The ENGLISH-MAN's Allegiance: OR, Our Indispensable Duty by Nature, by Oaths, and by Law, to our Lawful King.

Ante leves ergo pascentur in aethere Cervi;
Et freta destituent nudos in littore Pisces;
Quam nostro Illius labatur pectore Vultus.

BEing as fully sensible, as any Man breathing, how much we OWE to the late Pious, and Disinterested Undertaking of the Matchless Prince of Orange, now our declar'd True and Lawful Soveraign: And being al­so as intirely convinc'd, as the best of my Fellow-subjects, of his Won­derful PRUDENCE ever since, which renders him (we must confess) Worthy of the Crown, were his TITLE questionable, as having put the whole Nation in the present happy State; nay, fixt (besides our Liberties and Religion) the Monarchy it self, on a most firm and a durable Foundation. I say being fully sensible, and intirely convinc'd of all This; and finding besides, by the sober, cool, and well-temper'd Votes of our Loyal and most Legal Parliament, (I mean those of the House of Commons) That all Persons, (whether Men or Wo­men) above the Age of Sixteen, are to take the Oaths of Allegiance, or be Impri­son'd without Bail or Mainprize, I thought it an incumbent Duty (being a known Patriot, and yet walk ever Incognito) to cast in my Mite; that is, in other terms, to do something; and what (considering some Circumstances) can I do more (for if I cou'd I would do it without fail) than advise Loyalty to others, as well as practise it my self? Therefore, in this small Treatise, I shall shew to the World, even to all that have their Eyes (as the usual Phrase is) upon our World, That as following a River is a most certain way for a young Virtuoso to find out the Sea, so the breaking Allegiance is the ready, and Infallible Road to the Devil. Now, seeing what I am to Discuss is a very difficult and nice Point, (and who in manners and good breeding can call that Easie, which has many hard and wilful Antagonists) I intend to handle it in exact form, and like a Grave School-man, or perchance a School-Boy, and so must tell my Reader as well what I am not, as what I am.

First, Negative: I am not a Quaker, for I can swear, and have both sworn Allegiance, and am also very fully resolv'd to keep it, as firmly believing, that whoever makes a Vow, I will require it at his hands, says the Lord. Secondly, I am no Commonwealths-man, and therefore had far rather hear the Dutch (whose Wit and Language I strangely fancy,) call an English-man-of-War the Constant Prater, than our own people stile an English-Grown-man the Constans Speaker: Nor do I by any means admire a Duke of Venice, unless it be in the Morea, or some other p [...]rt of Turkey. Thirdly, Affirmative, I am; and three or thrice bring generally most men (as well as Poets) to the point: Nay, it di­stinguishes a Christian from an Infidel, and makes even Dogs (according to [Page 2] Plutarch) to Syllogize, and find out a Hare without smelling; and truly I love three Things, or three Persons with all my heart, as I guess my Reader will (tho I am about Oaths) presently Believe without an Oath. I say, Thirdly, Affirmatively, I am one Born and Bred in the Church of England, that extreme­ly lov'd Plumb-Broth when Porredge was out of Fashion; that Eat many a Mince-Pye in Defiance of the Directory; and that still daily says, We have Err'd and stray'd like lost Sheep. Besides, I am of the long Robe, especially when I put on a Night-gown, and ready therefore (secundum Artem) to give i [...] under my hand, that Abdicating is a far less English Law-Term, than Dis­pensing. In my Family (for want of a Chaplain) I say Grace my self, and then heartily pray (according to the Ancient Rubricks and Canons) for both Their Majesties and the Prince; that is (in the words at length) for King, Queen, and Prince of — Denmark; and doubtless, this last p [...]tition is most decent and just, for if we consider that Hero in himself, he is certainly a Great Man, but when we Reflect upon the present Courtesie of England (by which Men precede their Wives) he is a kind of an Heir apparent. Now had this been Law in other places, Jack in the Old Tale of Rushy Coat (who ran away with the Kings Daughter) would have been the True King, and she in her own Kingdom only Hoyty Toyty, and Nominal; but all Legislators are not of the same opinion as the Hebrew Proverb has it.

