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immersed in sloth, corruption, and so overwhelmed with despondency, that 12

or 13, straggling soldiers would have pos

sessed themselves of a very strong fort, which led to the capital, if a servant woman had not braved the danger alone, and timely pulled up the draw-bridge. What was the consequence of all this 2 The only two virtuous men in the republic, the two De Witts, were sacrificed to the ill-founded prejudices of an enraged poi.". The people grew desperate. Offers ad been made to Louis T4, their conueror, then the most potent prince in urope, and aided by England, to give up everything, but just to retain the name of sovereignty. It was refused by that haughty monarch with contempt. This rouzed the people to act as one man. Their supineness was no more; rouzed from their political lethargy, every man became a sailor or a soldier; and the event corresponded with the means employed. Charles the 2nd saw his error. He was detached from so unnatural an alliance. Holland once more recovered its freedom, and, in a very few years after, was able to vie with the first powers in Europe. . It was the high, political knowledge of the De Witts that proved the cause of their unhappy fate; as statesmen, they could never be persuaded that Charles the 2nd would have been so great a madman or ideot as to have joined France in forming a system of power which must have ultimately ended in the destruction or conquest of his own kingdoms. De Witt's observation, who was the wisest and ablest statesman in Europe, when he heard Charles had acceded to the treaty with France, so evidently repugnant to the interests of his crown and people, was, that “no man could possibly pretend even to guess at the extent of folly.” I confess the observation has made a deep impression on my memory. I have often revolved it in my mind; and I think the period is now arrived, when it may be applied with the strictest justice. It points directly to the conduet of the present members in administration, who seem determined to push their folly farther than any men in office had ever done before. Indeed, it may, by some of their advocates, be urged in their favour, as tending to mislead our enemies; for I have heard more than once, that the principal difficulty with the French cabinet has been to explain, by system, what has hitherto remained inexplicable, the conduct of the British administration;

who are represented at Versailles, as men so mutable, various, and so contradictory in their measures, that the last was of such a nature, that no man, unless possessed of the spirit of divination, could tell what the next would be. My lords, our ministers, if they deserve that name, seem in a state of stupefaction. They see ruin approaching, and take no one measure to prevent, or even arrest its progress. They neither prepare for peace nor war. They know, they must know, that an invasion is intended. I have had repeated advices, within these three weeks, that the coasts of Brittany and Normandy are lined with troops. There is not a person who has lately left that country, with whom I converse, who has not assured me of the fact. What is the nominal minister? The servus servi. What are those who act with and in subordination to him 2 The servi servorum of this phantom of power and mock importance. What has their employers desired them to o ? That the court of Spain will not join France. The arrival of a courier from Madrid is announced | These are the joyful tidings; the stocks rise one per cent. till the pitiful trick is detected, and they fall to their former price. Then again it is whispered, we are to have no war. It cannot be, say the whisperers, if America is declared independent. Here again is another subterfuge. Were I to resort to conjecture, I should be apt to suspect the latter to be the case. Ministers here are silent; they will not speak, or they know nothing. The minister in the other House has lost all credit, even with his greatest friends and admirers. He is never of the same opinion two days running, or even twice in the same debate. No man, in or out of the House, pays the least attention to what he says. He says any thing, and of course says nothing. “I would not take the ghost’s word for a ducat,” is an expression extremely applicable to him. But it is not even their tricks, evasions, and successive contradictions, that so much surprize me, as their total inattention to national security. Do they know the length of coast that is to be defended ? That Plymouth, which is almost insulated, will require 10,000 men for its defence; Portsmouth as many more ; Chatham and the county of Kent an equal number 2 Are ministers ignorant, that if the French should make good a landing, that there is not a single post from the water-side to the metropolis but one, and /*

that in the neighbourhood of some houses that I should be sorry to see disturbed. [Supposed to mean the royal palaces.] Do ministers know, that a chain of posts should be kept upfrom London to Harwich? Then Newcastle, a place of the first-rate importance, lies exposed. It is 300 miles off; and, to properly secure it, and the eastern coast, a chain of posts and communication should be kept up between Harwich again and Newcastle. Newcastle should be paid particular attention to, and strictly guarded. France knows the importance of that town and its neighbourhood as well as we do ourselves. It may possibly be urged, that by these public communications, I may be throwing out hints to the enemy, and instructing them where to land. Were the French ignorant of these particulars, the objection might be plausibly made. I am certain of the contrary; the French do not stand in need of such information. These hints are intended for ministers, to inform them of what I have every reason to believe they are totally unacquainted with and unprepared for. The ministers of Great Britain, I believe, are ignorant of these particulars; the ministers of France, I am thoroughly persuaded, are not. I would ask a noble duke over the way (duke of 3. if Scotland is in a proper state of defence; or if it has either men or money to put it in such a state 2 I believe the noble duke will hardly reply in the affirmative. The truth is, administration have lost all credit with the people. The mihitia are ordered out; some of them are already embodied; yet, such is the character of the finance minister with the people, that he is afraid to apply to them for money to pay the militia, either from the total impracticability of procuring it, or being obliged to give so high a premium as would sufficiently point out the absolute necessity of removing him from his present situation. In this state of despondeney, had I an opportunity of advising his Majesty, I would advise him to try what could be done with the Whigs. Scotland and Man. chester have been tried sufficiently already. The Tories have been applied to, and confided in. I do not approve of exclusive distinctions in times of difficulty and dan

