Page images


Decemb. 5. 1688.

WE have it from the best Authority, that, When a Man's Works pleafe the Lord, he maketh his Enemies to be at Peace with him. Since this is fo, 'tis plain the King's Works have not pleafed the Lord; for his Servants, his intimate Confidants, his very Children have deferted him. From the Highest to the Loweft! the Prince and Princess of Denmark, the Lord Churchill, the Magiftrates, the very Footmen and Common Soldiers fhift for themselves, and avoid his ruin'd Fortune. The Royal Sovereign's finking; the very Rats, as by Inftinct, have quit it.

The Prince of Orange muft devise a Motto more expreffive of Succefs, than, Veni, Vidi, Vici; for he has got a potent Kingdom without ftriking a Stroke. And yet a Thousand of these Inftances can't make weak Princes wife. Had ours been lefs happy on the firft Day of his Reign, he might perhaps have escaped his Errors and Misfortunes. His Purfe was full, his People rich, his Revenue fo large, that it hardly requir'd an Addition to maintain a great Army: His Nobility and Gentry, his Clergy and Universities, his Counties and Boroughs, profeffed their Loyalty in the most affectionate Terms; and yet, in less than four Years time to use them all fo ill, that Affection or Loyalty to him fhould hardly be found in the whole Nation! 'Tis prodigious!

H, who is particularly pleafed with this Turn of Affairs, fays, that Waller prophefied it in his Poem on the Marriage of the Prince and


Princess of Orange, he points out thefe Lines for

that Purpose.

Ten thoufand Thanks the Nation owes
To him who does protect us all;
For while he thus his Niece beftows,
About our Ifle he builds a Wall ;
Stronger than that which Athens had,
By th' Oracle's Advice, of Wood:
Had theirs been fuch as Charles has made,
Their mighty State till now had stood.

But if Waller prophefied, he prophefied unwittingly, like Caiaphas the High-Prieft, or perhaps like Virgil in his Pollio; for he was too devoted to the Court, and had too little Pain for his Country, to dream of what has happen'd at this Day.


Decemb. 13. 1688.

Do not fuppofe that the Country is in perfect Tranquillity: Our Tumults in Town certainly equal thofe at Conftantinople, when they depofe their Sultans. I fhould not like, at prefent, to be mistaken for a Papift, much less for a Jefuit, in the Streets of London. We muft never more pretend to be a civilized People, nor call the Afiaticks, nor Africans, Barbarous. 'Tis a Reproach to the Nation, that no Method is found to reftrain the Licence of the raging Multitude. Not content with hunting the Priefts and Friars, and demolishing their Popish Countrymen, they have violated the Law of Nations, the Character of Ambassadors has not been facred to them.

If one could be a mere Spectator of their Pranks, (without any Concern for the Reputation of our Country) they have been exhibiting a Farce to us, ridiculous enough in Conscience; they have by Mistake fallen upon their beft Friend the Spanish Ambaffador, as Sir Martin Mar-all often does upon his trufty Servant Warner. They little know how devoted the Don is to their Party. There are also great Numbers among them who rife to pillage, and would be glad to plunder the Rich of both Parties.

It is wonderful, that those who are most deeply concerned, were the laft in the Kingdom to forefee these Calamities. Surely Men are infatuated on thefe Occafions. We hardly find in History a weak Prince who forefees his own Ruin a Month beforehand: Nay, they are generally more secure near the Crifis of their Fate than ever they were before, as if Solomon's Observation were conftantly to be verified, Pride cometh before Deftruction, and an haughty Spirit before a Fall.

[ocr errors]


February 9. 1688-9.

Acta eft Alea, We have drawn the Sword, and thrown away the Scabbard : We have put it out of our Power to retreat. Some thought, that in Confequence of laying afide the King, the Birth of the Young Gentleman would naturally have been the next Enquiry; and indeed if he had been left in the Kingdom, it could not eafily have been avoided. But I fuppofe his Friends thought the Air of London bad for his Health; for

if you look into the Bills of Mortality, you will find, that abundance of Children drop off under two Years of Age. Now fince he is gone, if the late King's Abdication (I think that is the Word) be right, it will be alfo right to reject the Youth, tho' his Birth fhould be ever fo Royal; for will not he have Education and * Advice from Priefts and Fefuits, and other wicked Perfons of the Church of Rome? Not that the Hiftory of the Warming-Pan is wholly to be loft; Men of different Complexions are capable of different Reasonings and different Faiths. One Man may renounce him for being the Son of King James, and another for not being fo,

This new Word Abdicate has occafioned a great Difplay of Learning on the Debate of the Vote. It seems our own Law (which fays, the King can do no Wrong) was too modeft to fupply a Word proper for the prefent Purpofe, fo that the Civilians were fo kind as to lend us this Term of Art, I believe I fhall be able to fend you the whole Debate in a little Time; I fhall therefore for the present only obviate a Mistake, which fome Gentlemen have fallen into; as if by the Word, Abdicate, the King's Flight were only intended. It would have been too fevere to deprive him of his Crown for flying, when it was not fafe for him to stay : And I am well informed that it ftands in the Vote neither to mean his Flight, nor any exprefs Declaration of his ; but it will be beft understood by comparing Mr. Somers's Explanation of it with the Vote itself. A Man, fays he, may Abdicate a Thing when he does an Act which is inconfiftent with the retaining it, tho' there be not an exprefs Re

*The Words in the Vote of Abdication.


HISTORICAL LETTERS. 15 nunciation. Calvin's Lexic. Juridic. (Generum Abdicat, qui fponfam Repudiat) he that divorces = his Wife, abdicates his Son-in-Law. I tranfcribe the Vote for you, left you should not have it by


Refolved, That King James the Second, having endeavoured to fubvert the Conftitution of the Kingdom, by breaking the Original Contract between King and People; and by the Advice of Jefuits and other wicked Perfons, having violated the Fundamental Law, and withdrawn himself out of the Kingdom, hath Abdicated the Government, and that the Throne is thereby Vacant.

The other Vote for filling the Throne (which fets the Prince on it as well as the Princess, the executive Power to be in him) is fomething like Harry the Seventh's Acceffion, or rather ftronger and more explicite; for his Pretenfions to an Hereditary Right were well known; but he thought it prudent to leave the Matter complicated.

There is nothing new in this whole Tranfaction, nor more wonderful than what has happened heretofore in many other Kingdoms. On fuch violent Concuffions, new Families have fometimes fprung up, and fometimes Democracies. Great Earthquakes change the Courses of Rivers, level Mountains, and raise the Vallies.


THEY tell us Wonders here of the English Colony of Londonderry in Ireland, they fight and ftarve like the ancient Saguntines. They deferve our early Care of them; for if we have done


« EelmineJätka »