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protracted a parliamentary session longer than he expected, and so postponed his customary journey to his continental dominions, he is reported to have said to the Queen, "I wish with all my heart that the devil may take your bishops, and the devil take your ministers, and the devil take the parliament, and the devil take the whole island, provided I can get out of it and go to Hanover." 1 The notion that English money was squandered abroad upon foreign minions and mercenaries, aggravated the public displeasure to a grave extent, and placed the royal authority in imminent danger.

To this it must be added, that the two first princes of the house of Brunswick were deficient in most of the personal qualities which command respect or secure attachment. They had no elegant tastes-caring neither for Boetry nor Bainting-no refinement of character; nor could either of them speak or spell the English language correctly. Both of them also lacked the kingly bearing and demeanour which, to the vulgar eye, bespeak the sovereign, and oftentimes make up for the absence of the sterling qualifications of a ruler. To a moral nation their habits likewise were, in the highest degree, repulsive. Charles II. was a shameless profligate; but his profligacy was to some extent redeemed by the wit and taste which veiled its most disagreeable features from the public eye. On the other hand, the vices of George II. were so coarse

(1) Lord Hervey's Memoirs of the Court of George II. During the king's long absence in Hanover, in 1736, many pasquinades were, according to Lord Hervey, openly exhibited in London, which show the temper of the times. "At the Royal Exchange a paper with these words was stuck up :


"It is reported that his Hanoverian Majesty designs to visit his British dominions for three months in the spring.'

"On St. James' gate this advertisement was pasted :

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"Lost or strayed out of this house, a man who has left a wife and six children on the parish; whoever will give any tidings of him to the churchwardens of St. James' parish, so as he may be got again, shall receive FOUR SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE reward.-N.B. This reward will not be increased, nobody judging him to deserve a CROWN.'"

and depraved, that they could inspire no other feeling than that of disgust. A nation will always make large allowances for the indiscretions of a youthful sovereign; but what could be said or thought of an old reprobate, who prided himself upon what he called his "foiblesses," and regaled the ears of his too indulgent queen with the details of his unsentimental amours?

With such a monarch on the throne, and with the prospect of a successor whose fickle and uncertain character filled courtiers and ministers with alarm,' the chances of Charles Edward were not altogether desperate. But the good sense of the nation saved it at this crisis. The Jacobite risings which were reckoned upon in different parts of England did not take place; for a little reflection convinced even many of the discontented that the triumph of the Stuarts would inevitably lead to national disgrace and infamy. All thoughtful Englishmen knew full well that it would bring with it the suppression of parliamentary government, and of the freedom of the press; that it would lead to the repudiation of the state debts; to subserviency to France; arbitrary rule at home; the ascendancy of absolutism abroad; and, finally, that it

(1) Frederick Prince of Wales. Lord Hervey has the following sketch of his royal highness's character:-"A poor, weak, irresolute, false, lying, dishonest, contemptible wretch; that nobody loves, that nobody believes, that nobody will trust, and that will trust everybody by turns; and that everybody by turns will impose upon, betray, mislead, and plunder."

(2) The most ingenious appeals were made at this time also to the prejudices and self-interest of the people. "My dear child," says H. Walpole to Sir H. Mann (October 4th, 1745), "dry your wet-brown-paper-ness, and be in spirits again. Pray let Mr. Chute have ample accounts of our zeal to figure with at Rome. . . . . Tell him of the whole coast so guarded that nothing can pass unvisited; and, in short, send him this advertisement out of to-day's papers, as an instance of more spirit and wit than there is in all Scotland :



"The Papists eat no meat on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, nor during Lent. Your friend,

--Walpole's Correspondence, vol ii.


would crush for ever the cause of English Protestantism and religious liberty. Such forebodings as these preserved the bulk of the intelligent classes from the contagion of Jacobitism and it was with the view of forcibly impressing these considerations on the public mind that Fielding at this crisis became a political writer.


