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oaths that are tendered to us, we shall find that "We do not only renounce, refuse, and abjure any allegiance or obedience to the pretender, but swear to defend King George to the utmost of our power, against all traiterous conspiracies and attempts whatsoever, and to disclose and make known to his majesty, all treasons and traiterous conspiracies, which we shall know to be against him.'
To conclude, as among those who have bound themselves by these sacred obligations, the actual traitor or rebel is guilty of perjury in the eye of the law; the secret promoter, or well-wisher of the cause, is so before the tribunal of conscience. And though I should be unwilling to pronounce the man who is indolent, or indifferent in the cause of his prince, to be absolutely perjured; I may venture to affirm, that he falls very short of that allegiance to which he is obliged by oath. Upon the whole we may be assured, that; in a nation which is tied down by such religious and solemn engagements, the people's loyalty will keep pace with their morality; and that, in proportion as they are sincere Christians, they will be faithful subjects.
No. 7. FRIDAY, JANUARY 1S.
Veritas pluribus modis infracta : primum inscitiâ reipublicæ, ut aliena;
mox libidine assentandi, aut rursus odio adversus dominantes. Obtrectatio et livor pronis auribus accipiuntur : quippe adulationi fædum crimen servitutis, malignitati fulsa species libertatis inest. ТАСІт. .
HERE is no greater sign of a bad cause, than when the patrons of it are reduced to the necessity of making use of the most wicked artifices to support it. Of this kind are the falsehoods and calumnies which are invented and spread abroad by the enemies to our king and country. This spirit of malice and slander does not discover itself in any instances so ridiculous,
as in those, by which seditious men endeavour to depreciate his majesty's person and family, without considering that his court at Hanover was always allowed to be one of the politest in Europe, and that, before he became our king, he was reckoned among the greatest princes of Christendom.
But the most glorious of his majesty's predecessors was treated after the same manner. Upon that prince's first arrival, the inconsiderable party, who then laboured to make him odious to the people, gave out, that he brought with him twenty thousand Laplanders, clothed in the skins of bears, all of their own killing; and that they mutinied, because they had not been regaled with a bloody battle within two days after their landing. He was no sooner on the throne, than those, who had contributed to place him there, finding that he had made some changes at court which were not to their humour, endeavoured to render him unpopular by misrepresentations of his person, his character, and his actions; they found that his nose had a resemblance to that of Oliver Cromwell, and clapped him on a huge pair of mustachoes to frighten his people with: his mercy was fear; his justice was cruelty; his temperance economy, prudent behaviour, and application to business, were Dutch virtues, and such as we had not been used to in our English kings. He did not fight a battle in which the Tories did not slay double the number of what he had lost in the field; nor ever raised a siege or gained a victory, which did not cost more than it was worth. In short, he was contriving the ruin of his kingdom; and, in order to it, advanced Dr. Tillotson to the highest station of the church, my Lord Somers of the law, Mr. Montague of the treasury, and the admiral at la Hogue of the fleet. Such were the calumnies of the party of those times, which we see so faithfully copied out by men of the same principles under the reign of his present majesty.
As the schemes of these gentlemen are the most ab
surd and contradictory to common sense, the means by which they are promoted must be of the same nature. Nothing but weakness and folly can dispose Englishmen and Protestants to the interests of a poish pretender: and the same abilities of mind will naturally qualify his adherents to swallow the most palpable and notorious falsehoods. Their self-interested and designing leaders cannot desire a more ductile and easy people to work upon. How long was it before many of this simple and deluded tribe were brought to believe that the Highlanders were a generation of men that could be conquered! The rabble of the party were instructed to look upon them as so many giants and Saracens; and were very much surprised to find, that every one of them had not with his broad sword mowed down at least a squadron of the king's forces. There were not only public rejoicings in the camp at Perth, but likewise many private congratulations nearer us, among these well-wishers to their country, upon the victories of their friends at Preston; which continued till the rebels made their solemn cavalcade from Highgate. Nay, there were some of these wise partizans, who concluded, the government had hired two or three hundred hale men, who looked like fox-hunters, to be bound and pinioned, if not to be executed, as representatives of the pretended captives. Their victories in Scotland have been innumerable; and no longer ago than last week, they gained a very remarkable one, in which the Highlanders cut off all the Dutch forces to a man; and afterwards, disguising themselves in their habits, came up as friends to the king's troops, and put them all to the sword. This story had a great run for a day or two; and I believe one might still find out a whisper among their secret intelligence, that the Duke of Mar is actually upon the road to London, if not within two days march of the town. I need not take notice, that their successes in the battle of Dumblain are magnified among some of them to this day; though a Tory may very well
say, with King Pyrrhus, “That such another victory would undo them.”
But the most fruitful source of falsehood and calumny, is that which, one would think, should be the least apt to produce them; I mean a pretended concern for the safety of our established religion. Were these people as anxious for the doctrines which are essential to the church of England, as they are for the nominal distinction of adhering to its interests, they would know, that the sincere observation of public oaths, allegiance to their king, submission to their bishops, zeal against popery, and abhorrence of rebellion, are the great points that adorn the character of the church of England, and in which the authors of the reformed religion in this nation have always gloried. We justly reproach the Jesuits, who have adapted all Christianity to temporal and political views, for maintaining a position so repugnant to the laws of nature, morality, and religion, that an evil may be committed for the sake of good, which may arise from it. But we cannot suppose even this principle, as bad a one as it is, should influence those persons, who, by so many absurd and monstrous falsehoods, endeavour to delude men into a belief of the danger of the church. If there be any relying on the solemn declarations of a prince, famed for keeping his word, constant in the public exercises of our religion, and determined in the maintenance of our laws, we have all the assurances that can be given us, for the security of the established church under his government. When a leading man, therefore, begins to grow apprehensive for the church, you may be sure, that he is either in danger of losing a place, or in despair of getting one. It is pleasant on these occasions, to see a notorious profligate seized with a concern for his religion, and converting his spleen into zeal. These narrow and selfish views have so great an influence in this city, that, among those who call themselves the landed interest, there are several of my fellow freeholders, who always fancy the
church in danger upon the rising of bank-stock. But the standing absurdities, without the belief of which no man is reckoned a staunch churchman, are, that there is a calves-head club; for which, by the way, some pious Tory has made suitable hymns and devotions: that there is a confederacy among the greatest part of the prelates to destroy Episcopacy; and that all, who talk against Popery, are Presbyterians in their hearts. The emissaries of the party are so diligent in spreading ridiculous fictions of this kind, that at present, if we may credit common report, there are several remote parts of the nation in which it is firmly believed, that all the churches in London are shut up; and that, if any clergyman walks the streets in his habit, it is ten to one but he is knocked down by some sturdy schismatic.
We may observe upon this occasion, that there are many particular falsehoods suited to the particular climates and latitudes in which they are published, according as the situation of the place makes them less liable to discovery: there is many a lie, that will not thrive within a hundred miles of London: nay, we often find a lie born in Southwark, that dies the same day on this side the water: and several produced in the loyal ward of Port-soken of so feeble a make, as not to bear carriage to the Royal-Exchange. However, as the mints of calumny are perpetually at work, there are a great nuinber of curious inventions issued out from time to time, which grow current among the party, and circulate through the whole kingdom.
As the design of this paper is not to exasperate, but to undeceive my countrymen, let me desire them to consider the many inconveniences they bring upon themselves by these mutual intercourses of credulity and falsehood. I shall only remind the credulous of the strong delusion they have by this means been led into the greatest part of their lives. Their hopes have been kept up by a succession of lies for near thirty years. How many persons have starved in expectation of those profitable employments, which were