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Fielding's rapprochement with Walpole in late 1741.

During the period 1736-April 1741, (1) no one harried Walpole so effectively, with so much brazen ingenuity and gusto, as Henry Fielding. The Great Man figures variously in Fielding's writings as "a gross corrupt Carcase," "Brass," "Guts," a "notorious Quack," "the Devil," a "Leech," a "Viper," "Mammon," and the "Beast" of Revelation. (2) Equally contemptible in Fielding's eyes are Walpole's propagandists. They are "a Set of Ruffians, hired in Disguise and the Dark," who support themselves by offering "Incense to Baal"; the writer who "takes any Reward of [Walpole] ... deserves more to be hang'd, and is a more infamous VILLAIN than any on the Records of the Old Bailey." (3)

By contrast, Fielding treats the leaders of the Opposition or "Patriot" party, from 1737 at least, with respect bordering on veneration: "there are now amongst those Gentlemen who are styled the Opposition, Men in Genius, Learning, and Knowledge so infinitely superior to the rest of their Countrymen, and of Integrity so eminent, that should they ... be in the Possession of Power, they will be able to triumph over, and trample upon all the Ridicule which any Wit or Humour could level at them." (4) Walpole's blandishments and bribes can never tempt him to betray such men: "I have been offered my own Terms to exert my Talent of Ridicule ... against some Persons (dead and living) whom I shall never mention but with Honour." (5)

Such a high-minded stand would have been reinforced in Fielding's case by a considerable personal grievance against the Administration. By the Licensing Act of 21 June 1737, which Walpole pushed through Parliament very much with Fielding's productions at the Little Haymarket in mind, Fielding's spectacularly successful career as a dramatist and theater manager was effectually terminated.

It is, therefore, puzzling and disturbing to find Fielding, after eschewing political writing for several months, re-emerging in The Opposition (December 1741) as, in all appearance, a ministerial propagandist. Walpole is now "a fat Gentleman who ... appeared to have one of the pleasantest best-natured Countenances I had ever beheld," a man "with a Countenance full of Benignity" who courageously follows the true interest of his country; and the leaders of the Opposition are a sorry group of self-serving hypocrites. (6) It is not surprising that The Opposition has, in Bertrand A. Goldgar's words, "formed the crux in all accounts of [Fielding's] politics." (7)

In his History of Henry Fielding (1918), Wilbur L. Cross concedes that if Fielding had not acknowledged writing The Opposition "no one would have dared assign [it] to him from internal evidence." He finds, however, no real shift in Fielding's political allegiance, suggesting, rather lamely, that the pamphlet was only "a good-natured rebuke" of the Opposition leaders. (8)

Martin Battestin was the first scholar to advance the bold hypothesis that Fielding did, in fact, at some time in 1741, strike a deal with Walpole to defect from the Opposition. His argument, introduced in "Fielding's Changing Politics and Joseph Andrews" (1960) and later developed and refined by Goldgar and Battestin himself, (9) is based on strong circumstantial evidence.

First, there is the clear sense of Fielding's words in the pamphlet, praising Walpole, excoriating the Opposition, and picturing himself allegorically as a beneficiary of Walpole's largesse. (10) Second, Fielding's startling admission in the Champion (4 October 1740), fourteen months earlier, that he had once accepted Walpole's money "to stop the Publication of a Book." (11) Third, various hints in the ministerial journal the Daily Gazetteer, over the period March to November 1741, that Fielding was about to change sides, was "whimpering to get over"; and the subsequent rumor, which Fielding was forced to deny publicly, that he had actually written for the Gazetteer. (12) Fourth, Fielding's abandonment of the Champion and all other political writing for the Opposition by late spring 1741 and his objection in June 1741 to reprinting the Champion. (13) Fifth, Walpole's surprisingly munificent subscription of twenty guineas for ten sets on royal paper of Fielding's Miscellanies, "a sum so generous," as Battestin points out, "that it matches the gifts of Fielding's good friend Charles Hanbury Williams and of his chief benefactor, Ralph Allen, and ... far exceeds the contributions" of Fielding's main patrons in the Opposition, Lyttelton, Chesterfield, and Dodington. (14) Sixth, the statement by a hostile writer several years later that Fielding did make such a deal: "at last [Fielding] took a small pecuniary Gratuity to betray his Paymasters and [the Champion], out of which he had for some time extracted a precarious Subsistence." (15) Finally, there is Fielding's own defensive attitude to the subject of political tergiversation, expressed most memorably in the Jacobite's Journal (26 March 1748):

