« VorigeDoorgaan »
☺ in two Volumes,
1 HE appearance of this letter will attract the curiosity of the public, and command even your lordship's attention. ' I am considerably in your debt, and shall endeavour, once for all, to ba
lance the account. Accept of this address, my · lord, as a prologue to more important scenes, ia
which you will probably be called upon to act or suffer.
You will not question my veracity, when I afsure you that it has not been owing to any particular respect for your person that I have abstained from you so long. Besides the distress and danger with which the press is threatened, when your lordihip is party, and the party is to be judge, I confess I have been deterred by the difficulty of the task. Our language has no term of reproach,
the mind has no idea of detestation, which has not already been happily applied to you, and exhausted.--Ample justice has been done by abler pens than mine to the seperate merits of your life and character, Let it be my humble office to collect the scattered sweets, till their united virtue tortures the sense.
Permit me to begin with paying a just tribute to Scotch sincerity, wherever I find it. I own I am not apt to confide in the professions of gentlemen of that country, and when they sinile, I feel an involuntary emotion to guard myself against mischief. With this general opinion of an ancient nation, I always thought it much to your lordship's honour, that, in your earlier days, you were but little infected with the prudence of your country. You had some original attachments, which you took every proper opportupity to acknowledge. The liberal spirit of youth prevailed over your native discretion. Your zeal in the cause of an unhappy prince was expressed with the fincerity of wine, and some of the folemnities of religion.* This I conceive, is the most amiable point of view, in which your character has ap
* This man was always a rank Jacobite. Lord Ravensworth produced the most satisfactory Evidence of his have :n: frequently draak the Pretender's health upon his knees,
peared. Like an honest man, you took that part in politics, which might have been expected, from your birth, education, country and connexions. There was something generous in your attachment to the banished house of Stuart. We lament the mistakes of a good man, and do not begin to deteft him until he affects to renounce his principles. Why did you not adhere to that loyalty you once professed ? why did you not follow the example of your worthy brother ?* with him, you might have shared in the honour of the Pretender's confidence -- with him, you might have preserved the integrity of your character, and England, I think, might have spared you without regret. Your friends will say, perhaps, that altho' you deserted. the fortune of your liege lord, you have adhered firmly to the principles which drove his father from the throne ;-~that without openly supporting the perfon, you have done essential service to the cause, and consoled yourself for the loss of a favourite family by reviving and establishing the maxims of their goverament. This is the way, in which a Scotchman's understanding corrects the error of his heart. My lord, I acknowledge the truth of the de B 2
* Confidential Secretary to the late Pretender. This circumstance confirmed the friendhip between the brothers,