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Unifying devices in A tale of a tub Clark, Richard David 1961

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UNIFYING DEVICES IN A TALE OF A TUB by Richard David Clark B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1959 A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard The University of British Columbia Apri l , 1961 In presenting t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree th a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood tha t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l . n o t be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission. Department of English The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 3, Canada. Date A p r i l 18th, 1961.  i i ABSTRACT One of the major problems for readers and students of A Tale  of a Tub is i t s apparent lack of internal unity and coherence. Faced with a welter of seemingly contradictory and inconsistent arguments and attitudes, reader and student alike have frequently been forced to concede defeat and turn to Swift's "more profitable" works for consolation. The purpose of the present study has been to indicate the exist-ence, in the Tale, of numerous unifying devices, a recognition of which may enable the reader to perceive and appreciate the essential unity and coherence of an admittedly complex literary entity. Emphasis has been primarily upon the "dramatic impact" of the Tale, and the contribution of images and themes to this impact. Classi-fication of images and themes has been made in terms of the definitions offered in the text. . . Persuasive oratory i s the instrument to achievement in the Tubbian world, and i t is with the motives and methods of Tubbian orators that the study i s primarily concerned. The pervasive themes of the mechanical operation of the s p i r i t and madness are among the unifying devices in the Tale. The f i r s t seven chapters are devoted to an exploration of images, devices, and thematic developments as unifying devices. Four subsequent i i i chapters discuss the relationships between elements in the Tale and certain of the cultural dissentions of which these elements provide re-flections. There has been no attempt at inclusiveness in the selection of representative cultural elements. Rather, in the selection of materials from Hobbes, Dryden, Wycherley, Sprat, the Cambridge Platonists, Glanvill, and Shaftesbury, the attempt has been only to indicate the major preoccupa-tions of the age. Where obvious similarities exist between attitudes, as they do between the attitudes of Hobbes and those of the sci e n t i f i c virtuosi, the emphasis is upon Swift's capacity to make fine distinctions between similar attitudes and to indicate these distinctions in his methods of attack. Conversely, the inclusion of apparently disparate "philosophies," such as those of Hobbes and Shaftesbury, is intended to demonstrate Swift's a b i l i t y to comprehend in one attack a great variety of disparate attitudes. It has been found necessary, in the interests of cla r i t y , to in-clude a certain amount of explanation and elaboration of materials relative to the cultural background. The conclusion of the study is primarily concerned with the reader's reaction to the "dramatic impact" of the Tale. Certain of Swift's " s a t i r i c c r i t e r i a " or norms are tentatively offered for consideration. These are such as may be readily available to the reader from a careful examination of the text and an exploration of his own reaction to the text. i v CONTENTS CHAPTER P A G E INTRODUCTION . ' 1 I . SWIFT'S USE OF THE PERSONA 5 I I . THE MOUNTEBANK IN A TALE OF A TUB 11 I I I . THE HIGHWAYMAN 22 IV. THE RELIGIOUS ZEALOT 25 V. THE MECHANICAL OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT 32 VI. THE MADNESS THEME 37 V I I . SCATALOGY AND BEAST IMAGERY 42 V I I I . THE "MODERN" AUTHORS IN A TALE OF A TUB 59 IX. THE ROYAL SOCIETY AND THE TUBBIAN "ACADEMY" . . . 77 X. A TALE OF A TUB AND LEVIATHAN 88 XI. RATIONAL THEOLOGY IN THE TUBBIAN WORLD 100 X I I . CONCLUSION I l l BIBLIOGRAPHY 122 INTRODUCTION The appearance of A Tale of a Tub and two "companion pieces" i n an anonymous volume i n the year 1704 was the occasion f o r a great deal of speculation concerning the i d e n t i t y of the author and the meaning of several "obscure" passages i n the Tale i t s e l f . While the i d e n t i t y of the author has long since been established, l i t e r a r y speculations concerning Jonathan Swift's purpose and meaning i n A Tale of a Tub continue to f l o u r i s h and m u l t i p l y . In t h i s study, the attempt has been to provide some s p e c i f i c c o n t r i b u t i o n toward enabling the reader of the Tale to perceive and appreciate the e s s e n t i a l u n i t y and coherence of an admittedly complex l i t e r a r y e n t i t y . In accordance with t h i s purpose, emphasis has been placed upon the i n t e r n a l u n i t y of the Tale and upon the s i g n i f i c a n c e of i t s "dramatic impact" on the reader. 2. The classification of images and themes has been made in terms of definitions offered in the text of the Tale i t s e l f . The three major images are the "orators" of the "Tubbian world" in which the "persona" or alleged "author" of the Tale exists. These orators, in a world in which oratory or persuasion is the instrument to achievement, are the mountebank, the highwayman, and the religious zealot who occupy the three "oratorical machines" consisting of the mountebank's stage-itinerant, the highwayman's ladder or scaffold, and the religious zealot's pulpit. The two major themes of the Tale, pervading the ideas and actions of "Tubbian" orators and audience alike, are the themes of the "mechanical operation of the s p i r i t " and "madness." The various technical devices by means of which Swift establishes his images, elaborates upon his themes, and unifies images and themes, have been discussed and illustrated. The materials of the f i r s t seven chapters of the study are intended to provide an insight into the structure and con-tent of A Tale of a Tub as these contribute to the progressive development of theme. The remaining four chapters are devoted to the establishment of the relationship between A Tale of a Tub and certain of the cultural dis-sentions of which i t s elements are reflections. In selecting the particular elements of the culture for the purpose of this study, there has been no attempt at inclusiveness. The factions or "philosophies" selected were chosen on the assumption that they would serve to represent only the major 3. preoccupations of the age and indicate not only Swift's a b i l i t y to com-prehend in the one attack a great variety of disparate attitudes, but also his capacity to make fine distinctions between similar attitudes and to indicate these distinctions in his methods of attack. While the primary emphasis has been upon the unity of Swift's attack, the inclusion of a certain amount of explanation and elaboration of materials relative to the cultural background has been found necessary. Similarly, i t has been found necessary to include statements of Swift's c r i t e r i a , derived as far as possible from the Tale i t s e l f , in order to indicate the extent of Swift's consistency and coherence in method and attitude. The dramatic structure of the Tale, as i t is treated here, does not include either the "Apology" or the "Postscript," which did not appear until 1710. The "History of Martin" is similarly excluded from the present discussion, since i t did not.appear until 1720. The conclusion of this study is devoted primarily to a considera-tion of the reader's reaction to the "dramatic impact" of the Tale. The cr i t e r i a offered are tentative, and such as may be readily available to the reader from a careful consideration of the text and from an examination of his own reactions to arguments offered by the text. The reaction of the reader develops to a considerable extent as a reaction to developments in his apprehension of the nature and limitations 4. of the persona of the Tale. For this follows i s devoted to a discussion of his personae. reason, the i n i t i a l chapter which the technical uses Swift makes of CHAPTER I SWIFT'S USE OF THE PERSONA One of the merits of Swift's satire is i t s a b i l i t y to present a situation from a particular point of view, that held by a persona intimate-ly involved in the situation. Swift's "masks" or personae constitute a host of projectors, politicians, freethinkers, atheists, madmen, virtuosi, Rosicrucians and hack writers. Swift employs the persona to establish a dramatic situation in which certain definite principles are demonstrated in action. The persona reflects various aspects of the world created by his own attitudes. As the persona develops, the reader acquires insight into the nature of the persona's world, into the relationship between the persona's attitudes and those of his world, and into the attitudes which have served to establish the world of the persona. Swift's persona usually serves as spokesman for a cause, with a design to inform or reform the world or a particular aspect of the world, according to some explicit system for which a practical or theoretical u t i l i t y i s claimed. The persona's apparent ignorance of a correct evaluation of his own response to a situation invites the laughter and contempt of the reader. Similarly, the persona's resolution or attempted 6. resolution of the problem arising from the dramatic situation, while con-sistent with the established character, invites and implies comparison with other proposed solutions for identical or similar problems. The ignorance and ineptitude of the persona invite pity, his logic invites scorn, and his mistaken but zealous irrationality provokes laughter. Swift's personae " . . . enable the author to present philosophic questions, ideas, or a series of events from a fresh point of view. They help him to make the details of a narrative credible: we are more lik e l y to take the word of an eye-witness than of an historian. And through the 'author's' reaction to them, events take on a new life."''' The persona provides an atmosphere of veracity by setting up an imaginary point of view which becomes progressively more complex, thereby providing an increasing body of evidence upon which the reader bases his evaluation of, and subsequent scorn for Tubbian procedures and protestations. The world of the persona i s , however, analogous to the world of the reader, and the two worlds gradually merge. The reader becomes aware of the implications and potentialities of certain attitudes to which he sub-scribes and which are significant in terms of action in his own world. Swift embodies, in the concrete situation of a literary world, the disparity between the reality and the appearance, between the ideal and the practice. It i s toward this unillusioned perception of reality that the s a t i r i s t attempts to lead his audience. W.B. Ewald, The Masks of Jonathan Swift (Oxford, 1954), p.6. 7. It would be a mistake to confuse Swift's attitudes with those of his persona, whose ideas bear only an extended relationship to those of Swift. Even where Swift appears to be "speaking through" his persona, the ideas expressed must be considered within the context of the dramatic situation. While the arguments offered by the persona may frequently demonstrate the effects of irrationality and false reasoning, the persona's ina b i l i t y to recognize his own limitations carries the implication that the reader w i l l perceive these limitations and scornfully reject the arguments. The reader may pity the mistaken sincerity of the virtuoso or hack writer but he refuses to condone i t . Much of the effectiveness of Swift's satire depends upon the reader's rejection of the persona's repeated attempts to re-affirm an i l l o g i c a l contention. The argument may be a perversion of a serious aesthetic, moral, p o l i t i c a l , or religious argument for wrong or selfish ends. Conversely, the argument may culminate in a valid conclusion based upon fallacious reasoning. The reader is frequently reminded that there are better arguments than those offered for his inspection. i Similarly, the ambiguity of many of the terms, and particularly the ambiguity of certain commendatory terms, may provide a humorous damnation of both the argument and the individual presenting the argument. The per-sona 's condemnation of certain aspects of his own world may be offered in forms,parodying those attitudes or actions which he attempts to condemn. 8. Swift attempts to disclose man's perversions by embodying man's irrational-i t i e s in concrete form, often in the form of a parody. A Tale of a Tub may be considered an eulogy upon irrat i o n a l i t y by a former inmate of Bedlam, the purported "author" of the Tale. The "author" imitates the sophistry of the proud logician in his manipulation of spurious syllogisms, in his assertions of patently false assumptions, and in his reliance upon unsupported analogy or metaphor. His arguments are frequently mere cavils, while his ineptitude in argumenta-tion merely serves to imply the validity of the arguments which he unsuccess-fu l l y attempts to refute. His arguments are often presented in such a way that they collapse in a welter of words under the weight of their own absurd-i t y . The earnest pretension to logic becomes comic when the strained expectation of something novel and useful i s transformed into a recognition of the t r i t e , the absurb, and the vacuous. The ignorance, vacuity and ineptitude of the hack writer have their counterparts in the character of the bookseller, who i s as ignorant of the text of the Tale as he is of the meaning of the Latin inscription on the manuscript. He seeks a dedication which w i l l s e l l the book, and which w i l l act as a harbinger of novelty and singularity, in placating and flattering terms. Some indication of the nature of the "author" of the Tale i s offered by the t i t l e page. The inscription "for the universal improvement 9. of mankind" readily identifies the treatise with the writings of the virtuosi of the Royal Society, while the quotation from Irenaeus identifies the "author" as a Rosicrucian. The long l i s t of t i t l e s of other works by the same "author" to be "speedily published" establishes the "author" as a "wit," a numerologist, a hack writer, and a purveyor of "traveller's tales." The "author's" preoccupation with the abstruse and the t r i v i a l i s evident in his proposal to offer a "history of ears" and a "description of the kingdom of absurdities." A proposed "panegyric upon the world" suggests an irrational and perhaps "Deistic" optimism, while a "lecture upon the dissection of human nature" indicates a preoccupation with the tenets of the "new philosophy." The proposal to publish a "defence of the rabble" is evidently intended to influence the opinion of his less cultivated readers. In his vanity and ignorance, the "author" of A Tale of a Tub blatantly assumes his own competence to give a f u l l account of the "learning and wisdom" of his age, in a treatise that is "hollow and dry, and empty, and noisy, and wooden, and given to Rotation . . . The Tale is a nostrum, or e l i x i r , which w i l l enable the reader to adapt his attitudes and actions to the social, p o l i t i c a l , philosophical, religious, and literary demands of the Tubbian world. The "author" proposes to adapt the reader of A Tale of a Tub to the demands of the Tubbian world and seeks to persuade him into compliance with the principles of this world. The most important qualification for 1 A.C. Guthkelch, 2d ed. revised, Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub, eds.D. Nichol Smith (Oxford, 1958), p.70. A l l subsequent references to A Tale of a Tub are taken from this edition. 10. success in the Tubbian world i s a complete knowledge of the arts of eloquence or oratory. The three principal "oratorical machines" in the Tubbian world are the mountebank's stage-itinerant, the zealot's pulpit, and the highwayman's ladder or scaffold. The mountebank's stage i s the seminary in which the highwayman and the zealot receive their f i r s t basic instruction in the arts of proselytization. The mountebank's stage-itinerant i s , therefore, the most suitable eminence from which the hack writer or literary mountebank may launch his oracular nostrum into the Tubbian atmosphere of credulity and irra t i o n a l i t y . 11. CHAPTER II THE MOUNTEBANK The literary mountebank in A Tale of a Tub is the supposed "author," a f i c t i t i o u s Grub Street hack writer, the paid agent of faction, zealous, enthusiastic, devoted to contemporary literary forms, and infatuated with pedantry, obscurity, mystification, and literary speculation. As the paid agent of faction in an age in which the purpose of literature has become that of persuasion, the "hack" is proud of his own literary profusion. "Four-score and eleven Pamphlets have I written under three Reigns, and for the Service of six and thirty Factions." (p.70). A multiplicity of adherents is the sign of the power of any particular faction, while a profusion of persuasive pamphlets on behalf of a particular faction is an index of i t s popularity among the "corporation of poets" in the "Tubbian world." Profusion, weight, and volume become merits in the totality of a writer's works and in the individual work. The "modern" achieves fame by attracting the attention of numbers of readers and by indicating the extensive range of his own erudition. The structure of A Tale of a Tub, with i t s excessive prefatory material, i t s numerous digressions, and i t s constant reiterations suggests a parody upon the formlessness of "modern" literature. 12. The success of the Tale as a parody of the modern treatise depends, both from Swift's point of view and from the point of view of the persona, upon a close adherence to the original. B u l l i t t suggests that A Tale of a Tub, as a spectacular demonstration of irrationality and inconsistency, shows the effects of a consistent pattern in Swift's satire. " . . . Swift's literary l i f e may be viewed as a continuing effort to display to mankind one 'piece of logic' after another which he hoped, though not without frequent despair, would 'hardly pass on the w o r l d ' . T h e contemporary methods of writing are devised to ensure the fame of their practitioners who impose upon the credul-ity of the reader by appealing to his passions in the attempt to influence his opinion. A Tale of a Tub, with i t s insistence upon the merits of modern forms demonstrated by the persona, is essentially a mountebank's nostrum or recipe for literary fame and a manual for novice proselytizers. The "defence" of modern learning in the "Epistle Dedicatory" serves to identify the interest of the "author" with that of the apprentice modern wit to whom he addresses his instruction in the arts of exhortation while at the same time the "defence" serves to identify the persona's interests with those of the established "wits" whom he hopes to divert. The reader i s indeed diverted by the spectacle of a paid hack writer in the service of the forces of p o l i t i c a l and religious s t a b i l i t y , attempting to divert others from practising the activities of which he is an expert practitioner. The persona has been one of the wits causing a situation in which "The Wits of J.M. B u l l i t t , Jonathan Swift and the Anatomy of Satire (Cambridge, 1953), P.91. 13. the present Age being so very numerous and penetrating, i t seems, the Grandees of Church and State begin to f a l l under horrible apprehensions, lest these Gentlemen, during the intervals of a long Peace, should find leisure to pick Holes in the weak Sides of Religion and Government." (p.39). One of the chief functions of modern literature is to provide diversion through novelty and singularity. The image of "time" as a destruc-tive predatory beast provides a " . . . notable distinguishing Stroke, to surprize the Reader at the Entry and kindle a Wonderful Expectation of what is to ensue." (pp. 42-43). In a rapid succession of simile, metaphor, and analogy, posterity i s represented as the "ward" of time, immortality is deified as the "goddess" of modern writers, and contemporary works are described in commendatory terms chosen by Swift for their comic implications as " . . . Unhappy Infants, many of them barbarously destroyed, before they have so much as learnt their Mother-Tongue to beg for Pity." (p. 33). The diversion provided by novelty and singularity i s designed for the "universal improvement of mankind" and is offered in conformity with the contention that " . . . as Mankind is now disposed, he receives much greater Advantage from being Diverted than Instructed." (p. 124). Modern literature diverts both the author in his "few leisure hours" and the reader who must unravel the inconsistencies of modern logic offered by the "uncontrollable argument" which dwindles to a mere unsupported assertion. " . . . I can only avow in general . . . that we do abound in Learning and Wit; but to f i x upon 14. Particulars, i s a Task too slippery for my slender A b i l i t i e s . " (p. 35). The criterion of modern literary excellence in a treatise i s that i t be " . . . replete with Discoveries equally valuable for their Novelty and Use. . ." (p. 37). The Tale i s , ironically, of antiquarian interest only, having been written six years previous to i t s publication, despite the "author's" claim to " . . . lay hold on that great and honourable Privilege of being the Last Writer; I claim an absolute Authority in Right, as the freshest Modern, which gives me a Despotick Power over a l l Authors before me." (p. 130). The novelty and singularity which divert both reader and author are the effects of invention rather than qualities of wisdom gained from experience. " . . . Memory being an Employment of the Mind upon things past, is a Faculty, for which the Learned, in our Illustrious Age, have no manner of occasion, who deal entirely with Invention. . . . " (p. 135). Modern learning consists merely of an accumulation of ideas derived from speculation upon other ideas with no reference to experience. The persona of the Tale takes a delight in the contemplation of his own oratorical excellence. He is interested only in the effects of a mediaeval scholastic logic as i t ascends the heights of literary speculation. The modern preoccupation with variety at the expense of coherence is suitably expressed in the persona's unconsciously ironic praise of modern writers. " . . . 