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from being truly related, that, in the beginning of the war, they were executed without mercy.
But when, in conjunction with their allies, they became superior to King Philip's party in strength, and extended their conquests up to the very gates of Madrid, it cannot be supposed the Spanish court would be so infatuated as to persist in their first severities, against an enemy that could make such terrible reprisals. However, when this reason of state ceased, how dreadful was the havoc made among this brave, but unhappy people ! The whole kingdom, without any distinction to the many thousands of its innocent inhabitants, was stripped of its immunities, and reduced to a state of slavery. Barcelona was filled with executions; and all the patriots of their ancient liberties either beheaded, stowed in dungeons, or condemned to work in the mines of America.
God be thanked, we have a king who punishes with reluctancy, and is averse to such cruelties as were used among the Catalans, as much as to those practised on the persons concerned in Monmouth's rebellion. Our author indeed condemns these western assizes in King James's reign, (p. 26.) And it would be well if all those who still adhere to the cause of that unfortunate king, and are clamorous at the proceedings of his present majesty, would remember, that notwithstanding that rebellion fell very much short of this both in the number and strength of the rebels, and had no tendency either to destroy the national religion, to introduce an arbitrary government, or to subject us to a foreign power; not only the chief of the rebels was beheaded, but even a lady, who had only harboured one of the offenders in her house, was in her extreme old age put to the same kind of death : that about two hundred and thirty were hanged, drawn, and quartered, and their limbs dispersed through several parts of the country, and set up as spectacles of terror to their fellow subjects. It would be too tedious a work to run through the numberless fines, imprisonments, corporal punishments, and transportations, which were then likewise practised as wholesome severities.
We have now seen how fallaciously the author has stated the cause he has undertaken, by supposing that nothing but unlimited mercy, or unlimited punishment, are the methods that can be made use of in our present treatment of the rebels: that he has omitted the middle way of proceeding between these two extremes: that this middle way is the method in which his majesty, like all other wise and good kings, has chosen to proceed: that it is agrecable to the nature of government, religion, and our British constitution; and that every argument which the author has produced from reason and example, would have been a true one, had it been urged for that restrained clemency which his majesty has exercised; but is a false one, when applied to such a general, undistinguishing mercy as the author would recommend.
Having thus answered that which is the main drift and design of this pamphlet, I shall touch upon those other parts of it, which are interwoven with the arguments, to put men out of humour with the present government.
And here we may observe, that it is our author's method to suppose matters of fact which are not in being, and afterwards to descànt upon them. As he is very sensible that the cause will not bear the test of reason, he has, indeed, every where chosen rather topics for declamation than argument. Thus he entertains us with a laboured invective against a standing army. But what has this to do in the present case? I suppose he would not advise his majesty to disband his forces while there is an army of rebels in his dominions. I cannot imagine he would think the affections of the people of England a security of the government in such a juncture, were it not, at the same time, defended with a sufficient body of troops. No prince has ever given a greater instance of his inclinations to rule without a standing army, if we consider, that, upon the very first news of the defeat of the rebels, he declared to both Houses of Parliament, that he had put an immediate stop to the levies which he had begun to raise at their request, and that he would not make use of the power which they had intrusted him with, unless any new preparations of the enemy should make it necessary for our defence.
This speech was received with the greatest gratitude by both houses; and it is said, that in the House of Commons a very candid and honourable gentleman (who generally votes with the minority) declared, that he had not heard so gracious aspeech from the throne for many years last past.
In another place, he supposes that the government has not endeavoured to gain the applause of the vulgar, by doing something for the church; and very gravely makes excuses for this their pretended neglect. What greater instances could his majesty have given of his love to the church of England, than those he has exhibited by his most solemn declarations; by his daily example, and by his promotions of the most eminent among the clergy, to such vacancies as have happened in his reign? To which we must add, for the honour of his government in this particular, that it has done more for the advantage of the clergy, than those, who are the most zealous for their interest, could have expected, in so short a time; which will farther appear, if we reflect upon the valuable and royal donative to one of our 'universities, and the provision made for those who are to officiate in the fifty new churches. His majesty is, indeed, a prince of too much magnanimity and truth, to make use of the name of the church for drawing his people into any thing that may be prejudicial to them; for what our author says, to this purpose, redounds as much to the honour of the present administration, as to the disgrace of others.
Nay, I wish, with all my soul, they had stooped a little ad captum vulgi, to take in those shallow fluttering hearts, which are to be caught by any thing baited with the name of Church,' P. 11.
Again; the author asks, 'Whether terror is to become the only national principle?' with other questions of the same nature: and, in several parts of his book, harangues very plentifully against such a notion. Where he talks in general upon this topic, there is no question but every Whig and Tory in the kingdom perfectly agrees with him in what he says. But if he would insinuate, as he seems to do in several places, that there should be no impressions of awe upon the mind of a subject, and that a government should not create terror in those who are disposed to do ill, as well as encourage those that do their duty: in short, if he is for an entire exclusion of that principle of fear which is supposed to have some influence in every law, he opposes himself to the form of every government in the world, and to the common sense of mankind.
The artifice of this author in starting objections to the friends of the government, and the foolish answers which he supposes they return to them, is so very visible, that every one sees they are designed rather to divert his reader, than to instruct him.
I have now examined this whole pamphlet, which, indeed, is written with a great deal of art, and as much argument as the cause would bear; and, after having stated the true notion of clemency, mercy, compassion, good-nature, humanity, or whatever else it may be called, so far as it is consistent with wisdom, and the good of mankind, or, in other words, so far as it is a moral virtue, I shall readily concur with the author in the highest panegyrics that he has bestowed upon it. As likewise, I heartily join with him in every thing he has said against justice, if it includes, as his pamphlet supposes, the extirpation of every criminal, and is not exercised with a much greater mixture of clemency than rigour. Mercy, in the true sense of the word, is that virtue by which a prince approaches nearest to him whom he represents: and whilst he is neither remiss nor extreme to animadvert upon those who of
fend him, that logic will hold true of him which is applied to the great Judge of all the Earth; "With thee there is mercy, therefore shalt thou be feared.'
No. 32. MONDAY, APRIL 9.
Heu miseræ cives! non hostem, inimicaque castra
VIRG. I Question not but the British ladies are very well pleased with the compliment I have paid them in the course of my papers, by regarding them, not only as the most amiable, but as the most important part of our community. They ought, indeed, to resent the treatment they have met with from other authors, who have never troubled their heads about them, but addressed all their arguments to the male half of their fellow subjects; and take it for granted, that if they could bring these into their measures, the females would of course follow their political mates. The arguments they have made use of, are like Hudibras's spur, which he applied to one side of his horse, as not doubting but the other would keep pace with it. These writers seem to have regarded the fair-sex but as the garniture of a nation; and when they consider them as parts of the commonwealth, it is only as they are of use to the consumption of our manufacture. Could we persuade our British women,' says one of our eminent merchants in a letter to his friend in the country upon the subject of commerce, to clothe themselves in the comely apparel which might be made out of the wool of their own country; and, instead of coffee, tea, and chocolate, to delight in those wholesome and palatable liquors which may be extracted from the British simples; they would be of great advantage to trade, and therein to the public weal."
It is now, however, become necessary to treat our