So much then for the Porch or Preliminaries; now for the Main Body of the Fabrick, and thence to the Penetralia, and innermost Recesses of the very Oracle. For to speak the plain Truth (after Puns and Witticisms of that Nature) I love plain dealing, and therefore was from Youth (tho it may seem, at first dash, a Bull) much inclin'd to Riddles, and to Doat on Enigma's and Hierogly­phicks, which still makes me think Sphinx the greatest She-Philosopher among the Ancients; and yet I acknowledge I shall never willingly follow her Ex­ample, should any Ingenious and Egiptiacally-Abstruse Meaning of mine be found out. But certainly, no way of Speaking, and of Writing also, can be more proper for our Refin'd Age and Nation, since we have so many rare men, so many Oedipus's (nay, greater than he) among us; Sparks that to serve a Turn, can Kill a Father, without rubbing an Eye; and would Lye too with their Mother, out of a meer Experiment or Joke. JOCASTA (Mr. Bays) JOCASTA! Pray remember that happy jest, and particularly, what a Bob (in your own way) I have given to Tottenham-Court; or as some now write it, Totteridge, alias Tottering-Court, and then confess I have out-done you a whole Bar and a half.

But to the business; and first for Definitions, Axioms, or common re­ceiv'd Opinions.

A Promissary Oath, or Vow (Terms here Synonimous) is not only a Decla­ration, That as sure as God is, or has a Being, I will make good my Word, but also a sincere Supplication and Wish, That he would (if I fail in it) both eternally de­prive me of his blessed sight, and throw me headlong into Hell.

All Oaths lawfully injoyn'd, are ever to be taken in the sense and meaning of the Imposer; seeing otherwise, a Cardinal might possibly (without breach of Princi­ples) take the Oath of Supremacy; which possibility Enervating the whole Drift and Intent of the Oath, renders the Action a sin in it self, for who without [Page 3] sin can take Gods Name in Vain? To wit, considerately use it to no purpose?

These Oaths are ever to be Impos'd by Lawful Authority; that is to say, by those that have Right to do it, for else they oblige no more, than if a Filoux, a Highway-Man, or any other Atheistical Russian should (by Invading, or setting upon us on the Road, or any place else) force us to swear. Nay, the bare compliance in taking such an Oath (tho upon Compulsion) may chance to be a sin to be repented of with many Tears; especially, if we have already taken the contrary by lawful order. But the insisting upon such a Contradictory Oath, or in­tending to make it good, is a Double Crime; so that continuing thus to the end, is final Impenitence, and consequently equal to the sin against the Holy Ghost.

The Supream Lawful Authority of England is our Lawful King; all other Lawful Authority in the Kingdom being but subordinate, and Act by his Com­mission. Nay, our very Laws are not only call'd his, but (as Laws) solely made by Him; for tho the matter be Consider'd, and the words put in order by the Wisdom of a Parliament, yet all is but a Lump, a Dead Letter, till his Fiat gives it Life. And as the Scripture calls Kings Gods, by reason of their high and necessary Attributes, so nothing can better Quadrate with that Alle­gorical Title, than the common and usual Rhetorick of our most Ancient Law­yers, when they treat of the Majesty, Power, and Right of our Kings.

Our Lawful King, (and to him our Obedience in only Due) sits always on a Hill, and is as Conspicuons as the Pyramids of Modin, the Tombs of the Macca­bees, which might be seen even by all that sail'd on the Sea. The Inscription on his Throne is in such legible Characters, that he that runs may read it: Nor can any Native of England, or Scotland, possibly mistake his Royal and Sacred Per­son, unless the Remainder of those ten Tribes, who could (in Defiance of Law and Law-Makers) ser up a Calf in Dan and Bethel, and yet own themselves still in the Right.

