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the Second, prohibiting, under the penalties therein mentioned,
ations, committees of correspondence, and delegations, are not criminal, merely because they were fuch; but their illegality is deduced from the intention with which they were formed, and the design which they have to pursue. There are many associations in this country patronised even by the Crown, and recognised by the Legislature. Associations for the porposes of commerce, of benevolence, or of Science; there is nothing terrible in the name, nor would they either be a bit better, or a bit worfe, if they were to assume any other name, and call themselves companies, congregations, bodies, assemblies, or even congresses; every thing depends on the nature of the institution. If an association is formed for the purpose of curtailing the Legillature, of destroying one of the three conftituent branches, of dethroning the King, of resifting the execution of the laws, of altering the established religion of the country, or, in short, of committing any violence contrary to the Constitution, and subversive of order, ‘government, and domestic peace, it is certainly illegal and highly cris minal; it is an association which ought to be resisted by the civil authority, and suppressed by the intervention of the laws; against such an association the laws had sufficiently armed the executive power, and Ministers would be traitors if they suffered, either by wilful treachery or blind negligence, such an association so far to grow and strengthen itself, as to be able to surround the Parliament, and with arms and military array, over-awe their proceedings, and force them to what they pleased; but an association even of this nature would be legal in certain circumstances; if even a period should arrive, when the three branches of the Legislature, the King, Lords, and Commons, should by an unconstitutional coalition meet in one mass, and fail to have distinct opinions and distinct independence ; if the Commons, forgetting their origin and their duty, should become the slaves of either, or of both the other powers, then it would be no longer illegal for the commonalty of Britain to resume their juft share in the Lagiflature, and
the means by which they accomplished this, whether it was by
. ; :;*! Mr. Dunning, May 8, 1781.
Nothing is more delusive than measuring time by a succession, of ideas; the miserable and the happy have very different ideas of time; what are but minutes to the latter, are hours, days, and months, to the former: To the poor captive thinks his confinement much longer than he does who puts him in prison. With respect to the predilection and affection the Spaniards are said to possess for our sailors, now their prisoners, it is but a poor comfort to a British feaman lying in a Spanish jail, to be told, that his enemy has a predilection for him, while he feels the neglect and contempt of his country, who makes not the least effort to restore him to his liberty. It is not the humanity of an enemy that a British sailor ought to rely on; it is the benignity of Great Britain that he should look up to.
By the disgraceful practice of war, the unhappy seamen were by the impress dragged on shipboard, contrary to all their prayers and remonftrances; yet they generously forgive the injury, and fight the battles of their country. In return for this, when they fall into foreign captivity, they are neglected and forgotten; are left to perish in a sultry climate; it is even deemed factious to inquire after them; in a word, they find in the Admiralty only an iron hand to oppress, but no compassion, no spirit, to protect them.
Augustus, the Roman Emperor, was so affected with the loss of his legions, that he even invoked the manes of their dead General to restore them back to him: Varreg redde nobis ngutas!
h ! Give us back our seamen, our ships, our troops, our wealth, loft by thy cursed treasons! : 0, thou Earl of Sandwich, who was born to be the curse of thy country, who livest only to accumulate dishonour on her hea), to destroy her boasted navy! Réftore, restore to us those brave men who are thrown into chains by thy negligence, and who remain in them by thy scandalous inhumanity!
Mr. Burke, June 1, 1781.
ISHALL grant, Sir, that generally speaking, peace is better than war; but it is not always fo: a dishonourable peace is worse than a destructive war; it is better for a nation, as well as a private man, to cease to be, than to subfift in the wretched state of suffering continual insults and indignities; and if, under the present Administration, we have loft a great part of the character we gained in former times; if our neighbours have begun to think that we will bear with any infraction of treaties rather than engage in a war, which I hope is not the case, we may cajole and flatter ourselves with obtaining redress by peaceful negotiations and treaties; but while our neighbours entertain such a notion of us, I am fully convinced it will be impossible. If our enemies are not yet fully prepared to ruin us, if they think they may foon have a better opportunity than the present for giving us some finishing blow, they may for some time amuse us with negotiations or congresses, they may even vouchsafe to grant us a convention or a treaty; but these will appear at last to be nothing but
expedients, artfully contrived by them, and foolishly or treacherously submitted to by us, for making our ruin the more complete and the more inevitable. During thefe very negotiations, and notwithstanding the treaties they may vouchsafe to grant us, being convinced they may do it with ingenuity, they will continue to put the same indignities upon us, till we are reduced so low by our sufferings, that like a man who has too long neglected a wasting distemper, we shall not have sufficient strength left for making use of that remedy, which, if it had been applied in time, would have produced a certain cure.
Sir John Barnard, Jan. 28, 1738.
. We have heard a great deal with regard to the prudential confideration of our agreeing to the present motion ; but give me leave to observe, Sir, that the character of a nation is very different from that of a private man; a private man that has once established a reputation for wisdom and courage, may easily, and generally does, preserve that reputation as long as he lives; but whatever reputation a state or kingdom may acquire at any one time, is so far from continuing as long as that state or kingdom sublists, that on the contrary, the reputation acquired under one King, or one Administration, always expires as soon as that King or Administration expires; and the successors inust always begin afreíh to acquire and establish a character for the nation under their Administration. A nation may acquire the highest character, the greatest esteem, under one reign or Administration, and yet sink into the lowest contempt under the very next. This was the case of this nation in the reigns of Edward I. and Edward II, in the reigns of Edward III, and Richard II, in the reigns of Henry V. and Henry VI, and in the reigns of our wise Queen Elizabeth and her fucceffor James I.
Sir John Barnard, Feb. ró, 1738. - Vol. II,