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the nation; and doubt not but you will, every year of your life, give new teftimonies of your being a true fon of the Church of England, and an exemplary patriot to your country.
The noble motive which firft produced your natural eloquence was what fhould be the great purpose of that charming force in all who are bleffed with it, the protection of the oppreffed: and I doubt not but your future conduct will
An allufion to a circumftance in the life of this nobleman, not commonly known, that well deferves to be recorded to his ho nour, and the relation of which is requifite to make what is here faid intelligible. In a paper of his in the Guardian STEELE published a spirited defence of Lady Charlotte Finch, who had been treated with rudeness and ill manners by an anonymous writer in the Examiner, for alledged misbehaviour in church; and won by this the heart of her brother, probably pre-difpofed in favour of an amiable man, and, it may be, attached to him by an antecedent friendship. Be this as it may, when the queftion about Steele's expulfion was agitated in the House of Commons, Lord Finch stepped forward, and made attempts to fpeak in Steele's behalf; but, being embarraffed by an ingenuous modesty, and over-deference to an affembly in which he had not yet been accustomed to speak, he fat down in vifible confufion, saying, so as to be over-heard, "It is strange how I can't speak for this
man, though I could readily fight for him." His words being whispered from one to another, operated in an inftant, like electrical fire, and a sudden burft, from all parts of the Houfe, of "Hear him! Hear him!" with ineffable marks of encouragement, brought Lord Finch again on his legs, who, with astonishing recollection, and the utmost propriety, fpoke a fpecch on the occafion, in which, as it was related to this writer, in the language of the theatre, "there was not a word which did not "tell."—"Such was the noble motive which first produced this "nobleman's natural eloquence; the force of which was charm"ing, and irrefiftible when exerted in the protection of the oppreffed."
be agreeable to the manner of your fetting out, to the nobility of your birth, the dignity of your own good fenfe, and the fervice of mankind in all their true interefts, both religious and civil.
This addrefs is made to you in acknowledgment of late favours to me, and to defire the continuance of your good opinion and friendfhip. I am, my Lord, your Lordship's most obliged, moft obedient, and most humble fervant, RICHARD STEELE,
To a MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT.
London, May 28, 1714. HOUGH I have had the misfortune to appear an unworthy member of your House, and am expelled accordingly from my feat in Parliament; I am not by that vote (which was more important to the people of England than I fhall at this time explain) deprived of the common benefits of life, liberty, or any other enjoyment of a rational being. And I do not think I can better beftow my time, or employ thefe advantages, than in doing all in my power to preferve them to others as well as myfelf, and in afferting the right of my fellowfubjects against any thing which I apprehend to
be an incroachment upon what they ought to enjoy as men, and what they are legally poffeffed of as Englishmen, or, if you will, as Britons.
This, Sir, is all the apology I fhall make for addreffing to you, in this public manner, my thoughts concerning the bill*, now making its way, with all convenient expedition, through your House, and the whole legislature. I fhall examine this matter as well as hafte will allow me, and therefore must recite as diftinctly as I can what you gave me in difcourfe as the fubftance of this intended law.
When these are the melancholy profpects before our eyes; when no one of the family of Hanover, though long expected, is yet arrived in this kingdom; and when many weak people are under strange apprehenfions, because the proclamation for bringing the Pretender to juftice, in cafe he should land here, is put off; I fay, when many things pafs every day, on which Jacobites make reflections to their own advantage, and ordinary people, who cannot judge of reasons of State, put all these things together; it creates in them a chagrin and uneafiness, which will be mightily increased by the paffing of a bill that may be to the mortification of the meaneft perfons in the Proteftant caufe.
For preventing the Growth of Schifm."
For the political part of this Letter the reader is referred to Steele's "Political Writings."
It is therefore no time to do a thing, which will take off the hands and purfes of half a million of people, as friends to the House of Hanover; half a million of people, as enemies to the Pretender.
If this Bill paffes, and the Pretender should come upon our coaft; I would fain know what could move a Diffenter to lift an hand, or employ a fhilling against him? He has at present no hopes of preferment, and would by this bill be under daily apprehenfions of the lofs of the toleration as to himself, as well as being wholly bereft of it as to his pofterity. He would have certainly promises from the Pretender of liberty of conscience; and he could but have those promifes broken, as in this cafe he would have it to fay they had been before, and must expect fome sweetnesses at a new change for standing neuter, or exerting himself for the invader. Thus he would rather, according to his own intereft, wifh an invader fuccefs than disappointment; add to this, fome pleasure in the revengeful hope of feeing us, who had perfecuted him, fall into the fame calamity..
This, dear Sir, is all I have to trouble you with on this occafion; and, though you accused me of being caft down with my expulfion, you fee I have not dunned you to move, that the other pamphlets may be examined as well as the Crifis and the Englishman. Give my service to
poor Tom* and Ned. I must confess they were the last I forgave, but I have forgiven them too now. I am thoroughly convinced, fince this bill, that I was not worthy for now you have taken upon you ecclefiaftical matters, and I fhould not have known how to behave myself among you, as a communion of Saints.
I doubt not, Sir, but your voice and excellent talents will be employed against this pernicious bill to oppose it ftrenuously, will be worthy that refolution and modesty for which you are so remarkably confpicuous; that modefty which cannot incline you to bear hard against perfons or things, when you happen to be with a majority; and that resolution which prompts you to affert what you think truth, though under the disadvantage of the most inconfiderable minority. I am, Sir, your most obedient, obliged, humble fervant, RICHARD STEELE.
Thomas Harley, Efq.