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. I cere pleasure, in common with every man vinced that no man had better reason to in the House, to the able and eloquent complain than himself. The hon. and speech delivered by the learned gentleman learned gentleman had accused gentlemen who had just sat down. He respected on that side of the House of wishing to the talents of that learned gentleman, produce this dilemma, either that the and admired his ingenuity. Nor did he people were animated by an universal mean any thing in the least disrespectful to spirit of loyalty, or that they were inthe masterly display of both, which he had flamed with a spirit of disaffection. He made on the present occasion, when he had never said that the people were comsaid, that though his speech was full of pletely harmonious in their political senargument, and replete with eloquence, a timents or opinions, or that no discontent man might safely subscribe to every state- prevailed. It had, however, been often ment he had brought forward, and every stated on his side of the House, and he conclusion he had drawn, and yet vote would call upon the hon. and learned gen. against the present bill. The ingenuity tleman to say, whether he believed the of the hon. and learned gentleman had spirit of dissatisfaction was greater or less indeed, made no inconsiderable impression at present than it had been previous to upon the House; though his arguments the war. He had never stated, because seemed not so much to bear on the prin. he had never believed, that the state of ciple of the bill under immediate discus- public affairs was wholly without danger. sion, as on the general policy of legisla- if it was allowed to be greater, to what tion. He felt the difficulty, therefore, in cause was the increase to be attributed ? replying to a speech of that nature. Able He was surely entitled to presume that and extensive as it had been, he was not it was occasioned by the discontents exin the least disposed, nor did he believe cited by an impolitic and unjust war ? by any sober politician would be inclined to the measures of a corrupt, incapable adcontrovert the principles laid down by the ministration ; and that it was ascribable to hon. and learned gentleman in the be- the complicated miseries arising from the ginning of his speech. His position was, decay of commerce, and the pressure of that, at a time of considerable danger, it famine, into which the country had been was proper to give up part of the consti- plunged. The war, then, had produced tution, in order to secure the remainder. an effect directly the reverse of that stated That maxim abstractedly considered, was by ministers themselves as the chief reason incontrovertible ; before it could have for triumphing in its success. If, on the any weight, however, when applied in a other hand, the ground of apprehension practical view, it was necessary to prove was less, why were the sacrifices required the existence of the danger, its extent and for public security to be increased ? He magnitude ; it would also be necessary asked pardon of the House for the repeto show, that the remedy called for was tition in which he iudulged ; but when the exactly a surrender of that portion of the same arguments came from the opposite constitution which it might be proper to bench, and the same objections were of. sacrifice, and not more than the value of fered to gentlemen on his side of the the object to be secured. The degree of House, he could not forbear repeating constraint which government was to im- that material question. pose, could be the only ground of doubt With regard to the point of danger, of and difference of opinion. That govern. which the hon. and learned gentleman was ment was in its application a system of re- so anxious to have a specific declaration straint upon human action, was clear and of his sentiments, he had always stated, undeniable. It was important, however, that some discontent existed, which might to consider well the quantity and the not be unworthy of attention, but which quality of the restraint which circum- would never justify the legislative remestances might require.
dies proposed. The hon. and learned genThe hon. and learned gentleman had tleman had affected to treat as a paradox complained, that it was the temper of the the observation of his hon. friend (Mr. times to take every general principle as Lambton), that the danger of an attack meant to apply universally, and to fasten was often created by the injudicious mode upon
person who employed it all the of defence. If it was a paradox, howabsurd consequences which might arise ever, it was one of those which frequent from such an application. He admitted experience proved to be true. Who could deny that many political evils were ren- | tile to the constitution drawing to itself dered desperate by the absurd methods all the discontented persons of the counpursued to remedy or to remove them? try. If the strength of this party deWas the hon. and learned gentleman so pended upon the discontent which a bad much more of a Whig than himself, as to government produced, and as the worst impute the whole evils of the civil wars, administration necessarily would occasion and the resistance to Charles 1st, to which the most discontent, he would defy any the nation owed its liberties, to the con- man to deny that a great part of the ill duct of that ill-fated monarch? Did the humour arose from the bad conduct of hon. and learned gentleman believe all ministers. If the discontented were comthese calamities were to be ascribed to the posed of two kinds, those who were eneillegality of ship-money, or of various mies to the constitution, and those who, other acts of that prince? Had there not from a spirit of discontent, joined their been at that time a body of persons, pre-party and increased its number, correct viously inimical to the constitution ; and the abuses which had been so much the was not the attack upon the monarchy subject of complaint, introduce moderarendered formidable, and even tragical in tion and economy in the public expendithe event, by the rigorous measures which ture, and banish that corruption which rendered the breach irreparable? The had crept into the representative body. hon. and learned gentleman had also men- Such a proceeding would separate those tioned the case of the Americans. When from the disaffected who were displeased that unfortunate dispute was first agitated, with abuses, and at the same time reconand when he heard scraps of pamphlets, and cile those to the constitution who had papers read, to prove that there was a been alienated by its defects. settled design formed to shake off the
the The hon. and learned gentleman, in connexion with this country, he had never animadverting on what had been said to been so unqualified' a supporter of Ame- come from gentlemen on his side, had rica, as to assert that no such designs were only engendered a monstrous doctrine to entertained. He was convinced, however, show his dexterity in demolishing it. It that those who had conceived the project had never been said, much less conof separating from the mother country tended, that the verdict of juries on the were few indeed. By injurious attempts state trials had proved that no seditious to remedy the evils then complained of, practices existed, but merely that the the catastrophe which it was intended to traitorous conspiracy was proved to be prevent was realised.