'tis manifest, the Society of Writers would quickly be reduced to a very inconsiderable Number, 15. i f Men were put upon making Books with the fatal Confinement of delivering nothing beyond what is to the Purpose." (p. 144). It is hardly surprising that "nothing to the purpose" should be de-livered by the Grub Street hack whose literary inspiration i s derived from " . . . a rainy Day, a drunken V i g i l , a f i t of the Spleen, a course of  Physick, a Sleepy Sunday, an i l l run at Dice, a long Taylor's B i l l , a Beggar's Purse, a factious Head, a hot Sun, costive Dyet, Want of Books, and a just Contempt for Learning." (p. 183). These conditions provide the "literary climate" in which malicious satire, persuasive factional literature, and literature that diverts without instructing may flourish. The entire literary behaviour of the persona is essentially a demonstration of the art of "writing upon nothing." His lack of both restraint and urbanity, his repititious dulness, incoherent transitions, characteristically involved sentences, extravagant analogies, and metapho-r i c a l "flights of fancy" combine to produce a woolly, digressive, flaccid and vacuous style that is characteristic of the modern writer. The qualities of the modern style are intended to obscure the truth in order to persuade the reader into an admiration for the complexity of the writer's understanding. Mystification and obscurity are synonymous in modern literature with the sublimity and profundity that have replaced clarity and precision as the grounds for a writer's claim to fame. " . . . where I am not understood, i t shall be concluded, that something very useful and profound 16. is coucht underneath: And again, whatever word or Sentence is printed in a different Character, shall be judged to contain something extraordin-ary, either of Wit or Sublime." (pp. 46-47). Ambitious pretension to an appearance of learning prompts the Tubbian wit to offer a vast display of corrupted erudition, including fre-quently incorrect classical paraphrases offered in support of his own t r i v i a l arguments. The figurative language of the "ancients" is frequently given a l i t e r a l interpretation as is the language of Herodotus, Lucretius, Plutarch and others in the "Digression Concerning Criticks." The absurdity of these l i t e r a l interpretations immediately becomes apparent as does the extravagance of the allegorical use of unnatural natural history to support his speculations concerning the antiquity of the "true c r i t i c . " The "Digression Concerning Criticks" simultaneously provides an example of the allegorical logic of the mediaeval scholar and " . . . a parody of Bentley through i t s collation of abstruse sources, i t s digressive interpolations, i t s display of assurance, and i t s erudition, which is carried down to the most absurd details."* ' . The entire digression provides a demonstration of the " . . . Art of being Deep-Learned and Shallow-read. . . ." The persona claims that the u t i l i t y of his Tale l i e s in i t s inclusion and "exhaustion" of " . . . a l l that Human Imagination can Rise or F a l l to . . ." in what is intended to be " . . . a faithful Abstract drawn from the Universal Body of a l l Arts and Sciences. . . . " The Tale is an abstract or compendium 1 Ewald, p. 16. for the service of the "wits" whose learning is garnered from such sources. " . . . We of this Age have discovered a shorter, and more prudent Method, to become Scholars and Wits, without the fatigue of Reading or of Thinking." (pp. 144-145). In the Tubbian world, u t i l i t y i s synonymous with f a c i l i t y , and prudence is synonymous with ease and pleasure. The u t i l i t y of the Tale l i e s in i t s merit as a manual for pros-elytizers of a l l kinds including those "quacks" and charlatans devoted to the cabbalistic numerology and occult lore of the Rosicrucians. The persona himself is a cabbalistic numerologist: "Now among a l l the rest, the profound Number THREE is that which hath most employed my sublimest Speculations, nor ever without wonderful Delight." (p. 57.) The persona's " s c i e n t i f i c know-ledge" is the lore of the numerologist and the alchemist. Like them, he depends for his fame upon the effective use of the arts of delusion. His occult formulae are merely devices employed to suggest the profundity of in-sight into the "mysterious" laws of the universe demonstrated by writings of the "dark authors" and the "true illuminated" of which the societies of Grub Street and the Royal Society are comprised. The "author" of A Tale of a Tub makes no distinction between the wisdom of the ancients and the wisdom of the modern Rosicrucians. He com-plains of the deficiencies in the writings of Homer who " . . . seems to have read but very superficially, either Sendivogius, Behmen or Anthroposophia Theomagica. . . . " (p. 127). The Rosicrucian preoccupation with material 18. and physical objects as instruments to spiritual power is equally evident in the persona's condemnation of Homer and in the proposal to assess the relative merits of Grub Street and the Royal Society in terms of the weight and volume of their respective writings. A Tale of a Tub, by virtue of i t s inclusiveness and u t i l i t y , has i t s e l f become a source of occult "wisdom:" I do here humbly propose for an Experiment, that every Prince in Christendom w i l l take seven of the deepest Scholars in his Dominions, and shut them up close for seven Years, in seven Chambers with a Command to write seven ample Commentaries on this comprehensive Discourse. I shall venture to affirm, that whatever Difference may be found in their several Conjectures, they w i l l be a l l , without the least Distortion, manifestly deduceable from the Text. (p. 185). The self-sufficient pride of the modern literary mountebank is identical with that of the modern philosopher whose attempts to systematize a l l knowledge are both f u t i l e and presumptuous. "We whom the World is pleased to honour with the T i t l e of Modern Authors, should never have been able to compass our great Design of an everlasting Remembrance, and never-dying Fame, i f our Endeavours had not been so highly serviceable to the general Good of Mankind. This 0 Universe is the adventurous Attempt of me thy: Secretary; • • •" (p. 123). Both the Grub Street hack writer and the philosopher value fame and remembrance, the secondary consequences of writing, as symbols of their success in aspiring to goals beyond the reach of their feeble talents. 19. Success in the Tubbian World does not necessarily l i e in the attainment of one's goal. There i s the success of entertaining great and even foolish aspirations. It i s the self-delusion of the mountebank that enables him to become enthusiastic about the particular system or nostrum which he advocates. It is man's confidence in the potentialities of human reason that informs the beliefs of the exponents of any system of rational theology. Similarly, i t is man's confidence in his capacity to comprehend the laws of nature that informs the attempt by scientist or philosopher to include a l l the spiritual and material elements in the universe in a single comprehensive system. Self-delusion thrives on praise and self-praise, both of which have become formal elements in modern literature. In the following passage, the reader discovers both a justification of self-praise and a panegyric upon praise i t s e l f . As for the Liberty I have thought f i t to take of praising myself, upon some Occasions or none; I am sure i t w i l l need no Excuse i f a Multitude of great Examples be allowed sufficient Authority: For i t is here to be noted, that Praise was originally a Pension paid by the World: but the Moderns, finding the Trouble and Charge too great in collecting i t , have lately bought out the Fee-Simple; since which time, the Right of Presentation is wholly in ourselves. (p. 47). Each mountebank and charlatan in the Tubbian world strives for the favourable attention of a majority of the Tubbian audience and each must praise both 20. himself and his product in order to attract such attention. The persona's confident anticipation of fame and his subservience to the desire for literary fame are expressed in a passage which suggests the identity of interests and motives in literary, theological, s c i e n t i f i c , and philosophical proselytizers. I hope, when this Treatise of mine shall be translated into Foreign Languages (as I may without vanity affirm that the Labour of collecting, the Faithfulness of recounting, and the great Usefulness of the Matter to the Publick, w i l l amply deserve that Justice) that the worthy Members of the several Academies abroad, especially those of France and Italy, w i l l favourably accept these humble Offers, for the Advancement of Universal Knowledge. I do also advertise the most Reverend Fathers the Eastern Missionaries, that I have purely for their sakes, made use of such Words and Phrases, as w i l l admit an easie Turn into any of the Oriental Languages, especially the Chinese. (p. 106). The motives and interests of the persona of A Tale of a Tub, his analogical habit of mind, his pride, and his literary behaviour are a l l typical of the mountebank. The nostrum offered by the persona to his Tubbian contemporaries is the Tale i t s e l f . 21. UNDER the Stage-Itinerant are couched those Productions designed for the Pleasure and Delight of Mortal Man; such as Six-peny-worth  of Wit, Westminster Drolleries, Delightful  Tales, Compleat Jesters, and the like; by which the Writers of and for GRUB-STREET, have in these latter Ages so nobly triumph'd over Time. . . . It is under this Classis, I have presumed to l i s t my present Treatise. . . . (p. 63). 22. CHAPTER III THE HIGHWAYMAN The mountebank's stage-itinerant i s the appropriate seminary for orators and proselytizers in the Tubbian world. The religious zealot pre-pares for his future career in the dissenter's pulpit by assimilating the mountebank's instruction i n the arts of exhortation, while the highwayman prepares in similar fashion for the delivery of his fin a l "scaffold oration." From the stage-itinerant, Tubbian orators proceed to either the pulpit or the scaffold and " . . . are sometimes preferred to the One, and sometimes to the Other, in proportion to their Deservings, there being a str i c t and perpetual Intercourse between a l l three." (pp. 59-60). The chief characteristic of the highwayman i s his propensity for the " . . . transferring of Propriety . . ."as the consequence of the " . . . confounding of Meum and Tuum. . . ." (p. 63). It is the relative crudity of his technique, with i t s elements of coercion, brutality, and intimidation, that offends society and leads the highwayman to the ladder or scaffold. The highwayman reaches the summit of British poetic eloquence via the ladder, from which elevation he delivers his scaffold orations in a suit-ably repentant manner, for subsequent transcription in verse by acquisitive 23. and unscrupulous booksellers who arrange for the profitable distribution of their wares for the edification of the curious and the morbid. The scaffold ladder is the symbol of both poetry and faction in the Tubbian world. "The Ladder i s the symbol of faction because . . . (p.62). The violent and destructive consequences of faction are suitably represented by the intentional hiatus. The highwayman in literature i s the persona, the paid agent of faction, who is dependent for his income upon the existence and propagation of the literary profusion that is a symptom of a variety of dissident opinions The literary c r i t i c , whose violent antipathies, malice, ignorance and super-f i c i a l i t y inspire his own attacks and the retaliations of others, is the agent of faction in literature. His talents are " . . . like Hemp, which some Naturalists inform us, is bad for Suffocations. . . . " (p. 101). The fanatic differences of opinion which inspire faction in p o l i t i c s philosophy, religion, and literature are self-propagating. The greater the profusion of contending factions, the greater w i l l be the profusion of persuasive literature devoted to proselytization. The rewards of paid l i t e r -ary persuasion offer incentive to an increasing horde of novice hack writers. The purpose of a faction is to dominate the minds of men in order subsequently to impose p o l i t i c a l or religious tyranny by force upon the attainment to power in the state. 24. The highwayman is violent and predatory, governed by his own passions of avarice, ambition, pride and lust. The virtuoso is similarly predatory in his assault upon nature in the name of science. His ambition is to appropriate facts and to manipulate objects in order to assert the domination of nature by science. In his attempt to grasp the universe by means of his reason, the virtuoso is perhaps the most ambitious of a l l highwaymen. Perhaps the most spectacular highwayman, in terms of his violence and brutality, is the monarch in quest of empire who, " . . . for the space of above thirty Years amused himself to take and lose Towns; beat Armies and be beaten; drive Princes out of their Dominions; fright Children from their Bread and Butter; burn, lay waste, plunder, dragoon, massacre Subject and Stranger, Friend and Foe, Male and Female." (p. 165). Military aggrandizement is merely the irrational amusement of monarchs inspired by their own passions. The difference between the monarch and the bully is merely one of degree. "The very same Principle that influences a Bully to break the Windows of the Whore, who has j i l t e d him, naturally s t i r s up a great Prince to raise mighty Armies, and dream nothing but Sieges, Battles, and Victories." (p. 165). Zeal, lust, ambition, avarice and pride inspire the irrational and enthusiastic activities of the highwayman, just as they inspire the fanatic contortions and militant activities of the religious zealot. 25. CHAPTER IV THE RELIGIOUS ZEALOT The close relationship and "perpetual intercourse" between pulpit, ladder and stage-itinerant is demonstrated in the ac t i v i t i e s of the brothers in the allegorical sections of the Tale. Motivated by pride, ambition, and covetousness, the three brothers . . . quickly began to improve in the good Qualities of the Town: They Writ, and Raillyed, and Rhymed, and Sung, and Said, and said Nothing; They Drank, and Fought, and Whor'd, and Slept, and Swore, and took Snuff: They went to new Plays on the f i r s t Night, haunted the Choco1ate-Houses, beat the Watch, lay on Bulks, and got Claps: They bilkt Hackney-Coachmen, ran in Debt with Shop-keepers, and lay with their Wives: They k i l l ' d Bayliffs, kicked Fidlers down Stairs, . . . (pp. 74-75). The inane and repetitious activities of the brothers identify Peter, Martin, and Jack as true "moderns" or wits, and men of fashion whose vices are those of idle and elegant town "rakes." As men of fashion, the brothers adopt the "clothes philosophy," the current fashion in secular philosophical speculation. "They worshipped a sort of Idol, who, as their Doctrine delivered, did daily create Men, by a kind of Manufactory Operation." (p. 76). The f i r s t occasion of the 26. departure from Christianity in i t s pure and primitive state is the excessive concern with secular matters. The new idol, the t a i l o r , employs a subaltern divinity, the goose, and presides over his " h e l l " or bin of scrap materials into which he fre-quently thrusts materials pilfered from his customers for later salvage. The "symbols" of this mercantile "philosophy" or religion are the needle and the yard, the tools of the trade. The "clothes philosophy" is essentially a mediaeval scholastic framework in which the macrocosm and the microcosm correspond to "suits of clothes." They held the Universe to be a large Suit of Cloaths, which invests every Thing: That the Earth i s invested by the Air; The Air is invested by the Stars; and the Stars are invested by the Primum Mobile. Look on this Globe of Earth, you w i l l find i t to be a very compleat and fashionable Dress. What is that which some c a l l Land, but a fine Coat faced with Green? Or the Sea, but a Wastcoat of Water-Tabby? (pp. 77-78). This i s a "modern" version of the'great chain of being" in which each link invests the link below, and in which there exist both geographical and social correspondences. A l l the attributes of a man's character, his honesty, vanity, con-science, and religion, are external, mere items of clothing. "Is not Religion a Cloak, Honesty a Pair of Shoes, worn out in the Dirt, Self-love a Surtout, Vanity a Shirt, and Conscience a Pair of Breeches? . . . " (p. 78). 2 7 . The alteration in the tone of the passage, from the narrational "they" to the rhetorical "Is i t not . . . ?" serves to indicate the persona's mount-ing enthusiasm for this novel and singular philosophy. The "hack writer," identifies his own interests with those of the "sartorists" by the emphasis he places upon shells, rinds, coverings, ornamentation and ostentation. The social correspondences in the "great sartorist chain of being" are those of the feudal class system. The lord mayor, judge, po l i t i c i a n , wit and bishop are merely prescribed arrangements of clothes engaged in prescribed activities in the "Tubbian world" whose "sages" have decreed that the soul of man is the outward clothing, while the body of man is the inward clothing. For, " . . . separate these two, and you w i l l find the Body to be only a senseless unsavory Carcass. By a l l which i t i s manifest, that the outward Dress must needs be the Soul." (p. 80). The essence of the man and the essence of the institution is the external appearance; the essence of the religion is i t s formal r i t u a l , and the essence of literature i s i t s form. A man becomes an aristocrat simply by stating the fact. The sartorist religion i s a religion of assent, in which virtue, merit, nobility, or morality are signified by the assumption of those external signs which men have consented to or agreed upon as being appropriate symbols of virtue, merit, nobility, or morality. The only significant qualities of men are those which may be observed, touched, analysed or measured. 28. Peter's activities as a virtuoso are based upon the assumption that any statement becomes a fact both for the person whose undeviating opinion i s represented by the statement and for such persons as he may be able to convert to a belief in the validity of his statement. Bread, in the travesty upon the sacrament of transsubstantiation, becomes mutton and even the "quintessence of a l l meats" for Peter and for anyone willing to believe in this particular "miracle." The zealot may act as mountebank, or highwayman according to c i r -cumstances. Peter's "bulls," as agents of coercion and intimidation, " . . . continued so extremely fond of Gold, that i f Peter sent them abroad . . . they would Roar and Spit and Belch and Piss and Fart, and Snivel our Fire and keep a perpetual Coyl, t i l l you flung them a Bit of Gold." (p, 112). Peter's attempt to assert his authority in secular matters is a manifestation of his ambition to acquire power. The f u t i l i t y of his ambition i s apparent in the ineffectuality of his attempts to obtain pardons for condemned criminals. Coercion i s effective only among those who agree to submit in the presence of apparent power. Peter's inventions are designed to provide the appearance of power in order to manipulate opinion. To the extent that they f a i l , Peter i s un-successful as a mountebank purveying a useless e l i x i r . To the extent that Peter i s successful in his attempts to intimidate or persuade, he is a successful highwayman beyond the reach of the law. When the brothers f i n a l l y 29. abandon their attempts to interpret the w i l l by "finding a meaning in everything but i t s e l f , " they "lock i t away," and substitute violence for fraud. Peter's subsequent excommunication of Jack and Martin offers an example of the activity of the highwayman in religion. Peter " . . . and his Gang, after several Millions of S c u r r i l i t i e s and Curses, not very import-ant here to repeat, by main Force, very f a i r l y kicks them both out of Doors, and would never let them come under his Roof from that Day to this." (p. 122). Jack's reaction is one of hatred and violence. In his passion, he shreds his coat which is . . . either wholly rent to his Shirt; or those Places which had scaped his cruel Clutches, were s t i l l in Peter's Livery. So that he looked like a drunken Beau, half r i f l e d by Bullies; or like a fresh Tenant of Newgate, when he has refused the Payment of Garnish; or like a discovered Shop-lifter, l e f t to the Mercy of Exchange-Women; or like a Bawd in her old Velvet Petticoat, resigned into the secular Hands of the Mobile. (pp. 140-141). His zeal for reform prompts Jack to rage and violence, and he becomes both the victim of the bully and the condemned highwayman in his appearance. Aeolism provides a substitute for the clothes philosophy which Jack re-pudiates. In his zeal for the propagation of the new philosophy, he uses p o l i t i c a l power to intimidate his opponents. "IN a l l Revolutions of Govern-ment, he would make his Court for the Office of Hangman-General; and in the Exercise of that Dignity, wherein he was very dextrous, would make use of 30. no other Vizard than a long Prayer." (p. 195). The doctrines of the dissenters become excuses for c i v i l rebellion and persecution by violence. Highwayman and zealot become synonymous with mountebank in the fanatic and militant promulgation of the Aeolist philosophy "invented" by the speculative mountebank. Aeolist philosophical tenets contend that wind, whether i t arises as a vapour from the dunghill or as the tangible product of the bellows, is the source of man's inspiration. Wind is the breath of l i f e and the divine s p i r i t in man, to be suitably propagated by the Aeolists who " . . . affirm the Gift of BELCHING, to be the noblest Act of a Rational Creature." (p. 153). From a l i t e r a l interpretation of the B i b l i c a l text " . . . Learning Puffeth Men up, . . . " the Aeolists derive the syllogism: "Words are but Wind; and Learning i s nothing but Words; Ergo, Learning is nothing but Wind." (p.153). Distorted facial grimaces and contortions are manifestations of the operation of s p i r i t , or redundancy of wind, in the fanatic preacher. By agreement among Aeolists, these are the signs of divine inspiration, just as certain prescribed arrangements of clothes.are signs of intellectual or spiritual qualities by agreement among the sartorists. Aeolism i s , in effect, merely sartorism with the addition of wind, or zeal. Aeolist emphasis upon appearances extends to the construction of Aeolist pulpits to resemble the casks in which the ancient virtuosi preserved winds. The Aeolists identify their interests with the pagans and with the 31. Rosicrucians by their concern for the shape of their pulpits. A further identification between the Aeolist and the mountebank is established by Jack's preoccupation with the Bible as an e l i x i r applicable in a l l the t r i v i a l occasions of l i f e . Gentlemen, said he, I w i l l prove this very  Skin of Parchment to be Meat, Drink, and Cloth, to be the Philosopher's Stone, and the  Universal Medicine. In consequence of which Raptures, he resolved to make use of i t in the most necessary, as well as the most paltry Occasions of Life. He had a Way of working i t into any Shape he pleased; so that i t served him for a Night-cap when he went to Bed, and for an Umbrello in rainy Weather. He would lap a Piece of i t about a sore Toe, or when he had F i t s , burn two Inches under his Nose; or i f any Thing lay heavy on his Stomach, scrape off, and swallow as much of the Powder as would l i e on a silver Penny, they were a l l i n f a l l i b l e Remedies. (pp. 190-191). Despite their antipathy toward each other, Peter and Jack share a resemblance and are often mistaken for one another. Jack's tatters resemble Peter's finery while "Their Humours and Dispositions were not only