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tlements of the crown of England and Scotland on her majesty; and, on the demise of her majesty without issue, upon the most illustrious Princess Sophia, Electress and Duchess Dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being Protestants, by previous acts of both parliaments of the late kingdoms of England and Scotland, and confirmed by the Parliament of Great Britain. With some seasonable remarks on the danger of a Popish Successor."

́ I have given the title of this treatise, which is dedicated to the Clergy, at full length, as it immediately led to the most important event in the political life of our author.

Convinced that both our civil and religious liberties depended upon the practical acknowledgment of those principles which produced the revolution, and the act of succession in the House of Hanover; believing these to be on the eve of destruction, through the machinations of those who wished to establish a popish monarch on the throne; and persuaded that the war had been terminated prematurely by the Tories, and with such advantage to France and Spain, that the result of our numerous victories had been weakly thrown away; Steele endeavours in this pamphlet, though too often with unnecessary warmth, to rouse the nation to a due sense of its danger.

Conscious, however, of the acrimony and vindictive spirit of his opponents, and not willing to incur punishment which in such hands he knew would be inflicted with the utmost rigour of the law, he took the opinion of his friends upon "When The Crisis,” every page of the work. says he, was written, I, who was to answer for it with my all, would not venture upon my own single jugment; therefore I caused it to be printed, and left one copy with Mr. Addison, another with Mr. Leechmore, another with Mr. Minshull, and another with Mr. Hoadley. From these corrected copies The Crisis became the piece it is. When I thought it my duty, I thank God I had no further consideration for myself, 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. I was willing to ripen the question of the succession upon my own head.” *

Notwithstanding this precaution, notwithstanding the correction and approval of such dispassionate judges as Addison and Hoadley, the clamour raised against this production, by the ministry and its friends, was unbounded. They termed it a seditious and inflammatory libel; and

* Vide Apology.

Swift, in his Examiner, was more than usually abusive, and predicted our author's expulsion from the House.

Such was the temper of mind, and such the enmity of a very powerful party, the majority of both houses, when the meeting of the new parliament took place in the commencement of March, 1714. Unshaken by the storm which raged around him, and determined in his opposition to a party whose measures he deemed ruinous to his country, Steele seized the earliest opportu nity of avowing his sentiments; and on the first day, immediately after Sir Thomas Hanmer had been proposed as Speaker of the House, he rose, and in the following very emphatic terms expressed his assent, and his close union with that gentleman in principle and politics.

"At the close of the last parliament," he observed, "her Majesty was graciously pleased to declare from the throne, that the late rejected Bill of Commerce, between Great Britain and France, should be offered to this House. That declaration was certainly made, that every gentleman who should have the honour to be returned hither might make himself master of that important question. It is demonstration, that it was a most pernicious bill; and no one can have a greater merit to this house, than he by whose weight

and influence that pernicious bill was thrown out. I rise up to do him honour; and distinguish myself, by giving him my vote, for that his inestimable service to his country.

"It will be impossible for the reader," continues he," to conceive how this speech was received, unless he has happened to have been at a cock-match, and has seen the triumph and exultation that has been raised, when a volatile, whose fall was some way gainful to some of the company, has been nicked. At mentioning the Bill of Commerce, the cry began; at calling it pernicious, it increased; at the words, do him honour, it grew insupportably loud."

After this decisive mark of hostility to the measures of government, much time was not suffered to elapse before the vengeance of offended power overtook our author; and on March the 12th, 1714, Mr. John Hungerford brought a complaint before the House, against certain paragraphs inserted in two numbers of the periodical paper entitled The Englishman, and in a pamphlet called The Crisis, published under the name of Richard Steele, and calculated to promote sedition, to asperse the character of her Majesty, and arraign the conduct of her administration. In consequence of this accusation, Steele was ordered to attend the House on the 13th, being the day fol

lowing; when, after hearing the obnoxious paragraphs read, he rose and requested that a sufficient length of time might be allowed him for the purpose of making his defence. This occasioned a warm debate, the result of which was, however, an acquiescence with his wishes; and Thursday the 18th was the day appointed for his answer to the charge preferred.

In the mean time, on Monday the 15th, he moved, as necessary to his defence, That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, that she would be pleased to give directions, that the several representations of her Majesty's engineers, and others who have had the care and inspection of the demolition of Dunkirk, and all orders and instructions given thereupon, be laid before the House. This motion, the success of which was so essential to his defence, passed in the negative; and on Thursday the 18th, Mr. Foley, the accuser, appeared in his place, and demanded that the business appointed for the day might be entered upon. Steele, who had taken his station near the bar, between his friends Mr. Stanhope and Mr. Robert Walpole, then rose, and, with the occasional assistance of Addison, who sat near with a view to prompt him if necessary, made a very able, and, what ought to have been, a very satisfactory defence. He spoke for three hours, and minutely

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