Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; by Jonathan Swift

Part 5 out of 7

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

exigency, nothing but innocence can give, and is truly worthy of a
Christian philosopher.

If there be really so great a difference in principle between the
high-flying Whigs, and the friends of France, I cannot but repeat the
question, how come they to join in the destruction of the same man? Can
his death be possibly for the interest of both? or have they both the
same quarrel against him, that he is perpetually discovering and
preventing the treacherous designs of our enemies? However it be, this
great minister may now say with St. Paul, that he hath been "in perils by
his own countrymen, and in perils by strangers."

In the midst of so melancholy a subject, I cannot but congratulate with
our own country, that such a savage monster as the Marquis de Guiscard,
is none of her production; a wretch perhaps more detestable in his own
nature, than even this barbarous act has been yet able to represent him
to the world. For there are good reasons to believe, from several
circumstances, that he had intentions of a deeper dye, than those he
happened to execute;[18] I mean such as every good subject must tremble
to think on. He hath of late been frequently seen going up the back
stairs at court, and walking alone in an outer room adjoining to her
Ma[jest]y's bed-chamber. He has often and earnestly pressed for some time
to have access to the Qu[een], even since his correspondence with France;
and he has now given such a proof of his disposition, as leaves it easy
to guess what was before in his thoughts, and what he was capable of

It is humbly to be hoped, that the legislature[19] will interpose on so
extraordinary an occasion as this, and direct a punishment[20] some way
proportionable to so execrable a crime.

_Et quicunque tuum violavit vulnere corpus,
Morte luat merita_----[21]

[Footnote 1: No. 32 in the reprint. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 2: To this number the writer of "The Political State of Great
Britain" made a pretty tart reply. In the issue for April, 1711, pp.
315-320 he says: "One of the Tory writers, shall I call him? or rather
libellers--one who presumptuously sets up for an Examiner--who, in order,
as he fondly expects, to make his court to some men in power, with equal
insolence and malice, makes it his weekly business to slander the
moderate party; who, without the least provocation, brandishes his
virulent pen against the best men ... instances in the murders of Caesar,
Henry III. and Henry IV. of France, and of the Duke of Buckingham; and
having extenuated the last, 'from the motives Felton is said to have
had,' he concludes," etc. The writer further goes on to say: "As to the
imputation of villanous assassinations, which the Examiner charges so
home on the French nation, I am heartily sorry he has given them so fair
an opportunity to retort the unfair and unjust argument from particulars
to generals. For, without mentioning Felton, whose crime this writer has
endeavoured _to extenuate_, no foreign records can afford a greater
number of murders, parricides, and, to use the Examiner's expression,
solid villanies, than our English history." Swift retorted on this writer
in No. 42, _post_, pp. 276, 277. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 3: Cicero, "Pro Sestio," 65. "But that is not a remedy when the
knife is applied to some sound and healthy part of the body; that is the
act of an executioner and mere inhumanity. Those are the men who really
apply healing remedies to the republic, who cut out some pestilence as if
it were a wen on the person of the state."--C.D. YONGE. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 4: This refers to the attempted assassination of Harley and St.
John by the Marquis de Guiscard. See Swift's "Memoirs Relating to that
Change," etc. (vol. v., pp. 387-9 of present edition). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 5: Henri III. was assassinated by Jacques Clement, a Dominican
friar, August 1st, 1589. Henri IV. was assassinated by Francois
Ravaillac, May 14th, 1610. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 6: George Villiers, fourth Duke of Buckingham, was stabbed by
Lieut. John Felton, August 23rd, 1628. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 7: Admiral de Coligny was assassinated August 23rd, 1572.

[Footnote 8: Francois de Lorraine, Due de Guise, was shot in 1563. His
son and successor (Henri le Balafre) was killed December 23rd, 1588.

[Footnote 9: Davila was the author of "Historia delle Guerre Civili di
Francia" (_c._ 1630). He was assassinated in 1631. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 10: "The first thing I would beg of this libeller," asks "The
Medley" (No. 25, March 19th, 1711), "is to make out what he affirms of
his being 'invited over.' If he would but prove that one particular, I
would forgive him all his lies past and yet to come."

Of course. Swift's extreme phrase of "invited over" referred to the fact
that Guiscard had a Whig commission in the army. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 11: Antoine de Guiscard, at one time Abbe de la Bourlie, was
born in 1658. For misconduct he was compelled, in 1703, to forsake his
benefice and his country, and he undertook the cause of the Protestant
Camisards in the Cevennes, in their insurrection against Louis XIV. It is
known that he had been envoy to Turin, and had received a pension from
Holland. On taking refuge in England he obtained a pension from the
government, and by means of the influence of the Duke of Ormonde, who was
his brother's friend, became a frequenter in fashionable circles. The
death, however, of his friend Count Briancon seems to have deprived him
of means. He fell into bad ways, became poor, and solicited a pension
from the Queen, through St. John whose acquaintance he had made. A
pension of L500 was granted him; but this sum Harley reduced. Afraid that
even this means of a livelihood would be taken from him he opened a
treasonable correspondence with one Moreau, a Parisian banker. The rest
of the story of this poor wretch's life may be gathered from the
excellent account of the Harley-Guiscard incident given by W. Sichel in
his "Bolingbroke and his Times" (pp. 308-313).

N. Luttrell has several entries in his Diary relating to Guiscard and the
attempted assassination of Harley, and there is a long account of him in
Boyer's "Political State" (vol. i., pp. 275-314). See also Portland
MS., vol. iv., Wentworth Papers, and Swift's "Journal to Stella," and
"Some Remarks," etc. (vol. v. of present edition). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 12: "Had such an accident ... against the secretary." The
writer of "A Letter to the Seven Lords" (1711) quotes this passage, and
remarks that "The Examiner" "intended seriously to charge you all, with
subornation, in order to proceed to murder." See also Swift's "Some
Remarks," etc. (vol. v., pp. 29-53 of present edition). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 13: See note on p. 263. Also note on p. 30 of vol. v. of
present edition. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 14: William Gregg declared in his last confession that Mr.
Harley "was not privy to my writing to France, directly nor indirectly,"
and he thanked God for touching his "conscience so powerfully ... as to
prevent my prostituting the same to save my life."--"William Gregg's
Paper," "Published by Authority," 1708. Gregg told the Rev. Paul
Lorrain "that he was profferred his life, and a great reward, if he
would accuse his master" (F. Hoffman's "Secret Transactions," 1711,
p. 8). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 15: Swift furnished Mrs. Manley with hints for her pamphlet
entitled, "A True Narrative Of what pass'd at the Examination Of the
Marquis De Guiscard," 1711. See note on p. 41 of vol. v. of present
edition. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 16: "The matter was thus represented in the weekly paper called
'The Examiner'; which Mr. St. John perused before it was printed, but
made no alteration in that passage." Swift's "Memoirs Relating to
that Change," etc. (vol v., p. 389 of present edition). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 17: Guiscard could hardly have been aware of St. John's true
sentiments towards Harley. In 1717 Bolingbroke, writing in his "Letter to
Sir William Windham," says: "I abhorred Oxford to that degree, that I
could not bear to be joined with him in any case" (edit. 1753, p. 94).
And yet, when it was feared that Harley might die from his wound,
St. John remarked to Swift that "he was but an ill dissembler" and
Harley's life was "absolutely necessary." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 18: "It was thought he had a design against the Queen's person,
for he had tried by all the ways that he could contrive to be admitted to
speak with her in private." (BURNET'S "Own Times," ii., 566). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 19: An Act to make an Attempt on the Life of a Privy Councillor
in the Execution of his Office to be Felony without Benefit of Clergy (9
Ann. c. 21). This Act, which indemnified all those who had caused
Guiscard's death, was recommended in a Royal Message, March 14th,
introduced April 5th, passed the House of Commons, April 19th, and
received the Royal Assent, May 16th, 1711. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 20: Writing to Stella, under date March 15th, Swift says: "I
am sorry he [Guiscard] is dying; for they had found out a way to hang
him. He certainly had an intention to murder the Queen." Two days later
he says: "The coroner's inquest have found that he was killed by bruises
received from a messenger, so to clear the cabinet counsellors from whom
he received his wounds." (Vol. ii., p. 139 of present edition.) [T.S.]]

[Footnote 21:
"He who profaned thy body by a wound
Must pay the penalty of death."

NUMB. 34.[1]


_De Libertate retinenda, qua certe nihil est dulcius, tibi assentior._[2]

The apologies of the ancient Fathers are reckoned to have been the most
useful parts of their writings, and to have done greatest service to the
Christian religion, because they removed those misrepresentations which
had done it most injury. The methods these writers took, was openly and
freely to discover every point of their faith, to detect the falsehood of
their accusers, and to charge nothing upon their adversaries but what
they were sure to make good. This example has been ill followed of later
times; the Papists since the Reformation using all arts to palliate the
absurdities of their tenets, and loading the Reformers with a thousand
calumnies; the consequence of which has been only a more various, wide,
and inveterate separation. It is the same thing in civil schisms: a Whig
forms an image of a Tory, just after the thing he most abhors, and that
image serves to represent the whole body.

I am not sensible of any material difference there is between those who
call themselves the Old Whigs, and a great majority of the present
Tories; at least by all I could ever find, from examining several persons
of each denomination. But it must be confessed that the present body of
Whigs, as they now constitute that party, is a very odd mixture of
mankind, being forced to enlarge their bottom by taking in every
heterodox professor either in religion or government, whose opinions they
were obliged to encourage for fear of lessening their number; while the
bulk of the landed men and people were entirely of the old sentiments.
However, they still pretended a due regard to the monarchy and the
Church, even at the time when they were making the largest steps towards
the ruin of both: but not being able to wipe off the many accusations
laid to their charge, they endeavoured, by throwing of scandal, to make
the Tories appear blacker than themselves, that so the people might join
with _them_, as the smaller evil of the two.

But among all the reproaches which the Whigs have flung upon their
adversaries, there is none hath done them more service than that of
_passive obedience_, as they represent it, with the consequences of
non-resistance, arbitrary power, indefeasible right, tyranny, popery, and
what not? There is no accusation which has passed with more plausibility
than this, nor any that is supported with less justice. In order
therefore to undeceive those who have been misled by false
representations, I thought it would be no improper undertaking to set
this matter in a fair light, which I think has not yet been done. A Whig
asks whether you hold passive obedience? you affirm it: he then
immediately cries out, "You are a Jacobite, a friend of France and the
Pretender;" because he makes you answerable for the definition he has
formed of that term, however different it be from what you understand. I
will therefore give two descriptions of passive obedience; the first as
it is falsely charged by the Whigs; the other as it is really professed
by the Tories, at least by nineteen in twenty of all I ever conversed

Passive Obedience as charged by the Whigs.

_The doctrine of passive obedience is to believe that a king, even in a
limited monarchy, holding his power only from God, is only answerable to
Him. That such a king is above all law, that the cruellest tyrant must be
submitted to in all things; and if his commands be ever so unlawful, you
must neither fly nor resist, nor use any other weapons than prayers and
tears. Though he should force your wife or daughter, murder your children
before your face, or cut off five hundred heads in a morning for his
diversion, you are still to wish him a long prosperous reign, and to be
patient under all his cruelties, with the same resignation as under a
plague or a famine; because to resist him would be to resist God in the
person of His vicegerent. If a king of England should go through the
streets of London, in order to murder every man he met, passive obedience
commands them to submit. All laws made to limit him signify nothing,
though passed by his own consent, if he thinks fit to break them. God
will indeed call him to a severe account, but the whole people, united to
a man, cannot presume to hold his hands, or offer him the least active
disobedience. The people were certainly created for him, and not he for
the people. His next heir, though worse than what I have described,
though a fool or a madman, has a divine undefeasible right to succeed
him, which no law can disannul; nay though he should kill his father upon
the throne, he is immediately king to all intents and purposes, the
possession of the crown wiping off all stains. But whosoever sits on the
throne without this title, though never so peaceably, and by consent of
former kings and parliaments, is an usurper, while there is any where in
the world another person who hath a nearer hereditary right, and the
whole kingdom lies under mortal sin till that heir be restored; because
he has a divine title which no human law can defeat._

This and a great deal more hath, in a thousand papers[3] and pamphlets,
been laid to that doctrine of passive obedience, which the Whigs are
pleased to charge upon us. This is what they perpetually are instilling
into the people to believe, as the undoubted principles by which the
present ministry, and a great majority in Parliament, do at this time
proceed. This is what they accuse the clergy of delivering from the
pulpits, and of preaching up as doctrines absolutely necessary to
salvation. And whoever affirms in general, that passive obedience is due
to the supreme power, he is presently loaden by our candid adversaries
with such consequences as these. Let us therefore see what this doctrine
is, when stripped of such misrepresentations, by describing it as really
taught and practised by the Tories, and then it will appear what grounds
our adversaries have to accuse us upon this article.

