splendid subsistence from any unworthy practices, either in his own house or elsewhere, let me ask your grace, for what military merits you have been pleased to reward him with military government? He had a regiment of dragoons, which one would imagine was at least an equivalent for any services he ever performed. Besides, he is but a young officer, considering his preferment; and, except in his activity at Preston, not very conspicuous in his profession. But it seems the sale of a civil employment was not sufficient; and military governments, which were intended for the support of worn-out veterans, must be thrown into the scale, to defray the extensive bribery of a contested election. Are these the steps you take to secure to your sovereign the attachment of his army? With what countenance dare you appear in the royal presence, branded as you are with the infamy of a notorious breach of trust? With what countenance can you take your seat at the treasuryboard, or in council, when you feel, that every circulating whisper is at your expence alone, and stabs you to the heart? Have you a single friend in parliament so shameless, so thoroughly abandoned, as to undertake your defence? You know, my lord, that there is not a man in either House, whose character, however flagitious, would not be ruined by mixing his reputation with yours; and does not your heart inform you, that you are degraded below the condition of a man, when you are obliged to hear these insults with submission, and even to thank me for my moderation?

We are told, by the highest judicial authority, that Mr. Vaughan's offer to purchase the reversion of a patent place in Jamaica (which he was otherwise sufficiently entitled to) amounted to a high misdemeanour. Be it so; and if he deserves it, let him be punished. But the learned judge might have had a fairer opportu

nity of displaying the powers of his eloquence. Having delivered himself with so much energy upon the criminal nature and dangerous consequences of any attempt to corrupt a man in your grace's station, what would he have said to the minister himself, to that very privy counsellor, to that first commissioner of the treasury, who does not wait for, but impatiently solicits, the touch of corruption; who employs the meanest of his creatures in these honourable services, and, forgetting the genius and fidelity of his secretary, descends to apply to his house-builder for assistance?

This affair, my lord, will do infinite credit to government, if, to clear your character, you should think proper to bring it into the House of Lords, or into the court of King's Bench. But, my lord, you dare not do either. *


* A little before the publication of this and the preceding letter, the chaste Duke of Grafton had commenced a prosecution against Mr. Samuel Vaughan, for endeavouring to corrupt his integrity by an offer of five thousand pounds for a patent place in Jamaica. A rule to show cause why an information should not be exhibited against Vaughan for certain misdemeanours, being granted by the court of King's Bench, the matter was solemnly argued on the 27th of November, 1769, and by the unanimous opinion of four judges, the rule was made absolute. The pleadings and speeches were accurately taken in short-hand, and published. The whole of Lord Mansfield's speech, and particularly the following extracts from it, deserve the reader's attention: "A practice of the kind complained of here is certainly dishonourable and scandalous; if a man, standing under the relation of an officer under the king, or of a person in whom the king puts confidence, or of a minister, takes money for the use of that confidence the king puts in him, he basely betrays the king; he basely betrays his trust. If the king sold the office, it would be acting contrary to the trust the constitution had reposed in him. The constitution does not intend the crown should sell those offices, to raise a revenue out of them; is it possible to hesitate, whether this would not be criminal in the Duke of Grafton; contrary to his duty as a privy counsellor ; contrary to his duty as a minister; contrary to his duty as a subject? His advice should be free, according to his judgment; it is the duty of his office; he hath sworn to it." Notwithstanding




December 19, 1769.

