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“Has not his majesty then shewn the least appearance of grace in that generous forgiveness which he has already extended to such great numbers of his rebellious subjects, who must have died by the laws of their country, had not his mercy interposed in their behalf ?"-- Prodigious clemency, not to hang all the common soldiers who followed their leaders! S.
“ Those who are pardoned would not have known the value of grace, if none had felt the effects of justice.”—And only hanging the lords and gentlemen, and some of the rabble. S.
" Their (the last ministry's) friends have ever since made use of the most base methods to infuse those groundless discontents into the minds of the common people,” &c.—Hath experience shewn those discontents groundless ? S.
"If the removal of these persons from their posts has produced such popular commotions, the continuance of them might have produced something much more fatal to their king and country.”—Very false reasoning. S.
“No man would make such a parallel, (between the treatment of the rebels and that of the Catalans under King Philip,) unless his mind be so blinded with passion and prejudice, as to assert, in the language of this pamphlet,' that no instances can be produced of the least lenity under the present administration, from the hour of its commencement to this day.'”—Nor to this, 1727. S.
“God be thanked, we have a king who punishes with reluc. tance.”-A great comfort to the sufferers! S. " It would be well if those who—are clamorous at the
proceedings of his present majesty, would remember, that notwithstanding that rebellion, (the Duke of Monmouth's)—had no tendency to destroy the national religion,” &c.—To introduce fanaticism, and destroy monarchy. S.
“No prince has ever given a greater instance of his inclina
tion to rule without a standing army.”—We find this true by experience. S.
“What greater instances could his majesty have given of his love to the Church of England, than those he has exhibited by his most solemn declarations, by his daily example, and by his promotions of the most eminent among the clergy to such vacancies as have happened in his reign ? ”—Most undeniable truth, as any in Rabelais. S.
No. 44.—The fox-hunter in London.—“What still gave him greater offence, was a drunken bishop, who reeled from one side of the court to another, and was very sweet upon an Indian Queen.”—Then, that story is true ? S.
No. 45. "I have lately read, with much pleasure, the Essays upon several Subjects, published by Sir Richard Blackmore." I admire to see such praises from this author to so insipid a scoundrel, whom I know he despised. S.
No. 51. "History of Freethinking."—Writ by Collins. S.
"The greatest theorists among those very people, (the Greeks and Romans,) have given the preference to such a form of govern
as that which obtains in this kingdom.”—Yet, this we see is liable to be wholly corrupted. S.
No. 52.- On the Adherents to the Pretender.-" It is plain, that such a base ungenerous race of men could rely upon nothing for their safety in this affront to his majesty, (wearing a mark on the Pretender's birth-day,) but the known gentleness and lenity of his government.”—Then the devil was in them. S.
No. 54. “The Whigs tell us,—that the Tory scheme would terminate in Popery and arbitrary government."-But Tories never writ or spoke so gently and favourably of Popery, as Whigs do of Presbytery. Witness a thousand pamphlets on both sides.
“ I shall not impute to any Tory scheme the administration
of King James the Second, on condition that they do not reproach the Whigs with the usurpation of Oliver.”-I will not accept that condition, nor did I ever see so unfair a one offered. S.
No. 55. “ The enemies of his majesty—find him in a condition to visit his dominions in Germany, without any danger to himself or to the public; whilst his dutiful subjects would be in no ordinary concern on this occasion, had they not the consolation to find themselves left under the protection of a prince, who makes it his ambition to copy out his royal father's example.”Then, why was he never trusted a second time?
" It would, indeed, have been an unpardonable insolence for a fellow-subject to treat in a vindictive and cruel style, those persons whom his majesty has endeavoured to reduce to obedience by gentle methods, which he has declared from the throne to be most agreeable to his inclinations."-And is that enough ?
“ May we not hope, that all of this kind, who have the least sentiments of honour or gratitude, will be won over to their duty by so many instances of royal clemency?”—Not one instance produced. S.
