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the spirited pleasure of independence, and all the gross lucre and fat emoluments of servitude.
Here is a sketch, though a night one, of the conftitution, laws, and policy, of this new court corporation. The name by which they chuse to distinguish themselves, is that of king's men, or the king's friends, by an invidious exclusion of the rest of his Majesty's most loyal and affectionate subjećts. The whole fystem, comprehending the exterior and interiour administrations is commonly called in the technical language of the court, doublecabinet ; in French or English, as you chuse to pronounce it
Whether all this be a vision of a distracted brain, or the invention of a malicious heart, or a real faction in the country, must be judged by the appearances which things have worn for eight years paft. Thus far I am certain, that there is not a single publick man, in or out of office, who has not, at some time or other, borne testimony to the truth of what. I have now related. In particular, no persons have been more strong in their assertions, and louder and more indecent in their complaints, than those who compofe all the exterior part of the present adminiftration; in whose time that faction has arrived at such an height of power, and of boldness in the ufe of it, as may, in the end, perhaps bring about its total destruction... It is true, that about four years ago, during the
administration of the Marquis of Rockingham, an. attempt was made to carry on government with out their concurrence. However, this was only a transient cloud; they were hid but for a moment; and their constellation blazed out with greater brightness, and a far more vigorous influence, fome time after it was blown over. An attempt was at that time made (but without any idea of profcription) to break their corps, to discountenance their doctrines, to revive connexions of a different kind, to restore the principles and policy of the Whigs, to reanimate the cause of liberty by minifterial countenance; and then for the first time were men feen attached in office to every principle they had maintained in opposition. No one will doubt, that such men were abhorred and violently opposed by the court faction, and that such a fyftem could have but a short duration.
It may appear somewhat affected, that in fo much discourse upon this extraordinary party, I should say fo little of the Earl of Bute, who is the fupposed head of it. But this was neither owing to affectation nor inadvertence. I have carefully avoided the introduction of personal reflections of any kind. Much the greater part of the topicks which have been used to blacken this nobleman, are either unjust or frivolous. At" beft, they have a tendency to give the resentment of this bitter calamity a wrong direction, and to turn a publick VOL. II.
grievance into a mean, personal, or a dangerous national quarrel. Where there is a regular scheme of operations carried on, it is the system, and not any individual person who acts in it, that is truly dangerous. This fyftein has not arisen folely from the ambition of Lord Bute, but from the circumItances which favoured it, and from an indifference to the constitution which had been for some time growing among our gentry. We should have been tried with it, if the Earl of Bute had never exifted; and it will want neither a contriving head nor active members, when the Earl of Bute exists ino longer. It is not, therefore, to rail at Lord
Bute, but firmly to embody against this court party cand its practices, which can afford us any profpect
of relief in our present condition. .. in L. Another motive induces me to put the personal consideration of Lord Bute, wholly out of the question. He communicates very little in a direct Imanner with the greater part of our men of bufiness. This has never been his custom. It is enough for him that he furrounds them with his creatures. Several imagine, therefore, that they have a very good excule for doing all the work of this faction, when they have no personal connexion with Lord Bute. But whoever becomes a party to an administration, composed of insulated indi-.viduals, without faith plighted, tie, or common principle; an administration constitutionally imdibina
potent, potent, because supported by no party in the nation; he who contributes to destroy the connexions of men and their trust in one another, or in any fort to throw the dependence of publick counsels , upon private will and favour, poffibly may have nothing to do with the Earl of Bute. It matters little whether he be the friend or the enemy of that particular person. But let him be who or what he will, he abets a faction that is driving hard to the ruin of his country. He is fapping the foundation of its liberty, disturbing the sources of its domestick tranquillity, weakening its government over its dependencies, degrading it from all its importance in the system of Europe.
It is this unnatural infusion of a system of favouritism into a government which in a great part of its constitution is popular, that has raised the prefent ferment in the nation. The people, without entering deeply into its principles, could plainly perceive its effects, in much violence, in a great spirit of innovation, and a general disorder in all the functions of government. I keep my eye solely on this system; if I speak of those meafures which have arisen from it, it will be so far only as they illustrate the general scheme. This is the fountain of all those bitter waters of which, through an hundred different conduits, we have, drunk until we are ready to burst. The discretionary power of the crown in the formation of ministry, S 2
abused by bad or weak men, has given rise to a fystem, which, without directly violating the letter of any law, operates against the spirit of the whole constitution. · A plan of favouritism for our executory government is essentially at variance with the plan of our legislature. One great end undoubtedly of a mixed government like ours, composed of monarchy, and of controuls, on the part of the higher people and the lower, is that the prince fhall not be able to violate the laws. This is useful indeed and fundamental. But this, even at firft view, is no more than a negative advantage; an armour merely defensive. It is therefore next in order, and equal in importance, that the discretionary powers which are necessarily vested in the monarch, whether for the execution of the laws, or for the nomination to magistracy and office, or for condu&ting the affairs of peace and war, or for ordering the revenue, jhould all be exercised upon publick principles and national grounds, and not on the liking's or prejudices, the intrigues or policies, of a court. This, I said, is equal in importance to the securing a government according to law. The laws reach but a very little way. Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the exercise of the powers which are left at large to the prudence and uprightness of minifters of state. Even all the use and potency of the laws depends