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all we wish by the war, we must obtain solution, and of disturbing other states.all we can. Where the best thing is unat- Gentlemen contend that the character of tainable, the second best must be had. Buonaparté should not come into consi

the present period deration. They deprecate any discussion of the war, there has been no variation of this kind, and think it fraught with the in the grounds of its continuance. Since worst of consequences. Time and occa. I have been connected with the ministry, sion, Sir, do not invite me to say much by no expression of mine could it be sup- on this subject; I will only observe, that posed that I in the least differed from what has been said of Buonaparté did not them. The endeavours, therefore, that arise from any peevish satisfaction in gentlemen have made to fix on my con- weighing his character in the disadvanduct the character of change and indeci- tageous scale, but from the real necessity sion, are altogether unjust. I am not of the case. Before we trcat with any ashamed of my sentiments, and have one, we must consider their character and always avowed them openly; this has conduct; nothing could be more reasonsometimes procured me the praise of can. able ; how else shall we be able to rely on dour; and at others, the slur of indis- his sincerity? Buonaparte has been held cretion; but I am as little inclined to take out as a hero : this, one would suppose, the praise, as to admit the slur. There was no recommendation in the eyes of

ne question which gentlemen have those who are always declaiming against asked that deserves a definitive answer- kings and conquerors, and war and blood. “ Will you," they say, “ fight for the shed. Yet even this hero, armed with the restoration of that monarchy in France, power of a king, can be contemplated which was always hostile to this country, without fear, and even with pleasure ; and has been the occasion of our wars while kings in general are branded with and debt?” This, Sir, is a matter of being lovers of war and murderers of mans calculation. The monarchy of France kind. Such are the prejudices that gen, existed 800 years; and if we consider the tlemen are willing to entertain, because evils it occasioned us in that time, pon- two thousand years ago a king and a condere non numero, we shall find them far queror were synonymous terms; yet the inferior to those accumulated upon us union of these characters in Buonaparté by the unprovoked aggressions, the plots, becomes only a venal failing, and he is and the arts of France, in the short still to be endured; as a king he is no course of her 8 years revolution. What longer despotic; as a conqueror, it seems, is found most execrable in the history of he is not the plunderer of mankind. Tried the worst times, has been the every-day in a court of chivalry, indeed, his actions practice of France. Leaving the notion might dazzle ; but they would not even for a moment, of treating with that coun. there bear a scrutiny.-Let us now come try as it now exists, let us suppose a to the sincerity of Buonaparte in wishing Bourbon on the throne ; might not better make a general peace. His love of terms of peace be expected from him than peace will be seen in that with Austria, from the present chief consul? Would which was made on his part chiefly with not peace with him be more permanent? a view of carrying war into another quar. The

very condition in which a prince just ter of the world. He was in hopes, by reinstated in his throne would feel him- having the command of the army of Eng self, would be a security for the limitation land, of subjugating this country to the of his views, and the permanency of bis authority of France. In the intercepted engagements ; neither, with a disposition letters from Egypt also we have several to be hostile, could he act with the same specimens of his sincerity. Yet, for the sake force as a republic. For some time also of suffering humanity, we are called upon he must, in a great measure, be depen- to make peace with this man. Peace at dant for security on neighbouring nations. all events, without considering what kind, In course of years, however, this same is the cry. Just like the man who turned monarchy, I own, might degenerate in prin. his dirty shirt, and exclaimed : “Oh the ciple as it increased in power, and be even comforts of clean linen!" It has been as hostile to us as the previous government. often asked, what is Jacobinism? I say, It would, however, possess the character of we know it but by its effects; it breaks stability, and capacity to respect treaties, up the institutions of every country where while the present government of France it takes root; its explosions are like those carries in itsbosom the seeds of its own dis- of a volcano, sudden and destructive, and it has almost brought ruin on Europe. At and the owners their estates, would not the same time, I own, there is some diffi- long scruple, if opportunity offered, to culty in defining it: it can easily trans- render the same resumption necessary in fer its regard from one government to an this country.-The temporary scarcity of other; at one time universal representation provisions is no reason for not prosecuting is the true art of governing in its estima- the war, though it has been represented tion, and at another it is quite overlooked as almost an invincible objection. If it is and forgotten. This puts me in mind of of such weight we ought to make peace a conversation which I had lately with a at any rate. But I object altogether to friend at Norwich, whom I knew to be topics of this kind, on the ground that tainted. - “ Brissot (said he) was a fine they are Jacobinical; it is pressing into fellow !" « If he was so (said I), what the service of the question things that do was he who cut off Brissot's head ?" "He not belong to it. The question of war was a fine fellow too,” answered this weak and scarcity must stand on separate person. Just so with some gentlemen in grounds. By exciting among the people this House. In the French revolution, discontent on account of the scarcity, imthe last murderer is always the hero, and portant proceedings of administration may his sentiments and conduct the most es, be impeded, so as even to force ministers timable for a time ; for this reason it is to abandon measures whereon depend the that there is such difficulty in describing welfare and salvation of the country. On Jacobinism : it is a kind of quality that. account, therefore, of the mischiefs which may as well be presented to the mind as are liable to arise from thus mixing topics chaos itself; it is the very negative of all unconnected in their nature, the practice order. A Jacobin government is a revo. fully deserves to be branded with the name lutionary government; it is founded on of Jacobinism, the great characteristic of the ruin of every thing permanent and which is, to take advantage of the discon. dear to man: it robs the owner of his pro- tents of mankind, and turn them to its perty to give it to the worthless, and de

