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be well performed, but will never take, if it is not set off with proper scenes and decorations. A mere politician is but a dull companion, and, if he is always wise, is in great danger of being tiresome or ridiculous. Besides, papers of entertainment are necessary to increase the number of readers, especially among those of different notions and principles; who, by this means, may be betrayed to give you a fair hearing, and to know what you bave to say for yourself. I might likewise observe, that in all political writings there is something that grates upon the mind of the most candid reader, in opinions which are not conformable to his own way of thinking; and that the harshness of reasoning is not a little softened and smoothed by the infusions of mirth and pleasantry.
Political speculations do likewise furnish us with several objects that may very innocently be ridiculed, and which are regarded as such by men of sense in all parties; of this kind are the passions of our stateswomen, and the reasonings of our foxhunters.
A writer who makes fame the chief end of his endeavours, and would be more desirous of pleasing than of improving his readers, might find an inexhaustible fund of mirth in politics. Scandal and satire are never failing gratifications to the public. Detraction and obloquy are received with as much eagerness as wit and humour. Should a writer single out particular persons, or point his raillery at any order of men, who, by their profession ought to be exempt from it; should he slander the innocent, or satirize the miserable; or should he, even on the proper subjects of derision, give the full play to his mirth, without regard to de. cency and good manners; he might be sure of pteasing a great part of his readers, but must be a very ill man, if by such a proceeding he could please himself.
The usual salutation to a man upon his birth-day among the ancient Romans was, Multos et fælices ; in which they wished him many happy returns of it. When Augustus celebrated the secular year, which was kept but once in a century, and received the congratulations of his people on that account, an eminent court-wit saluted him in the birth-day form (Multos et fælices) which is recorded as a beautiful turn of compliment, expressing a desire that he might enjoy a happy life of many hundreds of years. This salutation cannot be taxed with flattery, since it was directed to a prince, of whom it is said by a great historian, 'It had been happy for Rome, if he had never been born, or if he had never died.' Had he never been born, Rome would, in all probability have recovered its former liberty: had he never died, it would have been more happy under his government, than it could have been in the possession of its ancient freedom.
It is our good fortune that our sovereign, whose nativity is celebrated on this day, gives us a prospect, which the Romans wanted under the reign of their Augustus, of bis being succeeded by an heir, both to his virtues and his dominions. In the mean time it happens very luckily, for the establishment of a new race of kings upon the British throne, that the first of this royal line has all those high qualifications which are necessary to fix the crown upon his own bead, and to transmit it to his posterity. We may, indeed, observe, that every series of kings who have kept up the succession in their respective families, in spite of all pretensions and oppositions formed against them, has boen headed
by princes famous for valour and wisdom. I need only mention the names of William the Conqueror, Henry the second, Henry the fourth, Edward the fourth, and Henry the seventh. As for King James the first, the founder of the Stuart race, had he been as well turned for the camp as the cabinet, and not confined all his views to the peace and tranquillity of his own reign, his son had not been involved in such fatal troubles and confusions.
Were an honest Briton to wish for a sovereign, who, in the present situation of affairs, would be most capable of advancing our national happiness, what could he desire more than a prince mature in wisdom and experience; renowned for his valour and resolution ; successful and fortunate in his undertakings; zealous for the reformed religion ; related or allied to all the most considerable Protestant powers of Europe ; and blessed with a numerous issue! A failure in any one of these particulars has been the cause of infinite calamities to the British nation ; but when they all thus happily concur in the same person, they are as much as can be suggested, even by our wishes, for making us a happy people, so far as the qualifications of a monarch can contribute to it.
I shall not attempt a character of his present Majesty, having already given an imperfect sketch of it in my second paper ; but shall chuse rather to observe that cruel treatment which this excellent prince has met with from the tongues and pens
of some of his disaffected subjects. The baseness, ingratitude, and injustice of which practice will appear to us, if we consider,
First, that it reflects highly upon the good sense of the British nation, who do not know how to set a just value upon a prince,
* Had he been as well turned for the camp as the cabinet, and not confined all his views, &c. This way of coupling a passive, and active verb together, is not accurate.
whose virtues have gained him the universal esteem of foreign countries. Those potentates who, as some may suppose, do not wish well to his affairs, have shewn the greatest respect to his personal character, and testified their readiness to enter into such friendships and alliances as may be advantageous to his people. The northern kings solicit him with impatience to come among them, as the only person capable of settling the several claims and pretensions, which have produced such unspeakable calamities in that part of the world. Two of the most remote and formidable powers of Europe have entertained thoughts of submitting their disputes to his arbitration. Every one knows his ancient subjects had such a long experience of his sovereign virtues, that at his departure from them his whole people were in tears; which were 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 treatment 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 his 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 bearts 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 con