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King William. I have read, indeed, that some small overtures were made by the former of these Princes, towards an union between the two kingdons, but rejected, with indignation and contempt, by the English; and the historian tells us, that, how degenerate and corrupt foever the court and parliament then were, they would not give ear to so infamous a proposal. I do not find, that any of the succeeding princes, before the revolution, ever resumed the defign; because it was a project, for which there could not possibly be assigned the least reason or neceflity : for, I defy any mortal to name one single advantage that England could ever expect from such an union.
But, towards the end of the fate King's reign, upon apprehensions of the want of issue from him, or the Princess Anne, a proposition for uniting both kingioms was begun; because Scotland had not settled their crown upon the house of Hanover, but left themfelves at large, in hopes to make their advantage; and it was thought highly dangerous to leave that part of the island, inhabited by a poor, fierce, northern people, at liberty to put themselves under a different king. However, the opposition to this work was fo great, that it could not be overcome, until some time after her prefent Majesty came to the crown, when, by the weakness or corruption of a certain minister, since dead, an act of parliament was obtained for the Scots, which gave them leave to arm themselves ; † and fo the u.
See the Examiner, No. XIX. at the end, Vol. III.
nion became necessary, not for any actual good it could possibly do us, but to avoid a probable evil ; and, at the same time, save an obnoxious minister's head; who was so wise as to take the first opportunity of procuring a general pardon, by act of parliament, because he could not, with so much decency and safety, desire a particular one for himself. These facts are well enough known to the whole kingdom. And I remember, discoursing, above fix years ago, with the most considerable * person of the adverse party, and a great promoter of the union, he frankly owned to me, that this necessity, brought upon us by the wrong management of the Earl of Godolphin, was the only cause of the union.
Therefore, I am ready to grant two points to the author of the Crils: fira, That the union became necessary, for the cause above related; because it prevented this island from being governed by two kings; which England would never have suffered ; and it might probably have cost us a war of a year or two, to reduce the Scots. Secondly, That it would be dangerous to break this union, at least in this juncture, while there is a Pretender abroad, who might probably lay hold of such an opportunity. And this made me wonder a little at the spirit of faction last summer among some people, who, having been the great promoters of the union, and several of them the principal gainers by it, could yet proceed fo far as to propose, in the house of D d 2
Lords, * Lord Somers.
Lords, that it should be diffolved ; t while, at the same time, those peers, who had ever opposed it in the beginning, were then for preserving it, upon the reason I have just assigned, and which the author of the Crisis hath likewise taken notice of.
But when he tells us, the Englishmen ought, in generosity, to be more particularly careful in preserving this union, he argues like himself. The late kingdom of Scotland, faith he, had as numerous a nobility as England, &c. They had, indeed; and to that we owe one of the great and necessary evils of the union, upon the foot it now stands. Their nobility is, indeed, fo numerous, that the whole revenues of their country would be hardly able to maintain them, according to the dignity of their titles; and, what is infinitely worse, they are never likely to be extinct, until the last period of all things; because the greatest part of them descend to heirs-general. I imagine a person of quality, prevailed on to marry a woman much his inferior, and without a groat to her fortune, and her friends arguing, she was as good as her husband, because she brought him as nu
+ The Duke of Argyle, who zealously promoted the union, the Earl of Mar, Mr. Lockhart, and Mr. Cockburn, having been deputed on purpose, remonstrated to the Queen against the malt-tax, which, they said, would probably prompt the Scots to declare the union dissolved. The Earl of Find later, foon after, moved the house of Lords, for leave to bring in a bill for diffolving the union. He was seconded by the Earl of Mar, and supported by Lord Eglinton, the Earl of Hay, the Duke of Argyle, and others. Hawkej:
merous a family of relations and servants as the found in his house. Scotland, in the taxes, is obliged to contribute one penny for every forty pence laid upon England; and the representatives they send to parliament, are about a thirteenth. Every other Scots peer hath all the privilges of an English one, except that of fitting in parliament; and even precedence before all of the fame title, that shall be created for the time to come. The pensions and employments possessed by the natives of that country, now among us, do amount to more than the whole body of their nobility ever spent at home; and all the money they raise upon the public, is hardly fufficient to defray their civil and military lists. I could point out some with great titles, who affected to appear very vigorous for diffolving the union, although their whole revenues, before that period, would have ill maintained a Welsh justice of the peace; and have since gathered more money than ever any Scotsman, who had not travelled, could form an idea of. · I have only one thing more to say, upon occafion of the union act; which is, that the author of the Crisis may be fairly proved, from his own citations, to be guilty of high TREASON. In a paper of his, called the Englishman, of October 29th, there is an advertisement, about taking in subscriptions for printing the Crisis, where the title is published at length, with the following clause, which the author thought fit to drop in the publication ; [and that 1:0 power on earth can Dd3
bar, bar, alter, or make void the present fettlement of the crown, &c. By Richard Steele.] In this extract of an act of parliament made fince the un nion, it appears to be high treason, for any person, by writing or printing, to maintain and affirm, that the kings or queens of this realm, with and by the authority of parliament, are not able to make laws and Statutes, of sufficient force and validity, to limit and bind the crown, and the descent, limitation, inheritance, and government thereof. This act being subsequent to the settlement of the crown, confirmed at the union, it is probable, some friend of the author advised him to leave out those treasonable words in the printed title-page, which he had before published in the advertisement; and accord.' ingly, we find, that, in the treatise itself, he only offers it to every good subject's confideration, whether this article of the fetilenient of the crown is 'not as firm as the union itfelf, and as the settlement of E. piscopacy in England, &c. And he thinks the Scots understood it fo, that the fucceffion to the crown was never to be controverted.
These I take to be only treasonable infinuations ; but the advertisement before mentioned, is actually high treason; for whieh the author ought to be prosecuted, if that would avail any thing under a jurisdiction, where cursing the QUEEN is not above the penalty of twenty merks.
Nothing is more notorious, than that the whig's, of fate years, both in their writings and discourses, have affected, upon all occasions, to allow the legitimacy of the Pretender. This