the same, but there was a close Analogy in their Shape, their Size and their Mien." (p. 199). Discussion of the remarkable similarities between the two zealots is appropriately curtailed by a hiatus in the manuscript, (p. 200). For there is really no necessity to continue the argument. A description of the activities and philosophies of Jack and Peter has indicated their resemblance in every particular, not only to each other, but to the mountebank and the highwayman as well. 32. CHAPTER V THE MECHANICAL OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT The highwayman, zealot and mountebank attain the elevation re-quisite to propagating their schemes in philosophy, literature, religion and p o l i t i c s by means of the oratorical machines appropriate to the Tubbian arts. Physical or mechanical elevation is equated with the "metaphorical" elevation of the individual into public prominence. The oratorical machines are symbolic of the "wooden," inflexible, mechanically r i g i d thought processes of both proselytizer and proselyte. As a devoted servant of modern literary forms, the "author" of the Tale demonstrates the ridiculous r i g i d i t y of intellect which forces sub-scription to a bigotry of forms in which the orders, methods and procedures of a particular profession become ends in themselves. The "author's" insist -ence upon the modern literary forms occupies much of the argument in the Tale, which becomes essentially a demonstration of the modern literary "manner." The manner and the matter of the Tale coalesce to become both a demonstration and a manual of instruction for the proselytizer. Appropriately enough, the "platform" of the literary mountebank i s the "elevated" garret, synonymous with poverty and mediocrity or unrealized ambition. Modern wit is mechanical and dependent upon time, manner, and place 33. for i t s effectiveness, while modern sublimity and profundity are indicated mechanically, by means of typographical devices, without reference to sense experience. The merits of modern literature are weighed and measured, or computed arithmetically in terms of bulk and profusion. Eloquence i s prolix-i t y , the multiplication of words for their own sakes in a form without the inconvenience of content. Modern literary inspiration i s similarly mechanical and external, while the rapport between reader and author is established by correspondences between absurd postures and squalid circumstances in the lives of each. "Whatever Reader desires to have a thorow Comprehension of an Author's Thoughts, cannot take a better Method, than by putting himself into the Circumstance and Postures of Life, that the Writer was in, upon every import-ant Passage as i t flow'd from his Pen; for this w i l l introduce a Parity and st r i c t Correspondence of Ideas between the Reader and the Author." (p. 44). Literary fame, the goal of the aspiring novice writer, i s to be attained only by r i g i d adherence to form. A Tale of a Tub is a glorification of methodology in which praise and self-praise have become transferrable properties, deeded to the "moderns" by themselves. The modern author, like the " . . . True Critick i s a sort of Mechanlck, set up with a Stock and Tools for his Trade, at as l i t t l e Expence as a Taylor. . . ." (p. 101). The prevailing Tubbian philosophy is that of sartorism, in which 34. the appearance of wit, of learning, and of power is the essence of the individual. Dissection and analysis are merely unpleasant tasks in the Tubbian world, unworthy of attention and lacking in significance. The significant activities in the Tubbian world are those directed toward main-taining an appearance of power in order to impose upon the credulity of others. Dexterity in the Tubbian world consists of an aptitude in manipulat-ing opinion, in grasping those "handles of the senses," the ears of the audience. The Tubbian world is a world in which power, and aspirations to power, are more significant than qualities of mind.*" In the "author's" world, the appearance of the argument i s more important than the content. Arguments are designed, by their apparent u t i l i t y , novelty, and singularity, to appeal to the senses. But sensory proof is ignored or rejected in the development of speculative schemes and interpreta-tions designed to impose the r i g i d subjective conceptions of the "author" upon a world persuaded to honour these conceptions as truth and to respect the discoverer for his professions of ingenuity and public altruism. The "altruism" of the "author" consists in offering, "for the universal improvement of mankind," a series of formulae, recipes, and systems, in which the muddling of the material and the spiritual i s a manifestation of the modern "refinement of taste and learning." Such refinements are, analogous to refinements in the mechanical processes of cookery. "The late Refinements in Knowledge, running parallel 1 See Hobbes, Chapter X, below. 35. to those of Dyet in our Nation, which among Men of a judicious Taste, are drest up in various Compounds, consisting in Soups and Ollios, Fricassees and Ragouts." (p. 143). Reduction of a l l experience to systems claiming universality i s based upon the assumption that a l l knowledge, both physical and s p i r i t u a l , may be reduced to a mechanical level. The virtuoso reduces a l l premises, including those concerned with human nature, to a materialistic level and proceeds to argue from the premises in a mechanical fashion. The rejection of the spiritual aspects of experience in the search for material explanations of l i f e i s fundamentally atheistic. Peter attempts a similar systematization of spiritual elements and spiritual problems in his experiments with the "universal pickle" and the other mechanical contrivances of Roman Catholicism. He attempts to propagate his inflexible opinions, the products of invention watered by the vapours, by mechanical "insurance offices" and "whispering offices." Similarly, Jack attempts to propagate the Aeolist philosophy of mechanical inspiration, by militant physical means. Jack's doctrine of pre-destination i s remarkably similar to Hobbes' doctrine of mechanical determin-ism in nature.* The Aeolist application of the Bible to t r i v i a l purpose is a manifestation of the r i g i d i t y of thought peculiar to the mechanical opera-tion of the s p i r i t . Violent action of any kind i s caused, in the Tubbian world, by ascending vapours which effect a revolution in the brain. Violence in faction, 1 See below, Chapter X. 36. in religious enthusiasm, and in schemes of conquest are consequences of the operation of the vapours upon the brain. Both violence and credulity are symptoms of mental i n f l e x i b i l i t y . Sartorism, the philosophy of delusion and self-delusion, i s one manifestation of i n f l e x i b i l i t y and r i g i d i t y of thought. Man is reduced to the status of a product of the tailor's a r t i f i c e , and is thereby deprived of his humanity. In a world where f e l i c i t y l i e s in delusion, there is no advantage in an awareness of the imperfections of the system. The hack writer is jus t i -fied, under such circumstances, in his assertion that . . . I am so entirely satisfied with the whole present Procedure of Human Things, that I have been for some Years preparing Materials towards a Panegyrick upon the World. . . . " (p. 53). On the other hand, only a madman can be complacent in a world of delusion and self-delusion, and in which diversion is preferable to instruction, because advantage i s synonymous with the pleasures of the senses. 37. CHAPTER VI THE MADNESS THEME The pervading theme of madness or unreason in A Tale of a Tub finds i t s culmination in the "Digression concerning the Original, the Use and Improvement of Madness in a Commonwealth." The inconsistency, vanity, enthusiasm and intellectual r i g i d i t y of the hack writer are aspects of irrat i o n a l i t y or unreason, as are the pride, malice, superficiality and mental i n f l e x i b i l i t y of the religious zealot, and the violence, greed and ambition of the highwayman. For, i f we take a Survey of the greatest Actions that have been performed in the World, under the Influence of Single Men; which are, The Establishment of New Empires  by Conquest: The Advance and Progress of  New Schemes in Philosophy; and the contriving, as well as the propagating of New Religions: We shall find the Authors of them a l l , to have been Persons, whose natural Reason hath admitted great Revolutions from their Dyet, their Education, the Prevalency of some certain Temper, together with the particular Influence of Air and Climate. (p. 162). True "Tubbian greatness" is synonymous with a revolution of reason, the mechanical overturning of the senses by the ascending vapours. " . . . Yet a l l Clouds are the same in Composition, as well as Consequences: and the Fumes issuing from a Jakes, w i l l furnish as comely and useful a Vapor, as 38. Incense from an Altar." (p. 163). True greatness in the Tubbian world is merely a matter of chance rather than s k i l l . "Of such mighty Consequence i t i s , where those Exhalations fi x ; and of so l i t t l e , from whence they proceed. The same Spirits which in their superior Progress would conquer a Kingdom, descending upon the Anus, conclude in a Fistula." (pp. 165-166). The vapours which accumulate at a particular point in the body may produce either disease or greatness. These vapours, produced by fountains of enthusiasm, are the true agents of madness. "Of such great Emolument is a Tincture of this Vapour, which the World calls Madness, that without i t s Help, the World would not only be deprived of those two great Blessings, Conquests and Systems, but even a l l Mankind would un-happily be reduced to the same Belief in Things Invisible." (p. 169). Conquests and systems are the effects of faction and s t r i f e , and the attempts of the individual to convert the opinions of a l l men to conform with his own. "For what Man in the natural State, or Course of Thinking, did ever conceive i t in his Power, to reduce the Notions of a l l Mankind, exactly to the same Length, and Breadth, and Height of his own? Yet this i s the f i r s t humble and c i v i l Design of a l l Innovators in the Empire of Reason." (p. 167). Tubbian greatness consists not only of a departure from the "vulgar Dictates of unrefined Reason," the general sense of men, but also of the successful conversion of others to an approval of this departure. The only difference between the individual in Bedlam and the innovat 3 9 . out of Bedlam, i s the difference between success and failure in the arts of proselytization. The u t i l i t y of the Tale l i e s in i t s instruction in the arts of proselytization. Only by the competent exercise of these arts i s the modern wit able to evade incarceration and attain to fame instead. Successful proselytization l i e s in selecting one's associates, whose mental "strings" are attuned to one's own "vibrations." "For, to speak a bold Truth, i t is a fatal Miscarriage, so i l l to order Affairs, as to pass for a Fool in one Company, when in another you might be treated as a Philosopher." (p. 168). Madness is merely the designation for the mis-application of great talents in the wrong company, since greatness, madness, and wit, are dependent for their designations upon time, place and person. The distinction between madness and greatness li e s in the angle at which the ascending vapour strikes the brain. The process is completely mechanical, and the effects of the vapour are entirely dependent upon angles and upon the species of brain. A discussion of the distinction between mad-ness and greatness must end in a blank, as i t does in the Tale (p. 170). In the Tubbian world, there is no distinction. Madness and greatness are the effects of delusion, inspired by the passions. 40. . . . When a man's Fancy gets astride on his Reason, when Imagination is at Cuffs with the Senses, and common Understanding, as well as common Sense, is Kickt out of Doors; the f i r s t Proselyte he makes, is Himself, and when that i s once compass'd, the Difficulty is not so great in bringing over others; A strong Delusion always operating from without, as vigorously as from within. (P. 171) Credulity, and the rejection of sensory evidence, is synonymous with f e l i c i t y , the "perpetual possession of being well deceived." F e l i c i t y is the effect of a strong delusion, which is madness. Sartorism and Aeolism are among the strongest of delusions in the Tubbian world, and are therefore synonymous with both f e l i c i t y and madness. A Tale of a Tub is a panegyric upon superficiality, and a manual in the arts of delusion. Its merit l i e s in i t s success in making superficial-ity acceptable for " . . . whatever Philosopher or Projector can find out an Art to sodder and patch up the Flaws and Imperfections of Nature, w i l l deserve much better of Mankind, and tech us a more useful Science, than that so much in present Esteem, of widening and exposing them. . . ." (p. 174). The hack writer is employed in his proper capacity to divert and persuade the wits. His "redundancy" of vapour has been properly employed. His success in the literary arts is a demonstration of the achievements possible to in-mates of Bedlam whose talents are now wasted. The academy for wits is merely a proposed method for the employment of talents which might otherwise be wasted in Bedlam. Admission to both institutions may be secured through 41. certification by "two sufficient persons." The proposed investigation and improvement of Bedlam is intended to serve the same purpose as that of the proposed academy of wits. The applic-a b i l i t y of telents possessed by inmates of Bedlam is indicated by the similar i t i e s between actions of madmen and actions of dragoons, courtiers, lawyers, and surgeons in the Tubbian world. The "author" suggests that the entire institution of Bedlam be considered a society, with i t s particular pro-fessions and institutions, citizens and o f f i c i a l s . The actions of citizens in Bedlam are inspired by the vapours of the Aeolist, while the citizens are distinguished from one another by the cr i t e r i a of the sartorist. The "author of the Tale is both sartorist and Aeolist, and distinguished "graduate" of Bedlam. . . . I my self, the Author of these momentous Truths, am a Person, whose Imaginations are hard-mouth'd, and exceedingly disposed to run away with his Reason, which I have observed from long Experience, to be a very light Rider, and easily shook off; upon which Account, my Friends w i l l never trust me alone, without a solemn Promise, to vent my Speculations in this, or the like manner, for the universal Benefit of Human Kind. (p. 180). Following this revelation, the Tale collapses into mere form without content, ending as i t began. The final sections are the ravings of a madman, who has already performed his task in his anatomization of madness. 42. CHAPTER VII SCATALOGY AND BEAST IMAGERY The images of excrement, f i l t h , prurience and carnality in A Tale of a Tub serve to perpetuate an already firmly established literary tradition. It has frequently been suggested that " . . . many 'obscene' motifs picked out as Swiftian may not be unique to S w i f t . S u c h motifs were common in popular seventeenth-century satires upon the vanity and affectations of women. One of the most popular satires of this type, " . . . Quevedo's Visions, f i r s t published in a prose translation in 1667, ran through five editions o within ten years." A large body of English literature was devoted to scatalogical attacks upon the alleged licentiousness, immorality, ignorance, and depravity 3 of the Protestant dissenters. Vulgar mockeries of Puritan women, mock libraries of Puritan treatises with spurious t i t l e s suggestive of lust, hypocrisy, and perversion, and lewd mock debates uncomplimentary to the Puritan intelligence appeared at regular intervals throughout the century. The violently anti-Puritan literature of the period included v i t r i o l i c histories of fanaticism, mock Puritan sermons, purported translations of Puritan writings, lewd and spurious Calvinist recantations offering absurdly hypocritical rationalizations of Puritan vice, and alleged exposed of the I : • : I. Ehrenpreis, The Personality of Jonathan Swift (London, 1958), p. 46. 2 Ibid,, p. 45. 3 CM. Webster, "The Satiric Background of the Attack on the Puritans in Swift's A Tale of a Tub," PMLA, L (March, 1935), pp. 210-223. 43. various dissident sects. The hypocrisy, sedition, heresy, immorality, ignorance and vulgarity ascribed to the dissenters were profusely illustrated 1 by images of f i l t h , disease, and ordure. With the publication i n 1621 of Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, " . . . there began a new era of satire, and especially of analysis of cause and effect in the problems of religious enthusiasm, a subject upon which 2 Swift wrote some of his best passages." Henry More, in his publication of Enthusiasme Triumphatus; or, a Brief Discourse of the Nature, Causes, Kinds, and Cure of Enthusiasm, asserts in 1656 that " . . . religious zeal and ecstacy are caused by natural forces, chief in importance of which i s the sexual excitation to which the Puritans were supposed to be particularly 3 prone." Some of the t i t l e s of these earlier Puritan satires are reminiscent of themes in A Tale of a Tub. In The Old Cloak, a satire on the hypocrisy of the Presbyterian party, the "Cloak" or disguise represents the Presbyterian doctrines. The Aeolist theme i s suggested by Some small and simple Reasons . • . by Aminadab Blower, a devout Bellowsmender of Pimlico, while the allegory of the w i l l i s suggested by the Last Will and Testament of Fathers Peters. . . . "Peters" had become the prototype in anti-Puritan literature of the fanatic 4 New England preacher. In addition to the English tradition of scatalogical satire, there was available to Swift the classical tradition of scatalogical satire which included both the comic vulgarity of Lucian and the intensely virulent _ CM. Webster, "The Satiric Background," pp. 210-223. 2 Ibid., p. 210. 3 Ibid., p. 214. 4 Ibid., pp. 217-218. 44. ribaldry of Juvenal. Available, too, was the traditional Protestant-Christian system of symbolism in which sin and f o l l y were equated with the " f r a i l t i e s of the flesh." Seventeenth-century sermons were replete with metaphors of disease, defilement, and ordure emphasizing theological concern with " . . . the s p i r i t as the valuable redeemable part, and the flesh as representing a l l the 2 natural inclinations to e v i l which warred against the higher powers." Divine malediction and i t s consequences find symbolic representation in images of physical and mental deformity, while the corruption of man's spiritual and rational faculties by the lower elements, his passions, is suggested by images of human ordure. Frye suggests that " . . . the correspondence between Swift's descriptions and these symbols of Protestant-Christian theology is 3 too close to have been fortuitous." Swift u t i l i z e s scatalogical motifs in a unique and complicated fashion to disgrace and diminish those eminent practitioners of vice and f o l l y , the "moderns." Swift includes among the moderns the coffee-house wits, "Grubaean Sages," Royal Society virtuosi, disciples of the "new philosophy," and fanatic dissenters. Enthusiasm, pride, faction, quackery, occultism, avarice, delusion, superficiality, malice, and ignorance are given names, habitations, and employments in the Tubbian world. As the prototype of the "modern," the persona of the Tale displays a l l the irra t i o n a l i t y and enthusiasm for which Swift condemned contemporary _ R. I. Westgate and P. L. MacKendrick, "Juvenal and Swift," The Classical  Journal, VII (May, 1942), pp. 468-482. 2 R. M. Frye, "Swift's Yahoo and the Christian Symbols for Sin," Journal of  the History of Ideas, XV, No. 2 (April, 1954), p. 205. 3 Ibid., p. 217. 4 5 . "wits." Swift's persona is obsessed with metaphors, similes and analogies of carnality, excrement, d i r t , tainted odours, v i l e taste impressions, offensive t a c t i l e sensations, malignant poisons, nauseating visual perceptions, disgusting flatulence, and contemptible medical quackery, a l l suggestive of irrationality in a mind dominated by a diseased imagination. A Tale of a Tub, with i t s emphasis upon f i l t h , prurience, and ordure is just the sort of treatise to be expected from . . . an Understanding and a Conscience, thread-bare and ragged with perpetual turning; From a Head broken in a hundred places, by the Malignants of the opposite Factions, and from a Body spent with Poxes i l l cured, by trusting to Bawds and Surgeons, who, (as i t afterwards appeared) were profess'd Enemies to Me and the Government, and revenged their Party's Quarrel upon my Nose and Shins. (p. 70). A "complete account of the spleen" and methods of "salivation without mercury" are suitable preoccupations for the mentally and physically deformed persona, while his condemnation of Homer's failure to provide such information renders ridiculous and contemptible the modern quarrel with the "ancients." A Tale of a Tub suggests by i t s t i t l e the "sweating tub" employed as a remedy for venereal disease, while the Tale i t s e l f i s a typical product of "mercurial" modern wit in an age in which one of the "fashionable" symptoms of wit is a f f l i c t i o n by the "Pox." Modern "muses," including sleep, the spleen, costive diet, poverty, hunger, il l n e s s , and physic, inspire the six-year-old 46. literary "decayed mackerel" offered as an "abstract of useful arts and sciences," significant primarily for i t s "freshness" and "novelty." Modern treatises, however, are subject to the destructive tainted breath of "time" and the Tale i s destined with them to the windows of a bawdy-house, to the inundations of a purge, or to the anonymous posterior in a malodorous "jakes." Unfortunately the posteriors of the world are just as insensible to the merits of the Tale as they are to the lashes of modern satire in an age a f f l i c t e d with that "pestilential disease, the lethargy." Lethargic modern "wits" disdain the d i f f i c u l t task of probing beneath the surface of things for a wisdom that may be unpleasant and unprofitable like the maggot in a cheese or the worm in a nut. Instead, the "wits" demand superficial and apparent learning, culled from the posteriors of books with a true "regard for the end," the facile acquisition of useless information from indices and abstracts. An obsession with scatalogical imagery identifies the preoccupations of the wit, and indicates the substance of modern literature as the product of " . . . that highly celebrated Talent among the Modern Wits, of deducing Similitudes, Allusions, and Applications, very Surprizing, Agreeable, and Apposite, from the Pudenda of either Sex, together with their proper Uses." (p. 147). Intellectual and spiritual corruption gradually merge with physical corruption in imagery which disgraces both types of corruption by i t s repellence. Shocked and amused by the irony and vulgarity of the persona's 47. apparently unconscious self-condemnation, the reader scorns subsequent reiterations of ambitious, perverted and irrational modern pretensions, according them only amused contempt unmixed with any surreptitious admira-tion for their ingenuity. Conversational "droppings" garnered by coffee-house wits and subsequently purveyed by them are objects of scorn as is the persona's proposal to rescue his hero from the dunghill in the current tradition of romantic literature. The Tale is i t s e l f a "literary dunghill" and an appropriate symbol of literary zeal and excess, exuding i t s noxious "inspirational vapours" for the inspiration of increasing hordes of novice wits and writers. Inspiration in the Tubbian world is synonymous with the vapours of altar and dunghill. Aeolist zeal i s inspired by and synonymous with vapours from bellows, intestines and dunghill. Peter's madness is produced by incense from his own altar or by violent reaction against Aeolist "inspiration," while the Aeolist's inspiration may be a similar violent reaction against Peter's in-cense. Violent antipathies and fanatic affirmations in religion differ only slightly and in unimportant ways from violent antipathies and fanatic affirma-tions in literary criticism and modern science. "True c r i t i c s " admiring, tasting, and measuring literary ordure, paddle in their literary f i l t h with a discrimination equal to that shown by virtuosi experimenting upon human ordure and madmen sleeping in their own f i l t h y excrement upon the floors of Bedlam. 