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move him, in order to be relieved from his superiority. No state chicanery, no narrow system of vicious politics, no idle contest for ministerial victories funk him to the vulgar level of the great; but over bearing, persuasive, and impracticable, his object was England, his ambition was fame. Without dividing, he destroyed party; without corrupting, he made a venal age unanimous. France funk beneath him. With one hand he smote the house of Bourbon, and wielded in the other the democracy of England. The sight of his mind was infinite; and h'u schemes were to affect, not England, not the present age only, but Europe and posterity. Wonderful were the means by which these schemes were accomplished ; always seasonable, always adequate, the suggestions of an understanding animated by ardor, and enlightened by prophecy.
The ordinary feelings which make life amiable and indolent were unknown to him. No domestic difficulties, no domestic weakness reached him ; but aloof from the sordid occurrences of life, and unsullied by its intercourse, he came occasionally into our system, to counsel and to decide.
A character so exalted, so strenuous, so various, so authoritative, astonished a corrupt age, and the treasury trembled at the name of Pitt through all her classes of venality. Corruption imagined, indeed, that (he had found defects in this statesman, and talked much of the inconsistency of his glory, and much of the ruin of his victories; but the history of his country, and the calamities of the enemy, answered and refuted her.
Nor were his political abilities his only talents: his eloquence was an æra in the senate, peculiar and spontaneous, familiarly expressing gigantic sentiments and instinctive wisdom ; not like thetorrent of Demosthenes,or the splendid conflagration of Tully; it resembled sometimes the thunder, and sometimes the music of the spheres. Like Murray, he did not conduct the understanding through the painful subtilty of argumentation; nor was he, like Townfriend, for ever on the rack of exertion; but rather lightned upon the subject,
and reached the point by the flashings as the mind, which, like those of his eye, were felt, but could not be followed.
Upon the whole, there was in this man something that could create, subvert, or reform; an understanding, a spirit, and an eloquence, to summon mankind to society, or to break the bonds of slavery asunder, and to rule the wilderness of free minds with unbounded authority; some thing that could establish or overwhelm empire, and strike a blow in the world that should resound through the universe.
§ 78. Another CbaraRir.
Lord Chatham is a great and celebrated name; a name that keeps the name of this country respectable in every other on the globe. It may be truly called,
Clarum et venerabile nomtn
Gentibus, et multum noslr.t quod prudent uibi.
The venerable age of this great man, his merited rank, his superior eloquence, his splendid qualities, his eminent services, the vast space he fills in the eye of mankind, and, more than all the rest, his fall from power, which, like death, canonizes and sanctifies a great character, will not suffer me to censure any part of his conduct. I am afraid to flatter htm; I am sure I am not dis-" posed to blame him : let those who have betrayed him by their adulation, insult him with their malevolence. But what I do not presume to censure, I may have leave to lament.
For a wise man, he seemed to me at that time to be governed too much by general maxims: one or two of these maxims, flowing from an opinion not the most indulgent to our unhappy species, and sorely a little too general, led him into measures that were greatly mischievous to himself; and for that reason, among others, perhaps fatal to his country; measures, the effects of which I am afraid are forever incurable, lie made an administration so checkered and speckled; he put together a piece of joinery so crossly indented and whimsically dove-tailed; a cabinet so viriously inlaid; such a piece of diversified mosaic, such a tessclated pavement
without cement; here a bit of black stone, and there a bit of white; patriots and courtiers; king's friends and republicans ; whigs and tories; treacherous friends and open enemies; that it was indeed a very curious show, but utterly unsafe to touch, and unsure to stand on. The colleagues whom he had assorted at the fame boards stared at each other, and were obliged to ask, " Sir, your name, &c." It so happened, that persons had a single office divided between them who had never spoken to each other in their lives; until they found themselves, they knew not how, pigging together, heads and points, in the fame truckle-bed.