Our Obedience to our Lawful King is not only positively, and explicitly in­joyn'd by the Word of God, who equals Rebellion to the Highect Crime; but we are oblig'd to it by the very Law of Nature, which Dictating Self-preservation, tell us, that Government is the only Medium to it; and consequently, that even Tyranny in the Abstract, is far better than Anarchy and Confusion. Yet seeing the Depravity and Corruption of Mankind is great, and that without refreshing Artifices, our very memory grows torpid, if not wholly lost; Good Men in all Ages thought it necessary to impose Oaths, and Enact Laws also to preserve Obedience.

In a Well-meaning man (by the sacredness of the action, and by the grievous penalty that follows the Breach) Swearing, or a just Oath, makes his Conscience strangely mindful of the thing, tho a known Duty before; nay, we see some­times great Effects of it even in private Oaths between man and man, for by this means a Profligate Rogue shall sometimes (V. G.) pay a Debt which he ne­ver perchance intended to do, a Drunkard to continue for a while sober; and it may be, a Common Whore as long Continent: So that Lawful Governours find­ing this and the like by Experience, have (on emergent occasions;) sworn their Subjects in general, as well as Ministerial Officers in particular; even to those very things (as I said) which they all knew they were oblig'd to before, both by Nature and Religion

Obedience being the first Postulat in Government, and indispensably due to it, our principal Laws have therefore Exacted it from us, to our Lawful King, un­der the highest Punishments, and call even the lifting up of a Finger against his Sacred Person, not only Treason, but (fully to awaken and terrifie us) give it the most horrid and sacrilegious Name of Killing him; nay, our Law (like the Precepts of the Gospel) descends even to thoughts; and (to silence all Cri­ticisms and Excuses in unquiet Breasts) it declares not only that the Crown takes away all former Blemishes and Faults, but that the King can do no Wrong. Now to shew us that this is indisputably so, no subject from the beginning of Monar­chy among us (which is far Antienter than our very Records) was ever yet In­dicted for Rebelling, or Maliciously doing the King Harm, that (the Fact being prov'd) did escape Conviction, let his Pretence, Reason or Plea be what it would. Even Bethel and Cornish knew this full well, and that 'twas past all Art to bring the most Pick'd and Garbled Jury to the Impudence of doing otherwise; so that Ignoramus to save a Noble Peer, was forc'd to Damn and disbelieve three Discoverers in Oats's Plot, even three Saviours of the Nation, with seven more of the second Rate, Men once of mighty Fame and Valour, for the whole Gang (tho they and others had made Cha. II. long before, blacker every way than his hair) were yet sufficiently assur'd that this (if true) lessen'd not his Royal Authority, and that all Defences of that Nature, were too weak to stop the Fury of the Law, that Uncontroulable Bear, if once Unmuzzl'd and let loose. All which demon­strates what we owe to our Lawful Soveraign, and that his Person being out of the reach of Man, can cry peccavi to none but God.

This being then the summ of our written, as well as often inculcated Consti­tutions, the present Repetition cannot but be infinitely serviceable to the Mighty WILLIAM, whose Sirname is Just, and whose Title is so much beyond Con­troversie, that even meddling would (if possible) lessen and dishonour it; I say, this cannot but be extreamly serviceable to him, especially when I show the Indispensability of the Oath of Allegiance, which we have, or shall take at any time to our Lawful Prince, and how the Breach of it will most certainly draw upon Transgressors all the Plagues and Judgments that the highest Perjury can deserve.

The Indispensability of the said Oath appears (even at the first sight) by the intent and purpose of it; For 'twas purposely fram'd, and design'd (by our Law­ful Governours) to oblige all, that took it, to a strict remembrance, and per­formance too of their natural duty, in case our Lawful King were in any danger or misfortune; and this they hop'd it might chance to accomplish, by alarming not only good Men, and so cause them to have their Eyes and Hands in rea­diness, but by obviating also all sly Insinuations and Fancies, as if Allegiance were an indifferent thing, and at the pleasure of a Subject; for an Oath (the end of strife) makes indifferency become an obligation. Now to give my Reader a full and true Idea of the Breach of a Lawful promissary Oath, and what a vile baseness it is in a Subject, as well as a foul sin, I shall here lay down a very remarkable Example, and (as I believe) very pertinent also to the pre­sent business.

