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certain it is, that government taxed the son of the Congress; therefore their vir. Americans without their consent, at a tues or their vices I neither praise nor centime when there was no desperate plea of sure; for I contend that the arbitrary necessity which threatened the safety of maxims adopted, and obstipately persisted this kingdom ; let it be remembered that in by government, was the sole origin of we were then highly respected abroad, the civil war, and to this day prevents the rich in commerce and prosperity at home, re-establishment of peace. I am very far with every advantage of profound peace from attributing so general a revolt to the The exercise of unlimited taxation may ingenious abilities of a few very private mark this for a house of American dele- gentlemen. Restore upon a solid basis gates, by American pensions, but that the faith of this nation towards the inhabipeople can only continue to elect their tants of that great continent; give up such own legal representatives, to record a lost measures as are only consistent with nar. constitution. Nor could I conceive that row minds, court.juntos, and despotic our liberties were not endangered, when principles ; desist from persecutions which so desperate an attempt was formed, to had lighted up a spirit of resentment suffibreak the spirit of a people like ourselves, cient to warm the hearts of three millions who would not tamely submit to be treated of subjects, the Congress would then soon as inferior subjects, in point of constitu- sink into their original station of private tional representatives, and the blessings of citizens. limited monarchy. It is a maxim stated I judge the ministers to be dangerous by a noble and distinguished political servants to the state, not only by their rewriter (lord Bolingbroke) that “ what- peated arbitrary declarations, but by strong ever be the fate of particular persons, facts which have arisen out of their own houses, or families, the liberty of the sub- conduct, and which they dare the subject ject should be immortal.” But we have to counteract. The war is theirs, and the seen three millions of subjects condemned peace is to be theirs. , We have charters unheard, and the faith of their nation to defend our liberties, and so once had broke, in order to support the powerful the Americans; and there is more to be faction of a few great families placed near apprehended from such ministers, when in the throne; themselves exclaiming in both prosperity, than adversity. Therefore it Houses of Parliament, to have recourse to is our duty to look to the use that will be arms, to justify such proceedings, as they made of the boasted victories, before we were conscious must be condemned, by are in love with the sound of them. I every possible idea of civil right, which look upon legions of conquerors, and constitutes us a free people.
legions of tax-gatherers, in a very different The Americans driven and necessitated light, the former they wisely hold up
for to resist such arbitrary power, might well our admiration, but the latter suits their forget the respect which we are pleased views, their principles, and determinato suppose was due to the mother country; tions. To be separated for ever from when instead of considering their ad- America, endangers our liberties and the dresses to the crown, you proceeded to de. happiness of every individual in this kingstroy their trade, laid waste their country, dom, much less than giving to the crown and' totally abdicated that government, the rights and free privileges of subjects, there surely remained little reason to jus- who must become more numerous than tify such conduct, whether the Americans ourselves. I therefore contend, that the should declare themselves independent or attempts of government to claim a right of only unsubdued. I have always thought oppressing the subject, situated however it expedient for government to treat with distant from the capital, or varnished over the Congress, because it is easier to ex. with any pretence whatsoever, ought to be plain differences to a dozen of people, than opposed for the good of the whole empire. to three millions. Considering them as For there can be no natural divisions, no messengers from a vast body of subjects, I slavish distinctions constituted amongst think they should be treated with, listened us, without its ending in destroying the to, and answered; neither could the em- freedom of the whole. The same motives ploying of them as peace-makers, upon which might induce a king to side with us constitutional principles, be establishing to enslave and oppress the Americans, their authority to rule over their fellow- may find a king to watch their growing subjects; or possibly confine the injuries strength, and then side with that people done to all Americans, merely to the per- to reduce us to an ignominious level with themselves. Had the friends of liberty | jesting over scenes, which from their been fewer in numbers and strength, than horrors and injustice, even the savage