48. Jack, the dogmatic Aeolist, exhibits a l l the irrationality of Bedlam in his rejection of assistance to remedy his condition. Upon one occasion, unable " . . . to c a l l to mind, with that Suddenness the Occasion required, an Authentick Phrase for demanding the Way to the Backside; he chose rather as the more prudent Course, to incur the Penalty in such Cases usually annexed. Neither was i t possible for the united Rhetorick of Mankind to prevail with him to make himself clean again." (p. 191). As a true proselytizer, he subsequently attempts to reduce the persons and understand-ings of others to his own disreputable level. " . . . And whenever Curiosity attracted Strangers to laugh, or to lis t e n ; he would of a sudden, with one Hand out with his Gear, and piss f u l l in their Eyes, and with the other a l l to bespatter them with Mud." (p. 195). Jack"s tattered appearance is that of the drunken beau, the Newgate criminal, discovered shoplifter, and despised bawd. Proselytizer, petty criminal, highwayman, wit, madman and bawd are victims of their own f o l l y , vice, ambition, avarice and pride. In his choice of similes, the literary zealot indicates his sartorist preoccupations, while emphasizing similarities in both disreputability of appearance and depravity of mind shared by a l l enthusiasts and zealots. That Peter's interests coincide with those of the criminal and the spiteful tattered Aeolist, i s indicated by his persistent offers of pardon to criminals indiscriminately whether they stand condemned for " . . . Murder, Sodomy, Rape, Sacrilege, Incest, Treason, or Blasphemy. . . . (p.113) 4 9 . Madness, vice, f o l l y , popery, and "true Tubbian Greatness" are alike in their origins and manifestations. A redundancy of vapour arises from the lower faculties to water the imagination and overturn the brain. The flatulence and eructation of the Aeolist may be either symptoms of zeal bred of disease or symptoms of mechanical infusion of s p i r i t by means of bellows applied to the breech. Replenished supplies of s p i r i t are subse-quently expended in oral or anal effluviums of wind in the delivery of Aeolist "mysteries," which . . . were frequently managed and directed by Female Officers, whose Organs were understood to be better disposed for the Admission of those Oracular Gusts, as entering and passing up thro' a Receptacle of greater Capacity, and causing also a Pruriency by the Way, such as with due Management, hath been refined from a Carnal, into a Spiritual Extasie . . . this Custom of Female Priests is kept up s t i l l in certain refined Colleges of our Modern Aeolists, who are agreed to receive their Inspiration, derived thro' the Receptacle aforesaid, like their Ancestors, the Sibyls. (p. 157). Physiological speculation, "airy" philosophy, antiquarian pedantry, prurience, zeal, pagan superstition and carnality are combined in the imagery of this mild panegyric upon Aeolist concepts of the mechanical operation of the s p i r i t . Virtuosi, philosophers, literary mountebanks, pedants, and Puritans are united in disgrace. Speculative ambition of any kind merely drives the speculator further into the depths of matter, to a concern with husks and harlots, carnality, and 50. tainted tangible wind. Ambitious modern wits embrace with equal ardor new fashions in philosophy, vice, and venereal disease. The misapplication of fecund imaginations culminates in complete muddling of the s p i r i t u a l , intellectual and material. Peter 1s'Infallible" prescriptive remedy for worms is essentially an injunction against Aeolist excesses, to " . . . by no means break Wind at both Ends together, without manifest Occasion . . . " i n order that the worms may f i n a l l y " . . . void insensibly by perspiration, ascending thro' the Brain, . . . " (p. 107) in the true Aeolist manner. There is essentially no difference between the fanaticism of Peter and that of Jack, and even their methods are similar. Peter's chicanery reaches i t s culmination in the invention of the "whispering office" designed for the ease of " . . . Physicians, Mid-wives, small Politicians, Friends fallen out, Repeating Poets, Lovers Happy or in Despair, Bawds, Privy-Counsellors, Pages, Parasites and Buffoons; In short, of a l l such as are in Danger of bursting with too much Wind." (p. 108). Swift disgraces both the mountebank whose speculations have led to the depths of matter and the credulous audience to whom the mountebank appeals with his mechanical device. The "furniture" of the whispering office consists of the head of an ass from the ears of which, by virtue of inherent medical and spiritual faculties " . . . immediate Benefit, either by Eructation, or Expiration, or Evomition, . . ." (p. 108) i s afforded the whisperer. In the Tubbian world, 51. delusion i s f e l i c i t y , offered in this instance by Peter to self-deluded confessors. Delusion i s also madness, and the primary principle of sartor-ism. Peter i s virtuoso, mountebank, highwayman, sartorist, and zealot em-ploying the techniques of Aeolism to frighten, delude and persuade his audience. It is perhaps significant that the merit of the confession resides in the "ears" of i t s "furniture." Swift's persona displays a prodigious interest in ears as the visible symbols of Puritan male v i r i l i t y correspond-ing in their prominence to prominence of sexual vigour in the possessor. The ass, too, is notorious for the prominence of i t s ears. Peter and Jack are united and disgraced by their interest in ears, as the symbols of both spiritual and sexual attraction. Tragic as the spectacle of human delusion may be, i t also has i t s ridiculous aspects. There is a delicate comic irony in the persona's develop-ment of the mediaeval concept of macrocosm and microcosm. Trees, by analogy, display the excellence of creation in their appearance. The persona offers connotations of the stern schoolmaster and the reluctant school-boy in an ecstatic appraisal of the "clothing" displayed by the birch. " . . . And what a fine Doublet of white Satin is worn by the Birch. . . ." (p. 78). Swift's comic playfulness is evident in the persona's unconsciously pompous parody of rhetorical comparisons so prevalent in contemporary sermons. Religion is a "cloak" and honesty a "pair of shoes." 52. Humour rapidly turns to intense indignation and disgust in the tone suggested by a description of " . . . Conscience, a Pair of Breeches, which, tho' a Cover for Lewdness as well as Nastiness, is easily s l i p t down for the Service of both." (p. 78). Swift offers a juxtaposition and fusion of the comic and the intense, of laughter and scornful indignation, to evoke 'a derisive contempt for the objects of his attack. Similarly, derisive contempt for a l l kinds of experiments in dis-section, analysis, and systematization i s evoked by descriptions of foolish attempts to "dissect human nature" which entirely miss the point in the effort to reduce non-material qualities to measurable quantities. . . . I have some Time since, with a World of Pains and Art, dissected the Carcass of Humane Nature, and read many useful Lectures upon the several Parts, both Containing and Contained; t i l l at last i t smelt so strong, I "c-^  could preserve i t no longer. Upon which, I have been at a great Expence to f i t up a l l the Bones with exact Contexture, and in due Symmetry; so that I am ready to shew a very compleat Anatomy thereof to a l l curious Gentlemen  and others. (p. 123). Dissections of p o l i t i c a l , philosophical, economic, religious and social institutions culminate, like the dissection of li v i n g matter, in destruction, putrefaction, and stench. Only desiccated bones, mechanically articulated, and r i g i d l y ordered, remain to suggest or indicate previously existing organisms. Mechanistic philosophies, in seeking to reduce the human essence 53. to measurable motion and material, destroy that essence and offer only intellectually and spiritually arid, useless, and mechanically r i g i d syntheses. Swift's pejorative judgment upon dissection by amoral ratiocination is embodied in images of flaying and dissection in which progressive degrees of exploration merely uncover progressive degrees of nastiness. Literary dissection of the Tubbian world uncovers progressive degrees of intellectual, moral and spiritual nastiness, just as the sartorist's superficiality when penetrated reveals only the unsavoury human carcass. Dissection of the Aeolist divulges prurient tainted wind and the maggots of moral corruption from which the inward light i s emitted. Disease, passions, zeal and enthusiasm, mechanically agitated produce the mechanistic determinism of the philosopher and the doctrine of election by predetermination. Doctrines of determinism merely sanction the descent of their fanatic adherents into the depths of the fi l t h y kennels of materialism, atheism and madness. Degradation of scriptural interpretation to the level of ascertain-ing material uses for scripture in t r i v i a l occasions of l i f e i s one symptom of Aeolist irrationality culminating in concepts of scripture as a nostrum or salve designed to remedy material and medical misfortunes, without refer-ence to the spiritual functions of scripture. Spite, hatred, avarice, ambition, zeal, gluttony, sloth, and other manifestations of uncontrolled passion are evident in the behaviour of magistrates, actors, theatre audiences, booksellers 54. and factious modern wits. Peter's lewd speech and actions share their origins with the military designs of the aggressive monarch and the vices of the wits, in a redundancy of passion, or vapours. Literary deformity and disease manifests i t s e l f in scatalogical imagery which occupies so much of the interest of the "author" of A Tale of a Tub. The inclusion of Rosicrucian motifs, fanatic religious practices, absurd experiments in dis-section, and foolish philosophical speculations suggests a community of enthusiasm shared by foolish aspirants in literature and society. Swift de-vitalizes the persons, a c t i v i t i e s , and attitudes of a l l men who aspire foolishly, or engage in vicious or depraved actions suitably disgraced by scatalogical imagery in A Tale of a Tub. Foolish aspirations are forms of madness or of abuses of man's reason which are more culpable than bestial deficiencies of reason. The beast imagery of A Tale of a Tub provides a series of devastating metaphors designed to diminish and devitalize inordinate pretensions. Certain animals, insects, birds and plants have acquired traditional comic or unpleasant human associations which serve to distinguish them from and render them inferior to others of their own kind. Survival in traditional Protestant-Christian symbolism of connotations of pollution, traceable to dietary proscriptions 1 in the ancient Levitical code, renders odious the images of certain animals. Worms and dust, as traditional B i b l i c a l symbols of decay and dis-solution, appropriately represent the absurd preoccupations of pedants, 1 Frye, p. 216. 5 5 . c r i t i c s , and antiquarians. Malice, ignorance, and f o l l y are faults of modern c r i t i c s suitably identified with and objectified in f l i e s , s p i t t l e , noxious weeds, serpent's venom, vomit, and the bitter gall of ass's flesh. Intractable and obstinate, the ass is an effective symbol for mental ri g i d i t y and spiritual immobility in both implacable c r i t i c and dogmatic zealot. In addition, the intractability of the ass has further symbolic value in representing persistent manifestations of man's apparently innate tendency to faction, pride, and vice. The animal comparison serves to embody Swift's derision, disgust, and contempt for contemporary theories of human pe r f e c t i b i l i t y . Human potentialities for depravity rather than p e r f e c t i b i l i t y are evident in the degeneration of modern criticism to mere application of malignant ratsbane to modern "literary vermin." Ideally, modern c r i t i c s should possess at least a limited discretion which would dictate their self-destruction by methods similar to those used upon literary vermin. Identification with noxious vermin diminishes literary and physical stature of both author and c r i t i c , in order that the reader's altered perspective shall preclude even limited admiration for the c r i t i c ' s malicious ingenuity, or coercive power. Small vermin are petty nuisances, noxious and repellent, impotent to i n f l i c t harm or perpetrate e v i l . Beast imagery in A Tale of a Tub is frequently comic rather than repellent or disgusting. Elevation to animate status of the goose-necked tailor's iron and exaltation of the goose to the status of a subaltern 56. sartorist deity whose demands are satisfied by depradations upon l i c e which prey in turn upon man are both ingenious and amusing. Man becomes the lowest link in the sartorist "great chain of being" in which l i c e become martyred intercessors, sacrificed in the interests of the goose as subaltern divinity. Sartorist theological precepts which demand the sacrifice of human gore to the louse, thereby satisfying indirectly the s a c r i f i c i a l demands of the goose in the economic interest of the t a i l o r , provide both comic correspondences to scholastic systems of microcosm and macrocosm and what resembles a travesty upon Roman Catholic religious practices. Both mediaeval scholastic forms of logic and beast imagery are singularly appropriate to a treatise offered by a persona with a predilection for analogical and allegorical forms and a manifest enthusiasm for obscurity, mystification and singularity. The persona's delight in his own literary "perfection" i s entirely consistent with his perception of contemporary "Tubbians" in terms of their bestiality. Vanity and ambition demand his elevation and exaltation above his contemporaries and audience. Physical elevation in a garret, with i t s connotations of poverty and starvation, corresponds to literary elevation by means of distorted and twisted logic. Dark and winding passages must be traversed to attain either eminence. Eminence of either kind consists only in elevation relative to one's audience. Diminution of the audience through bestial comparison debases audience and mountebank alike, while simultaneously suggesting the mountebank's impotence 57. to attain even the limited heights occupied by his contemporaries. Liter-ary speculation culminates in the ascent to the garret and the simultaneous descent into depths of literary obscurity. Literary and social obscurity serve as incentives to ambition which i s satisfied only by achievement of power by means of persuasion or coercion. But coercion is effective only i f supported by the appearance of power. To acquire this appearance of power, the proselytizer must employ the arts of exhortation and impose upon the credulity of his audience. Delusion and self-delusion are forms of irration-a l i t y , one of the symptoms of which is inconsistency. The inconsistency of modern logic supports the appearance of power suggested by obscurity and mystification. Paradoxically, inconsistency is one of the most significant unifying devices in the Tale. Systematization and promulgation of the arts of inconsistency for the preservation of "modern learning" are the purposes of the proposed academy of wits. Because control of reason by passion is both source and effect of enthusiasm and inconsistency, paederastic arts receive priority in the proposed curriculum. Once the wit becomes proficient in the arts of passion and vice, he i s qualified to practise additional modern arts, includ-ing blasphemy, foppery, gaming and whoring. Proposals to erect an academy of wits are actually redundant in both Tubbian and real worlds in which the Royal Society has already become the seminary of zeal, quackery, atheism, speculative philosophy and superstition. 58. Similar seminaries are represented in the Tubbian world by legal societies, mercantile institutions, the court, coffee-houses, and theological institutions a l l devoted to promulgation and preservation of the various Tubbian arts. Tubbian academies are functioning demonstrations of the use and improvement of madness in a commonwealth in which Bedlam i s an anachronism. Tubbian men act like beasts in a world in which matter and motion have assumed supreme significance. The most profound depths of Tubbian "sublime" are the lowest depths of matter, suitably symbolized by images of human excrement, of which the entire literary dunghill that i s A Tale of a Tub is the most cogent example. Tubbian concepts of motion consist of zealous, i f aimless, agitation of the ordure that i s the substance of the Tale. There is a unity of nastiness in the Tubbian world which is rendered endurable only by sartorist superficiality and the achievement of f e l i c i t y through self-delusion or credulity. But the doctrine of f e l i c i t y through self-delusion i s more than a theoretical doctrine applicable only to the literary world of the Tale. It is the practical and functioning philosophy of the real world for which the Tubbian world, with i t s f i l t h , prurience, and ir r a t i o n a l i t y i s the analogue. 59. CHAPTER VIII THE "MODERN" AUTHORS IN A TALE OF A TUB The alacrity with which the reader detects the analogical cor-respondences between elements of the Tubbian world and elements of the "real" world is an indication of, and warning against, his susceptibility to the analogical habit of mind. The success of the literary mountebank's appeal to the passions is to a great extent dependent upon his a b i l i t y to beguile the reader into the analogical state of mind which renders accept-able and even commendable the substitution of analogical description for rational analysis. The literary mountebank is both the cause and the effect of periods of violent economic, p o l i t i c a l , religious, and philosophical dissension. Under such conditions, the "mechanical" production of persuasive literature is both profitable and respectable. In the years preceding the publication of A Tale of a Tub, p o l i t i c a l and religious factions became more and more dependent for their power and even for their existence upon the formulation of favourable public opinion. The paid p o l i t i c a l writers soon attempted to supplement their in-comes by producing satire suited to the broad public taste. Ned Ward's London Spy (1700) and Tom Brown's Amusements, Serious and Comical (1700) 60. offer humorous portraits of "low l i f e " with the ostensible but somewhat dubious intent to reform by ridicule. Daniel Defoe, a p o l i t i c a l hack writer and s a t i r i s t , employed his satire on behalf of the dissenters against the "High Church" Anglicans. The Shortest Way with Dissenters appeared in 1702, while the combined political-religious satire, The True-Born Englishman appeared in 1701. The close union of p o l i t i c a l and religious positions is evident in Defoe's Enquiry into the Occasional Conformity of Dissenters which appeared in 1698. The pamphlet is an exhortation to the dissenters against their occasional participation in the rites of the Anglican communion for the purpose pf be-coming eligible for c i v i l office. The profusion of factional literature was further increased by the publication of arguments offered by the great variety of dissident sects concerning disputes over minute differences in r i t u a l and dogma. When these sects were not engaged in the v i l l i f i c a t i o n of each other, they were frequent-ly occupied with attacks upon the new materialistic philosophy or upon the new philosophical systems of rational theology. The Anglican clergy were engaged in writing, or in causing to be written, replies to the attacking dissenters and denunciations of atheistic materialism, Roman Catholicism, and Calvinism. The virtuosi of the Royal Society contributed to this multiplicity of p o l i t i c a l , religious, and philosophical opinion with their frequent 61. dissertations upon the merits of some new speculation upon sympathetic medicine or upon the s c i e n t i f i c significance of some attempted systematiza-tion of factual knowledge. In "li t e r a r y " circles, as opposed to "journalistic" circles, the protagonists of the "moderns" based their claims to superiority of modern learning over ancient learning on the u t i l i t y of the s c i e n t i f i c method in giving man mastery over the forces of nature. The protagonists of the "ancients" derided such claims on the grounds that the modern learning con-tributes nothing to the intellectual development of the individual. Much of the literary criticism of the period was based upon values derived from either the excessive veneration of the wisdom of the ancients or from immoderate adulation of the learning of the moderns. The literary c r i t i c , each with his vociferous pretension to c r i t i c a l i n f a l l i b i l i t y , attacked the hosts of novice scribblers, apprentice c r i t i c s and fellow c r i t i c s , who retaliated with their own attacks. Much of the persuasive literature of the period was ostensibly directed toward the edification and instruction of increasing numbers of barely literate readers. This new audience, and the hack writers eager to pander to i t s tastes, lacked definite literary traditions. The art of writ-ing consequently degenerated to become the art of persuasion through exhorta-tion on hehalf of particular systems of p o l i t i c a l , religious, and philosophical thought. 62. In such circumstances, i t is scarcely surprising that mercenary authors and obscure poets sought wealth and literary prestige through attempts to attract wealthy patrons by means of adulatory prefaces and dedications. Numbers of these vain and ignorant writers attempted to im-pose upon the credulity of the reader with inaccurate translations or para-phrases of reputable foreign works and venerated classical writings. Surreptitious editions of popular contemporary materials contributed to the incomes of both the unscrupulous bookseller and the hack author whom he em-ployed. The avarice of the bookseller and the poverty, ignorance, vanity and greed of the obscure hack writer are amusingly dramatized in the "Bookseller's" descriptive account of his quest among the garrets for the interpretation of an inscription on the manuscript of A Tale of a Tub and for a dedication appropriate to this inscription.