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Dutch would be then at liberty, and would certainly do what was incumbent upon them in such a conjuncture; and till that conjuncture happens, we can have no more concern in the war than they: nay farther, in the concluding of that treaty of neutrality, so careful were the Dutch to preserve to themselves a liberty of doing afterwards what they should find proper, that, by an express provision of the treaty, they have reserved to themselves a power of sending the stipulated fuccours to the Emperor, in case they should find it necessary fo to do.
Thus, Sir, it appears that the Dutch are so far from having fallen into meafuręs separate from us, that they have continued a heavy charge upon themselves, in order to be ready to join with us in any measure that may hereafter appear necessary for preserving the balance of power in Europe; and for that reason, as well as a great many others, I think it is incumbent upon us to put ourselves in such a condition as may enable us to act that part which Great Britain ought to undertake, in the glorious cause of preserving and securing the liberty of Europe,
Sir Robert Walpoli, Feb. 7, 1735.
Prudence and pufillanimity, Sir, are two words, which are easily understood in private life; but in public and in national affairs, it is not so easy to form proper ideas for tbose two words, and to determine the exact boundaries between them. If a private man should think his honour injured, he may, lie ought, to resent it immediately, because, as he has nothing but his own life to lose, his own opinion is a good and sufficient reafon for putting it to the venture : but in national quarrels the lives of many thousands are concerned; and those who are to deliberate and determine in what manner, or how soon, an injury ought to be resented, are generally thofe whose lives, in case of a rupture, will be the last of being brought into danger, For this reason they ought not to depend so much on their own opinion, nor ought they to infist upon such punctilios as may be insisted on in private life. They ought to consider
the circumstances of both nations, and they ought to weigh thoroughly the probable consequences; for it may sometimes be the interest of a nation to pocket an affront, or at least to defer their resentment 'till they find a more proper opportunity for taking vengeance.
Sir Robert Walpole, Jan. 28, 1738.
It is very easy to talk big, either within doors or without; and considering the spirit of resentment that has been indufviously stirred up in the nation, I know it would be mighty popular in us to come to vigorous resolutions immediately, but I do not know if it would be mighty wise. I am sure it would not be wise, as long as there are any hopes of obtaining redress by peaceable means; and even when we are come to an end of all our hopes in this way, we ought not to begin to talk till we are ready to act. In this we ought to follow the example of that sort of animal which is peculiar to this island, and therefore I am not ashamed to recommend its exam to my countrymeņ: I mean our brave English bull dog, who always seizes upon his enemy at once, and without making the least' noise before hand. Threatening speeches, or even threatening resolutions, are but words. They are vox & præterea nihil; and therefore the less they are made use of the better : but if any such are ever made use of, they ought to be inftantly followed with suitable actions; for if they are not, those who have injured us will despise our menaces, and the whole world will laugh at our folly.
Horace Walpele, Esq. Jan. 28, 1738.
I must say, that whatever the present character of the nation may be, I think we ought to do nothing rafhly, either for preserving or recovering it. A man of real courage and good fense is never jealous of his character, and therefore is not so apt to take things amiss, or so hafty in resenting affronts, as one who has only a brutish temerity, or a false and affected
times est to unity
courage; besides, whatever may be our case at present, we
ought not to show our teeth till we can bite... . No nation in the world, I believe, ever declared war till they were ready to enter upon action; and as we at present have neither a fleet nor an army ready sufficient for attacking such a powerful nation as Spain, I think we ought not as yet to do any thing that may look like a declaration of war, or even like a resolution to declare war.
Sir Charles Wager, Jan. 28, 1738.