Henry the first (drawing towards his end) called his Great Lords and prime Subjects together, and then told them that his Son being Dead, and Maw [Page 5](his sole Heir) being therefore to be their Queen, he desired (for his own satis­faction, as well as for preventing all scruples about Women) that they would own, and swear Allegiance to Her. This being deemed very far from unrea­sonable, they did it not only once but thrice also; yet after his Death, one Stephen (seising the Crown) was declar'd the true and Lawful Monarch. But that the whole matter may be yet more plain and Easie, 'twill not perchance be inconvenient (before I go on further) to let the Reader fully understand, who and what the said Stephen was.

He was (it seems) Nephew to the former King, and (if we credit some Historians) a kind of Son in Law also. He had a Feud in France, and upon that account was called Earl, or Prince of Bologne, a little Inconsiderable thing in an out-Province of that Kingdom, which (as to its Yearly value) was even Infe­riour to Sheffield, and several other Mannors in our Nation. Nay (if I mistake not) He had been for some time Commander in chief of the Armies of the Earls of Flanders; who were then the most considerable of any in the whole Low Countrys. This Stephen (who well knew (it seems how to forswear and break an Oath for advantage) having now (as I said) Usurp'd the Throne, and many Enormities being found (to be sure) in the preceding Reign, no body more pertly asserts His Right, than the Paultry Bishop of Salisbury; one (as all our Writers have it) that was wholly obscure of himself, and beholden al­together to Fortune and good hitts; one false and Treacherous by Nature, and (which made it beyond Cure) that thought it Wit to be so; one that had formerly received much Countenance and Favour from the late King; and one also that (more than once) swore the forementioned Oath, which again par­ticularly oblig'd him to a true and steady Allegiance to his Prince and Lawful Successour; and yet now ran counter to it, as well by distinctions and insinuating discourses, as by the shameful and overt Act.

Yet not to make the Devil uglier than he is (tho it be the new mode to Blacken even Angels of Light) This precious Divine (notwithstanding his se­veral Idle Sophisms) had more sense than to bolt out the least Argument in favour of a Conquest: And to speak truth, how was it possible for a Man (that had any regard to himself) to pretend to so silly a thing, seeing Stephen had never fought for the Crown; nor ever directly, or indirectly stood upon any Right of Force; but took and received the Government upon the sole consci­entious invitation and Agreement of our Great Men. Besides since petty Principali­ties or Royalties (the former Gifts of Emperours and Kings to deserving Men) are Estates that may be bought by any mean Banker (and we know 'tis frequently done to this very day in Germany and elsewhere) therefore the Civil Law, or Law of Nations look upon these Toparchs (tho Absolute enough a­mong their Vassals) with another sort of Eye, and place them in another Class than they do those, who are truly stiled Soveraign Princes; so that if these should chance Sculkingly to Invade the other, they might (if taken) be Legally prosecu­ted and punished as Pilferers, and the like. Lastly, Stephen being (as I said before) a Servant and Subject (for a General that receives Wages is as much so as any common Souldier) had he by War and Battle brought England under his Power, yet this Acquist must have been (as all Civilians tell us, his Masters not his own.

But perchance I excuse our worthy Bishop too much; for 'twas not (it may be) truth that hindered him from insisting on the ridiculous Title of Conquest, but common Prudence; as reasonably apprehending, that a Doctrine, that takes away all Freedome and Property from every Englishman; might well de­serve some remarkable censure in Parliament; and Parliaments in former daies were (by fitts) as hot as those that lately ruined poor Sibthorp, and Man­waring, for a Tenet not half so foolish, not half so dangerous, nor half so scanda­lous as this. For, were this truly so, every Gallant that gets (in a Factious time) the Crown, and perchance Monsieur Blood among the rest (especially if some Men want an argument) will presently forsooth claim the almighty Title. And let me again tell my Reader, that not only all we possess, belongs really to a Conquerour, but (should he pass an Act or two in favour of the Subject) who knows the Equitable Plea of having been deceived in his Grant, may not come into his thoughts; and then (—Arma Tenenti &c.) the; Lord have mercy upon us all. Cursed therefore be the wretch, that dares call any Man Conquerour of England. But still a great Patriot a Man of God is exempted, and far out of the reach of this wish, tho in his Arcadia, or Pastoral, he stands highly upon a Conquest; for every one that can Read his A B C knows, that, besides his usual Tropes and Figures, he has a pretty way of his own, and therefore only means, I'll engage that the Victory of the most potent William was over our Hearts, and not our Lands and Purses.

