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degree of equitable condescension have nothing more to do, than to then, would have been received by fend garrisons to take poffeffion of our filter island, as the most friend them. This they infifted to have ly kindness, and acknowledged been the case with respect to the with the moft lasting gratitude; islands we had lost; and those that whereas, the greatest sacrifice of remained, they described, as not her commercial and political inte. being in a much better fituation. rests which this country can now Jamaica, in particular, they said, make, instead of being considered the most valuable now of our coas the grant of favour, will be re- lonial possessions, and the pringarded as the mean concession of cipal fource of our remaining fear.
trade and wealth, was most shame. The same conduct, they said, fully abandoned ; and was at that which prevailed in Europe, was to moment in the most imminent dan. be traced in every other part of the ger, if not already lost. world. The enemy had, at one This course of invective was sweep, carried every thing that wound up by declaring, that the owas English away, through the missions and defects which produced whole extent of the African coasts. all these calamities, went so much The dominion of the sea, was no beyond any thing which could be less effe&ually, they said, though allowed for impotence and impermuch less disgracefully, lost in the fe&ion of mind, that they seemed West Indies, than in the narrow under a necessity of charging their seas and the channel. Our brave conduct to direct treachery. That commanders and seamen in that final ruin, or a total change of quarter, determined that the Bric system and of men, was the bort tish name, and their own profef- alternative to which we were now fional character, should not be sunk reduced. The short sentence of under the 'fatality and disgrace of New Counsels and New Counsellors our public counsels; but they were included, they said, all the means unable to support her power against of our national salvation, and exthe superiority of the enemy. The pressed the sentiments of every in. French flag reigned as triumphant. telligent and independant man in Jy in the gulph of Mexico, as in England; it was the universal lap. the European seas; and the same guage out of doors, and of those unhappy and disgraceful season, within, when they went out. Thewed the downfal of our naval The speech itself underwent its power in every part of the world. Mare of censure, with respect both
Our West India islands, they to matter and omission; and the said, had been more properly deli. acknowledgment in the proposed vered up to the enemy, than sub- address of the lords, of the bles. dued by him. It made no differ- , fings enjoyed under government, ence in the nature of things, whe- afforded an opportunity for much ther our possessions were furren- severity of comment and observa. dered or fold, by a public or pri. tion in that house. It was freely vate treaty with France, or whe- asked, whether that recognition of ther they were left fo naked and public happiness was founded in defencelers, that the enemy should truth? Whether it was not an in
fult to parliament, when applied men, and pursue their accusa-
diflıke on his side to continental The minister opposed, in the connections ; but to the prevalent, House of Commons, the indirect though mistaken politics of other charges of treachery which were powers, and to the peculiar cir. made on the other side, with tem- cumstances of the contest in which per and firmness. He observed, we are at present engaged. If that such charges or insinuations France had attacked any power seemed of late to become a fa- upon the continent, others would Vorite topic with gentlemen in have felt themselves immediately the opposition, who perhaps hoped interested in the consequences and to derive some great advantage event, and would accordingly have from the frequent repetition ; but taken an active and decided part, if they were not entirely vague Our policy would have led us to a and unfounded, and calculated similar interference; and the reci. merely to ftir up or nurse discon- procality of interests, with the tent and suspicion abroad, wby same object in view, would have did they not come forward like been a common bond of alliance
ibort ? now
and union. But Great Britain not rent passion, had been exhausted being considered as a continental on the other side; that of our napower,, other states did not think val inferiority, particularly on the themselves so much interested with narrow seas. It was impossible for respect to the present attack made Great Britain alone, to oppose an upon her, or so liable to be affected equal number of thips to the whole by its consequences, as if it had united force of the house of Bour. been made upon their more imme. bon ; but if she even equalled or diate neighbours. The contest was exceeded them in point of num. likewise, in its origin, merely co- ber, still the wide arrangement lonial and domestic ; its objects of her naval services, which was were in another quarter of the indispensably neceffary for the proworld ; and even still, the opera. tection of her numerous, exposed, tions of the war being either naval, and remote dependencies, must at or conducted at a vait diftance, did any rate, notwithstanding any skill not much disturb the internal peace or judgment in the difpofition, afof Europe, nor were the consequen- ford an opportunity to the enemy ces confidered as affecting the gene- of obtaining a superiority in some ral balance of power.
particular part. Yet with that Our being left alone to encoun. vast superiority which they actually ter the vast fuperiority of the ene- poflefied in the preceding sumıner, my, was not then to be imputed to it would be found, on due couli. any fault or neglect on the side of deration, that the disgrace was on the councils or ministers of the their side, and not on ours. They throne, but to the mistaken opi. bad fitted out a great and formidanion and erroneous policy of other ble armainent; and it was true, states; who had, from thence, that they had appeared upon our blindly permitted the united house coasts; they talked big, threatened of Bourbon, to bring their whole a great deal, did nothing, and reforce, unmolested and unditturbed, tired. to bear upon this country. This Two things were to be particuwas a mischief, which was as little larly remembered, that the enemy to be foreseen as prevented by the were avowedly acting on the offenministers of Great Britain. They five, and we'as profeffedly on the could not be accountable for the defensive. They came with a de. conduct of other states. It was clared intention to invade us, we not, however, to be doubted, that undertook to defeat the design; other powers would speedily per. they were therefore foiled; for ceive and rectify their error; and they had not dared, even to make that, with a proper attention to the attempt. Their immense artheir true interest, as well as to maments paraded, and paraded to the general system of Europe, they no purpose ; and their millions would interpose to check ihe ambi- were spent in vain. Had they tion of the house of Bourbon. landed, (and it were almost to be
The same argument applied with wished they had) their reception equal effect to that charge, on would have been such, as would which all the eloquence of grief, not only have added to their disand all the indignation of appa- grace, but would have afforced
them fome more essential matter It would be more ingenuous to to crown the history of their cam- acknowledge, that it required great paign.
