Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/191

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Our Last Book-Fires.

insolent, and traitorous libel, the highest indignity to his most sacred Majesty King George, our lawful and undoubted sovereign, full of arrogance and presumption, in supposing the Pretender in a condition to offer terms to his Majesty; and injurious to the honour of the British nation, in imagining that a free, Protestant people, happy under the government of the best of princes, can be so infatuated as, without the utmost contempt and indignation, to hear of any tenns from a Popish bigoted Pretender," But was it loyalty or sycophancy that could thus transmute even George I. into "the best of princes"?

A less serious cause of alarm to their loyalty occurred in 1750, when certain Constitutional Queries were "earnestly recommended to the serious consideration of every true Briton." This was directed against the Duke of Cumberland, of Culloden fame, who was in it compared to the crooked-backed Richard III.; and it was generally attributed to Lord Egmont, M.P., as spokesman of the opposition to the government of George II., then headed by the Prince of Wales, who died the year following. It caused a great sensation in both Houses, though several members in the Commons defended it.