To proceed. If then the Advancing of Stephen were a horrid Perjury; and truly the Remarks of Baker are not (I see) always impertinent; for he tells us, That many as well of these Bishops, as the other Lords, came afterward (for this grand Villany) to an ill End, or at least to many Calamities before their End. I say if this were a horrid Perjury, how black and unexcusable must the Breach Now be, when our Religion is so pure; when the Oath is so Declaratory against any Evasion or double Meaning; when the Statute-Law (a Law not so well known to our Ancestors) has in express Terms taken away all pretences for Re­bellion; and lastly, when We have so often, and upon so many accounts, open­ly in the presence of God and Man disown'd all power in Pope or Devil, of hurt­ing, as well the Rights, as the Person of our Lawful Soveraign?

Now seeing there's neither If nor And in this Oath; and seeing the Oath it self was purposely made (as I said) to Remember us of, and to stir, and keep us up to our Duty in times of Troubles and Affliction, (for Kings want no Body's Duty but then) it cannot be but pleasant (and the Arguments also are much to be heeded) to hear a man (upon the Successes of a Rebellion, or the like) gravely to Ph [...]losophize, and positively to Assert, That we are absolv'd from our Oath. Nor is it less agreeable when we ask the Reason Why, to have this excellent one palm'd upon us, because (forsooth) the King cannot Protect us; to which I answer, Then we ought to Protect him. For I am sure this was the Imposers meaning at the giving of the Oath; as hoping thereby to prevent the being de­serted his subjects.

Tho the Devil be God's Ape, and therefore some Usurpers have some times imposed their Oaths also, yet Ours here in England have seldom or never done it in general. For we read not of any thus required by the aforesaid Stephen, by Hen. 4, or by Rich. 3. nay honest Cromwell (like Gallio) cared for none [Page 7]of those things. And certainly they were all in the Right, and far Wiser than to think that those whom their former Oaths could not keep true to their re­spective Lawful Kings, would be obliged now to Them by any tie of that na­ture. They know too, that it makes (out of pity as well as justice) the Re­fusers much more esteemed and considerable; and that this too often awakens their own Party, and brings upon many a concern for their former weakness and miscarriage. Nor were they even then ignorant that Compulsion and Dragoon­ing (when a Conscience is doubtful and squeamish) causes often numbers not only to complain, but be stubborn, who would otherwise have been Tepid, and perchance at last on their side. Besides, Oaths swallowed with an ill will, rise generally in the Stomach; and if such Persons happen to be but a little dis­gusted, they turn (not seldom) the greatest Enemies imaginable.

No Maxim also seemed more ridiculous and false to our said Usurpers than this; That men ought not to have the ordinary protection of a Government, who refuse the ordinary assurance of living quietly under the Government. For since an Oath was no tye, but brought (as I shewed) great inconvemences often with it; and that depopulation must then necessarily follow (as we now see in Sa­voy, &c.) when the demands of one Great Party are opposite to the Profes­sion and Tenets of the other; therefore they (like wise men) depended, in re­lation to safety, on vigilancy and care, and not on the slight and weak Reed of Swearing. Upon this account therefore They had Forces on foot; upon this ac­count They often disarm'd the suspected; and sometimes also Imprison'd them; especially if extraordinary Accidents happen'd. Thus Men may give common Protection to Travellers or Strangers, tho their Country be no friend; Thus Prisoners of War, and Servants in our Plantations may be beneficial, and yet Hate the Government; Thus the Turks deal with Christians, and thus do all that Get the upper-hand, that are not Lunatics or Mad.

