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Gentleman in the Country ; who, observing the great Uni
the Romans acted in relation to their Country, Ill shew him how the best and wisest of them ufed to talk upon the same Head.
“ When you have looked over all the Ties in Nature, yo? will find nothing dearer, foys Cicero, no obligation of greater Importance, than that by which we are every
one of us tied to the Commonwealth. Our Parents, Chil. “ dren, Friends, are all dear to us; but our single Country
is more than all the reft ; and every honest Man is ready to lay down luis Life for the Advantage of that sacred Intereft. How execrable then is the barbarous Impiety of
those Men, wbo have torn their Country to Pieces by all • Sorts of Villany, and who not only have been, but are at " this Inftant, conspiring its Ruin and Destruction ?
“ It is the Duty (says one of their great Meny and mould “ be the principal Care of those that have the Administra** tion of public Affairs, to see that every Individual bě pro“ teeted in his Property, and that the poor and Simple may
not be circumvented by the little Arts of cunning Men, or 0178 Ded by the Power of great Ones : In short, that pri
may not be dispodeljed of their Rights and Eftates, under the Pretext of a public Good. And if to “ make my own Fortune ( continues ne) by the impoverishing “ another, is declared unlawful, not only by the Dictate of “ Nature, and the Rights of Nations, but by the particular “ Larus and Constitutions of all States; how detestable must
those Governors be, who abusing that Confidence the plain “ and honofi Part of Mankind, who are always Minors,
repose in them, as their Trustees and Guardians, draw “ them, by plaufible Appearances, into their Net, and so si enrich themselves at the Expence of their Country.
“ Plato's Rule, says the abovementioned Orator, ought “ to be observed by all that are intrusted with the Admini
stration of the Public. It was this : That they should in
Juch Sori alert and defend the public Interest, that all “ their Actions pould refer to that, without any Regard to " their own private Advantage. Therefore, above all “ Things, let such keep themselves clear from the least Sub~ picion of Avarice. It is not only a mean Thing, but an
impious, to make a Prey of the Commonwealth. This is a copious Subject, but I shall confine myself ; only hinting
at a Law of this breve People, which I would recom• mind to the Confideration of my Countrymen, and it being • made by the Wisdom of the Nation, that is by the Senate, es will jheru', at once, the Sense of the whole Nation, withy “ reject to the Conduct of Persons in the Administration. Donum ne capiunto, neve danto, neve pretenda, neve gerenda, neve gelta poteftate.
The Sense of the People concerning the pre
fent State of Affairs, &c. S IR T is intirely in Obedience to your Request, that I send you this long Letter ; which is nothing else but a plain and natural Account of the People's
Resentment of their common Injuries and Misfortunes ; or, to put it in your Terms, The Sense of the People, as far as my Memory will serve me, in their own Words. The Authors of their Grievances are at last be.. come intolerable to them ; and Vengeance, however unprofitable, as they are told, is one chief End, which they propose as their future Security. Whoever thinks fit to withdraw or excuse himself from the Share he ought to bear in this Design, is fufpected to be engaged in a Confederacy, which he is ashamed to avow : This Surpicion is so far from being just of you, that I could wish you would come and vindicate your Character to the
Public, which was never so miserably necessitous of all honest Help as at present.
As I am now upon the Decline of a public Life, I have had an Opportunity of observing a great deal of the Variety and Inconstancy of public Affairs ; but I never yet knew so great a Ferment, so prevailing a Diffatiffaction, as at present we see throughout the whole Kingdom. Parties have been preferred, discarded, restored, mixed, and the several Friends of each have, by Turns, complained of reciprocal Violence and Injury, Mismanagement and Corruption ; but I don't know that any of them have ever persuaded the whole Body of the People into their Quarrel. No private little Wrongs could have effected a Discontent so universal. That Administration must affect every one, which every one complains of. Indeed, when a Nation is plundered and oppreifed, they cannot but feel and resent it.
They imagine now, that at the Opening of this Serfion, there was a Design carried on by fome, whom they will needs have to be very ill Men, to secure, even in fome Degree, the very late Directors; but we say they) were not tame enough to admit or endure such an Attempt; fo that they were forced to drop the Design, and join (at least) in the Cry against them, though they trembled at the Apprehension of every Fact that should be discovered. They could have been glad to have stood by their old Friends ; but since that must not be, the next Trial was to compound for their own Security, by the Sacrifice of their Allies. But this Artifice is notsatisfactory ; the People tell you that the best and likelieft Means to come to the Bottom of their Misfortunes, is to begin at the Top. It is of very little Value to them how the lesser Cheats are disposed of; they were so by Profession, and have acted intirely in Character. If Daniel had been devoured in the Den, it is presumed that no body could have thought hardly of the Lions : No, no, the Authors of the Villainy are the Criminals it is those that deliberately formed the Mischief, and that hired and retained their little Creatures to execute it, who chiefly deserve the Enquiry of a Parliament.
