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the Miniftrý, and the still greater which was made and avowed in its constitution. As to individuals, other methods were employed with them; in order fo thoroughly to disunite every party, and even every family, that no concert, order, or effect, might appear in any future oppohtion. And in this manner an Administration without connexion with the people, or with one another, was first put in poffeffion of Government. What good consequences followed from it, we have all seen ; whether with regard to virtue, public or private; to the ease and happiness of the Sovereign ; or to the real strength of Government. But as so much stress was then laid on the necessity of this new project, it will not be amiss to take a view of the effects of this Royal servitude and vile durance, which was so deplored in the reign of the late Monarch, and was so carefully to be avoided in the reign of bis Succeffor. The effects were these.
In times full of doubt and danger to his perfon and family, George the Second maintained the dignity of his Crown connected with the liberty of his people, not only unimpaired, but improved, for the space of thirty-three years. He overcame. ą dangerous rebellion, abetted by foreign force, and raging in the heart of his kingdoms; and thereby destroyed the feeds of all future rebellion that could arise upon the same principle. He carried the glory, the power, the commerce of England, to an height unknown even to this renowned nation in the times of its greatest prosperity; and he left his fucceffion resting on the true and only true foundations of all national and all regal greatness; affection at home, reputation abroad, trust in allies, terror in rival nations. The most ardent lover of his country cannot wish for Great Bri. tain an happier fate than to continue as she was then left. A people emulous as we are in affection to our present Sovereign, know not how to form a prayer. to Heaven for a greater bleiting upon his virtues, or an higher state of fea licity and glory, than that he should live, and should reign, and, when Providence ordains it, should die, exactly like his illustrious Predecessor. : A great Prince may be obliged (though such a thing cannot happen very often) to sacrifice his private inclination to his public intereft. A wife Prince will not think that such a restraint implies a condition of servility; and truly, if such was the condition of the last reign, and the effects were also such as we have described, we ought, no less for the sake of the Sovereign whom we love, than for our own, to hear arguments convincing indeed, before we depart from the maxims of that reign, or fly in the face of this great body of strong and recent experience.
One of the principal topicks which was then, and has been fince, much employed by that political * school, is an affected terror of the growth of an aristocratic power, prejudicial to
* See the Political Writings of the late Dr. Brown, and, many others.
the rights of the Crown, and the balance of the constitution. Any new powers exercised in the House of Lords, or in the House of Commons, or by the Crown, ought certainly to excite the vigilant and anxious jealousy of a free people. Even a new and unprecedented course of action in the whole Legislature, without great and evident reason, may be a subject of just uneasiness. I will not affirm, that there may not have lately appeared in the House of Lords a difpofition to some attempts derogatory to the legal rights of the subject. If any such have really appeared, they have arisen, not from a power properly aristocratic, but from the same influence which is charged with having excited attempts of a similar nature in the House of Commons; which House, if it should have been betrayed into an unfortunate quarrel with its constituents, and involved in a charge of the very same nature, could have neither power nor inclination to repel such attempts in others. Those attempts in the House of Lords can no more be called aristocratic proceedings, than the proceedings with regard to the county of Middlesex in the House of Commons can with any sense be called democratical.
It is true, that the Peers have a great influence in the kingdom, and in every part of the public concerns. While they are men of property, it is impossible to prevent it, except by such means as must prevent all property from its natural operation; an event not easily to be compassed, while property is power; nor by any means to be wished, while the least notion exists of the method by which the spirit of liberty acts, and of the means by which it is preserved. If any particular Peers, by their uniform, upright, conftitutional conduct, by their public and their private virtues, have acquired an influence in the country ; the people, on whose favour that influence depends, and from whom it arose, will never be duped into an opinion, that such greatness in a Peer is the despotism of an aristocracy, when they know and feel it to be the effect and pledge of their own importance. · I am no friend to aristocracy, in the sense at least in which that word is usually understood. If it were not a bad habit to moot cases on the supposed ruin of the constitution, I thould be free to declare, that if it must perish, I would rather by far see it resolved into any other form, than lost in that austere and insolent domination. But, whatever my dislikes may be, my fears are not upon that quarter. The question, on the influence of a Court, and of a Peerage, is not, which of the two dangers is the most eligible, but which is the most imminent. He is but a poor observer, who has not seen, that the generality of Peers, far from supporting themfelves in a state of independent greataess, are but too apt to fall into an oblivion of their proper dignity, and to run headlong into an abje&t fervitude. Would to God it were true, that the fault of our Peers were too much spirit! It is worthy of some observation, that these gentlemen, fo jealous of aristocracy, make no
complaints of the power of those Peers (neither
I rest a little the longer on this Court topick, because it was much inlisted upon at the time of the great change, and has been since frequently revived by many of the agents of that party : for, whilst they are terrifying the great and opulent with the horrors of mob-government, they are by other managers attempting (though hitherto with little success) to alarm the people with a phantom of tyranny in the Nobles. All this is done upon their favourite principle of disunion, of sowing jealousies amongst the different orders of the State, and of disjointing the natural strength of the kingdom; that it may be rendered incapable of relifting the sinister designs of wicked men, who have engrossed the Royal power..
Thus, much of the topicks chosen by the Courtiers to recommend their system; it will be · necessary to open a little more at large the nature of that party which was formed for its support. Without this, the whole would have