In a Time ... of profound Tranquillity, and when the Consequence, at the worst, can probably be no greater than the Change of a Ministry, I do not think a Writer, whose only Livelihood is his Pen, to deserve a very flagitious Character, if, when one Set of Men deny him Encouragement, he seeks it from another, at their Expence; nor will I rashly condemn such a Writer as the vilest of Men, (provided he keeps within the Rules of Decency) if he endeavours to make the best of his own Cause, and uses a little Art in blackening his Adversary. Why should a Liberty which is allowed to every other Advocate, be deny'd to this? (16)

Battestin's hypothesis, however, has been challenged by W. B. Coley, a very knowledgeable student of Fielding's work and its political context, in "Henry Fielding and the Two Walpoles" (1966). Coley discriminates between the various power centers contained in the Opposition: "the Pulteney-Carteret bloc of Whig malcontents, the coterie still centering around the Prince of Wales, Argyll and his Scots, Shippen and his Tories, `the Boys' of the Cobhamite alignment, and mercurial, almost centripetal figures like Chesterfield and Bolingbroke." Cutting across several of these divisions was a "loose grouping" consisting of "Chesterfield, Lyttelton and the more progressive advocates of a `broad-bottom' policy of Opposition" which was broadly inclusive but defined itself especially by its opposition to the Pulteney-Carteret Whigs and the Tories. Coley associates Fielding, quite correctly, with this "broad bottom" faction. (17)

The Opposition, Coley's argument runs, is simply a reflection of internecine tensions as the various factions positioned themselves to take advantage of Walpole's worsening political difficulties, a reflection especially of the growing distrust of Pulteney and Carteret, the nominal leaders of the party. Fielding shifted his political beliefs somewhat but remained true to his own faction: "Fielding's political inconstancy, which like that of Lyttelton and others was very real and hardly atypical, did not extend so far as the taking of pay from the Great Man.... [T]he case for so extreme an apostasy does not seem proved.... Fielding changed his politics, to be sure, but he changed with his party, so to speak, or with a considerable segment of it." (18)

Thomas R. Cleary, in his monograph Henry Fielding: Political Writer (1984), supports Coley's position with a more detailed description of the machinations of the various Opposition factions in the months before Walpole's fall in February 1742. As it became increasingly obvious that Walpole needed to bolster his support by co-opting some part of the Opposition, odd accommodations and coalitions began to be bruited about. Cleary emphasizes particularly a rumor that around December 1741 Lyttelton himself was negotiating with Walpole, "presumably on behalf of his faction." (19) With this background in mind, The Opposition can be understood, Cleary argues, as "a reflection of [Fielding's] Broad-Bottom loyalties and a position fleetingly adopted in December 1741 by his patrons, not a betrayal of those loyalties." Fielding "did not `sell out,' any more than `change parties,' in 1741 or at any time between the formation of the Broad-Bottom faction in 1735 and the end of his career." (20)

This careful exposition of the complex political situation around the time of Walpole's fall clarifies the discussion. In his original article of 1960, Battestin treats the Opposition as monolithic. Almost all the anti-Patriot satire he cites there from Joseph Andrews and the Miscellanies can be understood as an attack on the Pulteney-Carteret faction for its accommodation with the new government rather than as a radical shift of Fielding's loyalties. (21) The Coley-Cleary thesis of factional in-fighting, however, does not seem sufficient to explain Fielding's position in The Opposition. In that pamphlet, as Battestin has noted in his biography of Fielding (1989), there is no clear distinction between good and bad elements of the Opposition, and several satiric thrusts are aimed specifically at the "broad bottom" faction. (22) Still, the political maneuverings of this critical period are so obscure and so potentially complex, that the question of whether or not Fielding made a deal with Walpole can probably never be resolved without further external evidence.

