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answered with all those sentiments of humanity, that arise in the heart of a good prince' on so moving an occasion. What a figure, therefore, must we make among mankind, if we are the only people of Europe who derogate from his merit, that may be made happy by it! and if, in a kingdom which is grown glorious by the reputation of such a sovereign, there are multitudes who would endeavour to lessen and undervalue it.
In the next place; such a resentment from any part of our fellow subjects, is by no means answerable to what we receive from his majesty. His love and regard for our constitution is so remarkable, that as we are told by those, whose office it is to lay the business of the nation before him, it is his first question, upon any matter of the least doubt or difficulty, whether it be in every point according to the laws of the land ? He is easy of access to those who desire it, and is so gracious in his behaviour and condescension, on such occasions, that none of his subjects retire from his presence without the greatest idea of his wisdom and goodness. His continued application to such public affairs as may conduce to the benefit of his kingdoms, diverts him from those pleasures and entertainments, which may be indulged by persons in a lower station, and are pursued with eagerness by princes who have not the care of the public so much at heart. The least return, which we can make to such a sovereign, is that tribute which is always paid by honest men, and is always acceptable to great minds, the praise and approbation that are due to a virtuous and noble character. Common decency forbids opprobrious language, even to a bad prince; and common justice will exact from us towards a good prince, the same benevolence and humanity with which he treats his subjects. Those who are influenced by duty and gratitude, will rise much higher in all the expressions of affection and respect, and think they can never do too much to advance the glory of a sovereign, who takes so much pains to advance their happiness.
When we have a king, who has gained the reputation of the most unblemished probity and honour, and has been famed through the whole course of his life, for an inviolable adherence to his promises, we may acquiesce (after his many solemn declarations, in all those measures, which it is impossible for us to judge rightly of, unless we were let into such schemes of council and intelligence as produce them; and, therefore, we should rather turn our thoughts upon the reasonableness of his proceedings, than busy ourselves to form objections against them. The consideration of bis majesty's character should, at all times, suppress our censure of his conduct: and since we have never yet seen, or heard of any false steps in his behaviour, we ought in justice to think, that he governs himself by his usual rules of wisdom and honour, until we discover something to the contrary.
These considerations ought to reconcile to his majesty the hearts and tongues of all his people: but as for those who are the obstinate, irreclaimable, professed enemies to our present establishment, we must expect their calumnies will not only continue, but rise against him in proportion as he pursues such measures as are likely to prove successful, and ought to recommend him to his people.
No. 47. FRIDAY, JUNE 1.
Cessit furor, et rabida ora quierunt. VIRG. I QUEstion not but most of my readers will be very well pleased to hear, that my friend the fox-hunter, of whose arrival in town I gave notice in my forty-fourth paper, is become a convert to the present establishment, and a good subject to King George. The motives to his conversion shall be the subject of this paper, as they may be of use to other persons who la.
bour under those prejudices and prepossessions, which hung so long upon the mind of iny worthy friend. These I had an opportunity of learning the other day, when, at his request, we took a ramble together to see the curiosities of this great town.
The first circumstance, as he ingenuously confessed to me (while we were in the coach together) which helped to disabuse him, was seeing King Charles the First on horseback, at Charing-Cross; for he was sure that prince could never have kept his seat there, had the stories been true he had heard in the country, that forty-one was come about again.
He owned to me that he looked with horror on the new Church that is half built in the Strand, as taking it, at first sight, to be half demolished: but, upon enquiring of the workmen, was agreeably surprised to find, that, instead of pulling it down, they were building it up; and that fifty more were raising in other parts of the town.
To these I must add a third circumstance, which I I find had no small share in my friend's conversion. Since his coming to town, he chanced to look into the church of St. Paul, about the middle of sermon time, where, having first examined the dome, to see if it stood safe (for the screw-plot ran still in his head) he observed that the lord mayor, aldermen, and city sword were a part of the congregation. This sight had the more weight with him, as, by good luck, not above two of that venerable body were fallen asleep.
This discourse held us till we came to the Tower; for our first visit was to the lions. My friend, who had a great deal of talk with their keeper, enquired very much after their health, and whether none of them had fallen sick upon the taking of Perth, and the flight of the Pretender; and, hearing they were never better in their lives, I found he was extremely startled; for he had learned from his cradle, that the lions in the Tower were the best judges of the title of our British kings, and always sympathised with our sovereigns. Vol. IV.
After having here satiated our curiosity, we repaired to the Monument, where my fellow-traveller, being a well-breathed man, mounted the ascent with much speed and activity. I was forced to halt so often in this perpendicular march, that, upon my joining him on the top of the pillar, I found he had counted all the steeples and towers that were discernible from this advantageous situation, and was endeavouring to compute the number of acres they stood upon. both of us very well pleased with this part of the prospect; but I found he cast an evil eye upon several warehouses, and other buildings that looked like barns, and seemed capable of receiving great multitudes of people. His heart misgave him that these were so many meeting-houses, but, upon communicating his suspicions to me, I soon made him easy in this particular.
We then turned our eyes upon the river, which gave me an occasion to inspire him with some favourable thoughts of trade and merchandise, that had filled the Thames with such crowds of ships, and covered the shore with such swarms of people.
We descended very leisurely, my friend being careful to count the steps, which he registered in a blank leaf of his new almanac. Upon our coming to the bottom, observing an English inscription upon the basis, he read it over several times, and told me he could scarce believe his own eyes, for that he had often heard from an old attorney, who lived near him in the country, that it was the Presbyterians who burned down the city; whereas, says he, this pillar positively affirms, in so many words, that the burning of this ancient city was begun and carried on by the treachery and malice of the popish faction, in order to their carrying on their horrid plot for extirpating the Protestant religion, and old English liberty, and introducing popery and slavery. This account, which he looked upon to be more authentic than if it had been in print, I found, made a very great impression upon him.
We now took coach again, and made the best of our way for the Royal Exchange, though I found he did not much care to venture himself into the throng of that place; for he told me he had heard they were, generally speaking, republicans, and was afraid of having his pocket picked amongst them. But he soon conceived a better opinion of them, when he spied the statue of King Charles the Second standing up in the middle of the crowd, and most of the kings in Baker's Chronicle ranged in order over their heads; from whence he very justly concluded, that an antimonarchical assembly could never chuse such a place to meet in once a day.
To continue this good disposition in my friend, after a short stay at Stock's market, we drove away directly for the Mews, where he was not a little edified with the sight of those fine sets of horses which have been brought over from Hanover, and with the care that is taken of them. He made many good remarks upon this occasion, and was so pleased with his company, that I had much ado to get him out of the stable.
In our progress to St. James's Park, (for that was the end of our journey), he took notice, with great satisfaction, that, contrary to his intelligence in the country, the shops were all open and full of business; that the soldiers walked civilly in the streets ; that clergyınen, instead of being affronted, had generally the wall given them; and that he had heard the bells ring to prayers from morning to night, in some part of the town or another.
As he was full of these honest reflections, it happened very luckily for us, that one of the king's coaches passed by with the three young princesses in it, whom, by an accidental stop, we had an opportunity of surveying for some time: my friend was ravished with the beauty, innocence, and sweetness, that appeared in all their faces. He declared several times, that they were the finest children he had ever seen in all his life; and assured me that, before this sight, if any one had told