Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

ܪ

The duke of Giafton w

of opi

is complete; I have plunged voil which they were born; anı!, finally, into a new war; I have exhaulted to dismiss froin his prelence for ever, you as a people; I have brought thote minifters whole measures had you to the brink of ruin, but I tol! impaired the liberties, and whole you beforehand what would hap- extravagance had injured the propen; I told you, that, without a perty, of his fubjecis; in refiore reform in the representation of the the fpirit of the Britill contitution, people, no minister, however wile, and to adopt such a tutin2 of recould lave

you ; yol riepied me trenchment as was alone confitent iny means, and you take the con- with the properity of his exhanied sequence!” I lay, fir, that if I people.” This notion was oppoled were to consider him as a bigot to by the duke of Athol, as tending his doctrine, or thit his mind was not only to unhinge administration tinctured with funerli tion, as we but even the co'l.try.

But have heard of enthusiasts whose lives have been devoted to the fullilment nion, that, if this motion was to be of their own predictions, I mould viewed with the same cold indiffersuppose that the right hovourable ence, ivhich had been mewn in comgentleman's administ,ation has been mon tinoes, and if the same conShape:1, and his mea'ires framed, for filence was continued to the minilbringing into a terrible demonftra- ters, he hould 10t think it nec ellary tion the poi.tical doärine with which to trouble their lordships with his he commenced his career.

remarks again; but, before he reMr. Grey's motion was rejected, tired, to fortify his own mind against by 258 votes against 43.

the approaching calamities, and The same attack on the measures prepare his family for what they and apparent views of government would probably have to undergo. It

continued in the house of was a duty incumbent upon him, peers. On the thirtieth of May, to lay before his sovereign the reathe duke of Bedford, afier review- fons for this conduct, fattering him. ing the weak and unprofperous con- self that he iliould be allowed that duct of adminiftration, the burthens gracious hearing which his majesty that had been imposed, and the dan- had so often given to one, froni gers which, from their misconduct, whose lips he never heard but the still threatened the nation, moved dictates of the heart, as sincerely as

that a humble address be pre- they were now delivered to their sented to his majetty, earnestly fo- lordships. His grace, in viewing

, liciting him, by dilmilling his present the distressful and dangerous fiate servants, to give to the people of of the nation, took notice of the deIreland the strongest proof of his reliction of our alliesithe stoppage disapprobation of that fysiem of of payment in fpecie at the bank; the treachery, by which their dilcon- blood and treasure facrificed at St. tents had been fostered; and of his Domingo; and the improvidence majesty's intention of securing the

of ministers in not anticipating connection between the kingdoms, the peremptory demands of the by extending to men of all descrip- feamen, when, in confideration of tions, in-that oppreflexl country, the the high price of provitions, conblessings of the constitution, under fiderable indulgencies had been

[83]

granted

was

[ocr errors]

a

a

granted to the soldiers: but, that at a loss to devise what could retard which appeared to his grace to be such overtures. We had no longer the greatest subject of alarm, was, the opening of the Scheldt to relist; the critical state of Ireland; in the fate of the low countries was which kingdom, if a temperate re- decided : deserted by our allies, we form in parliament did not take had only to consider our own inte. place, and a full emancipation of rest. The cause of the filence of the the catholics, with a total change ministers was, therefore, to him, inof the men who now conducted explicable. He trusted they had affairs in that country, we should not the madness to make Austria soon see it added to the list of re- renew the contest. He expected publics, which our fatal-measures to have heard, that the bank of had so largely contributed to erect Vienna, on the return of peace, all over Europe: with this conle- would have relumed its payments; quence, that, if a revolution took and, that not only the interest of place in Ireland, it would evidently the money we had lent to the emproduce a revolution in Great Bri- peror would have been punctually tain.

paid, but that the capital would Lord Romney differed from the have been gradually liquidated. noble duke in every sentiment, ex- Not one word had the noble secrecept in the sincerity which he pro- tary uttered upon this point. He fessed. One passage, in the pro- even smiled at the idea of having posed motion, he thought, might cheated the country out of six milproduce the most pernicious con

And it deserved sequences; namely, that in which to be fo cheated, whilst it submitted it was styled an oppressed country. to be tased in light and air, withWhat would the Irish say, if this out one remonstrance. He recomaddress uld be voted, and the mended it to ministers, to declare sentiments of that house, that it was their readiness to negociate; which, fo, declared to all the world? if it served no other purpose, would

The earl of Guildford beseeched at least solve a problem, never yet their lordships to weigh well the folved: what had been the real fide on which they gave their ap- object of the war? He declared, probation this evening. It was an on the best authority, that Ireland iniportant crisis, big with the fate was in a state of imminent danger. of empires. The earl of Suffolk, Lord Grenville was satisfied, that too, fupported the motion, as a the melancholly tone of distress imfiep towards the falvation of the puted to the country began and country.

ended with the lords who supported The marquis of Lansdowne faid, the motion. It seemed to be a that he had come to the house, on thing allumed by those who fupthat day, prepofleffed with an idea, ported the motion, that the removal that some notice would be given by of ministers would be grateful to ministers, that a negociation had the public mind. But, would it be commenced hetween this country equally grateful to the public mind, and France; though, he confessed, if they themselves were to occupy he had no ground for the supposition their places? Was it not apparent, but public report. He was atterly that the measures of his majesty is

minifters

lions of money:

[ocr errors]