* The "Bookseller" offers both an unconsciously ironic comment upon the contemporary "commonwealth of literature" and an inadvertent refutation of the "author's" pretension to "modernity" in his message to the reader. If I should go about to t e l l the Reader, by what Accident, I became Master of  these Papers, i t would, in this un- believing Age, pass for l i t t l e more  than the Cant, or Jargon of the Trade. I, therefore, gladly spare both him  and my self so unnecessary a Trouble. There yet remains a d i f f i c u l t Question, why I publish'd them no sooner. I  forbore upon two Accounts; F i r s t , because I thought I had better Work  upon my Hands; and Secondly, because  I was not without some Hope of hearing  from the Author, and receiving his  Directions. But I have been lately 1 Swift, p. 24. 63. alarm'd with Intelligence of a Surrep- titious Copy, which a certain great  Wit had new polish'd, or as our present  Writers express themselves, f i t t e d to the Humor of the Age; as they have  already done, with great F e l i c i t y , to Don Quixot, Boccalini, l a Bruyere and other Authors.* The "Bookseller" is both mountebank and highwayman. His affected sincerity forces him to acknowledge the prevalence of the "jargon of the trade" and to affirm the probity of his motives in awaiting the "directions" of the "author." But his anticipation of a "surreptitious copy" provides an incentive to repudiate his literary scruples in order to protect his investment. His ignorance of literary history is apparent in his inclusion of "Don Quixot" with "other authors." The "Bookseller's" simulated naivety in describing a literary plagiarist as a "great wit" and in describing the modern "transla-tions" in terms of "great f e l i c i t y " i s actually a demonstration of his pro-fessional tact in economic matters. The same sort of professional tact informs the persona's panegyric upon the "moderns" in the "Dedication to Prince Posterity." The literary mountebank proposes to establish the existence of modern learning and erudition by the reiteration of unsupported attestations to the profusion of modern literature and the multiplicity of modern writers. In addition, the persona attempts by his fulsome praise to identify his own interests with those of his readers. The panegyric upon multiplicity and profusion is entirely sincere in terms of the persona's preoccupations. A profusion of _ Swift, pp. 28-29. 64. argumentative and persuasive literature i s an indication of the existence of a multiplicity of factions aspiring to manipulate public opinion and willing to employ hack writers for this purpose. A multiplicity of estab-lished "Grubaean Sages" offers the persona a multiplicity of sources from which to "pirate" his literary "ornaments." Vast numbers of novice scribblers constitute a potential market for A Tale of a Tub with i t s instruction in the arts of proselytization. Panegyric and flattery are two of the most important elements in the technique of the literary mountebank for the pacification of those supreme arbiters of modern "taste," the c r i t i c s . The persona flatters the c r i t i c s in the terms with which they are particularly infatuated. He indulges in the most abstruse collations of antiquarian sources, and infers the most ridiculous meanings from obscure and t r i v i a l statements. The "Digression Concerning Criticks" provides a cogent demonstration of the extremes to which a preoccupation with pedantry and a misguided zeal for the wisdom of antiquity may be pursued. The digression is a remarkable and amusing demonstration of the attempt by a mountebank to pacify a malicious and ignorant rabble of highwaymen. It soon becomes evident that A Tale of a Tub, as a manual for proselytizers, i s primarily a demonstration of a literary method, rather than a source of the sort of wisdom that i s applicable to the conduct of l i f e . The Tale is a diversion from l i f e , offered for the diversion of the wits by 65. an "author" who has been maliciously maltreated by "time" and who retaliates in the hope of redress, with a treatise described as " . . . the Fruits of a very few leisure Hours, stollen from the short Intervals of a World of Business, and of an Employment quite alien from such Amusements as this. (p.30). Not only does the persona suggest, by means of the prescribed form, that he is a gentleman dilettante but he also indicates that A Tale of a Tub is a diversion both for the author and for the reader. The diversion of the reader is the purpose of a large proportion of modern literature both in the Tubbian world and in the "real" world. The s a t i r i c works of Tom Brown, Ned Ward, and others are intended for the amuse-ment of their readers. These writers, in emulation of Samuel Butler and in imitation of Hudibras, frequently succeeded only in making bad taste amusing. Such satire pleases the reader by virtue of i t s generality. Because i t pro-vides the apprentice writer with a direct and easy path to literary fame, modern satire i s deserving of the persona's praise. However, because i t amuses without provoking retaliation, the satire directed against vice in the abstract, rather than against particular vices of specific individuals, contributes nothing to the augmentation of literary dissension, and thereby deprives the hack writer of potential employment and income. The inconsistency of the persona's simultaneous condemnation and panegyric in his "expatiation" upon the subject of satire i s typical of the sort of modern logic that finds i t s expression in the synchronous affirmation 66. and denial of a proposition. "The never-dying Works of these illustrious Persons, Your Governour, Sir, has devoted to unavoidable Death. . . ." (p.33). The inconsistency of the proposition i s a particular reflection of the incon-sistency involved in the general practice of the p o l i t i c a l hack writer, who may be actively employed in writing pamphlets for two or more opposing factions at the same time. The superficiality of any persuasive literature i s a necessary con-sequence of i t s function in promulgating opinions by inciting the passions and anaesthetizing the reason. The mountebank's appeal is directed to the reader's demand for novelty and singularity, rather than to his discrimination. The proselytizer merely discovers and ut i l i z e s novel, agreeable and surprising analogies for familiar concepts. The literary technique of presenting the tr i t e and the familiar in new and surprising ways is the persona's definition of "wit." The Tale offers a plethora of illustrations of the superficial wit of the "Grubaean Sages," who . . . convey their Precepts and their Arts, shut up within the Vehicles of Types and Fables, which having been perhaps more careful and curious in adorning, than was altogether necessary, i t has fared with these Vehicles after the usual Fate of Coaches over finely painted and G i l t ; that the transitory Gazers have so dazzled their Eyes, and f i l l e d their Imaginations with the outward Lustre, as neither to regard or consider, the Person or the Parts of the Owner within. (p. 66). 67. The analogy provides both a definition of modern wit and an il l u s t r a t i o n of the definition in practice. If one may be allowed to extend the analogy, i t is entirely probable that the literary highwayman wi l l be disappointed in his efforts to discover and appropriate anything of value in the literary coach. A careful examination of the style and structure of A Tale of a Tub discloses the presence of continual repetition and reiteration, in strange and distorted ways, of what is basically a panegyric upon superficiality, bigotry, inconsistency, singularity, f a c i l i t y , zeal, speculative analysis and mechanical systematization. In these terms, the modern preoccupation with literary form to the exclusion of content becomes understandable. The reader responds to novelty and singularity, rather than to logical argumentation, and any sort of incom-prehensibility i s permissible in conjunction with the fashionably curious literary form. Perhaps a quotationrfrom Wycherley's Preface to the edition of his Miscellany Poems (1704) may serve to indicate the extremes to which the concept of wit as singularity frequently led. . . . and the Folly of the most stupid Brutes, as that of the most Brutal Men, is distinguish'd, by their making more a Stir, or more Noise, than others of a more Noble, and Useful Kind; as the Monkey is more Active, than the Man, (his nearest Likeness) as he is more Mischievous and Ridiculous; who, like the Ambitious, Active, Rising, 68. Proud Man, is always Climbing, tho 1 the Higher he goes, the more he shows his Breech, to his Shame, and Hazard of Falling; so, the Humane Ape's Pride, and Busie, Impertinent Industry, expose him to more Danger, or Shame, as they are more, and the Higher he rises by them; . . Even the most feeble manifestations of wit were regarded by some of Wycherley's contemporaries as indications of a "sublimity" and f e r t i l i t y of mind too sacred to be confined in an orderly framework or sacrificed to the demands of a harmonious literary design. As a consequence of i t s association with the bizarre in literature, wit had acquired connotations of affectation and ingenuity. The acquisition of these connotations served to associate the term "wit" in some minds with the term "enthusiasm" which denoted any divergence from accepted standards of conduct. Enthusiasm, due to i t s irra t i o n a l i t y , was a state of mind to be avoided in the interests of decorum. The enthusiast, in literature and in l i f e , was fanatic in his militant insistence upon the validity of his own opinions. His means of promulgating these opinions were those of both the highwayman and the mountebank, the appeal to the passions, the lure of per-sonal advantage, the simulation of impartiality, the evocation of sympathy, the stimulation of fear, and the incitement to curiosity. The practitioners of the literary technique of "wit" were suspected of hypocrisy and cynicism. Pride, too, was associated with both wit and enthusiasm, since pride was essentially that quality of a man's mind that impelled him to foolish aspirations. 1 W. Wycherley, "Preface to the Miscellany Poems," The Complete Works of William Wycherley, ed. Montague Summers (Soho, 1924), III, p. 10. 69. Although the dramatists of the Restoration period and of immed-iately subsequent years were vociferous in their denunciations of pride, and insistent in their affirmations of serious moral intentions, the art of the dramatist appeared to be so closely associated with professions of i r r e l i g i o n and with the practice or portrayal of vice, that many men con-sidered the existence of the theatre to be a threat to decency and to moral-i t y . Although dramatists and c r i t i c s alike agreed that moral instruction, through social criticism, was the aim of literature, and that comedy was a corrective of vices and f o l l i e s , undoubtedly laughter or entertainment, and not moral improvement, was the true objective of Restoration comedy. The manners of the court were highly corrupt, and the comedy that the court patronized was unblushing, hard, cynical, and immoral.* The court patronage of bad farces may be an indication of a general cultural 2 degeneracy, although i t may be maintained that, while cynicism implies the loss of an i l l u s i o n , i t need not imply the absence of a moral criterion. On the other hand, the protagonist of the Restoration comedy is frequently the prototype of the amorous "rake" whose assaults upon hypocrisy and affecta-tion often give the impression that "honour" is merely another label attached to the practice of persistent affectation. The effect of this implied and frequently overt disparagement of the concept of "honour" is to render suspect even the most sincere pretensions 1 A.G. Baugh| et a l . , eds. A Literary History of England (New York, 1948), p. 763. ' 2 Aubrey L. Williams, Pope's Dunciad: A Study of i t s Meaning (Baton Rouge, 1958), p. 14. 70. to merit or virtue. The social assumption upon which the majority of Restoration comedy is based is that there exists, or should exist, an ex-p l i c i t pattern of conduct for every station in l i f e . Adherence to the pat-tern constitutes "decorum," while aberrations from the pattern constitute "affectation," which may be regarded as comic. The themes of the plays were most frequently those of conflicts in the fashionable world between men and women, youth and age, honesty and hypocrisy. The male characters were often predatory and licentious, intent upon the seduction of vain women whose prim-ary concept of morality was that of fashionable "discretion." The affectations of the effeminate "fop" frequently provided much of the comic effect in such comedies.^" One consequence of the emphasis upon manners in Restoration comedy was the association of the term "wit" with satire, f l o r i d i t y , quibbles, con-versational t r i f l e s , banter, and fashionable repartee. The dramatists, with their apparent cynicism and despite their elegant derision of hypocrisy, appeared to elevate the profane, the impure, the absurd, the dishonourable and the immoral. "Because wit, having become fashionable, began to appear as the natural a l l y of the scoffer, undermining religion and morals, i t seemed to constitute a menace to society—a menace that must be understood i f one is 2 to feel the force of Swift's digressions on wit in the Tale of a Tub (1704). Swift's direct attack upon the theatre i s offered in terms of the persona's mild panegyric upon the u t i l i t y of theatrical architecture. -Thomas H. Fujimura, The-Restoration Comedy of Wit (Princeton, 1952), passim. 2 E.N. Hooker, "Pope on Wit: The Essay on Criticism," Eighteenth-Century  English Literature: Modern Essays in Criticism, ed. James L. Clif f o r d (New York, 1959), p. 46. 71. I confess, there is something yet more refined in the Contrivance and Structure of our Modern Theatres. For, F i r s t ; the Pit is sunk below the Stage with due regard to the Institutions above-deduced; that whatever weighty Matter shall be delivered thence (whether i t be Lead or Gold) may f a l l plum into the Jaws of certain Criticks (as I think they are called) which stand ready open to devour them. Then, the Boxes are built round, and raised to a Level with the Scene, in deference to the Ladies, because, That large Portion of Wit lai d out in raising Pruriences and Proturbances, is observ'd to run much upon a Line, and ever in a Circle. The whining Passions, and l i t t l e starved Conceits, are gently wafted up by • their own extreme Levity, to the middle Region, and there f i x and are frozen by the f r i g i d Understanding of the Inhabitants. (p. 61). The architecture of the theatre is designed to take f u l l advantage of the "mechanical" propensities of the language in which the dramatists present their offerings. The dramatic concepts, and the reaction of the audience to these concepts, are r i g i d and mechanical as well as prurient and super-f i c i a l . The suggestion that words have "weight" is subsequently amplified in the "author's" discussion of Aeolism as the Tubbian metaphor for Calvinism. To modern c r i t i c s are allotted the accommodations appropriate to their exalted status in the world of Tubbian literature. The ladies of the Tubbian world also enjoy preferential treatment in accordance with their particular pro-pensities. The apparently pejorative terms in which the persona describes the nature and effects of the dramatic performance are pejorative only in the real world. In the Tubbian world, such terms are commendatory in nature, 72. serving to enhance the argument by their ingenuity and aptness. A less direct attack upon the effects of the theatre i s offered in the long catalogue describing the actions of the three brothers in the allegorical "history" of religion. " . . . They went to new Plays on the f i r s t Night. . . . " The theatre, with i t s witty immorality, plays a distinct role in distracting i t s audience from the observance of the Christian moral precepts. The actors themselves were frequently guilty of a vain ostentation in dress as they strutted to and from the theatre. The association of the theatre with the philosophy of sartorism is almost too obvious to require amplification. The audience has only to observe the apparel of the actor to determine the station in l i f e of the character being portrayed. The patronization of the theatre by the king and the nobility had as i t s frequent consequence the elevation of individual actors to states of respectable affluence and social prestige. The encouragement thereby offered to the foolish aspirations of actors, their servants, and the writers catering to the tastes of the public served to inspire ostentation and presumption. It i s the a r t i s t i c and c r i t i c a l irresponsibility engendered by this imposition of wrong standards and wrong attitudes that Swift attacks in A Tale of a Tub. The cynicism and opportunism of the dramatists i s essentially a re-flection of the degeneration of public taste and presumably of the deteriora-tion of manners and morals consequent upon and concomitant with such de-generation. Dryden comments upon the dramatist's predicament in his 73. II Prologue to the University of Oxford" (1684) : Though Actors cannot much of learning boast, Of a l l who want i t , we admire i t most: We love the praises of a learned p i t , As we remotely are a l l i e d to wit. We speak our poet's wit, and trade in ore, Like those who touch upon the golden shore; Betwixt our judges can distinction make, Discern how much and why our poems take; Mark i f the fools, or men of sense, rejoice; Whether the applause be only sound or voice. The intensity of Dryden's disillusionment is evident in the "Prologue to Aureng-Zebe" (1675) : "Our author by experience finds i t true,^/"Tis much more hard to please himself than yon;/And out of no feigned modesty, this day,/Damns his laborious t r i f l e of a play; . . ." (p. 374). The prototype of the moderns in A Tale of a Tub i s , of course, the persona, who in many ways exhibits the qualities of Dryden, his counterpart in the real world. Both are obsessed with the merits of long and tedious prefaces, and both are concerned with the popularity of their works rather than with int r i n s i c a r t i s t i c merit. Dryden had become notorious for the habitual variety and multiplication of prefatory dedications, arguments, justifications, explanations, and examples. Swift showed no hesitation in parodying Dryden's style and methods in A Tale of a Tub. Perhaps the follow-ing selection of passages from Dryden's "Preface to the Fables" (1700) may serve to il l u s t r a t e the extent to which Dryden may be identified with the "author" of the Tale: " . . . I could please myself with enlarging on this subject, but am forced to defer i t to a f i t t e r time.1' (p. 691). 1 John Dryden, The Poetical Works of John Dryden (London: Aldine Series), III, 94. A l l excerpts from Dryden taken from this edition. 74. " .... I am, and always have been, studious to promote the honour of my native country. . . ." (p. 181). "The continual agitations of the sp i r i t s must needs be a weakening of any constitution, especially in age; and many pauses are required for refreshment betwixt the heats; . . ." (p. 185). I w i l l hope the best that they . . . [his papers] . . . be not condemned; but i f they should, I have the excuse of an old gentleman who, mounting on horseback before some ladies, when I was present, got up somewhat heavily, but desired of the f a i r spectators, that they would count fourscore and eight before they judged him. By the mercy of God, I am already come within twenty years of his number; a cripple in my limbs, but what decays are in my mind the reader must determine. I w i l l not trouble my reader with the shortness of time in which I writ i t , or the several intervals of sickness. They who think too well of their own performances are apt to boast in their prefaces how l i t t l e time their works have cost them, and what other business of more importance interfered; . . . (pp. 182-183). The frequent references to Dryden and the persistent s t y l i s t i c parodies of his works in A Tale of a Tub are extremely useful contributions to the unity of Swift's Tale. Dryden was a famous "wit" worthy of emulation by novice scribblers. He was a respected member of the Royal Society, and a worthy representative of modern sci e n t i f i c thought in the Tubbian world and in the real world. Dryden had written with equal f a c i l i t y an elegy on Cromwell, a celebration of the Restoration, an anti-Catholic satire, a pro-Catholic fable and several p o l i t i c a l satires. 75. In his prologues and prefaces, Dryden often includes statements of his literary theories. He i s , therefore, representative of the modern c r i t i c , of whom Bentley and Wotton are also representative. The pedantry and dulness of the c r i t i c s are parodied in the history of criticism of the "Digression Concerning Criticks," while the attempt by the c r i t i c to read mystery into what is plain and i n t e l l i g i b l e is parodied both in the "digression" and in subsequent "statements of literary theory," of which the persona seems inordinately fond. Many of the "occult" formulae of the Tale are in-tended to demonstrate the concern of the modern c r i t i c with the singular sources of information and with the enormous collections of factual t r i v i a with which both the c r i t i c and the scientist are infatuated. A further demonstration of the obtuseness, redundancy, t r i v i a l i t y and absurdity of the pedantic modern c r i t i c i s offered in Wotton's notes which were appended to later editions of A Tale of a Tub. While Swift appears to attack specific literary infirmities in A Tale of a Tub, the real object of his animus is the habit of mind which initiates and condones abuses in literature. On the one hand, the analogical habit of mind is productive of fanciful speculation, superficial literary ornamentation, and meaningless oratory. On the other hand, arid pedantry and tedious obscurity are the products of the "empirical" habit of mind with i t s demand for factual evidence and corroborative detail. Additional factors in the deterioration of modern literature are 76. the demands that literature should offer moral instruction or diversion or s c i e n t i f i c information. An accession to such demands degrades literature to the status of s e r v i l i t y , in the interests of theology, science, p o l i t i c a l faction, philosophy, and perhaps social criticism. Enthusiasm begets l i t e r -ary arrogance which contributes to the perversion of moral ideas and to the decadence of literary traditions. Perhaps the intensity of Swift's indignation may be explained and partially excused by the acceptance of the assumption that Swift viewed dulness, not as a static condition, but as an expanding and malicious force, devitalizing literature, theology, morality and government. 