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his Affembly, he assumes and affe&ts an entire Set of very different Airs; he conceives himself a Being of a Superior Nature to those without, and acting in a Sphere where the Vulgar Methods for the Conduct of Human Life can be of no Use. He is listed in a Party, where he neither knows the Temper, nor Designs, nor perhaps the Person of his Leader; by whose Opinions he follows and maintains with a Zeal and Faith as violent, as a young Scholar does those of a Philosopher, whose Seat he is taught to profess, He has neither Opinions, nor Thoughts, nor Actions, nór Talk that he can call his own, but all conveyed to him by his Leader, as Wind is thro' an Organ. The Nourishment he receives has been not only chewed but digefted before it comes into his Mouth. Thus instructed, he follows the Party right or wrong thro' all its Sentiments, and acquires a Courage and Stiff ness of Opinion not at all congenial with him.
This encourages me to hope, that during this lucid Interval, the Members retired to their Homes may suspend a while their acquired Coma plexions, and taught by the Calmness of the Scene and the Season, reasume the native Sedateness of their Temper. If this should be so, it would be wise in them, as individual and private More tals, 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 Fovour of the Numbers they represent. To observe, how those, whom they thought fit to persecute for Righteousness
fake, have been openly caress’d by the people; and to remember how themselves sate in fear of their Persons from popular Rage. Now, if they, would know the Secret of all this unprefidented 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, tho' these be ever fo numerous, and composed of their own Representatives
. This Aversion of the People for the late Proceedings of the Commons, is an Accident, that if it last a while might be improved to good Uses for setting the Ballance of Power
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 poffess'd, and therefore cannot but resent to see it in so critical a Juncture, whole ly 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 Conceffions to all their reasonable Defires; so that it is for some time they have begun to say, and to fetch Instances where he has in many things been hardly used. How long these Hu
mours may last, (for Passions are momentary, and especially those of a Multitude ) or what Consequences they may produce, a little time may discover. But whenever it comes to pass, that a popular Assembly, free from such Obé structions, and already poffess’d of more Power, than an equal Ballance will allow, shall continue to think they have not enough, but by cramping the Hand that holds the Ballance, and by Impeachments or Diffentions 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 Rome.
Church of England-Man
With Respect to Religion and GOVERNMENT,
Written in the Year, 1708.
HOEVER has examined the Con
duct and Proceedings of both Pare ties for some Years past, whether in
or out of Power, cannot well conceive it possible to go far towards the Extreams of either without offering some Violence to his Integrity or Understanding. A Wise and a good Man may indeed be sometimes induced to comply with a Number whose Opinion he generally approves, tho’ it be perhaps againft his own.' But this Liberty should be made use of upon very few Occafions, and those of small Importance, and then only with a view of bringing over his own side another Time to something of greater and more Publick Moment. But, to sacrifice the Innocency of a Friend, the Good
of our Country, or own Conscience to the Humour, or Passion, or Interest of a Party, plainly shews that either our Heads or our Hearts are not as they should be. Yet this very Practice is the Fundamental Law of each Faction among us, as may be obvious to any who will Impartially and without Engagement be at the pains to examine their Actions, which however is not so easie a Task : For it seems a Principle in Human Nature, to incline one way more than another, even in matters where we are wholly unconcerned. And it is a common Observation, that in reading a Hiftory of Facts done a Thousand Years ago, or ftanding by a Play among those who are perfect Strangers to us, we are apt to find our Hopes and Wishes engaged on a sudden in favour of one fide more than another. No wonder then we are all so ready to intereft our felves in the Course of Publick Affairs, where the most inconfiderable have some real Share, and by the wonderful Importance which every Man is of to himself, a 've ry great Immagenary one.
AND indeed, when the Two Parties that di. vide the whole Common-wealth, come once to a Rupture, without any Hopes left of forming a Third with better Principles, to ballance the others; it seems every Man's Duty to chuse a Side, tho' he cannot entirely approve of either And all Pretences to Neutrality are justly Exploded by both, being too Stale_and' Obvious, only intending the Safety and Eale of a few Individuals while the Publick is Embroiled. This was the Opinion and Practice of the latter Cato, whom I esteem to have been the wiseft and best of all the Ronans. But before