As we are a very numerous Family, and well allied, no Wonder that many of us are employed in eminent Posts of Honour and Profit; and sometimes, perhaps, in the Management and Direction of Affairs of the greatest Consequence, both in Church and State. Now, as all of us happen to be in a different Way of Thinking from your Lordship, all the World sees you have contracted an incurable Averfion to the whole Family. Whenever you take it in your Head to be displeased with the Management of public Affairs, upon every Suspicion of political Misconduct, the Cry is immediately raised upon us all; the Guilt of every ministerial Blunder is charged upon some or other of our Kindred; though I will take upon me, to answer for


individual Person concerned in such Counsels or Tranfactions, that they shall separately and jointly depose, upon their corporal Oath, that they have no more Relation to the Family than your Lordship. This is very hard! but what is still harder, your Lordship is said to take this Liberty in the most august Assembly in the World ; where, it is well known, we have not, at present, so much as one Friend or Relation to undertake our Cause, or fpeak one Word in our Justification.

As this must be thought a great Hardship upon fo many innocent Sufferers, I humbly intreat your Lordship’s Indulgence, whilft I am endeavouring to do Justice to the most numerous Family in the Universe ; and which is, by Blood or Marriage, related to the most illustrious Houses in Europe.

The Antiquity of our Family (an Article that has given Distinction and Precedency to many a worthless Litter, who had no other single good Quality to

recommend them) may, I humbly presume, with -, more than equal Justice, be pleaded by us, who have

been, in all Ages, distinguished by the most eminent and meritorious Services, and been rewarded accordingly. I know it has been suggested by our Enemies, that we are but of Yesterday ; that we were the Aborigines of a certain neighbouring Kingdom, transplanted into this and other Countries, all over the Globe, by mere Neceflity, to pick up a comfortable Subsistence abroad, which we could not find at home. This is so gross a Calumny as could only proceed from downright Ignorance, or Malice, or both ; fince every one that has the least Acquaintance with History, must know the contrary. It appears, by the concurrent Testimonies of the most antient and faithful Historians, that we have made shining and illustrious Figures in every Age and Nation under Heaven; and even in our own, in which we are more immediately concerned, we have had Princes, Peers, Prelates, and Privy-Counsellors ; not to mention Baronets, Simple Knights, 'Squires, and Justices of the Peace, innumerable.

We are informed by History, that one of our Family was a Conjurer, (an Honour that many an illustrious House cannot boast of) with this particular Circumstance, that his Name was Simon, and he always went by the Name of Simon the Conjurer. But as he seems to have been but a poor Performer, and came to an untimely End, by an unsuccessful Expe, riment, even in his own Profession, we are not very vain of our Relation ; and as he is said to have lived a great while ago, and there has not been one in the Family ever since, we have taken a great deal of


B 2

Pains, both in Private and Public, to persuade the World, that there never was any fuch Perfon. I mean any such Character; and that all the Pretend ers to that Sort of Knowledge are Quacks and Impoftors, and ought rather to be punished for Cheats, than Associates with evil Spirits, who have something else to do, than to be at the Call of every beggarly Rascal, or doating old Woman, that pleases to employ them : Whereas, if they had Leisure or Inclination to trouble themselves with our dirty Affairs, they might be admitted into Cabinets and Drawingrooms, might have a Seat in ******

or the Direction of ******

*, upon giving proper Security for their true and faithful Attachment, and due Attention to the Interests of their Patrons. But to return.

Though at prefent we lie under great and popular Discouragements, by the unreasonable and ungrateful Oppofition of fome that shall be nameless, who affect to forget that they owe their present Portion of Wealth and Power to the superfine Policy of the Wrongbeads, their Predecessors; yet we are not without reasonable Hopes of retrieving, one Day, the Honour and Figure of the Family, and contributing as much to the Glory and Prosperity of the present or rising Generation, as our Predecessors have done to the past. To enter into a Detail of the many Services we have been doing to the Public, would be an endless and needless Talk: I shall rather choose to lay before your Lordship, a short View of several wonderful Improvements and Refinements we have made, in the three great Articles of Learning, Religion, and Politics, by which we stand eminently dif 3

tinguished tinguished from the rest of Mankind; and froin which we may one Day promise ourselves such a Superiority of Rank and Character, as is due to such fuperior Merit, and the Services, we are every Day doing to our native Country.

The Figure we made, and the Rank we fustained, in the learned World, for above a thousand Years, is too well known to admit of a Difpute ; our Enemies themselves confess it, and, by a preposterous Kind of Vanity, upbraid us with it. It is well known, that during that long Space of Time, we had the intire Government and Direction of much the greater Part of the Universities, Churches, Schools, and learned Societies in Europe ; and filled most of the Professors Chairs in every Faculty. This is so notorious, that we have ever since, by universal Consent, obtained the distinguishing Title of the Schoolmen. And the Divinity and Philosophy of those Schools of ours, were the Light and Glory of those happy Ages. We were the fole Authors of those immense Treasures of Learning, which, since the Invention of Printing, have made such a pompous and voluminous Appearance in the Libraries of the Learned, under the illustrious Titles of Summa, Sententia, Loci Communes, Diatribæ, Commentaria, Thefauri, Collectanea, Questiones, &c, which, by the barbarous Pride and Ignorance of the Moderns, are brought into fo great Contempt, that nothing but public Libraries, secured by Locks, and Bolts, and Chains, can preserve them from the worse than Gothic Fury of Pastry-cooks, Bandbox-makers, Grocers, and Chandlers. This was in a great measure owing to the malicious Opposition we met with, about two Centu


B 3

ries ago, from that bitter Enemy to all profound Erudition, Erasmus; who, with some other evilminded Persons in that and our own Country, raised such a Cry and Perfecution against us, as had well nigh ended in the Destruction of our whole Family; notwithstanding all which, though we were often obliged to shift our Quarters, in order to escape the Fury of our Persecutors, we still continued to hold up our Heads, and make a tolerable Figure in some parts of the World or other; from whence we have been able, from time to time, to send Authors and Professors to fome of the most eminent Societies in Europe. And these are they that have enriched the learned World with many voluminous Inquiries, acute Conjectures, and profound Discoveries, in every Branch of Science, and Article of Learning

Very few of us indeed have pretended to be Authors of particular Systems, founded upon Principles, and regularly digested into Conclusions ; yet have we not been wanting in our best Endeavours, to improve and illustrate several Articles of Knowledge, which others have, through Pride or Ignorance, overlooked or despised. How many curious and learned Dissertations, for instance, have we published, De Nummulis, Vestibus, Vasibus, Fibulis, Cochlearibus, Salinis, Urnis, Balneis, Sepulchris, &c. Romanis, to the great Comfort and Edification of all true Lovers of Antiquity, and the clearer Elucidation of the most valuable Writers of that Age and Nation ? and convinced the learned World, that the venerable Rust of one of those precious Relics was of more Value to a true Virtuoso, than the most exact Knowledge of


« VorigeDoorgaan »