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and greater hopes of a recovery, to offer, at least, the proper remedy, whether it should be taken or not.
George Lyttelton, Esq. Dec. 18, 1739.
The honourable gentleman who spoke last (Sir Robert Walpole) has told us, that questions in politics admit of no demonftration. In this I am entirely of his opinion; and, I think, this opinion was never more strongly confirmed than by the debate of this day. There never was a question in this House that could be brought nearer to a demonstration than the question now before us; and yet, I find, it is not possible to convince those that may be affected by its being agreed to. It has hitherto been reckoned a maxim in law, which I never before heard disputed, that parties ought not to be judges : but now I find this maxiin defied; and, indeed, it inuft be fo, by every gentleman that says our constitution can never suffer by a majority of placemen in this House: for that placemen and officers of all kinds must be parties concerned in many cases which we, as Members of this House, inuft judge of, is lo clear, that I should have been ashamed to have given you the trouble of proving it, if I had not heard the motion now before you so warmly opposed.
Sir W. Wyndham, Dec. 18, 1739.
In King William's time, there was a famous Member of this House, whom you have all heard of, John How by name, who having been refused something which he had not, or, at least, which that wise Prince thought he had not any title to ask, took it into his head to set up for a patriot, and to become a violent opposer of the Administration. From that time this gentleman's continual cry was, “ Our liberties are in danger! our constitution is to be overturned !" and with such exclamations he was always endeavouring, by his pretended fears, to raise apprehensions in the minds of some of the weak men in that age. Argument signified nothing; he still went on harp
ing upon the same string : but at last he was silenced by a story told the House by Sir Thomas Lyttelton, which was thus“ A gentleman of my acquaintance," says Sir Thomas, “ was lately travelling in a coach with two ladies who were fifters : one sat very quiet, and without being in the least disturbed, but the other was upon every little jolt in a fright, and always crying out, O Lord, Sir, we shall be overturned! For God's fake, tell the coachman to drive softly!' What's the matter, Madam?' says the gentleman - why are you in such a fright? We have a fine easy coach, a plain good road, and a careful, cautious coachman : there is not the least danger.' — But all signified nothing — the lady continued as before. At last the gentleman asks the lady, "What ails your sister, Madam? Is the usually of such a fearful temper?' – To which the other answered, “Do not mind her, Sir. My sister is really in no fright; only she thinks she has a very pretty voice, and therefore takes great delight in hearing herself speak.'”
This story, Sir, put the zealous patriot so much out of countenance, that he became quite silent, so that the House for some days heard no inore of the danger of our liberties; and I hope it will now have the same effect as it had at that time : for during his present Majesty's reign, I am sure we shall have no occasion for being put in mind of our liberties, or for being warned of their being exposed to danger; and if ever they should, in any future reign, I hope this House will stand in need of no Common-cryer to put them in mind of their duty.
Hon. Horatio IValpole, May 4, 1749.
I rise up to thank the noble Lord in office (Lord North) for his extreme bounty in assuring us, that no hostile intentions are designed against the East-India Company, and that he wishes to inake it a great and glorious Company (for those are kis pompous expressions) and put it upon a permanent
footing. Three Kings have entered an unfortunate kingdom with fire and sword, in order, I presume, to make it also a great and glorious kingdom, and secure to it its liberties and laws. They have published a manifesto to that purpose, which the noble Lord has, perhaps, just received; and he gives it you to day, left it might be stale to-morrow. But let us examine into this extraordinary matter. Here is a Committee appointed last year, a fair and open Committee, which have produced nothing. This was the lawful wife publicly avowed: but finding her barren, they have taken a neat, little, snug one, which they call a Secret Committee ; and the resolution now moed to restrain the Company from sending out Supervisors, is her firstborn. Indeed, from the singular expedition of this extraordinary delivery, I am to think she was pregnant before wedlock. Yet, after all, what is the Report but a direct invasion of the Company's charter? It is, Sir, a bill to suspend a law of the land; it is neither more nor less; and we are, after distressing the Company, about to rob them of their charter, and overthrow their constitution. The noble Lord does well in faying, that he means to preserve the Company from ruin; but he should previously have told you, that their ruin was the immediate consequence of his blunders. In the year 1767, Administration plundered the Company of 400,000l.; and this I affert to have occafioned this distress. If we suffer this bill to pass, we shall, in fact, become the East. India Company, and you, Sir, will be seated in that chair, with a little hammer, by an inch of candle. The Treasurybench will be the buyers, and on this side we shall be the sellers. The Senate will become an auction room, and the Speaker an auctioneer! - Shame upon such proceedings ! -Here is an end to confidence and public faith.-Public faith! alas !_that has long been given up; that has not been attended to for many years. However, I hope the House will be furnished with more substantial reasons than have yet appeared for invading the charter of that Company.