own purposes. spoils the people of their dearest rights The Committee divided : Ayes, 162; and privileges. We are not to suppose Noes, 19. that the danger of Jacobinism is over be. cause it lies dormant, or because liberty Mr. Abbot's Motion for a Committee is destroyed. If the latter circumstance on the State of the Public Records.] Feb. could have precluded danger, all attacha 18. Mr. Abbot rose to call the attention ment for Jacobinism must have ceased of the House to the state of the public from the beginning; for that and liberty records of the kingdom. Whoever had have never been found to exist one mo- reflected upon the importance of prement together. Yet there are even now serving the public records and archives persons in this country who wish well to the in any country which enjoyed the blessings government at present in France, and wlio of a settled constitution and government, wouldfeel its establishment as the triumphof and looked to the condition of our public their sentiments and opinions. Such are the records in this country, with a view to persons who justify the rights of man on their practical utility in matters of legisevery occasion. The progress of these lation, state, or judicature, would cerprinciples is by them deemed no evil, but tainly find them, in some of the principal meets with their warmest support. Those repositories, preserved with sufficient order that wish for peace with Buonaparté, wish and regularity, and in some few, with a it with more than natural ardour, and method and care which are exemplary ; blame, therefore, with proportionate in- but in numberless instances, and in many temperance, every measure adopted with of the most important departments, they a contrary view; and this arises solely were wholly unarranged, undescribed, and from their regard for the present upstart unascertained; some of them exposed to French monarchy. The interest of this erasure, alteration, and embezzlement, by country is not to implicate itself with the interested parties, and others lodged in French government, for by so doing every places where they are daily rotting by proceeding which has disgraced France damp, or incurring the continual risk of would meet with our tacit justification; destruction by fire.--That this state of and men who think it would be a great things hall come to pass, was not owing calamity to see the rightful sovereign of to any intentional disregard of this subFrance resume his throne and authority, ject, on the part of the crown, or parlia(VOL. XXXIV.)

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ment; but to a variety of events, all of accumulation of materials in every dewhich had contributed, in different ways, partment to which that investigation exto produce this result. The public atten- tended, but many other repositories of tion bad been directed to this object, great national importance, such as the from early times. In some of the very courts maritime and ecclesiastical, had first petitions upon the rolls of parliament, not fallen within the scope of the former the public records of the kingdom are em inquiries, nor had they extended to Scotphatically styled the people's evidences, land. And besides that the Cathedral and it is ordained that they shall be made and University libraries were not then exaccessible to all the king's subjects. At plored, the public had since acquired some periods the sovereign alone, at others Other collections equal in value to any of the houses of parliament separately, and those already enumerated, such as the at others the king and parliament con. Royal, the Harleian, and the Sloanian, jointly, had interposed to make special which now constitute the British Museum, provisions and regulations for their due Thus, the difficulties of introducing method preservation and arrangement. But, un- and arrangement had multiplied with the fortunately, almost all the provisions esta increase of materials : in addition to which, blished by the vigilance of successive a new source of embarrassment had been reigns were broken down by the civil wars created by the change which took place of the last century, and no effectual mea- during the same interval of time in the sures were adopted to retrieve the mis- language and written character of judicial chiefs produced by those times of confu- proceedings; a change which, without sion until the reign of queen Anne. At questioning its utility in other respects, that period lord Halifax, in conjunction had altered the mode of education of with the then speaker, Mr. Harley (after those persons whose professional habits wards lord Oxford), projected and carried should have made them most conversant into effect the design of collecting that with these matters; so that few, very few magnificent compilation of State papers persons possessing even by tradition the

