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you should have considered that, in your declaration upon the king's coming to the throne of Great Britain, you endeavoured to terrify us from receiving him, by representing him as a powerful foreign prince, supported by a numerous army of his own subjects. Be that as it will; we are no more afraid of being a province to Hanover, than the Hanoverians are apprchensive of being a province to Bremen.
We have now taken notice of those great evils which you are come to rescue us from: but as they are such as we have neither felt nor seen, we desire you will put yourself to no farther trouble for our sakes.
You afterwards begin a kind of Te Deum, before the time, in that remarkable sentence, We adore the wisdom of the Divine Providence, which has opened a way to our restoration, by the success of those very measures that were laid to disappoint us for ever.' We are at a loss to know what you mean by this devout jargon: but by what goes before and follows, we suppose it to be this: that the coming of King George to the crown has made many malecontents, and by that means opened a way to your restoration; whereas, you should consider, that, if he had not come to the crown, the way had been open of itself. In the same pious paragraph, * You most carnestly conjure us to pursue those methods for your restoration, which the finger of God seems to point out to us.' Now the only methods which we can make use of for that end, are civil war, rapine, bloodshed, treason, and perjury; methods which we Protestants do humbly conceive, can never be pointed out to us by the finger of God.
The rest of your declaration contains the encouragements you give us to rebel. First, you promise to share with us all dangers and difficulties which we shall meet with in this worthy enterprise. You are very much in the right of it: you have nothing to lose, and hope to get a crown: we do not hope for any new freeholds, and only desire to keep what we have. As, therefore, you are in the right to undergo dangers and difficulties to make yourself our master, we shall think ourselves as much in the right to undergo dangers and difficulties to hinder you from being so.
Secondly, “You promise to refer your and our interest to a Scotch parliament,' which you are resolved to call immediately. We suppose you mean if the frost holds. But, Sir, we are certainly informed there is a parliament now sitting at Westminster, that are busy at present in taking care both of the Scotch and English interest, and have actually done every thing which you would let be done by our representatives in the Highlands.
Thirdly, “You promise, that if we will rebel for you against our present sovereign, you will remit and discharge all crimes of high treason, misprision, and all other crimes and offences whatsoever, done or committed against you and your father.' But will you answer in this case, that King George will forgive us ? Otherwise we beseech you to consider what poor comfort it would be for a British freeholder to be conveyed up Holborn with your pardon in his pocket. And here we cannot but remark, that the conditions of your general pardon are so stinted, as to show that you are very cautious lest your good-nature should carry you too far. You exclude from the benefit of it, all those who do not from the time of your landing lay hold on mercy, and return to their duty and allegịance. By this means all neuters and lookers-on are to be exe? cuted of course: and by the studied ambiguity in which you couch the terms of your gracious pardon, you still leave room to gratify yourself in all the pleasures of tyranny and revenge.
Upon the whole, we have so bad an opinion of rebellion, as well as of your motives to it, and rewards for it, that you may rest satisfied, there are few freeholders on this side the Forth who will engage in it: and we verily believe that you will suddenly take a resolution in your cabinet of Highlanders to scamper off with your new crown, which we are told the ladies of those parts have so generously clubbed for. And you may assure yourself that it is the only one you are like to get by this notable expedition. And so we bid you heartily farewell. Dated Jan. 19, in the second year of
our public happiness.
No. 10. MONDAY, JANUARY 23.
Potior visu est periculosa libertas quieto servitio. SALL. ONE
NE may venture to affirm, that all honest and disinterested Britons, of what party soever, if they understood one another, are of the same opinion in points of government: and that the gross of the people, who are imposed upon by terms which they do not comprehend, are Whigs in their hearts. They are made to believe, that passive obedience and nonresistance, unlimited power, and indefeisable right, have something of a venerable and religious meaning in them; whereas, in reality, they only imply, that a king of Great Britain has a right to be a tyrant, and that his subjects are obliged in conscience to be slaves. Were the case truly and fairly laid before them, they would know, that when they make a profession of such principles, they renounce their legal claim to liberty and property, and unwarily submit to what they really abhor,
It is our happiness, under the present reign, to hear our king from the throne exhorting us to be zealous assertors of the liberties of our country; which exclude all pretensions to an arbitrary, tyrannic, or despotic power. Those, who have the misfortune to live under such a power, have no other law but the will of their prince, and consequently no privileges but what are pernicious. For, though in some arbitrary governments there may be a body of laws abserved in the
ordinary forms of justice, they are not sufficient to secure any rights to the people; because they may be dispensed with, or laid aside at the pleasure of the sovereign.
And here it very much imports us to consider, that arbitrary power naturally tends to make a man a bad sovereign, who might possibly have been a good one, had he been invested with an authority limited and circumscribed by laws. None can doubt of this tendency in arbitrary power, who consider, that it fills the mind of man with great and unreasonable conceits of himself; raises him into a belief, that he is of a superior species to his subjects ;. extinguishes in him the principle of fear, which is one of the greatest motives to all duties; and creates an ambition of magnifying himself, by the exertion of such a power in all its instances. So great is the danger, that when a sovereign can do what he will, he will do what he can.
One of the most arbitrary princes of our age was Muley Ishmael, emperor of Morocco, who, after a long reign, died about a twelvemonth ago. This prince was a man of much wit and natural sense, of an active temper, undaunted courage, and great application. He was a descendant of Mahomet; and so exemplary for his adherence to the law of his prophet, that he abstained all his life from the taste of wine; began the annual fast, or Lent of Ramadan, two months before his subjects; was frequent in his prayers; and, that he might not want opportunities of kneeling, had fixed in all the spacious courts of his palace large consecrated stones, pointing towards the east, for any occasional exercise of his devotion. What might not have been hoped from a prince of these endowments, had they not been all rendered useless and ineffectual to the good of his people by the notion of that power which they ascribed to him! This will appear, if we consider how he exercised it towards his subjects in those three great points, which are the chief ends of government, the preservation of their lives, the security of their fortunes, and the determinations of justice between man and man.
Foreign envoys, who have given an account of their audiences, describe this holy man mounted on horseback in an open court, with several of his alcaids, or governors of provinces, about him, standing barefoot, trembling, bowing to the earth, and, at every word he spoke, breaking out into passionate exclamations of praise, as, Great is the wisdom of our lord the king; our lord the king speaks as an angel from heaven.' Happy was the man among them, who was so much à favourite as to be sent on an errand to the most remote street in his capital; which he performed with the greatest alacrity, ran through every puddle that lay in his way,
and took care to return out of breath and covered with dirt, that he might show himself a diligent and faithful minister. His majesty, at the same time, to exhibit the greatness of his power, and show his horsemanship, seldom dismissed the foreigner from his presence, till he had entertained him with the slaughter of two or three of his liege subjects, whom he very dexterously put to death with the tilt of his lance. St. Olon, the French envoy, tells us, that, when he had his last audience of him, he received him in robes just stained with an execution; and that he was blooded up to his elbows by a couple of Moors, whom he had been butchering with his own imperial hands. By the calculation of that author, and many others, who have since given an account of his exploits, we may reckon that by his own arm he killed above forty thousand of his people. To render himself the more awful, he chose to wear a garb of a particular colour, when he was bent upon executions; so that, when he appeared in yellow, his great men hid themselves in corners, and durst not pay their court to him, till he had satiated his thirst of blood by the death of some of his loyal commoners, or of such unwary officers of state as chanced to come in his way. Upon this account we are told, that the first news enquired after every morn