Page images


him and Buck-horse. I wish the BRITON had given us any clue to unravel what his real views, befides pay or a penfion, could be. He only declares his defign to be to detect the falsehood of malice mine fhall be to detect the malice of falfehood----of his in particular; and he fhall find that I will exert the undoubted privilege of every NORTH BRITON, that of fpeaking my opinion freely on every fubject that concerns the community, of which I am a member. Though I am a NORTH BRITON, I will endeavour to write plain English, and to avoid the numerous Scotticifms the BRITON abounds with; and then, as the world is apt tô mistake, he may be taken for a Scotfman, and I shall pass for an Englishman.

What I have to say of myself, fhall foon be difpatched. I thank my ftars, I am a North Britons with this almoft fingular circumstance belonging to me, that I am unplaced and unpenfioned but I hope this reproach will foon be wiped away, and that I fhall no longer be pointed at by my fneering countrymen.

Ifhall now, till next Saturday, take leave of this writer with an excellent obfervation which I lately read in Sir WILLIAM TEMPLE:

"Thus much is certain, that whatever means "will reftore or raise the credit of his Majefty's government at home, will do it abroad




"too; for a king of England, at the head of "his parliament and people, and in their hearts " and intereft," (as our fovereign now is, and from his virtues ever must be,) can never fail "of making what figure he pleases in the "world, 'nor of being safe and easy at home; "and may defpife all the defigns of factious 66 men, who can only make themselves confi"dered by feeming to be in the interest of the "nation, when the court seems to be out of "it. But, in running on counsels contrary to "the general humour and spirit of the people, "the king indeed may make his minifters great fubjects, but they can never make him a great prince

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Numb. II. Saturday, June 12, 1762.

Malè fe res habet, cùm, quod VIRTUTE effici debet, id ten

tatur PECUNIA.

Things are in a bad way, when money is employed to bring about what should be effected by virtue. CICERO.


Cannot conceal the joy I feel as a North Briton, and I heartily congratulate my dear countrymen on our having at length accomplished

*The first Briton was published May 29, 1762, The North Briton began on the Saturday following.

plished the great, long fought, and univerfally national object of all our wifhes, the planting a Scotsman at the head of the English Treasury. I was indeed before very well pleafed with the conduct of the * two other gentlemen at that board, who are likewise natives of our country; but then they were obliged to ferve under a noble Duke of a peculiar caft, whofe views. were most evidently neither to enrich himself, nor to aggrandize us. My joy and exultation are now complete, for I have lived to fee my countryman, the Earl of BUTE, adorned withthe most noble order of the Garter, (which hath. been given to us with so sparing a hand, and only for the most brilliant national services) and prefiding over the finances of this kingdom. This is the poft which the prime minifter hath generally kept for himself, and is of the first importance in this country It must ever be fo in times of war, and above all in this wide-extended but glorious war, when, nearly the sum of twenty millions will be this. year raised on the fubject; though, I thank. heaven, but a fortieth part of it will be paid by us. This, I must confess, is matter of ftill greater triumph to me; for the poor pittance we pay to the support of the public, does not give

* Gilbert Elliot, and James Ofwald, Efquires. Duke of Newcastle.


us even the most diftant claim to the difpofition of the whole, much lefs to the direction of the most important department of the state, our fhare of the legislature being much to our advantage fettled at about a thirteenth, not a fortieth. It is clearly then merit, fuperior to all the English nobility, which has raised the Earl of BUTE to the firft dignities, and to the power of difpofing of fo great public treasure.

Another circumftance muft make this event peculiarly grateful to us. The Earl of BUTE has no hereditary right to a feat in parliament, nor is he elected by the free voice of the people: no; he is chofen by the opulent and independent nobility of Scotland; and when the commons have fuch various marks of favour and affection fhewn to them, it must be a fatisfaction to fo many free and loyal nobles to fee the object of their choice thus honoured, trusted, and rewarded for all his public toils and private fer→ vices. Our ancient kingdom therefore cannot but be fatisfied, and by every tie of gratitude, as well as duty, must now be fincerely attached to the government. The moft fufpicious can have no doubts concerning us for the future, in cafe of a rebellion's fpringing up in any other country; which, to me, feems highly improbable.

The wisdom of this measure hath been deeried by fhallow politicians, because two great rebellions

rebellions from Scotland have within a few years disturbed the tranquillity of this island, and fhook the throne of two of the mildeft and beft fovereigns who ever governed a happy people. Nothing can be more weak or frivolous than this objection. Let us only confider what has before happened there; and I choose to inftance in the latter end of Queen ANNE'S reign, because so many of our modern writers are drawing our attention to that period. Upon what grounds they proceed I know not, for I find no fimilitude, as it is impoffible we can now be suing for peace in the most abject and humiliating manner after fuch amazing fucceffes. In May, 1712, each of the heads of the Highland clans received 360 l. fterling, as a compleat year's payment of the bounty-money her Majefty was pleafed to beftow upon them: these were the words of the receipt. Soon after they figned an address to the Queen, which was carried to London by Allan Cameron, brother to Lochiel, and presented to her Majefty, Allan being introduced by the Lord Treasurer Oxford, who was then the head of the TORY faction. In the address are these words: "Happy! if after your Majesty's late demife, to put a period "to our inteftine divifions, the hereditary right "and parliamentary fanction could poffibly meet in the perfon of a lineal fucceffor." At the



« PreviousContinue »