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the nation; and doubt not but you will, every year
your being a true son of the Church of England, and an exemplary patrior to your country.
The noble motive which first produced your natural eloquence* was what should be the great purpose of that charming force in all who are blessed with it, the protection of the oppressed: and I doubt not but your future conduct will
* An allusion to a circumstance in the life of this nobleman, not commonly known, that well deserves to be recorded to his ho. nour, and the relation of which is requisite to make what is here said intelligible. In a paper of his in the Guardian STEELE published a spirited defence of Lady Charlotte Finch, who had been treated with rudeness and ill manners by an anonymous writer in the Examiner, for alledged misbehaviour in church; and won by this the heart of her brother, probably pre difposed in favour of an amiable man, and, it may be, attached to him by an antecedent friendship. Be this as it may, when the question about Steele's expulfion was agitated in the House of Commons, Lord Finch stepped forward, and made attempts to speak in Steele's behalf; but, being embarrassed by an ingenuous modefty, and over-deference to an assembly in which he had not yet been accustomed to speak, he sat down in visible confusion, saying, so as to be over-heard, “ It is ftrange how I can't speak for this “ man, though I could readily fight for him." His words being whispered from one to another, operated in an instant, like electrical fire, and a sudden burst, from all parts of the House, of so Hear him! Hear him!" with ineffable marks of encouragement, brought Lord Finch again on his legs, who, with astonishing recollection, and the utmost propriety, spoke a speech on the occasion, in which, as it was related to this writer, in the language of the theatre, “ there was not a word which did not “ tell.""Such was the noble motive which first produced this “ nobleman's natural eloquence; the force of which was charm“ ing, and irresistible when exerted in the protection of the oppresled."
appear an unworthy member of 410 STEE L'E'S LETTERS be agreeable to the manner of your setting out, to the nobility of your birth, the dignity of your own good sense, and the service of mankind in all their true interests, both religious and civil.
This address is made to you in acknowledgment of late favours to me, and to desire the continuance of your good opinion and friend. ship. · I am, my Lord, your Lordship's most obliged, moft obedient, and most humble fer. vant,
London, May 28, 1714.
your House, and am expelled accordingly from my seat in Parliament; I am not by that vote (which was more important to the people of England than I shall at this time explain) deprived of the common benefits of life, liberty, or any other enjoyment of a rational being. And I do not think I can better bestow my time, or employ these advantages, than in doing all in my power to preserve them to others as well as myself, and in afferting the right of my fellowsubjects against any thing which I apprehend to
be an incroachment upon what they ought to enjoy as men, and what they are legally poffefied of as Englishmen, or, if you will, as Britons.
This, Sir, is all the apology I shall make for addressing to you, in this public nianner, my thoughts concerning the bill *, now making its way, with all convenient expedition, through your House, and the whole legislature. I shall examine this matter as well as haste will allow me, and therefore must recite as distinctly as I can what you gave me in discourse as the substance of this intended law up.
When these are the melancholy prospects be. fore our eyes; when no one of the family of Hanover, though long expected, is yet arrived in this kingdom; and when many weak people are under strange apprehensions, because the proclamation for bringing the Pretender to justice, in case he should land here, is put off; I say, when many things pass every day, on which Jacobites make reflections to their own advantage, and ordinary people, who cannot judge of reasons of State, put all these things together; it creates in them a chagrin and uneasiness, which will be mightily increased by the passing of a bill that may be to the mortification of the meanest persons in the Protestant cause.
*“ For preventing the Growth of Schism.”
+ For the political part of this Letter the reader is referred to Steele's “ Political Writings."
It is therefore no time to do a thing, which will take off the hands and purses of half a million of people, as friends to the House of Hanover ; half a million of people, as enemies to the Pretender.
If this Bill passes, and the Pretender thould come upon our coast; I would fain know what could move a Diffenter to lift an hand, or em. ploy a fhilling against him? He has at present no hopes of preferment, and would by this bill be under daily apprehensions of the loss of the toleration as to himself, as well as being wholly bereft of it as to his posterity. He would have certainly promises from the Pretender of liberty of conscience; and he could but have those promises broken, as in this case he would have it to say they had been before, and must expect some sweetnefses at a new change for standing neuter, or exerting himself for the invader. Thus he would rather, according to his own interest, with an invader success than disappointment; add to this, some pleasure in the revengeful hope of seeing us, who had persecuted him, fall into the fame calamity.
This, dear Sir, is all I have to trouble you with on this occafion; and, though you accused me of being cast down with my expulfion, you see I have not dunned you to move, that the other pamphlets may be examined as well as the Crisis and the Englishman. Give my service to
poor Tom* and Nedt. I must confess they were the last I forgave, but I have forgiven them too now. I am thoroughly convinced, fince this bill, that I was not worthy : for now you have taken upon you ecclefiaftical matters, and I should not have known how to behave myself among you, as a communion of Saints.
I doubt not, Sir, but your voice and excel. lent talents will be employed against this pernicious bill: to oppose it ftrenuously, will be worthy that resolution and modesty for which you are so remarkably conspicuous; that modesty which cannot - incline you to bear hard against persons or things, when you happen to be with a majority ; and that resolution which prompts you to assert what you think truth, though under the disadvantage of the most inconfiderable minority. I am, Sir, your moft obedient, obliged, humble servant, RICHARD STEELE.
* Thomas Harley, Esq.