ideal instrument for instant polarisation. For Whigs and Tories alike it was a welcome completion of their propaganda armoury. The broadside gained its significance because the political print was only just developing and therefore played almost no part in the media dispute over the right peace.
In the wake of the publication of the Preliminaries on 13 October 1711 and Marlborough's dismissal early in 1712, the number of Whig and Tory broadsides increased considerably, which illustrates this genre's particular dependence on specific current events. The broadside needed something to react to, something that invited a quick response and thus provided an opportunity to whip up emotions along party lines, which it did like no other genre. Spectacular events worked like a fuse igniting the broadside's potential for stirring emotions, boosting trends, and giving explosive issues adequate publicity. Here is an example: after the publication of the Preliminaries, Maynwaring's An Excellent New Song, Called Mat's Peace (1711) evidently played a key role in rekindling public awareness of the still unsolved Spanish question. Other broadsides like The Procession (1711) took a similar rhetorical approach. The genre's imagery and other deliberately emotional stylistic features enabled it to arouse feelings and create moods. A good example of the genre's potential for aggressiveness is the Whigs' The Br-sh Embassadress's Speech to the French King of March 1713. As instruments of party propaganda the broadsides made generous use of emotive words, key-terms in the parties' propaganda war, originally introduced by more substantial genres but readily utilised for their own ends. The Procession's use of "Pope", "Pretender" and related words characterizes the genre's endeavour, albeit to differing degrees, to make the public aware of certain political dangers - in this case the latent threat of Jacobitism - not by arguing a specific case but simply by taking up biased buzz words, thereby prejudicing the public's judgment. Especially the broadsides' polarising language, their preference for ideologically charged terms, made them the ideal instrument for drumming into the public mind the parties' easily memorised political slogans. Their staccato style made them a high-decibel amplifier on the journalistic stage.
The broadside mostly sailed in the wake of other, more discursive genres, taking up their political language and arguments and turning them into powerful weapons in its own arsenal of scandal-mongering rhetoric. Just as Whig broadsides adopted the term "Scandalous Peace" in - for instance - An Excellent New Song (1711), so Tory ones borrowed some of the reproaches against the Duke of Marlborough. Disconnected from their discursive context these borrowings were simplifications intended for a less educated or even uneducated readership. Thus the broadsides intensified what had emerged as the essential points in the other genres' discursive argumentation. Otherwise they had little to contribute to the solution of political controversies. Thus their aim was not to convert the political opponent but to encourage their own side. The genre was essentially a secondary medium, serving as the primary media's amplifier. But there were exceptions. Occasionally the broadside played a more independent part, sending out well-calculated signals. In the early autumn of 1710 the genre seems to have taken on the task of sensitizing people to the implications of Godolphin's dismissal. Shaking up the public was no doubt part of its domain. A more interesting example of occasional independence is Swift's The Fable of a Widow and her Cat, which appeared in January 1712. Taking advantage of the changed political situation this broadside assumed a pilot function in so far as the final appeal "Do him [Marlborough] Justice" was intended to goad the Commons, who were to meet shortly afterwards in order to assess the findings of the select committee, into assuming an uncompromising attitude. The well-timed publication of this broadside shows the Tories' skill in utilising the genre during the turning-point debate in order to accelerate the dismantling of the General. These examples, by the way, also illustrate the broadsides' usefulness as historiographic source material because they provide snapshots of the political mood and record contemporary events like a seismograph.
Any analysis of the broadside's contribution to party propaganda must not omit the fact that - rather surprisingly - it appeared in different strengths at different stages during the critical debate about the termination of the War of the Spanish Succession. Thus practically only Whig broadsides were published between the autumn and the end of November 1711, whereas Tory broadsides did not appear before the very end of that year or the beginning of the next. These had been all but non-existent before December 1711! But then the scene changed and by January 1712 Tory broadsides outnumbered Whig ones. One reason for this might be that the genre needs a propaganda offensive to pull it along in its wake, which, - until Swift's The Conduct of the Allies - was only the case on the side of the Whigs, however. It is true that Whig propaganda offered brave resistance to the Tories well into the first quarter of 1712, but to unfold its entire potential of aggressive personalised rhetoric and reach mass circulation, the broadside needs a clearly defined target. Until November 1711 it was Defoe, pamphleteer and political essayist, who set the pace in Government journalism. His moderate tone and discursive method in dealing with the balance-of-power issue did not mobilise sufficient vituperative energy to spark off the production of broadsides. Only after the end of 1711, following Marlborough's dismissal and the opening of the emotional anti-Dutch campaign - which, interestingly, was largely ignored by the broadside -, did the Tories have a clearly defined target. It is not surprising, therefore, that this was the time when Tory broadside production and its impact reached a climax.
