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ture. They seem to me to have been for many years, and to be at present, a just and honourable body. This, I think, is owing to the frame of that body, and the situation it is in. I am against altering either, lest they should become tyrannical and odious. The Old Wuig represents them to be at present a species of such a nature as I dare not venture to repeat, but must refer to his own words; and yet contends to vest them with much greater Powers than they now have.
I have but one remark more to make upon this Author, which is indeed in a matter of the last consequence, and which cannot be thoroughly considered till the next Paper. The Author of the Old Waig has very truly stated the Power of the Crown, as it relates to the Legislature, in these words:
“The Crown, as a branch of the Legislature, cannot desire a greater prerogative, than that of a negative in the passing of a law: and as it ought not to influence either House in their debates, what can a good King desire more, than the power of approving or rejecting any such bill as cannot pass into a law without the Royal Assent?”
As I readily admit of all that is here advanced, That the Regal part of the Legislature is to wait for the advice of its Great Council, both Houses of Parliament, and to give its negative to what it does not approve; that doing otherwise would be influencing the debates of one or both Houses, and turning the Constitution quite upside down: as I sincerely allow a good King cannot desire any more than the approving or rejecting any Bill offered him; and as I believe from the bottom of my heart, that we never had so good a King as we have now: what credit can I give to what this Author asserts, that his Majesty has already signified his consent on this point, of so great consequence to himself, and to the very being of his FAITHFUL Coumons, before he has so much as once heard their Opinion ? Our Author calls this an act of unparalleled goodness. But what I have to say upon this subject, I shall reserve to another opportunity, if what this Author seems to be assured of should prove true.
On the 28th of March was advertised, “ The PATRICIAN, No. II. Considerations on the PEERAGE, in answer to the PLEBEIAN, continued.
But the wild vulgar, ever discontent,
POPE's THEB. In an advertisement of the same date, announcing the Third Number of the PLEBEIAN, Is this caution : "N. B. Whereas it is suspected by a great many people, that the PATRICIAN, said to be writ against the PLEBEIAN, is really writ by one of the same side, which is an old trick amongst Writers; the Public is hereby assured, that the Author of the PLEBEIAN has not any hand in that Paper."
+++ "To-morrow, being the day appointed for the Call of the Honourable House of Commons, will be published, by J. Roberts, “A discourse upon Honour and Peerage. Occasioned
by the present Reports of a Bill now depending relating to the State of the House of Peers. By an Elector, Peer of Scotland.
Virtus repulse nescia sordidæ
HOR. 3 Od. ii. 17.
No. III. MONDAY, MARCH 30, 1719.
BY A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
FARTHER CONSIDERATIONS UPON THE REPORTS RELATING TO THE PEERAGE
Tue Plebeian expected before now to have heard again from the Old Wuig, especially as to his making good the last particular taken notice of in the Paper, Numb. II. which relates to the part he was pleased to affirm his Majesty had already taken in this affair; and for which there does not seem to be any foundation. However, as age is apt to be slow, the PLEBEIAN is willing to wait some time longer to be satisfied in that point. In the mean while, to shew with how much candour he proceeds in this dispute, he will not decline publishing in this paper a Speech made in a kind of a private-public* Company, for the Bill ; in which all the arguments on that side the question are urged with that great strength of reason, and with all that advantage of oratory, for which the honourable person who made it is so deservedly admired.
The form in which it was sent to the PLEBEIAN is as follows:
A SPEECH in the Long Room at the Comptroller's +
"Optat Ephippia Bos." —HOR. 1. Ep. xiv. 48.
“Mr. Bladen—Though the worthy gentleman that spoke last has represented the Bill that occasions this meeting as destructive of all that ought to be dear to every one that values his country, yet I am not ashamed to appear for it with all the little zeal I am master of. According to the way that I have the honour of thinking of this matter, this seems to
* In a Committee of the House of Commons
+ Martin Bladex, Esq. Chairmau of the Committee on the Peerago Bil, was Comp troller of the Mint.
1 "The Ox would Trappingz wear." DoxcOMBE.
me to be the best Bill that ever was offered us, and therefore I shall be for it to the last drop of my breath. I wish any gentleman would lay his hand upon his heart, and answer me whether the making twelve Lords at once in a late reign, was not the wickedest thing that ever was heard of. And such a thing I am certain may be attempted again, if we do not shew them a new game, and give them one and thirty of our own friends, to prevent any such practice for the future. The worthy gentleman was pleased to say, That the noble Lord who was the author of that advice might in some measure be excused, if that matter is compared with what is now proposed.
