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would be wise in them, as individual and private mortals, to look back a little upon the storms they have raised, as well as those they have escaped : to reflect, that they have been authors of a new and wonderful thing in England, which is, for a house of Commons to lose the universal savour of the number they represent: to observe, how those, whom they thought fit to persecute for righteousness sake, have been openly carefsed by the people; and to remember, how themselves fat in fear of their persons from popular rage. Now, if they would know the secret of all this unprecedented proceeding in their masters, they must not impute it to their freedom in debate, or declaring their opinions, but to that unparliamentary abuse of setting individuals upon their shoulders, who were hated by God and man. For, it seems, the mass of the people, in such conjunctures as this, have opened their eyes, and will not endure to be governed by Clodius and Curio, at the head of their myrmidons, though these be ever so numerous, and composed of their own representatives.
This averfion of the people, against the late proceedings of the Commons, is an accident, that, if it last a while, might be improved to good uses, for setting the balance of power a little more upon an equality, than their late measures seem to promise or admit. This accident may be imputed to two causes : the first is, an universal fear and apprehension of the greatness and power of France, whereof the people in general seem to be very much and justly possessed ; and, therefore,
cannot but resent, to see it, in so critical a juncture, wholly laid aside by their ministers, the Commons. The other cause, is a great love and sense of gratitude in the people, towards their present King, grounded upon a long opinion and experience of his merit, as well as concessions to all their reafonable desires ; so that it is, for some time, they have begun to say, and to fetch instances, where he hath, in many things, been hardly used. How long these humours may laft, (for passions are momentary, and especially those of a multitude) or what consequences they may produce, a little time will discover. . But, whenever it comes to pass, that a popular assembly, free from such obstructions, and already possessed of more power than an equal balance will allow, fhall continue to think they have not enough, but, by cramping ihe hand that holds the balance, and by impeachments or dissenfions with the nobles, endeavour ftill for more; I cannot possibly see, in the common course of things, how the same causes can produce different effects and consequences among us, from what they did in Greece and
Set forth in their generous Encouragement of the
Author of the CRISIS*.
With some Observations on the seasonableness, can
dour, erudition, and style of that Treatise.
[Upon the first publication of this pamphlet, all the Scots Lords,
then in London, went in a body, and complained to Queen ANNE, of the affront put on them, and their nation, by the author of this treatise. Whereupon, a proclamation was published by her Majesty, offering a reward of 300 l. to discover him. The reason for offering so small a fum, was, that the Queen and ministry had no desire to have the author taken into custody.)
T Cannot, without some envy, and a just re1 sentment against the opposite conduct of others, reflect upon that generosity and tenderness, wherewith the heads and principal members of a
struggling • Jt was written in the year 1712, by the consent, if not the encouragement of the ministers of that æra, in answer to the Crisis, by Sir Richard Steele. Orrery.
The noble commentator, who appears, in ancther instance, to have given an account of the works of his author, from a peryfal of no more than a titlet in the Dublin editions, has been betrayed into mistakes, which, if he had read the piece, he would have escaped. This tract, in the title which his Lordship confulted, is said to have been written in the year 1712: but, it that part of it which most deserves the notice of a critic, because it occasioned a complaint in the house of Lords, mention is
made + See the note on Voyage to Brebdingnag, chap. 6. Vol V.
struggling faction, treat those who will undertake to hold a pen in their defence. And the behaviour of these patrons, is yet the more laudable, because the benefits they confer, are almost gratis. If any of their labourers can scratch out a pamphlet, they desire no more ; there is no question offered about the wit, the style, the argument. Let a pamphlet come out, upon demand, in a proper juncture, you shall be well and certainly paid ; you shall be paid beforehand; every one of the party who is able to read, and can spare a shilling, shall be a subscriber ; several thousands of each production shall be fent among their friends through the kingdom ; the work shall be reported admirable, sublime, unanswerable ; fhall serve to raise the sinking clamours, and confirm the scandal of introducing popery and the pretender, upon the Queen and her ministers.
Among the present writers on that fide, I can recollect but three of any great distinction, which are, the Flying Poft, Mr. Dunton, and the .
author made of a motion to dissolve the union, which did not happen till 1713. The complaint, which is said in the note to happen upon the first publication, was made the 2d of March 1713-14, and the pamphlet, according to the custom of printers, was dated 1714. Hawkes.
In the style and conduct, this is one of the boldest, as well as one of the most masterly tracts that Swift ever wrote. And I cannot help observing, that, on whatever topic he employs his pen, the subject which he treats of, is always so excellently managed, as to seem to have been the whole study and application of his life: so that he appears the greatest master, through a greater variety of materials, than perhaps have been discusled by any other author. Orrery,
author of the Crisis *. The first of these, seems to have been much funk in reputation, since the sudden retreat of the only true genuine original author, Mír. Ridpath, who is celebrated by the Dutch Gazetteer, as one of the best pens in England. Mr. Dunton hath been longer and more conversant in books than any of the three, as well as more voluminous in his productions : however, having employed his studies in so great a variety of other subjects, he hath, I think, but lately turned his genius to politics. His famous tract, entitled, Neck or nothing, must be allowed to be the shrewdest piece, and written with the most fpirit of any, which hath appeared from that side, fince the change of the ministry: it is, indeed, a most cutting satire upon the Lord Treasurer and Lord Bolingbroke; and I wonder none of our friends ever undertook to answer it. I confess I was at first of the same opinion with several good judges, who, from the style and manner, suppose it to have issued from the sharp pen of the Earl of Nottingham; and I am still apt to think, it might receive his Lordship’s last hand. The third and principal of this triumvirate, is the author of the Crisis; who, although he must yield to the Flying P01, in knowledge of the world, and skill in politics, and to Mr. Dunton, in keenness of satire, and variety of reading, harh yet other qualities enough to denominate him a writer of a
fuperior * Mr. Steele was expelled the House of Commons for this pamphlet, at the very same time that the House of Lords was moved against the Dean for the replyHawkes.