Зображення сторінки

for saying it, I hope I am animated in my conduct by a grace which is as little practised as understood, and that is charity. It is, the happiness and comfort of all men, who have a regard to their fellow-creatures, and desire their good-will upon a proper foundation, that every thing which is truly laudable is what every man living may attain. The greatest merit is in having social viétues, such as justice and truth, exalted with benevolence to mankind. Great qualifications are not praises to the poliéffor but from the application of them; and all that is justly commendable among men, is to love and serve them as much as it is in your power, with a contempt of all advantages to yourself (above the conveniencies of life) but as they tend to the service of the publick. He who has warmed his heart with impressions of this kind, will find glowings of good-will, which will support him in the service of his country against all the calumny, reproach, and invective, that can be thrown upon him. He is but a poor creature who cannot bear being odious in the service of virtue. Riches and honours can administer to the heart no pleasure, like what an honest man feels when he is contending for the interests of his country, and the civil rights of his fellow. subjects, without which the being of man grows brute, and he can never, under it, give to Heaven that worship which is called a reasonable fa. crifice, nor support towards his fellow.creatures


that worthy disposition, which we call difinte. rested friendship. The highest pleasure of the human soul consists in this charity ; and there is no way of making it so diffusive, as by contending for liberty.

As to laying aside the common views by which the mistaken world are actuated, a man of liberal education can easily surmount those low confiderations; and when he considers himself, from the moment he was born into this world, an immortal, though a changeable be. ing, he will form his interests and prospects accordingly, and not make provision for eternity with perishable things. When a man has deeply planted such a sentiment as this for the rule of his conduct, the pursuits of avarice and ambition will become as contemptible as the sports of children; and there can be no honours, no riches, no pleasures laid in his way, which can possibly come in competition with the fatisfactions of an enlarged and public spirit. From this moment, therefore, I shall

go with as much vigour and chearfulness as I am able, to do all that is in my power, without the least partiality to persons or parties, to remove the prejudices which Englishman has against Englishman, and reconcile wounded brethren, so far as to behold each other's actions with an inclination to approve them.

The man who will reduce himself to this tem



per, will easily perceive how far his affections have been wrought upon and abused, from an opposition to particular men, to sacrifice the interests of his country itself.

The prostituted pens which are employed in a quite contrary service, will be very ready to entertain a pretender to such reformations with a recital of his own faults and infirmities; but I am very well prepared for such usage, and give up myself to all nameless authors, to be treated just as their mirth or their malice directs them.

It is the disgrace of literature, that there are such instruments; and to good government, that they are suffered : but this mischief is gone so far in our age, that the pamphleteers do not only attack those whom they believe in general disaffected to their own principles, but even such as they believe their friends, provided they do not act with as fincere a prejudice as themselves. Upon the leait deviation from an implicit hatred. to the opposite party, though in a case which in the nearest concern affects their country, all their good qualities are turned to ridicule; and every thing, which was before valued in them, is become contemptible. Thus in one of the papers I send you, a gentleman, who has distinguished himself by a becoming veneration, in the House of Commons, for the assembly, and has ever delivered himself with a regard to his

[ocr errors]



own dignity, and that of the place he was in ; is represented frivolously as a declaimer : and a noble Lord, who is conspicuously adorned with the knowledge of letters, and is eminent for a lively sprightly eloquence, rectified by learning; is declared a companion fit only for pert novices and sophisters. And what is still more monstrous than all, a third man of quality, for the like offence, is told, in this nice


proportioning rewards to merit and service, that he has as much as he deserves.

But it is to be hoped Englishmen will at last consider, and that the Ministry will see Dunkirk effectually demolished.

It is as frivolous as unjust, to hope to stop our mouths when we are concerned for so great a point as the business of Dunkirk, by mention of the prerogative, and urging our fafety in our good and gracious Queen.

By her great example, religion, piety, and all other public and domestic virtues, are kept in countenance in a very loose and profligate age; all the hours of her precious life, which God long preserve, are divided between the exercises of devotion, and taking minutes of the fublime affairs of her government.

Besides which, her Majesty has manifested herself the most affectionate wife, the most conftant friend, the moft tender mother, and has filled every duty with a virtue as superior to the


[merged small][ocr errors]

rest of the world as is her high condition. But I shall leave what I have to say on this topick, to the time when the consequence of it will be insignificant to me, but which, I hope, will do her honour, that is, justice, when I am no more, and the remains of her facred person are as common duft as mine.

But, as this bright example is in the person of a lady, it cannot be supposed that the general sense of a people, the sub-divisions of affection and interest among great men (to be learned only by converfation with them, even in their unguarded leisure), can appear to her but from the information of such as have the happiness and honour to lay them before her. Her Majesty is therefore more particularly necessitated to rely upon the intelligence of her Ministry; and, from that very reason, their fellow-subjects may be the more solicitous for what passes beyond the ordinary rules of government. Thus all which they offer for our security and inplicit reliance upon what is transacted by the court of England, to wit, her Majesty's care and goodness, are arguments for exerting both our zeal and our gratitude; that at any time artful men may not take advantage of the fecurity we have in her virtue, to indulge too much the power

of any foreign Prince whatsoever, especially that of the most warlike potentate in Europe. I cannot leave this subject without being still 7


« НазадПродовжити »