Passive Obedience, as professed and practised by the Tories.

_They think that in every government, whether monarchy or republic, there
is placed a supreme, absolute, unlimited power, to which passive
obedience is due. That wherever is entrusted the power of making laws,
that power is without all bounds, can repeal or enact at pleasure
whatever laws it thinks fit, and justly demands universal obedience and
non-resistance. That among us, as every body knows, this power is lodged
in the king or queen, together with the lords and commons of the kingdom;
and therefore all decrees whatsoever, made by that power, are to be
actively or passively obeyed. That the administration or executive part
of this power is in England solely entrusted with the prince, who in
administering those laws, ought to be no more resisted than the
legislative power itself. But they do not conceive the same absolute
passive obedience to be due to a limited prince's commands, when they are
directly contrary to the laws he has consented to, and sworn to maintain.
The crown may be sued as well as a private person; and if an arbitrary
king of England should send his officers to seize my lands or goods
against law, I can lawfully resist them. The ministers by whom he acts
are liable to prosecution and impeachment, though his own person be
sacred. But if he interposes his royal authority to support their
insolence, I see no remedy, till it grows a general grievance, or till
the body of the people have reason to apprehend it will be so; after
which it becomes a case of necessity, and then I suppose a free people
may assert their own rights, yet without any violation to the person or
lawful power of the prince. But although the Tories allow all this, and
did justify it by the share they had in the Revolution, yet they see no
reason for entering upon so ungrateful a subject, or raising controversies
upon it, as if we were in daily apprehensions of tyranny, under the reign
of so excellent a princess, and while we have so many laws[4] of late
years made to limit the prerogative; when according to the judgment of
those who know our constitution best, things rather seem to lean to the
other extreme, which is equally to be avoided. As to the succession; the
Tories think an hereditary right to be the best in its own nature, and
most agreeable to our old constitution; yet at the same time they allow
it to be defeasible by Act of Parliament, and so is_ Magna Charta _too,
if the legislature thinks fit; which is a truth so manifest, that no man
who understands the nature of government, can be in doubt concerning it._

These I take to be the sentiments of a great majority among the Tories,
with respect to passive obedience: and if the Whigs insist, from the
writings or common talk of warm and ignorant men, to form a judgment of
the whole body, according to the first account I have here given, I will
engage to produce as many of their side, who are utterly against passive
obedience even to the legislature; who will assert the last resort of
power to be in the people, against those whom they have chosen and
trusted as their representatives, with the prince at the head; and who
will put wild improbable cases to shew the reasonableness and necessity
of resisting the legislative power, in such imaginary junctures. Than
which however nothing can be more idle; for I dare undertake in any
system of government, either speculative or practic, that was ever yet in
the world, from Plato's "Republic" to Harrington's "Oceana,"[5] to put
such difficulties as cannot be answered.

All the other calumnies raised by the Whigs may be as easily wiped off;
and I have charity to wish they could as fully answer the just
accusations we have against them. Dodwell, Hicks, and Lesley,[6] are
gravely quoted, to prove that the Tories design to bring in the
Pretender; and if I should quote them to prove that the same thing is
intended by the Whigs, it would be full as reasonable, since I am sure
they have at least as much to do with Nonjurors as we. But our objections
against the Whigs are built upon their constant practice for many years,
whereof I have produced a hundred instances, against any single one of
which no answer hath yet been attempted, though I have been curious
enough to look into all the papers I could meet with that are writ
against the "Examiner"; such a task as I hope no man thinks I would
undergo for any other end, but that of finding an opportunity to own and
rectify my mistakes; as I would be ready to do upon call of the meanest
adversary. Upon which occasion, I shall take leave to add a few words.

I flattered myself last Thursday, from the nature of my subject, and the
inoffensive manner I handled it, that I should have one week's respite
from those merciless pens, whose severity will some time break my heart;
but I am deceived, and find them more violent than ever. They charge me
with two lies and a blunder. The first lie is a truth, that Guiscard was
invited over:[7] but it is of no consequence; I do not tax it as a fault;
such sort of men have often been serviceable: I only blamed the
indiscretion of raising a profligate abbot, at the first step, to a
lieutenant-general and colonel of a regiment of horse, without staying
some reasonable time, as is usual in such cases, till he had given some
proofs of his fidelity, as well as of that interest and credit he
pretended to have in his country: But that is said to be another lie, for
he was a Papist, and could not have a regiment. However this other lie is
a truth too; for a regiment he had, and paid by us, to his agent Monsieur
Le Bas, for his use. The third is a blunder, that I say Guiscard's design
was against Mr. Secretary St. John, and yet my reasonings upon it, are,
as if it were personal against Mr. Harley. But I say no such thing, and
my reasonings are just; I relate only what Guiscard said in Newgate,
because it was a particularity the reader might be curious to know (and
accordingly it lies in a paragraph by itself, after my reflections)[8]
but I never meant to be answerable for what Guiscard said, or thought it
of weight enough for me to draw conclusions from thence, when I had the
Address of both Houses to direct me better; where it is expressly
said,[9] "That Mr. Harley's fidelity to her Majesty, and zeal for her
service, have drawn upon him the hatred of all the abettors of Popery and
faction."[10] This is what I believe, and what I shall stick to.

But alas, these are not the passages which have raised so much fury
against me. One or two mistakes in facts of no importance, or a single
blunder, would not have provoked them; they are not so tender of my
reputation as a writer. All their outrage is occasioned by those passages
in that paper, which they do not in the least pretend to answer, and with
the utmost reluctancy are forced to mention. They take abundance of pains
to clear Guiscard from a design against Mr. Harley's life, but offer not
one argument to clear their other friends, who in the business of Gregg,
were equally guilty of the same design against the same person; whose
tongues were very swords, and whose penknives were axes.

[Footnote 1: No. 33 in the reprint. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 2: Cicero, "Ep. ad Att.," xv. 13. "As to the maintenance of
liberty--surely the most precious thing in the world--I agree with
you."--E.S. SHUCKBURGH.]

[Footnote 3: The following pamphlets may be instanced:--"Julian the
Apostate," [by S. Johnson], 1682; "[Passive Obedience] A Sermon preached
before the ... Lord Mayor," etc., by B. Calamy, 1683; "Passive Obedience
Stated and Asserted," by T. Pomfret, 1683; "The Doctrine of
Non-Resistance," [by E. Bohun], 1689; "History of Passive Obedience," [by
A. Seller], 1689; "A Discourse concerning the Unreasonableness," etc. [by
E. Stillingfleet], 1689; "Christianity, a Doctrine of the Cross," [by J.
Kettlewell], 1691; and "The Measures of Submission," by B. Hoadly, 1706.

[Footnote 4: The Act declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject
(1 Will. and Mary, Sess. 2, c. 2), and the Act for the Further Limitation
of the Crown (12 and 13 Will. III. c. 2), limited the power of the Crown
in various respects. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 5: "The Commonwealth of Oceana," by James Harrington, 1656.

[Footnote 6: Henry Dodwell (1641-1711), non-juror, and author of "An
Admonitory Discourse ... Schism" (1704), "Occasional Communion" (1705),

George Hickes (1642-1715), non-juror. Dean of Worcester (1683-91), and
author of "The Pretences of the Prince of Wales Examined, and Rejected"

Charles Leslie, see No. 16, _ante_, and note, p. 85. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 7: "Such, a vile slanderer is the 'Examiner,' who says: 'he was
invited over by the late ministry, preferred to a regiment, and made
lieut.-general,' when there is an Act of Parliament against Papists being
so."--"The Medley," No. 25 (March 19th). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 8: See No. 33, _ante_, p. 212. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 9: This is fairly quoted, changing the person. See Swift's
remarks in the following number. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 10: "A Letter to the Seven Lords" says: "The Examiner knows
_you_ are as much intended by 'faction,' as Guiscard was by 'Popery.'"

NUMB. 35.[1]


_--Sunt hic etiam sua praemia laudi;
Sunt lacrimae rerum, et mentem mortalia tangunt._[2]

I begin to be heartily weary of my employment as _Examiner_; which I wish
the m[inist]ry would consider, with half so much concern as I do, and
assign me some other with less pains, and a larger pension. There may
soon be a vacancy, either on the bench, in the revenue, or the army, and
I am _equally_ qualified for each: but this trade of _Examining_, I
apprehend may at one time or other go near to sour my temper. I did
lately propose that some of those ingenious pens, which are engaged on
the other side, might be employed to succeed me, and I undertook to
bring them over for _t'other crown;_ but it was answered, that those
gentlemen do much better service in the stations where they are. It was
added, that abundance of abuses yet remained to be laid open to the
world, which I had often promised to do, but was too much diverted by
other subjects that came into my head. On the other side, the advice of
some friends, and the threats of many enemies, have put me upon
considering what would become of me if _times should alter._ This I have
done very maturely, and the result is, that I am in no manner of pain. I
grant, that what I have said upon occasion, concerning the late men in
power, may be called satire by some unthinking people, as long as that
faction is down; but if ever they come into play again, I must give them
warning beforehand, that I shall expect to be a favourite, and that those
pretended advocates of theirs, will be pilloried for libellers. For I
appeal to any man, whether I ever charged that party, or its leaders,
with one single action or design, which (if we may judge by their former
practices) they will not openly profess, be proud of, and score up for
merit, when they come again to the head of affairs? I said, they were
insolent to the Qu[een]; will they not value themselves upon that, as an
argument to prove them bold assertors of the people's liberty? I affirmed
they were against a peace; will they be angry with me for setting forth
the refinements of their politics, in pursuing the _only_ method left to
preserve them in power? I said, they had involved the nation in debts,
and engrossed much of its money; they go beyond me, and boast they have
got it all, and the credit too. I have urged the probability of their
intending great alterations in religion and government: if they destroy
both at their next coming, will they not reckon my foretelling it, rather
as a panegyric than an affront? I said,[3] they had formerly a design
against Mr. H[arle]y's life: if they were now in power, would they not
immediately cut off his head, and thank me for justifying the sincerity
of their intentions? In short, there is nothing I ever said of those
worthy patriots, which may not be as well excused; therefore, as soon as
they resume their places, I positively design to put in my claim; and, I
think, may do it with much better grace, than many of that party who
now make their court to the present m[inist]ry. I know two or three great
men, at whose levees you may daily observe a score of the most forward
faces, which every body is ashamed of, except those that wear them. But I
conceive my pretensions will be upon a very different foot: Let me offer
a parallel case. Suppose, King Charles the First had entirely subdued the
rebels at Naseby, and reduced the kingdom to his obedience: whoever had
gone about to reason, from the former conduct of those _saints_, that if
the victory had fallen on their side, they would have murdered their
prince, destroyed monarchy and the Church and made the king's party
compound for their estates as delinquents; would have been called a
false, uncharitable libeller, by those very persons who afterwards
gloried in all this, and called it the "work of the Lord," when they
happened to succeed. I remember there was a person fined and imprisoned
for _scandalum magnatum_, because he said the Duke of York was a Papist;
but when that prince came to be king, and made open profession of his
religion, he had the justice immediately to release his prisoner, who in
his opinion had put a compliment upon him, and not a reproach: and
therefore Colonel Titus,[4] who had warmly asserted the same thing in
Parliament, was made a privy-councillor.