ger, nor at any time, much less at such

seasons as the present, when even the very existence of the nation seems to be rather hazarded, sooner than apply to, or even receive assistance from some of its best

friends. I would advise ministers to abandon all party proscription, and write to the country gentlemen of weight and fortune in the several counties, though they should have the misfortune to be Whigs. State to them the real situation of public affairs, demand their assistance where it may be necessary. Offer those honours and advantages which it is in your power to bestow. Combine and connect every party and description of men. Leave a way open for every man to enter, and every man will enter and co-operate in the support of government. A noble lord near me, I will take the liberty to mention his name, the earl of Effingham, whose zeal and unwearied attention to the interests of his country have secured him the veneration and esteem of all ranks of people, has, I am told, offered his services, in person, to the sovereign. I know no more than what the newspapers, or common conversation inform me of; but I am told, he was looked on coolly, and that some others have nearly stood in the same predicament. If it be so, I am sorry for it; and am certain, such a conduct must have proceeded from weak, if not evil advice. I imagined, that his own personal merit, his disinterested conduct, would have secured him a different kind of reception. I was led to hope, that his name, the highly respected name of Howard, and his descent from that great hero, the first of his immediate family, lord Howard of Effingham, who destroyed the Spanish armada in the reign of queen Elizabeth, would have drawn a degree of respect and attention due to such pretensions. The noble duke thinks the surest way to secure the friendship, if not dependence of America, will be to relinquish it for the present. The noble duke will excuse me, for thinking it a most extraordinary mode of securing a sceptre, to resign it. . Power and dominion are too flattering in their nature, to be either parted with, or returned on such terms. In my opinion, you would only arm America with a weapon you will never again be able to get possession of: it would prove a poignard, to wound this country, which you could never again, by your greatest efforts, be able to recover from her grasp. The proposition puts me in mind of a passage in a modern comedy, between a duke and a sharper: the former is supposed to give the latter 20 guineas; the sharper returns 21; so this kind of exchange increasing on both sides, continues for some time, till the sharper at length runs away with the whole. Such a scheme, my lords, was a very proper subject for a play or a farce, as a caution to young people not to play, or warn them not to play with strangers; but it would be grossly ludicrous, if it was to be adopted in a system of politics, which was to determine the interests, if not the fate, of a great kingdom. Who ever yet heard of borrowing or lending a diadem? The idea is absurd; the plan is idle and impracticable. The conduct of this country, respecting Holland, has often been introduced into debate on this subject, particularly by the noble duke; and inferences have been drawn from it, to prove the propriety of forbearing to resent the insult offered to us by France. . I do not mean the last period of Dutch history alluded to; I mean the conduct of queen Elizabeth, relative to the frequent apologies, and the seeming good understanding which subsisted between England and Spain, while Elizabeth was publicly supporting the Dutch in their revolt. In answer to this, I shall just remind his grace, that though war was not actually declared, the assistance given to the revolted subjects was equal on both sides; for while England was fomenting disturbances in the Netherlands, Spain was doing the same in Ireland, and actually invaded that kingdom with a very considerable naval and military force. . The facts which introduce the present motion have, in my opinion, been sufficiently proved, and contain matter not of a dangerous nature, unless your lordships should be persuaded to believe the most improbable of all absurdities, that the information which came out in the course of the enquiry, was not known to France. The same objection would have lain against a great part of what fell from me this day; but it is to the last degree farcieal. The French know the ground, posts and passages between London and the sea coasts, I will not say better, but at least as well as the most experienced of our own generals. The French are equally well informed as to the state of our army and navy. Indeed, I believe I need not hesitate to say, much better than we are. But now I am up, I cannot help taking notice of a matter which astonished me, and which came out in proof. I confess I looked with amazement at the confidence and insolence of the first lord of the Admiralty. When a war was threatened with France, and a