In consequence of this arrangement having put so much the larger part of his enemies and opposers into power, the confusion was such that his own principles could not possibly have any effector influence in the conduit of affairs. If ever he fell into a fit of the gout, or if any other cause withdrew him from public cares, principles directly contrary were sure to predominate. When he had executeJ his plan, he had not an inch of ground to stand upon: when he had accomplished his scheme of administration, he was no longer a minister.
When his face was hid but for a moment, his whole system was on a wide sea, without chart or compass. The gentlemen, his particular friends, in various departments of ministry, with a confidence in him which was justified, even in its extravagance, by his superior abilities, had never in any instance presumed on any opinion os their own: deprived of his guiding influence, they were whirled about, the sport of every gust, and easily driven into any port; and as those who joined with them in manning the vessel were the most-directly opposite to his opinions, measures, and character, and far the most artful and most powerful of the set, they easily prevailed, so as to seize upon the moll vacant, unoccupied, and derelict minds of his friends, and instantly they turned the vessel wholly out of the course of his policy. As if it were to insult as well as to betray him, even long before the close of the first session of his administration, when every thing was
publicly transacted, and with great parade, in his name, they made an act, declaring it highly just and expedient to raise a revenue in America. For even then, even before the splendid orb was entirely set, and while the western horizon was in a blaze with his descending glory, on the opposite quarter of the heavens arose another luminary (CharlesTownlhend) and for his hour became lord of the ascendant, who was officially the reproducer of the fatal scheme, the unfortunate act to tax America fora revenue. Edm. Burke.
$ 79. Mr. Pulteneyv Speech on the Motion for reducing the Army. Sir, We have heard a great deal about parliamentary armies, and about an army continued from year to year; I have always been, Sir, and always shall be, against a standing army of any kind. To me it is a terrible thing; whether under that of parliamentary or any other designation, a standing army is still a standing army, whatever name it be called by: they are a body of men distinct from the body of the people; they are governed by different laws; and blind obedience, and an entire submission to the orders of their commanding officer, is their only principle. The nations around us, Sir, are already enflaved, and have been enslaved by those very means: by means of their standing armies they have every one lost their liberties: it is indeed impossible that the liberties of the people can be preserved in any country where a numerous standing army is kept up. Shall we then take any of our measures from the examples of our neighbours? No, Sir; on the contrary, from their misfortunes we ought to learn to avoid those rocks upon which they have split.
It signifies nothing to tell me, that our army is commanded by such gentlemen as cannot be supposed to join in any measures forenflaving their country. It may be so; I hope it is so; I have a very good opinion of many gentlemen now in the army ; 1 believe they would not join in any such measures; but their lives are uncertain, nor can we be sure how long they may be continued in O o 2 command; Command ; they may be all dismissed in a moment, and proper tools of power put in their room. Besides, Sir, we know the pastions of men, we know how dangerous it is to trust the best of men with too much power. Where was there a braver army than that under Julius Caesar? Where was there ever an army that had served their country more faithfully? That army was commanded generally by the best citizens of Rome, by men of great fortune and figure in their country; yet that army enslaved their country. The affections of the soldiers towards their country, the honour and integrity of the under officers, are not to be depended on: by the military law the administration of justice is so quick, and the punishment so severe, that neither officer nor soldier dares offer to dispute the orders of his supreme commander; he must not consult his own inclinations: if an officer were commanded to pull his own father out of this house, he must do it; he dares not disobey ; immediate death would be the sure consequence of the least grumbling. And if an officer were sent into the court of requests, accompanied by a body of musketeers with screwed bayonet?, and with orders to tell us what we ought to do, and how we were to Vote, I know what would be the duty of this house; I know it would be our duty to order the officer to be taken and hanged up at the door of the lobby; but, Sir, I doubt much if such a spirit could be found in the house, or in any house of Commons that will ever be in England.