By this rule, if that which, for some politic reasons, is now called
scandal upon the late m[inist]ry, proves one day to be only an abstract
of such a character as they will assume and be proud of; I think I may
fairly offer my pretensions, and hope for their favour. And I am the more
confirmed in this notion by what I have observed in those papers, that
come weekly out against the "Examiner." The authors are perpetually
telling me of my ingratitude to my masters, that I blunder, and betray
the cause; and write with more bitterness against those that hire me,
than against the Whigs. Now I took all this at first only for so many
strains of wit, and pretty paradoxes to divert the reader; but upon
further thinking I find they are serious. I imagined I had complimented
the present ministry for their dutiful behaviour to the Queen; for their
love of the old constitution in Church and State; for their generosity
and justice, and for their desire of a speedy, honourable peace: but it
seems I am mistaken, and they reckon all this for satire, because it is
directly contrary to the practice of all those whom they set up to
defend, and utterly against all their notions of a good ministry.
Therefore I cannot but think they have reason on their side: for suppose
I should write the character of an honest, a religious, and a learned
man; and send the first to Newgate, the second to the Grecian
Coffee-house, and the last to White's;[5] would they not all pass for
satires, and justly enough, among the companies to whom they were sent?

Having therefore employed several papers in such sort of panegyrics, and
but very few on what they understand to be satires; I shall henceforth
upon occasion be more liberal of the latter, of which they are like to
have a taste, in the remainder of this present paper.

Among all the advantages which the kingdom hath received by the late
change of ministry, the greatest must be allowed to be the calling of the
present Parliament, upon the dissolution of the last. It is acknowledged,
that this excellent assembly hath entirely recovered the honour of
P[arliamen]ts, which had been unhappily prostituted for some years past
by the factious proceedings of an unnatural majority, in concert with a
most corrupt administration. It is plain, by the present choice of
members, that the electors of England, when left to themselves, do
rightly understand their true interest. The moderate Whigs begin to be
convinced that we have been all this while in wrong hands, and that
things are now as they should be. And as the present House of Commons is
the best representative of the nation that hath ever been summoned in our
memories; so they have taken care in their first session, by that noble
Bill of Qualification,[6] that future Parliaments should be composed of
landed men, and our properties lie no more at mercy of those who have
none themselves, or at least only what is transient or imaginary. If
there be any gratitude in posterity, the memory of this assembly will be
always celebrated; if otherwise, at least we, who share in the blessings
they derive to us, ought with grateful hearts to acknowledge them.

I design, in some following papers, to draw up a list (for I can do no
more) of the great things this Parliament hath already performed, the
many abuses they have detected; their justice in deciding elections
without regard of party; their cheerfulness and address in raising
supplies for the war, and at the same time providing for the nation's
debts; their duty to the Queen, and their kindness to the Church. In the
mean time I cannot forbear mentioning two particulars, which in my
opinion do discover, in some measure, the temper of the present
Parliament; and bear analogy to those passages related by Plutarch, in
the lives of certain great men; which, as himself observes, "Though they
be not of actions which make any great noise or figure in history, yet
give more light into the characters of persons, than we could receive
from an account of their most renowned achievements."

Something like this may be observed from two late instances of decency
and good nature, in that illustrious assembly I am speaking of. The first
was, when after that inhuman attempt upon Mr. Harley, they were pleased
to vote an Address to the Queen,[7] wherein they express their utmost
detestation of the fact, their high esteem and great concern for that
able minister, and justly impute his misfortunes to that zeal for her
Majesty's service, which had "drawn upon him the hatred of all the
abettors of Popery and faction." I dare affirm, that so distinguishing a
mark of honour and good will from such a Parliament, was more acceptable
to a person of Mr. H[arle]y's generous nature, than the most bountiful
grant that was ever yet made to a subject; as her Majesty's answer,
filled with gracious expressions in his favour, adds more to his real
glory, than any _titles_ she could bestow. The prince and representatives
of the whole kingdom, join in their concern for so important a life.
These are the true rewards of virtue, and this is the commerce between
noble spirits, in a coin which the giver knows where to bestow, and the
receiver how to value, though neither avarice nor ambition would be able
to comprehend its worth.

The other instance I intended to produce of decency and good nature, in
the present House of Commons, relates to their most worthy Speaker;[8]
who having unfortunately lost his eldest son,[9] the assembly, moved with
a generous pity for so sensible an affliction, adjourned themselves for a
week, that so good a servant of the public, might have some interval to
wipe away a father's tears: And indeed that gentleman has too just an
occasion for his grief, by the death of a son, who had already acquired
so great a reputation for every amiable quality, and who might have lived
to be so great an honour and an ornament to his ancient family.

Before I conclude, I must desire one favour of the reader, that when he
thinks it worth his while to peruse any paper writ against the
"Examiner," he will not form his judgment by any mangled quotation out of
it which he finds in such papers, but be so just to read the paragraph
referred to; which I am confident will be found a sufficient answer to
all that ever those papers can object. At least I have seen above fifty
of them, and never yet observed one single quotation transcribed with
common candour.

[Footnote: 1 No. 34 in the reprint. [T.S.]]

[Footnote: 2 Virgil, "Aeneid," i. 461-2.
"Even here
Has merit its reward. Woe wakens tears,
And mortal sufferings touch the heart of man."--R. KENNEDY.

[Footnote 3: See No. 33, _ante_, p. 211. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 4: Silas Titus (1622-1704) was the author of "Killing no
Murder," published in 1657. He sat in Parliament successively for
Ludgershall, Lostwithiel, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, and Ludlow, In
1688 he was made a privy councillor. In his notes on Burnet Swift says:
"Titus was the greatest rogue in England" (Burnet's "Own Times,"
i. 11). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 5: For the signification of these coffee-houses see the remarks
prefixed to the "Tatlers" in this volume, p. 4. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 6: An Act for Securing the Freedom of Parliaments (9 Ann. c. 5)
provided that English members should show a land qualification. It was
introduced December 13th, 1710, and received the Royal Assent, February
28th. See also No. 45, _post_, p. 294. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 7: The Address to the Queen was presented on March 13th, Swift
somewhat strengthens the language of the address, the original words
stating that the Houses had "to our great concern been informed," etc.;
and "we cannot but be most deeply affected to find such an instance of
inveterate malice, against one employed in your Majesty's council," etc.
The Queen, in her reply, referred to "that barbarous attempt on Mr.
Harley, whose zeal and fidelity in my service must appear yet more
eminently by that horrid endeavour," etc.--"Journals of House of Lords,"
xix.; "Journals of House of Commons," xvi. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 8: William Bromley (1664-1732) was Speaker from 1710 till
1713. See note on p. 334 of vol. v. of present edition. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 9: Clobery Bromley (1688-1711) was elected M.P. for Coventry,
December, 1710. Only a few days before his death he had been appointed
one of the commissioners to examine the public accounts. "The House being
informed [March 20th] that Clobery Bromley, Esq., son to the Speaker,
died that morning; out of respect to the father, and to give him time,
both to perform the funeral rites, and to indulge his just affliction,
they thought fit to adjourn to" the 26th.--"Hist. and Proc. of House of
Commons," iv. 199.

Swift wrote to Stella on the matter under date March 20th, 1711: "The
Speaker's eldest son is just dead of the small pox, and the House is
adjourned a week, to give him time to wipe off his tears. I think it
very handsomely done; but I believe one reason is, that they want Mr.
Harley so much" (vol. ii., p. 141 of present edition). [T.S.]]

NUMB. 36.[1]


_Nullo suo peccato impediantur, quo minus alterius peccata demonstrare

I have been considering the old constitution of this kingdom, comparing
it with the monarchies and republics whereof we meet so many accounts in
ancient story, and with those at present in most parts of Europe: I have
considered our religion, established here by the legislature soon after
the Reformation: I have likewise examined the genius and disposition of
the people, under that reasonable freedom they possess: Then I have
turned my reflections upon those two great divisions of Whig and Tory,
(which, some way or other, take in the whole kingdom) with the principles
they both profess, as well as those wherewith they reproach one another.
From all this, I endeavour to determine, from which side her present
M[ajest]y may reasonably hope for most security to her person and
government, and to which she ought, in prudence, to trust the
administration of her affairs. If these two rivals were really no more
than _parties_, according to the common acceptation of the word, I should
agree with those politicians who think, a prince descends from his
dignity by putting himself at the head of either; and that his wisest
course is, to keep them in a balance; raising or depressing either as it
best suited with his designs. But when the visible interest of his crown
and kingdom lies on one side, and when the other is but a faction, raised
and strengthened by incidents and intrigues, and by deceiving the people
with false representations of things; he ought, in prudence, to take the
first opportunity of opening his subjects' eyes, and declaring himself in
favour of those, who are for preserving the civil and religious rights of
the nation, wherewith his own are so interwoven.

This was certainly our case: for I do not take the heads, advocates, and
followers of the Whigs, to make up, strictly speaking, a national party;
being patched up of heterogeneous, inconsistent parts, whom nothing
served to unite but the common interest of sharing in the spoil and
plunder of the people; the present dread of their adversaries, by whom
they apprehended to be called to an account, and that general conspiracy,
of endeavouring to overturn the Church and State; which, however, if they
could have compassed, they would certainly have fallen out among
themselves, and broke in pieces, as _their predecessors_ did, after
they destroyed the monarchy and religion. For, how could a Whig, who is
against all discipline, agree with a Presbyterian, that carries it higher
than the Papists themselves? How could a Socinian adjust his models to
either? Or how could any of these cement with a Deist or Freethinker,
when they came to consult upon settling points of faith? Neither would
they have agreed better in their systems of government, where some would
have been for a king, under the limitations of a Duke of Venice; others
for a Dutch republic; a third party for an aristocracy, and most of them
all for some new fabric of their own contriving.

But however, let us consider them as a party, and under those general
tenets wherein they agreed, and which they publicly owned, without
charging them with any that they pretend to deny. Then let us _Examine_
those principles of the Tories, which their adversaries allow them to
profess, and do not pretend to tax them with any actions contrary to
those professions: after which, let the reader judge from which of these
two parties a prince hath most to fear; and whether her M[ajest]y did not
consider the ease, the safety and dignity of her person, the security of
her crown, and the transmission of monarchy to her Protestant successors,
when she put her affairs into the present hands.

Suppose the matter were now entire; the Qu[een] to make her choice, and
for that end, should order the principles on both sides to be fairly laid
before her. First, I conceive the Whigs would grant, that they have
naturally no very great veneration for crowned heads; that they allow,
the person of the prince may, upon many occasions, be resisted by arms;
and that they do not condemn the war raised against King Charles the
First, or own it to be a rebellion, though they would be thought to blame
his murder. They do not think the prerogative to be yet sufficiently
limited, and have therefore taken care (as a particular mark of their
veneration for the illustrious house of Hanover) to clip it closer
against next reign; which, consequently, they would be glad to see done
in the present: not to mention, that the majority of them, if it were put
to the vote, would allow, that they prefer a commonwealth before a
monarchy. As to religion; their universal, undisputed maxim is, that it
ought to make no distinction at all among Protestants; and in the word
Protestant they include every body who is not a Papist, and who will, by
an oath, give security to the government. Union in discipline and
doctrine, the offensive sin of schism, the notion of a Church and a
hierarchy, they laugh at as foppery, cant and priestcraft. They see no
necessity at all that there should be a national faith; and what we
usually call by that name, they only style the "religion of the
magistrate."[3] Since the Dissenters and we agree in the main, why should
the difference of a few speculative points, or modes of dress,
incapacitate them from serving their prince and country, in a juncture
when we ought to have all hands up against the common enemy? And why
should they be forced to take the sacrament from our clergy's hands, and
in our posture, or indeed why compelled to receive it at all, when
they take an employment which has nothing to do with religion?