[26$ ministers were not only acquiesced bold to maintain, that he was sein, but generally popular? Had cond to none. As to a reform of not the war been approved of by parliament, the chief measure proa vast majority of the country, and posed by noble lords in opposition, profecuted, through all its various he had ever oppofed that innovation, stages, with the concurring and most and even a temperate reform. He decisive approbation of parliament? concluded by intreating their lordWas it not to his majesty's ministers fhips to reflect, that, if they once that the country was indebted for opened the flood-gates of innovathe prevention of that anarchy to tion, the torrent of anarchy would which the language of those who spread so forcibly and wide, that it opposed them so strongly tended? would not be in the power of their When he considered the present lordships, by opposing their feeble situation of public affairs, and turned hands as a barrier to destruction, to his thoughts to all the consequences prevent the constitution from being likely to result from a base and ser- overwhelmed in general ruin. ville compliance with the leading The duke of Leeds, with a digdoctrines of the day, he should nified modesty and candour, exboldly fay, that his majefty's mi: prefled, in delicate terms, a degree nisters would not tamely desert that of disfatisfaction at the lofty tone honourable post, which they had of the speech the house had just hitherto lo happily filled, by direct. heard ; at the same time, that he ing all their efforts to the ease, did not wish, at the present crisis, contentment, and happiness, of the to urge all that might be advanced people. He confesed, that, were against the conduct of administrathe motion to be carried in the tion. The abilities of the present affirmative, it would impart to him ministers, he was ready to allow, the most serious concern and re- nor would he say that they had gret; not on his own personal ac- heen intentionally, wicked. He count, but, that he would, thereby, could not help conceiving, howbe cut off from the best opportuni- ever, that they had been pecuties of contributing his talents, such liarly unfortunate, and therefore, as they were, to the security, in- he begged leave to submit to the terest, and happiness, of his gracious re-consideration of the right homaster and his country. It would nourable secretary, whether it would not, indeed, become him, he said, not be more delicate and decorous to make any comparison between to leave the talk of praising either his own capacity and that of any of their own talents or virtues, to the noble lords who uniformly op- others, than taking it, and that, posed his majesty's ministers: but, he could not but say, on so many on the ground of an active zeal for occasions, particularly in that house, the real interests of the state, and upon themselves. He could not of a decided and unalterable reso- help conceiving that the noble felution to oppofe, by the most un- cretary had, as it were, made the wearied exertions and the most constitution depend for preservavigorous efforts, those principles tion, not so much upon its own which struck at the very existence intrinsic merit, as upon the conof the conftitution, he would be tinuance of the present ministers in office : with which, the consti- it identifies the present ministers tution itself, according to their re- with the constitution, and tends presentations, seemed to be, in some to link the confidence of the coundegree, identified. For his part, try in its own resources, and in he was convinced, it did not de- the frame and form of its governpend on any set of men whatever. ment. With regard to Ireland, he His grace entreated both sides of hoped it was not yet too late to the house, in the most earnest man- conciliale: but this could not be ner, to proceed calmly in the dis- done by any half measures. cussion of a question which in- The earl Spencer objected to volved consequences of the ut- the motion on the fame ground most importance. His grace dil with lord Grenville; namely, that approved of parliamentary reform it conneaed its object with a change at the present moment, and ex- of measures, which, he firmly bepresled a wish that the previous liered, would prove ruinous to the question were moved, but declined country. moving it.

The earl of Darnley faid, the Lord Grenville admitted, that country dreaded the adoption of others, perhaps, might be found of such a motion, not knowing in equal ability with the present minis- whom to repose confidence. An ters, of whom, however, he did not uniformity of opposition to every conceive that he could be considered mealure of administration, what, as the panegyrist, when he did ever it might be, with other them no more than bare justice. circumstances of a private as well The ground of his opposition to as public nature, had induced a the present motion, as he had general_suspicion throughout the stated before, was a serious con- country, that

the most active viction that it was the object of oppofitionists had other views fome noble lords, by overturn- than the preservation of the coning the present administration, to stitution and interests of the counbring about a revolution in the try. country.

The duke of Bedford, to the main The earl of Moira, for one, was arguments against his motion, made not disposed to afcribe to ministers a short reply. that prosperity which arose from The lord chancellor said, the only the progress of affairs, particularly fair conftruction the motion could of mechanical invention, and the bear, was, that it aimed at an inenergy of British merchants, whose troducion of a new system of gos genius and enterprizing spirit would vernment. Having read that part constantly carry the country for- of the motion which related to ward from one degree of prosperity the situation of Ireland, he asked, to another, if administration did whether it was to be imputed as not put bars in their way. The a matter of crimination to minoble secretary of state had op- nisters, that they did not attempt posed the motion lest the consti- to interfere with the Irish legifla, tution Mould be overturned. But, ture, and to violate a folemn comsaid lord Moira, “ I Niall ever ob- pact made with the people of that ject to this mode of argument, as country. From the general tenour

of of the motion, he inferred that its the principle of an Agrarian law object was to promote a complete introduced in its ftead. change of system, under the pre- The duke of Bedford observed text of forwarding a parliamentary that there was a fallacy in comteform; that it led to a fyftem paring an elective franchise, a right wilder than even that of universal possessed by individuals for the good suffrage: to disfranchise all corpo. of the whole, to private property. rations--to empower the house of After this the house divided on his commons to uncreate their crea- grace's motion. Contents 14, not tors and to destroy the rights of contents 91. the very men who made them men- The duke of Bedford then enbers of parliament: ecclefiaftical tered his protest, which was adcorporations would go of course. hered to by the lord Chedworth. Whatever partook of the nature The session of parliament was of franchise property, or privilege, concluded, by a speech from the would be cut up by the root, and throne, on the twentieth of July,

« ForrigeFortsæt »