Sir, I talk not of imaginary things; I talkof what has happened to an English houseof Commons,and from an English army: not only from an English army, but an army that was raised by that very house of Commons, ah army that was paid by them, and an army that was commanded by generals appointed by them. Therefore do not let us vainly imagine, that an army raised and main tained by authority of Parliament will always be submissive to them; if any army be so numerous as to have it in their power to (-ver-awe the Parliament, they will be submissive as long as the Parliament do?s nothing to disoblige
their favourite general; but when that case happens, I am afraid that in place of the Parliament's dismissing the army, the army will dismiss the Parliament, as they have done heretofore. Nor does the legality or illegality of that Parliament, or of that army alter the case: for, with respect to that army, and according to their way of thinking, the Parliament dismissed by them was a legal Parliament ; they were an army raised and maintained according to law, and at first they were raised, as they imagined, for the preservation os those liberties which they afterwards destroyed.
It has been urged, Sir, that whoever is for the Protestant succession, must be for continuing the army: for that very reason, Sir, I am against continuing the army. I know that neither the Protestant succession in his majesty's most illustrious house, nor any succession, can ever be safe, as long as there is a standing army in the country. Armies, Sir, have no regard to hereditary successions. The first two Cæsars at Rome did pretty well, and found means tokeep their armies in tolerable subjection, because the generals and officers were all their own creatures. But how did it fare with their successors? Was not everyone of them named by the army without any regard to hereditary right, or to any right? A cobler, a gardener, or any man who happened to raise himself in the army, and could gain their affections, was made emperor of the world. Was not every succeeding emperor raised to the throne, or tumbled headlong into the dust, according to the mere whim or mad frenzy of the soldiers?
We are told this army is desired to be continued but for one year longer, or for a limited term of years. How absurd is this distinction! Is there any army in the world continued for any term of years? Does the most absolute monarch tell his army, that he is to continue them for any number of years, or any number of months? How long have we already continued our army from year to year? And if it thus continue?, wherein will it differ from the standing armies of those countries which have
already already submitted their necks to the yoke? We are now ccme to the Rubicon; our army is now to be reduced, or it never will; from his majesty's own mouth we are assured of a profound tranquillity abroad, we know there is one at home. If this is not a proper time, if these circumstances do not afford us a safe opportunity for reducing at least a part of our regular forces, we never can expect to fee any reduction; and this nation, already over-burdened with debts and taxes, mull be loaded with the heavy charge of perpetually supporting a numerous standing army; and remain for ever exposed to the danger of having its liberties and privileges trampled upon by any future king or ministry, who shall take it in their heads to do so, and shall take a proper care to model the army for that purpose.
5 80. Sir John St. Aubinv Spuch for repealing the Septennial Ail.
Mr. Speaker, •
The subject matter of this debate is of such importance, that I should be ashamed to return to my electors without endeavouring, in the best manner I am able, to declare publicly the reasons which induced me to give my most ready assent to this question.
The people have an unquestionable right to frequent new parliaments by ancient usage; and this usage has been confirmed by several laws, which have been progressively made by our ancestors, as often as they found it necessary to insist on this essential privilege.
Parliaments were generally annual, but never continued longer than three years, till the remarkable reign of Henry VIII. He, Sir, was a prince of unruly appetites, and of an arbitrary will; he was impatientof every restraint; the laws of God and man fell equally a sacrifice, as they stood in the way of his avarice, or disappointed his ambition: he therefore introduced long parliaments, because he very well knew that they would become the proper instruments of both; and what a slavish obedience they paid to all his measures is sufficiently known,
Jf we come to the reign of King Charles the First, we must acknowledge
him to be a prince of a contrary temper; he had certainly an innate love for religion and virtue. But here lay the misfortune; he was led from his natural disposition by sycophants and flatterers; they advised him to neglect the calling of frequent new parliaments, and therefore, by not taking the constant fense of his people in what he did, he was worked up into so high a notion of prerogative, that the commons, in order to restrain it, obtained that independent fatal power, which at last unhappily brought him to his most tragical end, and at the fame time subverted the whole constitution; and I hope we shall learn this lesson from it, never to compliment the crown with any new or extravagant powers, nor to deny the people those rights which by ancient usage they are entitled to; but to preserve the just and equal balance, from which they will both derive mutual security, and which, if duly observed, will render our constitution the envy and admiration of all the world.
