Daily Archives: February 15, 2006

Item of the Day: Almon’s Asylum for Fugitive Pieces (1785)

Full Title:

An Asylum for Fugitive Pieces, in Prose and Verse, Not in Any Other Collection: With Several Pieces Never Before Published.

Edited by John Almon, 1737-1805. Continuation of The Foundling Hospital for Wit [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. With contents and publisher’s advertisement. Printed in London for J. Debrett, 1785.

From “A Political Receipt-Book for the Year 1784”:

How to Make a Premier.

TAKE a man with a great quantity of that sort of words which produces the greatest effect upon the many, and the least upon the few: mis them with a large proportion of affected candour and ingenuousness, introduced in a haughty and contemptuous manner. Let there be a great abundance of falshood concealed under an apparent disinterestedness and integrity; and the two last be the most professed, when the former is most practised. Let his engagements and declarations, however solemnly made, be broken and disregarded, if he thinks he can procure afterwards a popular indemnity for illegality and deceit. He must subscribe to the doctrine of passive obedience, and to the exercise of patronage, independent of his approbation; and be careless of creating the most formidable enemies, if he can gratify hte personal revenge and hatred of those who employ him, even at the expence of public ruin and general confusion.

How to make a Secretary of State.

TAKE a man in a violent passion, or a man that never had been in one; but the first is the best. Let him be concerned in making an ignominious peace, the articles of which he could not comprehend, nor cannot explain. Let him speak loud, but yet never to be heard; and to be the kind of man for a Secretary of State, when nobody else will accept of it.

How to make a President.

TAKE a man who all his life loved office, merely for its emoluments; and when measures, which he had approved, were eventually unfortunate, let him be notorious for relinquishing his share of the responsibility of them, and be stignatized for political courage in the period of prosperity and cowardice, when there exists but the appearance of danger.

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Filed under 1780's, Culture, Legal, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt