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when the King of Spain was dead, and the most Christian King in actual possession of his whole monarchy; when all mankind agreed, a war was unavoidable, unless France receded from those measures, he had taken, which none ever thought he would, without force; then I say, to strip Ireland of its guard, and leave it naked and defenceless, is to me the plainest owning their intentions in nature. Were I in the French interests, and had been reproached by Mr. Poussin, for want of vigour, in consideration of the numerous Lewis d'Ors received, I would justify myself thus : ' Good God, • Mr. Poussin, what would you have us do? Have we not, from • the King's first coming to this time, delayed all things, that were ' for the interest of England ? What hav we not done, that could • tend to your service? Or what have we done, that the King re• commended to us, at the opening of last sessions ? Have we not
used the vilest means by Kidd, to take off five of your irreconcileable enemies? And when that would not answer our ends, did . we not impeach three of the chief of them ? Did we not fall into 'the greatest heats, and grosly abuse the House of Lords, only for
remembering us, to bring the impeached Lords to their trials? * And have not our whole faction fallen on my Lord Haversham, • notwithstanding one of our managers was the aggressor? Pray, tell
me, what have we done, without your advice, before the Kentish * petition, and the legion letter? And when yourself acknowledged, . there was an unavoidable necessity of sending those forces to • Holland: did we not surprise even you, by leaving Ireland open to
whatever designs his most Christian Majesty might have on it? • And after all, have we not cajoled the King and country, to continue us another sessions ? Come, come, Mr. Poussin, have pa
tience, and assure your great master, that we will deliver Eng. • land, dinpirited and defenceless, into the arms of his mercy.' I cannot see what Monsieur Poussin could have said to me, and I am sure I must have siienced him, if there is any verity in this old proverb, Truth will prevail.
Thus, have we seen our best friends oppressed, by the villainy of our worst enemies ; this is the end of the blood and treasure, which have been spent, to settle us on a firm basis of liberty. After a short period of twelve years, we are almost in the same hands that brought us to the brink of destruction, so lately.
The King, a little after his return from Holland, dissolved the last Parliament, as he was addressed to do, by his people; with what confusion to his enemies, their violent reflexions on his person were a sufficient evidence. They were, for a time, distracted with anger and envy, and, when they began to cool, they found it necessary to consider of their safeties, and of ways and means to support their detestable faction; in order to which, their council was often called, and (whether it were fear, or the Devil, that sharpened their inventions) they resolved upon a most villainous expedient, which was this. They declared in all places, that whatever opposition, they had made to the court, was in order to preserve the church; to confirm this, I appeal to all the counties and boroughs in England, if those members, who were charged with delaying the King's business, did not use almost the same argument to their electors. The sum of which was, that they were ill used, and reproached for nothing in the world, but their desire to save the nation's money, and their unshaken sincerity to the church, in opposition to those who would destroy her, the Whigs.
Thus, the continual efforts of the French faction is to divide us; and it is our misfortune to be the easiliest divided of any people in nature, one artifice of France having been sufficient to do it, for the greater part of a century. The old Cavalier and Roundhead, the latter Whig and Tory, and the immediate church-party and whig. party, are all the same; France sometimes new christens our factions, and we, an unthinking generation, let a little jargon divide, distract, and ruin us.
But the partisans of France have been lately more assiduous than ordinary to poison our ear; they buz the disaffected nobility, and great factions, or foolish commoners, with being shut out from all profits and share in the government; their great parts and capacities for the ministry are cried up; neither do they forget to tell them of the injustice and dishonour they receive by being left at the tail of affairs, whilst a few unworthy flatterers go away with all the honours and advantages. The commonalty are possessed with new hardships, laxes, misapplication of their money, evil counsellors, &c. and the church with retrenchments on their honours and privileges, and designs of totally subverting, or at least new modelling their authority and jurisdiction. They are continually remembered of what their fathers suffered from Cromwell; from whence it is inferred, that the Whigs will play the same game. And it is these arguments which have drawn the ignorant and unthinking, or the designing, part of the clergy into their interests. Now, that I may not seem to reflect on churchmen without reason, I will give a particular instance, that some of them were mistaken, at the electing knights of the shire for a neighbouring county. Five gentlemen stood candidates, four of them undeniably in the King's interests, but the other was said to be absolutely against him : yet there was a doctor of divinity, and a convocation man 100, who, besides all the votes among the clergy that he could influence, gave the gentleman, who was reproached for being against the King, his single vote, which, I think, was neither the wise, nor well bred part of the churchman. But it would be an unhandsome part to reflect on the gentlemen who sent him to the convocation, because he has done this; and I doubt not but those gentlemen will shew their resentment of this action of his, by sending a new representative to the next convocation.
I will not aggravate this matter by heaping up more instances of the like nature, because the mistakes or credulity of some few of the divines ought not to bring a reflexion on the honest men of that profession : neither must we think the whole body of the clergy in the St. Germain interest, because we have seen some of their coat so zealous in their service to gentlemen generally es
teemed in the French faction. On the contrary, the virtue and steadiness of the church in the cause of liberty, at the Revolution, should, in justice, cover the failings of her weak members. But France is under a necessity of using all its arts at this juncture to divide us; it is the last card he has to play; and if England has virtue enough to be united, and countermine his emissaries, that aspiring monarch must be bumbled ; his chief hopes of universal monarchy are built on our divisions; it is this he applies his utmost ability to procure; it is for this, as much as any thing, that he sighs for the arrival of his piate fleet. It was our divisions that founded the greatness of bis monarchy, and nothing else can finish the super-structure. To curb the genius of Great Britain was ever the load-star of the French ministry. That great Cardinal Richlieu, who laid the first stone of the French greatness, improved all opportun ties to divide us. I question not but he was the fomenter of our civil wars, and Charles the First's head paid for his designs on the Isle of Rhee. The French always apprehending our agreement as a sure presage of misfortune to them ; when we were but a little reconciled in the person of Oliver Cromwell, they bought our friendship with the most base and unworthy action, the banishing and exposing two miserable princes, who had taken sanctuary in that court. Mazarine and his succeeding ministers have still kept up to this darling maxim of division, and, from the Restoration to the Revolution, they have maintained a brave and towering faction; the two Kings, and their courts, were the parties of France, in opposition to the people of England France was at a miserable plunge, at the coming of King William; he was obliged intirely to shift his sails, and, since he could no longer have our Kings his pensioners, he submitted to more inferior agents, and fell into those measures before mentioned. But money being an excellent promoter of division, and France having ever found it the most unerring persuasive, both with worldly men, and men of revelation too, begins already to fear the failure of this almost irresistible rhetorick. It will be impossible to spin out his wars, without an annual return from the West Indies; the short remora's of that fleet have already thrown bim on his extremest measures of oppression, the capitation tax, and raising the value of his money. He foresees every year's increasing difficulties, and how impossible it will be to stem them, without the Spanish money; and nothing can retard the return of the galleons, at any time, but the English fleet. Wherefore, an expedient must be found to make that fleet always necessary at home;. in order thereto, bis friends already begin to rail at any proposal for increasing the army. They argue in all places, that an army, if the King pleases, may inslave the nation ; that the Emperor may raise and maintain men much easier and cheaper than we can, and they are very willing to give the King what money be pleases, to support the Emperor. This is a smart and well concerted matter; the complimenting the King with designs of tyranny is the least part of it. This is closer laid, and if France cannot wheedle us into a peace (which he will accept on almost any terms) his next best will be to keep us without an army: without an army our fleet must stay to protect us, or we shall be left open and defenceless to French invasions. I foresee, the friends of France will expose this, as a chimerical notion; but let honest men take care of bring too credulous; let them consider the great number of flat bottomed barques, which, for several years, have lain in the ports of France, that are near England; and, allowing we had more men of war than the French might have for their convoy, yet the same wind, wbich brings them, may keep us in our harbours; and, if the French can land twenty-thousand men, we cannot oppose them afterwards. What shall hinder them from ruining all our docks, and burning our naval magazines ? Let any body tell me, What shall stop their marching to London, ravaging the country, all the way they march, and plundering and burning the city? I cap name a sbrill speech-maker, with a vinegar satyr, that will ridicule all I have said, and, probably, some such way as this : What a mighty concern is this poor man in, a disbanded officer, I will warrant him, both by his arguments and reasonings ? Let me see,' says he (fleeringly) • first, the French are to land twenty-thousand men; very well, he makes no more of transporting them, than so many oysters. Then they are to come to town, I suppose, like the rehearsal army, in disguise, nothing is to be known of them, till we bear our wives and daughters squeak. Lord, how will our poor old ladies do to bear ravishment! and our bankers will be so confounded, at the loss of their money, that they will not have impudence enough left to desire God to save them; then all our men, from Dover to Windsor, may be engaged at nine-pins, and want leisure to oppose the French. I vow, I think we had best raise an army, and inslave ourselves, to prevent this; but then I desire to add one thing more, which is this, That there may be an act made for erecting a competent number of stone pillars round every house in England, to prevent the sky from hurting us, if it should bappen to fall; for I am of the man's mind, that we ought to provide against all dangers ;' so, putting on his particular sneer, sets a whole coffee-house into a tee-hee.
