Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/43

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

she brought out another book, ‘Court Intrigues, in a Collection of Original Letters from the Island of the New Atalantis.’ The great success and usefulness of the ‘New Atalantis’ are referred to, perhaps satirically, in ‘Atalantis Major,’ 1711, a piece attributed to Defoe.

The return of the tories to power brought better times to Mrs. Manley. In June 1711 she succeeded Swift as editor of the ‘Examiner,’ and in July Swift seconded the application of ‘the poor woman’ to Lord Peterborough for some reward for her service in the cause, ‘by writing her Atalantis and prosecution, &c.’ She had already written in April, by the help of hints from Swift, ‘A True Narrative of what passed at the Examination of the Marquis of Guiscard,’ and later in the year she published other political pamphlets, ‘A Comment on Dr. Hare's Sermon’ and ‘The Duke of M——h's Vindication.’ The last and best of these pieces was, Swift says, entirely Mrs. Manley's work. In January she was very ill with dropsy and a sore leg. Swift wrote: ‘I am heartily sorry for her; she has very generous principles for one of her sort, and a great deal of good sense and invention; she is about forty, very homely, and very fat’ (Journal to Stella, 28 Jan. 1711–12). In May 1713 Steele had an angry correspondence with Swift, and in the ‘Guardian’ (No. 53) attacked Mrs. Manley, who found an opportunity for reply in ‘The Honour and Prerogative of the Queen's Majesty vindicated and defended against the unexampled insolence of the Author of the Guardian,’ published on 14 Aug., and again in ‘A Modest Enquiry into the reasons of the Joy expressed by a certain set of people upon the spreading of a report of Her Majesty's death’ (4 Feb. 1714). ‘The Adventures of Rivella, or the History of the Author of the Atalantis, by Sir Charles Lovemore,’ i.e. Lieutenant-general John Tidcomb, appeared in 1714, and was probably by Mrs. Manley herself. Mrs. Manley's last play, ‘Lucius, the First Christian King of Britain,’ was brought out at Drury Lane on 11 May 1717, and was dedicated to Steele, with full apologies for her previous attacks. Steele, in his turn, wrote a prologue for the play, and Prior contributed an epilogue.

In 1720 Mrs. Manley published ‘The Power of Love, in Seven Novels,’ and verses by her appeared in the same year in Anthony Hammond's ‘New Miscellany of Original Poems.’ One piece, ‘To the Countess of Bristol,’ is given in Nichols's ‘Select Collection’ (1781), vii. 369. Mrs. Manley had for some years been living as the mistress of Alderman Barber, who is said to have treated her unkindly, though he derived assistance from her in various ways. She died at Barber's printing-house, on Lambeth Hill, 11 July 1724, and was buried on the 14th at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf. In her will (6 Oct. 1723) she is described as of Berkely, Oxfordshire (where she had a house), and as weak and daily decaying in strength. She appointed Cornelia Markendale (her sister) and Henrietta Essex Manley, child's coat maker, late of Covent Garden, but then in Barbados, her executrices, and mentioned her ‘much honoured friend, the dean of St. Patrick, Dr. Swift.’ She left a manuscript tragedy called ‘The Duke of Somerset,’ and a comedy, ‘The Double Mistress.’ In 1725 ‘A Stage Coach Journey to Exeter,’ a reprint of the ‘Letters’ of 1696, was published, and in the same year, or at the end of 1724, Curll brought out ‘Mrs. Manley's History of her own Life and Times,’ which was a fourth edition of the ‘Adventures of Rivella.’ The third edition (1717) was called ‘Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Manley.’ In the ‘Address to the Reader’ Curll said the ‘Adventures of Rivella’ were originally written because Charles Gildon had begun a similar work, which he abandoned at Mrs. Manley's desire.

Other pieces attributed to Mrs. Manley without due warrant are: ‘The Court Legacy, a new ballad opera,’ by ‘Atalia,’ 1733; ‘Bath Intrigues’ (signed ‘J. B.’), 1725; and ‘The Mercenary Lover,’ 1726. She may have written ‘A True Relation of the several Facts and Circumstances of the intended Riot and Tumult on Queen Elizabeth's Birthday,’ 1711. In March 1724, shortly before her death, Curll and ‘Orator’ Henley informed Walpole that they had seen a letter of Mrs. Manley's, intimating that a fifth volume of the ‘New Atalantis’ was printed off, the design of which was to attack George I and the government. Curll suggested that the book should be suppressed, and added a hope that he should get ‘something in the post office’ or stamp office for his diligent support of the government (Gent. Mag. 1798, pt. ii. p. 191). Whether this information was true is uncertain; but if the book was in existence it seems never to have been published.

[The Adventures of Rivella noticed above supplies details of Mrs. Manley's early years. See also Swift's Works, ed. Scott, 1824, i. 118, ii. 238, 303, 393, 483; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. ii. 265, 390, 443, iii. 250, 291, 350, 392, 7th ser. vii. 127, 232, viii. 11, 156–7; Genest's History of the Stage, ii. 75, 92, 361, 600; Theatrical Records, 1756, p. 83;Aitken's Life of Richard Steele, 1889, i. 140–4, 261–4, 394–5, ii. 7, 155–6;