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- The Consolidator - 20/33 -
unlucky way of telling his Story, seeing which way things were a going, writes a Book, and Personating this high Solunarian Zeal, musters up all their Arguments, as if they were his own, and strenuously pretends to prove that all the Crolians ought to be Destroy'd, Hang'd, Banish'd, and the D----l and all. As this Book was a perfect Surprize to all the Country, so the Proceedings about it on all sides were as extraordinary.
The Crolians themselves were surpriz'd at it, and so closely had the Author couch'd his Design, that they never saw the irony of the Stile, but began to look about them, to see which way they should fly to save themselves.
The Men of Zeal we talk'd of, were so blinded with the Notion which suited so exactly with their real Design, that they hugg'd the Book, applauded the unknown Author, and plac'd the Book next their Oraclar Writings, or Laws of Religion.
The Author was all this while conceal'd, and the Paper had all the effect he wish'd for.
For as it caus'd these first Gentlemen to caress, applaud and approve it, and thereby discover'd their real Intention, so it met with Abhorrence and Detestation in all the Men of Principles, Prudence and Moderation in the Kingdom, who tho' they were Solunarians in Religion, yet were not for Blood, Desolation and Persecution of their Brethren, but with the Queen were willing they should enjoy their Liberties and Estates, they behaving themselves quietly and peaceably to the Government.
At last it came out that it was writ by a Crolian; but good God! what a Clamour was rais'd at the poor Man, the Crolians flew at him like Lightning, ignorantly and blindly, not seeing that he had sacrific'd himself and his Fortunes in their behalf; they rumag'd his Character for Reproaches, tho' they could find little that way to hurt him; they plentifully loaded him with ill Language and Railing, and took a great deal of pains to let the World see their own Ignorance and Ingratitude.
The Ministers of State, tho' at that time of the fiery Party, yet seeing the general Detestation of such a Proposal, and how ill it would go down with the Nation, tho' they approv'd the thing, yet began to scent the Design, and were also oblig'd to declare against it, for fear of being thought of the same Mind.
Thus the Author was Proscrib'd by Proclamation, and a Reward of 50000 Hecato's, a small imaginary Coin in those Parts, put upon his Head.
The Cortez of the Nation being at the same time assembled join'd in Censuring the Book, and thus the Party blindly damn'd their own Principles for meer shame of the practice, not daring to own the thing in publick which they had underhand profest, and the fury of all Parties fell upon the poor Author.
The Man fled the first popular Fury, but at last being betraid fell into the Hands of the publick Ministry.
When they had him they hardly knew what to do with him; they could not proceed against him as Author of a Proposal for the Destruction of the Crolians because it appear'd he was a Crolian himself; they were loth to charge him with suggesting that the Solunarian Church-men were guilty of such a Design, least he should bring their own Writings to prove it true; so they fell to wheadling him with good Words to throw himself into their Hands and submit, giving him that Geu-gau the Publick Faith for a Civil and Gentleman-like Treatment; the Man, believing like a Coxcomb that they spoke as they meant, quitted his own Defence, and threw himself on the Mercy of the Queen as he thought; but they abusing their Queen with false Representations, Perjur'd all their Promises with him, and treated him in a most barbarous manner, on pretence that there were no such Promises made, tho' he prov'd it upon them by the Oath of the Persons to whom they were made.
Thus they laid him under a heavy Sentence, Fin'd him more than they thought him able to pay, and order'd him to be expos'd to the Mob in the Streets.
Having him at this Advantage they set upon him with their Emissaries to discover to them his Adherents, as they call'd them, and promis'd him great Things on one Hand, threatning him with his utter Ruin on the other; and the Great Scribe of the Country, with another of their great Courtiers, took such a low Step as to go to him to the Dungeon where they had put him, to see if they could tempt him to betray his Friends. The Comical Dialogue between them there the Author of this has seen in Manuscript, exceeding diverting, but having not time to Translate it 'tis omitted for the present; tho' he promises to publish it in its proper Season for publick Instruction.
However for the present it may suffice to tell the World, that neither by promises of Reward or fear of Punishment they could prevail upon him to discover any thing, and so it remains a Secret to this day.
The Title of this unhappy Book was The shortest way with the Crolians. The Effects of it were various, as will be seen in our ensuing Discourse: As to the Author nothing was more unaccountable than the Circumstances of his Treatment; for he met with all that Fate which they must expect who attempt to open the Eyes of a Nation wilfully blind.
