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our constitution both in church and state; and we at last were brought to the very brink of ruin; yet, by the means of perpetual representations, have never been able to distinguish between our enemies and friends. We have seen a great part of the nation's money got into the hands of those, who by their birth, education, and merit, could pretend no higher than to wear our liveries; while others, who by their credit, quality, and fortune, were only able to give reputation and success to the revolution, were not only laid aside as dangerous and useless, but loaden with the scandal of Jacobites, men of arbitrary principles, and pensioners to France; while truth, who is said to lie in a well, seemed now to be buried there under a heap of stones. But I remember, it was an usual complaint among the Whigs, that the bulk of the landed men was not in their interests, which some of the wisest looked on as an ill omen; and we saw it was with the utmost difficulty, that they could preserve a majority, while the court and ministry were on their side, till they had learned those admirable expedients for de
ciding clections, and influencing distant boroughs by powerful motives from the city. But all this was mere force and constraint, however upheld by most dextrous artifice and management, until the people began to apprehend their properties
, their religion, and the monarchy itself in danger; then we saw them greedily laying hold on the first occasion to interpose. But of this mighty change in the dispositions of the people I shall discourse more at large in fome following paper; wherein I shall endeavour to undeceive or discover those deluded or deluding persons, who hope or pretend, it is only a short madness in the vulgar, from which they may foon recover; whereas, I believe, it will appear to be very different in its causes, its fymptoms, and its consequences ; and prove a great example to illustrate the maxim I lately mentioned; that truth (however, sometimes late) will at last prevail
Thursday, November 16, 1710.
medioque ut limite curras, Icare, ait, moneo : ne si demisfior ibis, Unda gravet pennas; si celfior, ignis adurat, IT T must be avowed, that for some years
past, there have been few things more wanted in England than such a paper, as this ought to be: and such as I will endeavour to make it, as long as it shall be found of any use, without entering into the violences of either party. Considering the many grievous misrepresentations of persons and things, it is highly requisite at this juncture, that the people throughout the kingdom should, if possible, be set right in their opinions by fome impartial hand; which hath never been yet attempted; those, who have hitherto undertaken it, being upon every account, the least qualified of all human kind for such a work.
We live here under a limited monarchy, and under the doctrine and discipline of an excellent church, We are unhappily
divided into two parties, both which pretend a mighty zeal for our religion and government, only they disagree about the means. The evils, we must fence against, are on one side fanaticism and infidelity in religion, and anarchy, under the name of a commonwealth, in government; on the other side, popery, slavery, and the pretender from France. Now to inform and direct us in our sentiments upon these weighty points here are on one side two stupid illiterate fcriblers, both of them fanaticks by profession, I mean the Review and Observator; on the other side, we have an open Nonjuror; whose character and person, as well as learning and good sense discovered upon other subjects, do indeed deserve respect and esteem; but his Rehearsal and the rest of his political papers are yet more pernicious, than those of the former two. If the generality of the people know not how to talk or think, until they have read their leson in the papers
of the week, what a misfortune is it, that their duty should be conveyed to them through such vehicles as those ? For, let fome gentlemen think what they please, I cannot but suspect, that the two worthies I first mentioned have, in a degree, done mischief among us; the mock authoritative manner of the one, and the insipid mirth of the other, however insupportable to reasonable ears, being of a level with great numbers among the lowest part of mankind. Neither was the author of the Rebearsal, while he continued that paper, less infectious to many persons of better figure, who perhaps were as well qualified, and much less prejudiced, to judge for themselves.
It was this reason, that moved me to take the matter out of those rough, as well as those dirty hands; to let the remote and uninstructed part of the nation see, that they have been misled on both sides by mad ridiculous extremes, at a wide distance on each side from the truth; while the right path is so broad and plain as to be easily kept, if they were once put into it.
Further : I had lately entered on a resolution to take very little notice of other papers, unless it were such, where the masice and fallhood had so great a mixture of wit and spirit, as would make them