These are the notions which most of that party avow, and which they do
not endeavour to disguise or set off with false colours, or complain of
being misrepresented about, I have here placed them on purpose, in the
same light which themselves do, in the very apologies they make for what
we accuse them of; and how inviting even these doctrines are, for such a
monarch to close with, as our law, both statute and common, understands a
King of England to be, let others decide. But then, if to these we should
add other opinions, which most of their own writers justify, and which
their universal practice has given a sanction to, they are no more than
what a prince might reasonably expect, as the natural consequence of
those avowed principles. For when such persons are at the head of
affairs, the low opinion they have of princes, will certainly tempt them
to violate that respect they ought to bear; and at the same time, their
own want of duty to their sovereign is largely made up, by exacting
greater submissions to themselves from their fellow-subjects: it being
indisputably true, that the same principle of pride and ambition makes a
man treat his equals with insolence, in the same proportion as he
affronts his superiors; as both Prince and people have sufficiently felt
from the late m[inist]ry.

Then from their confessed notions of religion, as above related, I see no
reason to wonder, why they countenanced not only all sorts of Dissenters,
but the several gradations of freethinkers among us (all which were
openly enrolled in their party); nor why they were so very averse from
the present established form of worship, which by prescribing obedience
to princes from the topic of conscience, would be sure to thwart all
their schemes of innovation.

One thing I might add, as another acknowledged maxim in that party, and
in my opinion, as dangerous to the constitution as any I have mentioned;
I mean, that of preferring, on all occasions, the moneyed interest before
the landed; which they were so far from denying, that they would gravely
debate the reasonableness and justice of it; and at the rate they went
on, might in a little time have found a majority of representatives,
fitly qualified to lay those heavy burthens on the rest of the nation,
which themselves would not touch with one of their fingers.

However, to deal impartially, there are some motives which might compel a
prince, under the necessity of affairs, to deliver himself over to that
party. They were _said_ to possess the great bulk of cash, and
consequently of credit in the nation, and the heads of them had the
reputation of presiding over those societies who have the great direction
of both:[4] so that all applications for loans to the public service,
upon any emergency, must be made through them; and it might prove highly
dangerous to disoblige them, because in that case, it was not to be
doubted, that they would be obstinate and malicious, ready to obstruct
all affairs, not only by shutting their own purses, but by endeavouring
to sink credit, though with some present imaginary loss to themselves,
only to shew, it was a creature of their own.

From this summary of Whig-principles and dispositions, we find what a
prince may reasonably fear and hope from that party. Let us now very
briefly consider, the doctrines of the Tories, which their adversaries
will not dispute. As they prefer a well-regulated monarchy before all
other forms of government; so they think it next to impossible to alter
that institution here, without involving our whole island in blood and
desolation. They believe, that the prerogative of a sovereign ought, at
least, to be held as sacred and inviolable as the rights of his people,
if only for this reason, because without a due share of power, he will
not be able to protect them. They think, that by many known laws of
this realm, both statute and common, neither the person, nor lawful
authority of the prince, ought, upon any pretence whatsoever, to be
resisted or disobeyed. Their sentiments, in relation to the Church, are
known enough, and will not be controverted, being just the reverse to
what I have delivered as the doctrine and practice of the Whigs upon that

But here I must likewise deal impartially too, and add one principle as a
characteristic of the Tories, which has much discouraged some princes
from making use of them in affairs. Give the Whigs but power enough to
insult their sovereign, engross his favours to themselves, and to oppress
and plunder their fellow-subjects; they presently grow into good humour
and good language towards the crown; profess they will stand by it with
their lives and fortunes; and whatever rudenesses they may be guilty of
in private, yet they assure the world, that there never was so gracious a
monarch. But to the shame of the Tories, it must be confessed, that
nothing of all this hath been ever observed in them; in or out of favour,
you see no alteration, further than a little cheerfulness or cloud in
their countenances; the highest employments can add nothing to their
loyalty, but their behaviour to their prince, as well as their
expressions of love and duty, are, in all conditions, exactly the same.

Having thus impartially stated the avowed principles of Whig and Tory;
let the reader determine, as he pleases, to which of these two a wise
prince may, with most safety to himself and the public, trust his person
and his affairs; and whether it were rashness or prudence in her
M[ajest]y to make those changes in the ministry, which have been so
highly extolled by some, and condemned by others.

[Footnote 1: No. 35 in the reprint. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 2: "None are prevented by their own faults from pointing out
the faults of another."--H.T. RILEY. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 3: See Swift's "Letter Concerning the Sacramental Test" (vol.
iv., p. 11 of present edition). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 4: The Bank and the East India Company. The former was so
decidedly in the Whig interest, that the great Doctor Sacheverell, on
appearing to give his vote for choosing governors and directors for the
Bank, was very rudely treated. Nor were the ministry successful in an
attempt made about that time to put these great companies under Tory
management. [S.] And see No. 25, _ante_, pp. 154-5. [T.S.]]

NUMB. 37.[1]


_Tres species tam dissimiles, tria talia texta
Una dies dedit exitio----_[2]

I write this paper for the sake of the Dissenters, whom I take to be the
most spreading branch of the Whig party, that professeth Christianity,
and the only one that seems to be zealous for any particular system of
it; the bulk of those we call the Low Church, being generally
indifferent, and undetermined in that point; and the other subdivisions
having not yet taken either the Old or New Testament into their scheme.
By the Dissenters therefore, it will easily be understood, that I mean
the Presbyterians, as they include the sects of Anabaptists,
Independents, and others, which have been melted down into them since the
Restoration. This sect, in order to make itself national, having gone so
far as to raise a Rebellion, murder their king, destroy monarchy and the
Church, was afterwards broken in pieces by its own divisions; which made
way for the king's return from his exile. However, the zealous among them
did still entertain hopes of recovering the "dominion of grace;" whereof
I have read a remarkable passage, in a book published about the year 1661
and written by one of their own side. As one of the regicides was going
to his execution, a friend asked him, whether he thought the cause would
revive? He answered, "The cause is in the bosom of Christ, and as sure as
Christ rose from the dead, so sure will the cause revive also."[3] And
therefore the Nonconformists were strictly watched and restrained by
penal laws, during the reign of King Charles the Second; the court and
kingdom looking on them as a faction, ready to join in any design against
the government in Church or State: And surely this was reasonable enough,
while so many continued alive, who had voted, and fought, and preached
against both, and gave no proof that they had changed their principles.
The Nonconformists were then exactly upon the same foot with our
Nonjurors now, whom we double tax, forbid their conventicles, and keep
under hatches; without thinking ourselves possessed with a persecuting
spirit, because we know they want nothing but the power to ruin us. This,
in my opinion, should altogether silence the Dissenters' complaints of
persecution under King Charles the Second; or make them shew us wherein
they differed, at that time, from what our Jacobites are now.

Their inclinations to the Church were soon discovered, when King James
the Second succeeded to the crown, with whom they unanimously joined in
its ruin, to revenge themselves for that restraint they had most justly
suffered in the foregoing reign; not from the persecuting temper of the
clergy, as their clamours would suggest, but the prudence and caution of
the legislature. The same indulgence against law, was made use of by them
and the Papists, and they amicably employed their power, as in defence of
one common interest.

But the Revolution happening soon after, served to wash away the memory
of the rebellion; upon which, the run against Popery, was, no doubt, as
just and seasonable, as that of fanaticism, after the Restoration: and
the dread of Popery, being then our latest danger, and consequently the
most fresh upon our spirits, all mouths were open against that; the
Dissenters were rewarded with an indulgence by law; the rebellion and
king's murder were now no longer a reproach; the former was only a civil
war, and whoever durst call it a rebellion, was a Jacobite, and friend to
France. This was the more unexpected, because the Revolution being wholly
brought about by Church of England hands, they hoped one good consequence
of it, would be the relieving us from the encroachments of Dissenters, as
well as those of Papists, since both had equally confederated towards our
ruin; and therefore, when the crown was new settled, it was hoped at
least that the rest of the constitution would be restored. But this
affair took a very different turn; the Dissenters had just made a shift
to save a tide, and joined with the Prince of Orange, when they found all
was desperate with their protector King James. And observing a party,
then forming against the old principles in Church and State, under the
name of Whigs and Low-Churchmen, they listed themselves of it, where they
have ever since continued.

It is therefore, upon the foot they now are, that I would apply myself to
them, and desire they would consider the different circumstances at
present, from what they were under, when they began their designs against
the Church and monarchy, about seventy years ago. At that juncture they
made up the body of the party, and whosoever joined with them from
principles of revenge, discontent, ambition, or love of change, were all
forced to shelter under their denomination; united heartily in the
pretences of a further and purer Reformation in religion, and of
advancing the "great work" (as the cant was then) "that God was about
to do in these nations," received the systems of doctrine and discipline
prescribed by the Scots, and readily took the Covenant;[4] so that there
appeared no division among them, till after the common enemy was subdued.

But now their case is quite otherwise, and I can hardly think it worth
being of a party, upon the terms they have been received of late years;
for suppose the whole faction should at length succeed in their design of
destroying the Church; are they so weak to imagine, that the new
modelling of religion, would be put into their hands? Would their
brethren, the Low-Churchmen and Freethinkers, submit to their discipline,
their synods or their classes, and divide the lands of bishops, or deans
and chapters, among them? How can they help observing that their allies,
instead of pretending more sanctity than other men, are some of them for
levelling all religion, and the rest for abolishing it? Is it not
manifest, that they have been treated by their confederates, exactly
after the same manner, as they were by King James the Second, made
instruments to ruin the Church, not for their sakes, but under a
pretended project of universal freedom in opinion, to advance the dark
designs of those who employ them? For, excepting the anti-monarchical
principle, and a few false notions about liberty, I see but little
agreement betwixt them; and even in these, I believe, it would be
impossible to contrive a frame of government, that would please them all,
if they had it now in their power to try. But however, to be sure, the
Presbyterian institution would never obtain. For, suppose they should, in
imitation of their predecessors, propose to have no King but our Saviour
Christ, the whole clan of Freethinkers would immediately object, and
refuse His authority. Neither would their Low-Church brethren use them
better, as well knowing what enemies they are to that doctrine of
unlimited toleration, wherever they are suffered to preside. So that upon
the whole, I do not see, as their present circumstances stand, where the
Dissenters can find better quarter, than from the Church of England.

Besides, I leave it to their consideration, whether, with all their zeal
against the Church, they ought not to shew a little decency, and how far
it consists with their reputation, to act in concert with such
confederates. It was reckoned a very infamous proceeding in the present
most Christian king, to assist the Turk against the Emperor: policy, and
reasons of state, were not allowed sufficient excuses, for taking part
with an infidel against a believer. It is one of the Dissenters' quarrels
against the Church, that she is not enough reformed from Popery; yet they
boldly entered into a league with Papists and a popish prince, to destroy
her. They profess much sanctity, and object against the wicked lives of
some of our members; yet they have been long, and still continue, in
strict combination with libertines and atheists, to contrive our ruin.
What if the Jews should multiply, and become a formidable party among us?
Would the Dissenters join in alliance with them likewise, because they
agree already in some general principles, and because the Jews are
allowed to be a "stiffnecked and rebellious people"?

