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could fix upon a new scheme, the people suddenly recovered, and peaceably restored the old constitution.
From what I have offered, it will be easy to decide, whether this late change in the disposition of the people was a new madness, or a recovery from an old one, Neither do I fee how it can be proved, that such a change had in
any circumstance the least symptoms of madness, whether my description of it be right, or no. It is agreed, that the truest
of judging the disposition of the people in the choice of their representatives is by computing the county elections; and in these it is manifest, that five in fix are entirely for the present measures ; although the court was so far from interposing its credit, that there was no change in the admiralty, not above one or two in the lieutenancy, nor any other methods used to influence elections. The free, unextorted addresses sent some time before from every part of the kingdom plainly Thewed, what sort of bent the people had taken, and from what motives. The election of members for this great city,
carried, contrary to all conjecture, against the united interest of those two great bodies, the Bank and East India company, was another convincing argument. Besides, the whigs themselves have always confessed, that the bulk of landed men in England was generally of toriès. So that this change must be allowed to be according to the natural genius and disposition of the people; whether it were just and reasonable in itself, or no.
Notwithstanding all which, you shall frequently hear the partisans of the late men in power gravely and decisively pronounce, that the present ministry cannot possibly stand. Now they who affirm this, if they believe themselves, muft ground their opinion upon the iniquity of the last being so far established and deeply rooted, that no endeavours of honest men will be able to restore things to their former state. Or else these reasoners have been fo misled by twenty years mismanagement, that they have forgot our constitution, and talk as if our monarchy and revolution began together. But the body of the people is wiser ; and by the choice they have made,
shew they do understand our constitution, and would bring it back to the old form; which if the new ministers take care to maintain, they will and ought to stand; otherwise they may fall like their predecessors. But I think, we may easily foresee what a parliament, freely chosen, without threatening or corruption, is likely to do, when no man shall be in any danger to lose his place by the freedom of his voice.
ut, who are those advancers of this opinion, that the present ministry cannot hold? It must be either such as are afraid to be called to an account, in case it should hold: or those, who keep offices, from which others, better qualified, were removed, and may reasonably apprehend to be turned out for worthier men to come into their places; since perhaps it will be necessary to make some changes, that the publick business of the nation may go on : or lastly, stock-jobbers, who industriously spread such reports, that actions may fall, and their friends buy to advantage.
Yet these hopes, thus freely expressed, as they are more sincere, so they are more
that all may
supportable, than when they appear under the disguise and pretence of fears. Some of these gentlemen are employed to shake their heads in proper companies; to doubt where all this will end; to be in mighty pain for the nation; to fhew how impolsible it is, that the publick credit can be supported; to pray that all do well, in whatever hands; but very much to doubt, that the pretender is at the bottom. I know not any thing so nearely resembling this behaviour, as what I have often seen among the friends of a fick whose interest it is that he should die. The physicians protest they see no danger, the symptoms are good, the medicines answer expectation; yet still they are not to be comforted; they whisper, he is a gone man, it is not possible he should hold out; he hath perfect death in his face ; they never liked his doctor, At last, the patient recovers, and their joy is as false as their grief.
I believe there is no man so fanguine, who did not apprehend some ill consequences from the late change; though not in any proportion to the good ones:
but it is manifeft, the former have proved much fewer and lighter than were expected, either at home or abroad, by the fears of our friends, or the hopes of our enemies. Those remedies, that stir the humours in a diseased body, are at first more painful than the malady itself; yet certain death is the consequence of deferring them too long. Actions have fallen, and the loans are said to come in slowly. But besides that something of this must have been, whether there had been any change, or no: besides that the surprize of every change, for the better as well as the worse, is apt to affect credit for a while; there is a farther reason, which is plain, and scandalous. When the late party was at the helm, those, who were called the tories, never put their resentments in balance with the safety of the nation; but chearfully contributed to the common cause: now the scene is changed, the fallen party seems to act from very different motives ; they have given the word about; they will keep their
money, and be passive ; and in this point, stand upon the fame foot with papists and nonjurors. What would have be