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observed, that Mr. Rose's reasoning, if it was as satis- SECTION factory and conclusive, as it is loose, and unfounded, --would admit the substance of Mr. Fox's proposition, and be a confirmation of, rather than an answer to the statement it is intended to confute. A King, who makes Parliaments subservient to his will, renders himself independent of them. He may, for the sake of state, of convenience, or of hypocrisy, chuse to preserve the appearance of a Parliament, but the moment he becomes its master, and its proceedings are governed by his pleasure, he is independent of it. Mr. Rose, therefore seems not to have attended to the signification of the words used by Mr. Fox, when he construes, “ the desire of “ rendering himself independent of Parliament,” to mean, that he desired to rule entirely without one. But, if we concede to him that these expressions are synoni. mous, and that the desire of the two brothers, mentioned by Mr. Fox, was, in substance, that they might rule without a Parliament, we may express our surprise, that Mr. Rose should feel any objection to the proposition so understood; for referring to page 62, of the Observations, the reader will find him adopting the sentiment in the fullest terms. " We shall reserve," says he, “ for separate consideration the advances, made “ for enabling the King to govern without Parlia. “ ments, as relating equally to the reign of James “ the Second,” Between Mr. Rose when delivering
SECTION this opinion, and Mr. Fox, as he understands him, there
is no ground for dispute. Why he expressed a different opinion afterwards, unless for the double pleasure of contradicting Mr. Fox, and himself, it may not be easy to explain,
Mr. Rose is pleased to say, that the assertion of Mr, Fox is “ contrary to the clearest evidence before “ us,” and as far as it is possible to collect his meaning, it seems that the clear evidence to which he alludes, consists of the actual necessities of Charles, and his frequent expressions of apprehension, that they would compel him to resort to a Parliament. Does Mr. Rose then, mean to say that a man's apprehension of being obliged to do a thing is a clearer proof of his wish to do it, than his wilful and voluntary omission of it, when in his power, is evidence of his design to avoid it? Charles for four years persisted in his resolution not to call a Parliament. He might have been compelled to call one, and he might have foreseen that he could not avoid it, but the very manner, in which he speaks of the possibility of that necessity, evinces his averseness to resort to the measure, and the fact of no Parliament being assembled for so long a time, affords a presumption, that he had taken effectual precautions for avoiding the occurrence of that necessity. We forbear to pursue the argument further at present, it will be resumed hereafter,
first wish of
Rose, p. 74.
Mr. Rose next proceeds, in opposition to Mr. Fox, SECTION to lay down a proposition, which he says is clear, that — Jamnes's conduct after he came to the Crown, shews ment of the in the exercise of that power, which he was so eager gion, not the to obtain “ the wish nearest his heart, was the esta- James. “ blishment of the Catholic religion in this country." He begins his proofs by contrasting the conduct of the two brothers during the reign of Charles ; he shews that Charles was personally indifferent upon the subject, and aware of the danger of the attempt; that he entertained great apprehensions of the consequences of his brother's conversion, and was most anxiously desirous that he should take the Protestant Tests, and return to the Established Church. These facts prove that Charles had nothing of the zeal of a Martyr about him, and preferred his own ease to any other consideration; and that the Duke of York possessed a greater violence of temper, a prouder spirit, and a more obstinate disposition ; but we are yet to learn, whether they were not both principally actuated by the same object, the love of power.
In discussing this subject the author is in some respect an impartial inquirer. When Mr. Fox was writing this part of his work, he did me the honour, occasionally to mention in conversation, the manner, in which particular parts of our history had impressed his mind. And upon the point, now in dispute I ventured to differ
from him, conceiving with historians of all parties, that the principal motive, which actuated James's public conduct, was the establishment of the Catholic religion in his dominions, and that he was to be considered, rather as a bigot, than a tyrant; we conversed, and corresponded upon the subject. But I am not ashamed to avow my baving now become a convert to his opinion, and my conviction that in the ambition, not the bigotry of James ; in secular, not religious objects must be sought the master spring of his conduct, immediately after he succeeded to the throne. The correspondence of Barrillon, and his master, published in the Appendix to the Historical Work, surprised me, for I had expected it would have furnished the most ample confirmation of the opinion so generally entertained, but on the contrary, an examination of the documents at first gave me reason to doubt, whether it was well founded, and at last compelled me to abandon it altogether. That the fair result of the correspondence, has not been mistaken, I am satisfied, because Mr. Rose's extracts, which will now be discussed in detail, and may be presumed to contain the strongest passages in favour of his hypothesis, form a compact and uniform body of evidence to overthrow it,
This is certainly a question of great importance for the true understanding of the most interesting period ** of our history,” Mr. Rose has treated it, as a novelty,
in contradiction to his assertion, that Mr. Fox had not SECTION brought into view one new historical fact of any impor- tance, or thrown an additional gleam of light on any constitutional point whatever. The remainder of this section will be occupied with the examination of the extracts and arguments, comprising his third section, reserving to a future part of this work a more general and enlarged discussion of the subject,
Mr. Rose, as has been already mentioned, begins his James's acces observations on the reign of James, in great apparent sion popular. good humour with Mr. Fox, and concurs with him afterwards in what has never been disputed, that
Rose, p. 80. James's accession to the Crown was attended with a ko degree of popularity, which surprised him, as much as it has puzzled historians to account for. He expected resistance, but met none; he laid his account for sedition and tumult, but was received not only with respect, but acclamations ; and had he been possessed of a more benevolent heart, or had he not imbibed prejudices, which prevented him from taking advantage of his situation, might in all probability bave trampled upon the liberties of his people, without diminishing the stability, or power of the throne. " What a prospect of success," exclaims Mr. Rose, “ was here opened to him of establishing a power great .! as he could wish, but with power alone he could Rose, p. 82.