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present reign may have been objectionable in the eyes of a numerous and respectable body of his subjects, still, his majesty, personally has not for a moment ceased to possess the warm attachment and loyal devotion of his people of every rank. Persons may differ on questions of state expediency, and, in a government like that of Great Britain, where so much freedom is given to the discussion of public affairs, and where public opinion has so great a weight in influencing the decisions of government, it is not wonderful that one part of the nation should condemn as impolitic and ruinous those very measures that are applauded by another part, and recommended to adoption as absolutely necessary to provide for the national safety. Hence have arisen all the factions and parties of the present reign, and the accusations with which they
have alternately loaded each other. Posterity must do justice between them. We live too near the scene, and have participated too largely in the heats and feelings of the times to be impartial judges. Yet, however divided the public opinion may be as to the general policy of the present reign, or of the wisdom or propriety of particular measures that have distinguished his majesty's government, still it will be readily admitted by men of all parties, that no prince was ever seated on the British throne of better intentions than his present majesty. This is a fact so generally felt, that it scarcely needs the aid of any argument to support it. At the conclusion of the American war, a period in every respect so disgraceful and disastrous for Britain, it was then acknowledged that the personal good intentions of the monarch cxempted him from the
blame of having patronized or recommended that unhappy contest; and the people, without feeling any abatement of their love and veneration for their sovereign, transferred the odium of those measures from the monarch to his servants. Subsequently the people have had occasion sometimes to complain of the measures of government, but, except among a few deluded persons, the desperate advocates of the French revolution in its earlier stages, his majesty has continued through his long reign to enjoy the sincere attachment of a free and enlightened people, who, in admiration of the personal virtues of the man, overlooked the political mistakes of the monarch.
We deem it necessary to make these observations in the threshold of our work, both to vindicate our own loyalty, and to rebut an argument too frequent with politicians of a certain class, namely, that no person must venture to disapprove of the measures of government, without incurring the hazard of being charged with dissatisfaction to the person of the king. This is a mode of arguing so wretchedly vague and inconclusive, that it would not merit to be refuted, but for the circumstance, that weak and inefficient as this argument is, it has been applied with great industry, and on some occasions it seems to have been productive of material consequences. We shall have occasion to notice hereafter that the illustrious subject of these memoirs himsell, with other branches of his august family, have had their motives and actions calumniated ; and there have not been wanting writers base enough to attribute to them principlus, u atural as Sons, and disloyal as subjets. It is an oil observation, that the great síaui Oui ail
eminence, exposed to the shafts of censure; and to this we may add, that there never was a period in the history of nations, when men were disposed to look with so jealous an eye on the actions and conduct of persons in eminent stations as the present. The freedom of our national press, which in some instances, perhaps, borders on licentiousness, and the liberty of dise cussion which our public assemblies cherish, and which their organization is so admirably calculated to promote, keep alive this spirit of investigation, and the great, as the tax which they pay for the privileges of rank and power, must be content to have their conduct scrutinized by their inferiors. But the mischief of which we shall have to complain, and which we shall endeavour to remedy, is that ungenerous and disingenuous mode of argument by which motives and feelings are attri