Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/190

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

far more easy attainment over book-burning or anything else than it is in our own time, or is ever likely to be in the future. It would also seem that during the eighteenth century it was generally the House of Lords that took the initiative in the time-honoured practice of condemning disagreeable opinions to the care of the hangman.

The unanimity alluded to between our two Houses was displayed in several instances. Thus on November 16th, 1722, the Commons agreed with the resolution of the Peers to have burnt at the Exchange the Declaration of the Pretender, beginning: "Declaration of James III., King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, to all his loving Subjects of the three Nations, and to all Foreign Princes and States, to serve as a Foundation for a Lasting Peace in Europe," and signed "James Rex." In this interesting document, George I. was invited to quietly deliver up his possession of the British throne in return for James's bestowal on him of the title of king in his native dominions, and the ultimate succession to the same title in England. The indignation of the Peers raised their effusive loyalty to fever point, and they promptly voted this singular document "a false,