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Grandeur and Power is; and more especially, if established in Tyranny and Impiety.
In effect, can any of thofe imperial Ravagers of Mankind, now living, ever hope to equal, much less to surpass, the great and famous Nebuchadnezzar, either in the Greatness, Extent, or Rapidity of their Conquests? If they cannot even flatter themselves with such a vain Hope, they would do well to consider seriously, besore they go hence, and are no more seen, what F. te besel him, even in the Height ps his Profperity and Grandeur; when he had nothing to sear from Man, all hisEnemies being subdued, and laid under his Feet. They would do well, we fay, to consider this seriously, what a melancholy Reverse he experienc'd in a Moment, even at the very Instant, when he was applauding himself most, on the Greatness of his Achievements; rhe Height and Extent of his Power; with the seeming Prospect, of the sirm and never-to-be-shaken Establishment of his Empire.
They would likewise do well to reflect, at the fame Time, whether they should like themselves, to undergo the fame terrible, and most shocking Pennance; neither would it be amiss for them, to lay their Hands upon their Hearts, and ask themselves the following serious and important, though perhaps not very pleasing Questions. Am I not every Moment liable, to the fame mortifying and intolerable Ca'tastrophe? Does not my Conscience assure me, I deserve it equally? Dare I aver, dare I even whisper it to mylelf, that such a Thing is impossible; lest the Moment I entertained that impious Thought, the Punishment should follow, and be put into immediate Execution? And, if 1 dare not even tell myself thus much, do I act either ivifi/y, or safely for myself, in persisting in the fame Course, of spreading Havock aud Desolation around Europe }
It were greatly to be wish'd, and happy for their Subjects, that these Purple Homicides would pat these home and falutary Questions to themselves; or, since this is never to be expected, that some of thofe, who have nearest Access to them,would have the Honesty, and Courage, to present them with some such Monitory as this, with the Page ready doubled down, for their Perufal; we can't help thinking, it might be attended with very good and wholesome Effects; but, we are greatly asraid, there is as little Hope of siich Honesty and Boldness, in those who approach great Princes, as there is, generally speaking, of meeting with Wisdom, Humanity, and Moderation, in, such Princes.
But, upon Recollection, to fay the Truth, in all Probability, were even such a bold and faithsul Counsellor to be found, unless the Prince, who was thus admonished, were one of a Thoufand, it might not have all the good Consequences, which might otherwise reasonably be expected from it; perhaps,. on the contrary, the honest Man might be rewarded with Disgrace; nay, if it were under an absolute Government, with Death itself, for what, in Reality, he would deserve the highest Honours, and even a Statue of Gold ; it is not theresore to be thought, in the present Iron Age, that any one will be found, who will be willing to fall a Martyr to Truth, and the Welfare of his Country, though he were sure even to be canonized for it. This is a melancholy Reflection, but there is hardly any thing, on this Side the Grave, that is without a Remedy, by an honest, prudent, and steady Conduct; neither is there a-ny Monarch so degenerate, not even the most tyrannical, and averse to Good, who may not be prevailed upon, by wholesome, bold, and often repeated Remonstrances; and this, not out of any Regard to his People, or his faithful Counsellors, but cut cf a tender Respect for his own Sasety,
Even the Great Turk himself, than whom no Monarch on Earth is more arbitrary, is forced to set some Bounds to his Tyranny ; or else, by rendering himself univerfally odious, he would soon sind, both his Reign, and himself, very short-liv'd: What one honest Statesman, theresore, alone, and unsupported, might not be able to effect, a Number, concurring resolutely together, and animated by the fame Zeal, for the Welfare of their Prince and Country, would certainly be able to accomplish ; and this, as was faid besore, not out of any Change in him for the better, but in Regard to his own dear Person.
