Page images
PDF
EPUB

some proceedings, wherein a few persons are said to be concerned, I did not intend to charge them upon the body of the army. I have too much detested that barbarous injustice among the writers of a late party to be ever guilty of it myself; I mean the accusing societies for the crimes of a few. On the other side, I must take leave to believe, that armies are no more exempt from corruptions than other numbers of men. The maxims proposed were occasionally introduced by the report of certain facts, which I am bound to believe are true, because I am sure, considering what hath passed, it would be a crime to think otherwise. All posts in the army, all employments at court, and many others are, or ought to be, given and resumed at the mere pleasure of the prince; yet when I fee a great officer broke, a change made in the court, or the ministry, and this under the most just and gracious princess that ever reigned, I must naturally conclude, it is done upon prudent considerations, and for some great demerit in the sufferers. But then, is not the punishment sufficient? Is it generous, or charitable, to trample

[ocr errors]

on the unfortunate, and expose their faults to the world in the strongest colours ? And would it not suit better with

magnanimity, as well as common good nature, to leave them at quiet to their own thoughts and repentance? Yes, without question; provided it could be so contrived, that their very names, as well as actions, might be forgotten for ever : such an act of oblivion would be for the honour of our nation, and beget a better opinion of us with pofterity; and then I might have {pared the world and myself the trouble of examining. But at present there is a cruel dilemma in the case; the friends and abettors of the late ministry are every day publishing their praises to the world, and cafting reflections upon the present persons in power. This is fo bare-faced an aspersion upon the Queen, that I know not how any good subject can with patience endure it, although he were ever so indifferent with regard to the opinions in difpute. Shall they, who have lost all power and love of the people, be allowed to scatter their poison; and shall not those, who are at least of the strongest side, be suffered

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

to

3

to bring an antidote? And how can we undeceive the deluded remainder, but by letting them see, that these discarded statelmen were justly laid aside; and producing as many instances to prove it as we can? not from any personal hatred to them, but in justification to the best of queens. The many scurrilities I have heard and read against this poor paper of mine, are in such a strain, that considering the present state of affairs, they look like a jest. They usually run after the following manner;

“ What! Shall this insolent writer presume to censure the late ministry, “ the ableft, the most faithful, and truest “ lovers of their country and its constitu

tion, that ever served a prince? Shall « he reflect on the best house of commons, “ that ever fat within those walls? Hath “ not the queen changed both for a mini

stry and parliament of jacobites and highfliers, who are selling us to France, and

bringing over the pretender?This is the very

fum and force of all their reasonings, and this is their method of complaining against the Examiner. In them it is humble and loyal to reflect upon the

QUEEN,

،،

Queen, and the ministry and parliament she hath chosen with the universal applause of her people : in us it is insolent to defend her majesty and her choice, or to answer their objections by shewing the reasons, why those changes were necessary.

The same style hath been used in the late case concerning some gentlemen in the army. Such a clamour was raised by a sett of men, who had the boldness to tax the administration with cruelty and injustice, that I thought it necessary to interfere a little by Thewing the ill consequences, that might arise from some

proceedings, although without application to particular persons. And what do they offer in answer? Nothing but a few poor common places against calumny and informers; which might have been full as just and seasonable in a plot against the facred person of the Queen.

But by the way, why are these idle people so indiscreet to name those two words, which afford occasion of laying open to the world such an infamous scene of subornation and perjury, as well as calumny and informing, as I believe, is without example; when a whole cabal attempted an action, wherein a condemned criminal* refused to join with them for the reward of his life? Not that I disapprove their fagacity, who could foretel so long before by what hand they should one day fall, and therefore thought any means justifiable, by which they might prevent it.

without

But waving this at present, it must be owned in justice to the army, that those violences did not proceed so far them, as some have believed; nor ought the madness of a few to be laid at their doors. For the rest, I am so far from denying the due praises to those brave troops, who did their part in procuring so many victories for the allies; that I could wish, every officer and private soldier had their full share of honour in proportion to their deserts ; being thus far of the Athenians mind, who, when it was proposed that the ftatue of Miltiades should be set

up

alone in some publick place of the city, said, they would agree to it, whenever he con

far among

* Greg.

quered

« PreviousContinue »