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If one could be a mere Spectator of their Pranks, (without any Concern for the Reputation of our Country) they have been exhibiting a Farce to us, ridiculous enough in Conscience ; they have by Mistake fallen upon their best Friend the Spanish Ambassador, as Sir Martin Mar-all often does upon his trusty Servant Warner. They little know how devoted the Don is to their Party. There are also great Numbers among them who rise to pillage, and would be glad to plunder the Rich of both parties.
It is wonderful, that those who are most deeply concerned, were the last in the Kingdom to foresee these Calamities. Surely Men are infatuated on these Occasions. We hardly find in History a weak Prince who foresees his own Ruin a Month beforehand: Nay, they are generally more secure near the Crisis of their Fate than ever they were before, as if Solomon's Observation were constantly to be verified, Pride cometh before Destruction, and an haughty Spirit before a Fall.
February 9. 1688-9. Asta eft Alea, We have drawn the Sword, J and thrown away the Scabbard : We have put it out of our Power to retreat. Some thought, that in Consequence of laying aside the King, the Birth of the Young Gentleman would naturally have been the next Enquiry; and indeed if he had been left in the Kingdom, it could not easily have been avoided. But I suppose his Friends thought the Air of London bad for his Health ; for
form for being thaiths. One different Redi
if you look into the Bills of Mortality; you will find, that abundance of Children drop off under two Years of Age. Now since he is gone, if the late King's Abdication (I think that is the Word) be right, it will be also right to reject the Youth, tho' his Birth should be ever so Royal; for will not he have Education and * Advice from Priefts and Jesuits, and other wicked Perfonts of the Church of Rome ? Not that the History of the Warming-Pan is wholly to be loft ; Men of different Complexions are capable of different Reasonings and different Faiths. One Man may renounce him for being the Son of King James, and another for not being so,
This new Word Abdicate has occafioned a great Display of Learning on the Debate of the Vote, It seems our own Law (which says, the King can do no Wrong) was too modest to supply a Word proper for the present Purpose, so that the Civilians were so kind as to lend us this Term of Art, I believe I shall be able to send you the whole Debate in a little Time; I shall therefore for the present only obviate a Miftake, which fome Gentlemen have fallen into; as if by the Word, Abdicate, the King's Flight were only intended. It would have been too severe to deprive him of his Crown for flying, when it was not safe for him to stay : And I am well informed that it stands in the Vote neither tó mean his Flight, nor any express Declaration of his ; but it will be best underftood by comparing Mr. Somers's Explanation of it with the Vote itself. A Man, says he, 'may Abdicate a Thing when he does an Aet which is inconsistent with the retaining it, tho' there be not an express Re
The Words in the Vote of Abdication.
nunciation Calvin's Lexic. Juridic. (Generum Abdicat, qui fponfam Repudiat) be that divorces his Wife, abdicates his son-in-Law.. I transcribe the Vote for you, left you should not have it by you.
Resolved, That King James the Second, having endeavoured to subvert the Constitution of the Kingdom, by breaking the Original Contrazt between King and People, and by the Advice of Jefuits and other wicked Perfons, having violated the Fundamental Law, and withdrawn himself out of the Kingdom, hath Abdicated the Government, and that the Throne is thereby Vacant.
The other Vote for filling the Throne (which sets the Prince on it as well as the Princess, the executive Power to be in him) is something like Harry the Seventh's Accesfion, or rather stronger and more explicite ; for his Pretensions to an Hereditary Right were well known ; but he thought it prudent to leave the Matter complicated.
There is nothing new, in this whole Transaction, nor more wonderful than what has happened heretofore in many other Kingdoms. On such violent Concussions, new Families have sometimes sprung up, and sometimes Democracies. Great Earthquakes change the Courses of Rivers, level Mountains, and raise the Vallies.
L ETTER VIII.
THEY tell us Wonders here of the English
Colony of Londonderry in Ireland, they fight and starve like the ancient Saguntines. They deserve our early Care of them; for if we have done
right, right, I am sure they cannot be in the Wrong : Their Grievances and their Dangers were much more importunate than our own. I thought every Thing degenerated which was carried into that Country : It seems I am mistaken ; or perhaps Oppression, which makes a wife Man Mad, can also make a Coward Valiant. I fear we are generally too partial to our own Home, and injuriously fo with Regard to our Neighbours. A truebred English 'Squire believes his Countrymen to be more powerful, more valiant, more wealthy, more numerous, more polite, more learned, more wise, not only than any other Nation, but than all the Nations on the Face of the Earth put together : If we could look on other countries with an impartial Eye, we might see, that they have Numbers of People, and Sources of Wealth, and that they can either think or fight as well as ourselves. The old Aldermen in all our CountryBoroughs, have learned from Baker's Chronicle the Successes of our Edwards and our Henries against France : They also know enough of our Story, to tell us that Scotland was not with us in those Days, and that Ireland was of no Benefit to us; but they forget, that the best Provinces of modern France were then under 'Princes of their own, mortal Enemies to that Crown; they do not perceive the intestine Disorders which made Way for the English Arms ; nor how easy it was for a Neighbouring Prince, who had their Royal Blood in his Veins, to make Parties among a People of his own Religion, and how impoffible that Piece of Policy has been rendered by the Reformation : Modern France has at least twenty Millions of People, and the whole British Empire not half that Number, The like Alteration has
1. been produced in Spain, long since our Black Prince
made a Figure on that part of the Continent. That Country, of many Kingdoms, is become one. So that tho' our ancient Kings in the Holy War may have been as great and powerful as any of their Neighbours ; yet we have Reason to suspect, that not even the Access of Scotland under the same Al
legiance with us, nor the Growth of Ireland in 2 People, in Civility, and in Wealth, have been able mė' to make us keep Pace with the vast Increase of
Power in the Crowns of France and Spain, since the Times I mentioned. · And Heaven only knows what Scotland will do now.
If we expect to be of Importance in Europe, ought we not to make a Coalition with those who are both of our own Blood and our own Religion, and not force them by Hardships into a Spirit of Faction ? Cromwell, in one of his Parliaments, rejected many. Boroughs, and increased the Number of Representatives for Counties : I have been told the late Lord Clarendon used to say, That this was an Amendment to be wished for in better TIMES. Oliver brought the Representatives of the Three Kingdoms to fit in one Parliament: Is not this also an Alteration to be wished for at all Times? It is a Proposition which indeed ought to be an Axiom in our Politicks, that these Kingdoms can never make a great and happy Empire, whilst the constituent Parts envy the Prosperity of each other, whilst the Stronger oppresses the Weaker, and the Weaker is tempted to wish for an Opportunity to chuse a milder Lord, or even to set up for an Independency; which we must never think a Thing impossible, because in the laft Century our Great-Grandfathers saw Seven little Districts break loose from the other Ten,