77. CHAPTER IX THE ROYAL SOCIETY AND THE TUBBIAN "ACADEMY" The deterioration of literary standards was in part a consequence of the rapidly evolving concept of the function of wit as that of providing instruction through diversion. Wit became synonymous with delight, pleasure, novelty, and singularity while wisdom became synonymous with the necessary, the useful, and the advantageous. The dictum that the function of literature was to instruct by pleasing took on new and sinister implications. Literature was rapidly becoming servile and didactic, devoted only to making palatable the truths discovered by science and philosophy.^ The attack on imaginative literature was conducted both by the "righteous" and by the "rational." . . . no one at the time could have forgotten that outburst of h o s t i l i t i e s in 1698-1700, in which the righteous had beset the wits--and had driven them to cover . . . . the attack had been overtly against specific forms of wit, the facetious varieties which played with sex and t r i f l e d with religion and morality. . . . In an age when the u t i l i t a r i a n and sc i e n t i f i c movement had grown to giant size, an art which pleased by confounding truth and deceiving men was bound to be viewed with h o s t i l i t y . A l l wit came under attack.2 The popularity of Newton's synthesis of mathematical rationalism i s reflected in i t s influence upon the changes in literary style. Imaginative literature was in the process of being reformed on the analogy of the "new - . S.L. Bethell, The Cultural Revolution of the Seventeenth Century (London, 1951), p. 111. 2 E.N.Hooker, "Pope on Wit," p. 44. 78. thought," and the status and function of poetry consequently suffered a decline.^" The emphasis was upon simplicity of style in prose, which appealed to the understanding, as distinguished from the eloquence of poetry, which appealed to the emotions. The proposed "spartan simplicity" in prose style frequently deteriorated into barren, rational dissertations, f i l l e d 2 with odd facts, dull inventories, and "crabbed dialectic." The attempts of the virtuosi to stabilize and "purify" the language were championed by Bishop Sprat, the President of the Royal Society, in his proposal to erect an academy for the perfection of the English language. . . . If we observe well the English Language; we shall find, that i t seems at this time more then others, to require some such aid, to bring i t to i t s last perfection. The Truth i s , i t has been hitherto a l i t t l e too carelessly handled; and I think, has had less labor spent about i t s polishing, then i t deserves. If some sober and judicious Men, would take the whole Mass of our Language into their hands, as they find i t , and would set a mark on the i l l Words; correct those, which are to be retain'd; admit and establish the good; and make some emendations in the Accent, and Grammar: I dare pronounce, that our Speech would quickly arrive at as much plenty, as i t is capable to receive; and at the greatest smoothness, which it s derivation from the rough German wi l l allow i t . A remarkably similar proposal i s offered by the persona of A Tale of a Tub, whose projected "Academy of Wits" includes a "spelling school." The pruri-ence of the proposed curriculum effectively disgraces Sprat's proposal, while the bewildering display of modern "logic" in the Tale suggests that 1 Bethell, p. 111. 2 Aubrey L. Williams, p. 108. 3 Thomas Sprat, History of the Royal Society, eds. J.I.Cope and H.W.Jones (London, 1959), pp. 41-42. 79. the prose style of the scientists tends more frequently to obscurity than to clarity or simplicity. The "word-mongering" of the virtuosi i s symptomatic of the scientist's concern with things rather than with the communication of know-ledge. The proposal to "purify" i s essentially a proposal to impoverish the language by repudiating the language of connotation and emphasizing the language of denotation. This exclusive concern with things, and with the language which refers exclusively»to things, leads to a despiritualization of the universe. In their preoccupation with the material world of objects, many of the virtuosi appeared intent upon setting up the concept of a care-ful l y systematized mechanical universe, from which were excluded a l l theo-logical concepts of an actively benevolent deity. The immediate consequences of this presumptuous attempt to systematize nature are the impoverishment of man's concept of the universe and an evasion of factual sensory knowledge. "It was a skeletal universe; sc i e n t i f i c crows and philosophical vultures had picked i t to the bone. It was colourless and noiseless. The only real qualities of objects were extension and mass: secondary qualities were subjective, and one avoided them or hastened to explain them in other terms."''" The pride of the virtuosi impelled them to misuse and pervert nature in their foolish aspirations to reduce the universe to the status of a machine, comprehensible in i t s work-ings and amenable to manipulation by the instruments of science. 1 Bethell, pp. 38-39. 80. The substitution, by the virtuosi, of the predatory desire to possess and control nature, for the more appropriate desire to indulge in appreciative contemplation of nature as evidence of a benevolent deity, is ridiculed by Swift in A Tale of a Tub. The persona's attempt to "dissect" and preserve human nature culminates in the f u t i l e "articulation" of i t s "skeleton," from which the essence has long since departed. The contention that words are " . . . Bodies of much Weight and Gravity, as i t is manifest from those deep Impressions they make and leave upon us, . . ." (p. 60) is the argument of the virtuoso attempting to explain the facts of experience in terms of a r i g i d subjective concept of the measurable material nature of a l l things. It i s the contention that "words have weight" which inspires the mountebank to seek a "superior position of place" on his elevated "stage-itinerant" in order to ensure the greatest possible distribution of his "weighty" verbal materials. The "learned Aeolist" ascends his pulpit to deliver his "oratory" for the same reason. Similarly, the highwayman voluntarily suppresses his inherent tendency to eloquent protestations of abject repentance pending his fi n a l involuntary elevation to the heights of the "oratorical machine" appropriate to his merits, the scaffold. The r i g i d i t y of the persona's l i t e r a l interpretation of the figurative state-ment, and the r i g i d i t y with which the various Tubbian individuals attempt to apply this l i t e r a l interpretation, are indications of the habit of mind designated as the "mechanical operation of the s p i r i t , " or alternatively, 81. the "converting imagination," which disposes men " . . . to reduce a l l Things into Types; who can make Shadows, no thanks to the Sun; and then mold them into Substances, no thanks to Philosophy; whose peculiar Talent l i e s in fixing Tropes and Allegories to the Letter, and refining what is Literal into Figure and Mystery." (p. 190). The "converting imagination" serves a dual function. It simultan-eously systematizes by classification, and mystifies by subtle over-refinements of reasoning. The "converting imagination" is merely another label for the "clothes philosophy," which becomes something new and wonder-ful merely by i t s restatement in another form. The "clothes philosophy" is an amplification of the statement that men judge one another by superficial appearances. Society arb i t r a r i l y assigns certain values to particular prescribed arrangements of clothes. A judge in his robes of office commands respect in accordance with a prearranged social agreement, while the bawd in her old velvet petticoat invites social ostracism also according to pre-arranged agreement. The virtuosi of the Royal Society have agreed to reduce the universe to a system of matter in motion. Certain aspects of experience offer resistance to this sort of systematization, but the virtuoso persists in assigning inappropriate labels to these aspects of experience, or attempt to evade the problem, by assigning priority to those qualities of experience which conform to the s c i e n t i f i c system of measurable matter and motion. Matter and motion in the universe become significant by general agreement, :82. while the immaterial aspects of experience become insignificant by general agreement among the virtuosi. The influence of the "converting imagination" upon human attitudes and actions i s both powerful and extensive. The aimless and apparently ludicrous activities of the sc i e n t i f i c virtuosi produce contemptible and vicious results. Scientific elimination of the supernatural from the uni-verse has the effect of eliminating the supernatural in religion. Man's pride in his own rational powers inspires him to inordinate enthusiasm for his own logical creations. Enthusiasm inspires the propagation of ideas and opinions by persuasion, with a consequent deterioration of literary standards. Thus words become things to be manipulated for selfish purposes. The conversion of one aspect of experience to another by the allocation of labels i s not confined to the virtuoso. The Aeolist designates "eructation" as the noblest art of man, and subsequently pays homage to his own designation in his senseless sermons. Peter ascribes to bread and water the virtues of meat and wine, in the allegorical representation of the "mysteries" of transsubstantiation. Designation of experiential facts by labels representing only subjective perceptions may be either absurd or vicious. When the allotted label represents merely the subjective attitude of a single individual, i t may be ridiculed as ignorance or f o l l y . If the label i s sufficiently absurd, and i f the attitude i t represents i s sufficient-ly distorted, the individual's consequent aberrations from accepted patterns S3. of behaviour are termed "madness." But this term i t s e l f merely signifies a general agreement concerning designations to be allotted to particular attitudes, qualities, or actions. The evaluation or assessment of such designations i s similarly determined by general agreement. The implications of the argument are of great significance in the conduct of human affairs. The foolish individual, i f he is sufficiently persuasive, may achieve greatness. The madman, i f he shows sufficient dexterity in the arts of proselytization, may create a powerful faction in science, philosophy, religion, or p o l i t i c s . Public acceptance of the mad-man's attitude, whether occasioned by public fear or by susceptibility to persuasion, dictates the alteration of previous designations or labels. Since madness i s no longer considered an appropriate label for the tenets of the leader of a faction, the label i s changed by agreement to " p o l i t i c a l greatness," or to "religious inspiration." The s c i e n t i f i c greatness of the virtuoso l i e s in his manipulation of matter for the "benefit of mankind." However, the manipulation of matter is appropriate, to both the inmate of Bedlam paddling in his own ordure and to the virtuoso experimenting on the digestive tracts of animals. Extremes of amoral ratiocination and drooling irra t i o n a l i t y differ only in the degree to which they are accorded public approval or disapproval. The "author" of A Tale of a Tub is a former inmate of Bedlam, agitating the literary ordure of his treatise in the names of science and philosophy. As a "modern," 64. the persona has achieved the distinction he lacked while a "madman" in Bedlam. His attitudes and behaviour remain inconsistent, prurient, and irrational, but they now command public approval for their novelty, singularity, u t i l i t y , and modernity. One of the primary characteristics of the modern virtuoso is his concern with matter and motion as the constituent elements of the universe. It i s this concern with matter and motion which informs the "occultism" or "Rosicrucianism" of the persona in A Tale of a Tub. The virtuosi of the Royal Society attempted to reform man's concepts of a combined material and spiritual universe by the postulation of theories of knowledge in which the actions of the mind were explained in terms of their analogical correspond-ences to the actions of matter in motion. Many of the physiological experi-ments of the virtuosi were directed toward obtaining confirmation of the existence of these theoretical correspondences. The tracing of correspondences or parallels between objects, systems, qualities, and processes arises from the exercise of a habit of analogical thought. The habit is characteristic of the thought of the mediaeval scholastics, the alchemists, and the philosophers. Peter, Jack, and Martin interpret the " w i l l " of the allegory in analogical terms. The "Grubaean fables" are repositories of wisdom disguised as metaphor and allegory. A Tale of a Tub, with i t s subordinate analogies, i s an analogical history of religion and an analogical description of society. 85. One of the consequences of the exercise of this habit of thought is a failure to discriminate between subjects appropriate and inappropriate to analogical treatment. A more specific failure or ineffectiveness occurs when the analogy becomes absurd due to an extreme disparity in the nature of the two things to be compared. Perhaps the most cogent examples of the extremes to which the tracing of analogical parallels may be pursued are offered in the meaning" less and frequently incomprehensible occult formulae and instructions offered by the persona. I desire of those whom, the Learned among Posterity w i l l appoint for commentators upon this Elaborate Treatise; that they w i l l proceed with great Caution upon certain dark Points, wherein a l l who are not Vere adepti, may be in Danger to form rash and hasty Conclusions, especially in some mysterious Paragraphs, where certain Arcana are joyned for brevity sake, which in the Operation must be divided. And, I am certain, that future Sons of Art, w i l l return large Thanks to my Memory, for so grateful, so useful an Innuendo. (p. 114). The passage offers a remarkable demonstration of eloquence without sense and vanity without justification. Many of the numerous occult formulae and garbled metaphysical speculations in A Tale of a Tub actually appear to parody the dissertations #6. frequently published under the sponsorship of the Royal Society. Bishop Sprat's insistence upon the modesty of the intellectual requirements appropriate to the conduct of sci e n t i f i c experimentation encouraged the pretensions of an unusual number of imposters, charlatans, and mountebanks. " . . . i f we cannot have sufficient Choice of those that are s k i l l ' d in a l l Divine and Human Things (which was the ancient Definition of a Philosopher) i t suffices, i f many of them be plain, diligent, and laborious Observers: . . . Sprat's l i b e r a l i t y and tolerance had immediate and unfortunate consequences. "The removal of the bars of learning and intellectual competence let loose a crowd of astrologers, empirics, magicians, alchemists, Rosicrucians, and a host of others who defy name and classification, a l l eager to pursue a 2 path that seemed to lead to money, respectability, and fame'.1 The literary effusions of these individuals..contributed to the popularity and fecundity of bad art. The respectable members of the Royal Society, including Bishop Sprat, recognized and deplored the consequences. " . . . By a l l these we have been already deluded; even by those whom I last named, who ought most of a l l to abhor Falsehood; of whom yet many have multiplied upon us in f i n i t e Stories and false Miracles, without any regard to Conscience or Truth. Satiric attacks upon the virtuosi of the Royal Society were prevalent and popular. Tom Brown, Shadwell, Ward, Samuel Butler and Joseph Hall helped to establish a literary tradition of satire directed against the virtuoso and the Royal Society. On occasion, the wits who satirized the -Sprat, p. 72. 2 R.F. Jones, "The Background of the Attack on Science in the Age of Pope," Eighteenth Century English Literature, ed. J.L. Cli f f o r d (New York, 1959), p.82. 3 Sprat, pp. 73-74. #7. virtuosi were of that party themselves. John Arbuthnot, a member of the Royal Society, collaborated in writing the Scriblerus Memoirs, an early eighteenth-century attack upon false learning and f u t i l e s c i e n t i f i c speculation. Numerous popular satires were written " . . . at the expense of irresponsible theorizers and system-makers in natural philosophy; and this sort of satire was as highly acceptable to most members of the Royal Society as i t was to the wits and poets."* Although Swift admired and respected individual members of the Royal Society, for example John Arbuthnot, he was perhaps more aware of the corruptions of the new experimental learning than of i t s merits. He probably fel t that the new secular knowledge was destined to contribute very l i t t l e to the guidance of man's thoughts and actions toward a l i f e of virtue or morality. In addition, i t had become apparent that the need to view the universe as an entity governed by laws of reason analogous to those of human reason had merely provoked the formulation of obscure and frequently misleading theories. Finally, Swift was well aware that even partial and superficial explanations, to the extent that they satisfy the curiosity or the need of the individual, lead to familiarity and even contempt for the thing explained. Swift undoubtedly considered such familiarity and contempt concerning the system of the universe to be pre-cursors of vice and pride, inconsistent with Christian humility. 1 George R. Potter, "Swift and Natural Science," Pg, XX (April 1941), pp. 110-111. 88. CHAPTER X A TALE OF A TUB AND LEVIATHAN The materialistic preoccupations of the virtuosi had been inspired to a great extent, by the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. In Leviathan 11651 Hobbes claimed to have " . . . set forth the nature of Man, (whose Pride and other Passions have compelled him to submit himselfe to Government) . . ."*• A primary tenet of the Hobbesian philosophy is the affirmation of the material nature of a l l things. The World, (I mean not the Earth onely, that denominates the Lovers of i t Worldly  Men, but the Universe, that i s , the whole masse of a l l things that are) is Corporeall, that is to say, Body; and hath the dimensions of Magnitude, namely, Length, Bredth, and Depth: also every part of Body, is likewise Body, and hath the like dimensions; and consequently every part of the Universe, is Body; and that which is not Body, is no part of the Universe: And because the Universe is A l l , that which is no part of i t , i s Nothing; and consequently no where. The theory of knowledge offered by Hobbes is a theory of the opera-tion of matter upon sense to produce motion within the body, of which there are two kinds, " v i t a l " motions and "voluntary" motions. The " v i t a l " motions are those of the blood, of excretion, and of a l l the other fluids and (pp. 367-368). 1 T. Hobbes, Leviathan (London, 1953), p. 170. A l l citations from Leviathan are taken from this source. 8 9 . processes of the body. (p. 23). The "voluntary" motions, on the other hand, depend upon the imagination which Hobbes defines as " . . . the f i r s t internall beginning of a l l Voluntary Motion." (p. 23). But the imagination " . . . is nothing but decaying sense; . . . " (p. 3). A l l the actions of men are the ultimate consequences of'"endeavour" inspired by the imagination which i s the product or "motion" consequent upon the impingement of external matter upon the sense. Endeavour is defined by Hobbes as "appetite" toward something or "aversion" from something. "These small beginnings of Motion, within the body of Man, before they appear in walking, speaking, striking and other visible actions are commonly called ENDEAVOUR." (p. 23). Concepts of mechanical determinism logically derived from such basic assumptions dominated much of the s c i e n t i f i c and philosophical thought of the final half of the seventeenth century. Swift attempts, in A Tale of a Tub, to disgrace the attitudes and actions of the philosophers and virtuosi whose theories of mechanical deter-minism had exerted such a debilitating influence upon theological claims to moral and religious authority over the actions of men. The occult formulae of the Tale offer extreme examples of the muddling of the material and the spiritual in the attempt to acquire control over the forces of nature. It is only logical to assume that, If there exists in the universe nothing but matter, those things formerly considered spiritual or immaterial must be material. If matter in motion has the a b i l i t y to influence the mind of man 90. through impingement upon the senses, i t is logically valid to assume that certain arrangements of matter or certain processes involving matter w i l l affect the human mind in definite and predictable ways. Greatness in the Tubbian world is a consequence of the individual's dexterity in the manipula-tion of men's minds or opinions, in creating appetites and aversions. Con-sequently, the manipulation of the spiritual by means of the material i s one of the most significant of a l l Tubbian arts and sciences. Swift manipulates the concept of the "mechanical operation of the s p i r i t " in a number of ways for s a t i r i c effect. The Aeolists act on the assumption that the physical manipulation of tangible wind is synonymous with the manipulation of " s p i r i t u a l " forces. Peter offers his "nostrums" for spiritual ailments on the assumption that matter in motion is capable of in-fluencing the "supernatural" elements in the universe. The sartorist contends that the essence of man resides in his clothes^because other men are influenced by the external materials in prescribed arrangements. These arrangements are significant because the concepts men acquire are merely extensions of the ordered impingement of materials upon the sense. " . . . there is no conception in a man's mind which hath not at f i r s t , totally, or by parts, been begotten upon the organs of Sense. . . . " (p. 3). The sartorist philosophy is employed against Hobbes in a number of ways. The definition offered by Hobbes in Leviathan, whereby he distinguishes between factual knowledge and the knowledge of science is one .91. of the immediate objects of attack in A Tale of a Tub. The u t i l i t y claimed for the Tale i s analogous to the u t i l i t y claimed for modern science. And whereas Sense and Memory are but knowledge of Fact, which i s a thing past, and irrevocable; Science i s the knowledge of Consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another: by which, out of what we can presently do, we know how to do something else when we w i l l , or the li k e , another time: Because when we see how anything comes about, upon what causes, and by what manner; when the like causes come into our power, we see how to make i t produce the like effects. (p. 21). Proselytization i s the particular science in which the "author" i s adept, and i t is for the instruction of the novice proselytizer that he offers