ill-founded. He had no hesitation to deThe hon. and learned gentleman had claro, that he considered the verdict of recurred to the fallacy so often answered, the jury on that point to be of more of which gentlemen on his side were ac- weight than the report of the secret comcused, that they ascribed the discontents mittee. The hon. and learned gentleman. to the measures of his majesty's ministers. had attempted to point out an inconsistThe hon. and learned gentleman asked, ency between the language at present did not these discontents exist before the held, and that which they had heard upon war, to which much of the discontent was the report of the secret committee. The imputed, had been commenced? Here hon. and learned gentleman likewise had again he would recall the two examples he confounded a variety of circumstances, had already employed. In the time of and, from the result of his own combinaCharles 1st there might have existed tions, had endeavoured to fix on his side causes of dissatisfaction, which, neverthe- of the House that inconsistency which he less,the extravagant pretences of that had first invented, and then urged as a prince, and the impolicy of his ministers charge of inconsistency. in urging them, carried to that height With regard to the degree of danger which proved so fatal to themselves. At the honourable and learned gentleman one period a compromise with America imputed to the Corresponding and other was practicable, but the opportunity of societies (principles which he charged conciliation was lost, and the desperate upon no authority), it was impossible to system pursued in this country for ever believe that, among the whole, there was cut off all hopes of that compromise being a majority unfavourable to monarchy. effected.
They might, indeed, have professed to It had been said, that much danger was maintain the doctrine of annual parliato be apprehended from that party hos-ments, and universal suffrage. These
minds not pre
principles, however, were not borrowed bill, strong as the measure is, is found to from the French ; they had been incul. be inadequate to its purpose ! cated in discourses and writings, by res- The hon. and learned gentleman had pectable characters in Great Britain many treated with a degree of contempt an opiyears since; and if they contained the nion of his hon. friend (Mr. Sheridan), evil imputed to them, the French might that the difference of habits, government, complain, with more justice, that they and character, would prevent the people had been imported into France from this of this country from ever sinking into the country. Those societies, the hon. and horrors to which the French, unprepared learned gentleman had observed, must for freedom, had been exposed. Did the have some determinate object; either right hon. gentleman think that the nethey were deserving of encouragement, or groes of the plantations, or the subjects of disapprobation. Could there
, he ex- of Russia, Turkey, or Germany, were claimed, be no division of men, or opi- capable of that liberty with which an nions, which they might overlook, with Englishman might be indulged? It was out being censured for their approbation, not fair, therefore, to reason from Frenchor accused for their neglect Must the men to Englishmen, or to argue that in intolerance of French politics be adopted, such dissimilar circumstances the same which permits no minority, but which events would take place. Was the hon. proceeds to violence, bloodshed, and ex- and learned gentleman correct in his intermination? There were many opinions formation concerning the French revoluwhich it was indifferent to approve, or to tion? The Jacobin club produced, percondemn; and the dilemma which the haps, terrible effects upon hon. and learned gentleman employed was pared for so great a change. the most absurd and ridiculous that had of those events, to which their future disever been framed. Was a man bound to asters were owing, such as the depriving attack every opinion different from his the clergy of their lands, and the nobility own ? He had never been an advocate for of their titles, took place previous to the annual parliaments; yet that opinion had establishment, at least to the credit and been avowed and maintained at various authority of the Jacobin club. periods within this century. By the to- The hon. and learned gentleman had ries it was held as a favourite doctrine ; stated, that the whole of the confusion and it had been said that the restoration which had desolated France, had arisen of that system was a part of the plan of from the Jacobin clubs; that the number politics taken up in the beginning of the of them were few, that the original repubpresent reign, though that condition had lican club in Paris consisted only of seven never been observed. Instead, then, of members, and that they afterwards proattempting to legislate on this subject, it duced the revolution of the 10th of Auwould be most proper to allow the pub- gust, 1792. Would that hon, and learned