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dcre-tailed; a cabinet fo variously inlaid ; ly just and expedient to raise a revenue in fach a piece of diversified mosaic, such a America. For even then, even before the teñelated pavement without cement; here splendid orb was entirely set, and while a bit of black ftone, and there a bit of the wellern horizon was in a blaze with Lite; patriots and courtiers; king's friends his descending glory, on the opposite and republicans ; whigs and to ies; trea quarter of the heavens arose another lucacrous friends and open enemies; that it Ininary (Charles Townshend) and for his was indeed a very curious snow, but ut hour became lord of the ascendant, who terly unsafe to touch, and unsure to ttand was oficially the reproducer of the fatal 0.1 The colleagues whom he had aflørted scheme, the unfortunate act to tax Ameat the fime boards ftared at each other, and rica for a revenue. Edm. Burke. were obliged to ask, “Sir, your name, &c.” It so happened, that persons had a fingle $ 134. Mr. Pulteney's Speech on the cřice divided between them who had never Motion for reducing the Army. spoken to each other in their lives; until they found themselves, they knew not how, Sir, Figging together, heads and points, in the We have heard a great deal about pariame truckle-bed.
liamentary armies, and about an army In consequence of this arrangement have continued from year to year; I have aling put so much the larger part of his ene ways been, Sir, and always shall be, against mies and opposers into power, the confu a standing army of any kind. To me it kon was such that his own principles could is a terrible thing; whether under that of Dot poflibly have any effect or infuence in parliamentary or any other designation, a the conduct of affairs. If ever he fell into itanding army is still a standing army, a fit of the gout, or if any other cause whatever name it be called by: they are withdrew him from public cares, princi- a body of men distinct from the body of ples directly contrary were sure to predo- the people; they are governed by diffeninate. When he had executed his plan, rent laws; and blind obedience, and an he had not an inch of ground to stand up- entire submission to the orders of their on: when he had accomplished his scheme commanding officer, is their only prinof administration, he was no longer a ciple. The nations around us, sir, are minister.
already enslaved, and have been enilaved When his face was hid but for a mo- by those very means: by means of their ment, bis whole system was on a wide sea, standing armies they have every one loft without chart or compass. The gentle- their liberties; it is indeed imposible that men, his particular friends, in various de- the liberties of the people can be preserved partments of ministry, with a confidence in any country where a numerous standing in him which was justified, even in its army is kept up. Shall we then take any extravagance, by his superior abilities, of our mealures from the examples of our had never in any instance presumed on any neighbours ? No, Sir; on the contrary, opinion of their own ; deprived of his from their misfortunes we ought to learn guiding influence, they were whiried about, to avoid those rocks upon which they have the sport of every guft, and easily driven split.
any port; and as those who joined It fignifies nothing to tell me, that our with them in manning the vessel were the army is commanded by such gentlemen as mok directly opposite to his opinions, cannot be supposed to join in any measures measures, and character, and far the most for enslaving their country. It may be so; artful and most powerful of the fet, they I hope it is so; I have a very good opi. eafily prevailed, so as to seize upon the nion of many gentlemen now in the army; most vacant, unoccupied, and derelict I believe they would not join in any such minds of his friends, and instantly they measures ; but their lives are uncertain, turned the vessel wholly out of the course nor can we be sure how long they may be of his policy. As if it were to insult as continued in command; they may be all well as to betray him, even long before dismissed in a moment, and proper tools the close of the first seflion of his admini- of power put in their room. Besides, Sir, fration, when every thing was publicly we know the paffions of men, we know how transacted, and with great parade, in his dangerous it is to trust the best of men with name, they made an act, declaring it high. too much power. Where was there a 4
braver army than that under Julius Cæsar? those liberties which they afterwards de. Where was there ever any army that had stroyed. served their country more faithfully? That It has been urged, Sir, that whoever is ar ny was commanded generally by the for the Protestant fucceflion, must be for beit citizens of Rome, by, men of great continuing the army: for that very rea. fortune and figure in their country, yet son, Sir, I ain against continuing the arthat army enlived their country. The af- my. I know that neither the Protestant fections of the foldiers towards their coun- succesiion in his majetty's most illustrious try, the honour and integrity of the under house, nor any succesion, can ever be fate, officers, are not to be depended on: by the as long as there is a standing army in the military law the administration of justice country. Armies, Sir, have no regard to is fo quick, and the pusishment fo levere, hereditary fucceffions. The first two Cx. that neither officer nor soldier dares offer fars at Rome did pretty well, and fornd to dispute the orders of his supreme com means to keep their armies in tolerable mander; he must not consult his own in- subjection, because the generals and offclinations: if an officer were commanded cers were all their own creatures. But how to pull his own father out of this house, he did it fare with their fucceilors? Was not muit do it; he dares not disobey; imme- every one of them named by the army diate death would be the sure consequence without any regard to hereditary right, of the least grumbling. And if an officer or to any right? A cobler, a gardener, or were sent into the court of requests, ac any man who happened to raise himself in companied by a body of musketeers with the army, and could gain their affections
, screwed bayorets, and with orders to tell was made emperor of the world. Was not us what we ought to do, and how we were every succeeding emperor raised to the to vote, I know what would be the duty of throne, or tumbled headlong into the duft, this house; I know it would be our duty according to the mere whiin or inad frenzy to order the officer to be taken and hanged of the soldiers ? up at the door of the lobby; but, Sir, I We are told this army is desired to be doubt much it such a spirit could be found continued but for one year longer, or for in the house, or in any house of commons a limited term of years. How abfurd is that will ever be in England.