King Charles the Second naturally took a surfeit of parliaments in his father's time, and was therefore extremely desirous to lay them aside: but this was a scheme impracticable. However, in effect, he did so: for he obtained a parliament which, by its long duration, like an army of veterans, became so exactly disciplined to his own measures, that they knew no other command but from that person who gave them their pay.
This was a safe and most ingenious way of enslaving a nation. It was very well known, that arbitrary power, if it was open and avowed, would never prevail here; the people were amused with the specious form of their ancient constitution: it existed, indeed, in their fancy; but, like a mere phantom, had no substance nor reality in it: for the power, the authority, the dignity of parliaments were wholly lost. This was that remarkable parliament which so justly obtained the opprobrious name of the Pension Parliament; and was the model from which, I believe, some later parliaments have been exactly copied.
At the time of the Revolution, the 0 o 3 peopk people made a fresh claim of their ancient privileges; and as they had so lately experienced the misfortune of long and servile parliaments, it was then declared, that they should be held frequently. But, it seems, their full meaning was not understood by this declaration; and,'therefore, as in every new settlement the intention of all parties should be specifically manifested, the parliament never ceased struggling with the crown, till the triennial law was obtained: the preamble of it is extremely full and strong; and in the body of the bill you will find the word declared before enatled, by which I apprehend, that though this law did not immediately take place at the time of the Revolution, it was certainly intended as declaratory of their first meaning, and therefore stands a part of that original contract under which the constitution was then settled. His majesty's title to the crown is primarily derived from that contract; and if upon a review there shall appear to be any deviations from it, we ought to treat them as so many injuries done to that title. And I dare fay, that this house, which has gone through so long a series of services to his majesty, will at last be willing to revert to those original stated measures of government, to renew and strengthen that title.
But, Sir, I think the manner in which the septennial law was first introduced, is a very strong reason why it should be repealed. People, in their fears, have very often recourse to desperate expedients, which, if not cancelled in season, will themselves prove fatal to that constitution which they were meant to secure. Such is the nature of the septennial law; it was intended only as a preservative against a temporary inconvenience: the inconvenience is removed, but the mischievous effects still continue ; for it not only altered the constitution of parliaments, but it extended that s.rnc parliament beyond its natural duration; anci therefore carries this most unjust implication with it, That you may at any time usurp the most indubitable, the most essential privilege of the people, I mean that of chusing their own representatives: a precedent
of such a dangerous consequence, of so fatal a tendency, that I think it would be a reproach to our statute-book, if that law was any longer to subsist, which might record it to posterity.
This is a season of virtue and public spirit; let us take advantage of it to repeal those laws which infringe our liberties, and introduce such as may restore the vigour of our ancient constitution.
Human nature is so very corrupt, that all obligations lose their force, unless they are frequently renewed : long parliaments become therefore independent of the people, and when they do so, there always happens a most dangerous dependence elsewhere.
Long parliaments give the minister an opportunity of getting acquaintance with members, of practising his several arts to win them into his schemes. This must be the work of time. Corruption is of so base a nature, that at first sight it is extremely shocking; hardly any one has submitted to it all at once: his disposition must be previously understood, the particular bait must be found out with which he is to be allured, and after all, it is not without many struggles that he surrenders his virtue. Indeed there are some who will at once plunge themselves into any base action; but the generality of mankind are of a more cautious nature, and will proceed only by leisurely degrees: one ot two perhaps have deserted their colours'the first campaign, some have done it a second ; but a great many, who have not that eager disposition to vice, will wait till a third.
For this reason, short parliaments have been less corrupt than long ones; they are observed, like streams of water, always to grow moie impure the greater distance they run from the fountain-head.
I am aware it may be said, that frequent new parliaments will produce frequent new expences; but I think quite the contrary: I am really of opinion, that it will be a proper remedy against the evil of bribery at elections, especially as you have provided so wholesome a law to co-operate upon these occasions. Bribery at elections, whence did it