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Intelligencer, No. 7

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2021

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

——Probitas laudatur & alget.

Headnote

Published c. 22–5 June; copy text 1728 (see Textual Account).

A continuation of the discussion of the meanings of so-called ‘discretion’ in The Intelligencer, no. 5, this paper offers the parabolic cases of the self-serving Corusodes, and his inevitable advancement, with the failures of Eugenio, a talented but uncalculating student who becomes trapped in the life of genteel poverty of a provincial clergyman. Although the paper is meant to represent the sombre universal theme of the triumph of calculation and the insincere, Swift's story has more immediate relevance: the depiction of the snivelling and time-serving can be seen as Low Church characteristics. Equally, the talented and scholarly (but over-looked) clergyman would have had strong political resonance in the ecclesiastical preferment of Whig clergymen after 1714 and the corresponding reduced circumstances of High Churchmen like Swift and his friend Francis Atterbury.

THE INTELLIGENCER.

CORUSODES an Oxford Student, and a Farmer's Son, was never absent from Prayers, or Lecture, nor once out of his College after Tom had tolld. He spent every Day ten hours in his Closet, in Reading his Courses, Dozing, clipping Papers, or darning his Stockings, which last he performed to Admiration.He could be soberly Drunk at the expence of others, with College Ale, and at those Seasons was always most Devout. He wore the same Gown five Years, without dagling or tearing. He never once looked into a Play-book or a Poem. He read Virgil and Ramus in the same Cadence, but with a very different Taste.He never understood a Jest, or had the least Conception ofWit.

For one saying he stands in Renown to this Day. Being with some other Students over a Pot of Ale; one of the Company said so many pleasant things, that the rest were much diverted, only Corusodes was silent and unmoved. When they parted, he called this merry Companion aside, and said; Sir, I perceived by your often speaking, and our Friends laughing, that you spoke many jests, and you could not but observe my Silence. But Sir this is my humour, I never make a jest myself, nor ever laugh at another Man’s.

Type
Chapter
Information
Irish Political Writings after 1725
A Modest Proposal and Other Works
, pp. 64 - 72
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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