Fortunately, such evidence does exist, in a letter from Thomas Harris to his brother James, dated 5 December 1741, ten days before The Opposition was published. Harris writes: "Our Friend F-l-g is actually reconciled to [y.sup.e] great Man, & as He says upon very advantageous Terms, but this is as yet a Secret; this He told Me Himself yesterday." (23) Both Thomas and James Harris were close friends of Fielding's, the latter being, in fact, Fielding's closest friend in the 1740s. In his correspondence with his brother, Thomas Harris refers elsewhere to Fielding in this way, by surname only (even if here, as a nod to the fact that he is conveying a secret, he "embowels" the name). (24)

Fielding's desertion of the Opposition should be distinguished from his reconciliation with Walpole, as recorded in this letter. He seems to have deserted the Patriot cause as early as April and to have kept aloof from any anti-Walpole activities throughout the summer, abandoning political writing and voting against the Champion reprint. (25) His active acceptance of Walpole's patronage, however, probably took place a few months later, not long before the publication of The Opposition. Harris implies that this accommodation was recent, perhaps around late November or early December, and such a date seems plausible. Fielding defected as a writer; there would be no point in his changing sides and then keeping out of the fray. With his facility at composition, he could still easily have written The Opposition in time for publication by December 15. (26)

Because of the nature of this deal, it is unlikely that any further details of the "very advantageous Terms" Fielding secured, or thought he had secured, will come to light. No disbursements to Fielding are listed in the Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers for the years 1739-45. (27) Payments to Fielding, like those to Defoe in the period 1710-14, may, of course, have been entered under a false name. (28) More probably, any payments he received were part of the usual unrecorded disbursements for secret service made by the Secretary of the Treasury or the Secretaries of State and are now untraceable. (29)

If, as seems probable, Fielding did not reach agreement with Walpole until the end of November 1741 or later, arrangements for any compensation due him may never have been completed. Walpole had much more important things on his mind during this desperate period as his ministry was collapsing, and, after his resignation on 2 February 1742, he would no longer be in a position to grant Fielding any public money or place. He could do little more, if he still wished to honor his commitment, than to patronize Fielding privately. This is just the step he did take with his generous subscription to the Miscellanies, perhaps some time after the public announcement of the subscription project in June 1742. (30) At the end of his life, in the Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, Fielding could look back on Walpole as "one of the best of men and of ministers"--a sign that in the event he did not feel himself treated unfairly. (31)

Fielding's career as a ministerial propagandist was brief. In his Full Vindication of the Dutchess Dowager of Marlborough (April 1742), probably written as an attempt to gain patronage from the Duchess, Walpole's arch-enemy, (32) he returned to the attack, throwing in a reference to Walpole as "the Corruptor" of the liberties of his country. (33) Perhaps at this point Fielding still had not received any patronage, public or otherwise, from Walpole and felt he was at liberty to write against him.

Privately, however, Fielding's attitude to Walpole in the spring of 1742 was ambivalent. In a letter to James Harris, written at about the time he was finishing the Full Vindication, he encloses a list of the Committee of Secrecy, chosen by the House of Commons to inquire into Walpole's conduct as Prime Minister, with the total vote each man received. His reference to the anti-Walpole composition of the committee is oddly evasive: "You will perhaps join the [gen.sup.l] Joy on the Majority you will perceive on the Side of the Opposition: for my own Part, I am not at present easy enough at home to regard what passes abroad." (34) He can compile a detailed list of the committee members with votes received but is too distracted by domestic concerns to express any opinion about Walpole's discomfort. Though he feels compelled to insult Walpole as part of his pitch for the Duchess of Marlborough's patronage, in his private correspondence, when writing as a free man, he refuses to gloat.

Fielding's experiences of politics and politicians during the months around Walpole's fall encouraged him in a feeling of general disillusionment and cynicism. After April 1742, he avoided extensive political writing for at least two and a half years, apparently toning down his political references in the Miscellanies (1743), especially his attack on Walpole in Jonathan Wild. (35) He may have written An Attempt towards a Natural History of the Hanover Rat (November 1744), a pamphlet supporting Lyttelton and the new Opposition against the ministry headed by Carteret, now Lord Granville. (36) It was not, however, until October 1745 that Fielding appeared again as an established political champion, now of the administration of Henry Pelham, Walpole's former lieutenant, who had formed an alliance the year before with Fielding's old friends of the "broad bottom" faction. (37)

What does Fielding's deal with Walpole in late 1741 reveal about his character? Much of the impulse to deny the existence of such a deal and of Fielding's change of politics in The Opposition is based on a desire to save him from the charge of lack of integrity, of giving up his principles for mercenary reasons. Fielding's defense of such tergiversation in the passage from the Jacobite's Journal quoted above, however, is sound and convincing. As a lawyer himself, and with his own past conduct very much in mind, he speaks there of the political writer in legal terms as an "Advocate," opposing his "Adversary" in a quasi-judicial proceeding. The "Liberty" he upholds for such a writer, however, is strictly circumscribed. He would never, for example, condone selling out to the Jacobites. (38) In a situation like that of December 1741, though, "when the Consequence, at the worst, can probably be no greater than the Change of a Ministry," Fielding reserves the right to consider his own prospects and career.

