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Idler 007 [No. 7: Scheme for news-writers]
by [?]

On Monday Morning the Captain of a ship might arrive, who left the Friseur of France, and the Bull-dog, Captain Grim, in sight of one another, so that an engagement seemed unavoidable.

Monday Evening. A sound of cannon was heard off Cape Finisterre, supposed to be those of the Bull-dog and Friseur.

Tuesday Morning. It was this morning reported that the Bull-dog engaged the Friseur, yard-arm and yard-arm, three glasses and a half, but was obliged to sheer off for want of powder. It is hoped that inquiry will be made into this affair in a proper place.

Tuesday Evening. The account of the engagement between the Bull-dog and Friseur was premature.

Wednesday Morning. Another express is arrived, which brings news, that the Friseur had lost all her masts, and three hundred of her men, in the late engagement; and that Captain Grim is come into harbour much shattered.

Wednesday Evening. We hear that the brave Captain Grim, having expended his powder, proposed to enter the Friseur sword in hand; but that his lieutenant, the nephew of a certain nobleman, remonstrated against it.

Thursday Morning. We wait impatiently for a full account of the late engagement between the Bull-dog and Friseur.

Thursday Evening. It is said the order of the Bath will be sent to Captain Grim.

Friday Morning. A certain Lord of the Admiralty has been heard to say of a certain Captain, that if he had done his duty, a certain French ship might have been taken. It was not thus that merit was rewarded in the days of Cromwell.

Friday Evening. There is certain information at the Admiralty, that the Friseur is taken, after a resistance of two hours.

Saturday Morning. A letter from one of the gunners of the Bull-dog mentions the taking of the Friseur, and attributes their success wholly to the bravery and resolution of Captain Grim, who never owed any of his advancement to borough-jobbers, or any other corrupters of the people.

Saturday Evening. Captain Grim arrived at the Admiralty, with an account that he engaged the Friseur, a ship of equal force with his own, off Cape Finisterre, and took her after an obstinate resistance, having killed one hundred and fifty of the French, with the loss of ninety-five of his own men.

For some pleasing remarks on this subject see De Lolme on the constitution of England, chap. 12. We cannot retrain from quoting here the speech of Sir James Mackintosh in the well known Peltier cause. “A sort of prophetic instinct, if I may so speak, seems to have revealed to her (Queen Elizabeth) the importance of that great instrument, for rousing and guiding the minds of men, of the effects of which she had no experience; which, since her time, has changed the condition of the world; but which few modern statesmen have thoroughly understood, or wisely employed; which is no doubt connected with many ridiculous and degrading details; which has produced, and may again produce, terrible mischiefs; but of which the influence must after all be considered as the most certain effect of the most efficacious cause of civilization; and which, whether it be a blessing or a curse, is the most powerful engine that a politician can move–I mean the Press. It is a curious fact, that in the year of the Armada, Queen Elizabeth caused to be printed the first Gazettes that ever appeared in England.”