It is the part of wise men to conceal their passions, when they are not
in circumstances of exerting them to purpose: the arts of getting power,
and preserving indulgence, are very different. For the former, the
reasonable hopes of the Dissenters, seem to be at an end; their comrades,
the Whigs and Freethinkers, are just in a condition proper to be
forsaken; and the Parliament, as well as the body of the people, will be
deluded no longer. Besides, it sometimes happens for a cause to be
exhausted and worn out, as that of the Whigs in general, seems at present
to be: the nation has had enough of it. It is as vain to hope restoring
that decayed interest, as for a man of sixty to talk of entering on a new
scene of life, that is only proper for youth and vigour. New
circumstances and new men must arise, as well as new occasions, which are
not like to happen in our time. So that the Dissenters have no game left,
at present, but to secure their indulgence: in order to which, I will be
so bold to offer them some advice.

First, That until some late proceedings are a little forgot, they would
take care not to provoke, by any violence of tongue or pen, so great a
majority, as there is now against them, nor keep up any longer that
combination with their broken allies, but disperse themselves, and lie
dormant against some better opportunity: I have shewn, they could have
got no advantage if the late party had prevailed; and they will certainly
lose none by its fall, unless through their own fault. They pretend a
mighty veneration for the Queen; let them give proof of it, by quitting
the ruined interest of those who have used her so ill; and by a due
respect to the persons she is pleased to trust at present with her
affairs: When they can no longer hope to govern, when struggling can do
them no good, and may possibly hurt them, what is left but to be silent
and passive?

Secondly, Though there be no law (beside that of God Almighty) against
_occasional conformity_,[5] it would be prudence in the Dissenters to use
it as tenderly as they can: for, besides the infamous hypocrisy of the
thing itself, too frequent practice would perhaps make a remedy
necessary. And after all they have said to justify themselves in this
point, it still continues hard to conceive, how those consciences can
pretend to be scrupulous, upon which an employment has more power than
the love of unity.

In the last place, I am humbly of opinion, That the Dissenters would do
well to drop that lesson they have learned from their directors, of
affecting to be under horrible apprehensions, that the Tories are in the
interests of the Pretender, and would be ready to embrace the first
opportunity of inviting him over. It is with the worst grace in the
world, that they offer to join in the cry upon this article: as if those,
who alone stood in the gap against all the encroachments of Popery and
arbitrary power, are not more likely to keep out both, than a set of
schismatics, who to gratify their ambition and revenge, did, by the
meanest compliances, encourage and spirit up that unfortunate prince, to
fell upon such measures, as must, at last, have ended in the ruin of our
liberty and religion.

_I wish those who give themselves the trouble to write to the "Examiner"
would consider whether what they send be proper for such a paper to take
notice of: I had one letter last week, written, as I suppose, by a
divine, to desire I would offer some reasons against a Bill now before
the Parliament for Ascertaining the Tithe of Hops;[6] from which the
writer apprehends great damage to the clergy, especially the poorer
vicars: If it be, as he says, (and he seems to argue very reasonably upon
it) the convocation now sitting, will, no doubt, upon due application,
represent the matter to the House of Commons; and he may expect all
justice and favour from that great body, who have already appeared so
tender of their rights.

A gentleman, likewise, who hath sent me several letters, relating to
personal hardships he received from some of the late ministry; is advised
to publish a narrative of them, they being too large, and not proper for
this paper._

[Footnote 1: No. 36 in the reprint. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 2:
"Three different forms, of threefold threads combined,
The selfsame day in common ruin joined."

[Footnote 3: It is recorded in "The Speeches and Prayers of ... Mr. John
Carew," 1660, and in "Rebels no Saints," 1661, that at the execution of
John Carew, on October 15th, 1660: "One asked him if he thought there
would be a resurrection of the cause? He answered, he died in the faith
of that, as much as he did that his body should rise again." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 4: The Scotch General Assembly approved the "Solemn League and
Covenant" on August 17th, 1643; it was publicly taken by the House of
Commons at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on September 25th. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 5: Such a law was passed December 20th, 1711. It was entitled
"An Act for preserving the Protestant Religion" (10 Ann, c. 6), and
required persons appointed to various offices to conform to the Church of
England for one year and to receive the Sacrament three times. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 6: Leave was given for a Bill for Ascertaining the Tithe of
Hops, March 26th, 1711, and the Bill was presented May 10th. It does not
appear to have gone any further. [T.S.]]

NUMB. 38.[1]


_Semper causae eventorum magis movent quam ipsa eventa.[2]_

I am glad to observe, that several among the Whigs have begun very much
to change their language of late. The style is now among the reasonable
part of them, when they meet a man in business, or a Member of
Parliament; "Well, gentlemen, if you go on as you have hitherto done, we
shall no longer have any pretence to complain." They find, it seems, that
there have been yet no overtures made to bring in the Pretender, nor any
preparatory steps towards it. They read no enslaving votes, nor bills
brought in to endanger the subject. The indulgence to scrupulous
consciences,[3] is again confirmed from the throne, inviolably preserved,
and not the least whisper offered that may affect it. All care is taken
to support the war; supplies cheerfully granted, and funds readily
subscribed to, in spite of the little arts made use of to discredit them.
The just resentments of some, which are laudable in themselves, and which
at another juncture it might be proper to give way to, have been softened
or diverted by the calmness of others. So that upon the article of
present management, I do not see how any objection of weight can well be

However, our adversaries still allege, that this great success was wholly
unexpected, and out of all probable view. That in public affairs, we
ought least of all others, to judge by events; that the attempt of
changing a ministry, during the difficulties of a long war, was rash and
inconsiderate: That if the Qu[een] were disposed by her inclinations, or
from any personal dislike, for such a change, it might have been done
with more safety, in a time of peace: That if it had miscarried by any of
those incidents, which in all appearance might have intervened, the
consequences would perhaps have ruined the whole confederacy; and,
therefore, however it hath now succeeded, the experiment was too
dangerous to try.

But this is what we can by no means allow them. We never will admit
rashness or chance to have produced all this harmony and order. It is
visible to the world, that the several steps towards this change were
slowly taken, and with the utmost caution. The movers observed as they
went on, how matters would bear, and advanced no farther at first, than
so as they might be able to stop or go back, if circumstances were not
mature. Things were grown to such a height, that it was no longer the
question, whether a person who aimed at an employment, were a Whig or a
Tory, much less, whether he had merit or proper abilities for what he
pretended to: he must owe his preferment only to the favourites; and the
crown was so far from nominating, that they would not allow it a
negative. This, the Qu[een] was resolved no longer to endure, and began
to break into their prescription, by bestowing one or two places of
consequence,[4] without consulting her ephori; after they had fixed them
for others, and concluded as usually, that all their business was to
signify their pleasure to her M[ajest]y. But though the persons the
Qu[een] had chosen, were such as no objection could well be raised
against upon the score of party; yet the oligarchy took the alarm;[5]
their sovereign authority was, it seems, called in question; they grew
into anger and discontent, as if their undoubted rights were violated.
All former obligations to their sovereign now became cancelled; and they
put themselves upon the foot of people, who were hardly used after the
most eminent services.

I believe all men, who know any thing in politics, will agree, that a
prince thus treated, by those he has most confided in, and perpetually
loaded with his favours, ought to extricate himself as soon as possible;
and is then only blamable in his choice of time, when he defers one
minute after it is in his power; because, from the monstrous
encroachments of exorbitant avarice and ambition, he cannot tell how long
it may continue to be so. And it will be found, upon enquiring into
history, that most of those princes, who have been ruined by favourites,
have owed their misfortune to the neglect of early remedies; deferring to
struggle till they were quite sunk.

The Whigs are every day cursing the ungovernable rage, the haughty pride,
and unsatiable covetousness of a certain person,[6] as the cause of their
fall; and are apt to tell their thoughts, that one single removal might
have set all things right. But the interests of that single person, were
found, upon experience, so complicated and woven with the rest, by love,
by awe, by marriage, by alliance, that they would rather confound heaven
and earth, than dissolve such an union.

I have always heard and understood, that a king of England, possessed of
his people's hearts, at the head of a free Parliament, and in full
agreement with a great majority, made the true figure in the world that
such a monarch ought to do, and pursued the real interest of himself and
his kingdom. Will they allow her M[ajest]y to be in those circumstances
at present? And was it not plain by the addresses sent from all parts of
the island,[7] and by the visible disposition of the people, that such a
Parliament would undoubtedly be chosen? And so it proved, without the
court's using any arts to influence elections.

What people then, are these in a corner, to whom the constitution must
truckle? If the whole nation's credit cannot supply funds for the war,
without humble application from the entire legislature to a few retailers
of money, it is high time we should sue for a peace. What new maxims
are these, which neither we nor our forefathers ever heard of before, and
which no wise institution would ever allow? Must our laws from
henceforward pass the Bank and East India Company, or have their royal
assent before they are in force?

To hear some of those worthy reasoners talking of credit, that she is so
nice, so squeamish, so capricious; you would think they were describing a
lady troubled with vapours or the colick, to be only removed by a course
of steel, and swallowing a bullet. By the narrowness of their thoughts,
one would imagine they conceived the world to be no wider than Exchange
Alley. It is probable they may have such a sickly dame among them, and it
is well if she has no worse diseases, considering what hands she passes
through. But the national credit is of another complexion; of sound
health, and an even temper, her life and existence being a quintessence
drawn from the vitals of the whole kingdom. And we find these
money-politicians, after all their noise, to be of the same opinion, by
the court they paid her, when she lately appeared to them in the form of a

As to that mighty error in politics, they charge upon the Qu[een], for
changing her ministry in the height of a war, I suppose, it is only
looked upon as an error under a Whiggish administration; otherwise, the
late King has much to answer for, who did it pretty frequently. And it
is well known, that the late ministry of famous memory, was brought in
during this present war,[9] only with this circumstance, that two or
three of the chief, did first change their own principles, and then took
in suitable companions.

But however, I see no reason why the Tories should not value their wisdom
by events, as well as the Whigs. Nothing was ever thought a more
precipitate rash counsel, than that of altering the coin at the juncture
it was done;[10] yet the prudence of the undertaking was sufficiently
justified by the success. Perhaps it will be said, that the attempt was
necessary, because the whole species of money, was so grievously clipped
and counterfeit. And, is not her Majesty's authority as sacred as her
coin? And has not that been most scandalously clipped and mangled, and
often counterfeited too?

It is another grievous complaint of the Whigs, that their late friends,
and the whole party, are treated with abundance of severity in print, and
in particular by the "Examiner." They think it hard, that when they are
wholly deprived of power, hated by the people, and out of all hope of
re-establishing themselves, their infirmities should be so often
displayed, in order to render them yet more odious to mankind. This is
what they employ their writers to set forth in their papers of the week;
and it is humoursome enough to observe one page taken up in railing at the
"Examiner" for his invectives against a discarded ministry; and the other
side filled with the falsest and vilest abuses, against those who are now
in the highest power and credit with their sovereign, and whose least
breath would scatter them into silence and obscurity. However, though I
have indeed often wondered to see so much licentiousness taken and
connived at, and am sure it would not be suffered in any other country of
Christendom; yet I never once invoked the assistance of the gaol or the
pillory, which upon the least provocation, was the usual style during
their tyranny. There hath not passed a week these twenty years without
some malicious paper, scattered in every coffee-house by the emissaries
of that party, whether it were down or up. I believe, they will not
pretend to object the same thing to us. Nor do I remember any constant
weekly paper, with reflections on the late ministry or j[u]nto. They have
many weak, defenceless parts, they have not been used to a regular
attack, and therefore it is that they are so ill able to endure one, when
it comes to be their turn. So that they complain more of a few months'
truths from us, than we did of all their scandal and malice, for twice as
many years.