Lewis M. Wiggin has remarked: "There is no instance [with the possible exception of Pitt's first ministry] concerning ministerial arrangements ... between 1733 and 1763 where principles held by those lately in opposition were not either completely disregarded or severely compromised." (39) If the leaders of the Opposition, men of wealth and power such as Lyttelton and Dodington, could adjust their principles so conveniently, what blame can attach to a mere "Advocate" for the cause, desperately in need of money to support his family?

Perhaps, however, Fielding's conduct can be exonerated even more fully. His change of party, prudent as it must have seemed for financial considerations, may have been based on real conviction, on a growing skepticism of Opposition diatribes, including his own. Fielding's political position in December 1741 has been undercut, in scholars' minds, by his previous imaginative hyberboles; he has become the victim of his own literary abilities. We are caught up in the power of his attacks on Walpole, just as in the apocalyptic grandeur of the final lines of Pope's Dunciad. Both Fielding's attacks and Pope's despairing vision, however, are much better literature than history. Walpole certainly had flaws: he aggrandized himself and his family, cashiered other politicians who crossed him, stifled the freedom of the stage, and harassed the political press. But the Opposition's portrait of him as a vicious tyrant, seeking to introduce a "general corruption" and to betray the interests of his nation to France and Spain is, to say the least, greatly over-blown.

The second epigraph affixed to The Opposition, "Audi alteram Partem" ("hear the other side") is, then, very much in order; the apologist for Walpole's government had a legitimate case to make. In The Opposition, Fielding, probably acting from motives both of prudence and of principle, set out to honor his bargain by making this case and produced what is certainly one of the ablest defenses of Walpole ever written.

Charlottesville, Virginia


(1) This dating involves acceptance of The Crisis (16 April 1741) as Fielding's (see following note).

I am grateful to Prof. Martin C. Battestin and to my wife, Anne Ribble, for their help on this paper.

(2) "Carcase" (Common Sense, 21 May 1737; The Criticism of Henry Fielding, ed. Ioan Williams [London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970], 26); "Brass" (Champion, 17 May 1740; The Complete Works of Henry Fielding, ed. William Ernest Henley [London: William Heinemann, 1903], 15:311); "Guts" (Champion, 12 June 1740; original issue); "Quack" (Champion, 17 June 1740; original issue); "Devil" (Champion, 1 July 1740; original issue); "Leech" and "Viper" (An Address to the Electors of Great Britain [Edinburgh, 1740], 76, 86); "Mammon" (The Vernoniad [London, 1741], 6-37); "Beast" (The Crisis [London, 1741], passim). Cf. Martin C. Battestin with Ruthe R. Battestin, Henry Fielding: A Life (London: Routledge, 1989), 323. An Address and The Crisis are not accepted as Fielding's by all scholars; see Battestins, Henry Fielding, 287-88, 297.

(3) Preface to "Of True Greatness" (1741), rpt. as Appendix A in Miscellanies, Volume One, ed. Henry Knight Miller (Wesleyan U. Press, 1972), 247 (first two quotations); Champion, 4 October 1740, original issue.

(4) Common Sense, 21 May 1737 (Criticism, ed. Williams, 26).

(5) Preface to "Of True Greatness" (Miscellanies, Volume One, ed. Miller, 248).

(6) The Opposition. A Vision (London: T. Cooper, 1742), 20, 23, 24; and passim. The work was actually published 15 December 1741 (Daily Gazetteer).

(7) Walpole and the Wits: The Relation of Politics to Literature, 1722-1742 (U. of Nebraska Press, 1976), 203.

(8) The History of Henry Fielding (1918; rpt., New York: Russell & Russell, 1963), 1:298. Fielding acknowledges his authorship of The Opposition in the Preface to the Miscellanies (ed. Miller, 15).

(9) "Fielding's Changing Politics and Joseph Andrews," PQ 39 (1960): 39-55; Goldgar, Walpole and the Wits, 197-208; Battestins, Henry Fielding, 317-24, and cf. 282-85, 296.

