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possibly be an honest man; and that we might do the same justice to one another, which will be done us hereafter by those who shall make their appearance in the world, when this generation is no more.
But in our present miserable and divided condition, how just soever a man's pretensions may be to a great or blameless reputation, he must expect his share of obloquy and reproach; and, even with regard to his posthumous character, content himself with such a kind of consideration, as induced the famous Sir Francis Bacon, after having bequeathed his soul to God, and his body to the earth, to leave his fame to foreign nations; and after some years, to his own country.
No. 36. MONDAY, APRIL 25.
-Illa se jactet in aula. Among all the paradoxes in politics which have been advanced by some among us, there is none so absurd and shoking to the most ordinary understanding, as that it is possible for Great Britain to be quietly governed by a popish sovereign. King Henry the Fourth found it impracticable for a Protestant to reign even in France, notwithstanding the reformed religion does not engage a prince to the persecution of any other; and, notwithstanding the authority of the sovereign in that country is more able to support itself
, and command the obedience of the people, than in
any other European monarchy. We are convinced, by the experience of our own times, that our constitution is not able to bear a Popish prince at the head of it. King James the Second was endowed with many royal virtues, and might have a nation of Roman Catholics happy under his administration. The grievances we suffered in his reign proceeded purely from his religion: but they were such as made the whole body of the nobility, clergy, and commonalty rise up as one man against him, and oblige him to quit the throne of his ancestors. The truth of it is, we have only the vices of a Protestant prince to fear, and may be made happy by his virtues : but in a Popish prince we have no chance for our prosperity; his very piety obliges him to our destruction; and, in proportion as he is more religious, he becomes more insupportable. One would wonder, therefore, to find many who call themselves Protestants, favouring the pretensions of a person who has been bred up in the utmost bitterness and bigotry of the church of Rome; and who, in all probability, within less than a twelvemonth, would be opposed by those very men that are industrious to set him upon the throne, were it possible for so wicked and unnatural an attempt to succeed.
I was some months ago in a company, that diverted themselves with the declaration which he had then published, and particularly with the date of it, “In the fourteenth year of our reign. The company was surprised to find there was a king in Europe who had reigned so long and made such a secret of it. This gave occasion to one of them, who is now in France, to enquire into the history of this remarkable reign, which he has digested into annals, and lately transmitted hither for the perusal of his friends. I have suppressed such personal reflections as are mixed in this short chronicle, as not being to the purpose; and find that the whole history of his regal conduct and exploits may be comprised in the remaining part of this half sheet. The History of the Pretender's fourteen years reign,
digested into Annals. - Anno Regni 10. He made choice of his ministry, the first of whom was his confessor. This was a person recommended by the society of Jesuits, who represented him as one very proper to guide the conscience of a king, that hoped to rule over an island which is not within the pale of the church. He then proceeded to name the president of his council, his secretaries of state, and gave away a very honourable sinecure to his principal favourite, by constituting him his lord high-treasurer. He likewise signed a dormant commission for another to be his high-admiral, with orders to produce it whenever he had sea-room for his employment.
Anno Regni 20. He perfected himself in the minuet step.
Anno Regni 30. He grew half a foot.
Anno Regni 4o. He wrote a letter to the pope, desiring him to be as kind to him as his predecessor had been, who was his godfather. In the same year he ordered the lord high-treasurer to pay off the debts of the crown, which had been contracted since his accession to the throne; particularly a milk-score of three years' standing.
Anno Regni 50 He very much improved himself in all princely learning, having read over the legends of the saints, with the history of those several martyrs in England, who had attempted to blow up a whole parliament of heretics.
Anno Regni 60. He applied himself to the arts of government with more than ordinary diligence; took a plan of the Bastile with his own hand; visited the galleys; and studied the edicts of his great patron Louis XIV,
Anno Regni 70. Being now grown up to years of maturity, he resolved to seek adventures; but was very much divided in his mind, whether he should make an expedition to Scotland, or a pilgrimage to Loretto; being taught to look upon the latter in a religious sense, as the place of his nativity. At length he resolved upon his Scotch expedition; and, as the first exertion of that royal authority, which he was going to assume, he knighted himself. After a short piece of errantry upon the seas, he got safe back to Dunkirk, where he paid his devotions to St. Anthony, for having delivered him from the dangers of the sea, and Sir George Byng.
Anno Regni 80. He made a campaign in Flanders, where, by the help of a telescope, he saw the battle of Oudenarde, and the Prince of Hanover's horse shot under him; being posted on a high tower with two French princes of the blood.
Anno Regni 90. He made a second campaign in Flanders; and, upon his return to the French court, gained a great reputation, by his performance in a rigadoon.
Anno Regni 100. The pope having heard the fame of these his military achievements, made him the offer of a cardinal's cap; which he was advised not to accept, by some of his friends in England.
Anno Regni 11o. He retired to Lorrain, where every morning he made great havoc among the wild fowl, by the advice and with the assistance of his privy council. He is said, this summer, to have shot with his own hands fifty brace of pheasants, and one wild pig; to have set thirty coveys of partridges; and to have hunted down forty brace of hares; to which he might have added as many foxes, had not most of them made their escape, by running out of his friend's dominions, before his dogs could finish the chace. He was particularly animated to these diversions by his ministers, who thought they would not a little recommend him to the good opinion and kind offices of several British fox-hunters.
Anno Regni 120. He made a visit to the Duke d’Aumont, and passed for a French marquis in a masquerade.
Anno Regni 13o. He visited several convents, and gathered subscriptions from all the well-disposed monks and nuns, to whom he communicated his design of an attempt upon Great Britain.
Anno Regni 140 He now made great preparations for the invasion of England, and got together vast stores of ammunition, consisting of reliques, gun
powder and cannon-ball. He received from the pope a very large contribution, one moiety in money, and the other in indulgences. An Irish priest brought him an authentic tooth of St. Thomas à Becket, and, it is thought, was to have for his reward the archbishopric of Canterbury. Every monastery contributed something; one gave him a thousand pounds; and another as many masses.
This year containing farther the battles which he fought in Scotland, and the towns which he took, is so fresh in every one's memory, that we shall say no more of it.
No. 37. FRIDAY, APRIL 27.
HOR, It is a melancholy reflection, that our country, which in times of popery was called the Nation of Saints, should now have less appearance of religion in it than any other neighbouring state or kingdom; whether they be such as continue still immersed in the errors of the church of Rome, or such as are recovered out of them. This is a truth that is obvious to every one, who has been conversant in foreign parts. It was for, merly thought dangerous for a young man to travel, lest he should return an atheist to his native country: but at present it is certain, that an Englishman, who has any tolerable degree of reflection, cannot be better awakened to a sense of religion in general, than by observing how the minds of all mankind are set upon this important point; how every nation is serious and attentive to the great business of their being; and