Primary tabs

The Crisis. No. IX



To the King :

SIR: You ascended the Throne of these Realms with advantages which, if properly improved, would have rendered your reign not only glorious and happy, but have made you the most powerful monarch upon earth; you might have kept the world in awe. Yet, O shame to tell, though the times demand it, you soon sacrificed your own peace, the tranquillity, honour, and interest of this great and mighty Kingdom, to the ambitious views and pernicious designs of your infernal minion, Lord Bute, and his profligate, abandoned adherents. Your accession to the Throne filled with joy the breast of every Englishman; but, alas! it was of short duration; you soon convinced them of their mistake, and the compliments paid to your understanding, the calm hour of reason soon convinced us were ill-founded.

No sooner seated upon the Throne of this vast Empire, than you, like all other Kings, as well as tyrants, made the people many and fair promises. You told your Parliament that the suppression of vice and immorality, the encouragement of Trade and Commerce, and the preservation of peace and harmony amongst your people, should be the rule of your conduct, and your principal study. How far


you have kept your word, the sacred pen of truth shall now declare.

Scarce seated in regal dignity, before you drove from your presence and councils, by the advice of your Scotch favourite, Lord Bute, every man of honour and integrity, who was valued for his love to his Country, and affection to your family; you implicitly followed the advice of your Northern minion, and in their room took those only who were the most conspicuous for their vices, and the most abandoned in principle. These are facts which Sandwich, Bute, Grafton, North, &c˙, will confirm.

These men you still continue to countenance; every scene of iniquity they have been concerned in, and every act of violence, oppression, and murder they have committed, has been by you tacitly approved, nay, applauded ! Adultery, debauchery, and divorces, are more frequent now than in the corrupt and profligate days of Charles the Second; these, Sir, prove incontestably your religious principles, and show how far you have suppressed vice and immorality.

It will now be necessary to inquire how far you have encouraged Trade and Commerce. Was it by illegally imposing a stamp-duty on the Americans, and taxing those commodities which we supplied them with from this Country, which has stopped, for near six years, a great traffick between this Kingdom and the Colonies? Was it by suffering, with the most shameful impunity, the Portuguese to infringe upon the privileges of the English Merchants at Lisbon, by which many were not only injured, but almost totally ruined? Was it by blocking up the Port and destroying the trade of the Town of Boston, thereby reducing to a state of miserable dependance more than thirty thousand people, and giving a vital stab to the whole Commerce of America?

We will now examine, Sir, how far you have preserved peace and harmony among your people. Was it by providing for all the beggarly relations, and miserable dependants of your Scotch minion, in preference to your English subjects, especially those who were the chief instruments of placing your family upon the Throne? Was it by ordering the late Lord Halifax to issue an illegal warrant for apprehending Mr˙ Wilkes? Was it by rewarding that delinquent after he had been found guilty of a breach of the English Laws? Was it by screening your Minister behind the Throne, who violated the rights of the Freeholders of England? Was it by rejecting the Petitions of your injured subjects, and laughing at the remonstrance presented to you from the first City in the world, the great capital of the British Empire? Was it by not granting the supplications of your people, and meanly referring those Petitions and Remonstrances to the consideration of those very men, whose conduct they arraigned, and who were only the slavish tools of your abandoned Ministers? Was it by sending Troops to Boston, depriving people of their Constitutional rights; and, contrary to all the Laws of this free Country, enforcing the tyrannical and oppressive Acts of your abandoned Parliament with the sword, and laying America under a Military Government? Was it by rewarding the profligate, the corrupt, and the plunderers of their Country, with titles and honours? Was it by a tame dastardly submission to the insults of the Spaniards, and a sacrifice of the honour of the British Nation? These, Sir, are the means you have made use of for preserving peace and harmony among your people. But, Sir, the greatest piece of ministerial villany, and diabolical cruelty is still behind — it is now going through the House of Lords, and you, Sir, will soon be called upon to sign it; it is a Bill for restraining the American Fishery, and starving to death, or driving to a state of desperation, more than three hundred thousand people. Consider, Sir, the fatal tendency of this Bill; determine no longer to be the dupe of an abandoned set of men; act from yourself, and refuse to sign an Act of Parliament which must involve one part of the Empire in a civil war, and reduce thousands of your subjects to poverty and want. Let no consideration prevail with you to execute a deed, at the idea of which humanity revolts. Consider, Sir, how much this will raise the indignation of your people here, when they find you are destitute of the common feelings of humanity, and that you can be so easily prevailed upon to sacrifice your subjects to the cruel designs of your Ministers and favourites. Give some


proof of a determined resolution no longer to pursue measures which must end in the destruction of your Kingdom, and perhaps in the ruin of your family.