The hot Men of the Solunarian Church damn'd him without Bell, Book, or Candle; the more Moderate pitied him, but lookt on as unconcern'd: But the Crolians, for whom he had run this Venture, us'd him worst of all; for they not only abandon'd him, but reproacht him as an Enemy that would ha' them destroy'd: So one side rail'd at him because they did understand him, and the other because they did not.
Thus the Man sunk under the general Neglect, was ruin'd and undone, and left a Monument of what every Man must expect that serves a good Cause, profest by an unthankful People.
And here it was I found out that my Lunar Philosopher was only so in Disguise, and that he was no Philosopher, but the very Man I have been talking of.
From this Book, and the Treatment its Author receiv'd, for they us'd him with all possible Rigour, a new Scene of Parties came upon the Stage, and this Queen's Reign began to be fill'd with more Divisions and Feuds than any before her.
These Parties began to be so numerous and violent that it endanger'd the Publick Good, and gave great Disadvantages to the general Affairs abroad.
The Queen invited them all to Peace and Union, but 'twas in vain; nay, one had the Impudence to publish that to procure Peace and Union it was necessary to suppress all the Crolians, and have no Party but one, and then all must be of a Mind.
From this heat of Parties all the moderate Men fell in with their Queen, and were heartily for Peace and Union: The other, who were now distinguish'd by the Title of High Solunarians, call'd these all Crolians and Low Solunarians, and began to Treat them with more Inveteracy than they us'd to do the Crolians themselves, calling them Traytors to their Country, Betrayers of their Mother, Serpents harbour'd in the Bosom, who bite, sting and hiss at the Hand that succour'd them; and in short the Enmity grew so violent, that from hence proceeded one of the subtilest, foolishest, deep, shallow Contrivances and Plots that ever was hatcht or set on foot by any Party of Men in the whole Moon, at least who pretended to any Brains, or to half a degree of common Understanding.
There had always been Dislikes and Distasts between even the most moderate Solunarians and the Crolians, as I have noted in the beginning of this Relation, and these were deriv'd from Dissenting in Opinions of Religion, ancient Feuds, private Interest, Education, and the like; and the Solunarians had frequently, on pretence of securing the Government, made Laws to exclude the Crolians from any part of the Administration, unless they submitted to some Religious Tests and Ceremonies which were prescrib'd them.
Now as the keeping them out of Offices was more the Design than the Conversion of the Crolians to the Solunarian Church, the Crolians, at least many of them, submitted to the Test, and frequently Conform'd to qualify themselves for publick Employments.
The most moderate of the Solunarians were in their Opinion against this practice, and the High Men taking advantage of them, drew them in to Concur in making a Law with yet more Severity against them, effectually to keep them out of Employment.
The low Solunarians were easy to be drawn into this Project, as it was only a Confirming former Laws of their own making, and all Things run fair for the Design; but as the High Men had further Ends in it than barely reducing the Crolians to Conformity, they coucht so many gross Clauses into their Law, that even the Grandees of the Solunarians themselves could not comply with; nay even the Patriarchs of the Solunarian Church declar'd against it, as tending to Persecution and Confusion.
This Disappointment enrag'd the Party, and that very Rage entirely ruin'd their Project; for now the Nobility, the Patriarchs, and all the wise Men of the Nation, joining together against these Men of Heat and Fury, the Queen began to see into their Designs, and as she was of a most pious and peaceable Temper, she conceiv'd a just Hatred of so wicked and barbarous a Design, and immediately dismiss'd from her Council and Favour the Great Scribe, and several others who were Leaders in the Design, to the great mortification of the whole Party, and utter Ruin of the intended Law against the Crolians.
Here I could not but observe, as I have done before in the Case of the banish'd King, how impolitick these high Solunarian Church-men acted in all their Proceedings, for had they contented themselves by little and little to ha' done their Work, they had done it effectually; but pushing at Extremities they overshot themselves, and ruin'd all.
For the Grandees and Patriarchs made but a few trifling Objections at first, nay and came off, and yielded some of them too; and if these would ha' consented to ha' parted with some Clauses which they have willingly left out since, they had had it pass'd; but these were as hot Men always are, too eager and sure of their Game, they thought all was their own, and so they lost themselves.
If they rail'd at the low Solunarian Church-men before, they doubled their Clamors at them now, all the Patriarchs, and all the Nobility and Grandees, nay even the Queen her self came under their Censure, and every Body who was not of their Mind were Prestarians and Crolians.
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