Page images

accounts, to censure, correct, and punish, we never, that I know of, have thought of denying to the house of lords. It is something more than a century since we voted that body useless; they have now voted themselves so. The whole hope of reformation is at length cast upon us : and let us not deceive the nation, which does us the honour to hope every thing from our virtue. If all the nation are not equally forward to press this duty upon us, yet be assured, that they will equally expect we should perform it. The respectful silence of those who wait upon your pleasure ought to be as powerful with you, as the call of those who require your service as their right. Some, without doors, affect to feel hurt for your dignity, because they suppose that menaces are held out to you. Justify their good opinion, by shewing that no menaces are necessary to stimulate you to your duty.—But, Sir, whilst we may sympathize with them, in one point, who sympathize with us in another, we ought to attend no less to those who approach us like men, and who, in the guise of petitioners, speak to us in the tone of a concealed authority. It is not wise to force them to speak out more plainly, what they plainly mean.-But the petitioners are violent. Be it so. Those, who are least anxious about your conduct, are not those that love you most.

Moderate affection, and satiated enjoyment, are cold and respectful ;


but an ardent and injured passion is tempered up with wrath, and grief, and shame, and conscious worth, and the maddening sense of violated right. A jealous love lights his torch from the firebrands of the furies. They who call upon you to belong wholly to the people, are those who wish you to return to your proper home; to the sphere of your duty, to the post of your honour, to the mansionhouse of all genuine, serene, and solid satisfaction. We have furnished to the people of England (indeed we have) some real cause of jealousy. Let us leave that sort of company which, if it does not destroy our innocence, pollutes our honour; let us free ourselves at once from every thing that can increase their suspicions, and inflame their just resentment; let us cast away from us, with a generous scorn, all the love-tokens and symbols that we have been vain and light enough to accept ;-all the bracelets, and snuff-boxes; and miniature pictures, and hair devices, and all the other adulterous trinkets that are the pledges of our alienation, and the monuments of our shame. return to our legitimate home, and all jars and all quarrels will be lost in embraces. Let the commons in parliament assembled be one and the same thing with the commons at large. The distinctions that are made to separate us are unnatural and wicked contrivances. Let us identify, let us incorporate ourselves with the people. Let us


Let us

cut all the cables and snap the chains which tie us to an unfaithful shore, and enter the friendly harbour, that shoots far out into the main its moles and jettees to receive us.—“War with the world, and peace with our constituents." Be this our motto, and our principle. Then indeed, we shall be truly great. Respecting ourselves we shall be respected by the world. At present all is troubled and cloudy, and distracted, and full of anger and turbulence, both abroad and at home; but the air may be cleared by this storm, and light and fertility may follow it. Let us give a faithful pledge to the people, that we honour, indeed, the crown; but that we belong to them; that we are their auxiliaries, and not their task-masters; the fellowlabourers in the same vineyard, not lording over their rights, but helpers of their joy: that to tax them is a grievance to ourselves; but to cut off from our enjoyments to forward theirs, is the highest gratification we are capable of receiving. I feel with comfort, that we are all warmed with these sentiments, and while we are thus warm, I wish we may go directly and with a cheerful heart to this salutary work. Sir, I move for leave to bring in a bill, “ For

“ the better regulation of his majesty's civil “ establishments, and of certain publick of“ fices; for the limitation of pensions, and the suppression of sundry useless, expensive, and

“ inconvenient

“ inconvenient places; and for applying the “ monies saved thereby to the publick ser

“ vice *" Lord North stated, that there was a difference between this bill for regulating the establishments, and some of the others, as they affected the ancient patrimony of the crown ; and therefore wished them to be postponed, till the king's consent could be obtained. This distinction was strongly controverted; but when it was insisted on as a point of decorum only, it was agreed to postpone them to another day. Accordingly, on the Monday following, viz. February 14, leave was given, on the motion of Mr. Burke, without opposition, to bring in

1st, “ A bill for the sale of the forest and other crown lands, rents, and hereditaments, with cer“ tain exceptions; and for applying the produce thereof to the publick service ; and for securing, ascertaining, and satisfying, tenantrights, and common and other rights."

2d, “ A bill for the more perfectly uniting to “ the crown the principality of Wales, and the “ county palatine of Chester, and for the more

commodious administration of justice within the samé; aś also for abolishing certain offices now

appertaining thereto ; for quieting dormant claims, ascertaining and securing tenant

rights; * The motion was seconded by Mr. Fox.

rights; and for the sale of all the forest lands, “ and other lands, tenements, and hereditaments, “ held by his majesty in right of the said princi

pality, or county palatine of Chester, and for applying the produce thereof to the publick service."

3d, “A bill for uniting to the crown the duchy “ and county palatine of Lancaster; for the sup

pression of unnecessary offices now belonging 66 thereto ; for the ascertainment and sen olyan tenant and other rights; and for the sale of all

rents, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, and “ forests, within the said duchy, and county pala“ tine, or either of them; and for applying the

produce thereof to the publick service.And it was ordered that Mr. Burke, Mr. Fox, Lord John Cavendish, Sir George Savile, Colonel Barrè, Mr. Thomas Townshend, Mr. Byng, Mr. Dunning, Sir Joseph Mawbey, Mr. Recorder of London, Sir Robert Clayton, Mr. Frederick Montagu, the Earl of Upper Ossory, Sir William Guise, and Mr. Gilbert, do prepare and bring in the same.

At the same time, Mr. Burke moved for leave to bring in-4th, A bill for uniting the duchy “ of Cornwall to the crown; for the suppression “ of certain unnecessary offices now belonging “ thereto; for the ascertainment and security of tenant and other rights; and for the sale of

“ certain

« PreviousContinue »