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As soon as the confusion occasioned by it. On the whole, if any new matter this public calamity subsided, the duke of should arise which might make his rising Richmond rose, and after giving a warm necessary, he should do all in his power testimony to the great political abilities to give their lordships such explanations and integrity of the noble earl, whose as the matter itself might call for. illness had caused the interruption of the The Earl of Shelburne began with paydebate, and acquainting their lordships he ing very high compliments to their lordhad the pleasure to inform them, that the ships, on the great attention shewn to the noble earl's illness, though violent, he had noble earl (Chatham) who had been taken reason to hope was but temporary, and oc- ill the preceding day, He said, their casioned by weakness and the excessive conduct upon that melancholy occasion, heat of the House, said he thought it was such as might be naturally expected would be better to adjourn the debate till from persons
of their nice and generous the next day. The House unanimously feelings, and was worthy of the highest agreed to it, and accordingly adjourned. encomiums. It was a mark of respect, as
well as of humanity, to adjourn the debate; April 8. The order of the day being and for his part, looking upon himself to read for resuming the adjourned debate on be highly interested in an event which so the State of the Nation,
nearly concerned the great man alluded The Duke of Richmond rose, and hav. to, he was greatly obliged to them. He ing lamented in very warm terms the un- confessed, he was much alarmed on the lucky accident which had the preceding occasion, both on account of his personal day caused the House so suddenly to rise, esteem for the noble earl, and, what was said he had the pleasure to inform their of more consequence to their lordships lordships that the issue was not likely to and the nation, the fatal consequence of prove fatal in its consequences, as appear
the death of a peer, to whose wisdom, ances at first seemed to threaten; for he abilities, and happy and fortunate exer. had learned since he came into the House, tion of talents, this country stood so highly that the noble earl was much better, and indebted, and whose assistance would at that he was not without hopes of soon this perilous moment be so much wanting. seeing his lordship in his place, and in a He assured their lordships, that it would capacity once more to serve his country, have been utterly impossible for him to by the performance of his duty in that
have delivered his sentiments on the quesHouse. His grace then reminded their tion before the House at the time, so senJordships, that his motive for resuming the sibly was he affected; nor could he have subject of yesterday's debate was merely yet collected himself sufficiently to speak to give any of their lordships who might to the subject, if the cause which first predesire it, an opportunity of speaking to the vented him had not been removed in a question. He had himself so fully spoken great measure; the apprehension that the to the several objects which it involved, noble earl's illness was likely to prove that he should not think of troubling them fatal : his apprehensions were in part reagain, unless in reply. The motion itself moved, thank God, by an appearance of was drawn up so much in detail, that it the noble earl's being in a fair way of called for very few arguments to support recovery.
His lordship, by way of introduction, ble father, though the youth was nut more than gave a particular account of his own sen 17 or 18 years of age.
timents respecting America, and of the “ Lord Chathain was carried to Mr. Ser previous steps he took before he finally gent's house, in Downing-street, where he
made up his mind on the subject. He was accommodated with every kind and
was resolved to have the noble earl's opifriendly attention, both at this time and on a nion, pure and genuine, unmixed with preceding day, when lie had attended the compliment, or biassed by any personal House of Lords, some weeks before. From regards. He accordingly forbore to hint thence he was carried home to Hayes, and put his own opinion, till after the noble earl to bed. He never rose again! Therefore his had fully given and explained his; and death may be properly said to have happened in the House of Lords, in the discharge of bis
was much pleased to find, that it exactly great political daty: a duty which he came, in
coincided with what he had himself delia dying state, to perform!
vered in a debate, a few days since in that si Such was the glorious end of this great House. He was no less surprised at the man!"
matter, than the manner in which the
noble earl gave his sentiments, considering / your own opinion? These, my lords, form his state of health; so sound in argument, but an imperfect picture of the solicitaso spirited, and at the same time, so replete tions, warnings, dissuasives, and motives, with conviction, that he protested, if he that have been urged to induce me to had before doubted, he must have come change my opinion; but they have all away confirmed, or had he differed, must proved fruitless. I look not to consehave become a convert. This interview quences. I prefer my duty to every other took place before he last spoke on the consideration. I look upon this House as subject, but he thought it would be un- my home. I think of nothing which does parliamentary and unbecoming the respect not directly affect me, as one of this auhe owed their lordships, to trouble them gust body. I know that no honest man, with the opinions of persons without doors. who thinks as I do, can lend his counteHe acknowledged, it gave him great plea- nance to administration; but I know, too, sure to have bis opinion confirmed by so that in this House I am bound to maintain high an authority; and he thought it whatever is right, independent of every proper, before he proceeded to consider other consideration. I have not been conthe several parts of the question, to make cerned in business for upwards of ten this general declaration, that after ma- years. I know the madness of embarking, turely considering the question in every in some instances, with men whom one does possible point of view, he was fully con- or does not know; but still, though no vinced that America was not lost, and that other person in this or the other House, or a war was inevitable. If the result of his within the wide domain of the British emenquiries on both those points had led him pire, thought with me, I should nevertheto adopt a contrary opinion, he would have less retain my present opinion alone, and ingenuously recanted, and that in as open continue to oppose the sovereignty of and explicit a manner as he delivered his America. original sentiments, which he found him- But, my lords, suppose that we were self obliged to adhere to.
