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invention. The only material objection to it is, that if Mr. Foot's evidence was insufficient, because he did not examine the wound till after the death of the party, much less can a negative opinion, given by gentlemen who never saw the body of Mr. Clarke, either before or after his disease, authorise you to supersede the verdict of a jury, and the sentence of the law.
Now, my lord, let me ask you, Has it never occurred to your grace, while you were withdrawing this desperate wretch from that justice which the laws had awarded, and which the whole people of England demanded against him, that there is another man, who is the favourite of his country, whose pardon would have been accepted with gratitude, whose pardon would have healed all our divisions? Have you quite forgotten that this man was once your grace's friend? Or is to murderers only that you will extend the mercy of the crown?
These are questions you will not answer, nor is it necessary. The character of your private life, and the uniform tenor of your public conduct, is an answer to them all.
HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF GRAFTON.
April 10, 1769. I HAVE so good an opinion of your grace's discernment, that when the author of the vindication of your conduct assures us, that he writes from his own mere motion, without the least authority from your grace, I should be ready enough to believe him, but for one fatal mark, which seems to be fixed upon every measure in which either your personal or your political character is concerned. Your first attempt to support Sir William Proctor ended in the election of Mr. Wilkes; the second insured success to Mr. Glynn. The extraordinary step you took, to make Sir James Lowther lord paramount of Cumberland, bas ruined bis interest in that county for ever. The house list of directors was cursed with the concurrence of government; and even the miserable * Dingley could not escape
the misfortune of your grace's protection. With this uniform experience before us, we are authorized to suspect, that, when a pretended vindication of your principles and conduct in reality contains the bitterest reflections upon both, it could not have been written without your immediate direction and assistance. The author, indeed, calls God to witness for him, with all the sincerity and in the very terms of an Irish evidence, to the best of his knowledge and belief. My lord, you should not encourage these appeals to heaven. The pious prince, from whom you are supposed to descend, made such frequent use of them in his public declarations, that at last the people also found it necessary to appeal to heaven in their turn. Your administration has driven us into circumstances of equal distress; beware at least how you remind us of the remedy.
You have already much to answer for. You have provoked this unhappy gentleman to play the fool once more in public life, in spite of his years and infirmities; and to show us, that, as you yourself are a singular in. stance of youth without spirit, the man who defends you
* This unfortnnate person had been persuaded by the Duke of Grafton to set up for Middlesex, his grace being determined to seat him in the House of Commons, if he had but a single vote. It happened unluckily that he could not prevail on any one freeholder to put him in nomination.
is a no less remarkable example of age without the benefit of experience. To follow such a writer minutely, would, like his own periods, be a labour without end. The subject, too, has been already discussed, and is sufficiently understood. I cannot help observing, however, that, when the pardon of MʻQuirk was the principal charge against you, it would have been but a decent compliment to your grace's understanding, to have defended you upon your own principles. What credit does a man deserve, who tells us plainly, that the facts set forth in the king's proclamation were not the true motives on which the pardon was granted; and that he wishes that those chirurgical reports, which first gave occasion to certain doubts in the royal breast, had not been laid before his majesty. You see, my lord, that even your friends cannot defend your actions without changing your principles; nor justify a deliberate measure of government, without contradicting the main assertion on which it was founded.
The conviction of MʻQuirk had reduced you to a dilemma, in which it was hardly possible for you to reconcile your political interest with your duty. You were obliged either to abandon an active useful partisan, or to protect a felon from public justice. With your usual spirit, you preferred your interest to every other consi. deration; and, with your usual judgment, you founded your determination upon the only motives which should not have been given to the public.
I have frequently censured Mr. Wilkes's conduct, yet your advocate reproaches me with having devoted myself to the service of sedition. Your grace can best inform us for which of Mr. Wilkes's good qualities you first honoured him with your friendship; or how long it was before you discovered those bad ones in him, at which, it seems, your delicacy was offended. Remem
ber, my lord, that you continued your connection with Mr. Wilkes long after he had been convicted of those crimes, which you have since taken pains to represent in the blackest colours of blasphemy and treason. How unlucky is it, that the first instance you have given us of a scrupulous regard to decorum is united with the breach of a moral obligation! For my own part, my lord, I am proud to affirm, that, if I had been weak enough to form such a friendship, I would never have been base enough to betray it. But, let Mr. Wilkes's character be what it may, this at least is certain, that, circumstanced as he is with regard to the public, .even his vices plead for him. The people of England have too much discernment to suffer your grace to take advantage of the failings of a private character, to establish a precedent by which the public liberty is affected, and which you may hereafter, with equal ease and satisfaction, employ to the ruin of the best men in the kingdom. Content yourself, my lord, with the many advantages which the unsullied purity of your own character has given you over your unhappy deserted friend. Avail yourself of all the unforgiving piety of the court you live in, and bless God that you " are not as other men are; extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” In a heart void of feeling, the laws of honour and good faith may be violated with impunity, and there you may safely indulge your genius. But the laws of England shall not be violated, even by your holy zeal to oppress a sinner; and, though you have succeeded in making him a tool, you shall not make him the victim of your ambition.
MR. EDWARD WESTON.
without the be. nefit of experience. It seems you are also a volunteer with the stipend of twenty commissions; and, at a period when all prospects are at an end, you are still looking forward to rewards which you cannot enjoy. No man is better acquainted with the bounty of government than you are:
-Ton impudence, Temeraire vieillard, aura sa recompense. But I will not descend to an altercation, either with the impotence of your age, or the peevishness of your diseases. Your pamphlet, ingenious as it is, has been so little read, that the public cannot know how far you have a right to give me the lie, without the following citation of your own words:
Page 6.“ 1. That he is persuaded, that the motives, which he (Mr. Weston) has alleged, must appear fully sufficient, with or without the opinions of the surgeons.
«2. That those very motives MUST HAVE Been the foundation on which the Earl of Rochford thought
3. That he CANNOT BUT REGRET, that the Earl of Rochford seems to have thought proper to lay the chirurgical reports before the king, in preference to all the other sufficient motives," &c.
Let the public determine, whether this be defending government on their principles, or your own.