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his people ? As to the vote against those, who should affirm the church was in danger, I think it likewise referred to danger from, or under, the queen’s administration, (for I neither have it by me, nor can suddenly have recourse to it;) but if it were otherwise, I know not how it can refer to any dangers, but what were past, or at that time present; or how it could affect the future, unless the senators were all inspired, or at least that majority, which voted it: neither do I see it is any crime, farther than ill manners, to differ in opinion from a majority of either or both houses; and that ill manners, I must confess, I have been often guilty of for some years past, although I hope I never shall again.
Another topick of great use to these weekly inflamers is the young pretender in France, to whom their whole party is in a high measure indebted for all their greatness; and whenever it lies in their power, they may perhaps return their acknowledgments, as, out of their zeal for frequent revolutions, they were ready to do to his supposed father ; which is a piece of secret history, that I hope will one day see
the light; and I am sure it shall, if ever I am master of it, without regarding whose ears may tingle. But at present the word pretender is a term of art in their profession. A secretary of state cannot desire leave to resign, but the pretender is at bottom; the queen cannot dissolve a parliament, but it is a plot to dethrone herself and bring in the pretender ; half a score stock-jobbers are playing the knave in Exchange-alley, and there goes the pretender with a sponge. One would be apt to think, they bawl out the pretender so often to take off the terror; or tell so many lyes about him to slacken our caution; that when he is really coming, by their connivance, we may not believe them; as the boy served the shepherds about the coming of the wolf: or perhaps they scare us with the pretender, because they think he may be like some diseases, that come with a fright. Do they not believe, that the queen's present ministry love her majesty, at least as well as some others loved the church ? And why is it not as great a mark of disaffe&tion now, to say the queen is in danger, as it was some months ago to affirm the same of the church?
Suppose Suppose it be a false opinion, that the queen's right is bereditary and indefeafible; yet how is it possible, that those who hold and believe such a doctrine, can be in the pretender's interest? His title is weakened by every argument, that strengthens hers: it is as plain, as the words of an act of parliament can make it, That her prefent majesty is heir to the survivor of the late king and queen her sister: is not that an hereditary right? What need we explain it any farther? I have known an article of faith expounded in much looser and more general terms, and that by an author, whose opinions are very much followed by a certain party. Suppose we go further, and examine the word indefeasible, with which some writers of late have made themselves fo merry: I confess, it is hard to conceive how any law, which the fupreme power makes, may not by the fame power be repealed; so that I shall not determine, whether the queen's right be indefeasible, or no. But this I will maintain; that whoever affirms it so, is not guilty of a crime; for in that settlement of the crown after the revolution, where
her present majesty is named in remainder, there are (as near as I can remember) these remarkable words, to which we bind ourJelves and our posterity for ever. Lawyers may explain this, cr call them words of form as they please; and reasoners may argue, that such an obligation is against the very nature of government; but a plain reader, who takes the words in their natural meaning, may be excused in thinking a right fo confirmed is indefeasible; and if there be an absurdity in such an opinion, he is not to answer for it. P.S. When this paper was going to
the press, the printer brought me two more Observators, wholly taken up in my Examiner upon lying, which I was at the pains to read; and they are just such an answer, as the two others I have mentioned. This is all I have to say on that
Thursday, November 23, 1710.
Qui sunt boni cives ? Qui belli, qui domi
de patria bene merentes, nisi qui patriae
beneficia meminerunt? I
WILL employ this present paper upon a subject, which of late hath
much affected me, which I have considered with a good deal of application, and made several enquiries about among those persons, who, I thought, were best able to inform me; and if I deliver my sentiments with some freedom, I hope it will be forgiven, while I accompany it with that tenderness, which so nice a point requires.
I said in a former paper (Number 13.) that one fpecious objection to the late removals at court was the fear of giving uneasiness to a general, who hath been long successful abroad; and accordingly, the
common clamour of tongues and pens for some months past hath run against the baseness, the inconftancy, and ingratitude of the whole kingdom to the duke of Marlborough, in return of the most