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being a slave to men in power, but chose my friends by their personal merit, without examining how far their notions agreed with the politicks then in vogue. I frequently conversed with Mr. Addison, and the others I named (except Mr. Steel) during all my Lord Oxford's Ministry, and Mr. Addison's friendship to me continued inviolable, with as much kindness aś when we used to meet at my Lord Sommers or Hallifax, who were leaders of the
I would infer from all this, that it is with great injustice I have these many years been pelced by your Pamphleteers, merely upon account of some regard which the Queen's last Minifters were pleafed to have for me: and yet in my conscience I think I am a partaker in every ill design they had against the Protestant Succession, or the Liberties and Religion of their Country; and can say with Cicero, that I should be proud to be included with them in all their actions * tanquam in equo Trojano. But, if I have never discovered by my words, writings, or actions, any Party virulence, or dangerous designs against the present powers;
my friendship and conversation were equally shewn among those who liked or disapproved the proceedings then at Court, and that I was known to be a common Friend of all deserving perfons of the latter fort, when they were in difress; I cannot but think iu : ?rd that I am
* As if in the Trojan Her;
not suffered to run quietly among the common herd of people, whose opinions unfortunately differ from those which lead to Favour and Preferment.
I ought to let you know, that the Thing we called a Whig in England is a creature altogether different from those of the same deno. mination here; at least it was so during the reign of Her late Majesty. Whether those on your side have changed or no, it hath not been my business to enquire. I remember my excellent friend Mr. Addison, when he first came over hither Secretary to the * Earl of Wharton then Lord Lieutenant, was extremely offended at the conduct and discourse of the Chief Managers here : He told me they were a sort of people who seemed to think, that the principles of a Whig consisted in nothing else but damning the Church, reviling the Clergy, abetting the Diffenters, and speaking contemptibly of revealed Religion.
I was discoursing some years ago with a certain Minister about that whiggish or fanatical Genius so prevalent among the English of this kingdom: his Lordship accounted for it by that number of Cromwell's Soldiers, Adven, turers established here, who were all of the scurest Leven, and the meanest birth, and whose posterity are now in poffeffion of their lands and their principles. However, it must be confessed, that of late some people in this country
* Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,
are grown weary of quarelling, because interest, the great inotive of quarelling is at an end; for, it is hardly worth contending who shall be an Excise-man, a Country-Vicar, a Cryer in the Courts, cr an Under-Clerk.
You will perhaps be inclined to think, that a person so ill treated as I have been, must at fome time or other have discovered very dangerous opinions in government; in answer to which, I will tell
what my Political principles were in the time of her late glorious Majesty, which I never contradicted by any action, writing or discourse.
First, I always declared my self against a Popish Succeffor to the Crown, whatever Title he might have by the proximity of blood : Neither did I ever regard the right line, except upon two accounts; first, as it was established by law; and secondly, as it hath much weight in the opinions of the people. For necessity may abolish any Law, but cannot alter the sentiments of the vulgar ; Right of inheritance be. ing perhaps the most popular of all topicks ; and therefore in great Changes when that is broke, there will remain much heart-burning and discontent among the meaner people ; which (under a weak Prince and corrupt Administration) may have the worst consequences upon
peace of any state. As to what is called a Revolution-principle, my opinion was this; That, whenever those evils which usually attend and follow a violent
change of government, were not in probability so pernicious as the grievances we suffer under a present power, then the publick good will justify such a Revolution; and this I took to have been the Case in the Prince of Orange's expedition, although in the consequences it produced some very bad effects, which are likely to stick long enough by us.
I had likewise in those days a mortal antipathy against Standing Armies in times of Peace. Because I always took Standing Armies to be only servants hired by the master of the family, for keeping his own children in slavery : And because, I conceived, that a Prince who could not think himself secure without Mercenary Troops, must needs have a separate interest from that of his subjects. Although I am not ignorant of those artificial Neceflities which a corrupted Ministry can create, for keeping up forces to support á Faction against the publick Interest.
As to Parliaments, I adored the Wisdom of that Gothic Institution, which made them Annual: and I was confident our Liberty could never be placed upon a firm Foundation until that ancient Law were restored among us. For, who sees not, that while such Assemblies are permitted to have a longer Duration, there groweth up a Commerce of Corruption between the Ministry and the Deputies, wherein they both find their Accounts to the manifest Danger of
Liberty? which Traffick would neither answer the Design nor Expence, if Parliaments met once a Year.
I ever abominated that Scheme of Politicks, (now about thirty Years old) of setting up a monied Interest in Opposition to the landed, For, I conceived, there could not be a truer Maxim in our Government than this, That the Poffeffors of the Soil are the best Judges of what is for the Advantage of the Kingdom: If others had thought the fame Way, Funds of Credit and South-sea Projects would neither have been felt nor heard of.
I could never discover the Necessity of sufpending any Law upon which the Liberty of the most innocent Persons, depended: neither do I think this Practice hath made the Taste of Arbitrary Power so agreeable as that we should defire to see it repeated. Every Rebellion subdued and Plot discovered, contributeth to the firmer Establishment of the Prince. In the latter Case, the Knot of Conspirators is entirely broke, and they are to begin their work anew under a thousand Disadvantages; so that those diligent Enquiries into remote and problematical Guilt, with a new Power of enforcing them by Chains and Dungeons to every person whose Face a Minister thinketh fit to diflike, are not only opposite to that Maxim, which declareth it better that ten guilty Men should efcape, than one innocent suffer, but likewise leave a Gate wide open to the whole Tribe of