Consider, Sir, how despicable you appear in the eyes of the world; who, instead of governing, suffer yourself to be governed; who, instead of being a leader, are led; who, instead of being a King, are nothing but a mere cypher of State, while your favourite and Ministers wear all the appendages to sovereignty.

It has long surprised the Kingdom to think how you could bear such wretches to prey upon you; to think how you could suffer them to aggrandize themselves and creatures; to possess the greatest wealth, and to hold the first offices in the Kingdom; and all this by imposing upon you, by making you break your coronation oath, by making you violate every promise you made with your people, and by filling your ears with lies, instead of truth. How is it possible you can bear such usage, which no sensible man in a private capacity can bear? and to be the dupe of the vilest of the creation, is so much beneath the dignity of a man who pretends to govern, that it is astonishing such fiends should prevail as they do. Indeed they never could, unless you, Sir, like them, was inclined to establish an arbitrary system of Government, and to set up your own will in opposition to the laws of the land.

Let me advise you, Sir, as you regard your own prosperity and the welfare of your Kingdom; let me conjure you, as you value your own safety, to consider well the fatal and ruinous measures your Ministers are pursuing, and you sanctifying with the Royal authority; consider the miserable, the unfortunate situation of this Country; think on the dangers which threaten on every side; consider we are now upon the eve of a Civil War with our Colonies; from the present face of things, it is inevitable; Trade and Commerce is at a stand, and all the horrours of wretchedness and want stare them in the face. Consider, Sir, the feelings of men, reduced in the short space of a few days, through wanton acts of power, from a state of ease and plenty to that of misery and famine. I ask, is it possible for them to set bounds to their resentment? Consider, Sir, the French and Spaniards will not long remain idle spectators, when once they see us deeply engaged in a war with the Colonies. Throw off then your supine indolence; awake from your lethargick state; and if you will not be excited by the desire of doing good, awake at least to a sense of your own danger; think when the general calamity comes on, who will be the objects of publick hatred. Will not the advisers of these destructive measures be the first sacrifices to the popular resentment? When the Merchants, Traders, and Manufacturers are starving, when the whole body of the people are in misery and distress, what security, Sir, can you expect to find? Where will your Ministers conceal themselves? They will not be safe even within the walls of your Palace!

Let these things, Sir, be well weighed, and no longer persuade yourself the people were made for you, and not you for them; no longer believe that you do not govern for them but for yourself; that the people live only to increase your glory, or to furnish matter for pleasure. For once, Sir, consider what you may do for them, and not what you may draw from them.

The people, Sir, think it to be a crime of the first magnitude to convert that power to their hurt which was intended for their good; and to obey a King while he acts in this manner, and tramples under foot all laws, divine and human, argues not only a want of sense in the highest degree, but a want of love for our Country, and a disregard for ourselves and posterity.

Your subjects, Sir, are under no obligations to you, nor do they owe you any allegiance any longer than you continue to protect them, and make their good the chief end of your Government. When a Prince assumes to himself an extravagant or an unlawful power, then all respect ceases, and he ceases to be a King; whilst he protects and preserves his people in their just rights, and governs them by the laws of the land, all good men will love and esteem him, and risk their lives and fortunes in his service; but when he begins to invade their liberties, to set up an arbitrary power, to impose unlawful taxes, raise forces, and make war upon his people, and suffer foreign States to insult and injure them, then all virtuous and good men will


detest and abhor him, and endeavour to remove him from a throne he unworthily fills.

In such cases resistance is a virtue; and to say that some should passively suffer, lest, by resisting, they should cause the ruin of many, is not a just reason; because, in all probability, they will be the cause that millions unborn shall live happy and free; and what can be a more noble, glorious, and pious motive for suffering, than to transmit liberty to posterity? For this our fathers bravely fought — and many of them gloriously fell — to preserve themselves and their descendants free, and to destroy the tyranny and despotism of the Stuarts, and, Sir, (let me beg you will remember with gratitude,) to place your family upon the throne of the British Empire.

The author of this paper is far from advising violent measures upon every errour or misconduct of a Prince; but resistance becomes a duty when they attempt the ruin of the State, the subversion of liberty, or overturning the Constitution of the Kingdom. It is notorious to the world, Sir, that your Ministers are guilty of all these black and deadly crimes, and yet you screen and protect them. The conclusions to be drawn from thence are obvious, and you, like Charles, may live to see your favourites fall.