nd records which the public now possess technical knowledge belonging to these under the name of Rhymer's Fædera. But subjects are now to be met with. It was as that great national work chiefly related obvious that the practical evils resulting to the foreign transactions of this country, from this train of circumstances must be lord Halifax afterwards, with the zealous very considerable. And some of them co-operation of lord Somers, proposed to were so striking and singular, and of such the House of Lords to investigate the opposite sorts, that the statement of them state of our domestic records, as connected would prove the urgency of some parliawith our internal laws and government. mentary interposition. Within the walls That inquiry was prosecuted without in- of the House of Commons itself, there termission, and with many salutary conse- were loads of records, noticed in the requences, through the reigns of queen ports of parliament nearly a century ago, Anne and George Ist down to the com- and of which no man knew the contents, mencement of the reign of his late ma- though they were supposed to belong to the jesty ;-at which time this House was in- courts of common law; but nevertheless duced, after the fire, which happened to they still remain in their present situation, the Cottonian library, to set on foot for want of some proper authority to reanother inquiry by its own authority, still move them, or to receive them elsewhere. more extensive and effectual; and the In the courts of common law themselves, very valuable report made at the conclu- | those rolls which are called the Docquets sion of that proceeding, together with an of Judgments, and materially concern the earnest and unanimous address of the titles to landed property, so far as they House of Commons in support of the belong to the court of King's-bench, are measures which it recommended, was laid | exposed to the daily risk of being burnt; at the foot of the throne. Since that and those of the Common-pleas, besides transaction, a period had elapsed of nearly suffering an equal risk of fire, are actually seventy years, during which some of the perishing by damp. In the Exchequer of mersures recommended by that report equity, such is the defect of establish. had been adopted very effectually, although ment, that any of the ancient decrees reothers of them had not been fully exe- lating to tithes, boundaries, customs, and cuted. And not only the very lapse of other rights, of the most valuable nature, time had progressively superadded a large may be falsified, or removed by any pera

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son whatever, almost without check or taking the most effectual means for their restraint ; and there were persons at this arrangement and preservation. Many time within hearing, who know that such strong reasons of personal interest and abuses had been practised. In the office public policy must prove this to every of the lord treasurer's remembrancer the man who had either landed property to evil was of a different sort; and there, defend, or who felt a value for the consti. for want of accomm

