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The WHIG EXAMINER.

No 1. Thursday, September 14, 1710.

Nescia mens hominum fati fortifque future,
Et servare modum, rebus fublata fecundis !
Turno tempus erit, magno cum optaverit emptum
Inta&tum Pallanta, & cum fpolia ifta diemque
Oderit,

HE design of this work is to cen

fure the writings of others, and to T

give all persons a rehearing, who have suffered under any unjust sentence of the Examiner. As that

Author has hitherto proceeded, his paper would have been more properly entitled the Executioner : at least his examination is like that which is made by the rack and wheel. I have always admired a Critic that has discovered the beauties of an author, and never knew one who made it his business to lash the faults of other writers, that was not guilty of greater himself;

as

.

as the bangman is generally a worse malefactor, than the criminal that fuffers by his hand. To prove what I say, there needs no more than to read the annotations which this Author has made upon Dr. Garth's Poem, with the preface in the front, and a riddle at the end of them : To begin with the first: Did ever an advocate for a party open with such an unfortunate assertion? The collełtive body of the Whigs have already engrossed our riches : That is, in plain English, the Whigs are poffeffed of all the riches in the nation, Is not this giving up all he has been contending for these fix weeks? Is there any thing more reasonable, than that thofe who have all the riches' of the nation in their pofleffion, or if he likes his own phrafe better, as indeed I think it is stronger, that those who have already engrosjed our riches, should have the management of our public Treasure, and the direction of our fleets and armies ? But let us proceed: Their Representative the Kit-Cat have pretended to make a Monopoly of our fense. Well, but what does all this end in? If the author means any thing it is this, That to prevent such a Monopoly of fenle, he is refolved to deal in it himself by retail, and fell a pennyworth of it every week. In what follows, there is such a shocking familiarity both in his ralleries and civilities, that one cannot long be in doubt who is the Author. The re. maining part of the preface has so much of the pedant, and so little of the conversation of men in it, that I shall pass it over, and hasten to the riddles, which are as follows.

The

The RI D D L E.

SPHINX was a monfter, that would eat

Whatever stranger se could get ;
Unless his ready wit disclos’d
The subtle riddles Mhe propos’d.

Oedipus was resolu'd to go,
And try what strength of parts could do:
Says Sphinx, On this depends your fate :
Tell me what animal is that,
Which has four feet at morning bright?
Has two at noon, and three at night?
'Tis man, said he, who weak by nature,
At first creeps, like his fellow-creature,
Upon all four: As years accrue,
With sturdy steps he walks on two;
In age, at length, grown weak and fick,
For his third leg adopts the stick.
Now in your turn, 'tis just, methinks,
You should resolve me, Madam Sphinx,
What ftranger creature yet is he,
Who has four legs, then two, then three;
Then loses one, then gets two more,
And runs away at last on four.

The first part of this little myftical Poem is an old riddle, which we could have told the meaning of, had not the Author given himself the trouble of explaining it: but as for the exposition of the second, he leaves us altogether in the dark. The riddle runs thus : What creature is it that walks upon four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs at night? This he folves, as our forefathers have done for these two thousand

years ;

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years; and not according to Rabelais, who gives another reason why a man is said to be a creature with three legs at night. Then follows the second riddle: What creature, says he, is it that first uses four legs, then two legs, then three legs; then loses one leg, then gets two legs, and at last runs away upon four legs? Were i disposed to be splenetic, I should ask if there was any thing in the new garland of riddles fo wild, so childih, or so flat : But though I dare not go so far as that, 1 Thall take upon me to say, that the Author has stolen his hint out of the garland, from a riddle which I was better acquainted with than the Nile when I was but twelve

old. thus, Riddle my riddle my ree, what is this? Two legs fat upon three legs, and held one leg in her hand ; in came four legs, and snatch'd away one leg ; up ftarted two legs, and Aung three legs at four legs, and brought one leg back again. This Enigma, joined with the foregoing two, rings all the changes that can be made upon four legs. That I may deal more ingenu. ously with my Reader than the above-mentioned Enigmatist has done, I shall present him with a key to my riddle; which upon application he will find exactly fitted to all the words of it: one leg is a leg of mutton, two legs is a servant-maid, three legs is a joint-stool, which in the Sphinx's country was called a tripod ; as four legs is a dog, who in all nations and ages has been reckoned a quadruped. We have now the exposition of our first and third riddles upon legs; let us here, if you please, endeavour to find out the meaning of our second, which is thus in the Author's words :

It runs

years

What

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