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Now, after the malice of this sputtering triumvirate (Mr Hunt, and the two Reflectors), against the person and dignity of the king, and against all that endeavour to serve him (which makes their hatred to his cause apparent), the very charging of our play to be a libel, and such a parallel as these ignoramuses would render it, is almost as great an affront to His Majesty, as the libellous picture itself, by which they have exposed him to his subjects. For it is no longer our parallel, but the king's, by whose order it was acted, without any shuffling or importunity from the poets. The tragedy (cried the faction) is a libel against such and such illustrious persons. Upon this the play was stopt, examined, acquitted, and ordered to be brought upon the stage: not one stroke in it of a resemblance, to answer the scope and intent of the complaint. There were some features, indeed, that the illustrious Mr Hunt and his brace of beagles (the Reflectors) might see resembling theirs; and no other parallel either found or meant, but betwixt the French leaguers and ours: and so far the agreement held from point to point, as true as a couple of tallies. But when neither the king, nor my lord chamberlain, with other honourable persons of eminent faith, integrity, and understanding, upon a strict perusal of the papers, could find one syllable to countenance the calumny; up starts the defender of the charter, &c. opens his mouth, and says, "What do ye talk of the king? he's abused, he's imposed upon. Is my lord chamberlain, and the scrutineers that succeed him, to tell us, when the king and the duke of York are abused?"' What says my lord chief baron of Ireland to the buisness? What says the livery-man templer? What says Og the king of Basan to it?" We are men that stand up for the king's supremacy in all causes, and over all persons, as well ecclesiastical as civil, next and immediately under God and the people. We are for easing His Royal Highness of his title to the crown, and the cares that attend any such prospect; and we shall see the king and the Royal Family paralleled at this rate, and not reflect upon it V
But to draw to an end. Upon the laying of matters fairly together, what a king have these balderdash scribblers given us, under the resemblance of Henry the Third! How scandalous a character again, of His Majesty, in telling the world that he is libelled, and affronted to his face, told on't, pointed to it; and yet neither he, nor those about him, can be brought to see or understand it. There needs no more to expound the meaning of these people, than to compare them with themselves: when it will evidently appear, that their lives and conversations, their writings and their practices, do all take the same bias; and when they dare not any longer revile His Majesty or his government point blank, they have an intention to play the libellers in masquerade, and do the same thing in a way of mystery and parable. This is truly the case of the pretended parallel. They lay their heads together, and compose the lewdest character of a prince that can be imagined, and then exhibit that monster to the people, as the picture of the king in the " Duke of Guise." So that the libel passes for current in the multitude, whoever was the author of it; and it will be but common justice to give the devil his due. But the truth is, their contrivances are now so manifest, that their party moulders both in town and country; for I will not suspect that there are any of them left in court. Deluded well-meaners come over out of honesty, and small offenders out of common discretion or fear. None will shortly remain with them, but men of desperate fortunes or enthusiasts: those who dare not ask pardon, because they have transgressed beyond it, and those who gain by confusion, as thieves do by fires: to whom forgiveness were as vain, as a reprieve to condemned beggars; who must hang without it, or starve with it.