Only by this time had pamphlets and periodicals sufficiently popularized a number of key-words and slogans on which the broadside as a responsive follow-up genre usually depended. Its linguistic dependence on the more sophisticated genres is illustrated by the fact that 'hard words' would only be used after they had gained currency through frequent application elsewhere. An example of this is the use of "perquisite" with reference to the Duke of Marlborough in broadsides like The Grand Enquiry, or, What's to be done with Him? (1712), Swift 's A Fable of the Widow and her Cat or The Description of Dunkirk with Squash's and Dismal's Opinion (1712). It was Swift who had already given the word an especially ominous ring in the famous Examiner essay about British ingratitude (23 November 1710). Shortly afterwards, in a pamphlet referring to the reproachful Examiner of 21 December 1710, the portentous word was there again, for instance, in a highly polemical passage incriminating Marlborough in the thin disguise of classical analogy. More recently - and significantly - Swift had again used the term with disparaging intent in a crucial part of The Conduct of the Allies and thus prepared for its further dissemination. This shows once again that the broadside's main function as a secondary medium was to intensify political statements and appeals and not primarily to elucidate and explain them. Political concepts like Britain's equidistance to France and Austria, Defoe's favourite topic since the autumn of 1711, which did not lend themselves easily to polemical presentation, were not taken up by the broadsides at all or - as in the prose broadside Look, before You Leap - only briefly raised as a question. There was nothing in this concept that could be translated into polemical wit or personalised calumny, which shows that only if there was room for sloganizing rhetoric did the broadside come into its own as a torchbearer of propaganda.
After the first confrontation of Tory and Whig broadsides in December 1711, it was in January 1712 that the polemical exchanges between Whigs and Tories included an unprecedented number of broadsides. This bears witness to the hitherto unknown intensity of the public debate, which employed the full range of political rhetoric including - on both sides - the fast sermons. The participation of all genres in the propaganda process at this time shows that this was the high point of the debate about the termination of the War of the Spanish Succession.
Since the turn of the year 1712 the co-ordination of Tory propaganda had taken a qualitative leap, which is illustrated not least by the multiple use to which the broadside was put. The genre's principal function of sounding the trumpet for certain political issues was expanded, and for the first time broadsides concentrated on individual aspects of a specific issue, presenting a mosaic of views which formed a coherent picture of the rationale of Government propaganda. Thus, the thrust of the genre was intensified by virtually dismantling the dismissed General and Commander-in-Chief. This was facilitated by the fact that the broadsides' various points of attack had previously been put at the genre's disposal by Tory pamphlets and periodicals. This strategy of vociferously proclaiming Marlborough's sins was intended to convince the public of the seriousness of the Whig leader's misdemeanours. After Marlborough had officially lost the Queen's confidence, this political decision found its extension in the joint propaganda chorus of broadsides and the other - more discursive - genres, which together held forth on the General, listing the stereotype catalogue of his alleged sins: aspiring to the crown, striving for personal gains and, besides, having simply had luck on his side. These skilfully orchestrated propaganda efforts, which publicly exposed Marlborough like on an X-ray screen, gave Tory propaganda an astonishing degree of coherence. Marlborough's dismissal by the Queen - a defensive measure - and the creation of twelve new Peers were both exploited by the Tories for their propaganda purposes in order to regain the offensive and raise the tone of the ongoing debate to a high polemical pitch. The Tory offensive, initiated by the publication of The Conduct of the Allies, reached its climax with the barrage of volleys that the broadsides launched against the Whigs' leading figure. Provided with ammunition by other genres, the broadsides displayed the Tories' aggressiveness in its most concentrated form and also their determination to bring about a change in the public debate. The broadside was an important instrument in the hands of the Tories in their effort to paint the public image of both the opponents and the supporters of peace in more clearly contrasting colours. The genre is a telling example of the inherent strength of Government propaganda.
Among the main genres taking part in the debate about the War of the Spanish Succession the sermon was something special. In terms of numbers it ranked lowest, because sermons needed a special occasion, like commemorating the Queen's accession, or the death of Charles I. They followed the rhythm of the ecclesiastical year, which restricted their discursive adaptability. Sermons would refer to certain current events but would not directly react to them like pamphlets, periodicals or broadsides. An exception is Hare's The Charge of God to Joshua, preached in September 1711 on the occasion of a victorious battle and subsequently published. But usually sermons were slower to take up political events owing to their dependence on the church calendar. Compared with the other genres of political rhetoric, sermons were rather inflexible.