(10) "Fielding's Changing Politics," 44-47; Walpole and the Wits, 204-5. As Goldgar points out, "there is no question of irony here" (Walpole and the Wits, 203).

(11) Walpole and the Wits, 197-98; Henry Fielding, 285.

(12) For the hints in the Gazetteer of Fielding's imminent defection, see Walpole and the Wits, 200-03, Henry Fielding, 296, 318-20; the quotation in the text is from the Gazetteer of 30 October 1741. Fielding denies having written for that journal in the Preface to the Miscellanies (ed. Miller, 14); see "Fielding's Changing Politics," 40 and 49.

(13) "Fielding's Changing Politics," 47-49, especially n. 10; Walpole and the Wits, 200-1; Henry Fielding, 297.

(14) "Fielding's Changing Politics," 49. See also Hugh Amory, "Documentary Appendix B: The Subscribers to Fielding's Miscellanies," in Miscellanies, Volume Three, ed. Goldgar and Amory (Wesleyan U. Press, 1997), 336-37.

(15) Old England (5 August 1749); quoted Henry Fielding, 324.

(16) The Jacobite's Journal and Related Writings, ed. W. B. Coley (Wesleyan U. Press, 1975), 215. See Henry Fielding, 282-85, 291. Battestin also points out that The Opposition carries the imprint of Thomas Cooper, whom Fielding once satirically dubbed "Publisher-General to the Ministerial-Society," and was advertised in the Daily Gazetteer (Henry Fielding, 320). This evidence, however, although of some weight, should be treated with caution. Cooper was a trade publisher who allowed his name to be used in imprints but generally had little financial or personal connection with the work involved; see Michael Treadwell, "London Trade Publishers 1675-1750," Library, 6th ser. 4 (1982): 99-134, esp. 111. Advertisement in the Daily Gazetteer, moreover, would be appropriate even if the pamphlet represented merely interfactional squabbling among the Opposition, as has been alleged against Battestin's thesis (see text below), rather than an abandonment by Fielding of his Opposition patrons.

(17) "Henry Fielding and the Two Walpoles," PQ 45 (1966): 157-78; quotations from 162.

(18) Coley, 177-78.

(19) Henry Fielding: Political Writer (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier U. Press, 1984), 159-60. Cleary cites Richard Glover's Memoirs by a Celebrated Literary and Political Character (London, 1814), 4-5n, a work regarded by many historians as unreliable; see, for example, John B. Owen's classic study The Rise of the Pelhams (London: Methuen & Co., 1957), 81 n. 3, 88 n. 3. Evidence has recently been uncovered, however, which may corroborate Glover's assertion. See "A Leicester House Political Diary, 1742-3," ed. Robert Harris, Camden Miscellany XXXI, Camden 4th ser. 44 (1992): 379-80, 385.

(20) Cleary, 8, 162.

(21) "Fielding's Changing Politics," 47-53. A possible exception might be the episode in Joseph Andrews (book 2, chapters 7-9), in which the false "Man of Courage" attacks the Administration's conduct of the war with Spain and the maintenance of a large standing army, positions associated with Pulteney and Carteret before their defection but still held by Lyttelton and other members of the "broad bottom" faction in 1742.

(22) Fielding, for example, ridicules the anti-Walpole parliamentary "Motion" of 13 February 1741, which was championed by Lyttelton and his faction, and sarcastically transforms the title of Lyttelton and Chesterfield's journal Common Sense into "[N]onsense"; see Henry Fielding, 321-22. One other satiric touch, not mentioned by Battestin, is Fielding's jibe at the "Secession" (Opposition, 10-11), an embarrassing attempt in 1739, which Lyttelton and Chesterfield warmly supported, to boycott the proceedings of the House of Commons. On the "Secession," see Rose Mary Davis, The Good Lord Lyttelton: A Study in Eighteenth Century Politics and Culture (Bethlehem, Penn.: Times Publishing Company, 1939), 89-90, 92; and Philip Woodfine, Britannia's Glories: The Walpole Ministry and the 1739 War with Spain (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1998), 201-03, 228-29.

(23) Malmesbury Papers, Hampshire Record Office, 9M73/G307/15. The phrase "very advantageous Terms" echoes Fielding's phrase "offered my own Terms" in the Preface to "Of True Greatness" (quoted above).