noble duke (of Bolton) reminded his lord- |

ship of his boastings, and how far short the fleet was of being in a state of defence; his lordship said, “To be sure the fleet was not as well manned as he could wish. He could not help it; he had done cvery thing in his power; but it was impossible to remedy the evil, as America retained in their service above 20,000 of those seamen, which in former wars we used to have to man our navy.” Good God! is it ossible to bear such evasions? Shall it be in the power of men in high offices to allure the nation into measures of the most perilous nature; to encourage it from time to time, to proceed upon previous engagements; and when the instant comes that the nation is just at the eve of being plunged into a war, the event of which may determine its existence; shall the same men be so daring, to endeavour to shift the responsibility off their own shoulders, and tell you that they acted ministerially, under the wing of the public counsels, and are not answerable for consequences It is not the business of this House to call such men to account. That is the duty of the other House. But what is the other House? Can public justice ever be procured through so foul and corrupt a channel? Is it possible to obtain justice, while that House is under the immediate controul, and at the devotion of the minister 2 Can impeachments be expected to come from pensioners, contractors, and the whole tribe of needy dependants? Let us but recollect what passed here the other day, when on an inquiry into the shameful jobs respecting the contract for transports, the ministers sent the very contractors, clerks and dependants to insult this House with made-up tales to cover their own corruptions and iniquities. Before this country or its constitution is recovered, that corrupt House must be new modelled. It is at present the source of all corruptions and misfortunes; and if all other means should fail, the people will probably rise, and drag their corrupt and venal representatives from their seats. I shall never submit to the doctrines I have heard this day from the woolsack, that the other House are the only representatives and guardians of the people's rights. I boldly maintain the contrary. I say this House are equally the representatives of the people. They hold the balance; and if they should perceive two of the branches of the legislature unite in oppressing and enslaving the people, it is their duty to interpose to prevent it.

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The noble and learned lord on the woolsack, in the debate which opened the business of this day, asserted, that your lordships were incompetent to make any alteration in a Money Bill, or a Bill of Supply. I should be glad to see the matter fairly and fully discussed, and the subject brought forward and argued upon precedent, as well as all its .." relations. I should be pleased to see the question fairly committed, were it for no other reason but to hear the sleek, smooth contractors from the other House of Parliament, come to that bar and declare, that they, and they only, could frame a Money Bill; and they, and they only, could dispose of the property of the peers of Great Britain. Perhaps some arguments more

- plausible than those I heard this day come

from the woolsack, to shew that the Commons have an uncontroulable, unqualified right to bind your lordships’ property, may be urged by them. At present, however, I beg leave to differ from the sentiments delivered by the noble and learned lord; for until the claim, after a solemn discussion of this House, is openly and directly relinquished, I shall continue to be of opinion, that your lordships have a right to alter, iod, or reject a Money Bill; and to prevent an improper or oppressive tax being laid on the people and yourselves: and I trust, that if such a doctrine should come to be ever pressed or tenaciously maintained by the other House, that this inherent right of controul will never be abandoned by your lordships. I so far agree with the noble viscount (Weymouth) that the Address consists of two parts, to withdraw the troops, and for the removal of ministers. If the first is meant to lead to the independence of America, I shall certainly be against it. I repeat what I before urged so strongly, that the dependence of America should never be given up. As to men, I shall ever prefer measures to men. I agree with the noble earl (of Chatham) in his opinion. I wish for no man’s place or employment; yet I can never accede to the argument of the noble viscount, that to dismiss the present ministry, would be punishing or censuring them without proof. Is not our present situation, a full proof of the wickedness and imbecility of administration ? Have not they done every thing to amuse parliament, to deceive, to mislead them; and do they not yet endeavour to cling to their places? Have not they planned a commission, armed with certain powers, to

treat on certain terms? Do not they know beforehand that this commission must miscarry? Is not America previously told to insist on independence 2 Are not ministry and their friends silent; and preparing to surrender the sovereignty and glory of this country Where are the high tokens of approbation gone, which I heard echoed from every courtly corner of this House, the last day I took the liberty to deliver . thoughts on the present subject? A solemn stillness pervades these benches, which on the last day resounded with marks of the highest approbation. There are many other reasons, my lords, which serve to convince me, that declaring America independent would be rash and impolitic. The thirteen united states form at present a republic in the strictest sense of the word. It is a fact, confirmed by long experience, that republican states are always averse to war. If they should, as I fear they will, from their present temper and former provocations, reject the offers we are about to propose to them, they will, from the very nature of their government, insensibly, by degrees, bend towards peace. In that view, my advice would be, to let them alone, and they will in time, even from motives of convenience and interest, return to an alliance with this country. They will naturally cultivate commerce and the arts of peace; they will be desirous to bind and heal those wounds which are bleeding from the ravages of war; and they will discover, as soon as the heats and resentments which it has occasioned have subsided, the danger as well as impolicy of their treaty with France, which, if obstinately adhered to, might prove their own destruction, no less than that of the mother country. My lords, whatever the strength and resources of this country may be, they can never be happily or effectually employed, without a thorough reformation in the executive government and the people at large. A reform of manners, both public and private; of the other House in particular, who at present, I do not hesitate to pronounce, the servile followers of the minister; ready to obey every mandate he thinks proper to issue; totally immersed in the deepest and dirtiest ways of corruption; and lost to every sense of their own duty and constitutional importance in the state. Though I have strong expectations that America is not finally lost, but rather believe it will once more return to its connection with this country, I have

