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*a practical government, on princi- the root, and prevent the shoots ples which had no tendency to dif- from springing up? Does the right organize fociety, or shake the esta- honourable gentleman think that he blishment of the nation. As to the can extinguish, in the minds of the last and most momentous point, that people, that distrust of the present of time, Mr. Erskine's opinion was, system of government which he that the present moment for reforma- himself has taught them to entertion was fingularly and critically tain? Or does he think hy coercion seasonable; and that those who to make them tamely submit to seized on the times, as a foundation those abuses which he himself was for objection, would lay the same the foremost to expose? Does he hold on prosperity, if it were pro- think to guard the constitution from posed, on the return of peace. violence, by persecuting those who This opinion, by a variety of con- would peaceably reform it? Does he fiderations, it must be owned, he think to silence the voice of comrendered extremely probable. But plaint, by a fullen refusal to remedy it was faid, in objection to the the grievance? This road may be times, that there was, at the pre- pursued for a season; but the end sent moment, a dangerous dis thereof is death. Instead of inflamaffection prevalent in the minds of ing by persecution, let me advise men, to the government of this you to conciliate by feafonable cona country; and that pestilent and de- cession. The system of terror can structive thories had poisoned public neither remuve nor filence a deepopinion, against all monarchical con- rooted and well-founded discontent. ftitutions. Admitting, said Mr. Let me conclude with repeating Erskine, for the sake of argument, again, that the condition of this that the imputation of wide-spred country renders a reform most critidisaffection is just, how is the evil to cally leasonable. The nation stands be remedied? If despair of ob- in the most perilous predicament; taining any moderate reform has government is forced to call upon driven any confiderable numbers to the people for greater exertions than republicanism, to whom is the fault at formet times. Burdens which to be imputed? Will any man de- appeared impracticable, even in ny, that the foundation of this spirit speculation, are now to be carried (whatever may

be its extent) was into practical effect. This must be laid in the declarations of the right done, either by affection, or by cohonourable gentleman himself, who ercion; and this is the moment for affirmed, that it was impossible an the choice. Give the people the upright or useful administration blessings of the constitution, and sould exist, whilst the house was they will join with ardour in its deconstituted as it is, and who has un- fence; raise within these walls a answerably illustrated the truth of standard, which was never before his position, by the evidence of his railed, around which the friends of own? Did the right honour. the constitution may rally, and to able gentleman imagine, that he which the people will be attracted could prescribe bounds beyond by the feelings of confidence and of which this spirit should not pass? aitachment; it will give general Did he imagine that he could plant satisfaction; it will unite all who

are

are divided, and create a general common cause with the irrecone Spirit to bear up against the calami- cileable enemies of the constituties by which we are surrounded. tion." -As to the specific plan of

Mr. Pitt observed, that the ques- reform, proposed by Mr. Grey, he tion was not, whether fome altera- thought it was at once highly ex. tion might be attended with advan- ceptionable in theory, and unfuptage, but whether the degree of ported by experience. benefit might be worth the chance Mr. Sheridan denied that the of the mischief it probably, or pof- horrors of France were produced fibly, might induce. It would not by the rights of man. Bloody calabe prudent to give an opening to mities there had been, but they did principles that aimed at nothing not originate in those principles, less than the annihilation of the There was not one individual who constitution.-But what he appears had been concerned in writing or ed to have most at heart, as was publishing them that was concerned very natural, and what it was the in any of the massacres. Excess principal tendency of his speech was the natural consequence of all to refute, was, the alleged incon- revolutions; when men shook off fiftency of those who had formerly their flavery, under the necessity supported parliamentary reform, in of recovering their liberty by force, opposing it now. There was no , they were naturally intemperate. inconsistency, he faid, in foregoing If the question were put to him, a present advantage for a future who were the real authors and benefit, or for the sake of avoiding abettors of the French maliacres, impending evils. Could we believe he would not hesitate to place that men, who remained unmoved certain despots in the front of his by the dismal example which their accusation. The minister had deprinciples had produced, whole fired the public to look upon reforpretensions rose or fell with the mation as a latent mode of overturnsuccess or the decline of jacobinism, ing the constitution. He knew not · in every part of Europe, were ever why universal suffrage had been actuated by a similarity of motives brought into such contempt. He and of objects with those who pro- remembered Mr. Pitt's having secuted the cause of reform as a signed his name, with the duke of practical advantage, and maintained Richmond, at some meetings, in fait on constitutional views. · From your of reform and annual parliathe period, said Mr. Pitt, when the ments. Mr. Sheridan mentioned new and alarming æra of the French feveral circumstances of con fort and revolution broke in upon the world, hope, in his own particular fituaI found that the grounds on which tion, which rendered it incredible the question of reform rested were that he should entertain any design fundamentally altered. I do not or wish to throw things into anarbelieve that the temper of moderate chy and confusion. For this, in reformers will lead them to make our opinion, Mr, Sheridan is eņa