(24) Cf. letters of 2 April 1743 ("Fielding tells Me You intend to print Notes with [y.sup.r] Dialogues") and 12 August 1743 ("I hear by Fielding [y.sup.t] You have been at Bath") (Malmesbury Papers, 9M73/G308/3 and 8). In the Jacobite's Journal (ed. Coley, 96), Fielding refers facetiously to "all the Words which I embowel, or rather emvowel."

(25) See note 13 above.

(26) In Eurydice Hiss'd (line 263), Fielding speaks of "[writing] nine scenes with spirit in one day." See Henry Fielding, 176; and cf. Henry Fielding, 304, on Fielding's remarkably rapid composition of Shamela.

(27) [Great Britain. Public Record Office], Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers, prepared by William A. Shaw (1897-1903; rpt., Nendeln/Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint, 1974), 4 (1739-1741), 5 (1742-1745).

(28) Defoe appears in the secret service accounts under the name "Claude Guilot" and perhaps other aliases as well. See Laurence Hanson, Government and the Press, 1695-1763 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936), 95-96.

(29) See Shaw's "Introduction" to Calendar, 4: vii: "the Treasury records here calendared contain only entries of payments to these various Secretaries for such service. They contain no entries whatever of payments by them in accordance therewith... this complete suppression of information is managed by the simple device of making the payments to the Secretaries `without account, imprest, or other charge,' words which released [them] from any liability to account before the Auditors of Imprests for the amounts received by them at the Exchequer. To whom therefore, or for what purposes the Secretaries paid away all these moneys can not at all be learned from the Treasury records." Cf. Pope's remark to Joseph Spence, recorded in Spence, Observations, Anecdotes, and Characters of Books and Men, ed. James M. Osborn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 1:99 (number 229): "[Craggs] told me as a real friend that a pension of 300 [pounds sterling] a year was at my service, and that as he had the management of the secret-service money in his hands he could pay me such a pension yearly without anyone's knowing that I had it." Scholars have not unearthed any references to Fielding in Walpole's own records of transactions with ministerial writers, found among the Cholmondeley (Houghton) manuscripts at Cambridge University Library.

(30) For this announcement, see Miscellanies, Volume One, ed. Miller, xlvi. Since, as Fielding makes clear, subscription receipts had been

circulating for some time, it is perfectly possible, of course, that Walpole subscribed several months earlier.

(31) The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, ed. Harold E. Pagliaro (New York: Nardon Press, 1963), 91. This passage was long taken to be ironic (see, for example, Pagliaro's note and Cross, History, 3:63). Most scholars now, however, regard Fielding's praise as sincere. For this latter opinion, see Hollis Rinehart, "The Role of Walpole in Fielding's Jonathan Wild," English Studies in Canada 5 (1979): 420; Cleary, 301; Henry Fielding, 589; and Amory's note at Miscellanies, Volume Three, 21 (n. 6).

(32) Henry Knight Miller, Essays on Fielding's "Miscellanies": A Commentary on Volume One (Princeton U. Press, 1961), 7.

(33) A Full Vindication (London, 1742), 38.

(34) Fielding to Harris, 27 March 1742 (The Correspondence of Henry and Sarah Fielding, ed. Battestin and Clive T. Probyn [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993], 21-22).

(35) Cf. Goldgar, Walpole and the Wits, 206-07: "the Miscellanies, despite the political cast of much of the material, manages to project the image of a man of letters who has had ties on both sides in a struggle that is now mercifully over."

(36) Coley concludes his careful examination of the arguments for Fielding's authorship by acknowledging that the tract has some claim to "canonical status," but still remains "in a category of unproved or uncertain works" ("Did Fielding Write the Rat?' Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 88 [1994], 13-35; quotation from p. 33).

(37) The Pelham-"broad bottom" administration was formed over a period of around six weeks, beginning in late November 1744 (Owen, Rise of the Pelhams, 239-50). Fielding's first political work in its behalf was A Serious Address to the People of Great Britain (3 October 1745).

(38) Cf. Henry Fielding, 324.

(39) The Faction of Cousins: A Political Account of the Grenvilles, 1733-63 (Yale U. Press, 1958), 30-31; as quoted in Cleary, 166.
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Title Annotation:Henry Fielding, Horace Walpole
Author:Ribble, Frederick G.
Publication:Philological Quarterly
Article Type:Critical Essay
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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