I cannot forbear observing upon this occasion, that those worthy authors
I am speaking of, seem to me, not fairly to represent the sentiments of
their party; who in disputing with us, do generally give up several of
the late m[inist]ry, and freely own many of their failings. They confess
the monstrous debt upon the navy, to have been caused by most scandalous
mismanagement; they allow the insolence of some, and the avarice of
others, to have been insupportable: but these gentlemen are most liberal
in their praises to those persons, and upon those very articles, where
their wisest friends give up the point. They gravely tell us, that such a
one was the most faithful servant that ever any prince had; another the
most dutiful, a third the most generous, and a fourth of the greatest
integrity. So that I look upon these champions, rather as retained by a
cabal than a party, which I desire the reasonable men among them would
please to consider.

[Footnote 1: No. 37 in the reprint. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 2: Cicero, "Ep. ad Att.," ix. 5. "I am always more affected by
the causes of events than by the events themselves."--E.S. SHUCKBURGH.

[Footnote 3: "I am resolved ... to maintain the indulgence by law
allowed to scrupulous consciences" (Queen Anne's Speech, November 27th,
1710). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 4: The Queen appointed Earl Rivers to the lieutenancy of the
Tower without the Duke of Marlborough's concurrence. See "Memoirs
Relating to that Change," etc. (vol. v., pp. 375-7 of present edition).

[Footnote 5: "Upon the fall of that great minister and favourite
[Godolphin], that whole party became dispirited, and seemed to expect the
worst that could follow". (Swift's "Memoirs Relating to that Change,"
etc., vol v., p. 378 of present edition). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 6: The Duchess of Marlborough. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 7: "The bulk of the high-church, or Tory-party ... were both
very industrious in procuring addresses, which, under the pretence of
expressing their loyalty to the Queen, and affection to the Church
established, were mainly levelled, like so many batteries, against the
ministry and Parliament," etc. (Boyer's "Annals of Queen Anne," ix.
158-9). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 8: An Act for reviving ... certain Duties (9 Ann., c. 6),
provided that L1,500,000 should be raised "by way of a lottery." It was
introduced February 15th, and received the Royal Assent March 6th, 1710/1

[Footnote 9: The Queen appointed a ministry with Lord Godolphin as
lord treasurer in the first months of her reign, May-July, 1702. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 10: The clipping of coin had become so widespread that it was
absolutely imperative that steps should be taken to readjust matters. It
was resolved, therefore, in 1695, to call in all light money and recoin
it. The matter was placed in charge of the then chancellor of the
exchequer, Charles Montague, afterwards Earl of Halifax, and he,
with the assistance of Sir Isaac Newton, successfully accomplished the
very arduous task. It cost the nation about L2,200,000, and a
considerable inconvenience owing to lack of coins. [T.S.]]

NUMB. 39.[1]


_Indignum est in ed civitate, quae legibus continetur, discedi a

I[3] have been often considering how it comes to pass, that the dexterity
of mankind in evil, should always outgrow, not only the prudence and
caution of private persons, but the continual expedients of the wisest
laws contrived to prevent it. I cannot imagine a knave to possess a
greater share of natural wit or genius, than an honest man. I have known
very notable sharpers at play, who upon all other occasions, were as
great dunces, as human shape can well allow; and I believe, the same
might be observed among the other knots of thieves and pickpockets, about
this town. The proposition however is certainly true, and to be confirmed
by an hundred instances. A scrivener, an attorney, a stock-jobber, and
many other retailers of fraud, shall not only be able to overreach
others, much wiser than themselves, but find out new inventions, to elude
the force of any law made against them. I suppose, the reason of this
may be, that as the aggressor is said to have generally the advantage of
the defender; so the makers of the law, which is to defend our rights,
have usually not so much industry or vigour, as those whose interest
leads them to attack it. Besides, it rarely happens that men are rewarded
by the public for their justice and virtue; neither do those who act upon
such principles, expect any recompense till the next world: whereas
fraud, where it succeeds, gives present pay; and this is allowed the
greatest spur imaginable both to labour and invention. When a law is made
to stop some growing evil, the wits of those, whose interest it is to
break it with secrecy or impunity, are immediately at work; and even
among those who pretend to fairer characters, many would gladly find
means to avoid, what they would not be thought to violate. They desire to
reap the advantage, if possible, without the shame, or at least, without
the danger. This art is what I take that dexterous race of men, sprung
up soon after the Revolution, to have studied with great application ever
since, and to have arrived at great perfection in it. According to the
doctrine of some Romish casuists, they have found out _quam prope ad
peccatum sine peccato possint accedere_.[3] They can tell how to go
within an inch of an impeachment, and yet come back untouched. They know
what degree of corruption will just forfeit an employment, and whether
the bribe you receive be sufficient to set you right, and put something
in your pocket besides. How much to a penny, you may safely cheat the
Qu[ee]n, whether forty, fifty or sixty _per cent._ according to the
station you are in, and the dispositions of the persons in office, below
and above you. They have computed the price you may securely take or give
for a place, or what part of the salary you ought to reserve. They can
discreetly distribute five hundred pounds in a small borough, without
any danger from the statutes, against bribing elections. They can manage
a bargain for an office, by a third, fourth or fifth hand, so that you
shall not know whom to accuse; and win a thousand guineas at play, in
spite of the dice, and send away the loser satisfied: They can pass the
most exorbitant accounts, overpay the creditor with half his demands, and
sink the rest.

It would be endless to relate, or rather indeed impossible to discover,
the several arts which curious men have found out to enrich themselves,
by defrauding the public, in defiance of the law. The military men, both
by sea and land, have equally cultivated this most useful science:
neither hath it been altogether neglected by the other sex; of which, on
the contrary, I could produce an instance, that would make ours blush to
be so far outdone.

Besides, to confess the truth, our laws themselves are extremely
defective in many articles, which I take to be one ill effect of our best
possession, liberty. Some years ago, the ambassador of a great prince was
arrested,[4] and outrages committed on his person in our streets, without
any possibility of redress from Westminster-Hall, or the prerogative of
the sovereign; and the legislature was forced to provide a remedy against
the like evils in times to come. A commissioner of the stamped paper[5]
was lately discovered to have notoriously cheated the public of great
sums for many years, by counterfeiting the stamps, which the law had made
capital. But the aggravation of his crime, proved to be the cause that
saved his life; and that additional heightening circumstance of betraying
his trust, was found to be a legal defence. I am assured, that the
notorious cheat of the brewers at Portsmouth,[6] detected about two
months ago in Parliament, cannot by any law now in force, be punished in
any degree, equal to the guilt and infamy of it. Nay, what is almost
incredible, had Guiscard survived his detestable attempt upon Mr.
Harley's person, all the inflaming circumstances of the fact, would not
have sufficed, in the opinion of many lawyers, to have punished him with
death;[7] and the public must have lain under this dilemma, either to
condemn him by a law, _ex post facto_ (which would have been of dangerous
consequence, and form an ignominious precedent) or undergo the
mortification to see the greatest villain upon earth escape unpunished,
to the infinite triumph and delight of Popery and faction. But even this
is not to be wondered at, when we consider, that of all the insolences
offered to the Qu[een] since the Act of Indemnity, (at least, that ever
came to my ears) I can hardly instance above two or three, which, by the
letter of the law could amount to high treason.

From these defects in our laws, and the want of some discretionary power
safely lodged, to exert upon emergencies; as well as from the great
acquirements of able men, to elude the penalties of those laws they
break, it is no wonder, the injuries done to the public, are so seldom
redressed. But besides, no individual suffers, by any wrong he does to
the commonwealth, in proportion to the advantage he gains by doing it.
There are seven or eight millions who contribute to the loss, while the
whole gain is sunk among a few. The damage suffered by the public, is not
so immediately or heavily felt by particular persons, and the zeal of
prosecution is apt to drop and be lost among numbers.

But imagine a set of politicians for many years at the head of affairs,
the game visibly their own, and by consequence acting with great
security: may not these be sometimes tempted to forget their caution, by
length of time, by excess of avarice and ambition, by the insolence or
violence of their nature, or perhaps by a mere contempt for their
adversaries? May not such motives as these, put them often upon actions
directly against the law, such as no evasions can be found for, and which
will lay them fully open to the vengeance of a prevailing interest,
whenever they are out of power? It is answered in the affirmative. And
here we cannot refuse the late m[inistr]y their due praises, who
foreseeing a storm, provided for their own safety, by two admirable
expedients, by which, with great prudence, they have escaped the
punishments due to pernicious counsels and corrupt management. The first,
was to procure, under pretences hardly specious, a general Act of
Indemnity,[8] which cuts off all impeachments. The second, was yet more
refined: suppose, for instance, a counsel is to be pursued, which is
necessary to carry on the dangerous designs of a prevailing party, to
preserve them in power, to gratify the immeasurable appetites of a few
leaders, civil and military, though by hazarding the ruin of the whole
nation: this counsel, desperate in itself, unprecedented in the nature of
it, they procure a majority to form into an address,[9] which makes it
look like the sense of the nation. Under that shelter they carry on their
work, and lie secure against after-reckonings.

I must be so free to tell my meaning in this, that among other things, I
understand it of the address made to the Qu[een] about three years ago,
to desire that her M[ajest]y would not consent to a peace, without the
entire restitution of Sp[ai]n.[10] A proceeding, which to people abroad,
must look like the highest strain of temerity, folly, and gasconade. But
we at home, who allow the promoters of that advice to be no fools, can
easily comprehend the depth and mystery of it. They were assured by this
means, to pin down the war upon us, consequently to increase their own
power and wealth, and multiply difficulties on the Qu[een] and kingdom,
till they had fixed their party too firmly to be shaken, whenever they
should find themselves disposed to reverse their address, and give us
leave to wish for a peace.

If any man entertains a more favourable opinion of this monstrous step in
politics; I would ask him what we must do, in case we find it impossible
to recover Spain? Those among the Whigs who believe a God, will confess,
that the events of war lie in His hands; and the rest of them, who
acknowledge no such power, will allow, that Fortune hath too great a
share in the good or ill success of military actions, to let a wise man
reason upon them, as if they were entirely in his power. If Providence
shall think fit to refuse success to our arms, with how ill a grace, with
what shame and confusion, shall we be obliged to recant that precipitate
address, unless the world will be so charitable to consider, that
parliaments among us, differ as much as princes, and that by the fatal
conjunction of many unhappy circumstances, it is very possible for our
island to be represented sometimes by those who have the least
pretensions to it. So little truth or justice there is in what some
pretend to advance, that the actions of former senates, ought always to
be treated with respect by the latter; that those assemblies are all
equally venerable, and no one to be preferred before another: by which
argument, the Parliament that began the rebellion against King Charles
the First, voted his trial, and appointed his murderers, ought to be
remembered with respect.

But to return from this digression; it is very plain, that considering
the defectiveness of our laws, the variety of cases, the weakness of the
prerogative, the power or the cunning of ill-designing men, it is
possible, that many great abuses may be visibly committed, which cannot
be legally punished: especially if we add to this, that some enquiries
might probably involve those, whom upon other accounts, it is not
thought convenient to disturb. Therefore, it is very false reasoning,
especially in the management of public affairs, to argue that men are
innocent, because the law hath not pronounced them guilty.

I am apt to think, it was to supply such defects as these, that satire
was first introduced into the world; whereby those whom neither religion,
nor natural virtue, nor fear of punishment, were able to keep within the
bounds of their duty, might be withheld by the shame of having their
crimes exposed to open view in the strongest colours, and themselves
rendered odious to mankind. Perhaps all this may be little regarded by
such hardened and abandoned natures as I have to deal with; but, next to
taming or binding a savage animal, the best service you can do the
neighbourhood, is to give them warning, either to arm themselves, or not
come in its way.

Could I have hoped for any signs of remorse from the leaders of that
faction, I should very gladly have changed my style, and forgot or passed
by their million of enormities. But they are every day more fond of
discovering their impotent zeal and malice: witness their conduct in the
city about a fortnight ago,[11] which had no other end imaginable, beside
that of perplexing our affairs, and endeavouring to make things
desperate, that themselves may be thought necessary. While they continue
in this frantic mood, I shall not forbear to treat them as they deserve;
that is to say, as the inveterate, irreconcilable enemies to our country
and its constitution.

