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In September 1713 the same sentiments were strenuously repeated by one of his confidential advisers, in reply to a remonstrance of Lord Mar. It was emphatically stated that there was no chance or possibility of a change of creed, and the Jacobites were ordered not only not to encourage, but steadily to deny, all rumours to an opposite effect. If it were to receive a crown,' added the writer, 'the King would not do a thing that might reproach either his honour or sincerity. If his friends require this condition from him, they do him. no favour; for he could compound at that rate with his greatest enemies.' In March 1714, when the Queen was manifestly dying, and when one more urgent demand was made upon the Pretender by those who had most weight in the government of England, he answered with his own hand: 'I neither want counsel nor advice to remain unalterable in my fixed resolution of never dissembling my religion; but rather to abandon all than act against my conscience and honour, cost what it will.

.. How could ever my subjects depend upon me or be happy under me if I should make use of such a notorious hypocrisy to get myself amongst them? . . . My present sincerity, at a time it may cost me so dear, ought to be a sufficient earnest to them of my religious observance of whatever I promise them.' 2 Such an appeal, coming from a Protestant, would have been irresistible, but coming from a Catholic it only increased. the uneasiness and distrust. It showed that his devotion to his creed amounted to a passion, and it was the strong conviction of the English people that it is a peculiarity of the Catholic creed that in cases in which its interests are concerned, it can sap, in a thorough devotee, every obligation of secular honour. In a mind thoroughly imbued with the Catholic enthusiasm, attachment to the

Macpherson's Original Papers, pp. 436, 437. 2 Ibid. ii. 525, 526.

corporate interest of the Church gradually destroys and replaces the sentiment of patriotism. The belief in the power of the Church to absolve from the obligation of an oath annuls the binding force of the most solemn engagements. The Church is looked upon as so emphatically the one centre upon earth of guidance, inspiration, and truth, that duty is at last regarded altogether through its medium; its interests and its precepts become the supreme measure of right and wrong, and men speedily conclude that no course can possibly be criminal which is conducive to its progress and sanctioned by its head.

The language of the Jacobites and Hanoverians on this subject substantially agrees, and their numerous confidential letters enable us to form a very clear notion of the state of feeling prevailing in England. Thus the eminent Nonjuror Leslie wrote, in April 1711, that if James would induce the French sovereign to connive at 'allowing the Protestant domestics of the King of England to assemble themselves from time to time at St. Germain's, in order to worship God in the most secret manner that possibly could be, that would do more service [to the Jacobite cause] than 10,000 men. For in England that would appear as a sort of toleration with regard to his attendants; and being obtained by his Britannic Majesty, everyone would consider it as a mark of his inclination to favour his Protestant subjects, and as a pledge of what they might expect from him when he was restored to his throne. . . . If it could be said in England that the King has procured for the Protestant servants who attend him the liberty which is here proposed for them, that would be half the way to his restoration. I only repeat here the very words which I have heard from sensible men in London.' '

1 Macpherson's Original Papers, ii. 216,

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"The best part of the gentry and half the nobility,' wrote another Jacobite a year later, are resolved to have the King, and Parliament would do it in a year if it could be believed he had changed his religion. I am convinced,' wrote the Duke of Buckingham in July 1712, 'that if Harry [the King] would return to the Church of England all would be easy. Nay, from what I know, if he would but barely give hopes he would do so, my brother [Queen Anne] would do all he can to leave him his estate.'2 'The country gentlemen,' said an agent of remarkable acuteness, are for the Princess Anne and her ministers, and will not be for Hanover. . The Parliament will declare neither way. Their business will be to secure the Protestant religion, and order matters so that it will not be in the King's power ever to hurt it. . . . The country gentlemen will never be reconciled to the Whigs. Most of them are for having the King, but will hazard nothing.'3 Another Jacobite writes in April 1713 that if he were the Pope he would oblige James to declare himself a Protestant, as the safest way of securing the crown, and establishing Catholicism, and when he completes the work appear with safety in his own shape, and not be beholden to anybody.' Another, writing in August 1713, predicted that the new Parliament would effect the restoration if the Queen lived long enough to let it sit. 'But the terms would be cruel and unfit to be taken; but if once in possession the power of altering, in time, will of course follow.' The language from the Hanoverian side was little different. Thus Robethon, a Secretary of the Embassy at Hanover, wrote in January 1712-13: The Pretender, on the slightest appearance of pretended conversion, might ruin all, the religion, the liberties,

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Macpherson, ii. 296.

2 Ibid. p. 329.

3 Ibid. pp. 392, 393.

• Ibid. p. 399.
• Ibid. p. 424.

the privileges of the nation.' Stanhope, in October 1713, laid his view of the state of affairs before Schütz, the envoy of the Elector in England. 'He does not think there will be fewer Whigs in the next Parliament than in the last, but he has a very bad opinion of it;

. . his opinion is that if things continue never so short a time upon the present footing, the Elector will not come to the crown unless he comes with an army. He believes the greatest number of the country gentlemen are rather against us than for us, but to make amends he assures us that the wisest heads and most honest members have our interest at heart.' 2 Marlborough again and again wrote describing the Protestant succession as in imminent danger.3 Schütz wrote to his Court in February 1713-14: The real state of this kingdom is that all honest men, without distinction of party, acknowledge that although of every ten men in the nation, nine should be for us, it is certain that of fifteen Tories there are fourteen who would not oppose the Pretender in case he came with a French army; but instead of making any resistance to him, would be the first to receive and acknowledge him.'4

In this conflict of parties the Whigs had some powerful advantages. The country districts, where Toryism was most rife, are never prompt in organising or executing a revolution; while the Whigs, though numerically fewer, were to be found chiefly in the great centres of commercial activity, among the active and intelligent population of the towns. Besides this the Whigs were earnest and united in advocating the Protestant succession, while their opponents were for the most part lukewarm, uncertain, or divided. The number of unqualified Jacobites who would place the government of

1 Macpherson, ii. 466.

Ibid. pp. 505, 506.

3 Coxe's Marlborough, ch. cxi. Macpherson, ii. 556.

the country without conditions in the hands of a Roman Catholic sovereign was, probably, very small. A large division of the party were only prepared to restore the Stuarts after negotiations that would secure their Church from all possible danger; and they were conscious that it was not easy to make such terms, that it was extremely doubtful whether they would be observed by a Catholic sovereign, and that the very idea of imposing terms and conditions of obedience was entirely repugnant to their own theory of monarchy. Another section, usually led by Sir Thomas Hanmer, regarded the dangers of a Catholic sovereign as sufficient to outweigh all other considerations, and its members were in consequence sincerely attached to the Hanoverian succession, and desired only that it should be preceded by such negotiations as would secure their party a reasonable share of power. The opinions of the great mass of the party who were not actively engaged in politics oscillated between these two, and were compounded, in different and fluctuating proportions, of attachment to the legitimate line, hatred of Germans, Whigs, and Dissenters, dread of French influence, and detestation of Popery. The Whigs, too, had the great advantage of resting upon the distinct letter of the law. However illegitimate the Revolution might have been in its origin, it had been consecrated by a great mass of subsequent legislation, and the succession to the throne had been formally established by law. As long as the Act of Settlement remained, the Jacobite was in the position of a conspirator; he was compelled to employ one language in public while he employed another in private, and the great moral weight which in England always attaches to the law was against him. On the other hand, the power of a united administration, supported by a majority in the House of Commons, was extremely great. It was more than probable that it could determine the course

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