BY SIR RICHARD STEELE.
"Quisquis erit vitæ scribam color."—HOR. 2 Sat. i. 60.
WITH THE OLD WHIG,
BY MR. ADDISON.
The Plebeian and Old Whig have given rise to such contradictory and cxaggerated statements, that it has been thought best to publish them together. That there was a coolness between Addison and Steele towards the close of Addison's life cannot be doubted: but Steele lived to mourn the friend of his boyhood, and bear the same unreserved testimony to his genius and virtue after his death, that he had invariably done during his life. Macaulay has corrected one of the current, errors upon this subject, but has fallen into another scarcely less pardonable, and his account of the Plebeian and Old Whig is far from doing justice to Steele. The first accusation came from Addison (v. Old Whig.p. 299 ad conflandam invidium), who in his second number has played off his satire as sharply upon his old friend, as he had ever done upon the Tories themselves in the Whig Examiner. I give the general history of the controversy in the words of Johnson :
*“In 1718–19, a controversy was agitated, with great vehemence, between those friends of long continuance, Addison and STEELE. It may be asked, in the language of Homer, what power or what cause could set them
u Originally printed in quarto, price 6d. each number: and published by S. Popping, at the Black Raven, in Paternoster-Row, where Letters directed for the Plebeian were taken in.
Originally published in quarto, price 6d. each number, by J. Roberts, in WarwickLane; and A Dodd, at the Peacock, without Temple-Bar.
at variance. The subject of their dispute was of great importance. The earl of Sunderland proposed an act called the Peerage Bill, by which the number of peers should be fixed, and the king restrained from any new creation of nobility, unless when an old family should be extinct. To this the lords would naturally agree; and the king, who was yet little acquainted with his own prerogative, and, as is now well known, almost indifferent to the possessions of the crown, had been persuaded to consent. The only difficulty was found among the commons, who were not likely to approve the perpetual exclusion of themselves and their posterity. The bill therefore was eagerly opposed, and among others by Sir Robert Walpole, whose speech was published. The lords might think their dignity diminished by improper advancements, and particularly by the introduction of twelve new peers at once, to produce a majority of Tories in the last reign; an act of authority violent enough, yet certainly legal, and by do means to be compared with that contempt of national right, with which some time afterwards, by the instigation of Whiggism, the commons, chosen by the people for three years, chose themselves for seven. But, whatever might be the disposition of the lords, the people had no wish to increase their power. The tendency of the bill, as STEELE observed in a letter to the earl of Oxford, was to introduce an Aristocracy, for a majority in the nouse of lords, so limited, would have been despotic and irresistible. To prevent this subversion of the ancient establishment, Steele, whose pen readily seconded his political passions, endeavoured to alarm the nation by a pamphlet called the PLEBEIAN. To this an answer was published by ADDsox under the title of the Old Wug, in which it is not discovered that STEELE was then known to be the advocate for the Commons. STEELE replied by a second PLEBEIAN; and, whether by ignorance or by courtesy, confined himself to his question, without any personal notice of his opponent. Nothing hitherto was committed against the laws of friendship, or proprieties of decency; but controvertists cannot long retain their kindness for each other. The Old Whig answered the PLEBEIAN, and could not forbear some contempt of Little Dicky, whose trade it was to write pamphlets. Dicky however did not lose his settled veneration for his friend; but contented himself with quoting some lines of Cato, which were at once detection and reproof. The bill was laid aside during that Session; and Addison died before the next, in which its commitment was rejected by two hundred sixty-five to one hundred seventy-seven. Every reader eurely must regret that these two illustrious friends, after sɔ many years past in confidence and endearment, in unity of interest, conformity of opinion, and fellowship of study, should finally part in acrimonious opposition. Such a controversy was Bellum plusquam civile, as Lucan expresses it. Why could not faction find other advocates ? But, among the uncertainties of the hú man state, we are doomed to number the instability of friendship.