his Tale, with i t s numerous "demonstrations" and illustrations. Hobbes condemns mountebank authors who demonstrate " . . . in their speeches, a regard to the common Passions, and opinions of men, in deducing their reasons: and make use of Similitudes, Metaphors, Examples, and other tooles of Oratory, to perswade their Hearers of the U t i l i t y , Honour, or Justice of following their advise." (p. 135). But i f "science" is merely a knowledge of cause and effect, and i f "power" over circumstances is the goal of science, then the mountebank's appeal to the passions in the attempt to control men's actions i s entitled to approval in the name of "modern science." Similarly, i f the contention that i t i s the "form" of an argument which determines i t s effectiveness, is valid, the mountebank i s justified in 92. his insistence upon the merits of prescribed literary forms. Literary form is a species of "etiquette" or "fashion" in literature. "Forme is Power; because being, a promise of Good, i t recommendeth men to the favour of women and strangers." (p. 43). The typographical methods by means of which the persona recommends his own treatise to those readers seeking "wit" and the "sublime" are "promises of goodV as are the "modern" literary forms of self-praise. The robes of office are the signs of power in the state, and i t is the respect that these signs of power demand from the observer that i s termed " c i v i l honour." "Honourable i s whatsoever possession, action, or quality, i s an argument and signe of Power. And therefore To be Honoured, loved, or feared of many, is Honourable; as arguments of Power." (p. 46). The sartorist argument contends that the essence of man is in his external appearance, in that by which we evaluate him or assess his character. Honour, virtue, sincerity, and a l l the other qualities of a man are not intr i n s i c to the individual, but exist only as concepts of the observer, whose concepts originate in sense. "The Value or Worth of a man, is as of a l l other things, his Price; that i s to say, so much as would be given for the use of his Power: and therefore is not absolute; but a thing dependent upon the need and judgment of another." (p. 44). The t a i l o r , as the creative Deity of sartorism, daily creates men by giving form to the "uninformed Mass, or Substance." But the form, the suit of clothes, i s merely a set of complex 93. notions impressed upon matter by the observer. . . . those Beings which the World calls improperly Suits of Cloaths, are in Reality the most refined Species of Animals, or to proceed higher, that they are Rational Creatures, or Men. For, is i t not manifest, that They l i v e , and move, and talk, and perform a l l other Offices of Human Life? Are not Beauty, and Wit, and Mien, and Breeding, their inseparable Proprieties? In short, we see nothing but them, hear nothing but them. (pp. 78-79). In the Tubbian world, clothes are the "signs" of certain human qualities to which are assigned certain definite values. But fashions in clothing are subject to change, and consequently the values assigned to particular arrangements of clothes are subject to change. Human values are relative to prevailing "fashions" of thought. "Nor does i t alter the case of Honour, whether an action (so i t be great and d i f f i c u l t , and consequently a signe of much power,) be just or unjust: for Honour consisteth onely in the opinion of Power." (p. 47). The indication of "true Tubbian greatness" i s violent action which is an indication of power in the aggressive monarch. The actions of both Jack and Peter are violent, as are the actions of the "wits" in their attacks upon church and state and in their "literary attacks" upon each other. On the other hand, the inmate of Bedlam is equally violent in his own irrational 54. actions. The rationality or irrationality of an action i s merely a matter of opinion. Under such circumstances, the most violent and abusive tyranny becomes honourable, whether i t be the p o l i t i c a l tyranny of an individual or faction, or whether i t be the tyranny of the literary c r i t i c . The highway-man is both powerful and honourable unt i l he i s apprehended, or deposed in some other way. Vice, too, becomes honourable under the proper circumstances, because " . . . Covetousness of great Riches, and ambition of great Honours, are Honourable; as signes of power to obtain them. . . . " (pp. 46-47). Hobbes comments upon the literary abuse of words, which he defines as "madness," " . . . and that i s , when men speak such words, as put to-gether, have in them no signification at a l l ; but are fallen upon by some, through misunderstanding of the words they have received, and repeat by rote; by others, from intention to deceive by obscurity." (p. 40). Swift, through his persona, distorts the arguments of Leviathan until they appear to contra-dict each other. Modern "eloquence" consists merely of typographical signs and prescribed literary forms designated by the author as indications of pro-fundity and wisdom. Modern literature i s deliberately obscure, because obscurity has become a sign of modern eloquence, which is " . . . power; because i t is seeming Prudence. . . . " (p. 43). The "author" of the Tale demonstrates his "wit" in such a manner that " . . . a man is rather astonied and dazzled with the variety of discourse 95. upon i t , than informed of the course he ought to take." (p. 138). The Tale i s essentially a demonstration of "a celerity of imagination" or rapid succession of one thought after another, which constitutes Hobbes' definition of natural wit. (p. 33). Hobbes asserts that the difference between wit and stupidity is caused by differences in the passions due to differences in bodily constitu-tions. He amplifies this contention through the statement that "The Passions that most of a l l cause the differences of Wit, are principally, the more or lesse Desire of Power, of Riches, of Knowledge, and of Honour. A l l of which may be reduced to the f i r s t , that is Desire of Power, For Riches, Knowledge and Honour are but severall sorts of Power." (p. 35). The human activities which lead to honour are governed by the passions which lead to power. But an excess of passion, which may be defined as "zeal," is madness. " . . . to have stronger, and more vehement Passions for any thing, than is ordinarily seen in others, is that which men cal l MADNESSE." (p. 36). But i t is zeal that inspires the mountebank, the highwayman, and the religious zealot to the actions which constitute "true Tubbian greatness," and Hobbesian "greatness." "The Greatest of humane Powers, is that which is compounded of the Powers of most men united by consent, in one person, Naturall or C i v i l l . . . such as is the Power of a Faction, or of divers factions leagued." (p. 43). The achievement of "true Tubbian greatness" is frequently an indica-tion of the individual's dexterity in imposing upon the credulity of others. •96. Consequently, the "author" is lavish in his praises for credulity. IN the Proportion that Credulity is a more peaceful Possession of the Mind, than Curiosity, so far preferable i s that Wisdom, which converses about the Surface, to that pretended Philosophy which enters into the Depth of Things, and then comes gravely back with Informations and Discoveries, that in the inside they are good for nothing. TT.(p. 173). Hobbes, on the other hand, contends that credulity i s an indication of ignorance and i s the cause of falsehood. "And Credulity, because men love to be hearkened unto in company, disposeth them to lying: so that Ignorance i t selfe without Malice, is able to make a man both to believe lyes, and t e l l them; and sometimes also to invent them." (p. 53). The definition of happiness in A Tale of a Tub is that of " . . . the sublime and refined Point of F e l i c i t y , called, the Possession of being well deceived; The Serene Peaceful State of being a Fool among Knaves." (p. 174). If these various statements are considered, i t becomes apparent that Hobbes and the persona provide entirely disparate evaluations of "credulity." If, however, a further selection from Leviathan is considered in the context provided here, Hobbes appears to contradict himself. He con-tends that desire of fame is not vain " . . . because men have a present de-light therein, from the foresight of i t , and of the benefit that may redound thereby to their posterity: which though they now see not, yet they imagine; • C97. and any thing that i s pleasure in the sense, the same also is pleasure in the imagination." (p. 50). The passage implies that anticipation of fame is valuable because i t i s agreeable. One of the tenets of sartorism declares that what is agreeable i s advantageous. Further quotation from Leviathan provides a comment both upon the Tubbian concept of f e l i c i t y as credulity and upon the philosophic concept of God. "Curiosity, or love of the knowledge of causes, draws a man from the consideration of the effect, to seek the cause; and again, the cause of that cause; t i l l of necessity he must come to this thought at last, that there is some cause, whereof there i s no former cause, but i s eternall; which is i t men c a l l God." (p. 53). Curiosity, both in the Tubbian world and in the real world, is both unrewarding and laborious. The philosopher, when he be-comes weary, says "God." But God no longer intervenes in human affairs , is "good for nothing" in u t i l i t a r i a n terms. In similar fashion, Swift derides Hobbes' account of his failure to discover " . . . the Existence of an Incorporeall Soule, Separated from the Body. . . ." (p. 369). "Besides, said they, separate these two, and you wi l l find the Body to be only a senseless unsavory Carcass. By a l l which i t is manifest, that the outward Dress must needs be the Soul." (TT. p. 80). Many of the arguments of Leviathan are based upon the assumption that a l l men's actions are inspired by their passions. 98. . . . the voluntary actions, and inclinations of a l l men, tend, not onely to the procuring, but also to the assuring of a contented l i f e ; and differ onely in the way; which ariseth partly from a diversity of passions, in divers men; and partly from the difference of the knowledge, or opinion each one has of the causes, which produce the effect desired. (p. 49). Hobbes advocates p o l i t i c a l tyranny as a solution to the problem of p o l i t i c a l i n s t a b i l i t y caused by dissenting factions. Swift, in A Tale of a Tub, ridicules not only the conclusion, but also the assumptions on which the argument i s based. A Tale of a Tub i s , in many ways, a metaphor for Leviathan. In his introduction, Hobbes describes the Leviathan as a triumph of art in imitation of nature. The commonwealth i s an " a r t i f i c i a l man," in which the offices and functions of the state are analogous to the sinews, nerves, int e l l e c t , memory, and other attributes of the "natural" man. The world of the sartorist i s a similar world of macrocosm and microcosm in which the " a r t i f i c i a l man" is the product of the tailor's manual dexterity. The various individuals of the Tale are governed by their passions, and i t i s only through the "social contract" of public opinion that values are established. The "arts and sciences" of the Tubbian commonwealth are those by which the practitioner is enabled to achieve pleasure, position, and power. Both A Tale of a Tub and Leviathan offer to describe the condition of society as •99. i t exists, and to describe the principles and practices of the society in terms of their origins and present u t i l i t y . In both treatises, the emphasis is upon the maintenance of social s t a b i l i t y , although for widely disparate reasons. 1 0 0 . . CHAPTER XI RATIONAL THEOLOGY IN THE TUBBIAN WORLD In a period when the unity of morality and religion depended to a great extent upon theories of knowledge which included the doctrine of innate ideas, the popularity of the new materialistic theory of knowledge was the occasion for great consternation among theologians. "For many men of the period, natural law required a natural conscience to enable men to recognize the laws l a i d down by God. Without a natural conscience supplied by God with the a b i l i t y of leading men towards good and away from e v i l , there would be no sure foundation for morality."* The very existence of the Christian doctrine of salvation through redemption was dependent upon the concept of original sin, or the tendency in man toward depravity. The theory of innate ideas received much of i t s support from the hist o r i c a l evidence which appeared to indicate the persistence and consistent recurrence of ideas and groups of ideas to which men accorded universal assent. The exponents of theories of innate ideas maintained that this historical evidence indicated the existence in the universe of an absolute scale of moral and spiritual values. Among those who attempted to suggest methods of speculative thought appropriate to the discovery and elucidation of an absolute scale of universal moral and spiritual values was Lord Herbert 1 John W. Yolton, John Locke and the Way of Ideas (London, 1956), p. 31. 101. of Cherbury, whose protest against the methodology of the scholastics and whose proposed methodology for the pursuit of moral and spiritual truth, appeared in the Latin treatise, De Veritate, in 1624.^ Many of the "stoical common notions" of Lord Herbert appear in similar and only slight-ly altered form in the subsequent writings of the Cambridge Platonists or "Latitudinarians" and in the various "deistic" philosophies including that of Shaftesbury. The Cambridge Platonists contended that the spiritual i s simply the "purest and highest form of the rational" and consequently the most rational man is the most virtuous man. Men should be concerned with liv i n g the "good l i f e " here and now. Despite their professions of orthodoxy in religious matters, the Cambridge Platonists are consistent in their attitude toward the established church as a means to spiritual truth; the rites of the church are secondary to reason. Consequently the "tone" of their writ-ings is primarily secular and rational. The charitable or "latitudinarian" attitude of the Cambridge Platonists toward dogma and r i t u a l i s based on the contention that dogmatism is a restriction upon innate reason and an obstacle to the individual's rational perception of divine truth. But the toleration of widely disparate dogmas and rituals is an invitation to faction in a world already divided by dissention. An additional problem is posed by the tendency of the individual 1 Lord Herbert of Cherbury, De Religione L a i c i , ed. and trans. H.R.Hutcheson (New Haven, 1944), pp. 28-29. 102. to equate his own reason with "divine reason." The confidence of each man in the validity of his own conclusions as "universal truths" can only lead to enthusiasm and faction. In the attempt to evade this particular d i f f i c u l t y , John Smith attempts to classify the gradations of prophecy in what i s essentially a natural history of a supernatural process.^" The "author" of A Tale of a  Tub performs essentially the same function in his history of the origins and practices of the Aeolists. The Cambridge Platonists, in their preoccupation with the " l i f e of virtue," sought sanction for a regimen consisting of the l i f e of unim-passioned reason, in the writings of the pagan philosophers. The concept of man's innate divine rationality i s essentially a repudiation of Christian doctrines and a sanction of paganism. Both the Cambridge Platonists and the Deists proclaimed the superiority of the ancients in the realms of moral conduct based on reason, and both groups relegated the function of the Gospel to that of confirming truths previously discovered by reason or "divine i n t u i t i o n . " 2 The persistent attempts of rational theologians to offer pagan substantiation for a reasonable point of view are frequently ridiculed in A Tale of a Tub. " 'Tis well known among the Learned, that the Virtuoso's of former Ages, had a Contrivance for carrying and preserving Winds in Casks or Barrels, which was of great Assistance upon long Sea Voyages; and the - _ Basil Willey, The Seventeenth-Century Background (Garden City, N.Y.„ 1933), p. 154. -2 Ibid., p. 142. 103. loss of so useful an Art at present, i s very much to be lamented. . . . " (p. 155). With admirable literary "compression" Swift suggests the identity between the Puritan demand for an active faith and the rational theologian's demand for an active philosophy. He suggests, too, the pagan preoccupations of the Cambridge Platonists and unites these by association to the atheistic materialism of the virtuoso and the mechanical "inspiration" of the Puritan Aeolist. Swift also unites, with remarkable dexterity, the mechanism of the modern virtuoso, the "divine reason" of the rational theologian, the super-st i t i o n of the Rosicrucian, and the enthusiasm of the Puritan. . . . Man is in highest Perfection of a l l created Things, as having by the great Bounty of Philosophers, been endued with three distinct Anima's or Winds, to which the Sage Aeolists, with much Liberality, have added a fourth of equal Necessity, as well as Ornament with the other three; by this guarturn Principium, taking in the four Corners of the World; which gave Occasion to that Renowned Cabbalist, Bumbastus, of placing the Body of Man, in due position to the four Cardinal Points. (pp. 151-152). The philosophers have "endued" man with three anima, or winds, after the fashion of the Aeolist who adds a fourth by mechanical infusion. Swift suggests that philosophers, including rational theologians, see in man only those characteristics with which they have themselves endowed him. Man is perfect, only because the philosophers consider him to be so. But the 1.04. sartorist, too, considers man perfect, because i t is advantageous to do so. The philosophers act like sartorists, while the Aeolist attempts to improve upon philosophy, and a l l three act like Rosicrucians in their muddling of the material and the s p i r i t u a l . The mechanistic philosopher and the rational theologian appear to represent the two most extreme attempts of man to employ his reason for widely disparate purposes. Upon closer inspection, however, i t becomes evident that the rational abstractions of the theologian are remarkably similar to the rational abstractions of the scientist or philosopher. In both cases, excessive reliance upon reason may conclude in the advocacy of a logical absurdity. In their attempts to demonstrate the compatibility of science and religion, the Cambridge Platonists employed the empirical methods of the new science. Henry More sought verifiable evidence of ghosts, appari-tions, miracles, and witchcraft in order to prove the existence of " . . . s p i r i t u a l i t y in nature."* In similar fashion, Joseph Glanvill, an " . . . ardent propagandist of the new philosophy . . . " sought to free the philosophers from the imputation of atheism by gathering a l l available 2 data on the existence of " s p i r i t s " in nature. More was primarily interested in proving the existence of " e v i l s p i r i t s " in order to demonstrate by logic the potential existence of "good s p i r i t s " and Deity. The attempt to collect such evidence is ridiculed in A Tale of a Tub. -Ernst Cassirer, The Platonic Renaissance in England, trans. J.P.Pettegrove (Toronto, 1953), p. 131. 2 Jones, p. 78. 1D5. . . . For i t is with Men, whose Imaginations are l i f t e d up very high, after the same Rate, as with those, whose Bodies are so; that, as they are delighted with the Advantage of a nearer Contempla-tion upwards, so they are equally t e r r i f i e d with the dismal Prospect of the Precipice below. Thus, in the Choice of a Devil, i t hath been the usual Method of Mankind, to single out some Being, either in Act, or in Vision, which was in most Antipathy to the God they had framed. (pp. 158-159). The Aeolist argument i s a direct inversion of More's effort to prove the existence of God by obtaining evidence of the existence of the devil. But the Aeolist practice and Peter's practice differ only in detail. It i s the passion of fear, based upon foolish speculation, which informs the activity of each. Fear and speculation are both instinctive, and both operate as direct consequences of "mechanical" elevation. The various arguments con-cerning the location, origin, and nature of the soul are similarly derided in the absurd arguments of the sartorist "professors," " . . . that the Soul was the outward, and the Body the inward Cloathing; that the latter was ex traduce; but the former of daily Creation and Circumfusion." (p. 79). The writings of the Cambridge Platonists show the influence of the scholastic form of argumentation and demonstration in a mingling of scriptural, Platonic, Neo-platonic and metaphysical terms. The archaic style, which consists of a mingling of allegorical and metaphorical elements 106. with poetic images and parables, distorts even the new and original thoughts offered by the Cambridge Platonists. The presence of parodies of such s t y l i s t i c elements in A Tale of a Tub may be merely coincidental, although the inclusion in the Tale of distortions of the arguments employed by the rational theologians militates against mere coincidence. Much of the confidence in reason shown by both the "Latitudinarians" and the Deists i s a direct consequence of the apparently successful attempt by Descartes to limit the extent to which theories of mechanism could penetrate 1 realms of the int e l l e c t . Swift, through his "author," derides and ridicules the self-sufficient pride of man in the potentialities of his own reason. "Cartesius reckoned to see before he died, the Sentiments of a l l Philosophers, like so many lesser Stars in his Romantick System, rapt and drawn within his own Vortex." (p. 167). Man's confidence in the validity of novel and elaborate philosophical systems derived by reason and expressed in sets of rational abstractions is merely another form of pride. Swift apparently distrusted man's reason and was sceptical of any philosophical system which failed to take into account the limitations to which such reason was subject,.'. "In Swift's day amity existed only between reason and a certain radical simplification of truth which l e f t out much that he believed essential for the maintaining of Christian values and of that respect for morality which only the authority of revealed religion could inculcate!' The "divine reason" is no longer an element in man's -W.R. Sorley, A History of English Philosophy (Cambridge, 1951), p. 79. 2 Kathleen Williams, Jonathan Swift and the Age of Compromise (Lawrence, Kansas, 1958), pp. 31-32. 