* We do not consider it to be necessary, as if we were members of parliament, speaking in parliament, to adhere to all the circumlocutions of " fight hiqnourable gentlemen opposite to each other, &c. &c."

titled to full credit: and having of our ancestors, than if we were laid this, it will not be imputed as the inhabitants of a foreign land. any personal attack on that gende- “ Indeed, said fir Francis, with a!!

“ , man, if, contrarily to our usual our boast of wealth, the mean and cusiom, we make a remark on a hard lot of poverty falls to the Mare speech, the substance and tendency of the mass of the people: and that of which, only, it is our business, comfort, which ought to be the rein the character of annalists, to re- ward of honest labour, is seized by port. This obfervation, that the the griping hand of a rapacious maslacres of France did not origi- government. But all these things nate in the principles of the rights are drawing towards a conchifion. of man, though commonly resorted That which was once a matter of to by the defenders of innovation, choice, is now a matter of necesis not worthy of the philosophi- fity; and the chancellor of the cal accuracy and precision of Mr. exchequer, though an enemy to Sheridan, who knows the distine- liberty, has, by his conduct, con. tion between efficient causes, or tributed to revolution." Sir Franrather the one EFFICIENT cause, cis concluded a concise but enerand natural causes or occasions. Mal getic speech, glowing with the fire facres cannot arise out of mere of freedom and the sentiments of abstractions, whether entertained humanity, with declaring, that the in the brain, or represented by present motion should have his fymbols or writing, but notions hearty fupport.

; concerning rights, mingled with, From the generous concern of and brought into play, every evil fir Francis Burdett for the oppressed passion. An explosion is elfected mass of the people, whose patient not hy nitre alone, but by the ac- and filent fufferings feldom find a tion of fire on nitre mixed with sincere advocate in such a place, fulphur.

we can neither with-hold nor supSir Francis Burdett, among a press our fincere approbation and variety of pointed observations, applaufe. Of what use is a flourish

a said, that without a reform of par- ing revenue, if it cannot be applied, liament, corruption would become by political management, to the the euthanasia of the constitution. relief and comfort of the great body Corruption had reduced us, wiih of the people? all the advantages of our foil and Sir Richard Hill did not omit, on climate, to a state, that no more the present occasion, to harp on the resembled, in point of liberty, that common string of the ministers inare divided, and create a general common cause with the irrecosspirit to bear up against the calami- cileable enemies of the conftitaties by which we are surrounded. tion." -As to the specific plan of

confiftency,

We have formerly had occasion to observe that most of our laws, multiplied almost beyond the power of enumeration, relate to the augmentation of the revenue, and the preservation, not to say the extension, of the powers of the executive government. Few are the laws of a truly paternal and patriotic kind. Nay, when measures have been proposed for reducing the enormous price of provisions, we have seen a minister of state setting his face against them. On the twenty-second of June, this year, Mr. Mainwaring moved the order of the day, on a bill for the better preventing of forestalling and regrating of live cattle. Mr. Dundas opposed this bill, on the ground that it would hurt the landed interest of this country, hy diminishing, through a reduced price of provisions, the value of farms. Though a committee of the house of coinmons, in 1796, had deVol. XXXIX.

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Mr. Pitt observed, that the ques- reform, proposed by Mr. Grey, he tion was not, whether fome altera.

thought it was at once highly extion might be attended with advan- ceptionable in theory, and unfuptage, but whether the degree of ported by experience. benefit might be worth the chance Mr. Sheridan denied that the of the mischief it probably, or pof- horrors of France were produced fibly, might induce. It would not by the rights of man. Bloody cala