Now tho there be no such Coxcombs under the copes of Heaven, that will Assert or Fancy, that a Child can be worth hanging, as to his Book, who may go to School, and leave it when he pleases; yet we have in England most egregious Fools and Knaves, that padder much to have the Nation strictly obedi­ent (as they pretend) to the incomparable William and Mary; and at the same time tell us, We are not indispensably Bound to our Lawful Princes. I could ask these Gentlemen, whether there ever was a Rebellion? and they will, I am sure, answer Yes; and particularly call every Rising so, that Touches their Humour or Interest. I could ask them also whether they can shew me here, or in any other part of the World, a Rebellion without a Lamentable Cry, and that had not at hand a Bead-Roll of Oppressions and Injustice; and then (supposing all this) let me desire them to come (for all their Learning) to one reasonable Distinguo? But since my Paper will not permit such Excursions, and much less sulfer me to Examine their respective Arguments about Oaths and Obedi­ence (Arguments far casier answer'd than repeated) I shall therefore only present them now with a Suppose or two; which (tho it be Bis coctum Crambe; heated Cabbage, or, in our Mother tongue, the same thing over again) will yet, new­drest, and apply'd, make what They have, can, or shall say, fall on their own weak Heads, and Grind all into Sand and Dust, even lighter (if possible) than Themselves.

Suppose then William and Mary being (as no body can certainly deny) our undoubtedly Lawful King and Queen, that one of Harrison's or Lilbourn's Royal Progeny were for setting up again the Kingdom of Jesus Christ; and effectually to accomplish it, did endeavour to be his Vice-Roy till He came. And by the way (tho in reality The Chariots and Horsemen of Israel are again making ready) I cannot but bring in this well-known Instance, to make the whole the more Ridiculous, and consequently the more clear; for Tros Tyrius (que) mibi — Lancaster to me (as to Title) is Jack Straw, whilest Clarence has an Heir; nor do I value York more than Watt Tyler, if he stands wholly upon his own Right, as a Cadet, or Younger Brother. Let us now (to go on) suppose yet further, that Their Majesties (to obviate the infamous Design of this hopeful Deliverer) do ap­peal (in respect of Right and Possession) to the known Laws of the Land; that they also show us, that the Statute of Edw. 3. makes every man a Traytor, that Assists, let his pretence be Religion, Liberty, Property, or what he pleases; and in short, that (to make the subjects in general more careful, or at least more mindful) they Swear all, in plain and ample words, to be true and faithful to them, and to their Lawful Heirs, viz. to their Children, and Childrens Chil­dren born in Wedlock, the Sons preceding Daughters, and the Elder, the Younger of either Sex, according to the custom of the Kingdom. All this being then supposed; would it not curdle one's Blood in his Veins, and make one's Hair stand like Bristles, to hear but a Hum or a Hah, as to our Duty and Allegiance to Their Majesties? What would an old Heathen think of an Englishman that (after all these particulars) could not only cheerfully swear Allegiance to the Enthusiast, but would publickly maintain, that what he swears is lawful and just: I say wou'd not a Distinction (in this case) turn a Man into a Statue? and would not any Pagan wish, for the speed of an Arrow, lest the Island should sink before he could get out of it. Nay, what Turk or Jew is there (tho he had seen all the Miracles of Christ) that would not cry Nolo Baptizari, if a Christian should pretend to Faith or Troth after so Monstrous a Breach.

If it be ask'd, what must be then done, when the Winds are high, when this storm Rages, and both Fields and Vineyards fall within the sphere of the im­petuous Hurricane? I Answer, remember still your first Love; for if a Spark, a Cavalier, Swears Cum Paris Oenone &c.—His new Ligue with Helen will certainly ruine Him and His. I answer again, remember the intrinsic value of a sacred promise, even that which all the terrours of Afric could never make a Regulus to forget. In fine, I answer, and positively I say it, remember (tho Antiochus Reigns,) that Swines-flesh is not to be Eaten. But now if thro' Interest, Rashness, or Fear, a Man should succumb, and swallow the cursed thing, he is not yet lost, if in the first place He asks God forgiveness, (for that will cer­tainly attone and recontile Him to the King in Heaven, as well as to our King on Earth) and then of he immediately reflects, how much Scylla's Oath to be­tray her Father Nisus and his Kingdom did oblige her to the Contract; how much we are bound to kill a Neighbour if passion or the like should make us swear the Performance; and again whether we ought to discover the private Avenues of a Friends House, because a Miscreants Pistol made us solemnly engage to do it. Thoughts here in the Affirmative, are Pelion upon Ossa, sin on sin; so that a wilful pers [...]v [...]rance is the very Fact (as I have formerly said) which will never [Page 9]be forgiven in this World, nor in the World to come. By all which 'tis evident that, as Contradictories can never be both true; so there can be but one Lawful King in England, which makes all others but meer troublesome Scare-Crows and Impostors.

But since I am fallen upon the word Impostor; I must not (tho much pressed in time) pass by, without mentioning the grand One; I mean little Mahomet, or Him. whom not a few, as well Protestants as Papists, call and deem the True Prince of Wales. Now, that the World may see, that men (when they please) can be far more wilful than Mules, and deafer also than an inchanted Adder; I will here give my Reader a smack or taste of some of the wise Ar­guments, with which the Musselmen or Tories defend the Paradox; and then I'll shew in six words (for Truth hates Meanders and Ambages) how the Loyal can (like Hercules himself) tear open young Cacus's Den, and so with one Pull expose the mighty Thief in all his Shapes and Colours.

First, Those odd Jacobites ask in what Region or Age was such a Hocus-Pocus-Trick ever yet played? Nay (omitting the Authors of Cassandra, Grand Cyrus, and men in that Classe of Fancy) they demand whether Bays durst for shame venture on a Plot founded on this Impossible Supposition; That a Great Queen living publickly, and after her usual manner in a thronged, prying and suspicious Court, was not only to carry a fictitious Great Belly Nine Months undiscovered, but was also with the like success to be brought to Bed in a Chamber crowded with Persons of both Sexes, and many of them utter Ene­mies to Her and Hers.

Secondly, That tho this might pass muster at the Antipodes, or in Terra In­cognita, yet how could it be effected in England, when there would be (in spite of Fate) Great Men and Women that must be Spectators and Actors too in the Play, not only of different Interests and Factions, but that hated both Papists and Popery, as much as Calvin and Luther ever did; and Persons also, to whom the Discovery would infallibly have been much more Advantageous, than the Concealment.

Thirdly, Was it possible for King James (of whose Morality most Men had a good Opinion) not only to put by (and with such hazard too) both his Daughters, which had received such Constant marks of his Tenderness, but to Disinherit (by a Supposititious Brat) any Son that he might chance to have by this Queen, who was still Young, or by a New One if she died; nor could his constant Hunting, or other manly Exercises but assure every body of his still remaining Vigour.

Fourthly, They ask whether the Practic part were not yet (if possible) more Impossible than what has been already hinted. For (say they) there must have been at least three or four Women procured, of the utmost Fidelity, and all with Child, and of the same Reckoning; who (when they came near their Time, must be also taken from their Friends and Acquaintance (which could not but occasion strange talk and disorder) to be put in secret places near the Court; for one or two (besides Accidents) might bring forth Daughters, and if they were all to be Delivered in their respective Dwellings, the Cheat would not be concealed two hours.

