Imagens da página

If you empower the Commissioners in America to propose peace on equitable terms, offer to restore their charters, and relinquish the unsustainable claim of taxation with a good grace; even now while your armies figure in the field, under hitherto triumphant Generals; and I make no doubt but by so laudable a step you will obtain from your colonies, through the Howes, as fair and magnanimous an answer as that which was sent from the Falerii to the Roman Senate by the great Camillus : “ The Romans in having preferred justice to conquest, have taught us to be satisfied with subiniffion instead of liberty.".

Honourable Temple Luttrell, 087, 31, 1776.

As a country gentleman, I must call on my brethren of that denomination to interpose and serve their country; their passive acquiescence to every new burden made Sir Robert Walpole say, “ that the landed gentlemen were like the flocks upon their plains; they suffered themselves to be fhorn without resistance, while the trading part of the nation resembled the hog, who would not let a britle be plucked from his back without making the whole parish echo with his coinplaints.” What with specious pretences and fair words to the one, and treasury acorns to the other, with which they were fed, the Minister has effectually filenced the heg, and imposed upon the honest fimplicity and patience of the sheep.

Sir Charles Bunbury, Dcc. 4, 1777.

I think, Sir, the Americans are fighting in a good cause for the defence of their just privileges, and chartered as well as innate rights. I am sure the proudest and most despotic Court in Europe, that of Vienna, would not have treated their subjects in the manner this Court has treated the Americans as rebels. When the present Empress Queen, then only Queen of Hungary, succeeded her father, the Emperor Charles the Sixth, in 1740, the secured the affections of her Hungarian subjects, by readily taking the old oath of the Sovereigns of that country, established in 1222, “ If I, (says she), or any of my successors, at any time, should attempt to infringe your privileges, you and your posterity are permitted, by virtue of this promise, to defend yourselves, without being liable to be treated as rebels."

Mr. Wilkes, Dec. 10, 1777.

In considering the situation of the noble Lord, (Lord North) his security in office is certainly owing to the bad opinion the public entertain of those who wish to get into his place. The speech of Charles the Second to his brother James, Duke of York, is perfectly applicable to him. When the Duke of York told the King, “ he wondered the Prince, who had rendered himself so unpopular, would venture abroad without his body guard.” The King replied, “ Have no fears for my safety, brother; I am perfectly secure in my person, as long as my people know, that if I die, or am cut off, you must be my succesfor."

Mr. Courtenay, Nov. 13, 1780.

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

I FIND that those gentlemen, who call themselves patriots, have laid this down as a fixed principle, that they must always oppose those ineasures which are resolved on by the King's Ministers, and consequently must always endeavour to shew that these measures are wrong; and this I take to be the only reason


why they have been as yet so filent as to a certain subject, in which the interest of their country is so very much concerned. Their language at present is, “ Do not let us declare our opinion; let us wait till we know what part the Ministry takes, and then let us endeavour to shew, that they ought to have acted quite otherwise.” They treat the Ministry in the same way as I am treated by some gentlemen of my acquaintance, with respect to my dress; if I am in plain clothes, then they fay, I am a flovenly, dirty fellow; and if by chance I have a fuit of clothes with some lace on them, they cry, What! shall such an aukward fellow wear fine clothes? So that no dress I can appear in can possibly please them. But to conclude, Sir, the case of the nation under the present Administration has been the same with what it always has been, and always must be; for to use a fimile, as long as the wind was fair and proper for carrying us to our designed port, the word was steady, fiteady; but when the wind began to shift and change, the word come then necessarily to be thus, thus, and no near.

Mr. Horatio Walpole, fan, 23, 1734.

I think it strange that this mighty secret of our fears about the Pretender has never been discovered during the whole course of this debate, till the honourable gentleman who spoke last but one disclosed it; I am glad, however, that it is at length discovered; for now gentlemen may have a very clear ftate of the case; which is, whether we ought to put the nation to the expence of maintaining 18,000 men, for no other reason, but because a certain gentleman is afraid of the Pretender? This is, I think, a clear and a true state of the case. As for the honourable gentleman's fears, they put me in mind of a mad fellow, called Butler, who used to go about, and at times would appear very much frightened at a certain phantom of his own brain, whom he called Prince Kantemir. This phantom haunted him about from place to place, and nothing could drive it out of his head. Really, Sir, I don't know what friends the

Pretender Pretender may make in this kingdom, if we shall continue our army; but if we reduce that, I dare say his intereft would exist no where but among a few madmen.

Sir William Wyndham, Feb. 3, 1738.

We have had a great deal of debate this night about the Con- · ftitution and Government of this and other nations; and there is no question, Sir, but there are many different ones in the world. But I believe the People of Great Britain are governed by a power that never was heard of as a supreme authority in any age or country before. This power, Sir, does not consist in the absolute will of the Prince, in the direction of Parliament, in the strength of an army, in the influence of the clergy; neither, Sir, is it a petticoat government; but, Sir, it is the government of the press. The stuff which our weekly newspapers are filled with is received with greater reverence than acts of Parliament; and the sentiments of one of these scribblers have more weight with the multitude than the opinion of the best politician in the kingdom.

Joseph Danvers, Esq. Feb. 3, 1738.

[ocr errors]

As an honourable gentleman at the lower end of the Houfe threw out a proposal to send us all to school again for the reforming our manners, Sir, I think our care should be to prevent members of Parliament from being at school when they are here, from being under the lath of an insolent Minister, as, if we may credit history, bas happened in some former Parliaments. Sir, I do not mean the Parliaments in Queen Elizabeth's reign, however servile they are represented to have been by an honourable member over the way. I am afraid the practice of Ministers naming members to boroughs at their own will and pleasure, which he told us was used by the Earlof Leicester, has not been dropped since that time; and I wilh our posterity may never see days less advantageous to liberty. Elizabeth loyed her People, desired their honour, regarded


their interest; she heard their complaints against the greatest, the most favoured of her Ministers; and yet I will own, Sir, there were many wrong things done in her reign, because sufficient restraints were not then laid upon the power of the Crown; and therefore the example of her reign holds out a useful lesson to us, that even to the beit of Princes we should not allow such a dangerous influence as niay tempt them, by the advice of bad Ministers, to encroach on our freedom.

George Lyttciton, Esq. May 27, 1739.

As the only method, Sir, of reducing this nation must be that of invading its colonies and dismembering its provinces, by which the chief persons will be deprived of their revenues, and a general discontent be spread over the People, the forces which will be levied for this expedition, (an expedition on which the honour of our arms and the prosperity of our trade must fo neceffarily depend), cught to be selected with the greatest care, and disciplined with the exactest regularity.

On this occasion, therefore, it is surely improper to employ troops newly collected from shops and villages, and yet more irrational to trust them to the direction of boys called on this occasion from the frolicks of a school, or forced from the bosoms of their mother, and the softness of the nursery. It is not without compassion, compassion very far extended, that I consider the unhappy striplings doomed to a camp, from whom the sun has hitherto been screened, and the wind excluded; who have been taught by many tender lectures the unwholesomeness of the evening inist and the morning dews, who have been wrapt in furs in Summer, who have lived without any fatigue but that of dress, or any care but that of their complection.

Who can forbear, Sir, fome degree of sympathy, when he fees animals like these taking their last farewel of the maid that has fed them with sweetmeats, and defended them from infects; when he sees them drest up in the habiliments of soldiers, loaded with a sword, and invested with a command, not to mount the .


« AnteriorContinuar »