A Seasonable Warning and Caution against the Insinuations of Papists and Jacobites in favour of the Pretender Being a Letter from an Englishman at the Court of Hanover
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A Seasonable Warning and Caution against the Insinuations of Papists and Jacobites in favour of the Pretender Being a Letter from an Englishman at the Court of Hanover
Daniel Defoe

Defoe Daniel

A Seasonable Warning and Caution against the Insinuations of Papists and Jacobites in favour of the Pretender / Being a Letter from an Englishman at the Court of Hanover



Why how now, England! what ailest thee now? What evil spirit now possesseth thee! O thou nation famous for espousing religion, and defending liberty; eminent in all ages for pulling down tyrants,[1 - Edward II., Richard II., Richard III., James II.] and adhering steadily to the fundamentals of thy own constitution:[2 - In the several barons' wars in the reign of King Stephen, King John, &c.] that has not only secured thy own rights, and handed them down unimpaired to every succeeding age, but has been the sanctuary of other oppressed nations;[3 - Especially of the persecuted protestants in the Low Countries, in Queen Elizabeth.] the strong protector of injured subjects against the lawless invasion of oppressing tyrants.

To thee the oppressed protestants of France owed, for some ages ago, the comfort of being powerfully supported, while their own king,[4 - Henry IV., who turned papist, and with much difficulty granted liberty to his protestant subjects by the edict of Nantes.] wheedled by the lustre of a crown, became apostate, and laid the foundation of their ruin among themselves; in thee their posterity[5 - The French refugees, who being received here, are grown rich and wealthy by our trade.] find a refuge, and flourish in thy wealth and trade, when religion and liberty find no more place in their own country.

To thee the distressed Belgii[6 - The Flemings, when threatened with the inquisition from Spain, under the reign of Philip II.] owe the powerful assistance by which they took up arms in defence of liberty and religion, against Spanish cruelty, the perfidious tyranny of their kings, and the rage of the bloody Duke d'Alva.

From thee the confederate Hollanders[7 - Under William Henry, the first Prince of Orange, who formed the revolt of the Dutch provinces, and laid the foundation of the States General and their commonwealth.] received encouragement to join in that indissoluble union which has since reduced the invincible power of the Spaniards, and from whence has been raised the most flourishing commonwealth in the world.

By thy assistance they are become the bulwark of the protestant religion, and of the liberties of Europe; and have many times since gratefully employed that force in thy behalf; and, by their help, thou, who first gavest them liberty, hast more than once rescued and preserved thy own.

To thee the present protestant nations[8 - The circles of Swabia and Franconia, the Palatinate, and the countries of Hessia, Wirtemberg, and others.] of Europe owe their being at this day freed from the just apprehensions of the growing greatness of France; and to thy power, when acting by the glorious protector of thy liberty, King William, is the whole Christian world indebted for depriving the French tyrant of the hopes and prospect of universal monarchy.

To thy blood, thy treasure, the conduct of thy generals, and the vigour of thy councils, are due, the glory, the fame, the praises, and the advantages of twenty years' war, for the establishing and restoring the liberty and religion of Europe.

When posterity shall inquire into the particulars of this long and bloody war; the battles, sieges, and stupendous marches of armies, which, as well with loss as with victory, have been the subject of thy history; it will for ever be frequent in their mouths; here the British troops, fighting with dreadful fury, and their usual constancy, shed their blood in defence of the protestant cause, and left a bloody victory to God's enemies and their own; as at Steenkirk, Landen, Camaret, Almanza, Brihenga, and the like: or, here the British troops, with their usual valour, carried all before them, and conquered in behalf of the protestant interest, and Europe's liberties; as at Blenheim, Ramilies, Barcelona, Oudenard, Sarragossa, Blaregnies, &c. Here the British navies triumphed over French greatness; as at Cherburgh, La Hogue, Gibraltar, &c. There their land forces reduced the most impregnable fortresses; as at Namur, Lisle, Menin, Tournay, &c.

And wherefore has all this English and British blood been spilt? Wherefore thy nation exhausted; thy trade sunk and interrupted; thy veins opened? Why hast thou struggled thus long, and with so much vigour, as well with French tyranny abroad, as popish factions at home, but to preserve entire the religion and liberties of Europe, and particularly of this nation, and to preserve our posterity from slavery and idolatry? Principles truly noble, worthy a nation's blood to protect, and worthy a nation's treasure to save.

But what has all this been for? And to what intent and purpose was all this zeal, if you will sink under the ruin of the very fabric ye have pulled down? If ye will give up the cause after ye have gained the advantage, and yield yourselves up after you have been delivered; to what purpose then has all this been done? Why all the money expended? Why all this blood spilt? To what end is France said to be reduced, and peace now concluded, if the same popery, the same tyranny, the same arbitrary methods of government shall be received among you again? Sure your posterity will stand amazed to consider how lavish this age has been of their money, and their blood, and to how little purpose; since no age since the creation of the world can show us a time when ever any nation spent so much blood and treasure to end just where they begun: as, if the hearts of our enemies prevail, we are like to do.

Let us reason a little together on these things, and let us inquire a little, why, and for what reason Britain, so lately the glory of Europe; so lately the terror of France, the bulwark of religion, and the destroyer of popery, should be brought to be the gazing-stock of the world? And why is it that her neighbours expect every hour to hear that she is going back to Egypt, and having given up her liberty, has made it her own choice to submit to the stripes of her taskmasters, and make bricks without straw.

We that are Englishmen, and live from home among the protestants of other nations, cannot but be sensible of this alteration, and we bear the reproaches of those who speak freely of the unhappy change which appears in the temper of our countrymen at home. It is astonishing to all the world to hear that the common people of England should be turned from the most rivetted aversions, to a coldness and indifferency in matters of popery and the pretender: that they, who with so unanimous a resolution deposed the late King James, as well for his invasions of their liberty as of their religion; and who with such marks of contempt drove him and his pretended progeny out of the nation, should without any visible alteration of circumstances, be drawn in to favour the return of that race with all the certain additions of popish principles in religion; French principles in government; revenge for family injuries; restoration of abdicated and impoverished votaries; and the certain support of a party at home, whose fortunes and losses must be restored and repaired out of the ruins of their country's liberties.

To what purpose was the revolution? Why did you mock yourselves at so vast an expense? Why did you cry in your oppressions to God and the Prince of Orange to deliver you? Why did you rise as one man against King James and his popish adherents? Why was your fury so great, and your opposition so universal, that although he had a good army of veteran, disciplined troops, and a powerful assistance from France ready to fall in and join him, yet they durst not, when put all together, venture to look you in the face, but fled like darkness before the sun, like guilt before the sword of justice; or as a murderer from the avenger of blood? Was it all, that you might the better weaken yourselves by ages of war, and they might return again, and bind you like Samson, when your strength was departed?

When this was done, why did ye mock God with a thanksgiving,[9 - The Thanksgiving for the Revolution.] and banter the world with your pretended praises to heaven for your deliverance? Why, when you appeared by your representatives in convention and in parliament, did you make so many fast days,[10 - Monthly fasts appointed the first Wednesday of every month during the war in King William's time.] and days of prayer for the success of the arms you took up, and the war you carried on for the finishing and securing this great work, called the pulling down of popery? Was it all, that after having spent twenty years of war, and a sea of blood, ruined trade, exhausted your treasure, and entailed vast debts on your posterity; you should calmly open your doors to the fugitives you had found out, and let in again the popish tyranny you had driven away?

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