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LETTER XI.

March 24, 1698-9.

Remember it was always your Opinion and mine, that Liberty might be in Danger as much under a Proteftant Prince as under a Papift. It seems the collective Wisdom of the Nation is of the fame Judgment, for they have refolved to fend the Red Coats to learn the Arts of Peace in all the Counties, and Boroughs of the Kingdom. They make them in Effect free of all Corporations, and have refolved that feven thousand Men here, and twelve thousand in Ireland are a fufficient Land Force. The Courtiers had a large Field to expatiate in, concerning the embroiled Condition of Europe abroad (notwithstanding the new Peace,) and the dangerous extenfive Difaffection at home: But the Genius of England has prevailed. We are not now to be Slaves. His Majefty, under whofe Aufpices we have learned to mortgage the Kingdom, is graciously pleased to suffer us to see a Poffibility of redeeming it. The Dutch Guards ftuck much with Him, but they must also be gone. He is too wife a Prince, not to know that the Cafuiftry upon the Titles of contending Pretenders to the Crown, is but a Trifle in the Confideration of the Multitude; it furmounts their Theory. The true Ground and Reafon of Loyalty or Difaffection in the Populace is nothing elfe but the Senfe of their own prefent Happiness or Mifery; and let who will reign, he can never have the Affections of a People whom he burthens with Taxes to pay for the Infurance of their own Slavery. A Prince perhaps may have his Option, whether he

will

will govern a People by Force, or found his Authority upon their Affections: He has no Need of (and, I am much mistaken if he can have) Both.

The Courtiers have been very loud upon the Topick of our Obligation to the King, for the Benefits we have received from him, and in particular, for this laft Act of Condefcention: For my Part, it gives me the Spleen to hear fuch Stuff. Surely, thefe Men would make us believe that we were born the Slaves of fome Eaftern Monarch, that we enjoy our Liberties by a Gift revocable at Pleafure, and that they are not our Birth-right and Inheritance. Men who advance Notions of this Tendency, deserve the Gibbet equally with Garnet the Jefuit, and Oliver Cromwell; as being equally Traitors to their Country.

The King indeed ran the Rifque of conducting our Efforts for Liberty and Religion; we have fucceeded, we have paid the Expence of the Undertaking, and raised him to the Throne for his Pains. What is more to be done? I hope I am a very good Proteftant, but I am fure I never did defign to truck away all other Rights of an Englishman for a Deliverance only from King James's Ecclefiaftical Tyranny. Were our other Rights extinguifhed, our Religion would be also precarious; Orthodox with Conftantine, and Arian with Conftantius. Such a Deliverance would be Protestantism with a Witnefs. It would bring us under a very lively Description of bigotted Madness, which I fhall not attempt to tranflate, but here tranfcribe to fave you the Trouble of turning to it. Jupiter, ingentes qui das, adimifque Dolores, Mater ait Pueri menfes jam quinque cubantis, Frigida fi Puerum Quartana reliquerit; illo Manè Die, quo tu indicis jejunia, nudus

In Tiberi ftabit. Cafus Medicufve levârit
Egrum in præcipiti, mater delira necabit
In gelidâ fixum Ripâ, febrimque reducet.
Quonam Malo mentem concuffa? Timore Deorum.

WE

LETTER XII.

1701.

E are at laft come to the feveral Refolutions, which I fend you inclosed, about settling the Succeffion to the Crown; a Point of the utmoft Importance to these Kingdoms, and of no fmall Moment even to the most confiderable Powers in Europe. France, Spain, the Empire and Holland are most particularly attentive to this critical Step; for I believe it is by this Time well understood that the two late Kings were duped into the Measures of France, and had no Concern to preferve the Balance of Power in Europe. The Duchefs of Savoy is as importunate to have her Birth-right confidered at this Juncture, as the Duke's Minifter was fulfome in his Compliment upon the Revolution; yet furely they must have then foreseen their Pretenfions would be prejudiced by that grand Event. We have thrown the Popish Pedigrees out of the Queftion: You fee we do not meddle with the Prince's Birth; if it could be proved fuppofititious, that would not remove our Difficulties: We infift on the Security of our Religion as well as our Laws; we have feen how weak the Bonds of Duty, of Promifes, and of Oaths, are upon a Popish Prince, and therefore we cannot fcruple to exclude a Multitude of the Defcendants of King Charles the First, in Favour of his Sifter's Chil

dren.

dren. It is, indeed, a Wonder that this Work was not begun and perfected many Years ago, for the Occafion was little less than at present, except the Chance of the Duke of Gloucester's Life.

I fear you will obferve fome Cobweb-Nets, or Ropes of Sand in our Restrictions upon the Succeffors: We fay he fhall not go out of the Kingdom without Confent of Parliament. If he should not meet with Parliaments kind enough to confent Gratis, and his Inclinations be very strong for a Tour abroad, he may learn to buy Leave perhaps, once for all, by getting the Clause repealed: And (which is worfe!) Corruption of all kinds are in their Effects very like Fornication; it frequently happens, that Women fin the first Time without a Design to make a Practice of it; their Defires draw them in only (as they imagine) to gratify themselves pro illâ vice; but the like Appetite recurs on fresh Occafions; frequent Acts grow into a Habit; and the fame Perfon who felt a quick Compunction for the firft Fault, now thinks it a Fault no longer, and is infenfible of Remorfe and Shame. And, indeed, I think that Restriction a very idle one. Is it to be feared, that the Elector of Hanover (to put the Cafe ftronger than that of the Dowager Duchefs) could attempt to make his Electorate the Seat of the British Empire; could he think himself fafe in the Poffeffion of the Crown, if he were to fall upon fo ridiculous a Project? A Prince of Common Senfe has no Occafion for this Restriction; and if we had a Fool so abfurd, it were no Matter what became of him. A brave, a wife, a good King may have Occafions to go abroad, highly beneficial in their Confequences to this Kingdom; and I think we may believe, without taking any Security for it, that England will

continue

continue the Seat of Empire till it falls under the Sway of a Sovereign who has another Dominion at leaft equal to it.

But that Article which feems of moft Importance in Favour of England (and which would be truly valuable, if it were poffible duly to fulfil and obferve it) will be found either unjuft or impoffible in the Execution. It is that which provides

We shall not involve ourselves in the Quarrels or Defence of the Dominions on the Continent, which may belong to the Succeffor. With all due Loyalty to his Majefty, and Deference to the Princess Anne and her Hopes of Iffue; let us fuppofe an Elector of Hanover on the Throne of Great-Britain, and that he may have Occafion to quarrel for the Rights of thefe Kingdoms with any of his great Neighbours on the Continent; as, fuppofe the Swede, the Dane, the Pole, the Pruffian, the Saxon, or the Auftrian'; Will they take a Bull by the Horns? Will they attack him where he is ftrongest, and chufe to fit out Fleets to difpute it with England on the Seas, where they are certain to be worsted? Will they not rather with Fifty Thousand Men come againft his Ten Thousand, and overwhelm Brunswick as a Reprizal on the King of Great-Britain? If this should at any Time be the Cafe, would it be generous, would it be juft and honest to suffer it? Would not our Coolness on fuch an Occafion, tempt or provoke even a righteous Prince to make Treaties, not quite fo much to our Advantage as they ought to be, for Fear of caufing his innocent Dominion on the Continent to bear our Iniquities, to be the Scape-Goat of his Ifland-Empire?

I believe nobody can doubt, that the fine Webs of Politicks may be fo intricately woven, and the Affairs

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