Inthose bred up in Popery and Tory princi- dian may have shed a tear upon. Such ples, during the reign of James the 2nd, men and such measures I have opposed, that monarch had been absolute. It was and trust that I have stated sufficient an injured people firmly bound together grounds of justification, for the strongest that shewed strength suffcient to drive opposition to a war, which evidently apthat tyrant from the throne, and secured pears to have for its principal object, arbi. to us those rights of mankind which adds trary power, supported by private avarice, dignity to human nature; under which and ambition; not public spirit, I may the whole empire flourished; and till we add not loyalty ; for though ihe language are a divided people all kings will look of tyranny may flatter the passions of a upon our liberties with jealousy, but not monarch, and gain some earldoms and with contempt. The shadow of a pre- some contracts, yet, Sir, the loyal language tence was at last thrown out, that terms of of a Briton to his sovereign ought to conpeace had been offered (by lord Howe's sist in the welfare and affections of his proclamation) upon constitutional princi- subjects, which cannot be separated from ples, but when the motion made by a his views, without making life a burthen noble lord (J. Cavendish) to ascertain the to himself as well as to them. fact, was taken into parliamentary consi- I shall always wish to address myself deration, the mask of state hypocrisy was with proper respect towards every memthrown off, and the Tory features of go- ber here; conscious that were the same vernment's instruction to the commis- individuals assembled in any other house, sioners fully exposed. The pretended de- than a house of parliament, no man would licacy of treating with the Congress, was take his station amongst them with more equally an imposition upon men's under- humility than I would; but in this public standing; for there are no proper persons cause, when the unjust massacre of thouto treat with, when you have nothing to sands of fellow subjects, whose lives ought offer! And surely if bribing few, and to have been held as sacred as our own, condemning the rest to vassalage, upon calls aloud for redress ; and when the repain of death, can be construed constitu- sult of our unrelenting councils may be tional terms of peace, they were extracted graven on the tombs of thousands more, from the Hessian, not the English laws. it is a time to speak a plain and determined
I own, Sir, I feel for the Americans ; if language; therefore if I should deviate a our boasted force of arms can drive them little from etiquette, I flatter myself the to look up to those ministers for mercy importance of the object will plead my and redress, who have plundered and be- excuse; that object is peace and comtrayed them, and whose first proof of in- merce with America, which cannot be obtegrity consists in declaring, they will not tained by unconditional submission, nor bind themselves to do one act of justice by these detestable repeated acts of viotowards that country. Such, fairly stated, lence, hatred and oppression, but rather is implied by unconditional submission; by dropping the point of the bloody sword, terms not only unworthy the injured Ame- until America shall refuse the olive branch, ricans to listen to, but such as ought to placed on a constitutional code of laws, strike every Englishman with indignation; such as is neither unworthy the Americans to hear a language held for our gracious to live under, nor of Great Britain to offer. sovereign, more becoming some conquer- Mr. Serjeant Adair condemned the ing tyrant and usurper, than the father of principle of the Bill, and congratulated his people, and the sworn assertor of the the learned gentleman who moved the laws. I must observe, that the new titles clause, on having caused the difference of and favours bestowed on the supporters opinion among the crown lawyers to be of this war, are not marks to discern the made manifest, the mask to be drawn well-wishers towards America; neither aside, and the intentions of the framers of can much clemency and protection be the Bill to be exposed in all their naked expected from those members who have deformity, been most expert at teaching us that plea- Mr. Í. Townshend said, it was no santry is preferable to humanity ; that wonder that gentlemen should be stag: loyalty consists in risking the loss of half gered when the crown lawyers were known an empire, by acts of violence and oppres- to have differed so materially in opinion. sion; or have distinguished themselves by Men not bred to the profession of the law,
ought to consider seriously what they | the Bill did not go far enough; that the were about to do; when the very learned present critical state of affairs rendered it gentleman (Mr. Morton) who came with necessary, that the most ample powers the best dispositions to support the mea- should be vested in the crown, in order to sure, stopped short, and refused to go the crush the unnatural and unprovoked relength that other gentlemen, perhaps not bellion now raging in America. He conless learned, but more sanguine, were tended, that the powers now sought, willing to do. In such a diversity of opi- should have been applied for much earlier, nion, he hoped the House would again and affirmed, if they had, that the war we consider the very unprecedented powers were now unhappily waging, with our own meant to be lodged in the hands of the subjects, would have been long since excrown; and if they should think the prin- tinguished. Indecisive measures, indeciciple of the Bill necessary to be supported, sively executed, were the leading chathat they would agree to the clause offered racteristics of the present administration, by his learned friend, at least to the amend at least, of some, who had influence ment proposed by the hon. gentleman on enough, to counteract such as were firm the Treasury bench.
and decisive ; and he could not help obMr. Vyner, when he considered the serving and lamenting, that a greater curse great importance of the question, could could not befal a country, than fluctuating not content himself with giving a silent and divided councils. Divided as we were vote; he should, therefore, declare his in cabinet and parliament, it was natural entire approbation of the clause offered by to expect that we must feel the fatal ef. Mr. Dunning. He was yet to learn on fects of such divisions, in the field, and what plausible ground administration could every intermediate step that led to it. refuse the clause, much less the amend. General Conway said, that administrament.