Should any one here fay, we advance what can never be proved, because it will never be put to the Test, we can only answer, in Pity to any poor Country, that may happen to groan under such grievous Calamities, we are heartily sorry for it; 'but, should he proceed yet farther, and aver the Scheme itself is impracticable and romantic, and the mere chimerical Product of a visionary Brain, we *should'beg his Pardon, and tell him, the Experiment has been tried, and that many Ages ago, in the vast Empire of China; a Country entirely happy, in enjoying the best Form of Government, our own excepted, of any Nation in the Universe.
The Story is as follows: One of the Chinese Emperors, in former Days, being a very hasty, obstinate, imperious, and self-opinionated Man, the very worst Temper with which a Prince can pofsibly be endued, took it in his Head, in an Affair of the greatest Moment, without consulting any of hi* Mandarines, with whom he ought to have advised, to actdirectly contrary to the established Rule of their Government. Hereupon, one of the wisest, and greatest of the Mandarines, thinking himself bound in Duty so to do,- waited upon his Imperial Majesty,
and frankly reminded him, though in the most respectsul Terms, of what he thought an Error in his Conduct; laying besore him, at the lame Time, without any Reserve, what, he apprehended, would be the pernicious Consequences of his persisting any longer therein.
The Chinese Emperors are all absolute Princes, and have no other Check upon their Actions, than these Two; the being obliged to submit to the Hearing of their Faults, while living; and being certain of having them transmitted down to Posterity, to their eternal Infamy, when dead. These may be thought, perhaps, by most People, but very inconsiderable Restraints, and a poor Counter-balance against unlimited Sway: But, let such People be told, that the Princes, who are so void of all Shame, to break through these without Remorse, and are not at alt concerned, what will be said of- them hereafter, will make no Scruple, and will soon sind Ways and Means, by the Help of such abandoned, profligate Flatterers, as all Courts abound with, to break through any other Obstacles whatever: And, as ineffectual as these may seem, the sirst of them alone, namely, the hearing their own Faults told them, is such a one, as never an absolute Prince, at present, in Christendom, would patiently submit to ; it were well if some limited Prince, could be induced to bear it, with any Manner of Temper.
To return from whence we have digressed: The Emperor besore mentioned, was one of thofe, who was not of a Humour, to think he could be in the wrong; wheresore, instead of dismissing the fiithsul Counsellor with Thanks, aid Rewards, for his honest and falutary Remonstrance, and resorming his own Conduct, he ordered him to be put to Death foe his Insolence. But what Efsect had this unadvised Cruelty, and monstrous Injustice, upon the virtuous,
resolute, and undaunted Chinese? The very next Day, another Mandarine appeared ; demanded Audience; made the fame Remonstrances, or to the fame Purpofe; and chea.rsully underwent the fame Fate.
Notwithstanding this Barbarity, and these Examples, not deterr'd from doing his Duty, by their Fate, the Day following, a third Mandarine took upon himself the fame ungratesul and dangerous Task; to shew, at the fame Time, that he expected no Mercy, but that he willingly devoted himself to Death, for the Welfare of his Country, he ordered his Hearse to attend him in Mourning, and wait at the Palace-Gate! He then went boldly up to the Emperor, and sinding respectsul Remonstrances would not work upon him, told him, in plain Terms, if he did not reform his Conduct, his Reign ivould be handed doiun unto future dges, in the most shameful Colours, of any, that ever yet disgraced the Chronicles of Chin A. Hereupon the Tyrant, exasperated at this uncourtly Freedom, which indeed was the highest Proof of the most exalted and intrepid Virtue, not content with barely putting him to death, ordered him to expire, under the most exquisite Tor; tures.
This Example of the utmost Brutality, and most unrelenting Obstinacy, one would have thought, would have been more than sufficient, to deter any one from venturing to take his Place ; at least, we are sure, it would have- been so in any European Country; but it had a quite difserent Eftect, upon thofe never-to-bc-suflkicn 7-admired Heroes, and Patriots, the Mandarines of China. In short, upon this, the whole venerable Body of the Survivors assembled, to deliberate about what was to be done, in so ticklish, and yet so important an Affair: They were not long, however, in their Deliberations 3 for they soon came