On Tuesday, the 5th of November, he published the first number of "The True Patriot." Under similar circumstances, in 1715, Addison had lent his pen to the support of constitutional authority, by the establishment of "The Freeholder;" and such a precedent was an excellent one for imitation. The rebels were at this period encamped in some force near Edinburgh, and were meditating an expedition across the Border. In London their movements were watched with intense anxiety; every scrap of intelligence was devoured with eagerness, and newspaper writers had enough to do to satisfy the popular craving. At such a time many false rumours were put into circulation by unprincipled writers, and the comments in the press were by no means distinguished by a high standard of intelligence. The editor of "The True Patriot," accordingly, in launching his paper, did not scruple to assail the imbecility and corruption of contemporary journalists, whilst, with excusable vanity, he promised the public a better article than they had been accustomed to :—

"Fashion," he began, "is the great governor of this world. It presides not only in matters of dress and amusement, but in law, physic, politics, religion, and all other things of the gravest kind; indeed, the wisest of men would be puzzled to give any better reason why particular forms in all these have been at certain times universally received, and at others universally rejected, than that they were in or out of fashion.... In strict obedience to the sovereign power, being informed by my bookseller, a man of great sagacity in his business, that nobody at present reads anything but newspapers, I have determined to conform myself to the reigning taste. The number indeed of these writers at first a little staggered us both; but upon perusal of their works, I fancied I had discovered a little imperfection in them all, which somewhat diminished the force of

this objection. . . . . The first little imperfection in these writings is, that there is scarce a syllable of TRUTH in any of them. If this be admitted to be a fault, it requires no other evidence than themselves, and the perpetual contradictions which occur not only on comparing one with the other, but the same author with himself on different days. Secondly, There is no SENSE in them. To prove this likewise, I appeal to their works. Thirdly. There is in reality NOTHING in them at all. And this also must be allowed by their readers, if paragraphs which contain neither wit, nor humour, nor sense, nor the least importance, may be properly said to contain nothing. Such are the arrival of my Lord with a great equipage; the marriage of Miss of great beauty and merit; and the death of Mr. - who was never heard of in his life, &c. &c. Nor will this appear strange, if we consider who are the authors of such tracts; namely, the journeymen of booksellers, of whom, I believe, much the same may be truly predicated as of these their productions. But the encouragement with which these lucubrations are read, may seem more strange and more difficult to be accounted for. And here I cannot agree with my bookseller, that their eminent badness recommends them. The true reason is, I believe, simply the same which I once heard an economist assign for the content and satisfaction with which his family drank water-cyder, viz., because they could procure no other liquor. Indeed, I make no doubt but that the understanding, as well as the palate, though it may out of necessity swallow the worse, will in general prefer the better.

The journalist then proceeded to describe his personal qualifications for his office. He observes that he is a gentleman, and of no party: "a word," he adds, "which I hope, by these my labours, to eradicate out of our constitution: this being indeed the true source of all those evils which we have reason to complain of." He finally defends the high price which he placed on his labours, as compared with those of other news-writers; and "to conclude the whole," exclaims, "in the words of the fair and honest tradesman-Gentlemen, upon my word and honour, I can afford it no cheaper; and I believe there is no shop in town will use you better for the price."

In his third number the editor records the incidents of a frightful dream, in which it had appeared to him that the rebels having been victorious, he was arrested for writing against the government, dragged from his family,

whom he saw treated with great barbarity, and, being brought to Westminster Hall, tried as a traitor. trial, under the new order of things, is thus sketched :


"A charge of high treason was then, I dreamed, exhibited against me, for having writ in defence of his present Majesty King George, and my paper of 'The True Patriot' was produced in evidence against me.

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Being called on to make my defence, I insisted entirely on the statute of Henry VII., by which all persons are exempted from incurring the penalties of treason, in defence of the King de facto. But the Chief Justice told me in broken English, that if I had no other plea, they should presently overrule that; for that his Majesty was resolved to make an example of all who had anyways distinguished themselves in opposition to his cause. Methought I then replied, with a resolution which I hope every Englishman would exert on such an occasion, that the life of no man was worth preserving longer than it was to be defended by the known laws of the country; and that if the King's arbitrary pleasure was to be that law, I was indifferent what he determined concerning myself.

"The Court having put it to the vote (for no jury, I thought, attended), and unanimously agreed that I was guilty, proceeded to pass the sentence usual in cases of high treason, having first made many eulogiums on the Pope, the Roman Catholic religion, and the King, who was to support both, and be supported by them."

The month of December, '45, was long remembered in London. The news that the rebels had arrived in Derby, after beating up for recruits in Manchester and other large towns, and were actually within two days' march of the metropolis, occasioned a general panic. Shops were shut, and groups of anxious idlers congregated in the principal streets; whilst some prudent citizens rushed to the Bank, which is said only to have saved its credit by paying the demands upon it in sixpences, and thus gaining time. The day on which the rumour was circulated (December 6th) was afterwards designated Black Monday. The city Jacobites, of whom there were not a few, headed by Alderman Heathcote, made no secret of their exultation, which increased the apprehensions of the well-affected. No confidence was felt in the army, which had been encamped

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