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A

L ET TE R

TO

Sir Miles Wharton,

CONCERNING

OCCASIONAL PEERS.

Written in the YEAR 1713.

Printed in the YEAR MDCCXV..

[9]

I

SIR,

Have not the Happiness to be in the least known to you, but have, with all England, Obligations to you for the Greatness of

Mind which you exerted in refusing, not long ago, to be made a Peer of this Realm in an hasty and surreptitious Manner: It was not so much as pretended, that the dozen of Nobles were then introduced for any other Purpose, but to gain a' Question of the highest Importance, no less than a Question of Peace and War. Were the Point obtained by it never so much conducive to our Good, the Novelty, if not obviated for the future, cannot but tend to the apparent Danger of the Queen and all her Subjects. It is from a Report that there are another half dozen to be made within

few Days, that I am engaged to give you this Trouble.

You, Sir, who are adorned with more than Title, a Superiority to it, from the Refusal of it when you thought it inconsistent with Honour, are the properest Man to be addrefled, when I consider the Danger of making occafional Lords, and lay before the World this fa. tal Novelty, as it affects the Queen's moft Excellent Majesty, the House of Peers, and the whole People of England.

Honour is the Conscience of doing just and laudable Adions, independent of the Succefs of those Actions. God is the Fountain of this Honour, and animates and supports all

who are a&uated by it; he is an inexhaustible FounBS

taiur)

tain, and cannot be impaired by his Creations. But if it be not Prophane to mention, so near after his Omnipotence, any Distinátions we give one another here, I would proceed to say that it is not so with Sovereigns upon Earth, whom we phrase Fountains of Honour. They, alas! are themselves diminished in Proportion to what they grant out of themselves. An unguarded and lavish Hand, in Grants of this Kind, would very soon make the Honour, flowing from a Prince, of no Value and Confideration tothose on whom it is bestowed, and take away any Power of giving more from the Giver. To come immediately to the Point; I assert, that the numerous Creation of Peers is the greatest Wound that can be given to the Prerogative. A Peer and his Heirs are Checks in the Legitlature to the Queen and her Heirs; that part of the Legidature which is in the Queen, is apparently diminished by so much as the gives out of it, from her own into other Families. This is equally destructive with relation to the Merit of the Persons on whom Honour is con. ferred; if they happen to be Men who are barely unblamable, without Talents or high Qualifications, they do but crowd that illustrious Affembly, and like all other Crowds, they are serviceable and hurtful but jult as they are inspired by those who have Skill to lead them. Thus the Crown is no way sure of their Con. currence any farther than by Promise of their first Vore; and they may ever after turn Patri. ots on the side of the People, to the constant Interruption of Affairs; for it generally happens that those who are conscious of an Inability to proinote Business, give themselves a Fi

gure,

gure, and fancy they are confiderable, from the Power of retarding it. Thus much as to what regards the Queen's moft Excellent Majesty.

As to the House of Peers, It is visible to any thing above a natural Fool, that the Power of each Lord is so much less considerable as it is repeated in other Persons; but the great Haru. ship to that Great and Awful Body, whose Privileges have so often been a Safety and Protection to the Rights of us below them, I say the great Hardship to these noble Patriots is, that when they are prepared with the most strie Honour and Integrity to do their Duty in relation to their Prince and Country, all their Determinations may be avoided by a Sett of People brought in the Moment before they come to a Question. This has been done once, as I am credibly informed, in fo frank a way, that there have been above fix at a time brought into that Place, without any further Preamble than, This Gentleman's Name is fo, do not call him Mr. from this time forward, but My Lord, for he is now one of you: Sit close there, let the Gentleman sit down; I beg Pardon, make way for his Lordhip.

Now when we come to consider the Intro. duction of Occasional Lords with Regard to the People, what can be more plain, than that it is doing all that is necessary to take from them both Liberty and Property at once. If there were nothing in being a Lord, but the Advantage of being received with more Diftin&ion and Ceremony, let it be given to any who are delighted with it; they may be well pleased, and we not hurt: But the Case is much oiher wise; for from the very Moment a Man has

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