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or depraved, to find opportunities of rectifying his notions, and regulating his conduct by new lights.
But much greater is the happiness of that man, to whom every day brings a new proof of the reasonableness of his former determinations, and who finds, by the most unerring tests, that his life has been spent in promoting doctrines beneficial to mankind. This, Sir, is the happiness which I now enjoy, and før which those who never shall attain it, must look for an equivalent in lucrative employments, honorary titles, pompous equipages, and splendid palaces.
These, Sir, are the advantages which are to be gained by a seasonable variation of principles, and by a ready compliance with the prevailing fashion of opinions; advantages, indeed, which I cannot envy when they are purchased at so high a price, but of which age and observation has too frequently shewn me the unbounded influence; and to which I cannot deny, that I have ascribed the instability of conduct and inconsistency of assertions, which I have discovered in many men, whose abilities I have no reason to depreciate, and of whom I cannot believe they would easily distinguish truth, were not falshood recommended to them by the glittering ornaments of wealth and power. .
If there are in this new Parliament any men devoted to their private interest, and who prefer the gratification of their pasfions, to the safety and happiness of their country ; who can riot without remorse in the plunder of their Constituents; who can forget the anguish of guilt in the noise of a feast, the pomp of a drawing room, or the arms of a strumpet, and think expensive wickedness, and the gaieties of folly, equivalent to the fair fame of fidelity, and the peace of virtue, to them I shall speak to no purpose : for I am far from imagining any language in my power can gain those to truth, who have resigned their hearts to avarice or ambition, or to prevail upon men to change opinions, which they have indeed never believed, though they are hired to affert them. For there is a
degree of wickedness, which no reproof or argument can reclaim, as there is a degree of stupidity which no instruction can enlighten.
If my country, Sir, has been so unfortunate as once more to commit her interest to those who propose to themselves no advantage from their trust but that of selling it, I may, perhaps, fall once more under censure for declaring my opinion, and be once more treated as a criminal for asserting what they who punish me cannot deny; for maintaining the inconsistency of Hanoverian maxims with the happiness of this kingdom, and for preserving the caution which was so strongly inculcated by the patriots that drew up the act of settlement, and gave the present Royal Family their title to the Throne.
These men, Sir, whose wisdom cannot be disputed, and whose zeal for his Majesty's service and family was equal to their knowledge, thought it requisite to provide some security against the prejudices of birth and education. They were far from imagining, that they were calling to the Throne a race of beings exalted above the frailties of humanity, or exempted by any peculiar privileges from error or from .gnorance.
They knew that every man was habitually, if not naturally fond of his own nation, and that he was inclined to enrich it and defend it at the expence of another, even, perhaps, of that to which he is indebted for much higher degrees of greatness, wealth, and power; for every thing which makes one state of life preferable to another, (and which, therefore, if reason could prevail over prejudice, and every action were regulated by strict justice) might claim more regard than that corner of the earth in which he only happened to be born.
They knew, Sir, that. confidence was not always returned, that we must willingly trust those whom we have longest known, and caress those with most fondness, whose inclinations we find by experience to correspond with our own, without regard to particular circumstances which may entitle others to greater regard, or higher degrees of credit, or of kindness.
Against these prejudices, which their fagacity enabled them to foresee, their integrity incited them to secure to us, by provisions which every man then thought equitable and wise, because no man was then hired to espouse a contrary opinion.
To obviate the disposition which a foreign race of Princes might have to trust their original subjects, it was enacted, That none of them should be capable of any place of trust or profit in these kingdoms. And to hinder our Monarchs from tranfferring the revenues of Great-Britain to Hanover, and enriching it with the commerce of our traders and the labours of our husbandmen; from raising taxes to augment the splendour of a petty Court, and increasing the garrisons of their mountains, by misapplying that money which this nation should raise for its own defence, it was provided, That the King of GreatBritain should never return to his native dominions, but reside always in this kingdom, without any other care than that of gaining the affections of his British subjects, preserving their rights, and increasing their power.
