Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

who draw'd in the Reft with falfe Counsels, falle Assurances, falfe Promises, and falfe Performances ; there followed Imprisonment, Attainders, Executions of Gentry and Nobility, voluntary Banishments, the present Royal Family being more firmly establish'd than ever.

It was certainly an Infatuation, to think that the Body of the People would be brought to dethrone a Protestant King, in Favour of a Papist, who, but two Reigns before, had invited the Prince of Orange, a Prince who had no hereditary Right to the Crown, to come from Holland, and deliver them from that Papist King, James the Second, of inglorious Memory; I say this very People, who had elected the Prince of Orange, and after the Death of Queen Anne, fix'd the Succession in the House of Hanover, not as being Hereditary Heirs, but Protestants, there being at that Time several Pretenders before the House of Brunswick, only being as Papifts in capable of Ruling, according to our present good and wholsome Laws, this Protestant People of Great Britain, &c. it was Folly to imagine, that they should alter so madly for a total Change, lose all Security for the publick Debt, and pay those enormous ones contracted with foreign popish Courts, and the Pope's Court, by the Pretender.

Their imaginary Notion of finding all the Papists here in his Interest, was quite groundless; there were, and are, to our certain Knowledge, many Families, who never wish to see the Pretender King of these Imperial Realms, and that would resift him with their Fortunes and Lives, and who have Freedom in themselves all that is necessary to take the Oaths of Abjuration of the Pretender and faithful Allegiance to the King, without any mental Reservation ; but they cannot (it being a Contradiction) deny the Sun

premacy

[ocr errors]

premacy and Infallibility of the Pope : This to a Papist is impossible with Christian Verity and without Perjury to do. But some there are among Papists, who wish there was a Test for the present King and Abjuration for the Pretender separate from the other, and that would fairly distinguish, that all the Nonjurors to the Oath of Allegiance and Abjuration were those in his Interest, and the Nonjurors to the Oath of Supremacy only were Papists, in the Interest of the present King George and his Royal Family.

After the Defeat at Preston Mr. Pope, very much concern'd not at the Success of the King's Forces and Counsels, but at the Distress of his fo very dear Friend, writes a Letter of Comfort and Condoleance dated March 20, 1715-16.

Dear Sir,

I is a

to speaking, but to writing too : The more Time we give ourselves to think over one's own, or a Friend's Unhappiness, the more unable we grow to express the Grief that proceeds from it. It is as natural to delay a Letter at such a Season as this, as to retard a melancholy Vi to a Person one cannot relieve. One is ashamed in that Circumstance, to pretend to entertain People with trifling insignificant Affectations of Sorrow on the one Hand, or unfeafonable and forced Gaieties on the other. 'Tis a Kind of Profanation of Things facred, to treat so folemn a Matter as a generous voluntary Suffering, with Compliments on Heroick Gallantries. Such a Mind as your's has no Need of being spirited up Honour, or, like a weak Woman, praised into an Opinion of its own Virtue. 'Tis enough to do and Jaffer what we ought; and Men should know, that

the

into

1

the noble Power of suffering bravely, is as far above that of enterprising greatly, as an unblemith'd Conscience and inflexible Resolution are above an accidental Flow of Spirits, or a sudden Tide of Blood. If the whole religious Business of Mankind be included in Resignation to our Maker, and Charity to our Fellow-Creatures, there are now fome People, who give us an Opportunity of affording as bright an Example in practising the one, as themselves have given an infamous Instance of the Violation of the other. Whoever is really brave, has always this Comfort when he is oppress’d, that he knows himself to be fuperior to those who injure him : For the greatest Power on Earth can no sooner do him that Injury, but the brave Man can make himself greater by forgiving it.

If it were generous to seek for alleviating Consolations in a Calamity of so much Glory; one might say that to be ruined thus in the Gross, with a whole People, is but like perishing in the general Confiagration, where nothing we can value is left behind

us.

Methinks in our present Condition, the most heroick Thing we are left capable of doing, is to en deavour to lighten each other's Load, and (suppress'd as we are) to fuccour such as are yet more oppress’d. If there are too many who cannot be affifted but by what we cannot give, our Money, there are yet others who may be relieved by our Counsel, by our Countenance, and even by our Chearfulness.' The Misfortunes of private Families, the Misunderstandings of People whom Distresses make suspicious, the Coldnefles of Relations, whom Change of Religion may disunite, or the Neceflities of half-ruin'Eftates render unkind to each other ; these, at least, may be foftened in some Degree, by a general well,

manag'd

manag'd Humanity among ourselves, if all those who have your Principles of Belief, had also your Sense and Conduct. But, indeed, most of them have given lamentable Proofs of the contrary, and it is to be apprehended, that they who want Sense, are only religious thro' Weakness, and good-natur'd thro' Shame : These are narrow minded Creatures, that nover deal in Essentials ; their Faith never looks beyond Ceremonials, nor their Charity beyond Relations. As poor as I am, I would gladly relieve any distress'd conscientious French Refugee at this Instant : What must my Concern then be, when I perceive fo many Anxieties now tearing those Hearts which I have desired a Place in, and Clouds of Melancholy rising on those Faces, which I have long look'd upon with Affection? I begin already to feel both what some apprehend, and what others are yet too stupid to apprehend. I am grieved with the Old for so many additional Inconveniences and Chagrins, more than their small Remain of Life seem destined to undergo; and with the Young, for so many of those Gayeties and Pleasures, (the Portion of Youth) which they will by this Means be deprived of. This brings into my Mind one or other of those I love best, and among them the Widow and Fatherless, late of

As I am certain no People living had an earlier and truer Sense of others Misfortunes, or a more generous Refignation, as to what might be their own; so I earnestly with, that whatever Part they must bear, may be rendered as supportable to them, as it is in the Power of any Friend to make it.

But I know you have prevented me in this Thought, as you always will in any Thing that's good or ge

I find by a Letter of your Lady's, (which I have seen) that their Ease and Tranquillity is Part of

your

nerous.

[ocr errors]

your Care. I believe there's fome Fatality in it, that you should always, from Time to Time, be doing those particular Things that make me enamonr'd of you.

I write this from Wind for Foreft, of which I am come to take my laft Look. We here bid our Neighbours adieu, much as those who go to be hang'd do their Fellow Prisoners, who are condemn'd to follow them a few Weeks after. I parted from honest Mr. D-with Tenderness; and from old Sir William Trumball, as from a venerable Prophet, foretelling, with lifted Hands, the Miseries to come, from which he is just going to be remov'd himself. Perhaps, now I have learn'd so far as

Nos dulcia linquimus arva my next Lesson may be

Nos patriam fugimus

Let that, and all else be as Heaven pleases ! I have provided just enough to keep a Man of Honours. I believe you and I shall never be afham'd of each other. I know I wish my Country well; and if it undoes me, it shall not make we wish otherwise.

Mr. Blount, though we can't find him busy in any Action, and as to his mixing with People suspected, it was said in his Favour, he actually did it to persuade them from fuch treasonable and headlong Courses, yet he thought proper to leave England, and not remain any longer where a strict Eye was kept over every Body. Mr. Pope writes to him abroad a Letter dated Sept. 8, 1717:

Dear Sir,
Think your leaving England was like a good Man's
leaving the World, with the blessed Conscience

of

I

« ZurückWeiter »