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Their wife Divan, their best companions grace,
To them we are indebted for many excellent projects to restore and renovate the Constitution; annual Parliaments amongst the rest; for as all power originates from the People, by shortening the existence of Parliament, (for their, political sins), they will be rendered more humble and dependent on their Creators, and become a shining, but transient, emanation from them; be directed by every popular blast, and turn like a smoke-jack by the breath of the People.
Mr. Courtenay, May 8, 1781.
The noble Lord in the blue ribband (Lord North) has this day given the most explicit evidence of his activity and negligence, of his capacity and incapacity. He has shewn that, as first Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, he has been negligent, or incapable of his duty; and at the fame time he has shewn by his speech of this day, that he has both the industry and the talents to comprehend what his duty is. He has been negligent, or incapable in the execution. He is active and able in the conception of his trust. The whole of the copious detail which he has given is clear, methodical, and accurate! So perfectly clear, that a pin may be seen at the bottom of it! He has shewn manifest knowledge of the- regulations that are necessity, which must have required industry and exertion to acquire; and he has proved, at the fame time, that knowing the irregularities of his office, he has failed to reform them. With respect to the Commission of Accounts, it is throughout, in the very language! of the noble Lord, perfectly insignificant In one part, totally impracticable in another; the reform will not be advantageous in a third; not worth the experience perience in a fourth; perfectly useless in a fifth, and productive of inconvenience in a sixth. The noble Lord has the word trisling in his mouth in every sentence. It is, in the words of the Poet,
A triflng song you shall hear,
Begun with a trifle and ended j
And I shall be nobly attended.
Mr. Burke, May 10, 1781*
Whenever the vice of gaming is to be fuppresied, I trust that most pernicious species of it, the adventuring in lotteries, will be the first object of attention: this, it is true, is patronised by the Legislature, and yet nothing can be more detrimental to the morals of the People; for it not only promotes the spirit of gambling amongst the lower orders of society, but, by suspending the industrious pursuits, tends to introduce every kind of depravity. While the evil was permitted to reign itt its late extent, it was in a fair way of curing itself; for every second tradesman being a lottery-office keeper, and very few posleffing any capital, the smallest loss made them abscond, and the public credulity was thereby gradually diminished: but now the practice has been regulated, by the wisdom of Parliament, for the better security of adventurers, it will no doubt perpetually increase, with all its train of mischievous consequences; for Government has entered into a fort of partnership with the office keepers; and as they are to derive a benefit from the success of the delusions, they will, no doubt, do every thing in their power to extend their designs.
Mr. Sheridan, May 15, 1781.
There is one objection which seems not to have been taken notice of, which is, that when sailors, suspected to be deserters, are brought before a justice of peace, though the suspicion turns
T z out put to be groundless, they may, nevertheless, by authority of former statutes, be impressed. I cannot therefore but compliment the Board of Admiralty on the fense they see.m to enter-tain of the honour of British sailors; it may be illustrated by a very trite anecdote of Julius Cesar; for, like his wife, the character of our seamen must bfe as clear of suspicion as just impeachment; they must not only not be deserters, but not suspected to be so*
Mr. Sheridan, May 17) 1781
. Supposing any remonstrance with the noble Lord (Lord North) against the Americao.war, what will the noble Lord fey ?" Why you know that this war is a matter of necessity, and not of choice; you fee the difficulties to which I am driven,^ and, to which I have reduced my country; and you know also,,that in my own private character I am a lover of peace. For what reason then do I persist, in spite of conviction? For your benefit ajonr! For you I have violated the most sacred engagements! For you neglected the suggestions of conscience .and reason! For you forfeited a thousand times my honour and. veracity in this Business, and for you I must still persist! Without the American war I shall have, no places, no emoluments to Bestow, not a single loan to negotiate, nor fliajl I be able to retail* the poor situation of mine that I have, so long held disinterestedly. You see me now in the most elevated situation, with the disposal of places and pensions,- and, with the whole power of the nation in my fiands; but make peace with America to-day, and-to-morrow I /hall be reduced to the level of .private life, retaining nothing: but what is merely personal of all my present advantages."
"If you do not vote with me (fays the noble Lord) against a peace, with America, how.am I to give you any thing? It is true that my situation as Minister is a respectable and elevated situation; but it is the American war that, enables me to give douceurs, and to put into your pockets eight or nine 3 hundred hundred thousand pounds by a loan. Put an end to that, and you undo al|. My power will be miserably leflened, and your pay as miserably reduced. As to myselfj why f am perfectly -indifferent about that; 1 get a little, and it is my happiness that a little, thank Heaven, contents me. 1 cannot therefore be supposed to care if a peace"takes place with America to-morrow, as far as I am personally concerned; but for your own sates do not lei such a thing come to £ass. Nay, Wre I to go out of office, a situation I never coveted, always diflikedj and heartily wished to be rid of, still I hope the American war: will He continued." Such pathetic reasoning cannot fail having its effect; and thus it is the noble Lord induces the members of this House to sacrifice the nrtere/t of their constituents, by proving that their own interest is eflentially connected with the American war. Was it possible, therefore, that a peace could be obtained with America? "Oh spare my beautiful system! (the noble Lord would cry). ^VVhat, shall I part with that! with that which has been the glory of the present Teign, which has extended the dominions, raised the reputation, And replenished the finances of my country. No, for God'< fake, let this be adhered to, and do with all the rest what you .please; deprive me if you please of this poor situation: takfs all my power, all my honour and consequence, but spare my £eautiful system, oh si»are xn-y system!"
Mr. Fox, May 30, 1781.
The present ruinous system cf affairs is not defended by any one man of real independent property; there is no man in this House, unless he has a place, a Contract, or some such motive to speak, that attempts to defend them"; therefore it is highly indecent for men to echo their own praise, and to be the only persons that can justify their conduct; they are all exactly in the fame tone, and play into each other's hands extremely clever:- sf a motion "censures- tine American Secretary, lie is defended by the Secretary at "YVar j'iTthe Secretary at
la v\ ar War is censured, the American Secretary thinks it his duty to defend him; and if the noble Lord (Lord North) in the blue ribband is accused, then both the others cry out, " Would you remove a man who is at the head of affairs at this critical period?" I would answer yes; now is the time, for the voice of the People is against him, and without their having faith in him, all his ends must be frustrated. Ministers always make use of the excuse, "That you blame our measures after the event has happened, because they miscarried." If Ministers mean to exculpate themselves, let them come forth, shew the House what their plans were, how they had formed them, and what they intended; then it would be in the power of the House to judge whether they deserve blame or not; but certainly.it is very natural to censure men from the event of their actions, for by what-other criterion can you judge them? When first I heard the new American Secretary (Mr. Welbore Ellis) proclaim his profession of faith, I was inclined to think there was some likelihood of his salvation; but as he still persists in his errors, all that hope of extreme unction is wiped away, and he is now as far from being saved as any of his colleagues. The right honourable gentleman (Mr. Ellis) has got out of a good warm bed, (the Treafurership of the Navy), and ventured, with his eyes scarce open, into a vessel tossed in a tempest, and riding on the billows in a violent storm. I must think him exceedingly wife in having done so, and that it might be said to him, what the wife of Brutus said to her husband,
Is it not for your health thus, Lord, to commit
Mr. Burke, March 8, 1782.
Though many persons wish to drop tha subject of the Coalition, as trite and unfit to be longer talked of, I am of a different opinion, and wish to see a starling perched on the right