willing to allow the claim of independence; After passing the highest compliments that we were ready to sacrifice the most on the abilities, patriotism, and vigour of essential interests of this country; are we mind of the noble earl, his lordship pro- likely to turn our backs upon the laws of ceeded, He laid it down, as the basis of eternal justice? Are we to make a sacrievery thing he was going to offer, what fice of national faith? What is to become fell from him in a former debate, “ That of those unhappy men, who from their the moment Great Britain acknowledged loyalty, no matter whether right or wrong, the sovereignty or independency of Ame- have lost every thing in defending the rica, her sun was set ; and that he thought cause of Great Britain? What will bein bis conscience a war with France was come of the infant children of the late Mr. unavoidable.” He confessed, he differed | Penn, the descendants of that great man, from the majority of his nearest friends in the proprietor and legislator of Pensylvathis opinion. He differed from those with nia, to whose abilities, labour and attenwhom he lived and conversed; with those tion, America owes the greatest part of who stood in the firmest bands of intimacy her present power and opulence? What and friendship with him. He differed will become of the property belonging to from those who lived under the same roof a noble viscount in my eye (lord Weywith him. He had received private let mouth)? or of the heirs of the late lord Balters from his acquaintance; from anony- timore? What will become of those men, mous correspondents. He had been ad- who have been compelled to fly from their vised, intreated, soothed, admonished. He native country; and who, if American inhad been warned of the perilous ground dependency should prevail, will be the he stood on. He had been told, What, first persons to suffer under American prowill you join with the destroyers and be- scription ; who will be banished for ever trayers of your country? Will you accept from their native country, and despoiled of a place, or join an administration who of their estates and possessions ? What have already proved, in such a variety of will become of the most useful, and one of instances, their wickedness and imbecility? the most respectable bodies of men in the Will you trust where you have been al- nation, the merchants, particularly those ready betrayed? Will you hazard your of the city of London, who have all along own honour and safety, your reputation, conducted themselves in so candid and nay, the very existence of this country, to moderate a manner, and have now nearly two millions of property lying in America ? | martyr to illness, and scarcely able to All these several descriptions of men must speak, delivered himself like an able and be totally ruined, or materially injured. honest man, in the foregoing part of this
My lords, these are but a small part of debate. His advice was full of wisdom; the misfortunes we must feel, and the in- and plainly contained the sentiments of a justice we must inflict on the innocent and man, jealous for the honour of his counhelpless : a small part of the disgrace we try; eager to preserve the rights of the must incur, should America be declared crown in their fullest extent; and anxious independent, or should we tamely put up to maintain the ancient established chawith the insults offered to us by France. racter of the nation, by instantly repelling Suppose we should declare America inde- the insult offered by the court of France. pendent, are we certain that America will The noble duke wishes, in order to avoid stop short in her pretensions ? Though the hazard and expence of a foreign war, the people at large may rest contented, that America were declared independent. are we certain the Congress will? I have He agrees with the noble earl, that the ina high opinion of the Congress, as a deli- sult is great; but he thinks, that the preberative body. I am ready to acknowledge, sent state of the nation renders it not adthat the views of the people of America visable to seek redress for this insult. are limited to a preservation of what they His grace has observed, that the noble deem their own proper rights. What does earl said, there were means, but he knew this prove? That if the good sense and not what. I am precisely of the same way moderation of the people were to prevail, of thinking with the noble earl. I know and that power were not employed to im- there are means, but I do not pretend proper uses, nothing but a mere separation specifically to point them out. It was not would be to be dreaded. The history of the proper business of the noble earl to mankind holds another language. The enter into the detail of them. His lordconduct of public affairs here at home, has ship would require that at other hands; recently proved it. A few men, possess he would call to one man for an army; to ing the power and offices of the state, em- | another for a fleet; he would look for ployed
that power not in acts of justice or money from the people ; and he would sound policy, but in realizing dreams of employ the means, thus drawn from their senseless unattainable ambition; they told different channels, effectually. The noble the nation that the sword should never be earl, when called to the head of affairs, sheathed, till America agreed to uncondi- during the late war, found the nation in a tional submission. Who, then, knows but state of despondency. It did not, howthe Congress, when they have attained ever, long remain co. France soon felt their object of independency, may look that we had the means, and that we knew further; and having the art of holding out how to use them. Religion and freedom false lights to the people, may inspire them will always inspire the inhabitants of this with expectations of conquest and extent kingdom with an ardour, and courage, and of dominion. Should this be the case, the perseverance, that will lead them to vieremainder of America must fall. I have tory, when those are properly directed. heard it whispered, as being a subject of It is the business of a minister, to put the the petty negociations, carried on by our proper springs in motion ; to call forth the phantoms of ministers, that St. John's and spirit of the people, to induce them to Cape Breton have been already demanded open their purses, to create a confidence by American agents. Should this prove in his measures; to unite the hand and true, away goes the fishery and 20,000 purse, to warm the heart, and convince
After this will follow the West the understanding. With such means, India islands, and in process of time, Ire- war need not be feared, nor its event land itself; so that we should not have a dreaded; and I will maintain, that accom. single foot of land, beyond the limits of panied with such circumstances, an immethis island.