lic to judge for themselves, and trust to gentleman seriously say he believed it ruthe good sense of the English nation. tional to frame à legislative provision He had stated all his opinions. He had which was to affect a whole nation, with never evaded an explicit declaration. It respect to the most important part of its was now to be considered how far the rights, on the ground of the determinabill was applicable to the object it pro- tion of seven persons ? The revolution in fessed to have in view. If Englishmen France was not to be accounted for in had been seduced from their attachment that manner, nor was that the period at to the constitution, how could it be res- which they were to date its commencetored by the present bill ? Meetings might, ment. When, then, was the period ? indeed, be put a stop to, but a total com- What was the cause of the revolution of munication of sentiment could not be pre- the 10th of August, 1792? Be it rememvented. The intercourse of the mind bered, that he was no advocate for the would remain. If there were, as repre- conduct of the Jacobins; no liberal man sented by the honourable and learned gen- would accuse him of it; though he knew tleman, something so fascinating in the he must put up with that ill-founded opinions it was to proscribe the prospect charge from others. Let them inquire was indeed alarming. Good God, sir ! into the cause of the success of the Jacosaid Mr. Fox, in such a case, what must bins in France; such an inquiry was nebe the horrors of our situation, when, in cessary in order to be able to follow the addition to its other evils, this detestable arguments of the hon. and learned gentle,
man upon that subject. He would say, so pronounced it. He meant to allude to then, that they were concluding irration. a motion made for a reform of parliament. ally indeed, if they said it was owing en- On that occasion, he had stated it as his tirely to the doctrine of the Jacobins that opinion, and he had not changed it, that the horrors of that day were exhibited, an old edifice, well altered and repaired, or that they were the cause of the dread- was more likely to be useful than one ful catastrophe of the late unfortunate built on an entirely new construction, of monarch of that country; a prince whose the structure of which they had no excruel fate might induce them to overlook perience. That was his opinion then, the errors of his reign. In fact, his fate and it was his opinion at the present; the was in a great degree owing to his avowed hon, and learned gentleman's allusion to connexion with the nobility of that coun- opinions, therefore, if directed to him, try: a nobility whose views were hostile was unfairly directed, and the sarcasm ill to the interests of the people. He be applied. lieved the king and his ministers were The rest of the hon. and learned genguilty of planning what was attempted at tleman's speech was what was commonly that time against the people. Supposing called pathetic, and he thought it neceseven that they were not, he would ask, sary to take some notice of parts of it. was not the suspicion that they were He had stated, that if there was a violent guilty, a great cause of the revolution of party in this country, who pretended to the 10th of August, 1792? At that time have in view the destruction of the power the king's brother had left him; and the of ministers and the correction of abuses, situation of his family, and their connexion and they should once succeed, they with the house of Austria, then known would not stop there : that not only the to be enemies to the government of minister would be the object of their fury, France, were so well ascertained, that but they would aim at the destruction of their objects could not be doubted. Did others who had any authority in the counnot these circumstances give ample room try from their calents, independent of any for suspicion, on the part of the French, connexion with the government. If the as to the intentions of the king, and those hon, and learned gentleman did him the ministers by whose council he was so fa. honour to include him under that class, tally guided ? If this were admitted, he be would tell him plainly, the caution to had a right to say, that the catastrophe him was needless ; by such an observation was no more accelerated by the wicked the hon. and learned gentleman only ness of those who attacked, than by the brought to his mind what, indeed, had baseness and folly of those who defended. been but seldom absent from it for many
The hon, and learned gentleman had years. “ If ever,” said Mr. Fox, “ those observed, that if he had said some years persons who wish to destroy the constituago, that the then constitution of France tion of this country, as was done in the would not last so long as our own, he French revolution, by rapine and plunder, should, by many, have been treated as a by carnage and desolation, should become person who spoke in a very visionary and a triumphant party here, though I may idle manner.