this distinction? Is there any army in the Sir, 1 talk not of imaginary things: I world continued for any term of years? talk of what has happened to an English Does the most absolute monarch tell his house of commons, and from an English army, that he is to continue them for any army: not only from an English army, but number of years, or any number of months? an army that was raised by cat very house How long have we already continued our of commons, an army that was paid by army from year to year. And if it thus thein, and an army that was commanded continues, wherein will it differ from the by generals appointed by them. There- standing armies of those countries which fore do not let us vainly imagine, that an have already submitted their necks to the army raised and maintained by authority yoke? We are now come to the Rubicon; of parliament will always be submislive to our army is now to be reduced, or it never them; if any army be fo numerous as to will; from his majeity's own mouth we have it in their power to over-awe the par are assured of a profound tranquillity liament, they will be submislive as long as abroad, we know there is one at home. If the parliament does nothing to disoblige this is not a proper time, if these circumtheir favourite general; but when that case stances do not afford us a safe opportunity happens, I am afraid that in place of the for reducing at leaf a part of our regular parliament's dimising the army, the army forces, we never can expect to see any will dilmiss the parliament, as they have reduction; and this nation, already overdone heretofore. Nor does the legality or burdened with debts and taxes, must be illegality of thai parliament, or of that loaded with the heavy charge of arniy alter the case; for, with respect to ally supporting a numerous standing army; that army, and according to their way and remain for ever exposed to the danger of thinking, the parliament dismissed by of having its liberties and privileges tramthem was a legal parliament; they were pled upon by any future king or miniftry, an army raised and maintained accord- who thall take it in their heads to do so, ing to law, and at first they were raised, and thall take a proper care to model the as they imagined, for the preservation of army for that purpose.
a surfeit of parliaments in his father's time, | 135. Sir John St. Aubin's Speech for and was therefore extremely defrous to repealing the Septennial Act.
lay them a lide: but this was a scheme imMr. Speaker,
practicable. However, in effet, he did fo; The subject matter of this debate is of for he obtained a parliament which, by its fuch importance, that I should be ashamed long duration, like an army of veterans, to return to my electors, without endea- became so exactly disciplined to his own vouring, in the best manner I am able, measures, that they knew no other comto declare publicly the reasons which in. mand but from that person who gave them duced me to give my most ready assent to their pay. this question.
This was a safe and most ingenious way The people have an unquestionable right of enslaving a nation. It was very well co frequent new parliaments by ancient known, that arbitrary power, if it was atage; and this ulage has been confirmed open and avowed, would never prevail by several laws which have been progref- here; the people were amused with the fively made by our ancestors, as often as specious form of their ancient constitution: they found it necessary to infilt on this ef- it existed, indeed, in their fancy; but, like sential privilege
a mere phantom, hrad no substance nor reParliaments were generally annual, but ality in it: for the power, the authority, never continued longer than three years, the dignity of parliaments were wholly till the remarkable reign of Henry VII. loft. This was that remarkable parliament He, Sir, was a prince of unruly appetites, which fo juilly obtained the opprobrious and of an arbitrary will; he was impatient nime of the Pension Parliament; and was of every reitraint; the laws of Gud and the model from which, I believe, some later man fell equally a sacrifice, as they stood parliaments have been exactly copied. in the way of his avarice, or disappointed At the time of the Revolution, the peohis ambition : he therefore introduced long ple made a fresh claim of their ancient parliaments, because he very well knew privileges ; and as they had so lately exthat they would become the proper instru- perienced the misfortune of long and sere ments of both; and what a flavilh obe- vile parliaments, it was then declare I, that dience they paid to all his measures is suit- they should be held frequently. But, it ciently known.
