Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

or derogate from our own Rights, no man can tell how far it may go. I do not know, but I may live to see the Question put upon a Gentleman's rising up to speak, whether he mall have leave to speak? And if ever such a Question should be put, I shall not in the least doubt of its being carried in the negative, in ease there should be a suspicion of the Gentleman's intending to utter things disagreeable to those that may then have the direction of the Majorities of this House.

William Pulteney, Esq; Jan. 29, 1739.

I must be against compelling the attendance of such Gentlemen in this House; I am far from finding fault with any of those Gentlemen that have returned; I think they have done their duty in doing so; but I cannot help comparing them to the present King of Spain. He, some years ago, resigned his Crown, out of a pet, and, I think, it was a religious or conscientious pet too. I wish they had held him at his word, and never allowed him to resume, as they might and ought to have done; for his second son, now Prince of Asturias, was the natural successor to his eldest, who died King of Spain, But they allowed him to resume his Crown, and we know what disturbances he has since bred in Europe. If the Gentlemen who left their Seats last Sellion, had been taken at their word; if we had ordered their Seats to be filled up by new Elections, they could have complained of no injustice: but we have this Session allowed such of them as have returned, to resume their Seats. In this, we have shewn ourselves to be as indulgent as the subjects of the King of Spain ; and I hope they will take care not to make such an use of the indulgence they have met with, as his Catholic Majesty has done. They have hitherto shewn, that they do not incline to do; but, if we should call in those that, for aught we know, are still in a bad humour, I do not know what may happen. Evil company, they say, corrupts good manners. It is a dangerous experi

ment,

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

ment, to mingle the infected with those that are but just recovered. For this reason I was against the Call.

Robert Tracey, Esq; Jan. 25, 1735.,

No Legislator ever founded a free Government, but avoided a standing army, that Charybdis, as a rock against which his Commonwealth must certainly be shipwrecked, as the Israelites, Athenians, Corinthians, Achaians, Lacedemonians, Thebans, Samnites, and Romans; none of which nations, whilst they kept their liberty, were ever known to maintain any soldier in constant pay within their cities, or ever suffered any of their subjects to make war their profession; well knowing, that the sword and sovereignty always march hand in hand; and therefore they trained their own citizens, and territories about them, perpetually in arms; and their wholje Commonwealths, by this means, became so many formed militias : a general exercise of the best of their people in the use of arms, was the only bulwark of their liberties, and was reckoned the surest way to preserve them both at home and abroad, the people being se- ' cured thereby as well against the domestic affronts of any of their own citizens, as against the foreign invasions of ambitious and unruly neighbours. Their arms were never lodged in the hands of any who had not an interest in preserving the public peace, who fought pro aris & focis, and thought themselves sufficiently paid by repelling invaders, that they might with freedom return to their own affairs. In those days there was no difference between the citizen, the soldier, and the husbandman; for-all promiscuously took arms when the public safety required it, and afterwards laid them down with more alacrity than they took them up: so that we find among the Romans, the bravest and greatest of their Generals came from the plough, contentedly returning when the work was over, and never demanding their triumphs, till they had laid down their commands, and reduced themselves to the state of pri

vate men. Nor do we find this famous Commonwealth ever i Vol.I.

E

permitted

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

-

permitted a disposition of their arms in any other hands, till their Empire increasing, neceffity constrained them to erect a constant stipendiary foldiery abroad in foreign parts, either fog the holding or winning of provinces. Then luxury increasing with dominion, the strict rule and discipline of freedom foon abated, and forces were kept up at home; which foon proved of such dangerous consequence, that the people were forced : to make a law to employ them at a convenient distance : which was, that if any General marched over the river Rubicon, he should be declared a public enemy. And in the passage of that river, the following inscription was erected, Imperator five miles, five tyrannus armatus quifquis fiftito ; vexillum armaque deponito, nec citra hunc amnem trajicito. And this made Cæfar, when he had prefumed to pass this river, to think of nothing but the presfing on to the total oppression of that glorious Empire.

