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Offob. sS. i«88,
'"p H E too near Neighbourhood of Holland has .*' thrown our Administration into a violent Ague; the hot Fit and the cold quickly succeed each other. Public Justice is in a fluctuating Condition, it depends on the Winds and Weather, like the Rate of Insurance of Ships on their Voyages. By the Proceedings of the High-CommissionCourt, we know which Way the Wind blows ;. 'tis a mere Barometer, with this Difference from the common Experiment with Mercury, that the Credit and Power of that Court rise high with a Westerly Wind, or a Storm; an Easterly Gale .finks them down to nothing.
An old Gentleman, a Friend of mine, determin'd to mount in Armour for his Majesty, when first he heard of this Invasion; he has an inveterate Enmity to the Whigs, for cutting down hisTimber in the Days of Sequestration: But indeed this last low, little Shuffling, between Grace and. Oppression, has brought him to have a very mean Opinion of the Royal Candour and Integrity, as. well as of the Wisdom and Honesty of the Counsellors: And now my Friend is resolved to wait the Event of Affairs in a whole Skin; an Alteration which I strongly suspect to have happen'd to many !. and even to some of the military People. The Instability of our Councils, is a sure Symptom of a languishing Cause: A Soul by Turns so temerarious and pusillanimous, as on every little Opportunity to fly out into Acts of Wrong, and on every little Check shamesully to cry, Peccavi:
Such a Soul is only fit to animate the worst of Tyrants. I think 'twas Caligula that would run and hide under the Bed when it thunder'd, but could pise on the Statues of the Gods, when he thought the Danger was over; and it was he too, that wish'd the People of Rome had but one Neck, that he might destroy them at a Stroke. Surely the Ministers design to pervert People from their Loyalty; they could never else give such manifest Occasion for Defection. A Verbose Frenchman told the Cardinal de Richlieu, that God might rest the Government of the whole World on the Cardinal's Wisdom: If this Compliment were true, our Country might afford a tolerable Contrast; for we have got Statesmen equal to the Task, if the Almighty in his Wrath should resolve to destroy the World by the Pravity of human Councils. But he that brings Good out of Evil, is yet able to save us.
Ninemi. x. i«s». T Do not wonder you should suspect me to be almost .*. a Whig; for 'tis most certain, I can't persuade myself to draw a Sword to destroy my Religion and Liberty: And yet I wish a Temper could be found to save both Prince and People. It is true, that there are Dangers to be apprehended from the Invader, and that must be the Case, let who will draw the Sword for us. I also agree with you, that there is no natural Connection between Popery and Slavery; that the Design of imposing both at once on this Nation, is only accidental; that a Protestant Prince may forge Chains for his
People, People, as well as a Popish one; that Protestant Dents are Slaves, and Popish Switzers Freemen: But thus stands our particular Case, Our Prince has avow'd a Design to govern without Law; the Invader disclaims that odious Project: We are certain of Out Ruin on the one hand, we have some reasonable Hopes of escaping on the other.
It would not he easy for the.Invader immediately to hecome absolute: That would depend upon a Standing-Army, The Power he brings won't be sussicient to effect his principal Enterprize without a large Concurrence of Englijhmen; and the Officers will be generally People of Families,-who will hardly on a sudden concur with Foreigners to enslave themselves: And I think the Prince'* Hands will be too su'jl pf Enemies both at home and abroad, to hazard the Loss of his new Friends as soon as he has got them, and to provoke the fame People who invited him in, to turn him out again. No Ministers that he can employ will suddenly give such Adyjce. Even Ministers don't love Standing-Armies; don't desire-to see their Prince above Law, unless they have had time enough to commit Crimes that make them afraid of Law, and glad of the Resuge of an Arbitrary Protection: They approve of, and advance an absolute Power to protect them, only in Proportion to their own Necessities. A Man who has acquir'd a good Fortune, naturally wishes to secure his Property in it, and to transmit that Property sase to his Posterity: Nothing but the Terrors that attend on Guilt, can alter that Desire, and they indeed can alter it. If he knows that his injur'd Country has had Cause to demand Vengeance upon him, he verifies the Devil's Observation, All that a Man hath, will he give for his Life.
Vecemb. j. 1688.
WE have it from the belt Authority, that, When a Man's Works please the Lord, he maketh his Enemies to be at Peace with him. Since ♦his is so, 'tis plain the King's Works have not pleased the Lord; for his Servants, his intimate Confidants, his very Children have deserted him. From the Highest to the Lowest! the Prince and Princess of Denmark, the Lord Churchill, the Magistrates, the very Footmen and Common Soldiers fibuft for themselyes, and avoid his ruin'd Fortune. The Royal Sovereign's smking; the very Ratty at by Instintl, have quit it.
The P-rmee of Orange must devise a Motto more expressive of Success^ than, Veni, Vidi^Vici; for he has got a potent Kingdom without striking a Stroke. And yet a Thousand of these Instances can't make weak Princes wise. Had ours been less happy on the 'first Day of his Reign, he might perhaps have escaped his Errors and Misfortunes. His Purse was sull, his People rich, his Revenue so large, that it hardly requir'd an Addition to maintain a great Army: His Nobility and Gentry, his Clergy and Universities,- his Counties and Borohghs, profesied their Loyalty in the most afsectionate Terms; and yet, in less than four Years time to use them all so $, that Affection or Loyalty to him should hardly be found in the whole Nation! 'Tis prodigious 1
H , who is particularly pleased with this
Turn of Affairs, -says, that Waller prophesied it in his Poem on the Marriage of the Prince and
Princes Princess of Orange, he points out these Lines for that Purpose.
Ten thousand Thanks the Nation owes
To him who does protect us all; For while he thus his Niece bestows,
About our Iste he builds a Walt;
By th'Oracle's Advice, of Wood:
Their mighty State till now had Jlood.
But if Waller prophesied, he prophesied unwittingly, like Caiaphas the High-Priest, or perhaps like Virgil in his Pollio; for he was too devoted to the Court, and had too little Pain for his Country, to dream of what has happen'd at this Day.
Dtcenib. 13. 168S.
T Do not suppose that the Country is in perfect .■. Tranquillity: Our Tumults in Town certainly equal those at Constantinople, when they depose their Sultans. I mould not like, at present, to be mistaken for a Papist, much less for a Jesuit, in the Streets of London. We must never more pretend to be a civilized People, nor call the Afiaticks, nor Africans, Barbarous. 'Tis a Reproach to the Nation, that no Method is found to restrain the Licence of the raging Multitude. Not content with hunting the Priests and Friars, and demolishing their Popish Countrymen, they have violated the Law of Nations, the Character of Ambassadors has not been sacred to them.