Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke  

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"But it must be recollected that in 1756 Bolingbroke was considered absolutely first-rate, and that it was no slight exercise in self-education for a young man to force himself to forge the admired style of a great favourite with so much success as to take in the St. Johnians themselves. Even thus early Burke looked upon any relaxation of the curb of government on the popular mouth as being not less infamous than perilous; and it really is astonishing that there should have been readers of the Vindication who did not perceive that the arguments in that work were absurd, and the whole thing a piece of polemic by parody. It is very interesting to those who have mastered the needful elements of irony to trace in this his first publication the same burning zeal for constitutional forms of accepted rule which inspired the great speeches of his later manhood. One unfortunate result of this early pastiche has been noted by Mr. John Morley."--A History of Eighteenth Century Literature (1889) by Edmund Gosse

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Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (16 September 1678 – 12 December 1751) was an English politician, government official and political philosopher. He was a leader of the Tories, and supported the Church of England politically despite his antireligious views and opposition to theology.

Influence in Britain

Bute and George III derived their political ideas from The Patriot King. Edmund Burke wrote his Vindication of Natural Society in imitation of Bolingbroke's style, but in refutation of his principles; and in the Reflections on the French Revolution he exclaims, "Who now reads Bolingbroke, who ever read him through?" Burke denied that Bolingbroke's words left "any permanent impression on his mind". Benjamin Disraeli lionized Bolingbroke as the "Founder of Modern Toryism", eradicating its "absurd and odious doctrines", and establishing its mission to subvert "Whig attempts to transform the English Constitution into an oligarchy".

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