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of a prince's having no other pursuit than that of his own glory; for if we consider an infant born into the world, and beholding itself the mightiest thing in it, itself the present admiration and future prospect of a fawning people, who profess themselves great or mean, according to the figure he is to make amongst them, what fancy would not be debauched to believe they were but what they professed themselves-his mere creatures, and use them as such, by purchasing with their lives a boundless renown, which he, for want of a more just prospect, would place in the number of his slaves, and the extent of his territories? Such undoubtedly would be the tragical effects of a prince's living with no religion, which are not to be surpassed but by his having a false one.
• If ambition were spirited with zeal, what would follow, but that his people should be converted into an army, whose swords can make right in power, and solve controversy in belief? And if men should be stiff-necked to the doctrine of that visible church, let them be contented with an oar and a chain, in the midst of stripes and anguish, to contemplate on Him whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.
With a tyranny begun on his own subjects, and indignation that others draw their breath independent of his frown or smile, why should he not proceed to the seizure of the world ? And if nothing but the thirst of sway were the motive of his actions, why should treaties be other than mere words, or solemn national compacts be any thing but an halt in the march of that army, who are never to lay down their arms untill all men are reduced to the necessity of hanging their lives on his wayward will; who might supinely, and at leisure, expiate his own sins, by other men's sufferings, while he daily meditates new slaughter and conquests?
· For mere man, when giddy with unbridled power, is an insatiate idol, not to be appeased with myriads offered to his pride, which may be puffed up by the adulation of a base and prostrate world into an opinion that he is something more than human, by being something less : and, alas, what is there that mortal man will not believe of himself, when complimented with the attributes of God? He can then conceive thoughts of a power as omnipresent as his. But, should there be such a foe of mankind now upon earth, have our sins so far provoked Heaven, that we are left utterly naked to his fury? Is there no power, no leader, no genius, that can conduct and animate us to our death, or to our defence? Yes; our great God never gave one to reign by his permission, but he gave to another also to reign by his grace.
* All the circumstances of the illustrious life of our prince seem to have conspired to make him the check and bridle of tyranny; for his mind has been strengthened and confirmed by one continued struggle, and Heaven has educated him by adversity to a quick sense of the distresses and miseries of mankind, which he was born to redress. In just scorn of the trivial glories and light ostentations of power, that glorious instrument of Providence, moves, like that, in a steady, calm, and silent course, independent either of applause or calumny; which renders him, if not in a political, yet in a moral, a philosophic, an heroic, and a Christian sense, an absolute monarch: who satisfied with this unchangeable, just, and ample glory, must needs turn all his regards from himself to the service of others; for he begins his enterprises with his own share in the success of them; for integrity bears in itself its reward, nor can that which depends not on event ever know disappointment.
With the undoubted character of a glorious captain, and (what he much more values than the most splendid titles) that of a sincere and honest man, he is the hope and stay of Europe, an universal good; not to be engrossed by us only, for distant potentates implore his friendship, and injured empires court his assistance. He rules the world, not by an invasion of the people of the earth, but the address of its princes; and, if that world should be again roused from the repose which his prevailing arms had given it, why should we not hope that there is an Almighty, by whose influence the terrible enemy that thinks himself prepared for battle may find he is but ripe for destruction ?-and that there may be in the womb of time great incidents, which may make the catastrophe of a prosperous life as unfortunate as the particular scenes of it were successful ?-for there does not want a skilful eye and resolute arm to observe and grasp the occasion. A prince, who from
Fuit Ilium et ingens
VIRG. Æn. ii. 325.
N° 517. THURSDAY, OCT. 23, 1712.
Heu pietas! heu prisca fides!
Virg. Æn. vi. 878.
We last night received a piece of ill news at our club, which very sensibly afflicted every one of us. I question not but my readers themselves will be troubled at the hearing of it. To keep them no longer in suspense, Sir Roger de Coverley is dead! He departed this life at his house in the country, after a few weeks' sickness Sir Andrew Freeport has a letter from one of his correspondents in those parts, that informs him the old man caught a cold at the county-sessions, as he was very warmly pro, moting an address of his own penning, in which he succeeded according to his wishes. But this particular comes from a whig justice of peace, who was always Sir Roger's enemy and antagonist. I have letters both from the chaplain and Captain Sentry, which mention nothing of it, but are filled with many particulars to the honour of the good old man. I have likewise a letter from the butler, who took so much care of me last summer when I was at the knight's house. As my friend the butler mentions, in the simplicity of his heart, several circumstances the others have passed over in silence, I shall give my reader a copy of his letter, without any alteration or dimunition.
•KNOWING that you was my old master's good friend, I could not forbear sending you the
melancholy news of his death, which has afflicted the whole country, as well as his poor servants, who loved him, I may say, better than we did our lives. I am afraid he caught his death the last county-sessions, where he would go to see justice done to a poor widow woman, and her fatherless children, that had been wronged by a neighbouring gentleman; for you know, sir, my good master, was always the poor man's friend. Upon his coming home, the first complaint he made was, that he had lost his roast beef stomach, not being able to touch a sirloin, which was served up according to custom; and you know he used to take great delight in it. From that time forward he grew worse and worse, but still kept a good heart to the last. Indeed we were once in great hope of his recovery, upon a kind message that was sent him from the widow lady whom he had made love to the forty last years of his life; but this only proved a lightning before death. He has bequeathed to this lady, as a token of his love, a great pearl necklace, and a couple of silver bracelets set with jewels, which belonged to my good old lady his mother. He has bequeathed the fine white gelding that he used to ride a hunting upon to his chaplain, because he thought he would be kind to him; and has left you all his books. He has, moreover, bequeathed to the chaplain a very pretty tenement with good lands about it. It being a very cold day when he made his will, he left for mourning to every man in the parish a great frizecoat, and to every woman a black riding-hood. It was a moving sight to see him take leave of his poor servants, commending us all for our fidelity, whilst we were not able to speak a word for weeping. As we most of us are grown grey-headed in our dear master's service, he has left us pensions and legacies, which we may live very comfortably