For that Gentleman's sake, I shall farther tell you, that the King of France has a much superior number, than what I speak of, lies always on (or within a day's march of) the coasts of France and Flanders, and he may, when he pleases, in two days time, imbarque that number of picki men, and a fair wind, in twelve hours, may land them in England. Now, if we had an account of their designs brought by the messenger, that carries the orders to the French general, who commands the descent, it would be a day, at least, after that general had received his orders, before the account could come to the Secretary's ofice; and suppose a council immediately called, and orders given for three-thousand men to march next morning, and they do march accordingly, it would be three days more before they could reach the nearest coasts of Kent, or Sussex, and march twenty miles a day too, and suppose them joined with
all the country. But I trifle. Did ever any foreigners attempt to land in England, and did not, from the time of Julius Cæsar, to the Revolution? As for that notion, that our mob would tear twentythousand French to pieces, all men, that know any thing of soldiery, laugh at it, as a ridiculous story; a regular army, of that strength, is not to be opposed by the confusion of a multitude, be they never so brave. I know some gentlemen, who pretend to be very fond of beating French armies with spits and fowling-pieces, that would be almost as easily persuaded to be hanged as to head such an army against the French. I do not pretend, that they can absolutely inslave us with so small a number as twenty-thousand (though it might be some difficulty to get them out, when their friends had joined them) but I do maintain, that their ruining our harbours, and city, would be practicable ; and what a step to slavery that would be, let any man judge. Another instance, worth our consideration, is, that an army, which will defend England, is also capable of offending France. I we are strong enough, in shipping, to cover a descent on any part of his coast, ten-thousand men, incamped near Dover or Deal, or any where in Kent, or Sussex, near the sea, will oblige France to keep forty-thousand of his best troops, to secure his own country.
What a vast charge was he at, in intrenching and fortifying his coast last war, when General Talmash, with less than seven-thousand men, alarmed his countries, bordering on the sea, from Dunkirk to Brest ? And though, as we are told, the design of landing at Brest was known to France, yet he would not trust any part of his coasts defenceless. What a hurry was there! what raising his militia, and forming a flying-camp! all his ports were strongly garisoned, and he had fifteen-thousand men intrenched at Camaret-Bay. Thus, at least, fifty-thousand of his best troops, besides the militia, were diverted by a lieutenant-general, and seven-thousand men. But, if we have no army to molest France, I see no reasons to induce him to keep above ten-thousand men in that part of his country; which, with his militia, will be security enough for the ports there, and he may dispose of the remainder of the forty-thousand, which we might divert, into the Empire, into Italy, or where else he pleases. And it may happen, that, when we are destitute of an army, those numerical men, finding their own ports in no danger, may come, and garison ours for us. Thus, I think, it is plain, that we must have an army, or keep our fleet at home ; and, if the Gallican engines can bring that about, the galleons may come yearly for the reward of their services, and the support of the French tyranny.
Now I may possibly be attacked by some graver person of the faction, who will say, Is not this pamphlet-man very abusive on gentlemen, who have contributed so much, and heartily, to save the nation! And then he gives you a formal list of all the good actions of the last parliament, which he calls theirs.' Part of this may be true too, which is so much the worse ; for it is these plausible stories blind us. The French party do, and will join with the true