, be prudent to give an opening to mities there had been, but they did principles that aimed at nothing not originate in those principles, less than the annihilation of the There was not one individual who constitution.—But what he appeare had been concerned in writing or ed to have most at heart, as was publishing them that was cuncerned very natural, and what it was the in any of the massacres. Excels principal tendency of his speech was the natural consequence of all to refute, was, the alleged incon- revolutions; when men shook off fiftency of those who had formerly their favery, under the necessity supported parliamentary reform, in of recovering their liberty by force, opposing it now. There was no they were naturally intemperate. inconfiftency, he said, in foregoing If the question were put to him, a present advantage for a future who were the real authors and benefit, or for the fake of avoiding abettors of the French mafiacres, impending evils. Could we believe he would not hesitate to place that men, who remained unmoved certain despots in the front of his by the dismal example which their accusation. The minister had deprinciples had produced, whole fired the public to look upon reforpretensions rose or fell with the mation as a latent mode of overturnsuccess or the decline of jacobinism, ing the constitution. He knew not

, in every part of Europe, were ever why universal fuffrage had been actuated by a similarity of motives brought into such contempt. He and of objects with those who pro- remembered Mr. Pitt's having secuted the cause of reform as a signed his name, with the duke of practical advantage, and maintained Richmond, at some meetings, in fait on constitutional views. “ From your of seform and annual parliathe period, said Mr. Pitt, when the ments. Mr. Sheridan mentioned new and alarming æra of the French several circumstances of conifort and revolution broke in upon the world, hope, in his own particular fituaI found that the grounds on which tion, which rendered it incredible the question of reform rested were that he fhould entertain any design fundamentally altered. I do not or wish to throw things into anarbelieve that the temper of moderate chy and confusion. For this, in reformers will lead them to make our opinion, Mr, Sheridan is ep,

* We do not consider it to be necessary, as if we were members of parliament, speaking in parliament, to adhere to all the circumlocutions of " fight hienourable gentlemen opposite to each other, &c. &c."

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titled to full credit: and having of our ancestors, than if we were faid this, it will not be imputed as the inhabitants of a foreign laud. any personal attack on that gentle. “ Indeed, laid fir Francis, with all man, if, contrarily to our usual our boast of wealth, the mean and cusom, we make a remark on a hard lot of porerty falls to the share speech, the substance and tendency of the mass of the people: and that of which, only, it is our business, comfort, which ought to be the rein the character of annalists, to re- ward of honest labour, is féized by port. This obsorvation, that the the griping hand of a raparious maslacres of France did not origi- government. But all thete things nate in the principles of the rights are drawing towards a conclufion. of man, though commonly resorted That which was once a matter of to by the defenders of innovation, choice, is now a matter of necefis not worthy of the philofophi- fity; and the chancellor of the cal accuracy and precision of Mr. exchequer, though an enemy to Sheridan, who knows the distine liberty, has, by his concluct, contion between efficient causes, or tributed to revolution." Sir Franrather the one EFFICIENT caule, cis concluded a concise bui enesand natural causes or occasions. Mal getic speech, glowing with the fire sacres cannot arise out of mere of freedom and the sentiments of abítractions, whether entertained hunanity, with declaring, that the in the brain, or represented by prelent motion should have his fymbols or writing ; but notions hearty fupport. concerning rights, mingled with, From the generous concern of and brought into play, every evil fir Francis Burdett for the opprettel paflion. An explotion is effected mals of the people, whois patient not hy nitre alone, but by the ac- and silent fiifterings feldom find a tion of fire on nitre mixed with fincere advocate in such a place, fulphur.

we can neither with-hoki nor fupSir Francis Burdett, among a press our fincere approbation and variety of pointed observations, applause. Of what use is a flourishsaid, that without a reform of par- ing revenue, if it cannot be applied, liament, corruption would become by political management, to the the euthanasia of the constitution. relief and comfort of the great boily Corruption had reduced us, wiih of the people? * all the advantages of our foil and Sir Richard Hill did not omit, on climate, to a state, that no more the prefent occafion, to harp on the resembled, in point of liberty, that common ftring of the minifters in,

confiftency,

*

a

* We have formerly had occasion to observe that most of our laws, multiplied almost beyond the power of enumeration, relate to the augmentation of the revenue, and the preservation, not to say the extension, of the powers of the executive government. Few are the laws of a truly paternal and patriotic kind. Nay, when measures have bien proposed for reducing the enormous price of provisions, we have seen a minister of state setting his face against them. On the twenty-second of June, this year, Mr. Mainwaring moved the order of the day, on a bill for the better preventing of forestalling and regrating of live cattle. Mr. Dundas opposed this bill, on the ground that it would hurt the landed interest of this country, hy diminithing, through a reduced price of provisions, the value of farms. Though a committce of the house of commons, in 1796, had de. Vol. XXXIX.

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