Their comparatively rigid structure did not lend itself easily to treating political topics. Exordium, explicatio and peroratio usually formed the framework of a sermon, and argumentatio and applicatio its centre. Any reference to contemporary matters and any comment would normally be restricted to the applicatio, that part of a sermon where the application of theological reasoning to concrete situations had its place.
But this structural handicap notwithstanding, the political sermon, which disappeared from the scene immediately after 1715, had its place in the debate about the War of the Spanish Succession. Sermons profited from the high esteem in which spiritual literature was held at the time, and consequently many of them were printed almost immediately. Alongside the other genres the sermon's role was no doubt modest - with occasional exceptions - and yet, as a medium of political communication, it was employed regularly if cautiously. The specific strength of the genre was its ability to exploit for political purposes deep-rooted and universally accepted ideas and concepts. The sermon's commitment to the exegesis of the Bible along typological lines hardly admitted of any detailed comment on complex contemporary issues. The genre's characteristics could only be used to full advantage where an undifferentiated political groundswell could be intensified by religious reference. But in an era where claims to political power were still based on religious concepts - for the last time in English history - such opportunities abounded. The sermon was quite inadequate for a detailed ratiocinative refutation of a particular argument or a presentation of original views; it was rather the appropriate medium for lending general support to widespread political sentiment by exploiting religious susceptibilities. The sermon occupied a middle position in the spectrum of the propaganda genres. Its potential for influencing public opinion through its very specific kind of rhetoric puts it halfway between the discursive pamphlet and analytical essay on the one hand and the emotional broadside and occasional poem on the other.
In a certain way, however, the sermon was itself 'occasional' owing to its dependence on specific religious events in the course of the year. An exception is Hare's above-mentioned sermon The Charge of God to Joshua (September 1711). It puts a religious interpretation on the capture of Bouchain by the Duke of Marlborough, thererby contributing to initiate a debate on this particular event within the wider context of the ongoing general political debate. Incidentally, the General - likened to Moses in Hare's sermon - was the most gratifying and most frequently used Whig figure for biblical analogies. By raising political matters to a religious level, Hare's sermon gave a short-term boost to Whig morale. And the idea that God's providence favoured England no doubt flattered the ordinary people as well. Hare probably regarded it as an inherent advantage of the genre that the biblical context in which he developed his political analogies spared him the arduous task of presenting a detailed peace plan. The Tories tried at once to neutralize the effect of Hare's emotional and persuasive appeal to religious feelings. Mrs. Manley's rejoinder A Learned Comment upon Dr. Hare's Excellent Sermon Preach'd before the D. of Marlborough, on the Surrender of Bouchain by an Enemy to Peace (1711), in which Swift most certainly had a part, shows this quite clearly. Her disillusioning down-to-earth approach was obviously meant to steal Hare's thunder. But then Hare's spectacular and courageous exploitation of a military feat that so uplifted the Whigs was in itself enough to show quite plainly the limits of the genre. The sermon's inherent typological approach, namely to equate England with God's chosen people, admitted of no detailed consideration of the debate about war and peace, because the biblical event, the taking of Palestinian land by the Isrealite tribes led by Joshua, would have implied the taking of the whole of France under the leadership of Marlborough. Hare.viH;'s identification of Marlborough with Moses boomeranged when Mrs. Manley, in a pamphlet whose sole purpose was to reply to Hare's sermon and which was a rare specimen of journalism even by the standards of the time, asked pointedly whether England would now have to wait forty years before a peace could be concluded!