seems, their full meaning was not underIf we come to the reign of King Charles stood by this declaration; and, therefore, ihe first, we must acknowledge him to be as in every new settlernent the intention of a prince of a contrary temper: he had all parties thould be specifically manifested, certainly an innate love for religion and the parliament never cealed ftruggling virtue. But here lay the misfortune; he with the crown, till the triennial law was was led from his natural disposition by sy obtained: the preamble of it is extremely cophants and flatterers; they advised him fall and itrong; and in the body of the to neglect the calling of frequent new par bill you will find the word declared before liaments, and therefore, by not taking the enacted, by which I apprehend, that though conftant sense of his people in what he did, this law did not inmediately take place at he was worked up into lo high a notion of the time of the Revolution, it was certainly prerogative, that the conmons, in order to intended as declaratory of their first meanreftrain it, obtained that independent fatal ing, and therefore it.ınds a part of that oripower, which at last unhappily brought him ginal contract under which the constitution to his most tragical end, and at the same was then settled. His majesty's tiile to the time subverted the whole conftitution; and cro vn is primarily derived from that con. I hope we shall learn this lesson from it, tract; and if upon a review there shall
2pnever to compliment the crown with any pear to be any deviations from it, we ought new or extravagant poiveri, nor to deny to treat them as so many injuries done to the people those righes which by ancient that title. And I dare láy, that this house, usage they are entitled to; but to preserve which has gone through so long a series of the just and equal balance, from which services to his majesty, will at laid he wilthey will both derive mutual security, and ling to revert to those original stated meiwhich, if duly observed, will render our sures of government, to renew and itrengeliconstitucion the envy and admiration of all en that title.
But, Sir, I think the manner in which King Charles the Second naturally took the feptennial law was firti introduced, is a
very strong reason why it should be repeal. observed, like streams of water, always to ed.' People, in their fears, have very often grow more impure the greater distance they recourse to desperate expedients, which, if run from the fountain-head. not cancelled in season, will themselves I am aware it may be said, that frequent prove fatal to that constitution which they new parliaments will produce frequent new were meant to secure. Such is the nature expences; but I think quite the contrary: of the feptennial law; it was intended only I am really of opinion, that it will be a proas a preservative against a temporary in- per remedy against the evil of bribery at convenience: the inconvenience is remov. elections, especially as you have provided ed, but the mischievous effects itill conti- so wholesome a law to co-operate upon nue; for it not only altered the constitution these occasions. of parliaments, but it extended that same Bribery at elections, whence did it arise? parliament beyond its natural duration; rot from country gentlemen, for they are and therefore carries this moft unjust im- sure of being chosen without it ; it was, plication with it, That you may at any time Sir, the invention of wicked and corrupt ulurp the most indubitable, the most essen- minifters, who have from time to time led tial privilege of the people, I mean that of weak princes into such destructive measures, chuling their own representatives: a pre- that they did not dare to rely upon the na. cedent of fuch a dangerous consequence, of tural representation of the people. Long fo fatal a tendency, that I think it would parliaments, Sir, first introduced bribery, be a reproach to our statute-book, if that because they were worth purchasing at any law was any longer to sublist, which might rate. Country gentlemen, who have only record it to posterity.
their private fortunes to rely upon, and This is a season of virtue and public have no mercenary ends to serve, are unfpirit; let us take advantage of it to repeal able to oppose it, especially if at any time those laws which infringe our liberties, and the public treasure shall be unfaithfully introduce such as may restore the vigour of squandered away to corrupt their boroughs. our ancient constitution.
Country gentlemen, indeed,
make Hunan nature is so very corrupt, that some weak efforts, but as they generally all obligations lose their force, unlets they prove unsuccessful, and the time of a fret are frequently renewed: long parliaments struggle is at so great a distance, they at become therefore independent of the peo- last grow faint in the dispute, give up their ple, and when they do so, there always country for loft, and retire in despair; dehappens a moil dangerous dependence elle- fpair naturally produces indolence, and that where.
