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Por. Remember what our father oft has told us:
SCENE FROM THE TRAGEDY OF MAHOMET.-Miller.
MAHOMET AND AlcanoR. Mahomet. Why dost thou start, Alcanor? whence that
horror? Approach, old man, without a blush, since Heaven, For some high end decrees our future union.
Alcanor. I blush not for myself, but thee, thou tyrant;
Mah. Were I to answer any but Alcanor,
Alc. What canst thou say? what urge in thy defence?
Mah. The right that a resolved and towering spirit
Mah. Dost thou not know, thou haughty, feeble man, That the low insect, lurking in the grass,
And the imperial eagle, which aloft
Alc. Contract with thee a friendship! frontless man Know'st thou a god can work that miracle?
Mah. I do—necessity—thy interest.
Alc. Interest is thy god, equity is mine.
Mah. Ay, 't is thy children.
Alc. Propitious heavens! Say, Mahomet, for now Methinks I could hold endless converse with thee; Say what 's their portion, liberty or bondage?
Mah. Bred in my camp, and tutor’d in my law,
Alc. Mine! can I save them? name the mighty ransom
Mah. I'll tell thee then: Renounce thy pagan faith, Abolish thy vain gods, and
Surrender Mecca to me, quit this temple,
Alc. Hear me, Mahomet-
[Looks earnestly at Mahomet for sometime before he speaks. ] Farewell!
Mah. Why, fare thee well then, churlish dotard!
REBELLION AGAINST CHARLES I. JUSTIFIED.Ed. Review.
The principles of the Revolution have often been grossly misrepresented, and never more, than in the course of the present year. There is a certain class of men, who, while they profess to hold in reverence the great names and great actions of former times, never look at them for any other purpose, than in order to find in them some excuse for existing abuses.
In every venerable precedent, they pass by what is essential, and take only what is accidental: they keep out of sight what is beneficial, and hold up to public imitation all that is defective. If, in any part of any great example, there be anything unsound, these flesh-flies detect it with an unerring
instinct, and dart upon it with a ravenous delight. They cannot always prevent the advocates of a good measure from compassing their end; but they feel, with their prototype, that
“Their labours must be to pervert that end,
To the blessings which England has derived from the Revolution, these people are utterly insensible. The expulsion of a tyrant, the solemn recognition of popular rights, liberty, security, toleration, all go for nothing with them. One sect there was, which, from unfortunate temporary causes, it was thought necessary to keep under close restraint. One part of the empire there was, so unhappily circumstanced, that at that time its misery was necessary to our happiness, and its slavery to our freedom! These are the parts of the Revolution which the politicians of whom we speak love to contemplate, and which seem to them, not indeed to vindicate, but in some degree to palliate the good which it has produced.
Talk to them of Naples, of Spain, or of South America! they stand forth, zealots for the doctrine of Divine Rightwhich has now come back to us, like a thief from transportation, under the alias of Legitimacy. But mention the miseries of Ireland! Then William is a hero. Then Somers and Shrewsbury are great men. Then the Revolution is a glorious era! The very same persons, who, in this country, never omit an opportunity of reviving every wretched Jacobite slander respecting the Whigs of that period, have no sooner crossed St. George's Channel, than they begin to fill their bumpers to their glorious and immortal memory.
They may truly boast that they look not at men, but at measures. So that evil be done, they care not who does it-the arbitrary Charles or the liberal William, Ferdinand the Catholic or Frederick the Protestant! On such occasions, their deadliest opponents may reckon upon their candid construction. The bold assertions of these people have of late impressed a large portion of the public with an opinion, that James II. was expelled simply because he was a Catholic, and that the Revolution was essentially a Protestant Revolution.
But this certainly was not the case. Nor can any person, who has acquired more knowledge of the history of those times than is to be found in Goldsmith's Abridgement, believe that, if James had held his own religious opinions without wishing to make proselytes, or if, wishing even to make proselytes, he had contented himself with exerting only his constitutional influence for that purpose, the Prince of Orange would ever have been invited over.
Our ancestors, we suppose, knew their own meaning. And, if we may believe them, their hostility was primarily not to Popery but to Tyranny. They did not drive out a tyrant because he was a Catholic; but they excluded Catholics from the Crown, because they thought them likely to be tyrants. The ground on which they, in their famous Resolution, declared the throne vacant, was this, 'that James had, broken the fundamental laws of the kingdom. Every man, therefore, who approves of the Revolution of 1688, must hold, that the breach of fundamental laws on the part of the Sovereign justifies resistance. The question then is this: Had Charles I. broken the fundamental laws of England?
No person can answer in the negative, unless he refuses credit, not merely to all the accusations brought against Charles by his opponents, but to the narratives of the warmest Royalists, and to the confessions of the King himself. If there be any truth in any historian of any party, who has related the events of that reign, the conduct of Charles, from his accession to the meeting of the Long Parliament, had been a continued course of oppression and treachery.
Let those who applaud the Revolution and condemn the Rebellion, mention one act of James II, to which a parallel is not to be found in the history of his father. Let them lay their fingers on a single article in the Declaration of Right, presented by the two Houses to William and Mary, which Charles is not acknowledged to have violated. He had, according to the testimony of his own friends, usurped the functions of the Legislature, raised taxes without the consent of Parliament, and quartered troops on the people in the most illegal and vexatious manner. Not a single session of Parliament had passed without some unconstitutional attack on the freedom of debate. The right of petition was grossly violated. Arbitrary judgments, exorbitant fines, and unwarranted imprisonments, were grievances of daily and hourly occurrence. If these things do not justify resistance, the Revolution was treason: if they do, the Great Rebellion was laudable.