tion had not only gone far enough, but Lord North rose to exculpate adminis- beyond far enough; they had not only tration from having an intention of intro- been decisive, but he feared much too de. ducing any unconstitutional precedents, or cisive. It was impossible for them to be of desiring any powers to be entrusted more obstinate and unrelenting than they either to the crown or them, which could had already proved themselves to be; or be employed to oppressive or bad pur- to resort to harsher means than they had poses. He assured the House, that he all along steadily pursued. The whole had received no account of any foreign train of measures, from the commencestate having assisted America with arms, ment, was a succession of acts, all seeming or any kind of naval or military stores. to tend to one favourite object, that of He believed the contrary to be the case, driving America to despair ; and from acts and must have heard if they had. Pro- committed under the force of that despair, bably enough, the French and Dutch mer- to'gradually compel them from dutiful re. chants, as objects of commercial profit, monstrance to factious resolves, from these may have supplied the colonies, and been to the cruel necessity of taking up arms to guilty of this species of prohibited com- defend their natural, chartered, and conmerce; but he imagined, he might say stitutional rights, and at length, in the with certainty, that no traffic of this kind height of political rage and desperation, had been carried on under the sanction of to throw off and dissolve all bands of legal either of the powers mentioned, or indeed government, by leaving them no other alby any other. He observed, that great ternative but rank slavery or indepenobjections had been made to the powers dency. Those means of recovering Amenow intended to be delegated. He was rica having hitherto proved unsuccessful, sorry that such a jealousy should be en- he was astonished that we still continued tertained at any side of the House. He to adhere to them. He affirmed, that we was certain that they fell considerably were no nearer making a conquest of short of those granted on similar occa America, than we were twelve months sions; at all events, he imagined that the ago; and that, probably, if we persisted clause, as offered to be amended by his another year, in the same system of po. hon. friend near him, would completely litics, France, when she found this country remove every solid ground of objection. sufficiently exhausted, both in men and
Mr. Adam coincided intirely in opinion money, would take an occasion to break with the Attorney General, that the clause with us, and we should probably, in such was not wanting, and that even without it, an event, find ourselves engaged in a war [48 with the united powers of France, Spain, / ment drawn from it, furnished so many Naples, Sardinia, and the emperor, with stronger motives for agreeing with the out a single ally strong enough to coun- Bill, and rejecting both the clause and terbalance such a junction of all the great amendment: he had told the House (and powers of the southern part of Europe. who could doubt so good an authority ?) He could not sit down without observing, that two of the members of the Congress that after all that ministers had promised, were at Paris, and that they were received nothing had yet been performed, in respect in a public character, in the light of enof the terms we were willing to grant to voys, or ministers, armed with full powers the colonies : how, then, was it possible from an independent state, treating upon to effect that favourite measure, of di- preliminaries for a permanent and solemn viding and commanding ? America must communication, and guarantee of their unconditionally submit, or agree to terms; respective interests. He did not see any no terms having been offered on our part ; necessity for either the clause or amendthe alternative was evidently, simple despo- ment, yet he should not be against, nay he tism or simple conquest. It was, there had no objection to it, if its friends had fore, absurd to talk of dividing the Con- been contented with carrying it early in gress, or separating the people from the the day; but as the gentlemen who moved Congress, because by the present conduct and supported it, had been indulged with of administration, they did not permit a an acquiescence on the part of administrasecond party to subsist in America. His tion, and still continued to debate the prinopinion was not founded in a mere spirit ciple of the Bill, he should now most cerof opposition, nor in any other improper tainly vote against it. motives. He was sure it was pure; he Mr. Fox said, he admired the candour was certain it was uniform ; and he had and condescension of his learned friend, great reason to dread, that the final event in granting the favour of permitting the of the present unnatural war, would prove clause to make part of the Bill, if the that his fears and predictions were too terms in which the favour had been asked well-founded.
had been accompanied with that degree of Mr. Adam rose to explain the words gratitude and submission the granting so • far enough.' He did not mean to use high a boon deserved; if the debate bad that phrase in the loose, undefined manner, not been prolonged to this late hour, when it had been construed by the hon. general. it might be supposed the learned gentleHe meant substantially to say, that the man's presence might be more useful, and measures now pursuing by government more eagerly sought. Yet, upon consiwould have been more efficacious, in all deration, nice as the learned gentleman's probability, had they been taken up feelings were, eager as he was to get out earlier ; and when they were taken up, of the crowd, careless as he was of his duty had they been carried into execution with in that House, and indifferent as he seemed more spirit and alacrity. No man was to the consequences of the Bill; in either farther from approving of sanguinary mea- or any event, he imagined his resentments sures than he was; and he always thought against conquered America, his native that the surest means in such cases, of pre- hatred of rebellion, bis zeal for governventing the effusion of blood, and all the ment, and his personal loyalty to the fadire calamities of a civil war, was by mily on the throne, might have been in adopting vigorous measures in time, and some degree gratified, without pushing executing them seasonably.