How comes it to pass, say they, while leffer Villains are punished every Day, that those who have pillaged
the whole Country, shall escape ? The greatest Subjects of the British Crown did not use to be too great to be accountable to a British Parliament. 'Tis in vain for me, or any one to answer to this, But
would not condemn any one without sufficient Evidence'; they can all immediately reply, that they can point to Initances, and those modern ones too, where Resolutions have been taken, Censures founded, and other Persons have been condemned, and all this very justly, upon the same or less Evidence. But suppose (not grant) the Evidence defective; in Courts of Justice it often happens, that where there is not legal Proof enough to convict a Cheat, yet there is sufficient to satisfy any one present, that it would be Folly to trust him any more.
A suspected Minister ought to be used as Cæfar did his Wife, he did not expect Demonstration. Reasonable Grounds of Suspicion are enough in both Cases, there being seldom above two privy to the fact in either. If one tells them it is Prudence to wink at some Things, otherwise the whole may be thrown into Confusion, and then where are our Estates? The Answer is, that when such a Confufion is introduced, our Estates may indeed possibly be loft; but by the Toleration of the late Iniquity, and thereby the Encouragement of all future Villainies, by the Increase of Debts, the Decay of Trade, the Destruction of Manufactures, the Ruin of Credit, the Mismanagement of the Revenue, the Loss of Money to other Kingdoms, or the locking it up at home, and all this while, the Continuation of Taxes ; by these, say they, Confusion is actually introduced, and our Estates are already lost.
T'other Day I happened to be in a Company, where, to my great Surprize, I heard a Gentleman endeavouring to moderate the public Displeasure. He told us, that as he sincerely lamented the Ruin of his Country, he was impatient for Redress, and hoped to see it made for ever unsafe for any one to play the same Game over again; but he ventured to add, that by going too fast, or changing Hands too foon, we ran a Risk, at least, of altering for the worse: That as we had, at present, a Possibility of extricating ourselves from our Misfortunes, by Length of Time and careful Management, we should take the surest Course, and not commit ourselves to the
A 4 Adininistration
Adminiftration of a Party, who, as they secretly rejoiced at our Miseries, will not fail to improve them to their own Advantage; whose Principles have often endangered the Liberties of these Kingdoms, and have entailed Slavery on the greatest Part of Europe.
But the whole Company, not enduring the Declaration, cried out, What then is Whiggism supported by Rapine and Injustice? If that be the Case; if the two Parties have changed their Ground ; if those formerly reckoned Anti-courtiers are turned fawning, obsequious Dependants, in God's Name let them fall. H'higgism carries in it the very Notion of Liberty, and Love to our Country ; and then it follows, that the Punishment of public Horse-leeches, Parricides, muft be the only Way to settle Whiggism, and to lay a Foundation for the Happiness of future Times.
In short, these are Pretences to screen some favourite Offenders; but when Things are come to Extremity, you can hoodwink us no longer. And we know very well, says one, what good Use was made of this Pretence, by the Event of a late Examination ; fo shallow, or fo corrupt, are Englishmen grown. But give me the Man, Tros Rutilufve, Whig or Tory, that prefers the true Interest of England to that of any other Country or People whaterer; that encourages Trade, and fudies to administer thie Treasure of the People thriftily and prudently.
Such, Sir, is the sense of the People ; and if I give it you in their own Words, it is because it was your Desire I thould do so, that you might the better judge at what they drite.
I perceive it is Matter of great Admiration to fome, the extraordinary Address that has been shewn in the lecrer Management of this Affair : That the whole Transaction of 574,500 l. fictitious Stock should only be witli thie Privacy of one single Mail, that, in case of Danger, all might be stified by his withdrawing, and all other Proof neglected and discouraged by the Name of Hearsay Evidence; though, by the By, some will have it that Letters and Notes under one's own Hand are more than Hearsay Evidence, and that the Practices of burning, blotting, razing, and interpolating, have been though fo much more than Presuniption, that they have, ypon