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I could only pretend to be a remembrancer. For I can never forget the answer he gave to the late Lord Halifax, who upon the first change of the Ministry interceded with him to spare Mr. Congreve It was by repeating these two lines of Virgil,
Non obtufa adeo geftamus pectora Pani, Nec tam averfus equos Tyria Sol jungit ab urbe. Pursuant to which, he always treated Mr. Congreve with the greatest perfonal civilities, affuring him of his conftant favour and protection, and adding that he would study to do fomething better for him.
I remember it was in thofe times a usual fubject of raillery towards me among the Ministers, that I never came to them without a Whig in my fleeve: which I do not fay with any view towards making my Court: For, the new Principles e fixed to those of that denomination, I did then, and do now from my heart abhor, detest, and abjure, as wholly degenerate from their predeceffors. I have converfed in fome freedom with more Minifters of State of all parties than ufually happens to men of my level, and, I confess, in their capacity as Ministers,
He means particularly | Enemies, of an intention to the principle at that time profcribe the Tories. charged upon them by their
I look upon them as a race of people whose acquaintance no man would court otherwife than upon the score of Vanity or Ambition. The first quickly wears off (and is the Vice of low minds, for a man of spirit is too proud to be vain) and the other was not my cafe. Befides, having never' received more than one fmall favour, I was under no neceffity of being a flave to men in power, but chofe my friends by their perfonal merit, without examining how far their notions agreed with the politics then in vogue. I frequently converfed with Mr. Addison, and the others I named (except Mr. Steel) during all my Lord Oxford's Ministry, and Mr. Addison's friendship to me continued inviolable, with as much kindness as when we used to meet at, my Lord Sommers or Halifax, who were leaders of the opposite Party.
I would infer from all this, that it is with great injustice I have these many years been pelted by your Pamphleteers, merely upon account of fome regard which the Queen's laft Ministers were pleafed to have for me: and yet in my confcience I think I am a partaker in every ill design they had against the Proteftant Succeffion, or the Liberties and Religion of their
f Lord Sommers had very warmly recommended Dr. Swift to the favour of Lord
Wharton when he went the Queen's Lieutenant into Ireland, in the year 1709.
Country; and can fay with Cicero, " that I "should be proud to be included with them " in all their actions tanquam in equo Trojano." But if I have never discovered by my words, writings, or actions, any Party virulence, or dangerous defigns against the prefent powers; if my friendship and conversation were equally shewn among those who liked or disapproved the proceedings then at Court, and that I was known to be a common Friend of all deferving perfons of the latter fort, when they were in diftrefs: I cannot but think it hard, that I am not fuffered to run quietly among the common herd of people, whofe opinions unfortunately differ from those which lead to favour and Preferment.
I ought to let you know, that the Thing we called a Whig in England is a creature altogether different from thofe of the fame denomination here; at leaft it was fo during the reign of her late Majefty. Whether those on your fide have changed or no, it hath not been my business to inquire. I remember my excellent friend Mr. Addison, when he first came over hither Secretary to the Earl of Wharton, then Lord Lieutenant, was extremely offended at the Conduct and difcourfe of the Chief Mana
8 The Examiners, I fup- lifhed amongst the Dean's pose, were not then pub- works.
gers here: He told me they were a fort of people who seemed to think, that the principles of a Whig confifted in nothing else but damning the Church, reviling the Clergy, abetting the Diffenters, and fpeaking contemptibly of revealed Religion.
I was difcourfing fome years ago with a certain Minister about that whiggish or fanatical Genius, fo prevalent among the English of this kingdom: his Lordship accounted for it by that number of Cromwell's Soldiers, adventurers established here, who were all of the foureft leven, and the meanest birth, and whofe pofterity are now in poffeffion of their lands and their principles. However, it must be confeffed, that of late fome people in this country are grown weary of quarrelling, because interest, the great motive of quarrelling, is at an end; for, it is hardly worth contending who shall be an Exciseman, a Country-Vicar, a Cryer in the Courts, or an Under-Clerk.
You will perhaps be inclined to think, that a perfon fo ill treated as I have been, must at fome time or other have discovered very dangerous opinions in government; in answer to which, I will tell you what my Political Principles were in the time of her late glorious Majefty, which I never contradicted by any action, writing, or difcourfe.
First, I always declared myself against a Popish Succeffor to the Crown, whatever Title he might have by the proximity of blood: Neither did I ever regard the right line, except upon two accounts: first, as it was established by law; and fecondly, as it hath much weight in the opinions of the people. For neceffity may abolish any Law, but cannot alter the fentiments of the vulgar; Right of inheritance being perhaps the most popular of all topics: and therefore in great Changes when that is broke, there will remain much heart-burning and difcontent among the meaner people; which (under a weak Prince and corrupt Administration) have the worst consequences upon the peace of any ftate.
As to what is called a Revolution principle, my opinion was this; That whenever thofe evils, which ufually attend and follow a violent change of Government, were not in probability fo pernicious as the grievance we fuffer under a prefent power, then the public good will justify fuch a Revolution. And this I took to have been the cafe in the Prince of Orange's Expedition, although in the confequences it produced fome very bad effects, which are likely to ftick long enough by us.
I had likewife in those days a mortal antipathy