Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-sh8wx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-17T23:05:21.916Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Intelligencer, No. 3

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2021

David Hayton
Affiliation:
Queen's University Belfast
Adam Rounce
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
Get access

Summary

Ipse per Omnes ibit Personas,

Et turbam reddet in uno.

Headnote

Published c. 25 May 1728; copy text 1728 (see Textual Account).

Swift's next contribution to the journal was a brief account of his friend John Gay's Beggar's Opera, which had, since the success of its London premiere in January, been received equally enthusiastically in Dublin, when it opened there in March. This provides Swift with opportunities for observations on the distinction between wit and humour, and on the nature of satire.

THE INTELLIGENCER.

The Players having now almost done with the Comedy, called The Beggar's Opera for this Season, it may be no unpleasant Speculation, to reflect a little upon this Dramatick Piece, so singular in the Subject, and the manner, so much an Original, and which hath frequently given so very agreeable an Entertainment.

Although an evil Tast be very apt to prevail, both here, and in London, yet there is a point which whoever can rightly Touch, will never fail of pleasing a very great Majority; so great, that the Dislikers, out of Dulness or Affectation will be silent, and forced to fall in with the Herd; the point I mean, is what we call Humour, which in its Perfection is allowed to be much preferable to Wit, if it be not rather the most useful, and agreeable Species of it.

I agreewith Sir William Temple, that the Word is peculiar to our English Tongue, but I differ from him in the Opinion, that the thing it self is peculiar to the English Nation, because the contrary may be found in many Spanish, Italian, and French Productions, and particularly, whoever hath a Tast for True Humour, will find a Hundred Instances of it in those Volumes Printed in France, under the Name of Le Theatre Italien, to say nothing of Rabelais, Cervantes, and many others.

Now I take the Comedy or Farce, (or whatever Name the Criticks will allow it) called the Beggars Opera; to excel in this Article of Humour. And, upon that Merit, to have met with such prodigious success both here, and in England.

Type
Chapter
Information
Irish Political Writings after 1725
A Modest Proposal and Other Works
, pp. 47 - 56
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×