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Tower, a little nearer to the fun; which would then break out to better purpose.

You tell us in your preface to the 1 No-proteftant Plot, that you fhall be forced hereafter to leave off your modefty: I suppose you mean that little which is left you; for it was worn to rags when you put out this Medal. Never was there practifed fuch a piece of notorious impudence in the face of an established government. I believe when he is dead you will wear him in thumb fings, as the Turks did Scanderbeg; as if there were virtue in his bones to preserve you against monarchy. Yet all this while you pretend not only zeal for the public good, but a due veneration for the person of the king. But all men who can see an inch before them, may eafily detect thofe grofs falacies. That it is neceffary for men in your circumftances to pretend both, is granted you; for without them there could be no ground to raise a faction. But I would ask you one civil queftion, what right has any man among you, or any association of men, to come nearer to you, who, out of parliament, cannot be confidered in a public capacity, to meet as you daily do in factious clubs, to vilify the government in your difcourfes, and to libel it in all your writings? Who made you judges in Ifrael? Or how is it confiftent with your zeal for the public welfare, to promote fedition? Does your definition of loyal, which is to ferve the king according to the laws, allow you the licence of traducing the executive power with which you own he is invested? You complain that his majefty has loft the love and confidence of his people; and by your very urging it, you endeavour what in you lies to make him lose them.

I A pamphlet vindicating lord Shaftesbury from being concern'd in any plotting defigns against the King; Wood fays, the general report was, that it was written by the earl himself.

All good fubjects abhor the thought of arbitrary. power, whether it be in one or many: if you were the patriots you would feem, you would not at this rate incenfe the multitude to affume it; for no fober man can fear it, either from the king's difpofition or his practice; or even where you would odiously lay it, from his minifters. Give us leave to enjoy the government and benefit of laws under which we were born, and which we defire to tranfmit to our pofterity. You are not the trustees of the public liberty: and if you have not right to petition in a croud, much lefs have you to intermeddle in the management of affairs; or to arraign what you do not like; which in effect is every thing that is done by the king and council. Can you imagine that any reasonable man will believe you refpect the person of his majesty, when it is apparent that your feditious pamphlets are ftuffed with particular reflections on him? If you have the confidence to deny this, it is easy to be evinced from a thousand paffages, which I only forbear to quote, because I defire they fhould die and be forgotten. I have perufed many of your papers; and to fhow you that I have, the third part of your No-proteftant Plot is much of it ftolen from your dead author's pamphlet, called the Growth of Popery; as manifeftly as Milton's Defence of the English People is from Buchanan De jure regni apud Scotos: or your firft Covenant and new Affociation from the holy league of the French Guifards. Any one who reads Davila, may trace your practices all along. There were the fame pretences for reforma tion and loyalty, the fame afperfions of the king, and the fame grounds of a rebellion. I know not whether you will take the hiftorian's word, who fays it was reported, that Poltrot a Hugonot murdered Francis duke of Guife, by the inftigations of Theo

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dore Beza, or that it was a Hugonot minifter, otherwife called a Prefbyterian, for our church abhors fo devilish a tenet, who firft writ a treatise of the lawfulness of deposing and murdering kings of a different perfuafion in religion: but I am able to prove, from the doctrine of Calvin, and principles of Buchanan, that they fet the people above the magiftrate; which, if I mistake not is your own fundamental, and which carries your loyalty no farther than your liking. When a vote of the house of commons goes on your fide, you are as ready to obferve it as if it were paffed into a law; but when you are pinched with any former, and yet unrepealed act of parliament, you declare that in fome cafes you will not be obliged by it. The paffage is in the fame third part of the No-proteftant Plo:; and is too plain to be denied. The late copy of your intended affociation, you neither wholly justify nor condemn; but as the papis, when they are unoppofed, fly out into all the pageantries of worship; but in times of war, when they are hard preffed by arguments, lie clofe intrenched behind the Council of Trent: fo now, when your affairs are in a low condition, you dare not pretend that to be a legal combination, but whenfoever you are afloat, I doubt not but it will be maintained and juftified to purpofe. For indeed there is nothing to defend it but the fword: it is the proper time to fay any thing when men have all things in their power.

In the mean time, you would fain be nibbling at a parallel betwixt this affociation, and that in the time of Queen Elizabeth 2. But there is this fmall

2 When England, in the fixteenth century, was fuppofed in danger from the defigns of Spain, the principal people, with the Queen at their head, entered into an affociation for the defence of their country, and of the proteftant religion, against Popery, invation, and innovation.

difference

difference betwixt them, that the ends of the one are directly oppofite to the other: one with the Queen's approbation and conjunction, as head of it; the other without either the confent or knowledge of the King, against whofe authority it is manifeftly defigned. Therefore you do well to have recourse to your last evafion, that it was contrived by your enemies, and fhuffled into the papers that were feized; which yet you see the nation is not fo eaf to believe as your own jury; but the matter is not difficult, to find twelve men in Newgate who would acquit a ma

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I have one only favour to defire of you at parting, that when you think of anfwering this poem, you would employ the fame pens againft it, who have combated with fo much fuccefs against Abfalom and Achitophel: for then you may affure yourfelves of a clear victory, without the leaft reply. Rail at me abundantly; and, not to break a cuflom, do it without wit: by this method you will gain a confiderable point, which is wholly to wave the an wer of my arguments. Never own the bottom of your principles, for fear they fhould be treafon. Fall feverely on the miscarriages of government; for if fcandal be not allowed, you are no freeborn fubjects. If God has not blefied you with the talent of rhyming, make ufe of my poor ftock and welcome: let your verfes run upon my feet: and for the utmo refuge of notorious blockheads, reduced to the laft extremity of fenfe, turn my own lines upon me, and in utter de pair of your own fatire, make me fatyrize myself. Some of you have been driven to this bay already; but, above all the reft, commend me to the noncenformift parfon, who writ the Whip and Key. I am afraid it is not read fo much as the piece deferves, because the bookfeller is every week crying help at

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the end of his Gazette, to get it off. You see I am charitable enough to do him a kindnefs, that it may be published as well as printed; and that fo much fkill in Hebrew derivations may not lie for wafstepaper in the shop. Yet I half suspect he went no farther for his learning, than the index of Hebrew names and etymologies, which is printed at the end of fome English bibles. If Achitophel fignify the brother of a fool, the author of that poem will pafs with his readers for the next of kin. And perhaps it is the relation that makes the kindness. Whatever the verfes are, buy them up I beseech you out of pity; for I hear the conventicle is fhut up, and the brother of Achitophel out of fervice 3.

Now footmen you know have the generofity to make a purse for a member of their fociety, who has had his livery pulled over his ears: and even proteftant focks are bought up among you, out of veneration to the name. A diffenter in poetry from sense and English will make as good a proteftant rhymer, as a diffenter from the church of England a protestant parfon. Befides, if you encourage a young beginner, who knows but he may elevate his ftile a little above the vulgar epithets of prophane, and fawcy Jack, and atheistic fcribler, with which he treats me, when the fit of enthusiasm is ftrong upon him: by which well-mannered and charitable expreffions I was certain of his fect before I knew his name. What would you have more of a man? He has damned me in your cause from Genefis to the Revelations: and has half the texts of both the Teftaments against me, if you will be fo civil to yourselves as to take him for

3 George Cooper, Efq; brother to the earl of Shaftesbury, was married to a daughter of Alderman Oldfield; and, being fettled in the city, became a great man among the Whigs and fanatics.

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