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avowed indifference is treachery to our fellow-subjects; and a lukewarm allegiance may prove as pernicious in its consequences as treason.
I need not repeat here what I have proved at large in a former paper, that we are obliged to an active obedience by the solemn oaths we have taken to his Majesty ; and that the neutral kind of indifference, which is the subject of this paper, falls short of that obligation they lie under, who have taken such oaths; as will easily appear to any one who considers the form of those sacred and religious engagements.
How then can any man answer it to himself, if, for the sake of managing his interest or character among a party, or out of any personal pique to those who are the most conspicuous for their zeal in his Majesty's service, or from any other private and self-interested motive, he stands as a looker-on when the government is attacked by an open rebellion ? especially when those engaged in it cannot have the least prospect of success, but by the assistance of the ancient and hereditary enemies to the British nation? It is strange that these lukewarm friends to the government, whose zeal for their sovereign rises and falls with their credit at court, do not consider, before it be too late, that as they strengthen the rebels by their present indifference, they at the same time establish the interest of those who are their rivals and competitors for public posts of honour. When there is an end put to this rebellion, these gentlemen cannot pretend to have had
any merit in so good a work; and they may well believe the nation will never care to see those men in the highest offices of trust, who, when they are out of them, will not stir a finger in its defence.
No. 14. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6.
Periculosum est credere, et non credere :
Quàm stulta pravè judicet sententia. PHÆDR.
of those falsehoods, by which the cause of our malecontents is supported, I shall here speak of that extravagant credulity, which disposes each particular member of their party to believe them. This strange alacrity in believing absurdity and inconsistence may be called the political faith of a Tory.
A person who is thoroughly endowed with this political faith, like a man in a dream, is entertained from one end of his life to the other with objects that have no reality or existence. He is daily nourished and kept in humour by fiction and delusion; and may be compared to the old obstinate knight in Rabelais, that every morning swallowed a chimera for his breakfast.
This political faith of a malecontent is altogether founded on hope. He does not give credit to anything because it is probable, but because it is pleasing. His wishes serve him instead of reasons, to confirm the truth of what he hears. There is no report so incredible or contradictory in itself which he doth not cheerfully believe, if it tends to the advancement of the cause. In short, a malecontent who is a good believer, has generally reason to repeat the celebrated rant of an ancient father, “ Credo quia impossibile est:” which is as much as to say, “It must be true, because it is impossible."
It has been very well observed, that the most credulous man in the world is the atheist, who believes the universe to be the production of chance. In the same manner a Tory, who is the greatest believer in what is improbable, is the greatest infidel in what is certain.
Let a friend to the government relate to him a matter of fact, he turns away his ear from him, and gives him the lie in every look. But if one of his own stamp should tell him that the king of Sweden would be suddenly at Perth, and that his army actually marching thither upon the ice; he hugs himself at the good news, and gets drunk
it before he goes to bed. This sort of people puts one in mind of several towns in Europe
that are inaccessible on the one side, while they lie open and unguarded on the other. The minds of our malecontents are indeed so depraved with those falsehoods which they are perpetually imbibing, that they have a natural relish for error, and have quite lost the taste of truth in political matters. I shall therefore dismiss this head with a saying of King Charles the Second. This monarch, when he was at Windsor, used to amuse himself with the conversation of
the famous Vossius, who was full of stories relating to the antiquity, learning, and manners of the Chinese; and at the same time a free-thinker in points of religion. The king, upon hearing him repeat some incredible accounts of these eastern people, turning to those who were about him, “ This learned divine," said he, “is a very strange man: he believes everything but the Bible.”
Having thus far considered the political faith of the party as it regards matters of fact, let us, in the next place, take a view of it with respect to those doctrines which it embraces, and which are the fundamental points whereby they are distinguished from those whom they used to represent as enemies to the constitution in church and state. How far their great articles of political faith, with respect to our ecclesiastical and civil government, are consistent with themselves, and agreeable to reason and truth, may be seen in the following paradoxes, which are the essentials of a Tory's creed, with relation to political matters. Under the name of Tories, I do not here comprehend multitudes of well-designing men, who were formerly included under that denomination, but are now in the interest of his Majesty and the present government. These have already seen the evil tendency of such principles, which are the Credenda of the party, as it is opposite to that of the Whigs.
ARTICLE I. That the church of England will be always in danger, till it has a Popish king for its defender.
II. That, for the safety of the church, no subject should be tolerated in any religion different from the established; but that the head of our church may be of that religion which is most repugnant to it.
III. That the Protestant interest in this nation, and in all Europe, could not but flourish under the protection of one, who thinks himself obliged, on pain of damnation, to do all that lies in his power for the extirpation of it.
IV. That we may safely rely upon the promises of one, whose religion allows him to make them, and at the same time, obliges him to break them.
V. That a good man should have a greater abhorrence of Presbyterianism which is perverseness, than of Popery which is but idolatry.
VI. That a person who hopes to be King of England by the assistance of France, would naturally adhere to the British interest, which is always opposite to that of the French,
VII. That a man has no opportunities of learning how to govern the people of England in any foreign country, so well as in France.
VIII. That ten millions of people should rather choose to fall into slavery, than not acknowledge their prince to be invested with an hereditary and indefeasible right of oppression.
IX. That we are obliged in conscience to become subjects of a duke of Savoy, or of a French king, rather than enjoy for our sovereign a prince who is the first of the royal blood in the Protestant line.
That non-resistance is the duty of every Christian, whilst he is in a good place.
XI. That we ought to profess the doctrine of passive obedience until such time as nature rebels against principle, that is, until we are put to the necessity of practising it.
XII. That the Papists have taken up arms to defend the church of England with the utmost hazard of their lives and fortunes.
XIII. That there is an unwarrantable faction in this island, consisting of King, Lords, and Commons.
XIV. That the legislature, when there is a majority of Whigs in it, has not power to make laws.
XV. That an act of parliament to empower the king to secure suspected persons in times of rebellion, is the means to establish the sovereign on the throne, and consequently a great infringement of the liberties of the throne.
No. 15. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10.
-Auxilium, quoniam sic cogitis ipsi,
Si quis amicus adest : et Gorgonis extulit ora. OviD. It is with great pleasure that I see a race of female patriots springing up in this island. The fairest among the daughters of Great Britain no longer confine their cares to a domestic life, but are grown anxious for the welfare of their country, and show themselves good stateswomen as well as good housewives.
Our she-confederates keep pace with us in quashing that rebellion which had begun to spread itself among part of the
If the men who are true to their king and country have taken Preston and Perth, the ladies have possessed themselves of the opera and the playhouse with as little opposition or bloodshed. The non-resisting women, like their brothers in the Highlands, think no post tenable against an army that makes so fine an appearance; and dare not look them in the face, when they are drawn up in battle-array.
As an instance of this cheerfulness in our fair fellow-subjects to oppose the designs of the Pretender, I did but suggest in one of my
papers, “ That the fan might be made use of with good success against Popery, by exhibiting the corruptions of the church of Rome in various figures; when immediately they took the hint, and have since had frequent consultations
and methods “ to make the fan useful.” They have unanimously agreed upon the following resolutions, which are indeed very suitable to ladies who are at the same time the most beautiful and the most loyal of their sex. To hide their faces behind the fan, when they observe a Tory gazing upon them. Never to peep through it, but in order to pick out men, whose principles make them worth the conquest. To return no other answer to a Tory's addresses, than by counting the sticks of it all the while he is talking to them. To avoid dropping it in
upon several ways