WHEN the complaints of a brave and powerful people are observed to increase in proportion to the wrongs they have suffered; when, instead of sinking into submission, they are roused to resistance; the time will soon arrive, at which every inferior consideration must yield to the security of the sovereign, and to the general safety of the state. There is a moment of difficulty and danger, at which flattery and falsehood can no longer deceive, and simplicity itself can no longer be misled. Let us suppose it arrived. Let us suppose a gracious, well-intentioned prince made sensible, at last, of the great duty he owes to his people, and of his own disgraceful situation; that he looks round him for assistance, and asks for no advice but how to gratify the wishes and secure the happiness of his subjects. In these circumstances, it may be matter of curious speculation to consider, if an honest

all this, the chaste Duke of Grafton certainly sold a patent place to Mr. Hine for three thousand five hundred pounds; and for so doing, is now lord privy seal to the chaste George, with whose piety we are perpetually deafened. If the House of Commons had done their duty, and impeached the black duke for this most infamous breach of trust, how woefully must poor honest Mansfield have been puzzled! His embarrassment would have afforded the most ridiculous scene that ever was exhibited. To save the worthy judge from this perplexity, and the no less worthy duke from impeachment, the prosecution against Vaughan was immediately dropped upon my discovery and publication of the duke's treachery. The suffering this charge to pass, without any inquiry, fixes shameless prostitution upon the face of the House of Commons, more strongly than even the Middlesex election. Yet the licentiousness of the press is complained of!

man were permitted to approach a king, in what terms he would address himself to his sovereign. Let it be imagined, no matter how improbable, that the first prejudice against his character is removed; that the ceremonious difficulties of an audience are surmounted; that he feels himself animated by the purest and most honourable affections to his king and country; and that the great person whom he addresses has spirit enough to bid him speak freely, and understanding enough to listen to him with attention. Unacquainted with the vain impertinence of forms, he would deliver his sentiments with dignity and firmness, but not without respect.


It is the misfortune of your life, and originally the cause of every reproach and distress which has attended your government, that you should never have been acquainted with the language of truth, until you heard it in the complaints of your people. It is not, however, too late to correct the error of your education. We are still inclined to make an indulgent allowance for the pernicious lessons you received in your youth, and to form the most sanguine hopes from the natural benevolence of your disposition*. We are far

* The plan of tutelage and future dominion over the heir apparent, laid many years ago at Carleton house, between the Princess Dowager and her favourite the Earl of Bute, was as gross and palpable as that which was concerted between Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarine, to govern Louis the Fourteenth, and, in effect, to prolong his minority until the end of their lives. That prince had strong natural parts, and used frequently to blush for his own ignorance and want of education, which had been wilfully neglected by his mother and her minion. A little experience, however, soon showed him how shamefully he had been treated, and for what infamous purposes he had been kept in ignorance. Our great Edward ton, at an early period, had sense enough to understand the

from thinking you capable of a direct, deliberate purpose. to invade those original rights of your subjects, on which all their civil and political liberties depend. Had it been possible for us to entertain a suspicion so dishonourable to your character, we should long since have adopted a style of remonstrance very distant from the humility of complaint. The doctrine inculcated by our laws, "That the king can do no wrong," is admitted without reluctance. We separate the amiable, goodnatured prince from the folly and treachery of his servants, and the private virtues of the man from the vices of his government. Were it not for this just distinction, I know not whether your majesty's condition, or that of the English nation, would deserve most to be lamented. I would prepare your mind for a favourable reception of truth, by removing every painful, offensive idea of personal reproach. Your subjects, sir, wish for nothing, but that as they are reasonable and affectionate enough. to separate your person from your government, so you, in your turn, should distinguish between the conduct which becomes the permanent dignity of a king, and that which serves only to promote the temporary rest and miserable ambition of a minister.


You ascended the throne with a declared, and, I doubt not, a sincere, resolution of giving universal satisfaction to your subjects. You found them pleased with

nature of the connection between his abandoned mother and the detested Mortimer. But, since that time, human nature, we may observe, is greatly altered for the better. Dowagers may be chaste, and minions may be honest. When it was proposed to settle the present king's household, as Prince of Wales, it is well known, that the Earl of Bute was forced into it, in direct contradiction to the late king's inclination. That was the salient point, from which all the mischiefs and disgraces of the present reign took life and motion. From that moment, Lord Bute never suffered the Prince of Wales to be an instant out of his sight. We need not look farther.

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