In what company that gen- not be the first, I am well convinced I tleman had been, or from whose senti. shall not be the last object of popular ments he formed that conjecture, Mr. Fox fury.” If ever the day should come, said, he did not know; if the learned which God avert, when men's lives should gentleman had alluded to him, he had be subject to that sort of popular fury, he never said any thing like it. On the con- thought there were others who would go trary, he had always entertained and pro- before him, and those were the authors fessed a different doctrine. Would any of the present measures; and from that man assert, that although he had often time, in his conscience, he believed, his said, that the first French revolution was life would be short indeed ; and therefore a glorious event, he had asserted, that the hon. and learned gentleman need not the systems which had been built upon warn him upon that subject. He saw that revolution were good? So far from that danger clearly ; but he was not one it, the most moderate of them appeared of those who looked at the danger on to him to be unstable at least. That was one side only. The hon. and learned genhis opinion; and the right hon. gentleman tleman had said, if he joined bad men, he opposite to him knew it to be so; in one particular instance, he had emphatically
See Vol. 30, p. 916.
could not shake of his companions, nor they to be separated ? By setting about check their excess; a truth which history to correct abuses in earnest, as much as confirmed. Was it not true on the other possible, whether in that House, or in side also ? If it was true, that if he acted any other part of the government. This with men of bad principles, the effect of would remove all ground of jealousy and such a junction might be that those who discontent on the part of those who loved bad served them in a particular cause, the constitution, and who wished only to might have no power to resist their fury; see the abuses eradicated; and this would was it not, however, undeniably true, destroy the alliance between them and that those who joined a particular minis- those who really harboured a hatred for ter, and assisted him in his attempts to the constitution itself. This was the sort of destroy the constitution of the country, separation which Mr. Burke recommended would feel the same inability to check the with regard to the Americans ; and this progress of his ambition ? Was it not as was the separation which he would recom, elearly true, if he had lent his assistance mend, of the discontented in the country, to bring about that euthanasia of the con- at this time Strike out the bad part of stitution, that he must afterwards yield our present system, add to the beautiful his life to that accursed power who had parts, if that be possible; but, at all events, effected the destruction of their country ? strike out the bad ones; and then, al. He believed the time was not very distant, though they should not reconcile to their when those who had lent the minister, system, those who hated the constitution what he would call very honourable assist itself, they would deprive them of their ance, would not deny that they were be force, by taking away the arguments by come his personal slaves. He believed which they prevailed on good men to join that some of them had felt it, and he them, and by which alone they could ever thought he had seen some symptoms of become formidable: namely, that of stat. that fact already. Certain gentlemen ing the abuses of our constitution as they smiled at this : he did not mean to say subsisted in practice at present, What any thing that could be deemed a personal were the arguments that these men made degradation to them, if they did not feel use of to gain to their party those who it for themselves. But when he saw, day loved the constitution, and which had been after day, and year after year, a system said by the hon. and learned gentleman to pursued, which tended to bring this coun. be so seducing? Topics of abuses in the try to that euthanasia predicted by Hume, constitution ! Reform those abuses, and he could not say he was willing to be an they took these seducing arguments away, assistant in its accomplishment. With It was, indeed, the whole of their arguregard to the mischief, which was dreaded ment ; for as to their theory of governfrom the junction of men who only wanted ment, that, he was sure, would not make to reform abuses with those who wished any deep impression on the body of the the destruction of the constitution, he people, who had too much good sense would apply the remedy proposed by Mr, to be misled by such egregious fallacies. Burke in the case of America, who had The hon. and learned gentleman, in one said on that occasion, that he would wish part of his speech, and only in one, seemed to separate the Americans--not by sepa- to have a reference to the bill before the rating the north from the south, not by House. The hon. and learned gentleman separating the east from the west, not by admitted that the House was going to separating Boston from Philadelphia, but make a sacrifice by the measure before by separating those who were merely dis- them; but had contended that what was recontented with the abuses of the consti- tained of the rights of the people was still tution, from those who had a hatred for of higher value; the history of governit, and wished its total destruction, ments was certainly better than theory;
The hon. and learned gentleman had in this, therefore, he agreed with the hon. asked, in what manner they should enter and learned gentleman. He did not, howa into a negociation with these discontented ever, agree with him, that what they were persons ? He believed there would be to retain was superior to what they had to some difficulty in knowing with whom to lose, if the bill were passed into a law, treat. As to the question, how he should That which was to be taken away was the treat ? his answer was by conciliation, foundation of the building. It might, inThis would be done, as Mr. Burkę had deed, be said, that there were beautiful said, by separating tbem. How were parts of the building still left. The same (VOL. XXXII. ]