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those acts of parliament which contain blanks to be filled up by the King, might be made altogether inoperative, by his refusing to carry the act into effect. Such an instance is not so strong as the present, in which a statute is made pro bono publico, and is to be construed in such manner, that it may as far as possible attain the end proposed. To show with what peculiar jealousy the legislature has always regarded any interference with the Common Prayer, as annexed to the statute, it is only necessary to consider the conduct of Government, when any alterations and omissions, however wise and judicious, have been suggested, even by the most learned men in this country. At different periods, from the Revolution to the year 1786, various schemes have been proposed by men of great piety and learning.–Dr. Samuel Clarke, in particular, took infinite pains on this subject; his corrections consisted chiefly of omissions, as may be seen by the manuscript in the British Museum, and divines, statesmen, and lawyers have more than once uniformly agreed, that some omissions in the articles would be most desirable; but the measure has been always abandoned, because nothing could be done without the interference of Parliament, and the Government has been wisely fearful, lest, in an endeavour to gather up the tares, they might root up the wheat also. The political expediency of omitting the Queen's name is not, in these pages, at all considered, as the question has been only legally regarded; but nothing short of imperious necessity could justify an infringement of the law. The best mode of arguing this case for the Crown, (which seems to have escaped observation,) would be to insist, that although the King might be precluded of such claims as indifferently belong to him or to a subject, as the title to an advowson, or any other hereditament; still he is not to be stript of any part of his ancient prerogative, nor of those rights which are incommunicable, and are appropriated to him as essential to his regal capacity,' which are as ancient as the Crown;and again it is an established principle at law, that where the King's right and that of a subject meet at one and the same time, the King shall be preferred, for the rule is deter dignitati.' These principles are indisputable, but inapplicable to the present case, because the King divested himself of the prerogative right in this particular, pot for the sake of giving any right to the Queen, but for the purpose of promoting the ends expressly stated in the preamble of the act; and he is therefore as much bound in this respect as with regard to the insertion of his own name; and the history of the country proves how little choice has had to do with the matter,
The spirit of the constitution, leaving nothing remediless, wisely provides, that ministers are answerable for the acts of the executive government. The King could do no more than take the advice of his council, on being informed of all the noisome stuff which has deluged the country with pollution; of such councils it may be spoken on this occasion, in the language of a very wise man, concilia enim non minuunt mala sed augent potius. Some of their members may have, aided by their legal lights,
“ Sight where better eyes are blind." One in particular, unquestionably possesses more legal knowledge than any judge from the Conquest to the present day; and therefore well able in debate (fearful odds against an antagonist) to avoid and refine away what is essential, and enforce with all the influence of novelty what is not generally known: is in legem per vim latam jurare noluit. The preceding observations are not made from a desire to weaken the exertion of prerogative, much less from an inclination to encourage the abominable scurrility so disgracefully prevalent among the over-zealous of each party, but from profound respect and due allegiance to the King, best shewn by a faithful attachment to the law.
Cum legem dico nihil aliud intelligi volo, quam Imperium, sine quo nec domus ulla, nec civitas, nec gens, nec hominum universum genus stare, nec rerum natura omnis, nec ipse mundus potest, which the venerable Hooker beautifully paraphrased, and concluded by calling the law (as the compilers of the statute thought, and the legislature intended) “ The mother of our peace and joy."
NO. XXXV. O
POETICAL CHARACTER OF POPE,
The quotations given in the pamphlet which has called forth your particular spleen, were not introduced to gratify any feelings of vanity, but to grieve the heart” of the “solitary slanderer, by showing, from unequivocal documents, how much wiser judges and better men differed from him. Virgil may be appealed to, when the " bug Pantilius” decries.
Mr. Campbell was no“ slanderer,” Sir. He misrepresented my sentiments as to poetry, ignorantly; but he wrote with the courtesy of a gentleman and a scholar. He will confess that he misunderstood my sentiments. Of his other opinions, I can only say, that be they what they may, he will admit that, in the examples produced by him, as far as the poetical criticism was concerned, he did me inJUSTICE, as I am sure he will acquit me of base motives.
You misconceived what I said of Mr. Campbell. If he were to enter into a critical examination of every thing I may have advanced in the Life of Pope, or in the notes to his writings, I should hail the information. I would not attempt to defend what justice should think indefensible. “I would retrace my steps;" with sorrow, that I had written one word that might be thought derogatory of the fair fame of a man of talents and virtues. I would evince my sincerity, by doing Pope “ample” if tardy justice. I would examine, as I profess I have done, but with new application and honorable ardor, the grounds of Johnson's and Warion's assertions, and if one single accusation shall be found not tenable, I would blot it qut with much more readiness than I ever admitted it.
Nay, Sir, I would even discuss every point with you, had you