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No. 2. MONDAY, DECEMBER 26.
Non de domino, sed de parente loquimur. Intelligamus ergo bona nostra,
dignosque nos illius usu probemus; atque identidem cogitemus, si majus incipibus præstemus obsequium, qui servitute civium, quam qui libertate lætantur.
Plin. HAVING in
set forth the happiness of my station as a freeholder of Great Britain, and the nature of that property which is secured to me by the laws of my country; I cannot forbear considering, in the next place, that person who is intrusted with the guardianship and execution of those laws. I have lived in one reign, when the prince, instead of invigorating the laws of our country, or giving them their proper course, assumed a power of dispensing with them; and in another, when the sovereign was Hattered by a set of men into a persuasion, that the regal authority was unlimited and uncircumscribed. In either of these cases, good laws are at best but a dead letter; and, by showing the people how happy they ought to be, only serve to aggravate the sense of their oppressions.
We have the pleasure at this time to see a king upon the throne who hath too much goodness to wish for any power, that does not enable him to promote the welfare of his subjects; and too much wisdom to look
those as his friends, who would make their court to him by the profession of an obedience which they never practised, and which has always proved fatal to those princes who have put it to the trial. His Majesty gave a proof of his sovereign virtues, before he came to the exercise of them in this kingdom. His inclination to justice led him to rule his German subjects in the same manner, that our constitution directs him to govern the English. He regarded those which are our civil liberties, as the natural rights of mankind; and therefore indulged them to a people, who pleaded no other claim to them than from his known goodness and humanity. This experience of a good prince, before we had the happiness to enjoy him, must give great satisfaction to every thinking man, who considers how apt sovereignty is to deprave human nature; and how many of our own princes made very ill figures upon the throne, who, before they ascended it, were the favourites of the people.
What gives us the greatest security in the conduct of so excellent a prince is, that consistency of behaviour, whereby he inflexibly pursues those measures which appear the most just and equitable. As he hath the character of being the most prudent in laying proper schemes ; he is no less remarkable for being steady in accomplishing what he has once concerted. Indeed, if we look into the history of his present Majesty, and reflect upon that wonderful series of successes which have attended him, I think they cannot be ascribed to anything so much as to his uniformity and firmness of mind, which has always discovered itself in his proceedings. It was by this that he surmounted those many difficulties which lay in the way to his succession; and by which, we have reason to hope, he will daily make all opposition fall before him. The fickle and unsteady politics of our late British monarchs have been the perpetual source of those dissensions and animosities which have made the nation unhappy: whereas the constant and unshaken temper of his present Majesty must have a natural tendency to the peace of his government, and the unanimity of his people.
Whilst I am enumerating the public virtues of our sovereign, which are so conducive to the advantage of those who are to obey him, I cannot but take notice, that his Majesty
up from his infancy with a love to this our nation, under a princess, who was the most accomplished woman of her age, and particularly famous for her affection to the Eng
, lish. Our countrymen were dear to him, before there was any prospect of their being his subjects; and every one knows, that nothing recommended a man so much to the distinguishing civilities of his court, as the being born in Great Britain.
To the fame of his Majesty's civil virtues, we may add the reputation he has acquired by his martial achievements. It is observed by Sir William Temple, that the English are particularly fond of a king who is valiant; upon which account his Majesty has a title to all the esteem that can be paid the most warlike prince; though at the same time, for the good of his subjects, he studies to decline all occasions of military glory; and chooses rather to be distinguished as the father, than as the captain of his people. I am glad his re
bellious subjects are too inconsiderable to put him upon exerting that courage and conduct, which raised him so great a reputation in Hungary and the Morea, when he fought against the enemies of Christianity; and in Germany and Flanders, where he commanded against the great disturber of the peace of Europe. One would think there was reason for the opinion of those, who make personal courage to be an hereditary virtue, when we see so many instances of it in the line of Brunswick.
To go no farther back than the time of our present king, where can we find, among the sovereign houses of Europe, any other family that has furnished so many persons of distinguished fortitude ? Three of his Majesty's brothers have fallen gloriously in the field, fighting against the enemies of their native country; and the bravery of his Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, is still fresh in our memory, who fought, with the spirit of his father, at the battle of Audenarde, when the children of France, and the Pretender, fled before him.
I might here take notice of his Majesty's more private virtues, but have rather chosen to remind my countrymen of the public parts of bis character, which are supported by such incontestable facts as are universally known and acknowledged.
