Page:Studies of a Biographer 1.djvu/58

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
44
STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

a technical blunder in the indictment unintelligible to the lay reader, but, we are told, was afterwards assaulted in consequence of some of his writings, and so cruelly beaten that he died of his wounds. The evidence on his trial shows clearly what a leading newspaper was in those days. Tutchin had agreed with the printer to write a weekly paper for which he was to receive 10 s. 6 d. a time. The number printed was 266, and we are glad to hear that the printer raised the price in time to 20 s. The printer incidentally admits that he had himself done such 'editing' as was necessary; that is, had struck out phrases which seemed to be libellous.

Defoe and his rival Tutchin differed from Boyer in this, that their papers were in reality weekly pamphlets, or consisted mainly of the matter which would now be made into leading articles. Tutchin and Defoe were sound Whigs, though Defoe's Whiggism had to make awkward compromises with his interests. Their chief opponent was the vigorous nonjuror and voluminous controversialist Charles Leslie, a martyr to High Church principles, who had to live partly by his pen, and from 1706 to 1709 published The Rehearsal on the side of unflinching Jacobitism. He escaped a trial for treason by retiring to St.