Page images
PDF
EPUB

no.

makes me a little wonder to fee our author labouring to prove the contrary, by producing all the popular chat of those times, and other folid arguments from Fuller's narrative : but, it must be fupposed, that this gentleman acts by the commands of his superiors, who have thought fit, at this juncture, to iffue out new orders, for reasons best known to themselves. I wish they had been more clear in their directions to him, upon that weighty point, whether the settlement of the fuccellion in the house of Hanover be alterable or

I have observed where, in his former pages, he gives it in the negative; but, in the turning of a leaf, he hath wholly changed his mind. He tells us, he wonders there can be found any Briton weak enough to contend against a power in their own nation, which is practised, in a much greater des gree, in cther states : and how hard it is, that Britain should be debarred the privilege of eftablishing its con security, by relinquishing only those branches of the royal line, which threaten it with desiruction ; whilst other nations never fcruple, upon lefs occasions, to go much greater lengths; of which he produceth instances in France, Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia ; and then adds, can great Britain help to advance men to other thrones, and have 110 power in limiting its own? How can a fenator, capable of dring honour to Sir Thomas Hanmer, be guilty of such ridiculous inconGftencies? The author of the Conduct of the allies, says he, hath dared to drop ina finuations about altering the succeffion. The author of the Conduct of the allies writes sense and Eng

lish; neither of which, the author of the Crisis understands. The former thinks it

wrong,

in point of policy, to call in a foreign power to be guarantee of our succession, because it puts it out of the power of our own legislature to change our succession, without the consent of that prince or state, who is guarantee, whatever necessity may happen in future times. Now, if it be high treafon to affirm, by writing, that the legislature hath no such power ; and if Mr. Steele thinks it strange, that Britain should be debarred this privilege, what could be the crime of putting such a case, that, in future ages, a necessity might happen, of limiting the succession, as well as it hath happened already?

When Mr. Steele reflects upon the man; folemn, Atrong barriers (to our succession) of laws and oaths, &c. he thinks all fear vanisheth before them. I think fo too, provided the epithet folemn goes for nothing; because, although I have often heard of a folemn day, a solemn feast, and a folemn coxcomb, yet I can conceive no idea to myself, of a solemn barrier. However, be that as it will, his thoughts, it seems, will not let him reft; but, before he is aware, be asks himself several questions; and, since he cannot resolve them, I will endeavour to give him what satisfaction I am able. The first is, What are the marks of a lasting security? To which I answer, That the signs of it, in a kingdom or ftate, are, first, good laws; and, secondly, those laws well executed. We are pretty well provided with the former, but extremely defective in -the latter.--Secondly, What are our' ten:pers arid

و

our heurts at home? If by ours,' he means those of himself and his abertors, they are most damnably wicked; impatient for the death of the QUEEN; ready to gratify their ambition and revenge, by all desperate methods; wholly alienated from truth, law, religion, mercy, conscience, or honour. Thirdly, In what hands is power lodged abroad? To answer the question naturally, Lewis XIV. is king of France, Philip V. (by the counsels and acknowledgments of the Whigs) is King of Spain, and so on. If by power, he means money; the Duke of Marlborough is thought to have more ready money than all the kings of Christendom together; but, by the peculiar disposition of Providence, it is locked up in a trunk, to which his ambition hath no key; and that is our security. Fourthly, Are our unnatural divisions our strength ? I think not ;

but they are the sign of it; for, being unnatural, they cannot laft; and this shews, that union, the foundation of all strength, is more agreeable to our nature.--Fifthly, Is it nothing to us, which of the Princes of Europe has the longest sword? Not much, if we can tie-up his hands, or put a strong shield into those of his neighbours; or, if our sword be as barp as his is long; or, if it be necessary for him to turn his own sword into a ploughshare; or, if such a sword happeneth to be in the hands of an infant, or struggled for by two competitors.--Sixthly, The powerful hand that deals out crowns and kingdoms all around us, may

it not, in time, reach a king out to us too ?. If the

powerful

powerful hand he means, be that of France, it may reach out as many kings as it pleaseth; but we will not accept them. Whence does this man get his intelligence? I should think, even his brother Ridpath might furnish him with bet

What crowns or kingdoms hath France dealt about? Spain was given by the will of the former King, in consequence of that infamous treaty of partition; the adviser of which will, I hope, never be forgot in England. Sicily was disposed of by her Majesty of Great Britain ; fo, in effect, was Sardinia. France, indeed, once reached out a king to Poland; but the people would not receive him. This question of Mr. Steele's, was therefore only put in terrorem, without any regard to truth.-Seventhly, Are there no pretensions to our crown that can ever be revived? There may,

for aught I know, be about a dozen; and thofe, in time, may possibly beget a hundred; but we must do as well as we can. Captain Bessus, when he had fifty challenges to answer, protested, he could not fight above three duels aday. If the Pretender should fail, says the writer, the French King has in his quiver a succesion of them; the Duchess of Savoy, or her fons, or the Dauphin her grandfon. Let me suppose the Chevalier de St. George to be dead; the Duchess of Savoy will then be a pretender, and consequently must leave her husband, because his Royal Highnefs, (for Mr. Steele has not yet acknowledged him for a King) is in alliance with her British Majesty ; ber fons, when they grow pretenders,

must

nrust undergo the same fate. But, I am at a lofs how to dispose of the Dauphin, if he happen to be King of France, before the pretendership to Britain falls to his share ; for I doubt he will never be persuaded to remove out of his own kingdom, only because it is too near England.

But the Duke of Savoy did, fome years ago, put in his claim to the crown of England in right of his wife ; and he is a prince of great capacity, in Arict alliance with France, and may therefore very well add to our fears of a popifis fucceffor. Is it the fault of the present, or of any ministry, that this Prince put in his claim ? must we give him opium to destroy his capacity? or can we prevent his alliance with any prince, who is in peace with her Majefiy? Muit we send to stab or poison all the popish princes, who have any pretended title to our crown, by the proximity of blood? What, in the name of God, can these people drive at! what is it they demand! Suppose the present Dauphin were now a man, and King of France, and next popish heir to the crown of England; is he not excluded by the laws of the land ? But what regard will be have to our laws? I answer; hatlı not the Queen as good a title to the crown of France ? and how is the excluded, but by their law against the fuccesfion of females, which we are not bound to acknowledge ? And is it not in our power to exclude female fucceffors, as well as in theirs ? If such a pretence shall prove

the cause of a war, what human power can prevent it? But our caufe muft necessarily be good and righ

teous ;

« PreviousContinue »