[Footnote 1: No. 38 in the reprint. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 2: "It is a shameful thing in a state which is governed by
laws, that there should be any departure from them." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 3: This paper called forth a reply which was printed in two
forms, one with the title: "A Few Words upon the Examiner's Scandalous
Peace" (London, 1711), and the other, "Reflections upon the
Examiner's Scandalous Peace" (London: A. Baldwin, 1711). A careful
comparison of these pamphlets shows that the text corresponds
page for page. The author commences: "Though 'The Examiner' be certainly
the most trifling, scurrilous, and malicious writer that ever appeared,
yet, in spite of all his gross untruths and absurd notions, by assuming
to himself an air of authority, and speaking in the person of one
employed by the ministry, he sometimes gives a kind of weight to what he
says, so as to make impressions of terror upon honest minds." Then, after
quoting several of the Queen's Speeches to Parliament, and the Addresses
in reply, he observes: "The 'Examiner' is resolved to continue so
faithful to his principal quality of speaking untruths, that he has
industriously taken care not to recite truly the very Address he makes it
his business to rail at;" and he points out that it was not the
"restitution of Spain," but the restoration of the Spanish Monarchy to
the House of Austria that was desired. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 3: "How near to sin they can go without actually sinning."

[Footnote 4: The Muscovite Ambassador (A.A. Matveof) was arrested and
taken out of his coach by violence. A Bill was brought into the House
of Commons "for preserving the Privileges of Ambassadors," February
7th, 1708/9, and obtained the Royal Assent, April 21st, 1709 (7 Ann.
c. 12).

Matveof, it seemed, was arrested by his creditors, who feared that,
since he had taken leave at Court, they would never be paid. Peter
the Great was angry at the indignity thus offered his representative,
and was only unwillingly pacified by the above Act. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 5: Richard Dyet, J.P., "is discovered to have counterfeited
stamped paper, in which he was a commissioner; and, with his accomplices,
has cheated the Queen of L100,000" (Swift's "Journal to Stella," October
3rd, 1710, vol. ii., p. 20 of present edition). He was tried for felony
at the Old Bailey, January 13th, 1710/1, and was acquitted, because his
offence was only a breach of trust. He was, however, re-committed
for trial on the charge of misdemeanour. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 6: "Some very considerable abuses," the chancellor of the
exchequer informed the House of Commons on January 3rd, 1710/1, "have
been discovered in the victualling." It appears that the seamen in the
navy were allowed seven pints of beer per day, during the time they were
on board. In port, of course the sailors were permitted to go ashore, but
the allowance was still charged to the ship's account; and became a
perquisite of the purser. It often happened that the contractors did not
send in the full amount of beer paid for, but gave the purser money in
exchange for the difference. The scandal was brought to the attention
of the House as stated, and a committee was appointed to inquire into
the abuse. On February 15th the House considered the committee's report,
and it was found that Thomas Ridge, Member for Portsmouth, contracted to
supply 5,513 tons of beer, and had delivered only 3,213. Several other
brewers of Portsmouth had been guilty of the same fraud. Mr. Ridge was
expelled the House the same day. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 7: See Swift's "Journal," quoted in notes to No. 33, _ante_, p.
214. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 8: This Act was passed in 1708. See No. 18, _ante_, and note,
p. 105. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 9: The Address from both Houses, presented to the Queen,
February 18th, 1709/10, prayed that she "would be pleased to order the
Duke of Marlborough's immediate departure for Holland, where his presence
will be equally necessary, to assist at the negotiations of peace, and to
hasten the preparations for an early campaign," etc. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 10: The Address of both Houses to the Queen, presented on
December 23rd, 1707, urged: "That nothing could restore a just balance of
power in Europe, but the reducing the whole Spanish monarchy to the
obedience of the House of Austria; and ... That no peace can be
honourable or safe, for your Majesty or your allies, if Spain, the West
Indies, or any part of the Spanish Monarchy, be suffered to remain under
the power of the House of Bourbon." The resolutions as carried in the
House of Lords on December 19th did not include the words "or any part of
the Spanish Monarchy"; these words were introduced on a motion by Somers
who was in the chair when the Select Committee met on December 20th to
embody the resolutions in proper form. The altered resolution was quickly
hurried through the Lords and agreed to by the Commons, and the Address
as amended was presented to the Queen. By this bold move Somers prolonged
the war indefinitely. See also note at the commencement of this number.

[Footnote 11: This refers to the election of the governor and directors
of the Bank of England on April 12th and 13th. All the Whig candidates
were returned, and Sir H. Furnese was on the same day chosen Alderman for
Bridge Within. See also No. 41, _post_, p. 267, [T.S.]]

NUMB. 40.[1]


_Quis tulerit Gracchos de seditione querentes?_[2]

There have been certain topics of reproach, liberally bestowed for some
years past, by the Whigs and Tories, upon each other. We charge the
former with a design of destroying the established Church, and
introducing fanaticism and freethinking in its stead. We accuse them as
enemies to monarchy; as endeavouring to undermine the present form of
government, and to build a commonwealth, or some new scheme of their own,
upon its ruins. On the other side, their clamours against us, may be
summed up in those three formidable words, Popery, Arbitrary Power, and
the Pretender. Our accusations against them we endeavour to make good by
certain overt acts; such as their perpetually abusing the whole body of
the clergy; their declared contempt for the very order of priesthood;
their aversion for episcopacy; the public encouragement and patronage
they gave to Tindall, Toland, and other atheistical writers; their
appearing as professed advocates, retained by the Dissenters, excusing
their separation, and laying the guilt of it to the obstinacy of the
Church; their frequent endeavours to repeal the test, and their setting
up the indulgence to scrupulous consciences, as a point of greater
importance than the established worship. The regard they bear to our
monarchy, hath appeared by their open ridiculing the martyrdom of King
Charles the First, in their Calves-head Clubs,[3] their common discourses
and their pamphlets: their denying the unnatural war raised against that
prince, to have been a rebellion; their justifying his murder in the
allowed papers of the week; their industry in publishing and spreading
seditious and republican tracts; such as Ludlow's "Memoirs," Sidney "Of
Government,"[4] and many others; their endless lopping of the
prerogative, and mincing into nothing her M[ajest]y's titles to the

What proofs they bring for our endeavouring to introduce Popery,
arbitrary power, and the Pretender, I cannot readily tell, and would be
glad to hear; however, those important words having by dexterous
management, been found of mighty service to their cause, though applied
with little colour, either of reason or justice; I have been considering
whether they may not be adapted to more proper objects.

As to Popery, which is the first of these, to deal plainly, I can hardly
think there is any set of men among us, except the professors of it, who
have any direct intention to introduce it among us: but the question is,
whether the principles and practices of us, or the Whigs, be most likely
to make way for it? It is allowed, on all hands, that among the methods
concerted at Rome, for bringing over England into the bosom of the
Catholic Church; one of the chief was, to send Jesuits and other
emissaries, in lay habits, who personating tradesmen and mechanics,
should mix with the people, and under the pretence of a further and purer
reformation, endeavour to divide us into as many sects as possible, which
would either put us under the necessity of returning to our old errors,
to preserve peace at home; or by our divisions make way for some powerful
neighbour, with the assistance of the Pope's permission, and a
consecrated banner, to convert and enslave us at once. If this hath been
reckoned good politics (and it was the best the Jesuit schools could
invent) I appeal to any man, whether the Whigs, for many years past, have
not been employed in the very same work? They professed on all occasions,
that they knew no reason why any one system of speculative opinions (as
they termed the doctrines of the Church) should be established by law
more than another; or why employments should be confined to the religion
of the magistrate, and that called the Church established. The grand
maxim they laid down was, That no man, for the sake of a few notions and
ceremonies, under the names of doctrine and discipline, should be denied
the liberty of serving his country: as if places would go a begging,
unless Brownists, Familists, Sweet-singers, Quakers, Anabaptists and
Muggletonians, would take them off our hands.

I have been sometimes imagining this scheme brought to perfection, and
how diverting it would look to see half a dozen Sweet-singers on the
bench in their ermines, and two or three Quakers with their white staves
at court. I can only say, this project is the very counterpart of the
late King James's design, which he took up as the best method for
introducing his own religion, under the pretext of an universal liberty
of conscience, and that no difference in religion, should make any in his
favour. Accordingly, to save appearances, he dealt some employments among
Dissenters of most denominations; and what he did was, no doubt, in
pursuance of the best advice he could get at home or abroad; and the
Church thought it the most dangerous step he could take for her
destruction. It is true, King James admitted Papists among the rest,
which the Whigs would not; but this is sufficiently made up by a material
circumstance, wherein they seem to have much outdone that prince, and to
have carried their liberty of conscience to a higher point, having
granted it to all the classes of Freethinkers, which the nice conscience
of a Popish prince would not give him leave to do; and was therein
mightily overseen; because it is agreed by the learned, that there is
but a very narrow step from atheism, to the other extreme, superstition.
So that upon the whole, whether the Whigs had any real design of bringing
in Popery or no, it is very plain, that they took the most effectual step
towards it; and if the Jesuits had been their immediate directors, they
could not have taught them better, nor have found apter scholars.

Their second accusation is, That we encourage and maintain arbitrary
power in princes, and promote enslaving doctrines among the people. This
they go about to prove by instances, producing the particular opinions of
certain divines in King Charles the Second's reign; a decree of Oxford
University,[5] and some few writers since the Revolution. What they mean,
is the principle of passive obedience and non-resistance, which those who
affirm, did, I believe, never intend should include arbitrary power.
However, though I am sensible that it is not reckoned prudent in a
dispute, to make any concessions without the last necessity; yet I do
agree, that in my own private opinion, some writers did carry that tenet
of passive obedience to a height, which seemed hardly consistent with the
liberties of a country, whose laws can be neither enacted nor repealed,
without the consent of the whole people. I mean not those who affirm it
due in general, as it certainly is to the Legislature, but such as fix it
entirely in the prince's person. This last has, I believe, been done by a
very few; but when the Whigs quote authors to prove it upon us, they
bring in all who mention it as a duty in general, without applying it to
princes, abstracted from their senate.

By thus freely declaring my own sentiments of passive obedience, it will
at least appear, that I do not write for a party: neither do I, upon any
occasion, pretend to speak their sentiments, but my own. The majority of
the two Houses, and the present ministry (if those be a party) seem to me
in all their proceedings, to pursue the real interest of Church and
State: and if I shall happen to differ from particular persons among
them, in a single notion about government, I suppose they will not, upon
that account, explode me and my paper. However, as an answer once for
all, to the tedious scurrilities of those idle people, who affirm, I am
hired and directed what to write;[6] I must here inform them, that their
censure is an effect of their principles: The present m[inistr]y are
under no necessity of employing prostitute pens; they have no dark
designs to promote, by advancing heterodox opinions.

But (to return) suppose two or three private divines, under King Charles
the Second, did a little overstrain the doctrine of passive obedience to
princes; some allowance might be given to the memory of that unnatural
rebellion against his father, and the dismal consequences of resistance.
It is plain, by the proceedings of the Churchmen before and at the
Revolution, that this doctrine was never designed to introduce arbitrary

I look upon the Whigs and Dissenters to be exactly of the same political
faith; let us, therefore, see what share each of them had in advancing
arbitrary power. It is manifest, that the fanatics made Cromwell the most
absolute tyrant in Christendom:[8] The Rump abolished the House of Lords;
the army abolished the Rump; and by this army of _saints_, he governed.
The Dissenters took liberty of conscience and employments from the late
King James, as an acknowledgment of his dispensing power; which makes a
King of England as absolute as the Turk. The Whigs, under the late king,
perpetually declared for keeping up a standing army, in times of peace;
which has in all ages been the first and great step to the ruin of
liberty. They were, besides, discovering every day their inclinations to
destroy the rights of the Church; and declared their opinion, in all
companies, against the bishops sitting in the House of Peers: which
was exactly copying after their predecessors of 'Forty-one. I need not
say their real intentions were to make the king absolute, but whatever be
the designs of innovating men, they usually end in a tyranny: as we may
see by an hundred examples in Greece, and in the later commonwealths of
Italy, mentioned by Machiavel.

