« AnteriorContinuar »
picious that the war will not be pushed in such a vigorous manner as a people greatly injured, and justly enraged, may have reason to expect. If this be the case, they have good reason to warn us against animosities and divisions; but their warnings will be in vain. Our former divisions will revive, and our animofities may increase to such a degree, as to endanger the tranquillity of the nation, unless they be appeased by a facrifice of those who were the cause of their being revived.
For this reason, I say, my Lords, I wish I had heard no. thing of animosities and divisions upon this occasion, and I am surprised how any such thing could creep into His Majesty's speech. In a free country, such as this, Lords or Gentlemen may differ in their opinions about public measures; and, as the interest of their countıy is concerned, they may, they ought to support their opinions with fervency and zeal: but that difference in opinion is not to be called a division; nor is that fervency to be called animosity. Something of our divisions and animofities was, I remember, mentioned in a piece that was handed about as the manifesto of Spain. This I was no way surprised at; because in Spain they can have no difference in opinion about public measures ; at least, if they have, they dare as little declare it, as they dare declare their difference of opinion about matters of faith or religion; therefore they might, probably, mistake the one for the other, by supposing that to be a divifion amongst us, which was really nothing but a difference in opinion. But I hope His Majesty's Ministers are better acquainted with the constitution of their country, than to fall into any such mistake; and they should particuJarly upon this occasion have avoided saying any thing about divisions or animosities, because it will confirm the Spaniards in the mistake they are in, and may, as the noble Lord apprehends, encourage them to continue the war, in hopes that they may be able to reap some advantage from our divisions. · From hence your Lordships must see, that no such thing ought to have been mentioned in His Majesty's 1peech froin
the throne, and much less, I am sure, ought it to be mentioned in our address. If His Majesty's Ministers have fallen into a mistake, and a mistake, too, that may be attended with such a bad consequence as that of prolonging the war, shall we, in our address, out of pure complaisance, echo that mis take back to the throne, and thereby render infallible the bad consequence which we might otherwise have prevented ? Shall we, my Lords, be so uncharitable as to think, and much less to say, that all those who differ from us in opinion about public measures, are promoters of divisions, and fomenters of heats and animosities? It is impossible that any Lord should expect an unanimous concurrence in such expressions. They are expressions that can be properly inade use of by none but the arbitrary Ministers of an absolute Monarch, and therefore I was not a little surprised at seeing any thing like them in His Majesty's speech from the throne; but I was much more surprised to find the obftinacy of the Spaniards imputed to the heats and animofities that have been fomented amongst us. It is a inaxim of this House, to look upon His Majesty's speech from the throne as the speech of his Ministers; and nothing can contribute more to shew the justness of this maxim, than that of imputing the obstinacy of the Spaniards to any heats of animofities that have been fomented amongst us. ,
Almost every man in the nation, I believe, is now convinced, at least, every man that thinks at all about public affairs must be convinced, that the strange obstinacy of the Spaniards has all along proceeded from the passivity of our Ministers, We submitted tamely to the first insult they put upon us; that encouraged them to put a second: we bore the second with patience; that encouraged them to put a third : upon the third, we modestly complained, and humbly prayed to negoriate; that encouraged them to put a fourth: and thus we continued submitting and negociating, and they continued plundering and insulting, till at laft, I really believe, they began to think that no sort of treatment could provoke us to
commence hostilities, or declare war against them. Thus, by the tanie and submissive temper of our Ministers, the Spa·niards have been encouraged to hold out such a conduct towards us, as to make it necessary even for our Ministers to have recourse to arms; and now those very Ministers, in order to remove the load off their own shoulders, come and tell us, that those who complained of their fubmissive conduct, and often told them what it would end-in, were fomenters of heats and animofities; and that those heats and animofities were the chief cause of that obftinacwhich Spain had fhewed in her conduct towards us. . . . - I shall readily grant, my Lords, that the just complaints of our plundered merchants, and the regard fhewn to those complaints by the whole nation, excepting a very few persons, were the immediate cause of the war, because they forced our Ministers to alter their conduct : but, I hope, neither the complaints of the merchants, nor the regard thewn to them by the people, are to be called heats and animofities ; . and call them by what names you will, they were not the cause, but the effect of that obftinacy in Spain, in the tameness of which alone we are to seek for the original cause of the present war: for if our Ministers had resented as they ought the first injury done to our merchants by the Spaniards, it would have prevented a second; and, for the first, we might by reprisals, if not by fair means, have obtained redress, without coming to an open rupture; or if we had then come to an open rupture, we should have prevented a very great prejudice the nation has suffered by an interruption of its trade, and many.confiderable losses our merchants have fustained by the plundering and seizing their fhips; and I believe no man will say, we had not then as favourable an opportunity for engaging in a war against Spain as we have at present.
Having thus, my Lords, shewn what it really was that encouraged the Spaniards to provoke us to war, I must observe, that if they still continue obstinate, it will, I believe, be ow
ing to the same cause. They are sensible of the superiority of our naval force, which, at the same time that it enables us to hurt them in the most sensible part, may prevent their being able to hurt us in any; and they can have no hopes to reap any advantage from those divisions and animofities, which, if there were any amongst us, His Majesty has put a final end to by declaring war against them.
:: Lord Carteret, Nov. 15, 1739.
I HE honourable gentleman who spoke last, (Mr. Will. Pulteney) ended his speech with faying, that he would not willingly cast the first stone; but it seems he had then forgot what he had said but a very little before; by which, if he did not filing a stone, he, at least, in my opinion, threw a very great pebble at the whole House. After having told us, that it was allowable to say any thing against what was done by the majority of this House, he said, “That there were, notwithstanding, some methods of speaking, which were not against order, and by which gentlemen might be made to feel, that an answer might be given to what the majority had thought unanswerable.” Then he talked of scandalous things having been done in former Parliaments by a corrupt majority. Now, I would be glad to know how this House can feel any thing that is said of former Parliaments, unless it be meant, that the present Parliament is of the same nature with the forVOL. II.
mer Parliaments talked of. This, Sir, as I have said, seems to be a very great pebble thrown at the whole House; besides the dirt he had before flung at the supposed author of a pamphlet just published, whom he took care to describe so particularly, that I believe every gentleman thinks the author, or, at least, the supposed author of that pamphlet, is now speaking to you: but I can freely declare, that I am not the author of it; I have, indeed, read it ; and I believe the greatest quarrel that gentleman and his friends have with it, is, that they do not know how to answer it.
Mr. Horatio Walpole, Jan. 23, 1734.
Those who call themselves Whigs, are, indeed, the only persons who can with any confidence argue against a standing army; for if any noted Tory, or suspected Jacobite, should argue against our keeping up a few regular troops by authority of Parliament, it would be easy to answer him. Every man would compare him to the fat man, who muttered and complained against the crowd, which he himself was the principal cause of.
Sir J. Sanderson, Jan. 28, 1738.
The secession, as it is called, which happened upon a very remarkable occasion last session, is a point that cannot be reasoned upon here, and therefore I shall make no application of what I ain going to say. I have heard, Sir, of physicians taking their leave of a fick house, when they thought they could do no good there, and were not over-speedy of fees; for some are so keen after fees, that they would stay and prescribe to a dead body: but I have heard of others, of a more generous character, refusing to continue their attendance, when they feared it was of no benefit, and yet returning again upon being called to a new consultation, when better symptoms appeared,