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- ruption and intrigue, to circulate the Middlesex Journal
and London Pacquet, may indeed be zeal; but it may likewise be interest and malice. To offer a petition, not expected to be granted; to insult a king with a rude remonstrance, only because there is no punishment for legal insolence, is not courage, for there is no danger; nor patriotism, for it tends to the subversion of order, and lets wickedness loose upon the land, by destroying the reverence due to sovereign authority.
It is the quality of patriotism to be jealous and watchful, to observe all secret machinations, and to see public dangers at a distance. The true lover of his country is ready to communicate his fears, and to sound the alarm, whenever he perceives the approach of mischief. But he sounds no alarm, when there is no enemy: he never terrifies his countrymen till he is terrified himself. The patriotism therefore may be justly doubted of him, who professes to be disturbed by incredibilities; who tells, that the last peace was obtained by bribing the princess of Wales; that the king is grasping at arbitrary power; and that because the French in the new conquests enjoy their own laws, there is a design at court of abolishing in England the trial by juries.
Still less does the true patriot circulate opinions which he knows to be false. No man, who loves his country, fills the nation with clamorous complaints, that the protestant religion is in danger, because popery is established in the extensive province of Quebec, a falsehood so open and shameless, that it can need no confutation among those who know that of which it is almost impossible for the most unenlightened zealot to be ignorant. i
That Quebec is on the other side of the Atlantic, at: do great a distance to do much good or harm to the European world:
That the inhabitants, being French, were always papists, who are certainly more dangerous as enemies, than as subjects:
That though the province be wide, the people are few, probably not so many as may be found in one of the larger English counties :
That persecution is not more virtuous in a protes. tant than a papist ; and that while we blame Lewis the fourteenth, for his dragoons and his galley, we ought, when power comes into our hands, to use it with greater equity :
That when Canada with its inhabitants was yielded the free enjoyment of their religion was stipulated; a condition, of which king William, who was no propagator of popery, gave an example nearer home, at the surrender of Limerick :
That in an age, where every mouth is open for libera ty of conscience, it is equitable to shew some regard to the conscience of a papist, who may be supposed, Like other men, to think himself safest in his own religion ; and that those at least, who enjoy a toleration, ought not to deny it to our new subjects.
If liberty of conscience be a natural right, we have no power to withhold it; if it be an indulgence, it may be allowed to papists, while it is not denied to other sects.
A patriot is necessarily and invariably a lover of the people, But even this mark may sometimes des ceive us.
The people is a very heterogeneous and confused mass of the wealthy and the poor, the wise and the foolish, the good and the bad. Before we confer on a man, who caresses the people, the title of patriot, we must examine to what part of the people he directs his notice. It is proverbially said, that he who dissembles his own character, may be known by that of his companions. If the candidate of patriotism endeavours to infuse right opinions into the higher ranks, and by their influence to regulate the lower'; if he consorts chiefly with the wise, the temperate, the regular, and the virtuous, his love of the people may be rational and honest. But if his first or principal application be to the indigent, who are always inflammable; to the weak, who are naturally suspicious ; to the ignorant, who are easily misled; and to the profligate, who have no hope but from mischief and confusion ; let his love of the people be no longer boasted. No man can reasonably be thought a lover of his country, for roasting an ox, or burning a boots or attending the meeting at Mile-End, or registering his name in the lumber troop. He may among the drunkards be a hearty fellow, and among sober handi. craftsmen, a free spoken gentleman ; but he must have some better distinction before he is a patriot.
A patriot is always ready to countenance the just daims, and animate the reasonable hopes of the peos ple; he reminds them frequently of their rights, and stimulates them to resent encroachments, and to multis ply securities.
But all this may be done in appearance, without real patriotism. He that raises false hopes to serve a present purpose, only makes a way for disappointment and discontent. He who promises to endeavour, what he knows his endeavours unable to effect, means only to delude his followers by an empty clamour of ineffectual zeal.
A true patriot is no lavish promiser : he undertakes not to shorten parliaments; to repeal laws; or to
change the mode of representation, transmitted by our ancestors : he knows that futurity is not in his power, and that all times are not alike favourable to change.
Much less does he make a rague and indefinite prom. ise of obeying the mandates of his constituents. He knows the prejudices of faction, and the inconstancy of the multitude. He would first inquire, how the opinion of his constituents shal}. be taken. Popular instructions are commonly the work, not of the wise and steady, but the violent and rash; meetings held for directing representatives are seldom attended but by the idle and the dissolute; and he is not without suspicion, that of his constituents, as of other numbers of men, the. smaller part may often be the wiser.
He considers himself as deputed to promote the public good, and to preserve his constituents, with the rest of his countrymen, not only from being hurt by others, but from hurting themselves.
The common marks of patriotism having been examined, and shown to be such as artifice may counterfeit, or folly misappiy, it cannot be improper to consider, whether there are not some characteristical modes of speaking or acting, which may prove a man to be NOT A PATRIOT.
In this inquiry, perhaps clearer evidence may be discovered, and firmer persuasion aitained ; for it is commonly easier to know what is wrong than what is right; to find what we should avoid, than what we should pursue.
As war is one of the heaviest of national evils, a calamity in which every species of misery is involved; as it sets the general safety to hazard, suspends commerce, and desolates the country : as it exposes great numbers to hardships, dangers, captivity and death ; no man who desires the public prosperity, will in.
flame general resentment by aggravating minute in-
He that wishes to see his country robbed of its rights cannot be a patriot.
That man therefore is no patriot, who justifies the ridiculous claims of American usurpation; who en deavours to deprive the nation of its natural and law. fui authority over its own colonies; those colonies, which were settled under English protection ; were constituted by an English charter; and have been defended by English arms.
To suppose, that by sending out a colony, the nation established an independent power; that when, by