Having thus far considered our happiness in his Majesty's civil and military character. I cannot forbear pleasing myself with regarding him in the view of one, who has been always fortunate. Cicero recommends Pompey under this particular head to the Romans, with whom the character of being fortunate was so popular, that several of their emperors gave it a place among their titles. Good fortune is often the reward of virtue, and as often the effect of prudence. And whether it proceeds from either of these, or from both together, or whatever may be the cause of it, every one is naturally pleased to see his interests conducted by a person who is used to good success. The establishment of the electoral dignity in his Majesty's family, was a work reserved for him finally to accomplish. A large accession of dominion fell to him, by his succeeding to the dukedom of Zell, whereby he became one of the greatest princes of Germany, and one of the most powerful persons that ever stood next heirs to the throne of Great Britain. The duchy of Bremen, and the bishopric of Osnaburg, have considerably strengthened his interests in the empire, and given a great additional weight to the Protestant cause. But the most remarkable interpositions of Providence, in favour of him, have appeared in removing those seemingly invincible obstacles to his succession; in taking away, at so critical a juncture, the person who might have proved a dangerous enemy; in confounding the secret and open attempts of his traitorous subjects; and in giving him the delightful prospect of transmitting his power through a numerous and still increasing progeny.
Upon the whole, it is not to be doubted but every wise and honest subject will concur with Providence in promoting, the glory and happiness of his present Majesty, who is endowed with all those royal virtues, that will naturally secure to us the national blessings which ought to be dear and valuable to a free people.
Quibus otio vel magnifice, vel molliter vivere copia erat, incerta pro certis, bellum quam pacem, malebant.
SALL. EVERY one knows, that it is usual for a French officer, who can write and read, to set down all the occurrences of a campaign in which he pretends to have been personally concerned ;
and to publish them under the title of his “ Memoirs,” when most of his fellow-soldiers are dead that might have contradicted any of his matters of fact. Many a gallant young
fellow has been killed in battle, before he came to the third page of his secret history ; when several, who have taken more care of their persons, have lived to fill a whole volume with their military performances, and to astonish the world with such instances of their bravery, as had escaped the notice of everybody else. One of our late Preston heroes had, it seems, resolved upon this method of doing himself justice : and, had he not been nipped in the bud, might have made a very formidable figure in his own works, among posterity. A friend of mine, who had the pillage of his pockets, has made me a present of the follewing memoirs, which he desires me to accept as a part of the spoils of the
rahels. I have omitted the introduction, as more proper for the inspection of a secretary of state ; and shall only set down so much of the memoirs, as seem to be a faithful narrative of that wonderful expedition, which drew upon it the eyes of all Europe.
“ HAVING thus concerted measures for a rising, we had a general meeting over a bowl of punch. It was here proposed, by one of the wisest among us, to draw up a manifesto, setting forth the grounds and motives of our taking arms; for, as he observed, there had never yet been an insurrection in England, where the leaders had not thought themselves obliged to give some reasons for it. To this end, we laid our heads together to consider what grievances the nation had suffered under the reign of King George. After having spent some hours
upon this subject, without being able to discover any, we unanimously agreed to rebel first, and to find out reasons for it afterwards. It was, indeed, easy to guess at several grievances of a private nature, which influenced particular persons. One of us had spent his fortune: another was a younger brother : a third had the encumbrance of a father upon his estate. But that which principally disposed us in favour of the Chevalier was, that most of the company had been obliged to take the abjuration oath against their will. Being at length thoroughly inflamed with zeal and punch, we resolved to take horse the next morning, which we did accordingly, having been joined by a considerable reinforcement of Roman Catholics, whom we could rely upon, as knowing them to be the best Tories in the nation, and avowed enemies to Presbyterianism. We were, likewise, joined by a very useful associate, who was a fiddler by profession, and brought in with him a body of lusty young fellows, whom he had tweedled into the service. About the third day of our march, 1 was made a colonel ; though I must needs say, I gained my commission by my horse's virtues, not my own; having leaped over a six-bar gate at the head of the cavalry. My general, who is a discerning man, hereupon gave me a regiment; telling me, 'He did not question but I would do the like when I came to the enemy's pallisadoes. We pursued our march, with much intrepidity, through two or three open towns, to the great terror of the market-people, and the miscarriage of half a dozen big-bellied