mmodation, the records tution under which he lived. And whatwere utterly inaccessible, so that ques- ever might be the indifference with which tions of public moment were now those things were regarded in the abstract, pended for the want of documents, known he would ask any land-owner, either in to be lodged here, but which could not be the House or out of it-whether, if his produced, or selected, from the general title came to be litigated, he would not mass of confusion. In the Pipe-office, resort to those repositories with the greatanother branch of the Exchequer, where est anxiety, and think himself most secure by law every public accountant ought to if he found it was warranted by some have his quietus recorded, it had been royal grant, some ancient perambulation, represented three years ago to a com- or public survey. Corporate franchises, mittee of this House (the finance com- and many of the most valuable rights of mittee) that no person, however deeply the church, had no other solid foundation ; interested in the affairs of any public ac- and in parliament itself, besides the pericountant, either as principal or surety, odical discussions which arise before comcould obtain a certificate of the state of his mittees upon election rights, which are final balance or discharge. An evil of a often deeply involved in these researches, still different sort occurred in the instance --whenever the two Houses unhappily of special commissions for the trials of differ, it is by the recorded transactions of treasons; and however strange it might their ancestors that their conferences must appear, it was strictly true, that the pro- be guided; for they have no other umpire ceedings under the commission executed to which they can resort; and even parin the north after the rebellion in 1745, liament, in its entire capacity, has ai no and those in London in 1794, and at very distant period, and upon occasions of Maidstone in 1798, remained now in the the most solemn concern, looked to those unauthenticated custody of private per repositories for the most certain standard sons-without any blame whatever being of its proceedings, in times and upon imputable to them—but for want of proper questions the most arduous. He trusted, process to remove them to their proper therefore, that it was not too much to place of deposit. And, as to the affairs assert, in the language of lord Halifax's of Scotland or Ireland, so broker and Report “ that it will be a public damage, disjoined were all the documents relating and dishonour to the kingdom, to suffer to those countries, that there was no such monuments of antiquity to perish.” place in which any man might not search He then proceeded to state the leading for them with some expectation of success, points, to which he proposed that the and no place where he could be certain present enquiry should be directed. In that his search would be successful.-He the first place, he proposed to call upon next stated, that although this was the the proper officers of every principal rereal condition of the public records, he pository in England, who was entrusted was by no means confident that some with any records or instruments in which persons might not be of opinion, that no the public has a concern, requiring him to great harm would ensue if all these parch- state the sorts of instruments in his posments and papers were left to perish in session, and the periods of time to which their dust, or were fairly disposed of by they relate; extending this enquiry also one general conflagration; and he was lo Scotland, where matters of this nature disposed to apprehend this the more be had been in all times regulated with the cause it was well known that the levellers most exemplary care; and meaning that in the last century had actually proposed the contents of all these returns should be that expedient, and there might be some afterwards methodized and digested by men now, who not unwisely for the same competent and experienced persons, to ends, might hold the same opinions. But be authorized and employed for the exthis was perfectly clear, that there could press purpose of furnishing the House be no rational medium whatever, between with the most correct information in the adopting that summary expedient, or most convenient form. In the next place, he should propose to ascertain the state of this country, at the periods to which of the buildings in which the public re. they relate. But there was still one object cords are lodged, as to their security and beyond all these, upon which he could accommodation ; with a view to have those not but entertain a sanguine hope; that public buildings repaired which may re. every new light thrown upon this subject quire it,--and in some instances possibly would convince parliament at last of the to render other buildings public property, necessity and facility of establishing a which are at present inconveniently holden general registration of all instruments by private tenure; but in no case to dis- affecting landed property. In Scotland turb any possession, or change the custody this system has already prevailed for ages, of any records, except perhaps in some with the happiest consequences to those very few instances of most evident right, who belong to that part of the united and upon the most cogent reasons of un- kingdom; in Ireland the same system has questionable utility. And, in the last obtained for near a century, with the same place, for the purpose of rendering the beneficial consequences; and in the two access to these repositories most complete, most populous districts of England, to call for an explanation of the state of namely, Middlesex and Yorkshire, where their catalogues and calendars, and also of the same plan has been established for the their establishments and regulations for same length of time, though upon a narconducting searches, with a view on this rower scale, it has been found to add a hcad to provide more effectually for the distinct and specific value to the property security of the records themselves, at the which it secures; many recent events same time that the use of them might be have contributed to dissipate the prejurendered more convenient to his majesty's dices which once hung upon this question, subjects. From this course of proceed- and it now remains only by transcribing ing, beyond the execution of these par- one short and approved law to extend the ticular details, there were also other con- same benefits throughout the rest of Engsequences likely to follow, and which land. This considered merely as an imought not to be wholly unnoticed. The provement of our juridical system would very event of a parliamentary visitation be one of the greatest which could be would impress the officers of each depart | devised. But as a measure of state policy, ment with a stronger sense of their duty, it was demonstrably clear, that whatever knowing that their conduct, if meritorious, establishes security and good faith between would not be unobserved, and that any man and man in transactions respecting culpable negligence might not escape landed property, tends to facilitate the animadversion; and this salutary impres- reciprocal exchange and conversion of sion would endure long after the event of the landed and monied capital ; and the this particular enquiry, because the period giving to capital an increased activity, when a similar visitation might be ex- will necessarily increase its total amount. pected to occur must always be indefinite. Nor was it altogether to be disregarded Another consequence which might pro- as offering a new and reasonable source bably follow, would be the discovery of of revenue; for no man would have to many valuable monuments of the policy pay for recording his title, without receive of our ancestors, which it might not being at the same time a specific and correunprofitable to keep in view hereafter; sponding benefit, by the additional seand if the survey of this country, con curity given to his possession; and the tained in the books of Domesday, has produce of such a revenue would be conbeen always truly accounted a work of tinually rising with the multiplied popugreat public importance, it would be gra- lation and increasing prosperity of the tifying to the House to know that other country. He concluded with stating, that surveys may be found, which were exe- although he had dwelt upon these latter cuted in the reign of Edward 1st, 2nd, and topics, because they made part of his 3rd, (for some of them the honourable general view of the subject, it was not his member had seen), which would be of in- intention to propose any examination of finitely greater value than Domesday what might be politic for the House to itself,' if they should be found complete, adopt, in respect of any new institution, inasmuch as they come two or three cen- or any extension of former systems, but turies nearer to our own times, and con- only to ascertain the state of those altain more curious and comprehensive ready established. He therefore mored, views of the civil and ecclesiastical state “ That a Committee be appointed to en•

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