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py people. But how it can enter into the wishes of any private persons to be the subjects of a man, whose faith obliges him to use the most effectual means for extirpating their religion, is altogether incomprehensible, but upon the supposition, that whaterer principles they seem to adhere to, their interest, ambition, or revenge, is much more active and predominant in their minds, than the love of their country, or of its national worship.
I have never heard of any particular benefit which either the Pretender himself, or the favourers of his cause, could promise to the British nation from the success of his pretensions; though the evils which would arise from it, are numberless and evident. These men content themselves with one general assertion, which often appears in their writings, and their discourse; that the kingdom will never be quiet till he is upon the throne. If by this position is meant, that those will never be quiet who would endeavour to place him there, it may possibly have some truth in it; though we hope even these will be reduced to their obedience by the care of their safety, if not by the sense of their duty. But on the other side, how ineffectual would this strange expedient be, for establishing the public quiet and tranquillity, should it ever take place! for, by way of argument, we may suppose impossibilities. Would that party of men which comprehends the most wealthy, and the most valiant of the kingdom, and which, were the cause put to a trial, would undoubtedly appear the most numerous, (for I am far from thinking all those who are distinguished by the name of tories, to be favourers of the Pretender) can we, I say, suppose these men would live quiet under a reign which they have hitherto opposod, and from which they apprehend such a manifest destruction to their country? Can we suppose our present royal family, who are so powerful in foreign dominions, so strong in their relations and alliances, and so uni. versally supported by the Protestant interest of Europe, would
continue quiet, and not make vigorous and repeated attempts for the recovery of their right, should it ever be wrested out of their hands? Can we imagine that our British clergy would be quiet under a prince, who is zealous for his religion, and obliged by it to subvert those doctrines, which it is their duty to defend and propagate ? Nay, would any of those men themselves, who are the champions of this desperate cause, unless such of them as are . professed Roman Catholics, or disposed to be so, live quiet under a government which, at the best, would make use of all indirect methods in favour of a religion, that is inconsistent with our laws and liberties, and would impose on us such a yoke, as neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? All the quiet that could be expected from such a reign, must be the result of absolute power on the one hand, and a despicable slavery on the other : and I believe every reasonable man will be of the Roman historian's opinion, that a disturbed liberty is better than a quiet servitude,
There is not, indeed, a greater 'absurdity than to imagine the quiet of a nation can arise from an establishment, in which the king would be of one communion, and the people of another; especially when the religion of the sovereign carries in it the utmost inalignity to that of the subject. If any of our English monarchs might have hoped to reign quietly under such circumstances, it would have been King Charles the second, who was received with all the joy and good-will that are natural to a people, newly rescued from a tyranny which had long oppressed them in several shapes. But this monarch was too wise to own himself a Roman Catholic, even in that juncture of time; or to imagine it practicable for an avowed Popish prince to govern a Protestant people. His brother tried the experiment, and every one knows the success of it.
As speculations are best supported by facts, I shall add to these domestic examples one or two parallel instances out of the
Swedish history, which may be sufficient to shew us, that a scheme of government is impracticable in which the head does not agree with the body, in that point, which is of the greatest concern to reasonable creatures. Sweden is the only Protestant kingdom in Europe besides this of Great Britain, which has had the misfortune to see Popish princes upon the throne; and we find that they behaved themselves as we did, and as it is natural for men to do, upon the same occasion. Their King Sigismond having, contrary to the inclinations of his people, endeavoured, by several clandestine methods, to promote the Roman Catholic religion among his subjects, and shewn several marks of favour to their priests and jesuits, was, after a very short reign, deposed by the states of that kingdom, being represented as one who could neither be held by oaths nor promises, and over-ruled by the influence of his religion, which dispenses with the violation of the most sacred engagements that are opposite to its interests. The states, to shew farther their apprehensions of Popery, and how incompatible they thought the principles of the church of Rome in a sovereign were with those of the reformed religion in his subjects, agreed that his son should succeed to the throne, provided he were brought up a Protestant. This the father seemingly complied with ; but afterwards refusing to give him such an education, the son was likewise set aside, and for ever excluded from that succession. The famous Queen Christina, daughter to the Great Gustavus, who was so sensible of those troubles which would accrue both to herself and her people, should she avow the Roman Catholic religion while she was upon the throne of Sweden; that she did not make an open profession of that faith, till she had resigned her crown, and was actually upon her journey to Rome.
In short, if there be any political maxim, which may be depended upon as sure and infallible, this is one: That it is impossible for a nation to be happy, where a people of the reformed religion are governed by a king that is a papist. Were he, indeed, only a nominal Roman Catholic, there might be a possibility of peace and quiet under such a reign; but if he is sincere in the principles of his church, he must treat heretical subjects as that church directs him, and knows very well, that he ceases to be religious, when he ceases to be a persecutor.
NO. 44. MONDAY, MAY 21.
Multaque præterea variarum monstra ferarum
As I was last Friday taking a walk in the park, I saw a country gentleman at the side of Rosamond's pond, pulling a handful of oats out of his pocket, and with a great deal of pleasure, gathering the ducks about him. Upon my coming up to him, who should it be but my friend the fox-hunter, whom I gave some account of in my twenty second paper ! I immedi. ately joined him, and partook of his diversion, till he had not an oat left in his pocket. We then made the tour of the park to. gether, when, after having entertained me with the description of a decoy-pond that lay near his seat in the country, and of a meeting-house that was going to be rebuilt in a neighbouring market-town, he gave me an account of some very odd adventures which he had met with that morning; and which I shall
lay together in a short and faithful history, as well as my memory will give me leave.
My friend, who has a natural aversion to London, would never have come up, had not he been subpænaed to it, as he told me, in order to give his testimony for one of the rebels, whom he knew to be a very fair sportsman. Having travelled all night, to avoid the inconvenience of dust and heat, he arrived with his guide, a little after break of day, at Charing-cross; where, to his great surprise, he saw a running footman carried in a chair, followed by a waterman in the same kind of vehicle. He was wondering at the extravagance of their masters, that furnished them with such dresses and accommodations, when, on a sudden, he beheld a chimney-sweeper conveyed after the same manner, with three footmen running before him. During his progress through the Strand, he met with several other figures no less wonderful and surprising. Seeing a great many in rich morning-gowns, he was amazed to find that persons of quality were up so early: and was no less astonished to see many lawyers in their bar-gowns, when he knew by his almanac the term was ended. As he was extremely puzzled and confounded in himself what all this should mean, a hackney-coach chancing to pass by him, four batts“ popped out their heads all at once, which very much frighted both him and his horse. My friend, who always takes care to cure his horse of such starting fits, spurred him up to the very side of the coach, to the no small diversion of the batts; who, seeing him with his long whip, horse-hair periwig, jockey belt, and coat without sleeves, fancied him to be one of the masqueraders on horseback, and received him with a loud peal of laughter. His mind being full of idle stories, which are spread up and down the nation by the disaf
* Batts. A sort of maskers, so called from their resemblance to these night-birds.