no hopes from the commission now going crooked purposes must be abandoned beout, nor the acts on which it is founded. fore we can expect to succeed in any In my opinion, the commissioners will re- measure pacific or hostile. Every thing turn to Europe as they will leave it, re in- must miscarry so long as this plan is adfecta, and that the whole scheme will turn hered to. This government will never get out as it was really designed, nothing but clear of the various difficulties which press a mere pitiful plan of the present ministry, on every side, unless the system of clerks to amuse the nation, and prolong for a few be annihilated; till the court scribblers months their ministerial existence-or by are silenced or dismissed from the highest

gaining time, attempt either to divide the to the lowest ; from the querist, employed 'colonies, in hopes to carry into execution to write down and vilify general Howe, their original design of enslaving them, | down to the lowest mercenary scribbler of or if that should miscarry, endeavour to the day; till the lawyers and commissioncontinue their own power, by at lengthers are sent to their professions, offices, making a formal surrender of America, on and desks, and, till every low, petty, account of its recovery, either by force or under-hand part of the present paltry treaty, being no longer practicable. It is court system is entirely abolished. not yet, my lords, too late. The first step Besides the impolicy of declaring AmeI would advise, is to do America ample rica independent, my lords, I perfectly justice; to convince the people of that agree with the noble earl, who, in a few country that we were sincere, that we were words yesterday, though pressed down in earnest ; that we wished to come to an with infirmity, spoke with so much digundisguised reconciliation, framed on the nity and wisdom, there would be a gross most comprehensive bottom, and built on injustice in such a declaration, not only the most solid and permanent foundation. with respect to the heir apparent to the To secure their liberties beyond the power crown, the duke of Osnaburgh, and the of former or recent claims. Such a plan, several descendants of the princess Sophia my lords, ought to be prevalent, and ex- and her heirs, being Protestants, but to setend its influence through every depen- veral families, the natives of this country, dency of the British empire, to the East who once possessed great landed properand West Indies, Ireland, &c. which would ties in the colonies. I took the liberty to render London what it ought to be, the point out a few of those soon after I rose; metropolis of Ireland, Asia, and America. / but if I were to enter into particulars, and Undoubtedly, my lords, in respect of Ame- were to have full information upon the rica, such a scheme would for a time | subject; the consequences of a separation, meet with a strong opposition. There are and the confiscations which it would be prodoubtless several in that country who have ductive of, I am confident, would appear to taken a part in the contest, and who from your lordships most deplorable. Though ambitious views of wealth, honour, and I desire no man's place nor employment, aggrandizement, would oppose it; and yet if ministers were to demand my ad. would set their preachers and orators to vice, I would readily go to the privy coun. work, to persuade the people of the ad. cil and give them my sentiments fully. I vantages of being independent; but the would not liowever go alone, they might bulk of the people, if we acted candidly, possibly consider me as a spy, and my judiciously, and direct, I am persuaded, visit might prove equally disagreeable to would be easily brought to a reconcilia- | myself, and to those to whom it was made. tion, a matter I fear, for many strong rea- | In fine, my lords, nothing will succeed sons, which can never be effected by the under the direction of the present admi. present ministry; the system by which nistration. They are despised or execrated they are upheld, and the terms on which without doors; they have lost the public they hold their appointments, being totally confidence: the system of government incompatible with the frame and spirit of must be changed, and established upon a this government. These dangerous com- stronger basis. I repeat again, the law. binations of men, linked together for yers and commis, the present conductors of counteracting the designs of the constitu- public business, must be sent back to their tion; for vesting an unnatural power in proper vocations, or their original obscuthe hands of the crown, in order to employ rity. America must obtain justice and seit to their own personal purposes, and curity, and whatever difficulties may arise thereby setting up a distinct interest from to obstruct it, I have no doubt but she may that of the people. All these dark and again be happily united to Great Britain.

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