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The Crisis. No. II



A bloody Court, a bloody Ministry, and a Moody Parliament.

The sudden and unexpected dissolution of the last ruinous Parliament, gave a just and general alarm to the whole Nation; and we may search in vain the voluminous pages of Grecian, Roman, or English history, to find such another plan of premeditated villany, for destroying, at one grand stroke of Royal and Ministerial policy, all the rights of a free people. Lord North, engendered in the womb of Hell; raised by the fostering hand of infernal spirits; and possessing principles which have eclipsed all the glories of his satanick parents, had the effrontery to declare, in the face of the House of Commons, and the world, but a few day before the recess of the late Parliament, that they should meet again early in October for the despatch of business. When he uttered the falsehood, it was suspected by many, and he well knew it had been determined that they should be dissolved, although the precise time was not fixed. On the 16th day of September, 1774, a notice was published in the Gazette for the last Parliament to meet on the 15th of November; eleven days had not elapsed before a Proclamation appeared for its dissolution, and calling a new Parliament. Who can guard against deception, artifice, and villany, when stamped with Royal authority? The very thought of an honest House of Commons struck terrour into the guilty soul of Lord North, the diabolical minion of Royal favour, and instrument of Royal vengeance; nay, even the King, virtuous as he is, had his fears; and in order to secure their own creatures and dependants, or, in other words, to have the old Parliament revived, and smuggle a majority of venal, abandoned miscreants, who would deny their God, or sell their souls for money, into the present House of Commons, Lord North sent letters to all his friends, that they might be prepared; and it was known in the most distant parts of England, and even the time of election fixed in several Boroughs in Cornwall, some days before the Parliament was dissolved. This is a truth which Lord North, with all his consummate impudence, cannot deny.

The Ministerial hacks were again set to work, to fabricate lies, and publish them in the Newspapers, to elude and deceive the electors, that little or no opposition might be made to the tools of Government. One report said the dissolution of Parliament was owing to some disagreeable advices received from America; and that our virtuous King, with his still more virtuous Ministers, intended to adopt some conciliating measures with respect to the Colonies; and that it would betray a weakness in the King to let the same Parliament meet again to repeal those Acts which they but a few months before passed. Another report, equally true, asserted it was on account of intelligence received from the North, of a very alarming nature. And a third, that it was occasioned by a difference between the French and English Ministry, which rendered such a step necessary, as there was great reason to believe we should soon be involved in War, and that it would be exceedingly improper to have the Nation put in a ferment by a general election at so critical a time as that, and when the assistance of Parliament would be particularly wanted. A fourth report was, that Lord Chatham and his friends would be immediately taken into favour, and that there was to be an entire change in the Ministry. By these low artifices and Ministerial lies, the people of England were lulled into a state of supineness, and even made to lend a helping hand to complete their own ruin.

The subsequent part of this paper will unravel the diabolical scheme. Lord North saw a powerful opposition forming in every part of England; he was fearful of associations — he dreaded a Solemn League and Covenant, which he was certain the people would have entered into for the preservation of their rights and liberties, before next May, the time when the Parliament would have been dissolved of course; he trembled for the event, conscious of his own


villany, and that his head had been long forfeited to the justice of his Country; he determined to lake the electors by surprise, to put them off their guard, and rob them of time, that no opposition might be made to his creatures; and the people being prevented from fixing upon men of honest, independent principles, to whom they might with safety, delegate the important, the sacred trust of representation.

Lord North communicated his fears to the King; painted the daring rebellious spirit of the Americans; and told him that the people here were as disloyal and disaffected, and that hints had been thrown out in the publick prints, of plans forming in different parts of England for keeping out of the new Parliament most of his friends, and unless prevented by some well-concerted scheme, there was but too much reason to believe, from the spirit of the people, that they would succeed; an event, says this traitor, much feared, and greatly dreaded by every well-wisher to your person and Government, should it ever take place; and there is a Country party, or a majority of mock Patriots in the House of Commons, who are enemies to all order and Government — you must be reduced to the most degrading situation; indeed, your present friends will then be unable to gave you any assistance; and instead of the power being in your hands, it will then be in the hands of the people; and you will be under the disgraceful necessity of giving your assent to the repeal of every Act which has been lately passed for the purpose of raising a revenue, and enforcing a due obedience to your authority. In short, you will be a King without power, and subject to the control of a few demagogues for liberty — the dregs of mankind — and a common rabble who will always support them; nay, it may even endanger the security of your Throne; for what will not a hot-headed Parliament do, with whom the voice of the people can have any weight. The plan for reducing the Americans, and making them dependant on your will, must be crushed; they will triumph in the victory obtained over the just power of Parliament, and your prerogative; your faithful servants will be compelled to leave you, and you will be without a real friend to advise with. If your Majesty can get a majority of your friends rechosen in the new Parliament, you will be able to raise what money you please, with their assistance; you will then be able to keep your present Ministers, and preserve them from the resentment (which has been incurred by serving you) of an enraged rabble, who are made to believe, through the licentiousness of the press, that they labour under a load of accumulated grievances. You will then be able to trample under foot faction, sedition, and rebellion throughout your Dominions, and to carry every thing before you, agreeable to your Royal pleasure. With the power of Parliament, and your Majesty' s firmness and perseverance, you may bring England and America into a proper state of subjection to your will. To accomplish this, it will be necessary to prorogue the Parliament to some future day, then to meet, and immediately after call a Council and dissolve them; in the mean time, your friends may be made acquainted with the determination, and be prepared for the election, before any opposition can possibly be made, or the people know any thing of the matter.

The King, firmly resolved on the people' s ruin, caressed his villanous minion, admired the plan formed for our destruction, and, drunk with the prerogative, he sucked in the baneful advice, and pursued it.

Thus the present Parliament was smuggled; and thus, in a most shameful, unprecedented, artful, and sudden manner, was the last House of Commons dissolved by the King, to answer his own and his Minister' s wicked, tyrannical, and bloody designs against the people and Constitution of this Kingdom. Such an instance of an infamous exertion of the Royal prerogative, and under the like circumstances, is not to be found in the history of England; such an injury and insult was never before offered to a free people, and never ought to be forgiven. It was a piece of Hanoverian treachery, baseness, and ingratitude, which has far exceeded all the artful villany and low cunning of the discarded Stuarts. His Majesty, (Heaven protect so much goodness,) out of a tenderness to the Constitution, could not make so bad a use of his prerogative, five years back, as to dissolve the same Parliament, when their iniquitous


proceedings, and their violations of justice had roused the indignation of the people, and he was requested to do it by upwards of eighty thousand freeholders, (signed,) and the general voice of the whole Nation. But in 1774 he got the better of that tenderness; and to answer his own purposes, could exert the Royal prerogative, which he had absolutely refused to his subjects in the haughty terms of a despot, with no other view but to overturn the Constitution of the British Empire, in England and America, and destroy or enslave the people.

His Majesty, his minions, and instruments of slaughter, are now safe in robbing the people of their property, by shameful and iniquitous taxes, in time of peace; safe in their subversion of the Protestant Religion; safe and successful in their cruel plan for starving the honest and industrious inhabitants, and destroying the trade of the Town of Boston, in America, and the Commerce of England; safe so far in their attempt to destroy the lives, rights, liberties, and privileges of millions; I say they are safe in all these violations of, and depredations on our National security, and natural rights — because we are tame.