That Lord says, he plainly shewed that he thought what he did was a justifiable action, because he left the door open for himself to be called to account for it, in the same manner as all other Ministers had done before him; and did not endeavour to put himself out of all reach, by fixing those persons to be his judges, who concurred with him in what he did. Sir, I must tell that worthy gentleman, that though it has often happened that wicked men have been infatuated, and slipped their opportunity; yet that should not prevent honest gentlemen from providing for their own safety upon the like occasion. In all these cases, that worthy person added, that we ought to consider quo animo a man acts. I have already given my judgment in another place as to those words, and I shall give the same opinion here again. The gentleman, he thinks that this is a very bad Bill; that is his quo animo. I think it a very good one; that is my quo animo. As to what he said about the Scotch Lords, that this would be invading their property, and taking away their birthright, out of a pretence of curing a public inconvenience; and that in the same way of arguing, any Parliament may as well take away the Funds; nothing being more inconvenient to the publick, than paying such great and endless taxes: I hope the gentleman will allow there is a great deal of difference between what is done by friends, and what is done by enemies. If we do take away their property, I hope there is nobody here that imagines that we do it out of ill-will; and the world must allow, that what is done is rather out of kindness to ourselves, than out of malice to them. Besides, I have been informed by a very Honourable Gentleman, That three of them are Boys at school ; and I hope nobody can imagine at this time of day, that any of those Gentlemen, for whom I own I have the greatest esteem, would be so barbarous as to hurt young boys, out of an arersion to their persons. As for those of riper years, there are several of them Jacobites, as the same Honourable Person has assured me; and I hope no such sort of people will meet with any encouragement here. Gentlemen are pleased to dwell much upon the Scotch Nobility in this case, as if their Representatives intended to take their property from them; whereas it is very plain, they intend to make a Pi--- of them; and is not that the same thing to the whole vation, so · Jong as it is all amongst their own countrymen ? And therefore I cannot imagine how any body can be so absurd, as to look upon this as a breach of the Union: And I hope we shall hear no more of that matter.
There has been one thing often insinuated in this debate, as if some gentlemen were influenced to come into this proposal by assurance of Peerages, as if they had warrants in their pockets, and I do not know what. For my part, Sir, I act according to the best of my understanding, and none of those mean considerations can have any weight with me. As for all their titles and honours, I cast them all behind my back, like chaj before the wind. For all which reasons, I shall be heartily for the Bill.”
“The PATRICIAN, No. II. was published, April 4, 1729.
“We are best of all led to
Mens principles by what they do."-Hop. On the same day appeared, “The MODERATOR, No. I. To be continued occasionally. The Arguments for and against such a Bill as is talked of, for regulating the Peerage, fairly stated, with some Reflexions upon the whole. By a Member of Parliament, Medio tutiffimus. Printed for J. Roberts, Price 6d." This seems to have been the only Number.
"The complicated Question divided, upon the Bill now depending in Parliament, relating lo Peerage, written by Mr. AsgiLL. Sold by J. Darby and J. Roberts, Price 6d."
“Remarks on a Pamphlet, intituled, The Thoughts of a Member of the Lower House, Printed for J. Roberts, Price 6d."
On the 11th of April, 1719, the Fourth number of the PATRICIAN was published, with chis note from the Cato of MR. ADDISOX.
"_While the Fathers of the Senate meet
The Author of the PLEBEIAN, to shew himself a perfect master in the vocation of Pamphlet-writing, begins like a son of Grubstreet, with declaring the greatest esteem he has for himself, and the contempt he entertains for the scribblers of the age.' One would think, by his way of presenting it, that the unexpected appearance of his pamphlet was as great a surprize upon the world as that of the late meteor, or indeed something more terrible, if you will believe the Author's magnificent description of his own performance. The PLEBEIAN, says he, starting forth unexpectedly, they were forced like people in a surprize, or on an invasion, to march immediately any troops they had. If Car.
" It is for this paragraph that Addison has been accused of saying"whose trade it is to write pamphlets.”—G.