Mr. Burke, Dec. 7. 1772. Z 3
In In one particular respecting the Dictator of ancient times, I beg to set right a very high law officer (Mr. Thurlow) among us. All the Roman magistrates were not, as he says, superseded by that creation; for the Tribunes of the People, preserved their authority even under a Dictator.
It has been said, Sir, by another gentleman, who is likewise in a great law office, (Mr. Wedderburne) that in this House a discontented party had ridiculously given into a tone of prophesy, which has never been accomplished, and that about a year ago it was the case of the right honourable gentleman who spoke lately under the gallery. It is not, I believe, very parliamentary to quote words spoken in a former debate : but if the learned gentleman's memory goes to a prophesy of one year, which has not been fulfilled, he will permit me a fair excursion to another prophesy of that very Mem-: ber's, fix years ago, which has been exactly verified. His prophesy in this House was, that if the saine violent measures against the Americans were perfifted in, the Colonies, which formed fo great a strength to this kingdom in the reign of George the Second, would be dissevered from the British empire in the reign of George the Third. No prophecy, Sir, ever received a more perfect accomplishment. He wonderfully possesses the second sight of his native country. How deeply criminal he and others have been in bringing the prophecy to país, I hope the House will one day inquire. A very extraordinary observation of the same gentleman, amidst a variety of heterogeneous matter, it is iinpossible for me not to mention. He has · laughed at universal benevolence, and endeavoured to demonstrate the impoffibility of its existence. But, Sir, he has only given us the narrow, contracted, selfish ideas of his own heart, and his own country. His sentiments and his feelings are confined to a very small, insignificant circle, indeed! They are merely clannish and Scottish. His remarks, I saw, excited a general indignation amongst us. An Englishman has ideas infinitely more liberal and enlarged.
His heart expands itself, and takes in the general good of all mankind. I will only add, Sir, that I think the most beautiful sentence of all antiquity is that which was received with such applause by the generous, free Roman' people, and an English Senate I am sure will adopt, against every measure of oppreffion and cruelty, Homo fum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
Mr. Wilkes, Feb. 17, 1777.
The most short-sighted of all animals is undoubtedly our country gentleman of the true tory breed. He haş scarcely the fagacity of his pointer. Formerly he was very stubborn and reftive, and could not be driven forward; now he is perfectly tame, fawns on his feeder, and is easily managed. Mr. Pitt first seized him, and, after some little struggling, plunged him over head and ears in the German war. The noble Lord (Lord North) has gone farther, and transported him, weary and exhausted, beyond the Atlantic, where he is likely to con- · tinue much longer than he was in Germany.
Mr. Wilkes, Nov. 26, 1778.
In answer to the charge of embezzlement brought by the honourable gentleman (Temple Luttrell) when I first heard it, I did not know it was laid at the door of the Treasury Board; but though those who embezzle the public money ought to be severely punished at all times, I am exceedingly happy to hear of the embezzlement in question, let who will be guilty, because 450,000l. just at present would be very useful to the public; and as the honourable gentleman has found, so unexpectedly, that such a sum has been embezzled, I doubt not it will be forthcoming; unfortunately, however, for the public, it now appears that there has been no embezzlement at all: but the honourable gentleman disavows any intention of clogging the wheels of Government. For my part I have never charged the honourable gentleman with any such design.