In general - not counting such an outstanding and exceptional sermon as Sacheverell's The Perils of False Brethren (1709) - sermons played a less conspicuous role in the propaganda battle. Their chief function was perhaps twofold: first, to comment on political issues, precisely within the genre's formal limits, and thus influence the political climate and create a degree of awareness of new political developments. For example in his sermon Noah's Dove. An Earnest Exhortation to Peace, preached on 7 November 1710 and dedicated to Harley, which expressed gratitude for the military successes in the summer, Thomas Swift had discreetly suggested adopting a moderate political course. The function outlined above was performed in particular by sermons delivered in the Commons on special occasions, e.g. those by Bisse (March 1710), Snape (March 1711), Altham (January 1712) and Ayerst (February 1712). To the extent that their rhetoric deviated from the traditional and prevalent non-partisan style which addressed Government and Opposition, Tories and Whigs alike, these sermons sometimes set a new tone and were an indicator of new political positions. A good example of this is Altham's fast sermon before the Commons. It is a well-balanced political homily in which High Church key-terminology like "Rebellion", "Submission" or "Unity" and "Concord" is not employed with the aim of immediate political or even polemical reference but remains embedded in the religious context of the occasion. The sermon presents the war against Louis XIV, who poses a threat to freedom, as a just war, but at the same time underlines the need to conclude a peace to put an end to the human drain from which the nation is suffering. Altham's sermon, which even includes the Allies in its prayer, aims at consensus but also points out the Government's position and the new facts it has to consider. These sermons quite effectively carried political messages within the genre's - rarely overstepped - strict limits that forbade overtly partisan polemics. Gradually, and more deliberately, the Government seems to have used the House of Commons sermons with their quasi official aura as an instrument to state its own political objectives. These sermons, which in their own way are a discursive complement to other genres, may therefore also be read as historical documents which provide evidence of the Government's cautious but unequivocal way of sending out signals as to its long-term intentions and political course.
The second function of the sermon was, albeit less frequently, to participate in undisguised partisan propaganda. This second function put the sermon in line with the other genres, overtly completing the political parties' propaganda activities. Here are two examples, one from each party, and it is probably not mere coincidence that both are fast sermons of 1712. Trapp's sermon openly sides with the Tories and the Government, and its polarisation makes it an exception within the genre. Trapp tries to create a sense of a common political cause, and he attacks Whig arguments with increasing vigour in the manner of a pamphleteer. His sermon is intensely political. The leitmotiv-like reference to the human cost of a continued war adopts Defoe's emotive approach, but the sermon also uses Swift's antithesis of the Sovereign and the nation on the one hand and Marlborough and a selfish Whig clique on the other from his recently published The Conduct of the Allies. Trapp's use of emotive political terms shows that his purpose was purely ideological. But in spite of his unusually vigorous pace he stops short of actually referring to the parties by name, which is the only feature that still distinguishes his sermon from a pamphlet. Interestingly, Trapp also avoids the key-word "perquisite", which would not in itself have been out of place in a sermon but which - as current in all genres of Tory propaganda - was extremely politicised and could appropriately be replaced with the more general terms of condemnation "Avarice or Ambition". Even The Quaker's Sermon: or, a Holding-Forth concerning Barabbas (1711), which still poses as a sermon although it is in fact a pamphlet, shows restraint in the use of party names; actually, there is only one - although polemical - reference to the Tories. Trapp's sermon was an integral part of the Tory propaganda network, intensifying in a religious context the general tenor since the turn of the year 1711-1712, namely the Harley Administration's determination, ubiquitous in political writing, to end the war. Such a sermon was a militant political homily and, like the dissenter Mayo's Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (1712), its rhetoric was the closest approximation to that of the secular genres.
But even where there was more professional self-restraint than Trapp chose to exercise, the pro-Government fast sermons of January 1712, like Altham's and Smalridge's, followed the Tory propaganda line that the continuing bloodshed could no longer be tolerated. Their tone, however, remained consistent with the genre's own technique of affective language. They were able to dispense with the highly charged phrases of pamphlets and essays. Instead of polemical key-words there were catalogues of specific vices or - on the Tory side - references to the hitherto "just and necessary" war as "bloody, cruel and expensive". Those of the clergy who sympathised with the Government were unanimous in the emotionalization of the war in their sermons, quite in tune with Tory propaganda but strictly within the limits of the genre. The emotionalization of the war, with its immense loss of human life, was supported by theological and secular arguments alike and bore the seal of Christian mercy. Thus a general political message was spread even further through a particular genre's rather narrow scope for expression. In particular the fast sermons of 1712 show the qualitative leap executed by the Tory propaganda campaign, aiming at identical targets though different in tone. In the autumn of 1711 the sermon had occasionally been used for propaganda purposes by the Whigs, and the Tories had not used it at all from September to December of that year. The change in the stand-off between the Government and the Opposition did not occur until January 1712. Only then did the fast sermons signal the Tories' resolve to take the lead in the propaganda contest to shape public opinion. During the decisive stage of the turning-point debate the sermon - previously only used sparingly for the promulgation of political intentions - was fully integrated into the parties' armoury. Especially at the beginning of 1712, more so than at any time before or later, the sermon was used to recharge the Government's propaganda batteries.