Mr. Shippen, Oc7. 14, 1741.
ALL that can be said, Sir, against forfeitures for treason, mult proceed from mistaking or misrepresenting the nature of punishments, and the ends for which they have been introduced into society. Punishment is said to be malum pafionis, quod inftigitur ob malum aétionis; and therefore, in its own nature, it must be confined to the person of the criminal; for whoever pretends to infiet a punishment upon an innocent person, cannot properly be said to punish : on the contrary, he deserves to be punished, because in so doing he commits a crime, or a malum actionis, and for that reason ought to have a malum actionis inflicted upon him: however, there are many misfortunes, losses, and inconveniencies, which innocent men are subject to by the nature of things, and may be exposed to by the laws of society, for the preservation and welfare of the society. As there are many diseases that descend from the parent to the child, it is a misfortune for a child to be born of parents af. ficted with such diseases : it is a misfortune for a child to be born of parents that are poor and indigent; but these misfor. tunes are not to be called punishments, because they are, by the nature of things, inflicted upon innocent persons. There are others, as I have said, which innocent men may be exposed to by the laws of society: such were the confinements which leprous or unclean persons were exposed to by the Jewish law; and such are those confinements which people are subjected to by our law, who are infected, or under suspicion of being infected with the plague: such, likewise, are the misfortunes which attend children who are born of Naves, in countries where Navery is established: such were the incapacities of chil. dren born of Plebeians, in the ancient Roman Commonwealth, who could not intermarry with the Patricians, nor be advanced to any of the chief posts in the Government: and such are the misfortunes attending children born in this country of parents who happen to be convicted of High-Treason; because, by their attainder, they are divested of every thing that belonged to them; and therefore the children are in the same state, as if they had been born of poor and indigent parents. But none of these misfortunes can be said to be punishments, nor were ever called so, by those who understand any thing of the laws of nature or nations. · Both the learned Grotius and the learned Puffendorff are clear upon this subject. The former, in treating of what he calls the communication of punishments, in order to show, that an innocent man ought not to be made to suffer for the crime of the guilty, distinguishes between that damage or loss, which a man may suffer directly, and that which he may fuffer consequentially. A man suffers directly, he says, when any thing is taken directly from him, which properly belonged to him; and he suffers consequentially, when he loses what he has a conditional right to, by the failure of the condition upon which he was to have it: and forfeitures he exprefly mentions as a damage
er loss of this last sórt'; because children have but a conditional right to their father's estate, that is, provided the father dies possessed of it. For this reason, that learned Gentleman says, that forfeiture is no punishment upon the children, but only a damage which they suffer, not directly, but consequentially, by the crime of the father, which prevented the existing of that condition upon which they were to have had his estate ; and after having thus distinguished, he concludes, that no man who is perfectly innocent can be punished for the crime of any other man.
The learned Puffendorff again treats this subject in the same manner, and almost in the very fame words. He distinguishes between a damage suffered directly and consequentially. “ The « first is, says he, when a man is deprived of that he has al" ready a proper right to; the second, when that condition is « intercepted, without which he could not enjoy such a right. “ Thus, when the estate the parents were possessed of is for6. feited, the children also feel the loss of it: but, however, « this is not a punishment properly, with respect to the chil« dren, because they cannot come to the inheritance of their “ father's estate, unless the father preserves it for them till he “ dies; and therefore the confiscation, or forfeiture, only in“ tercepts the condition, without which, the children can have “ no right to the father's estate.”
To the opinion of these two learned moderns, Sir, I shall add the opinion of a very famous man among the ancients, I mean Marcus Tullius Cicero ; who, in one of his letters to Brutus, approves of the forfeiture of Lepidus, and says, it was as just to reduce his children to a state of want and misery, as it was in the Athenians to reduce the children of Themistocles to that wretched state ; to which he adds, that this was an ancient and general cuítom in all commonwealths: from whence, I think, I may infer, that the forfeiture of traitors was a law which prevailed among the Romans, long before the establifhment of their empire: and that this law was established