own Manufactures instead of those from England: This Treatise foon spread very fast, being agreeable to the Sentiments of the whole Nation, except of those Gentlemen who had Employments, or were Expectants. Upon which a Person in great Office here immediately took the Alarm ; he sent in haste for the Chief Justice, and informed him of a feditious, factious, and virulent Pamphlet, lately published, with a Design of setting the two Kingdoms at Variance, directing at the same Time that the Printer should be prosecuted with the utmost Rigour of Law. * The Chief Justice had so quick ah Understanding, that he resolved, if possible, to out-do his Orders. The Grand-Juries of the County and City were practised effectually with to represent the said Pamphlet with all aggravating Epithets, for which they had Thanks sent them from England, and their Presentments published for several Weeks in all the News-papers. The Printer was seized, and forced to give great Bail : After his Trial the Jury brought him in Not Guilty, although they had been culled with the utmost Industry; the Chief Justice sent them back nine Times, and kept them eleven Hours, until being perfectly tired out, they were forced to leave the Matter to the Mercy of the Judge, by what they call a Special Verdict. During the Trial, the Chief Justice, among other Singularities; laid his Hand on his Breast, and protested folemnly, that the Author's Design was to bring


* Lord Chief Justice Whitfhed.

in the Pretender ; although there was not a single Syllable of Party in the whole Treatise, and although it was known that the most eminent of those who professed his own Principles, publickly disallowed his Proceedings. But the Cause being so very odious and impopular, the Trial of the Verdict was deferred from one Term to another, until upon the Duke of Grafton the Lord Lieutenant's Arrival, his Grace after mature Advice, and Permission from England, was pleased to grant a * noli prosequi.

This is the more remarkable, because it is faid that the Man is no ill Decider in common Cases of Property, where Party is out of the Question ; but when that intervenes, with Ambition at Heels to push it forward, it must needs confound any Man of little Spirit, and low Birth, who hath no other Endowment than that Sort of Knowledge, which, however poffefsed in the highest Degree, can possibly give no one good Quality to the Mind.

It is true, I have been much concerned for several Years past, upon account of the Publick as well as of myself, to see how ill a Taste for Wit and Sense prevaileth in the World, which Politicks and South-Sea, and Party, and Opera's and Masquerades have introduced. For, besidės many infipid Papers which the Malice of some hath entitled me to, there are many Persons appearing to with me well, and pretending to


* A Law Phrase, - fignifying, a Stop to further Proceedings.

ons, which

be Judges of my Style and Manner, who have yet ascribed fome Writings to me, of which any Man of common Sense and Literature would be heartily ashamed. I cannot forbear instancing a Treatise called a Dedication upon Dedicati

many would have to be mine, although it be as empty, dry, and servile a Composition, as I remember at any Time to have read. But above all, there is one Circumstance which maketh it impossible for me to have been Author of a Treatise, wherein there are several Pages containing a Panegyrick on King George, of whose Character and Person I am utterly ignorant, nor ever had once the Curiosity to enquire into either, living at so great a Distance as I do, and having long done with whatever can relate to publick Matters.

Indeed I have formerly delivered ıny Thoughts very freely, whether I were asked or no, but never affected to be a Counsellor, to which I had no Manner of Call. I was humbled enough to see my self so far out-done by the Earl of Oxford in my own Trade as a Scholar, and too good a Courtier not to discover his Contempt of those who would be Men of Importance out of their Sphere. Besides, to say the Truth, although I have known many great Ministers ready enough to hear Opinions, yet I have hardly seen one that would ever descend to take Advice; and this Pedantry ariseth from a Maxim themselves do not believe at the fame Time they practise by it, that there is Something proVol. VII.



found in Politicks, which men of plain honest Sense cannot arrive to.

I only wish my endeavours had succeeded better in the great point I had at heart, which was that of reconciling the Ministers to each other. This might have been done, if others who had more concern and more influence would have acted their parts; and, if this had succeeded, the publick interest both of Church and State would not have been the worse, nor the Protestant Succession endangered.

But, whatever opportunities a constant attendance of four years might have given me for endeavouring to do good offices to particular persons, I deserve at least to find tolerable quarter from those of the other Party; for many of which I was a constant advocate with the Earl of Oxford, and for this I appeal to his Lordship: He knoweth how often I pressed him in favour of Mr. Addison, Mr. Congreve, Mr. Row, and Mr. Steel, although I freely confess that his Lordship's kindness to them was altogether owing to his generous notions, and the esteem he had for their wit and parts, of which I could only pretend to be a remembrancer. , For, I can never forget the answer he gave to the late Lord Hallifax, who .upon the first change of the Ministry interceded with him to spare Mr. Congreve: It was by repeating these two lines of Virgil,


* Non obtusa adeo geftamus pectora Pæni,

Nec tam aversus equos Tyria Sol jungit ab urbe. Pursuant to which, he always treated Mr. Congreve with the greatest perfonal civilites, afsured him of his constant favour and protection ; adding, that he would study to do something better for hiin.

I remember it was in those times a usual subject of raillery towards me among the Minifters, that I never came to them without a Whig in my sleeve; which I do not say with any view towards making my Court: For, the new Principles fixed to those of that denomination, I did then, and do now from


heart abhor, detest and abjure, as wholly degenerate from their predecessors. I have conversed in fome freedoin with more Ministers of State of all Parties than usually happeneth to men of my level, and I confess, in their capacity as Ministers, I look upon them as a race of people whose acquaintance no man would court, otherwise than upon the score of Vanity or Ambition. The first quickly wears off (and is the Vice of low minds, for a man of spirit is too proud to be vain) and the other was not my case. Besides, having never received more than one small favour, I was under no necessity of

C 2

being * Our Hearts are not so cold, nor flames the Fire Of Sol so different from the Race of Tyre.


« VorigeDoorgaan »