In the third place, the Whigs accuse us of a design to bring in the
Pretender; and to give it a greater air of probability, they suppose the
Qu[een] to be a party in this design; which however, is no very
extraordinary supposition in those who have advanced such singular
paradoxes concerning Gregg and Guiscard. Upon this article, their charge
is general, without ever offering to produce an instance. But I verily
think, and believe it will appear no paradox, that if ever he be brought
in, the Whigs are his men. For, first, it is an undoubted truth, that a
year or two after the Revolution, several leaders of that party had their
pardons sent them by the late King James,[9] and had entered upon
measures to restore him, on account of some disobligations they received
from King William. Besides, I would ask, whether those who are under the
greatest ties of gratitude to King James, are not at this day become the
most zealous Whigs? And of what party those are now, who kept a long
correspondence with St. Germains?

It is likewise very observable of late, that the Whigs upon all
occasions, profess their belief of the Pretender's being no impostor, but
a real prince, born of the late Queen's body:[10] which whether it be
true or false, is very unseasonably advanced, considering the weight such
an opinion must have with the vulgar, if they once thoroughly believe it.
Neither is it at all improbable, that the Pretender himself puts his
chief hopes in the friendship he expects from the Dissenters and Whigs,
by his choice to invade the kingdom when the latter were most in credit:
and he had reason to count upon the former, from the gracious treatment
they received from his supposed father, and their joyful acceptance
of it. But further, what could be more consistent with the Whiggish
notion of a revolution-principle, than to bring in the Pretender? A
revolution-principle, as their writings and discourses have taught us to
define it, is a principle perpetually disposing men to revolutions: and
this is suitable to the famous saying of a great Whig, "That the more
revolutions the better"; which how odd a maxim soever in appearance, I
take to be the true characteristic of the party.

A dog loves to turn round often; yet after certain revolutions, he lies
down to rest: but heads, under the dominion of the moon, are for
perpetual changes, and perpetual revolutions: besides, the Whigs owe all
their wealth to wars and revolutions; like the girl at Bartholomew-fair,
who gets a penny by turning round a hundred times, with swords in her

To conclude, the Whigs have a natural faculty of bringing in pretenders,
and will therefore probably endeavour to bring in the great one at last:
How many _pretenders_ to wit, honour, nobility, politics, have they
brought in these last twenty years? In short, they have been sometimes
able to procure a majority of pretenders in Parliament; and wanted
nothing to render the work complete, except a Pretender at their head.

[Footnote 1: No. 39 in the reprint. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 2: Juvenal, "Satires," ii. 24.

"Who his spleen could rein,
And hear the Gracchi of the mob complain?"--W. GIFFORD.


[Footnote 3: The Calves-Head Club "was erected by an impudent set of
people, who have their feast of calves-heads in several parts of the
town, on the 30th of January; in derision of the day, and defiance of
monarchy" ("Secret History of the Calves-Head Club," 1703). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 4: These works can hardly be called "tracts." Algernon Sidney's
"Discourses concerning Government" (1698), is a portly folio of 467
pages, and Ludlow's "Memoirs" (1698-9) occupy three stout octavo volumes.

[Footnote 5: On July 21st, 1683, the University of Oxford passed a decree
condemning as "false, seditious, and impious," a series of twenty-seven
propositions, among which were the following:

"All civil authority is derived originally from the people."

"The King has but a co-ordinate power, and may be over-ruled by the Lords
and Commons."

"Wicked kings and tyrants ought to be put to death."

"King Charles the First was lawfully put to death."

The decree was reprinted in 1709/10 with the title, "An Entire
Confutation of Mr. Hoadley's Book, of the Original of Government." It was
burnt by the order of the House of Lords, dated March 23rd, 1709/10.

[Footnote 6: In a letter to Dr. Chenevix, Bishop of Waterford (dated May
23rd, 1758), Lord Chesterfield, speaking of Swift's "Last Four Years,"
says that it "is a party pamphlet, founded on the lie of the day,
which, as Lord Bolingbroke who had read it often assured me, _was
coined and delivered out to him, to write 'Examiners' and other
political papers upon_" (Chesterfield's "Works," ii. 498, edit. 1777).

[Footnote 7: From this and many previous passages it is obvious, that, in
joining the Tories, Swift reserved to himself the right of putting his
own interpretation upon the speculative points of their political creed.

[Footnote 8: See Swift's "Presbyterians' Plea of Merit," and note, vol.
iv., p. 36, of present edition. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 9: James II. sent a Declaration to England, dated April 20th,
1692, in which he promised to pardon all those who should return to their
duty. He made a few exceptions, and among these were Ormonde, Sunderland,
Nottingham, Churchill, etc. It is said that of Churchill James remarked
that he never could forgive him until he should efface the memory of his
ingratitude by some eminent service. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 10: "The Pretended Prince of Wales," as he is styled in several
Acts of Parliament, was first called "the Pretender" in Queen Anne's
speech to Parliament on March 11th, 1707/8. She then said: "The French
fleet sailed from Dunkirk, Tuesday, at three in the morning, northward,
with the Pretender on board." The same epithet is employed in the
Addresses by the two Houses in reply to this speech.

It was currently reported that he was not a son of James II. and Queen
Mary. Several pamphlets were written by "W. Fuller," to prove that he was
the son of a gentlewoman named Grey, who was brought to England from
Ireland in 1688 by the Countess of Tyrconnel. See also note on p. 409 of
vol. v. of present edition. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 11: An exhibition described at length in Ward's "London Spy."
The wonder and dexterity of the feat consisted in the damsel sustaining a
number of drawn swords upright upon her hands, shoulders, and neck, and
turning round so nimbly as to make the spectators giddy. [S.]]

NUMB. 41.[1]


_Dos est magna parentium virtus._[3]

I took up a paper[4] some days ago in a coffee-house; and if the
correctness of the style, and a superior spirit in it, had not
immediately undeceived me, I should have been apt to imagine, I had been
reading an "Examiner." In this paper, there were several important
propositions advanced. For instance, that "Providence raised up Mr.
H[arle]y to be an instrument of great good, in a very critical juncture,
when it was much wanted." That, "his very enemies acknowledge his eminent
abilities, and distinguishing merit, by their unwearied and restless
endeavours against his person and reputation": That "they have had
an inveterate malice against both": That he "has been wonderfully
preserved from _some_ unparalleled attempts"; with more to the same
purpose. I immediately computed by rules of arithmetic, that in the last
cited words there was something more intended than the attempt of
Guiscard, which I think can properly pass but for _one_ of the "some."
And, though I dare not pretend to guess the author's meaning; yet the
expression allows such a latitude, that I would venture to hold a wager,
most readers, both Whig and Tory, have agreed with me, that this plural
number must, in all probability, among other facts, take in the business
of Gregg.[5]

See now the difference of styles. Had I been to have told my thoughts on
this occasion; instead of saying how Mr. H[arle]y was "treated by some
persons," and "preserved from some unparalleled attempts"; I should with
intolerable bluntness and ill manners, have told a formal story, of a
com[mitt]ee[6] sent to a condemned criminal in Newgate, to bribe him with
a pardon, on condition he would swear high treason against his master,
who discovered his correspondence, and secured his person, when a certain
grave politician had given him warning to make his escape: and by this
means I should have drawn a whole swarm of hedge-writers to exhaust their
catalogue of scurrilities against me as a liar, and a slanderer. But with
submission to the author of that forementioned paper, I think he has
carried that expression to the utmost it will bear: for after all this
noise, I know of but two "attempts" against Mr. H[arle]y, that can really
be called "unparalleled," which are those aforesaid of Gregg and
Guiscard; and as to the rest, I will engage to parallel them from the
story of Catiline, and others I could produce.

However, I cannot but observe, with infinite pleasure, that a great part
of what I have charged upon the late prevailing faction, and for
affirming which, I have been adorned with so many decent epithets, hath
been sufficiently confirmed at several times, by the resolutions of one
or the other House of Parliament.[7] I may therefore now say, I hope,
with good authority, that there have been "some unparalleled attempts"
against Mr. Harley. That the late ministry were justly to blame in some
management, which occasioned the unfortunate battle of Almanza,[8] and
the disappointment at Toulon.[9] That the public has been grievously
wronged by most notorious frauds, during the Whig administration. That
those who advised the bringing in the Palatines,[10] were enemies to the
kingdom. That the late managers of the revenue have not duly passed their
accounts,[11] for a great part of thirty-five millions, and ought not to
be trusted in such employments any more. Perhaps in a little time, I may
venture to affirm some other paradoxes of this kind, and produce the same
vouchers. And perhaps also, if it had not been so busy a period, instead
of one "Examiner," the late ministry might have had above four hundred,
each of whose little fingers would be heavier than my loins. It makes me
think of Neptune's threat to the winds:

_Quos ego--sed motos praestat componere fluctus._[12]

Thus when these sons of Aeolus, had almost sunk the ship with the
tempests they raised, it was necessary to smooth the ocean, and secure
the vessel, instead of pursuing the offenders.

But I observe the general expectation at present, instead of dwelling any
longer upon conjectures who is to be punished for past miscarriages,
seems bent upon the rewards intended to those, who have been so highly
instrumental in rescuing our constitution from its late dangers. It is
the observation of Tacitus, in the life of Agricola, that his eminent
services had raised a general opinion of his being designed, by the
emperor, for praetor of Britain. _Nullis in hoc suis sermonibus, sed quia
par videbatur:_ and then he adds, _Non semper errat fama, aliquando et
eligit._[13] The judgment of a wise prince, and the general disposition
of the people, do often point at the same person; and sometimes the
popular wishes, do even foretell the reward intended for some superior
merit. Thus among several deserving persons, there are two,[14] whom the
public vogue hath in a peculiar manner singled out, as designed very soon
to receive the choicest marks of the royal favour. One of them to be
placed in a very high station, and both to increase the number of our
nobility. This, I say, is the general conjecture; for I pretend to none,
nor will be chargeable if it be not fulfilled; since it is enough for
their honour, that the nation thinks them worthy of the greatest rewards.

Upon this occasion I cannot but take notice, that of all the heresies in
politics, profusely scattered by the partisans of the late
administration, none ever displeased me more, or seemed to have more
dangerous consequences to monarchy, than that pernicious talent so much
affected, of discovering a contempt for birth, family, and ancient
nobility. All the threadbare topics of poets and orators were displayed
to discover to us, that merit and virtue were the only nobility; and that
the advantages of blood, could not make a knave or a fool either honest
or wise. Most popular commotions we read of in histories of Greece and
Rome, took their rise from unjust quarrels to the nobles; and in the
latter, the plebeians' encroachments on the patricians, were the first
cause of their ruin.

Suppose there be nothing but opinion in the difference of blood; every
body knows, that authority is very much founded on opinion. But surely,
that difference is not wholly imaginary. The advantages of a liberal
education, of choosing the best companions to converse with; not being
under the necessity of practising little mean tricks by a scanty
allowance; the enlarging of thought, and acquiring the knowledge of men
and things by travel; the example of ancestors inciting to great and good
actions. These are usually some of the opportunities, that fall in the
way of those who are born, of what we call the better families; and
allowing genius to be equal in them and the vulgar, the odds are clearly
on their side. Nay, we may observe in some, who by the appearance of
merit, or favour of fortune, have risen to great stations, from an
obscure birth, that they have still retained some sordid vices of their
parentage or education, either insatiable avarice, or ignominious
falsehood and corruption.

To say the truth, the great neglect of education, in several noble

Book of the day: