Molle Pecus, mutumque Metu.

Mansfield derides and George such Suppliants scorns;
You're a tame herd; why don't you use your horns.

ADMINISTRATION dare not, as yet (or else they would) deny the subjects right of petiti­oning the King; but Bute and Mansfield, will not suffer even the petition of the first city in the king­dom, to be received upon the throne. Can their supreme Lordships give a reason why? I mean a solid reason. It is an undoubted, and till now has been an undisputed right, which this grateful city claims, a right, which no Royal tyrant in past ages has controuled.

This late political display of Sovereign insolence, has broken out, to dignify the present reign; our Kings are still ready to receive a petition from the greatest city in the universe, but they are the judges where—at their Levee—or in their water close?— Be it ordained henceforth, that all petitions for re­dress of national grievances shall be received where [Page 214]they may be most useful to the sovereign, and least likely to rise in judgement against the minister.

Is it come to this at last, that one of the most essential rights of a British subject is to be treated with indignity? Is it become a farce that may be acted at a sycophantic Levee, and attended to with as much affected indifference as a birth-day ode? Is the ground and reason of this invaluable right for­got? Or are the rights of the crown alone to be main­tained, and those of the subject trampled under foot? Let us enquire into the foundation of the subject's right to address the throne; we shall then see with what propriety, policy, or decency, this satisfaction is refused now. Whilst the sovereign has a right to allegiance, the subject has an equal claim to protection.

These essentials from the bond of union, the re­ciprocal relation, between the governor and the go­verned; that the state may enjoy the benefits ari­sing from this union, the King becomes the head of the body politic, by the suffrage of a free people; the people remain members of this body politic, giving up their natural rights, by compact with the sovereign, for the sake of protection and good go­vernment. These are the two great ends which every subject has in view. A King of England, on the other hand has not a single prerogative which is not conducive to these two great ends. This is the true state of an English Sovereign, and an En­glish subject: in consequence, a good Sovereign may well expect to be obeyed without reluctance; a loyal subject to be heard without contempt; if the Sovereign's dignity must be maintained, the sub­jects grievances must be redressed; the one is les­sened [Page 215]by an insolent deportment, and the other ag­grivated by cold indifference. The Prince who will not hear information, is a fool; he who per­sists in spite of it, is a Tyrant.

It is a maxim with us, "that the King can do no wrong;" the result of every political evil, is im­puted to his ministers, but the unthinking Prince who checks Petitions to the throne, rashly takes every impolitic transgression upon himself. To this injudicious conduct that weak tyrant Charles the first, deluded by his ministerial sycophants, owed his ruin, he foresaw the storm approaching, when it was too late to take shelter from its fury, his suf­ferings (and just they were) should be a perpetual lesson for crowned heads, but alas! they are kept (if possible) in infancy all their lives, at their hazard their infamous dependants are to rife; a wise King would not only open his ears, but his arms, to the information of his subjects, they are his creators, and they ought to be his guides, they are in truth his only friends.

Till subjects commence slaves, neither weak Kings, nor wicked ministers, can stand before them, no army is sufficient in a free country, to encounter civil indignation and resentment, iniquity never can prevail till men have lost their reason, those who dare to think, will dare to act. To injured subjects the sharpest of all incentives is contempt, the hap­piest expedient is redress, the sole right of exerci­sing this lenient measure, lies in the breast of the sovereign; if ministers are wicked he can discard them, if venal parliaments, at the back of a mini­ster, attempt to undermine the constitution, he can dissolve them; without proceeding to this extremi­ty, [Page 216]he can, and it is his duty to withhold his assent whenever any act has improvidently passed the two houses, which is likely to be pernicious to the na­tion.

In such times of corruption and iniquity, every member of the body politic has a right to inform head (the King) of the approaching danger, in such times, shall a great city be repulsed? If they are to be received with unusual indignity, such an intend­ed reception is equal to an actual repulse. That Prince wants wisdom, who is not capable of re­flecting that opulent cities are the vital parts of his dominions, yet what treatment has the city of Lon­don lately met with? have they not been charged with encouraging his Majesty's rebellious subjects (as they are called) in America? Is it not treason to encourage traitors? Yet my Lord Mansfield knows that the word (encourage) is the word used by his Majesty, in his answer to the city petition. Now if subjects have a right, (and who dare deny it?) to petition the sovereign, they are entitled to some degree of decency, when they approach the throne with a remonstrance; because these remonstrants are a most important part of those people to whom the sovereign owes his existence and continuance. The Majesty of a people resides in the collective body, not in a packed majority of smuggled repre­sentatives in a venal house of commons, it is not from the luxurious and corrupt, but from the in­dustrious and commercial parts of the kingdom, that this collective body will take its tone, they are the sinews of the state. The rotten commons, and and still more rotten peers, are but as straws floating lightly upon the surface of this great community [Page 217]these are the bees that make the honey, and those the idle drones, that rob the public hives; yet these alone are the persons whom the "King delighteth to honour," they alone are received with smiles.

The incense of flattery is grateful, the voice of truth an abomination to the throne, the sovereign (tho' not to be surfeited with supplies) is grown sick of information; petitions are therefore to be re­ceived at levees, there they will be handed to a Lord in waiting, (one of the corrupt gang) and neither opened nor heard of afterwards, but when petitions are received upon the throne, a King can­not stop his ears; their contents, their reception, and the answer, are notorious, the whole world may then look on, and either applaud the wisdom, or be astonished at the justice of the sovereign.

Can tyrants who violate the laws of God, fear the sentence of this earthly forum? Is it for this pusillanimous reason, public remonstrances are to be treated like private petitions, presented by indig­nant individuals? Are the city of London to be re­ceived like paupers in the corner of a levee? Do they come for alms, or for redress? Do they come to solicit a pension, or to claim a right? Do they sue for the performance of a jobbing contract made with a perfidious minister, or for an establishment and due observance in futuro, of that compact made between the crown and the subject, at the revolu­tion? If they come in the latter shape, the import­ance of their suit demands all the dignity and at­tention of the sovereign.

If petitions of such a serious nature, can be baf­fled by a careless, light reception at a levee of idol­atrous placemen, and needy mendicants, every ave­nue [Page 218]of honest information is shut up by the false friends of deluded Majesty; the sovereign is still kept in a state of darkness and dangerous perseve­rance, for the sake of a ministerial gang of public robbers, at the hazard of the property, lives, and liberties of a whole empire.

The iniquitous proceedings of this atrocious gang in the last, and present parliament, which they packed, fully justify me in branding them with the name of public robbers. Let them look into the black journals of their guilty houses.—There they will find that individuals, corporations, electing counties in Great Britain, (not to mention the vast continent of America, and the colonies, merchants and manufacturers, dependent on it) have been deprived of their rights, their liberties, and lives, by that Banditti, who call themselves the King's friends, yet act like enemies to him, and to their country.

These would open the way (should they at last meet with due attention) first to their removal from the King's presence, and then to fatal enquiries—To the salvation of Great-Britain and America, and to the punishment of that infernal Gang of national Parricides. They, on the other hand, fearing only for themselves, wish to stop all access to the Sovereign's ear, and evrey appeal to his un­derstanding, or his heart. England cannot look with un­concern upon the sufferings of America. Her claims is just, she says, and she says truly, that taxation (when it is for the single purpose of taking money out of her pocket) and representation are, and must necessarily be reciprocal. In every other respect she submits (as a Colony), to the Legislature of her Mother country; she submits to all those laws of England, which affect the general system of policy throughout the empire of Great-Britain; but she says wisely, that the money which she acquires by the [Page 219]sweat of her own brow, is not the money of the people of England; and therefore cannot be given away by such persons as represent the people of England only.

Thus stands the case of America, whom administration are labouring to bring under the absolute yoke of their corrupt parliamentary majority: Unless they can com­pass this, they know that neither America, nor Great-Britain (whom they keep like an apple in their jaws, as Hamlet says, first mouthed to be last swallowed) can be effectually enslaved. Unless America can be massacred, and her refractory numbers reduced, by sword and fa­mine, within a possibility of controul, she will set a ter­rible example of spirit to her mother country, for whom a net is likewise already spread. Till America is totally subdued, the liberties of Great Britain cannot be finally extinguished. The aim of the present despotic admi­nistration, and their servile majority is plain: They wish to bring America not only under the yoke of our legis­lature, but of their standing army, with which they will keep them under foot for ever, should they conquer now. Should they fail in this diabolical design; America rising from her ruins, will erect an empire of her own; an asy­lum for the distressed subjects of her mother country; who, as they seem at present careless about the rights, will at last retain the name of Englishmen. But should our parricides succeed, and America be once subdued, the whole British empire will in due time be slaves. Then will the patriotic scheme of our present virtuous administration be compleat; their friendship to their King, their affection for their country; the vain confi­dence of the one, the well grounded distrust of the other will appear. The secret machinations of the cabinet, the superior wisdom of the Great Council of the nation, will be disclosed, to the eternal shame and infamy of those, who must neither presume to call themselves Britons nor men, if they long con­tinue thus tamely to petition when they ought to act. Then shall we all deserve the ridicule of the [Page 220]sarcastic Mansfield, and be, in very deed, a tame herd of animals, among whom the worst of all distempers (slavery) may be said to rage; whilst we dare not avail ourselves either of our Hoofs, or Horns.


The Authors of the CRISIS present their respectful compliments to CATO, and return him thanks for his spi­rited address to the King, which shall be made the subject of our next number: The authors fear no tyrant, nor the instruments of tyranny, and they will always pay particu­ [...] attention to the future correspondence of CATO, who breaths the Godlike sentiments of freedom. They embrace this op­portunity of contradicting a most infamous report, no less industriously than falsely propagated by the emissaries of the present infernal administration. "That the CRISIS was set on foot, and is countenanced by the ministry as a pretence for laying a restraint on the Press." The authors beg leave to declare in the most solemn manner, before God and Man, that such assertions have not the least foundation in truth, and that they are circulated by a tribe of pensioned rascals, who are employed to write down truth, and establish falshood, only with a view to deceive and mislead the people, and to draw their attention from the true channel of faithful in­formation, and from that destruction with which they are now threatened. The CRISIS was set on foot with a design to support and defend the constitutional rights and privi­leges of England and America, which the authors hold equally dear with their lives. It was set on foot at a time when the liberty of the press was nearly destroyed, or ren­dered useless by ministerial prosecutions, a Scotch Chief Justice, and the dastardly souls of narrow minded Printers, who were afraid to give a tyrant his true appellation. The authors are determined to write like Englishmen, unawed by fear, or prosecution, to speak bold truths, such truths as some would fear to think. Freedom of speech and writing is one of the first, and most glorious privileges of a free people: this the authors claim as a right, and this they are firmly resolved to use and defend: for to this privilege we may again stand indebted, for another REVOLUTION.

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