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best of my Ability, without loading me with unjust Reproach. In this reasonable Expectation Mr. Walpsle generously lent me his Protection; and though he could not persuade my Judges to do me justice, he convinced them i deserved a different Sentence from what they pronounced. But, alas, they had learn'd, by long Practice, to do shameful Things without beingasham'd; and tho'your Arguments could command their Assent, it could not make them utter it in my Favour. You sent them away, I thank you, with the same Thoughts of themselves, which you had of them; and whatever Force and Oppression determincd» in the Eye of Reason and Conscience the Judges were convict, and the accused Man found innocent.

I humbly thank you for your eminent Part in this Affair, and congratulate you on receiving the Favour of your Prince for your Service to your Country.

As doing Good to the Publick is the Motive of conferring Favours, it is, with such as you, the Rule in enjoying them. I wish you the Possession of all your frank Heart desires; and am, with great Respect,

SIR,

Tmr most Obliged,

Most Obedient,

and most Humble Servant,

Richard Steele.

THE

PREFACE.

Cr'H IS Defence was printed before the Death -* of W<r Majesty; but upon that Accident the Publication was deferred, lest some Handle might be taken to interrupt the Business of the Nation, by an Offence given to Persons who were principally guilty of the Oppression here represented. They might pojfibly have attempted to borrow another Cast of Conscience in their Favour; and it was to bejeared, that the fame Tyranny, ivhich punijhed a Man for a thing in which he ought to have been encouraged andfupported,would have gone on to condemn the least Murmur against its Determination, IhavefaidTyranny, because to resolve or act againfl'Justice,Trutb,or common&ense, is as much Tyranny in an Affembly as a single Person. But I must do the Majority of the Houje which expelled me the justice to own, that they carried themselves as Men conscious they were doing wrong; and no one appeared active in it but profeffed Slaves and Hirelings, that is to fay, such as J have called in the following Narrative the Afeffengers of the Treasury: Members of the House who were immediately dependant upon or

related related to a noble Lord whom I need not name, that sent Orders by his Kinsman to turn a Commoner of England out os Parliament, because it was not bis Lordship's good Pleasure be jhould sit there any longer. When a Man is out of Power, it is usual to dttraS from the Fame of bis high Talents and Qualifications: But I cannot be guilty of such Injustice to this great Man; for never was Minister since the Creation more thoroughly Master of that great Necessary in him who meditates vast Designs, the Choice of Instruments. Machiavel, in some Part of hispretious Writings, advises against the Choice of raw Murderers, for such are aft to utter some soft Word slowing from Compassion, or other Weekness, for want of the Habit of Bloodshed, which might spoil the whole Design. Our Heroe cannot be accused of being injudicious this way; and I have a thousand times fate in deep Admiration of his Choice of Agents, who if they had been the least Grain more rich, more poor, more foolijjh^ more wife, more tall, more jhort, more Knaves, or more Fools, had been unfit for the work in hand. Had any Man against his Measures in either of the Assemblies more Eloquence, more Penetration, or more Credit than comes to a single Member's Share, letsuch a one open his Mouth, he Jhould be attacked with one who had as much Right to speak as himself, with so firm Absurdity, and then seconded by One just one Degree worse than him, and a third Half-Fool pin up the Matter with an Assertion still wilder, to the utter Confusion of the Man in his Senses, whofe noble Faculty of adorning the Cause os Truth jhould be immediately reduced to an InterjeHion of Sorrow, and down he must fit. Such was our Heroe*s Manner of demolishing

,mdlijb'tng and frustrating all Persons against him. The fame Genius in disappointing the Force ossuperior Talents, ran through all Parts of Business'.'

The Writings hereafter spoken of were an apparent Vindication of the King,s Title to the Crown, and an honest Representation of the dangerous State of the Nation. Now would any Man living believe, that it was in Nature this could be made an Accusation before an House of Commons? But so it was; and there appeared in' it Bellows born and contrived by Nature for such a Work; Creatures that could vex, but not make you angry, such mean Instruments of Iniquity, that the Wickedness vjas disparaged by their managing it, and the Flagrancy and dangerous Consequence of what was doing, was hidden by the Inconfiderablenefs of the Agents. A Persecution from them was like being troubled with Vermin. Tha' I had too much at Stake to be in Humour enough to enjoy the Scene, there was, •with all the Cruelty of it, something particularly Comtek in the Affair. AU the Men of Sense in the Majority of the House, tho* they did not design to deny a Friend a Vtte, stood off, and left the whole Management to the Family and the Office.

The Onset was made in the poorest manner, and the Accusation laid with an insipid AcJion and cold Expression. The Accuser arraigned a Alan for Sedition, with the same Indolence and Indifference as another Man pares his Nails; What was spoken appeared only a Rheum from the Mouth, and Mr. Foley, as well as do what he did, might have blown his Nofe, and put the Question. But tho' the Choler of my Accusers was corrected by their Phlegm, insomuch that

they they were harmless with 111 will; yet had they Perseverance to go on, insensible of the Raillery

the contrary Party, and the Contempt os their own. The most lamentable thing of all to confider was, that tho' there was not one Man of Honour, who spoke on the side of the Ministry, but did it upon generalTerms, wherein he apparently discovered his Disapprobation of the Work he was about, so many honest Gentlemen jhould join in a Vote of Expulsion!

It is possible some Gentlemen might think in their Consciences, it is an immoral A£iion for any private Man to animadvert upon the Adminijiration of the Publick. God forbid I jhould fay there were not some worthy Men who were thus perswaded in this Cafe; but if they were so, I know not why they should, as Members of the House of Commons , punijh a Man for what he did before he came into the House, especially since that Thing would have been laudable in him to have done,tf he had been in the House.

All I jhall preface further is, that I thought the Circumstances of Great Britain and Europe were such as made it an honest and necessary Action to interrupt and oppose the Measures of the Ministry. When I thought it my Duty, I thank God, I had no further Consideration for my self than to do it in a lawful and proper Way, so as to give no Disparagement to a Glorious Cause from my Indiscretion or want of "Judgment. A Work against them I was the rather enclined to undertake, because the Exceptions which were made against the Conduct of the Ministry seemed wild and calumnious, when written by namelcjt Authors ; but when any Man with his Name asserted Things were amiss, it would behove the

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