Fifthly, after all these unexpressible Difficulties, New ones (they say) [...] [Page 10] greater must follow. For upon the first Womans being in Labour, the Queen must presently be so too, where-ever she were; and if that Child happen'd to be a Female, the whole Seene must be re-acted, i. e. deferr'd till the next Woman cry'd out. Now when fortune should bring a Boy, it must be carry'd with all its After-Birth, &c. (thro a Court, which would have in it for cer­tain many Curious Eyes, do what they could) into the Queens Bed, either be­fore she were lay'd, or after; If before, then the Query is, whether a Child (were he not in that strange impossible pickle) could lye under the Cloathes, for three or four hours, and neither be stifled, nor cry. If the famous Warming-Pan were brought in afterwards, then the Chamber must be necessarily (as it was) full of Men and Women: And how could they place the Creature (a thing to be done with wonderful gentleness and care) in a Bed, if not in the presence of Men, yet in the open view and sight of, God knows how many La­dies and Women, that encompass'd the Queen; and still the Child (notwith­standing Her Majesties many turnings and seeming throes) was neither to be smother'd nor to cry.

Sixthly, they say, let all this also pass, and let my Lady Sunderland her self be mistaken, that swore. She forwarded the Birth with her hand; but how can a Child after so long a stay, come out of the Bed reeking like one newly Born, as so many Protestant Doctors themselves swore? Nay, they depos'd that the Blood came from the very Navel-string when they cut it, which they gave the Child for a Medicine against Convulsions.

Lastly: Well then (cry they) for once we'll suppose the present Loyal peo­ple of England turn'd Papists; that is to say, Persons that will maintain any Impossibility if Religion and Interest commands it; as also that the Countesses of Peterborow, Sunderland, Roscommon, Lady Bellasis, and other great Prote­stant Peeresses, and of the Bed-Chamber, will Dispence with an Oath, tho' the Dispensing Power be now Null and Void by Law. VVe will suppose too, (continue they) that my Lady Wentworth, Mrs. Bromley, Dawson, with the rest of the Dressers once known to be most Zealous against Popery, will now rather forswear themselves, than that Popery should not be secur'd: Add besides to this, that a crowd of Protestant Doctors, Apothecaries, Surgeons, and other necessary people, are to go to the Devil for Company; But how came it (roar they out higher than Stentor and Moreland) that the Princess of Denmark whom the Cheat so much concern'd both as to Religion and Interest) could neither perceive it all along with her own Eyes, nor with those of her Faith­ful Ladies? If she did, the Difficulty (they say) is harder; for 'twas im­possible that she would be silent and mealy-mouth'd, that had the Courage and Piety (in Defence of Religion and Property) to forsake her Fathers house, and to Head an Army against his Wicked Councellors, as we all know. But further (proceed they in the like tone) Is it not beyond Comprehension, if things had been but suspicious, and much more if really so, that William and Mary (who hazarded their All for the Gospel and Common Justice) should upon the Childs Birth send Monsieur Zulestein as their Embassadour, to Congratulate with the King and Queen; to Visit and Complement him as Prince of Wales; and which is yet stranger, to Insert him in the Collect of the Royal Family, and conse­quently Pray for Him thus in their own public Chappel [...].

Now as an assuredly compleating blast (which blows away every Corn of Doubt) They stretch their voice and cry; Tho all these unaccountable Blots were overseen formerly, why did both King William and the Parliament join in a manner with these Clancys and Fourbs by their present silence, which makes the Cheat (if it had been one) not only victorious, but invincible. Nay a Parliament also that had all the Reason in the World to take the Business in hand, both for our future Quiet, and for the confounding of all King James's Party; since the fiercest of them, would (upon this proof) have granted, that nothing could be said against him that was false.

Thus reason these extravagant Men. But now let us hear, how all is an­swered (as I said) in six words by these Loyal, Wise and Conscientious men, that have contributed so much to our Deliverance, and helpt to put us in our present happy and flourishing condition.

Was not a Prince of Wales (answer they) for the Advantage of the Papists? are they not a restless Party? and is there any thing they will not do or ven­ture for the advancement of their Religion? all men know what Dispensations they have; and howindefatigable they are in propagating their Cheats? and how subtly they always endeavour'd to amuse and confound poor Protestants. Tho piety of the King and Queen is apparent, who wave the blackening of a Father, as such secret actions must do, when publick to the World; and what is more ridiculous, and below a Parliament, than in time of great business, to debate, and then vote 'tis day at Noon. Rex & Regina beati.

Quid agitur in Anglia? consulitur de Religione, non de Partu.


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