is the proper disposition for slavery. Mi. Long parliaments give the minister an nifiers of state understand this very well, opportunity of getting acquaintance with and are therefore unwilling to awaken the members, of practising his several arts to nation out of its lethargy by frequent elec. win them into his schemes. This muil be tions. They know that the spirit of lithe work of time. Corruption is of fo baie beriy, like every other virtue of the mind, a nature, that at first figlit it is extremely is to be kept alive only by constant action; shocking; hardly any one has submitted that it is impossible to enslave this nation, to it all at once : his dipofition nuft be while it is perpetually upon its guard. Let previously understood, the particular bait country gentlemen, then, by having fremust be found out with which he is to be quent opportunities of exerting themselves, allured, and after all, it is not without be kept warm and active in their contenmany itruggles that he surrenders his vir- tion for the public good: this will raise tue. Indeed, there are fome who will at that zeal and spirit, which will at last get once plunge themselves into any base ac the better of those undue in Auences by tion ; but the generality of mankind are which the officers of the crown, though unof a more cautious nature, and will pro. known to the several boroughs, have been ceed only by leisurely degrees; one or able to supplant country gentlemen of great two perhaps have deserted their colours characters and fortune, who live in their the first campaign, fome have done it a neighbourhood.- I do not say this upon fecond; but a great many, who have not idle fpeculation only: I live in a country that eager disposition to vice, will wait where it is too well known, and I appeal till a third.
to many gentlemen in the house, to more For this reason, short parliaments have out of it, (and who are so for this very been less corrupt than long ones; they are reason) for the truth of my assertion. Sir,
it is a sore which has been long eating into government, are mixt and interwoven in the most vital part of our constitution, and ours, so as to give us all the advantages I hope the time will come when you will of each, without subjecting us to the dangers probe it to the bottom. For if a minister and inconveniencies of either. The deshould ever gain a corrupt familiarity with mocratical form of government, which is our boroughs; if he should keep a register the only one I have now occasion to take of them in his closet, and, by sending down notice of, is liable to these inconveniencies; his treasury mandates, should procure a that they are generally too tedious in spurious representation of the people, the their coming to any resolution, and feldom offspring of his corruption, who will be at britk and expeditious enough in carrying all times ready to reconcile and justify the their resolutions into execution: that they molt contradictory measures of his admi- are always wavering in their resolutions, nistration, and even to vote every crude in- and never steady in any of the measures digested dream of their patron into a law; they resolve to pursue ; and that they are if the maintenance of his power thould be- often involved in factions, seditions, and come the fole object of their attention, and insurrections, which exposes them to be they should be guilty of the most violent made the tools, if not the prey, of their breach of parliamentary truft, by giving neighbours: therefore, in all regulations we the king a discretionary liberty of taxing make with respect to our constitution, we the people without limitation or controul; are to guard against running too much into the last fatal compliment they can pay to that form of government, which is properly
-if this should ever be the called democratical : this was, in my opiunhappy condition of this nation, the nion, the effect of the triennial law, and people indeed may complain ; but the will again be the effect, if ever it should doors of that place, where their complaints . be rettored. should be heard, will for ever he shut
That triennial elections would make our against them.
government too tedious in all their resolves, Our disease, I fear, is of a complicated is evident; because, in such case, no prunature, and I think that this motion is dent adminiftration would ever resolve wisely intended to remove the first and upon any measure of consequence till principal disorder. Give the people their they had felt not only the puise of the parancient right of frequent new elections ; liament, but the pulse of the people, and that will restore the decayed authority of the ministers of state would always labour parliaments, and will put our constitution under this disadvantage, that, as secrets of into a natural condition of working out her state must not be immediately divulged,
their enemies (and enemies they will always Sir, upon the whole, I am of opinion, have) would have a handle for expofing that I cannot express a greater zeal for his their measures, and rendering them dil majesty, for the liberties of the people, or agreeable to the people, and thereby car the honour and dignity of this house, than rying perhaps a new election against them, by seconding the motion which the ho- before they could have an opportunity of nourable gentleman has made you. justifying their measures, by divulging
those facts and circumstances, from whence $136. Sir ROBERT WALPole's Reply. the justice and the wisdom of their measures Mr. Speaker,
would clearly appear. Though the question has been already Then, Sir, it is by experience well so fully opposed, that there is no great oc- known, that what is called the populace casion to say any thing farther against it, of every country, are apt to be too much yet I hope the house will indulge me the elated with success, and too much dejected liberty of giving some of those reasons with every misfortune : this makes them which induce me to be against the motion. wavering in their opinions about affairs of In general, I must take notice, that the na itate, and never long of the saine mind; ture of our constitution seems to be very and as this house is chosen by the free and much mistaken by the gentlemen who unbiased voice of the people in general, if have spoken in favour of this motion. It is this choice were so often renewed,
we might certain, that ours is a mixed government, expect that this house would be as waverand the perfection of our conftitution ing, and as unsteady, as the people usually consists in this, that the monarchical, are: and it being impossible to carry on aristocratical, and democratical form of the public affairs of the nation without the