Mr. Hutcheson, Fib. 12, 1740.

SIR, it is a new doctrine in this nation, and absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution, to tell us, that his Majesty may, and ought, in the difpofal of offices and favours, to confider Gentlemen's behaviour in this Houfe. Let his Majesty be never so well convinced of the wisdom and uprightness of his measures, he ought not to take the least notice of what is faid or done by any particular man in this House. He is a traitor to our Constitution that advises his Majesty to do fo; and if reports are carried to his Majesty, with regard to the behaviour of any particular Member of Parliament in this House, or at any Election, he ought to do with them, as it is faid King William did with the Papers of a Plot he had dife covered. By perusing one of them, he found reason to fus. pect some of his Courtiers had been concerned; whereupon he threw them all into the fames, that they might not furnish him with suspicions against those he took to be his friends.

The

The fame Monarch shewed another instance of his generosity, and of his regard for our Constitution. A poft in the army having fallen vacant, the Gentleman who had the next right to it, happened to be a Member of this House, and one that had opposed the Court, which few Officers do now-a-days; the Ministers, as usual, were against his preferment, because he had opposed the King's Measures in Parliament; but the King told them, he had always behaved well as an Officer, and he had nothing to do with his behaviour in Parliament.

Honourable Edward Digby, March 23, 1741.

WHATEVER notion fome Gentlemen may have of absolute power, Sir, it has been thought necessary in all countries for preserving subordination and discipline in an army. In the Roman Commonwealth, from its very firit original, the Generals of their armies had a most absolute and unlimited power over every Officer and Soldier in the army. They could not only prefer and reduce, but punish even with death itself, by their sole authority, and without the sentence of any Court Martial. The story of Manlius, who put his own son to death, for fighting the enemy againit his orders, is so well known, that I need not put Gentlemen in mind of it. Not only particular men, but whole armies, were among the Romans subject to be punished by the sole and absolute power of their General; for we read that Appius, in the very infancy of that Commonwealth, caused every tenth man in the army to be whipped for Aying from the enemy; besides punishing fome of the Officers with death. And, I believe, there is now no country in the world, where their armies enjoy so much freedom, or so much security against being oppressed by their Commanders, as both the Officers and Soldiers of our British armies enjoy.

Colonel Conway, Feb. 7, 1750.

[ocr errors]

THE

[ocr errors]

"The old Nabob Meer Haffier, if ever Muflulman had a friendship for a Christian, had a friendship for me. When the news of my appointment reached Bengal, he immediately quitted Muxadavad; came down to Calcutta ; impatiently waited my arrival six weeks; fell ill; returned to his Capital, and died! Two or three days before his death, in the presence of his wife, and in the presence of his Minister, he said to his fon and successor, “ Whatever you think proper to give to Lord Clive on your own account, the means are in your power : But as a testimony of my affection for him, I desire you will pay to him, as a legacy from me, five lacks of rupees.” I must observe, that the Nabob's death happened whilft I was on my voyage, and some months before my arrival in Bengal. The principal and interest amounted to near seventy thousand pounds. The whole of the money, added to about forty thousand pounds more, which I prevailed on the Nabob to bestow, is established for a Military Fund, in support of Officers, and Soldiers who may be invalided in any part of India, and also in support of their widows.

Lord Clive, March 30, 1772.

· If Gentlemen will search the Records in the Tower, they will find that the town of Calais in France, when it belonged to the Imperial Crown of these Realms, was not taxed till it fent Representatives to Parliament. Two Burgesses from Ca. lais actually fat and voted in this House. Then, and not till then, was Calais taxed. The Writ out of Chancery, and the Return to it, in the reign of Edward the VIth, with the names of the Burgesses, are still extant. I faithfully gave them to the Public from attested copies.

Mr. Wilkes, Feb. 1775.

The adopting of the measures of supporting large standing armies, to enforce the sovereignty over their provinces, (an alluring motive) has subjugated them all in their turns, and ex

tinguished

« AnteriorContinuar »