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An Answer to a Question that Nobody thinks of, viz., But what if the Queen should Die?   By: (1661?-1731)

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[Transcriber's Note: This e book, a pamphlet by Daniel Defoe, was originally published in 1713, and was prepared from The Novels and Miscellaneous Works of Daniel De Foe , vol. 6 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1855). Archaic spellings have been retained as they appear in the original, and obvious printer errors have been corrected without note.]




That Nobody thinks of,


But what if the QUEEN should die?


Printed for J. Baker , at the Black Boy in Pater Noster Row . 1713. Price Six Pence.



That we are to have a peace, or that the peace is made, what sort of peace, or how it has been brought about; these are questions the world begins to have done with, they have been so much, so often, and to so little purpose banded about, and tossed like a shuttlecock, from one party to another; the parties themselves begin to want breath to rail and throw scandal. Roper and Ridpath, like two Tom T men, have thrown night dirt at one another so long, and groped into so many Jakes's up to their elbows to find it, that they stink now in the nostrils of their own party. They are become perfectly nauseous to read; the nation is surfeited of them, and the people begin to be tired with ill using one another. Would any tolerable face appear upon things, we might expect the people would be inclined to be easy; and were the eyes of some great men open, they may see this was the opportunity they never had before, to make the nation easy, and themselves safe. The main thing which agitates the minds of men now, is the protestant succession and the pretender. Much pains have been taken on both sides to amuse the world about this remaining dispute; one side to make us believe it is safe, and the other to convince us it is in danger. Neither side hath been able to expatiate upon the part they affirm. Those who say the protestant succession is secure, have not yet shown us any step taken, since these new transactions, for its particular security. Those who say it is in danger, have not so clearly determined, even among themselves, from what particular head of public management that danger chiefly proceeds. Both these uncertainties serve to perplex us, and to leave the thing more undetermined than consists with the public ease of the people's minds. To contribute something to that ease, and bring those whose place it is to consider of ways to make the people easy in this case, this work is made public. Possibly, the question propounded may not meet with a categorical answer. But this is certain, it shall show you more directly what is the chief question which the substance of things before us is like to turn upon; and to which all our questions seem to tend. Were the great difficulty of the succession brought to a narrow compass, though we might spend fewer words about it, we should sooner come to a direct answer. Before I come to the great and chief question upon which this affair so much seems to turn, it seems needful to put the previous question upon which so much debate has been among us, and let that be examined. This previous question is this: Is there any real danger of the protestant succession? Is there any danger that the pretender shall be brought in upon us? Is there any danger of popery and tyranny, by restoring the son, as they call him, of abdicated King James? This is the previous question, as we may now call it. It is well known that there are some people among us, who are so far from allowing that there is any such danger as the said question mentions, that they will have it to be a token of disaffection to the government to put the question, and are for loading whoever shall offer to start such a question, with characters and party marks odious to good men, such as incendiary, promoter of discontents, raiser of faction, divider of the people, and the like: names which the writer of these sheets, at the same time, both contemns and abhors... Continue reading book >>

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