. In public life, as well as in private, there are forme affronts that cannot by the custom of nations admit of a peaceful accommodation, or of any negociation for that purpose. If a gentleman should be caned in the open street, and should, instead of making a proper return, send a clergyman next morning to the aggressor, to beg that the affair might be made up in an imicable way, the oppressor might, perhaps, look upon his patic 9 as a good Christian, but I am sure he would not look - upon him as a gentleman, or a man of courage ; and therefore he would probably offer no other satisfaction, but such a one as no man of honour could accept of, or, perhaps, and most probably, too, he would bully and say, the fellow deserved what he met with. A mail of true honour, upon meeting with such an affront, would immediately take his own satisfaction, and that, too, with the very first opportunity. · In public life and in national affairs the case is the same. There are some affronts that may be put by one nation upon another, which ought to be immediately resented in a hostile manner. All attacks or insults ought to be resented in such a manner, when it appears evident that it was done by public authority. When an infult is committed by the subjects of any nation, without an apparent commission, or other authority under Government, the injured nation may send Ambasfadors to demand satisfaction; and ought not to resent the injury in a hostile manner till the other nation has made the act
its own, or has taken the guilt upon itself, by denying or un, reasonably delaying to punish or give up the offenders. But when the insult or attack appears, from the very nature of it, to have been committed by public authority, satisfaction ought not to be sued for by Ambassadors; it ought to be im. mediately taken by fleets and armies, properly instructed for that purpose.
Sir W. Wyndham, March 30, 1738.
My Lords, as the motion the noble Lord has been pleased to make is pretty long, I cannot pretend to remember exactly the words; and as, upon hearing it read, I observed fome words which to me seemed not quite so right, I must desire the favour to have the motion in my hand. [The motion being delivered to him, after perusing it, he went on thus:) My Lords as this is one of the greatest, one of the most important conjunctures that ever happened to this nation, I desire and wish as heartily as the noble Lord who made you this motion, or any Lord can do, that we may be unanimous in the resolution we come to upon this occasion. The greatest part of the noble Lord's motion I highly approve of. There are only a few words towards the latter end which I think ought to have been left out; and as they are, in my opinion, quite unnecessary, I hope the noble Lord will, for the fake of that unanimity he so much desires, agree to leave thenı out of his motion. The words I mean are, « that it gives us inexpreffible concern,” with the following, which make the last paragraph but one of the noble Lord's motion. These words, I humbly think, my Lords, are quite unnecessary; and, as they may give offence to some Lords, and may occasion an opposition to a refolution, which would otherwise be unanimously agreed to, I hope the noble Lord will not infift upon their standing a part of his motion. But I offer this as my opinion only. I do not make it my motion, because I am resolved to wait till I hear what may be said by other Lords upon this head.
My Lords, we have now weathered the point of negociation, and are fairly launched out in the open sea of a declared war: God grant we may meet with a prosperous gale! We have human probability on our fide, and as we have justice likewise on our side, we have reason to expect the favour of Providence; therefore I have no doubt of a successful voyage, if we take care to put ourselves under the direction of good pilots, Ministers and negociators will not, I hope, I am sure they ought not, now be our advisers. · We have good Generals; we have brave and experienced Admirals : we must now chuse them for our pilots; we must take their advice; and, if their advice be taken, and vigorously pursued, I shall not hereafter find fault with events, on account of any cross accidents we may meet with in the prosecution of the war. Providence can only direct events : but men can plan; and if the plan be good, if the scheme be well laid, no man ought to find fault with the event. But, if the forming of our schemes for the prosecution of the war be left to ignorant and pufillaa nimous counsellors, we cannot expect they should be right; and a wrong scheme may be found fault with, even though the event should, by an extraordinary interposition of Provis dence, prove successful.
In the prosecution of the present war, I hope every man will, in his proper sphere, contribute as much as he can towards the success of his country. My Lords, I am persuaded every man will; because no war was ever entered into with greater unaniniity amongst all ranks and degrees of men. We cannot, therefore, justly say any thing, upon this occasion, of animosities and divisions. If there were ever any animofities or divisions amongst us, they were occasioned by our tamely submitting to so many foreign insults. These His Majesty's declaration of war has put an end to, and nothing can revive them but a llackness in the prosecution. For this reason I wish they had not been mentioned upon this occasion. I am afraid it is ominous. It looks as if some people were fura