The Whigs tried as best they could to ward off this Tory offensive. A good example is Fleetwood's rhetorically highly sophisticated fast sermon of 16 January 1712, the Whigs' rejoinder to Trapp's politically committed pulpit oratory. Fleetwood's party bias becomes apparent if one reads his sermon alongside Wright's Sermon Preach'd at Black-Fryars of the same day. Wright's sermon, despite its express condemnation of Louis XIV, is conservative in as much as the political theme is presented in theological guise with its general moralising remarks about the depravity of the time. Fleetwood, on the other hand, presents his political topic without such circumlocution. Right from the beginning his sermon is delivered "against such as delight in War", which directly takes up the theme of the Queen's Speech in Parliament. Fleetwood's, and thus Whig, strategy consists in diverting the Tories' reproach of "delight in war" away from the Whigs and applying it to France. Originally directed by the Queen at those opposed to peace in her speech of 7 December 1711, the "delight in war" slogan is now directed at the French King, who, as the public are reminded, was notorious for breaking promises as well as treaties. Fleetwood thus capitalised on a slogan that was originally intended to calumniate the Whigs. But for all his skill, there remains a feeling of tit-for-tat, of improvised Whig self-defence. To make his political position unequivocally clear, Fleetwood gives his sermon a very effective ending. Although his support for the continuation of a just war is obvious from the beginning, it remains restrained, and only towards the end does he adopt the polemical tone in which it had become fashionable to discuss the question of war and peace. Only then, on the last two and a half pages, does he unleash Whig key-words like "Liberties", "Slavery" and "Protestant Succession". But even when his rhetoric reaches its climax the party names are never mentioned; even the traditional Whig accusation of Jacobitism is never made. The polemical section of Fleetwood's sermon begins with the succinct remark: "And therefore they who now tell us, that we entered wrong into it, are those I doubt, who would have us go wrong out of it. The preceding exegesis of a passage from the Bible has prepared the ground for this final onslaught and lends it conviction. In spite of its courageous refutation of the "delight" reproach, Fleetwood's sermon, the main passages of which were cited with approval in the Protestant Post-Boy of 5-7 February 1712, had a decidedly defensive note, as is shown by the subtle rhetoric which effectively refutes the argument, which was being used with ever increasing intensity, that the Duke of Marlborough had simply had luck on his side. Labelling him "a General, wise, and brave, and fortunate, as was our last" is a pointed reaction to the increasingly derogatory attacks by the Tories, but it avoids cheap invective and is moderate and detached enough in tone not to affect Fleetwood's position as a preacher. The defence of the Duke of Marlborough at the end of the peroratio is a convincing example of how a sermon could assume the function of a political manifesto without violating the genre's dignity. With its renewed emphasis on the justness of the war Fleetwood's sermon was typical of the Whigs' reaction to the Tory propaganda offensive. That the Tories had indeed gained the offensive is shown by Mayo's polemical fast sermon Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, in which the author - mimicry-like - resorts to Tory terminology like "sedition" to parry the Government's own rhetoric, which was to rally the nation round the Tory cause; in other words, Mayo tried to beat the Tories at their own game.
Alongside Hoadly it was Fleetwood who was the most effective ecclesiastical advocate of Whig policies. The impact of his sermons can be inferred from the Preface to the edition of Four Sermons in May 1712. This Preface appeared in the Spectator of 21 May 1712, a fact which was still favourably commented on in the pamphlet Revolution-Principles: Being a Full Defence of the Bishop of St. Asaph's Preface to his Four Sermons (1713), the last item to deal with Fleetwood's provocative publication. With its use of key-terms of Whig propaganda like "Arbitrary Power" and "Popery" the Preface takes on an aggressive tone which distinguishes it from the disciplined rhetoric of Fleetwood's fast sermon. His militant and programmatic Preface was probably intended to close ranks among the Whigs, who had recently appeared somewhat disconcerted in their journalistic performance. Thanks to the publicity that the Spectator gave it, this seems indeed to have been its effect. Swift's replies in A Letter of Thanks from my Lord W-n to the Lord Bp of S. Asaph, in the Name of the Kit-Cat-Club (1712) and the Examiner of 17-24 July 1712 show how the Government felt pricked by it. But in the context of the genre as such, Fleetwood's stimulating Preface remained an exception. The publicity it gained indicated that Whig propaganda was on the decline. In the summer of 1712 it was at its lowest and desperately needed such a stimulus to make itself heard at all. After this the sermon played an increasingly insignificant role in the debate on the war, sometimes to the point of oblivion, and had to concede pre-eminence to the other forms of political rhetoric.