diate declaration of war would be both The noble duke who has taken such in the wisest as well as most honourable step defatigable pains in the course of this en- we could take; and the most likely to quiry, and to whom the nation stands so preserve peace, and of obtaining America. highly indebted, differs very much from This, my lords, may appear paradoxical ; the noble earl, and from those sentiments but I shall nevertheless continue to think, which I again avow to be mine. For my that war can only lead us to a safe and part, I think the noble earl, though a honourable peace, and to the recovery of
America. The nable duke's reply of pended; not spent in private jobs; not yesterday, to what fell from the noble wasted, in maintaining a set of servile deearl, was founded principally upon that pendents, or corrupting the representaexpression of his lordship, which I have tives of the people in parliament. Let just alluded to, “ That there were means every operation of government be as for this country to go to war with France, open as day-light; and then any
loan the though he knew not what.”. This expres, service of the state may require, will, I sion, the noble duke misinterpreted, and venture to promise, be easily obtained. I asked how the noble earl could talk of the have a great esteem for several individuals policy of going to war, when in the same in France; but though the people of this instant, he acknowledged he knew not the country are much degenerated from what means? The expression, my lords, I think, they were, I would have the noble duke is exceedingly defensible. It was a mere consider the sort of people we shall have mode of speaking. It was not the place, to contend with, infinitely more degenenor was it necessary, that the noble earl rated than us, should a war ensue. Men should explain, in the hurry of debate, who have lost all that love of glory, minor disclose plans more proper to be con- litary prowess, and superior discipline, sidered elsewhere. Possibly, the noble which was known to prevail during the duke would not rest contented with ge- reign of Louis the 14th ; I profess, I beneral assertions; he would call for more lieve such is the spirit of our very women, substantial proofs. He would ask, where that if the combat were left to them alone, are the men, where is the money? I an. they would be equal to the task of driving swer his grace, I see the bar full of men, the French out of this kingdom, should there are three or four hundred now in they attempt to invade us. this House. The streets of London are The present ministry have been the full of men.