107. nature and the deistic assumption of man's innate capacity to perceive divine truth is perhaps more dangerous than atheism because i t leads to pride that blinds man to his own limitations. The l i f e of pure reason is not only irrelevant to man but also distracting to his search for the guid-ance to salvation offered only by revealed religion. One of the most voluble exponents of the philosophy of deism was the third Earl of Shaftesbury, whose letters and papers gave impetus to the deistic movement of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Shaftesbury's optimism led him to believe that God's plan for the universe was evident in the mutual dependence, order, symmetry, unity, regularity, and coherence of the whole of nature. " A l l things stand together or exist together by one necessity, one reason, one law: therefore.there is one nature of a l l things, or common to a l l . Nothing is out of the whole, nor nothing happens but according to the laws of the whole. The deistic attitude that a l l is well with the world i f man only perceives the order and harmony in the orderly scheme of nature i s reflected in the doctrine of Tubbian f e l i c i t y as the "possession of being well deceived." In similar fashion, Swift rejects the "universal rule of reason" suggested by the deists as the ultimate goal of man, whose "natural affection" directs him toward the l i f e of virtue. The man " . . . who is in that higher degree rational, and can consider the good of the whole, and consider himself as related to the whole, must withal consider himself as under an obligation to - — . The Life, Unpublished Letters, and Philosophical Regimen of Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury, ed. B. Rand (London, 1900), p. 17. A l l references to Shaftesbury are taken from this source. r.os. the interest and good of the whole, preferably to the interest of his private species: and this i s the ground of a new and superior affection." (p. 4). The "universal rule of reason" is merely another novel discovery of the philosophical mountebank whose dissection of human nature has yielded " . . . My New Help of Smatterers, or the Art of being Deep-learned, and  Shallow-read. A curious Invention about Mouse-Traps. An Universal Rule of  Reason, or Every Man his own Carver; Together with a most useful Engine for catching of Owls." (p. 130). Shaftesbury's suggestion that the order in nature is a sign of the great "plan" or harmony of the universe i s reflected in the "author's" offer to write a "panegyric upon the world," with a sequel or "second part" devoted to a defence of "the proceedings of the rabble." (pp. 53-54). Similarly, the scholastic form of reasoning employed by , Shaftesbury to describe the orderly system of nature in which man is the "microcosm," i s reflected in the scholastic form of the sartorist argument concerning the macrocosm and microcosm. Shaftesbury offered the platonic notion that a l l vice i s merely error, to be eradicated by shaming the individual from vicious practices. Shaftesbury's concept of satire as the,instrument of moral rehabilitation was merely the logical result of a substitution of satire and ridicule for the exhortations of theology. Shaftesbury offers his argument in an i r r i t a t -ing tone of smug self-complacency. "Grant but this, that a l l vice i s error; that a l l pursue their good and cannot but do so; that there is no good but  a good mind, and no i l l but an i l l one: immediately a l l i s right." (p. 30). 109. Shaftesbury's system merely substitutes a benevolent rational determinism for the Hobbesian mechanistic determinism in the universe and the Puritan doctrine of determinism by "divine election." The "author's" observations upon the pleasure offered by the generalizations of modern satire, which everyone applies to the conduct of his neighbour, (p. 52) are effective arguments against the deist proposal to reform man by appealing exclusively to his reason through satire. The deist attempts to substitute social "pressure" for theological precept. This attempt leads to an elegant rational piety embodied in a system of "manners" similar to the systems of "decorum" advocated by the Whig sa t i r i s t s Addison and Steele. The optimism of the deist i s based upon the credulous assumption of man's perfectibility in the appropriate environment, which must be con-ducive to man's exercise of the innate "divine reason." The allegorical sections of A Tale of a Tub offer demonstrations only of the abuses of reason in the history of religious fanaticism. The "ir r a t i o n a l i t y " of the "modern forms of logic" in A Tale of a Tub i s sufficient evidence of man's tendency toward degradation rather than toward spiritual elevation through the use of reason. Many of the methods by which Swift ridicules the rational theology of the Cambridge Platonists in A Tale of a Tub are equally applicable to his derision of the rational theology of the deist philosophers. The tendency of rational theology to effect a separation of morality and 1.10. theology i s destructive of the personal relationship between man and God advocated by Christian theology. God becomes merely another rational abstraction while morality becomes the code of conduct prescribed by social "decorum" and rational piety. At best, systems of rational theology merely provide substitutes for religion. At worst, such systems lead to moral anarchy through liberation of man from his fear of divine retribution and anticipation of divine rewards. Freedom of religious speculation leads to the anarchy of freedom of religious belief and freedom of moral action. Such anarchy leads in turn to faction and eventually to tyranny in the names of religion and morality. 111. CHAPTER XII CONCLUSION In his attack upon the various solutions offered by a variety of enthusiasts for the problems of a society in a state of p o l i t i c a l , moral, philosophical and religious dislocation, Swift ridicules both the assumptions and the logical processes of his opponents. His attack is not only upon the specific arguments of the enthusiasts, but also upon the process of logic i t -self. "It is this attitude towards systematic logic, also, that informs Swift's recurrent attacks upon the false logic of 'strong reasoners,' the 'false reasoning' of atheists, the 'impudent sophistry and false logic' of . . . Deism, the spurious refinements of the 'logician' who 'might possibly put a case that would serve for an exception,' the i l l o g i c a l logic of wits 'who upon a thorough examination of causes and effects, and by the mere force of natural a b i l i t i e s , without the least tincture of learning . , . made a discovery that there was no God. While the overt attack is upon the Rosicrucian, the scientist, the pandering sycophant, the philosopher, the fop, the fanatic and the tyrant, i t is evident that these "typical" individuals and a host of others are con-crete embodiments in a dramatic situation of specific attitudes or habits of mind. The "modern" i s an extremist or "enthusiast" on behalf of some party, system, or opinion. Enthusiasm is a "habit of mind" confined to no one time, 1 B u l l i t t , p. 70. 112. place or person. The "ancients" were a f f l i c t e d with their own peculiar species of "moderns" just as posterity w i l l undoubtedly be af f l i c t e d with i t s particular species of "moderns." The chief characteristic of the "modern" in a l l ages i s the "analogical habit of mind" which impels the individual to consider his world and his experience exclusively in terms of some subjective system to which actions and knowledge must conform. The self-interest of the "modern" dictates his attempts to convert the opinions of others into conformity with his particular system. Zeal, pride, avarice, and ambition in i t i a t e and sustain the foolish aspirations of the proselytizer to, manipulate the thinking of his contemporaries until their reasoning becomes analogous to his. The misuse of words, of classical wisdom, of reason, and of the facts of human experience i s a consequence of the perversion of a l l of these to the purposes of exhortation by means of which the fanatic "modern" manipulates opinion. Swift's intense awareness of the human tendency to abuse reason for selfish purposes leads to an attitude often termed anti-intellectual or anti-rational. " . . . There i s in his doctrine, furthermore, a large ad-mixture of what may be called anti-rationalism--the insistence, that i s , upon man's fundamental irrationality."^ The evidence offered by the "quasi-h i s t o r i c a l " sections of A Tale of a Tub appears to support the contention that Swift's "anti-rationalism" led. him to adopt a "negative philosophy of history" which repudiated any postulation of man's per f e c t i b i l i t y through the use of his reason alone. 1 Ricardo Quintana, The Mind and Art of Jonathan Swift (London, 1953), p. 51. 113. S i m i l a r l y , Swift apparently repudiates the s t o i c or Neo-stoic d o c t r i n e of m o r a l i t y based upon a l i f e of unimpassioned reason. Such a l i f e i s i r r e l e v a n t to man simply because i t i s i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h man's nature as a mixture of the reason and the passions. Man's reason i s f a l l -i b l e and h i s passions are powerful, and i n the predicament occasioned by the demands of both passion and reason, Swift recognizes man's need f o r some form of moral and s p i r i t u a l guidance. This type of guidance i s a v a i l -able i n revealed r e l i g i o n , the orthodox d o c t r i n e of C h r i s t i a n i t y . Attempts to impose a d d i t i o n a l systems of moral and s p i r i t u a l guidance based upon reason are redundant, d i s t r a c t i n g and f u t i l e . But even the precepts of C h r i s t i a n i t y may be perverted and de-graded by l u s t , ambition, ignorance, s u p e r f i c i a l i t y and p r i d e . The brothers of the a l l e g o r y i n A Tale of a Tub succumb to the demands of fashionable new systems of r i t u a l and d o c t r i n e . The damage to the o r i g i n a l t h e o l o g i c a l system of p r i m i t i v e C h r i s t i a n i t y i s i r r e p a r a b l e . M a r t i n , the A n g l i c a n , i s faced w i t h a choice between the C a l v i n i s t ' s passionate, and th e r e f o r e i r r a t i o n a l , r e p u d i a t i o n of orthodox t r a d i t i o n i n i t s e n t i r e t y , and the Roman C a t h o l i c ' s e q u a l l y passionate r e t e n t i o n of a l l the t r a d i t i o n a l accre-t i o n s . M a r t i n chooses to compromise. He r e t a i n s only those a c c r e t i o n s necessary to s u s t a i n the t r a d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y of the church and avoids both Peter's decadence and Jack's d i s s i p a t i o n . M artin's choice of the way of compromise i s d i c t a t e d by 11*. considerations of the human need for moral and religious precepts sup-ported by an institutional authority that commands respect for the prin« ciples upon which i t i s based. He gently admonishes the Calvinist for his violence and mildly proclaims a doctrine of tolerance based upon Christian charity and benevolence. Martin rejects the zeal and fanatic austerity of the Puritan while he simultaneously repudiates the "papist's predatory ambitions to religious and secular supremacy. The institutional criterion in religion, as i t i s expressed in the character of Martin, is remarkably similar to the so c i a l - p o l i t i c a l -philosophical criterion represented by Lord Sommers, to whom the Tale i s dedicated by the "bookseller." I expected, indeed, to have heard of your Lordship's Bravery, at the Head of an Army; Of your undaunted Courage, in mounting a Breach, or scaling a Wall; Or, to have had your Pedigree trac'd in a Lineal Descent from the House of Austria; Or, of your wonderful Talent at Dress and Dancing; Or, your Profound Knowledge in Algebra, Metaphysicks, and the Oriental Tongues. But to ply the World with an old beaten Story of your Wit, and Eloquence, and Learning, and Wisdom, and Justice, and Politeness, and Candor, and Evenness of Temper in a l l Scenes of Life; Of that great Discernment in Discovering, and Readiness in Favouring deserving Men; with forty other common Topicks: I confess, I have neither Conscience, nor Countenance to do i t . (pp. 25-26). The disparity between the novel, violent, singular, superficial, illusory 115. and pedantic qualifications demanded by the dedicator and the meritorious qualifications universally ascribed to Lord Sommers renders ludicrous the demands of the one and exalts the merits of the other. Swift obviously assumes the reader's capacity to perceive the disparity and to pass judg-ment upon i t . The criterion of "literary taste" i s offered in the same manner by the "author" in his "Digression Concerning Criticks." The original c r i t i c s among the "ancients" were . . . such Persons as invented or drew up Rules for themselves and the World, by observing which, a careful Reader might be able to pronounce upon the productions of the Learned, form his Taste to a true Relish of the Sublime and the Admirable, and divide every Beauty of Matter or of Style from the Corruption that Apes i t ; In their common perusal of Books, singling out the Errors and Defects, the Nauseous, the Fulsome, the Dull, and the Impertinent, with the Caution of a Man that walks thro' Edenborough Streets in a Morning, who is indeed as careful as he can, to watch diligently, and spy out the F i l t h in his Way, not that he is curious to observe the Colour and Complexion of the Ordure, or take i t s Dimensions, much less to be padling in, or tasting i t : but only with a Design to come out as cleanly as he may. (pp. 92-93). The "modern" c r i t i c performs an entirely different function in the literary world of the Tale. The disparity between the "author's" definition of the ancient c r i t i c ' s concept of literary taste and the definition of modern literary taste, implied by his prurient analogy offers a comment upon both i i 6 . the modern c r i t i c s and the writers who pander to their arrogance. Swift's c r i t e r i a in A Tale of a Tub are deliberately few, for " . . . as Health is but one-Thing, and has always been the same, whereas Diseases are by Thousands, besides new and daily Additions; So, a l l the Virtues that have ever been in Mankind, are to be counted upon a few Fingers but his Follies and Vices are innumerable, and Time adds hourly to the Heap." (p. 50). Those c r i t i c s who see in such sentiments only the desperate and intense pessimism so often attributed to Swift would do well to consider carefully the evidence that may be offered to corroborate an affirmation of Swift's fundamental optimism. Swift repudiated theories of man's per f e c t i b i l i t y through reason simply because they were unrealistic. The hope of perfection, i f unrealized frequently degenerates into disillusionment at the human failure to conform to unattainable and id e a l i s t i c expectations. Swift had few illusions con-cerning the human capacity for leading a virtuous l i f e . But he did have certain standards derived from observation of the individuals he admired and respected. Men.could reasonably be expected to reach certain stages of moral and spiritual maturity, i f provided with the opportunities to do so. But the instruments of delusion, the mountebanks, offered obstacles to the individual's progress toward maturity. The unthinking acceptance of prevalent values and opinions precluded subsequent moral and spiritual de-velopment, and the individual signified the cessation of his progress by 117. h i s adherence to the s u p e r f i c i a l doctrines of sartorism. Conversely, fan a t i c enthusiasm d i s t o r t e d the judgment, and the cessation of progress was s i g n i f i e d by the i n d i v i d u a l ' s m i l i t a n t z e a l . Coercion i n p o l i t i c a l or r e l i g i o u s matters was the instrument of the highwayman, who hindered the i n d i v i d u a l ' s progress toward p o l i t i c a l or r e l i g i o u s maturity by i n s p i r -ing him with a fear of the personal consequences of constructive a c t i o n . A v a r i e t y of r e l i g i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n s d i s t r a c t e d the i n d i v i d u a l with perplex-ing doubts and questionings. The only s o l u t i o n to the problems presented by s o c i a l i n s t a b i l i t y , p o l i t i c a l f a c t i o n , and l i t e r a r y competition for the a t t e n t i o n of men was a r e - a f f i r m a t i o n of moral, r e l i g i o u s , p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l values sanctioned by C h r i s t i a n and humanistic t r a d i t i o n s . Swift's s a t i r e s bring i n t o juxtaposition with these t r a d i t i o n a l values, the values to which the "moderns" subscribe. In the subsequent process of contrast and comparison, Swift puts h i s opponents as much i n the wrong as po s s i b l e . Swift most frequently allows h i s opponents to condemn themselves by t h e i r own arguments, su i t a b l y d i s t o r t e d for the purpose by the persona, or "mask," established by Swift as the representative of a p a r t i c u l a r system or a t t i t u d e i n a dramatic s i t u a t i o n . The dramatic s i t u a t i o n i n A Tale of a  Tub consists of the c o n f l i c t between the wits and the i n s t i t u t i o n s of church and state. ;Fhe Tale has been commissioned by the o f f i c i a l s of church and state to provide diversion for the wits, pending the formulation and 118. application of more effective methods to ensure a more complete and perman-ent solution to the problem of p o l i t i c a l and religious instability in the commonwealth. As the Tale develops, the reader becomes aware of the attitudes of the "author", of the attitudes of his opponents, and of the reader's own attitude toward analogous circumstances in the real world. The "author's" persistent muddling of the material and the spiritual i s a form of quackery familiar to the inhabitants of both worlds. The Aeolist's pretensions to "inspiration" are similarly familiar to the historian and the observer of both worlds. The superficiality of the sartorist and the "author's" delusion of f e l i c i t y are the consequences, in both the Tubbian and the real world, of an apathetic acceptance of doctrines that are agreeable, fashionable, fa c i l e , and expedient. The reader becomes increasingly cognizant of the existence and methods in his own world of the mountebank, the highwayman, and the zealot. As a consequence of his new and c l a r i f i e d perception of the sig-nificance of events and attitudes in his own world, the reader perceives in the various proselytizers clamouring for his attention, the various symptoms of the mechanical operation of the s p i r i t . Rigidity of opinion, i n f l e x i b i l -ity of thought processes, speculation bred of a diseased imagination, vanity, credulity, arrogance, avarice, and a l l the other indications of the govern-ment of the reason by the passions that constitutes the mechanical operation 1.19. of the sp i r i t become recognizable and repugnant. The reader detects in his own attitudes and actions those of the ready proselyte. He recognizes in his fear of p o l i t i c a l reprisal, the instinctive and mechanical operation of the sp i r i t of expediency in the interests of physical and mental ease. Similarly, the reader becomes aware of those foolish aspirations which impel him to seek public approval, wealth, tranquillity of mind, sensual gratification or some other illusory advantage claimed by the mountebank on behalf of a particular opinion, system, party, or sect. The new insight into the r i g i d processes of the mountebank's s p i r i t which culminate in the charlatan's infatuation with his own "nostrum" and zeal for i t s rapid pro-pagation, i s accompanied by the reader's new insight into the r i g i d i t y of his own mental processes which would previously have culminated in his own infatuation with the proffierred "nostrum." Man's new awareness of his own limitations i s sufficient j u s t i -fication for a subsequent distrust of the rational abstractions proclaimed as "universal truths" by zealous philosophers and sc i e n t i f i c speculators. The affirmation of human dignity by virtue of human reason is suspect. Extremes of rationalism and extremes of superstitious ignorance are the consequences of identical habits of thought. Elimination of spiritual ele-ments from the universe of the scientist is a logical extension of the philosophy of material mechanism. The Rosicrucian confusion of material and spiritual processes i s similarly a logical extension of the philosophy of 120. material mechanism. The Roman Catholic insistence upon the validity of transsubstantiation and the efficacy of material substances in the invocation of divine assistance has it s foundation in the assumptions shared by the Rosicrucian and the Calvinist. Fanatics, fops, virtuosi, and hack writers are both victims of, and advocates for the mechanical operation of the spiri t by which they are united in a community of identity. The participants and propagators concerned with the turbulent controversies of the age represent the divergent extremes to which the same mental process operating upon identical basic assumptions may lead. The factor which determines the ultimate nature of the particular extreme is the bias or prejudice of the speculator. The reader's recognition that extremes of ^ faction are merely extremes of opinion, without any reference to the validity or rationality of the basic assumption or of the process of reasoning, compels him to reject the controversy. A Tale of a Tub is an instruction manual in the arts of controversy, and i s i t s e l f the agent of faction. Consequently, the "author's" assertion that he is trying the modern experiment of "writing upon nothing" i s l i t e r -ally true. Extremes of faction engage in disputes which consist only of the constant repetition in new and singular forms of arguments in ju s t i -fication of opinions. The arguments are "nothing" simply because they are only words employed to support opinions unconformable to the facts of experience. 121. The reader's apprehension of the fundamental irrationality of faction and his perception of the abuses of reason occasioned by the mechanical operation of the s p i r i t prompt him to reject the arguments of the "author," in whose preoccupation with the bigotry of form and in whose obsession with prurient imagery the reader recognizes the manifestations of the mechanical operation of the s p i r i t . The "author's" admission of his own madness hardly comes as a surprise, but rather as confirmation of an already strong suspicion. Once the "author" has confirmed his insanity, there is really no point in reading the remainder of the Tale. He has said a l l there is to say about himself and about the world he has created. The fin a l sections of the Tale are merely concessions to the modern literary form, which is l i t e r a l l y "form without content," a particular species of madness. But the reader s t i l l must deal with his own world, and with the various inhabitants of that world who insist upon dabbling in the ordure of mechanical materialism, literary speculation, religious fanaticism, and p o l i t i c a l faction. He may return to the state of f e l i c i t y recommended by the "author" of the Tale as the "perpetual possession of being well deceived," or he may attempt to retrieve and apply in action those values suggested by Swift's c r i t e r i a . The sartorist definition of f e l i c i t y has already been disgraced, so there i s really no alternative. * * * * * 12:2. BIBLIOGRAPHY Acworth, Bernard. Swift. London, 1947. Baugh, Albert C., Tucker Brooke, Samuel C. Chew, Kamp Malone, Geo. Sherburn. 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