this Bill to the extent he seemed to desire. Mr. Dunning was glad to learn, that it might allay the learned gentleman's administration had in some measure de. thirst for public chastisement, and exemserted the Bill; he hoped they would de- plary punishment, when he could satisfy sert the amendment too. However, di- himself with the pleasing reflection that vided as they were, if they should insist seven rebels were shoved into a room at both this night, it would produce a phæ- New York, and there burnt to death; of nomenon in politics—a divided ministry if that was not sufficient, another gentlecarrying a question on which scarcely two man, still, if possible, more zealous and of them were agreed, and which almost loyal, (Mr. Adam) might feast himself every individual of them had virtually de- with contemplating the glorious deed daily serted.
and hourly achieved in our southern coloThe Solicitor General said, the informa- nies and back settlements, where the sation given by Mr. Fox, and every argu- vages came down in great numbers (if the
accounts received by administration them- the clause, and terror, dismay and defeat selves from that country were to be de- to all its supporters. He said, he must pended on) and massacred the innocent seriously congratulate the House, and the settlers in cold blood; and the slaves were nation at large, on the preservation of the meritoriously employed in the murder of constitutional freedom of this country, their unprepared, unsuspicious masters, from the stab that had been predetermined, through the encouragement of an admi- and covertly aimed at its inmost vitals, by nistration which had been this day so un- the Bill as it stood before the clause was justly arraigned, as sluggish and inert, as agreed to;, for if it had passed in that form, wanting spirit and alacrity, in the glorious he could with confidence affirm, that no work of blood and carnage; of planning Englishman, as long as it remained in force, nothing but tame, indecisive measures, and God knew how long that might be, still more tamely and indecisively exe- would have had the shadow of liberty left, cuted.
or could be a minute secure against the The question was put on Mr. Dunning's most cruel attacks of public oppression, or motion, as amended by Mr. Cornwall, and private malice and revenge. He then aragreed to without a division.
gued against the principle of the Bill, and Mr. Fox wished the House much joy, said it was a dangerous and unnecessary and felicitaied the nation in general on the Bill, even in its amended state ; that still escape they had from, at least, a state of any man, who for pleasure or business haptemporary tyrannic dominion, which per- pened to be out of the realm, lay at the haps, all in good time, was meant to be ren- mercy of ministers, of his private enemies, dered perpetual
. He congratulated the or of public informers. On the whole, his minority in particular, on their success this fears being at an end respecting the clause, day; who, he said, had corrected this very he was now at liberty to express his sentireprehensible Bill; though a minority, ments freely; and under that sanction he they had accomplished this alteration; the totally disapproved of the principle of the ministers were not only convinced, but Bill and of the clause; he looked upon the ashamed, and had accepted of the altera- Bill as a dangerous precedent; and learntion. It was no compliment to their ing the true disposition and design of adfriends the majority, for they were ready ministration, from their conduct throughto pass the Bill as it was brought in. Itout, he should give it a most hearty newas the minority, he repeated, who, though gative. a minority, had corrected this Bill, which The Solicitor General denied the interthe noble lord had brought in crude and pretation that had been put on his words indigested, imperfect and erroneous. The by the hon. gentleman. He gave him noble lord was obliged to his friends the credit for his wit, his humour, and flow minority, for digesting, altering, and cor- of imagery and expression ; but very little recting his Bill, not to his friends the ma- for his arguments or facts. What he had jority, who were ready to swallow it with said imported no more than this, that the all its original crudities, cruelties and er- learned gentleman who moved the clause rors. He then enlarged in a humorous, seemed to be contented, at least tolerably ironical strain, on the power of the learned satisfied, with the amendment moved by Solictor General, who threatened to damn his hon.friend; that the explanation given, the clause totally, and blow it out of the was seemingly the proper object of deHouse, if he was longer teased with the bate; yet, after the explanation so given noise and nonsense of his opponents, and and approved of by the learned gentleman detained from his social enjoyments half or who moved the clause, gentlemen contia quarter of an hour beyond his time; and nued to debate upon other matters totally painted his own fears very humorously, lest foreign to the question before the House, some of the over-zealous friends of the and continued to urge arguments against clause should rise, and provoke the learned the Bill. As this seemed to be the pregentleman to carry his threats into execu- vailing opinion of those who opposed the tion. He was two or three times rising to Bill, and that for his part it was his opispeak, he said, bút happily repressed his nion, as well as that of most of his friends, feelings, as he watched the countenance of that no such clause, mended or unamendthe learned gentleman, and imagined he' ed, was necessary; he thought and he could perceive a glow of honest zeal, and believed very justly, that as the hon, gen determined resentment overspread it, which tleman and his friends disliked and opdenoted the most inevitable destruction to posed the whole Bill, the question miglit (VOL. XIX. ]