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had come off crowned with laurels. But now those laurels appear to be tarnished, and withering on his brows; and I regret the fad alteration in his sentiments, which have deprived me of a firm and valuable assistant in the prosecution of Indian delinquents. I am informed, that he has frequently fat with the utmost composure of mind, and heard those Reports, both of the Select and Secret Committees, abused and calumniated as fictions of the brain, sables, and afiertions void of any degree of truth. I lhould have liked to have been present on those memorable occasions, when the right honourable gentleman, by his silence, assented to the truth of those arguments; for I would have wished to have observed how his countenance appeared, when such an insult was offered to his understanding. The right honourable gentleman's conduct brings to my recollection the story that is related in the Bible concerning the wisdom of Solomon, in which it is said, that a certain woman stole a child from the real mother, and, on being detected, she still insisted that it was her child. The matter coming before Solomon for his decision, he took a sword, and was about to cut the child in two; when the real mother, whose heart was full of maternal affection, cried aloud, and would on no account whatever consent tfc> the death of her child. This was the celebrated instance of Solomon's wisdom, by which he discovered the real mother, and gave the world to expect the greatest happiness from his prudence. The right honourable gentleman appears on many occasions to be a Solomon, but not by his defence of the Reports in the new Parliament; for although he is the father of the child that has been produced in the Committee—the five handsome volumes in folio—when it was about to be torn in pieces by gentlemen of a certain description, who trembled at the consequence, if the relations of plunder, peculation, and murders, were believed; when the child was about to be torn in pieces, by several gentlemen taking it by the legs, and asserting that it was a bastard, a fiction of the brain, totally void of truth; when that was the
cafe, case, the right honourable gentleman sat with the greatest tranquillity; and in order to insinuate that he was not the father of the child, he left the other side of the House—the opposition—the happy privilege of calling aloud, " Stop! stop your sacrilegious hand." This was-acting perhaps wisely, but not according to the justice and wisdom of Solomon.TAXATION.
Mr. Burke, July 28, 1784.
x The right honourable gentleman (Mr. Pitt) so frequently alludes to the American war that I verily believe he could not speak at all, if he were to forbear the mention of it, in like manner as Mr. Locke relates in his chapter on the association of ideas, that a man who had been fond of dancing in a room in which an old trunk stood, could not stir a step when the trunk was removed.
Mr. Courtenay, May 10, 1785.
The Committee should not be scrupulous, in viewing the Propositions for a commercial treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, fixing their eyes on any trifling defect, if any should be found in this great and excellent system. I will borrow the allusion of the statue and the pedestal, and apply it to the present case. The most celebrated sculptor of antiquity had finished a statue, which was laying on the ground, and one person found one fault with it, and another another; here a speck, there a flaw; but when placed on its pedestal, all these little deformities, and irregularities of the surface, disappeared; and every one, when it was-placed in its true point of view, and was seen altogether, was ready to acknowledge the symmetry of the proportion, and thobeauty of the whole figure.
Mr. Wilherforce, May 19, 17S5.
All public assemblies must be composed of persons wh» have very different ways of thinking, different interests, and different ends. Every tax that can be proposed will be objected to by some of those who are to pay it, and the most unequal taxes will be approved of, and preferred to the most equal by those who are to contribute nothing, or a very little thereto. The Journals of this House may afford us many examples of petitions presented, and a vigorous opposition made, against things that have in their own nature appeared to be an universal benefit to mankind. Those who live by the necessities of mankind, will for ever oppose what is proposed for their relief; from hence it is, that we always fee great opposition made to all attempts for improving the navigation of rivers, or of wastelands and commons; we are therefore never to conclude against the public benefit of any proposition, because we see it violently opposed. ..-
Envy and malice will often prompt men to oppose what is apparently for their own immediate benefit, as well as for the benefit of their country. Every man, I believe, even in a private station of life, has enemies, but those who are in any public station have always a great many. Those who envy them, will always grudge them the glory of doing any thing for the public good, and will endeavour to defeat, or to give a wrong turn to whatever they propose for the benefit of their country, or for the ease of the people.
Sir Robert Walpole, Feb. 9, 1732.
I came to town but to-day; I was a stranger to the tenor of His Majesty's speech, and the proposed address, till I heard them read in this House. Unconnected and unconsulted, I haye not the means of information. As to the
present present gentlemen, to those at least whom I have in my eye (looking at ihe Bench where Mr. Conway sat, with the Lords of the Treasury) I have not any objection; I have never been made a sacrifice to any of them. Their characters are fair; and I am always glad when men of fait character engage in His Majesty's service. Some of them have done me the honour to ask my poor opinion, before they would engage. These will do me the justice to own, I advised them to engage; but not* withstanding—I love to be explicit—I cannot give them my confidence; pardon me, gentlemen* (bowing to the Ministers) confidence is a plant of slow growth in ah aged bosom; youtli is the season of credulity; by comparing events with each other, reasoning from effects to causes, methinks I plainly discover the traces of an overruling influence.
There is a clause in the Act of Settlement to oblige every Minister to sign his name to the advice which he gives his Sovereign. Would it Were observed! 1 have had the honour to serve the crown, and if I could have submitted to influence, I might have still continued to serve ; but I would not be responsible for others —I have no local at* tachments; it is indifferent to me whether a man Was . rocked in his cradle on this side or that side the Tweed.—I sought for merit wherever it was to be found. ^-It is my boast, that I was the first Minister who looked for it, and I found it in the mountains of the North. I called forth, and drew into your service, an hardy and intrepid race of men! men,, who, when left by your jealousy, became a prey to the artifices pf your enemies, and had gone nigh to have overturned the state, in the war before the last. " These men, in the last war, were brought to combat on your fide: they served with fidelity, as they fought With valour, and conquered for you in every part of the
X %' world: world: detested be the national reflections against them\ they are unjust, groundless, illiberal, unmanly. When I ceased to serve His Majesty as a Minister, it was not the country of the man by which I was moved—but the man Qf that country wanted wisdom, and held principles incompatible with freedom.
It is a long time, Mr. Speaker, since I have attended in Parliament. When the resolution was taken in the House to tax America, I was ill in bed. If I could have endured to have been carried in my bed, so great was the agitation of my mind for the consequences, I would have solicited some kind hand to have laid me down on this floor, to have borne my testimony against it. It is now an act that has passed. I would speak with decency of every act of this, House, but I must beg the indulgence of the House to speak of it with freedom.;
I hope a day will soon be appointed to consider the state of the nation with respect to America. -I hope gentlemen will come to this debate with all the temper and impartiality that His Majesty recommends, and the importance of the subject requires. A subject of greater importance than ever engaged the attention of this House! that subject only excepted, when, near a century ago, it was the question, whether you youiselves were to be bound or free. In themean time, as I cannot depend upon health for any future day, such is the nature of my infirmities, I will beg leave to fay a few words at present, leaving the justice, the equity, the policy, the expediency of the act, to another time. t will only speak to one point, a point which seems not to be generally understood—I mean to the right.—Some gentlemen (alluding to Mr. Nugent) seem to have considered it as a point of honour. If gentlemen consider it in that light, they leave all measures of right and wrong, to follow a delusion that may lead to destruction. It is my opinion that;, this kingdom has no right to lay a tax upon the Colonies.