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manent military Force. Apprehensions from it. Establishment of Militia. — Influence over Parliament by Places and Pensions. Attempts to restrain it.

Place Bill of 1743. Secret Corruption. Commitments for Breach of Privilege — of Members for Offences --- of Strangers for Offences against Members or for Offences against the House. Kentish Petition of 1701.

Dispute with Lords about Aylesbury Election. - Proceedings against Mr. Murray in 1751. -- Commitments for Offences unconnected with the House.

Privileges of the House not controllable by Courts of Law.
Danger of stretching this too far. Extension of penal Laws.
Diminution of personal Authority of the Crown. Causes of this.
Party Connexions.
Influence of political Writings.

Publication of Debates. - Increased Influence of the middle Ranks. The act of settlement was the seal of our constitutional laws, the complement of the revolution itself and the bill of rights , the last great statute which restrains the power of the crown , and manifests, in any conspicuous degree, a jealousy of parliament in behalf of its own and the subjects' privileges. The battle had been fought and gained ; the statute-book, as it becomes more voluminous, is less interesting in the history of our constitution; the voice of petition, complaint, or remonstrance is seldom to be traced in the journals; the crown in return desists altogether, not merely from the threatening or objurgatory tone of the Stuarts, but from that dissatisfaction sometimes apparent in the language of William ; and the vessel seems riding in smooth water, moved by other impulses , and liable perhaps to other dangers than those of the ocean-wave and the tempest. The reigns, accordingly, of Anne, George I and George II, afford rather materials for dissertation, than consecutive facts for such a work as the present, and may be sketched in a single chapter, though by no means the least important, which the reader's study and reflection must enable him to fill up. Changes of an essential nature were in operation during

the sixty years of these three reigns, as well as in that beyond the limits of this undertaking, which in length measures them all; some of them greatly enhancing the authority of the crown, or rather of the executive government, while others had so opposite a tendency, that philosophical speculators have not been uniform in determining on which side was the sway of the balance.

No clear understanding can be acquired of the political history of England without distinguishing, with some accuracy of definition, the two great parties of whig and tory. But this is not easy, because those denominations being sometimes applied to factions in the state, intent on their own aggrandizement, sometimes to the principles they entertained or professed , have become equivocal , and do by no means, at all periods and on all occasions , present the same sense; an ambiguity which has been increased by the lax and incorrect use of familiar language. We may consider the words, in the first instance, as expressive of a political theory or principle, applicable to the English government. They were originally employed at the time of the bill of exclusion, though the distinction of the parties they denote is evidently at least as old as the long parliament. Both of these parties, it is material to observe, agreed in the maintenance of the constitution; that is, in the administration of government by an hereditary sovereign, and in the concurrence of that sovereign with the two houses of parliament in legislation; as well as in those other institutions which have been reckoned most ancient and fundamental. A favourer of unlimited monarchy was not a tory, neither was a republican a whig. Lord Clarendon was a tory, Hobbes was not ; bishop Hoadley was a whig , Milton was not. But they differed mainly in this; that to a tory the constitution ,

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inasmuch as it was the constitution, was an ultimate point, beyond which he never looked, and from which he thought it altogether impossible to swerve; whereas a whig deemed all forms of government subordinate to the public good, and therefore liable to change, when they should cease to promote' that object. Within those bounds which he , as well as his antagonist, meant not to transgress, and rejecting all unnecessary innovation, the whig had a natural tendency to political improvement, the tory an aversion to it. The one loved to descant on liberty and the rights of mankind , the other on the mischief of sedition and the rights of kings. Though both , as I have said , admitted a common principle, the maintenance of the constitution, yet this made the privileges of the subject, that the crown's prerogative his peculiar care. Hence it seemed likely that, through passion and circumstance, the tory might aid in establishing despotism, or the whig in subverting monarchy. The former was generally hostile to the liberty of the press, and to freedom of inquiry, especially in religion ; the latter their friend. The principle of the one, in short, was melioration, of the other conservation.

But the distinctive characters of whig and tory were less plainly seen, after the revolution and act of settlement, in relation to the crown , than to some other parts of our polity. The tory was ardently, and in the first place, the supporter of the church in as much preeminence and power as he could give it. For the church's sake, when both seemed as it were on one plank , he sacrificed his loyalty; for her he was always ready to persecute the catholic, and if the times permitted not to persecute, yet to restrain and discountenance the nonconformist. He came unwillingly into the toleration,


of new men,

which the whig held up as one of the great trophies of the revolution. The whig spurned at the haughty language of the church, and treated the dissenters with moderation, or perhaps with favour. This distinction subsisted long after the two parties had shifted their ground as' to civil liberty and royal power. Again , predilection for the territorial aristocracy, and for a government chiefly conducted by their influence, a jealousy

of the mercantile interest, of the commonalty, never failed to mark the genuine tory. It has been common to speak of the whigs as an aristocratical faction. Doubtless the majority of the peerage from the revolution downwards were of that denomination. But this is merely an instance wherein the party and the principle are to be distinguished. The natural bias of the aristocracy is towards the crown; but, except in most of the reign of Anne , the crown might be reckoned with the whig party. No one who reflects on the motives which are likely to influence the judgment of classes in society would hesitate to predict that an English house of lords would contain somewhat a larger proportion of men inclined to the tory principle than of the opposite school ; and we do not find that experience contradicts this anticipation.

It will be obvious , that I have given to each of these political principles a moral character, and considered them as they would subsist in upright and conscientious men, not as we may find them " in the dregs of Romulus,” suffocated by selfishness or distorted by faction. The whigs appear to have taken a far more comprehensive view of the nature and ends of civil society; their principle is more virtuous, more flexible to the variations of time and circumstance, more congenial to large and masculine intellects. But it may probably be no small advantage, that the two parties, or rather the sentiments which have been presumed to actuate them, should have been mingled, as we find them , in the complex mass of the English nation, whether the proportions may or not have been always such as we might desire. They bear some analogy to the two forces which retain the planetary bodies in their orbits ; the excess of one would disperse them into chaos, that of the other would drag them to a centre. And though I cannot reckon these old appellations by any means characteristic of our political factions in the nineteenth century, the names whig and tory are often well applied to individuals. Nor can it be otherwise, since they are founded not only on our laws and history, with which most have some acquaintance ,

but in the diversities of condition and of moral temperament generally subsisting among mankind.

It is however one thing to prefer the whig principle , another to justify, as an advocate , the party which bore that name. So far as they were guided by that principle, I hold them far more friendly to the great interests of the commonwealth than their adversaries. But in truth, the peculiar circumstances of these four reigns after the revolution, the spirit of faction, prejudice, and animosity, above all, the desire of obtaining or retaining power, which if it be ever sought as a means, is soon converted into an end, threw both parties very often into a false position, and gave each the language and sentiments of the other, so that the two principles are rather to be traced in writings, and those not wholly of a temporary nature, than in the debates of parliament. In the reigns of William and Anne, the whigs, speaking of them generally as a great party, had preserved their original character unimpaired far more than their opponents.

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