I see men every day pass in ruin as well as disgrace of this country. crowds on the Bath road, which was one They trifle, they negociate, they patch continued street almost, abounding with up; and the whole of their evasions and passengers, horses and carriages, till the tricks is but a patch-work, formed of jate distresses thinned it. Look round shreds of pitiful expedients. The whole you on every side, and see what a scene of their conduct, since the shameful transof population and opulency presents it- action about Falkland's island, has been self. Look into Hyde-Park, St. James's- entirely in this way. If other men were street. Look into the city, there is money at the helm, France dared not act in this enough there. Perhaps the noble duke manner; her ministers know it. Verwill say, though there is money enough gennes, one of the ablest men in France, there, the minister could not, notwith-has said as much : I have it from the best standing all the plenty, obtain the late authority. He has ludicrously compliloan, but on very disadvantageous terms. mented them on account of their political Let the noble duke consider, there is an sagacity. He acknowledges their ways to essential difference between having money, be past finding out. He says, no man can and lending it. The monied men, and I tell the next thing they mean to do; and think very wisely, have no confidence in he, or some other of the French cabinet, the present administration, they will not has said, whilst the present ministers stay trust their money in such hands. No in, France has too much good sense to go honest or intelligent men would; and to war. This country should 'have long whoever did, not only did a foolish thing, since determined for peace or war. I have but actually did their country a disservice. heard much of invasions, but I know Let the present blundering set of minis- France and Spain both to be vulnerable ters resign: let honest and capable men in many places. But four years since, a fill their places. Men capable of giving revolt might have been easily fomented in spirit and vigour to the operations of go- Brittany; the inhabitants were ripe for invernment. Let the present paltry prac- currection. Much is said of the dispositices of petty private negociations be tion and compact figure of France. Í begiven up;
every thread of the secret lieve they are far from being so united, as system be cut, and all those little low some persons would persuade us. Spain, schemes of crafty lawyers, devised by in many respects, is equally vulnerable. i them to sooth their own vanitv, be aban- know a particular part of that kingdom, doned. Let the public be convinced, that which I shall not now name, where she their money is honestly and fairly ex- might be easily and successfully attacked. France, in the early stages of our dis- | earl, so often alluded to by me since I rose, pute with America, ought to have been who wisely observed, that there was no brought to declare herself openly and di- halting between two opinions; that there rectly. Ministers were told, day after day, was no middle path which could be trod that France would interfere; France did with honour or safety. And surely your interfere; ministers were told of the fact, lordships cannot but agree with me, that till the noble lords on this side of the none but the most pusillanimous adminiHouse were tired. Every species of apo stration that ever held the reins of governlogy was resorted to; and at length, when ment would think of temporizing with the hard pressed, the minister of the day rose, court of France, and by little underhand and gravely assured your lordships, that communications, and private epistolary he had received the most satisfactory and negociations, endeavour, in order to keep friendly assurances from the court of their places, to explain away the honour of France. Ministers were blind, or pre- the kingdom, and sacrifice at the same tended to be blind; they acted like traitors time its most essential interests, when the or ideots. Instead of immediately com- conduct of the King's ministers ought to pelling France to desist, they presented be direct, spirited, and decisive; and be remonstrances of the most mild and hu- distinguished by acts, not by words; by miliating tenor, and bullied the United measures of force, not by the language of Provinces, their only friends. In the true concession. spirit of their whole conduct, they crouched As to the measures recommended by to their enemies, their natural and power- the motion, so far as they stand unconful enemies; and basely bullied and in- nected with the two great points to which sulted their less powerful friends.
I have been speaking, I verily believe the The very worst state a nation can pos. facts enumerated in it are strictly true, sibly fall into is that of despondency, as and fully established, according to the where it gets root to any great degree, it usual mode of parliamentary proof, and seldom fails to terminate in ruin. The that the censure of the ministry conveyed history of Europe exhibits numberless in- in the conclusion is most amply merited. stances of its fatal effects, and Great Bri- I agree, therefore, heartily, my lords, in tain ought now to avoid it as its bane, for, both points; and only wish to have it conI profess I do not perceive any real cause to sidered, that I do not accede to the latter despond. It is true, danger is at hand; with a view to obtain the place of any one but there is nothing new in that. If we lord in administration. It is dangerous to have never been exactly so circumstanced, succeed some men in office. The Dutch we have frequently been in similar situa- pulled down the house of the great De tions, and have always surmounted them, Ruyter, who had so ably served them in often with glory, but always with success his profession, as a seaman, before they on our part, and with more or less degree attacked any other; and that great statesof disgrace on that of our enemies. We man De Witt, who had acted as their sahad the means to repel invasions, and de- viour, was torn limb from limb by an igfend ourselves in every part of our vast norant and enraged mob, as a reward for extended dominions. Common sense, his services ; on which occasion he gave founded in uniform experience, directs us the most exalted proof of his innocent and to adopt vigorous and decisive measures ; | firm mind, by not seeming to feel the tormeasures that may convince our enemies, tures inflicted on him by his savage that the ancient spirit of the nation is murderers, but continued to repeat the roused; that England is not only deter- celebrated ode of Horace, beginning with mined to bid defiance to all those who the words, “ Justum ac tenacem propositi dare insult her, but to follow it, to shew virum,” &c. while he was going to exethat she still continues the same, with an cution. instant proof of her ability, and a deter- We now feel the effects of the worst mined resolution to procure atonement for species of bad government ; money is the injurious insult she has received. Not scarce for want of a confidence in ministers. to go to war, and to acknowledge the in- Great quantities of coin and bullion have dependency of America, my lords, would been sent to America; the people that be to ratify the treaty between France and have money, either hoard it, or are afraid America, and to render what was in itself to part with it, The money is in the na. an unnatural compact, a natural one. Ition, but a spirit of distrust prevails. heartily unite in opinion with the noble People are, to be sure, much divided in