Because nothing so much distracts the Thoughts, as too great Variety of Subjects; therefore I will now give some Account of the latest Scandal that has come about since the Factions gather'd by the Sea-side in the Autumn, when Mr Secretary Anth. Blair made an Appearance before our wondering Eyes at Bournemouth in Dorset-shire, his face all cover'd in Powders and Paints, like a Player in a Pantomime, or a Clown in a Circus.
The great Diversion in Town over the past Month and more was the cause of Hamilton versus Al Fayed in the Law-courts in the Strand, where last week the Jury found in favour of the Defendant, Master Fayed, a Shop-keeper and an Infidel. I will now tell you something of the unsuccessful (and, it must be stated in all Candour, the foolish) Plaintiff, Master Neil Hamilton, for the Accounts of his Life that have appeared up `til now in the publick Prints hath been meagre beyond Belief, and in some Cases a Compendium of Errour; but these Accounts I will refrain from mentioning with too great particularity for fear of causing Offence, which it hath ever been my Purpose to avoid.
He was born anno. 1949 in Monmouthshire in Wales, where his Father was skill'd in the Operation of the Machinery necessary for the Removal of Coal from the Ground. When he was a Boy his Father moved to the West, to Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, where the Coal is of a different nature, call'd Anthracite; altho', to say the Truth, that Consideration maketh no Difference to the Engines necessary for its Extraction.
In this Capacity he was call'd Chief Engineer to the National Coal Board, a Body now consign'd to the Mists of Antiquity, like British Rail, or the Court of Common-pleas; and in which Capacity also he was Successor to the Father of my Lord Richard, that was in the Ministry till he was depriv'd of Employment by Master Blair to make Room for my Lady Jay, that is the Daughter of my Lord Callaghan, who was Chief Secretary anno. 1976.
But whereas my Lord Richard (or Master Ivor Richard, as he was known in those Days), was sent away to School, to Cheltenham-coll. in Glos., Master Hamilton was a Pupil at the Grammar-school in Ammanford, in which Academy he had been preceded by the present Author and, before him, by Master Donald Peers, who sang with great Sweetness and Delicacy of Tone of being sequester'd in a shady Nook by a babbling Brook, to universall Admiration and Applause, so securing the Position that is now held by Sir Cliff Richard.
At all Events, after his schooling in Carmarthenshire, Master Hamilton remov'd to the University-coll. at Aberystwyth in Cardiganshire, and thence to Corpus Christi-coll. in Cambridge, and was call'd to the Bar at the Middle Temple in London, and join'd the Tories.
Despite Qualifications of the most impressive Character, Master Hamilton failed to settle to any form of regular civill Employment; but Help was soon to Hand in the Shape of his new Wife, Mistress Christine Holman, as she was formerly call'd, whose Brother is a Judge of the High Court, and who gave her Opinion, both to her Husband and to others alike, that he was in Peril of becoming (as she phras'd it, altho' the Phenomenon had previously engaged the Russian authors) the Perpetual Student, and who, to alter this melancholy State of Affairs, directed his Steps towards the Commons-house in Westminster.
Once there, aet. 34, as the Member for Tatton in Cheshire, Master Hamilton was not, to speak with absolute Candour, the universall Favourite; for those that were amus'd by his Wit, which was a Quality that he undoubtedly possess'd, there were many more that were appalled by his Facetiousness and air of being, as `twas phras'd, out for Himself.
At this Stage in the History of our Polity, there was a great Quarrel between Master Fayed, a Mussalman, and Master Tiny Rowland, whose Religion was unknown, but whose Origins lay in the dark Forests of Europe. Now this Quarrel, beside which the Antipathy of the same Period between the Prize-fighters Master Chris Eubank and Master Nigel Benn paled into the utmost Insignificance, was concern'd with a Shop call'd Harrods.
Master Rowland (that is now dead, along with Master Peers) was of the strong Opinion that Master Fayed had acquired the Emporium in question by misstating the Origins of his Wealth; altho', to state the Reality of the Case, and the true Reason for the violence of the Quarrel, `twas caus'd by Master Rowland's Conviction that he had been gull'd by the wily Mohammedan and been made to look a Fool in the City of London and other Places.
At this Point also, Master Rowland was Owner of the Observer-sheet, where the present Author then penn'd a weekly Piece on Politicks in exactly the same Fashion as he does today in the Independent on Sunday. And, while no Attempt was made to guide his Pen in the Direction of the great Quarrel, whether by Master Donald Trelford, who was Editor at the Time in question, or by Master Rowland, whom he was never to have the Privilege of meeting; even so, there is no Doubt soever that the Paper made Attacks of the utmost Regularity not only upon Master Fayed but also upon Mistress Thatcher or, rather, upon her Son Mark, a Rogue, his Dealings.
The Reason for the latter Assault was that Master Rowland had convinc'd himself that she, or her Ministers, had enter'd into a Conspiracy to prevent him from acquiring the Shop; while, by what Master Blake, the Poet, hath called a Fearfull Symmetry, Master Fayed had convinc'd himself for his part that Mistress Thatcher likewise was the true Author of various Misfortunes which he had suffered and Humiliations which had been heaped upon his head.
But while Master Rowland had a News-sheet at his Disposal, Master Fayed had no such Convenience ready to Hand; and so perforce he turn'd to Members of Parliament or, to be more particular, he turn'd to Master Ian Greer, that had a whole Menagerie of these Creatures under his Controull, like performing Bears in Constantinople, and that is himself escap'd to the southern Part of Afrique. Master Hamilton was for a Time one of these prancing Animals, and was given his Reward in the Form of Cash in Hand, fine old French wines, &c., &c.
Alas, Master Hamilton was put into the Ministry anno. 1992 and refus'd to perform his former Tricks to the Satisfaction of Master Fayed or, indeed, to perform them in any Manner soever; whereupon the Author of the Corruption remov'd himself to the Guardian-sheet to denounce the corrupted, viz., Master Hamilton and other Tories; altho' 'tis evident that Master H. was willing to be corrupted by others as well. God Save the Queen.