« ПредишнаНапред »
and Collar of SS. the Coronet and the Blue Ribbon: They would not bear being branded Villains to Posterity ; and if true Philanthropy and Patriotism could not enter into every Breast, there would at leaft be an Appearance of them, Men would learn to be affable, benign, Lovers of Justice, or to seem so; there would be that Resemblance of the Virtues, that Mankind would be deceived and satisfied. Don't tell me of a Man's Eminence in. his Profession, or the high Post he fills in the State ; his Learning and Knowledge of the World have not enlarged his Mind; he is still a little poor Wretch, if he does not remember what a small Part he makes among the Current of Ages. He looks about him, and fancies the present Scene the only one of great Importance, that Time has produc'd; and, three to one, esteems himself the most considerable Character exhibited in it. Where was this Man bred ? Is he ignorant what a Racket the School-Boys make with
Alexander, and Cæfar, and Sylla ; with Cato, and Brutus, and Aristides? But enough of this. I suppose we shall have the Tryal printed in a Month: In the mean while, I send you Part of what Mr. Somers faid , he was Junior Council for the Bishops; he was very brief, is much applauded for that little he did say, but I fuppofe will not suddenly be made a Judge, nor King's Council neither. The Heat of Mens Minds: at the Tryal, was violent on all Sides. *Williams did not fcruple to say, that if the Bishops were commanded to do any Thing against their Con-. sciences, they should have acquiesced till the Meeting of the Parliament, they should not havé petitioned. And this vile immodest. Affertion was
* The Sollicitor-General.
received with sufficient Indecency: People hiss'd at him for that, and for something else in his Speech, as you would at a very bad Play. Mr. Justice Powell's Zeal, on the other Side, was so eager to settle the Point, that the Petition was no Libel, that he did not stick to affirm to the Jury, that it could not be a Libel, unless it were false : But this, I fear, is false Doctrine in our Law, tho' 'tis to be with'd it were true : I only mention it, to shew you what a Ferment the World is in. Upon the whole, 'tis thought by some of the wisest and most loyal People in the Kingdom, that we have but a dismal Prospect before us. "Tis evident, that if the Grand Monarch don't effectually interpose, and pinch the Dutch, the Prince of Deange will speedily invade the Kingdom. If he should succeed, what loyal Breast can bear to think the Consequences? Will he come here, like a Hero in Romance, only to mind other Peoples Bufiness, and then be gone again? I tremble to reflect what is to become of sacred Majesty, to recollect the shocking Fates of imprison'd English Kings, our Edward, Richard, and the Royal Martyr, his Adage was verified in them all. On the other hand, what if the Prince should be
prevented, or be defeated? What Protestant Soul is not shaken, in the midst of all its Loyalty, to think of the Wonders that may be wrought both in Religion and Liberty, by the Gentlemen at Hounslow. 'Tis true, the Majority of them are Protestants at present, and many of their Officers are Men of Quality and Fortune (I am sorry, for the King's fake, I can only say Majority) but 'tis as true, that if there be not Papists and Soldiers of Fortune enough in England, there are in Scotland and Ireland, to shift out the Protestants and Men of
Worth; and then if the Cause of the Bishops, or of Magdalen-College, should be brought before them, they will do Business in a Stile yet more concise than Wright and Allybone, or Jefferies and the Bishop of Chester can pretend to. But should their Establishment be in Consequence of an Invafion, and of a Victory obtain'd against the Invader, then may we expect to see a Standing Army made Part of the Constitution. Whenever that happens, Parliaments can't be long-liv'd. The Soldier will never starve while the Housholder has any Thing to eat. How happy should we be, if the King would content himself with 100 or 1000 Masses a-Day for the Good of his own Soul, and permit his good Subjects to go to the Devil, if they liked : But we are come to this miserable Option, The King or the People must be ruin'd ; and the Wonder is, The King himself makes the Dilemma. I forgot to tell you, that Serjeant Pemberton, in his Argument, took Occasion to mention Popery, and boldly said, 'twas the very worst of all Religions.
LET TER II.
Sept. 6. 1688. I Agree with you, that Kings might benefit by
reading History with Attention, as much as their Ministers and Judges, perhaps they might much more, as the Sphere they move in is higher. I wish ours had observ'd in the Life of his Grandfather * Henry the Great, or Davila's History of the Holy League, that the wisest Hugonot in France
* Henry IV. of France, Father of Queen Henrietta-Maria, Wife of King Charles I.
advis’d the King to turn Papift, or give up all Thoughts of the Crown: The Parallel is natural. The very Palace of Whitehall, his Father's Statue at Charing-Cross, ought to be effectual Memento's of the Rage of a jealous People, who fear at once for Religion and Property. If once our zealous London Herd break loose, not all the Magic in the Roman Miffal will be able to charm them, not all the Thunder in the Vatican to frighten them : And ’tis believed, * that Jupiter would be a pleased Spectator of the Broil.
The military Gentlemen are the only useful Foiks on such Emergencies, and they will hardly be persuaded to destroy their own Religion. There must be a Reform first, and a Recruit from Scotland and Ireland. Indeed, if a King of England were only to desire to enflave his People, an Army would make the Game sure: No Matter how, or on what Occafion they came together, they naturally resolve to continue together ; for that is their very Life and Existence : Like Bodies in the animal World, they endeavour their own Preservation, and that is by the Destruction of the Rights of Mankind; Food as proper for them, as Grass for Oxen ; having neither Liberty nor Property themselves, they readily concur to destroy them in others; that is only levelling ; but it ends better still for them ; for when they have enslaved the People, they are rewarded with the easiest Chains, the uppermost Rank among Slaves, and often find out their own Strength, and please themselves in chopping and changing their Masters. I can't be particular on a sudden ; but I believe Rome and Constantinople afford forty or fifty Instances to this Purpose. Pope Innocent XI.
But we have at present, Religion mixed with our Politics, and that puts us out of all Danger; for who doubts the Religion of an Army? Perhaps every one does not apprehend it; but seriously, Armies fometimes have Religion. When Henry III. of France was murder'd in his Camp, his great Successor lost two Thirds of the Army in a Month, by Defertion, because of his Difference in Religion, tho' they all ador'd him for many Royal Virtues. Who denies Religion, such as it was, to our British Armies of Covenanters ? There was indeed, one. Army of Roman Catholicks in the last War in Ireland, who prefer'd their Loyalty to one of the renets of their Religion: The Pope's Nuncio excommunicated the Earl of Clanrickard and his Adherents, for continuing steady in their Allegiance to King Charles; and the Earl of Clanrickard, at the Head of his Army, excommunicated the Pope's Nuncio by Beat of Drum. But as to our own Army, let its Religion be what it will, I wish the King had Impreffions somewhat weaker than he has of Church-of-England-Loyalty. Some overweening Doctors have persuaded him, that we are all Saints, but when we are brought to a severe Test, the most of us will be found mere frail Sinners. I wish those divine Gentlemen had mixed a moderate Proportion of human Prudence with their politic Theology, that Principles might not be strain'd till they break. His Confeffors should consider what an unkingly, an' ungenerous Conclusion they inculcate. The Principles of the Church of England oblige her Sons to endure every Thing, therefore we will bruise them with a Rod of Iron. Are fuch Men fit to rule Kingdoms ? Are they fit to govern a Grammar-School?