sagacity, and no common abili. It was denied, that the retreat ties, with no more than from thirtyof the British Aleet, under Sir seven to forty Tips of the line, Charles Hardy, up the channel, to amuse, , fix the attention, and could with any propriety be con- keep in continual motion for lo sidered as a flight. The whole long a time, without their being conduct of that admiral, demanded able to gain any advantage, the no less the admiration than the ap- vaftly superior fleets of the enemy, plause of his country. To decline which counted no less than fixtyan engagement, when he expected six ships of the same rank and chaa reinforcement, and when the racter. This judicious conduct enemy were so vastly superior in produced the most salutary effects. number, was the effect of pru. An immense hostile armament was dence, and eminent professional kept together during the campaign, kill; to have accepted a chal. and its efforts directed to a point lenge, would have been the made where they could be of no avail; ness of valour. It was not, how. whereas, had this vast force been ever, in any degree a flight; he employed upon separate services, endeavoured, by several judicious and directed to specific operations 'motions, to have drawn the enemy in the western world, or, perhaps, up the channel, where, from its other parts, begides the deitruction narrownels, and other circum- of our commerce, which must ftances, our feet might have en-, have been inevitable, we should gaged them with less disadvantage, probably, by this time, have been and they might have been subject. disrobed of some of our most vaed to much danger. The enemy luable posseffio.is. did not chose to venture far up the The minister acknowledged, that channel; but the design was the it would have been a matter of no resole of prudence and superior small moment, to have prevented judgment. It was indeed true, the junction of the French and that if the commander could then Spanish feets; he likewise achave poffibly known the internal knowledged, that we were much ftate and ill condition of the ene. more forward in point of naval my's fleet, he wou'd have eagerly preparation than France; but he fought an engagement, instead of had every reason to believe, that it avoiding it; but as the knowledge was not in our power to prevent the was unattainable, he could not profit junction. The measure was in of the occasion.
• contemplation ; and had the French It was invidious, they said, on continued in port, until they were the other side, to endeavour to de- in real condition for service, the prive ministers and commanders of junction would have been most af. their due merits, in the protection suredly prevented; but they perof oor trade, and in baffling all ceiving our intention, rather chose the defigns of the enemy, by ascribe to flip out of Brelt, as they were, ing solely to providence these nap., while we were fill preparing, than PY_and important circumstances. to wait for proper equipment at VOL. XXIII.
she the risque of an 'encounter. If it fo far as his voice went, mould was aked, why we were more nice have what was reasonable; and he with respect to preparation than was so well convinced that she France, the answer was obvious; we would be facisfied, that he did not had another enemy to attend to; the entertain the smallest apprehension naval force of Spain was in full on that subject. equipment; our all depended on our He concluded, upon the whole, fleet; we were therefore of neceffity that our situation was not by any cautious.
means fo lamentable as it had been With respe&t to Plymouth, the described; that it was much more charge was partly denied, its force fecure and respectable at present, weakened, by alledging the con. than it had been at the same feason vi&tion of government that no de. of the preceding year; our fleet barkation was there intended by the was much ftronger, and likely to enemy, and the attention was called be foon considerably augmented ; off from the past to the present staté though he would not encourage too of that place, by stating the effectual sanguine expectations, he entermeasures which had been since taken tained strong hopes that the en. for its security.
suing spring would open a bril• As to Ireland, the minister ob. liant campaign; and instead of ferved, that if it was distressed, those fupposed symptoms of dan. and he heard it was, it was cer. ger, which were said to keep man. tainly entitled to relief. England kind at a distance, we fewed such would undoubtedly grant her every a fulness of strength, and growing thing that could be given without vigour of preparation, that no injuring herself, and Ireland could power in Europe could hesitate, on not, with justice, ask more. Ire- that account, at making a common land could bear no resentment to cause with us. the present adminiftration, for the He observed, with regard to the had received more favours and na. proposed amendment, that the lantional benefits from them, than guage it contained was Atrially par. from any other during the forty liamentary. It was the duty, as preceding years. Her complaints well as the right of parliament, to were not directed againtt the pre- cause the removal of evil ministers; sent servants of the crown; they but justice required, that proof were laid against the conftitation of mould first be made of their delinthis country; for the great source quency. To remove the servants of their complaints lay in those of the crown, without alligning laws, which were paft during the any cause for it; or attributing to teign of Charles the Second and them, without evidence or trial, William the Third, impofing re. those errors or crimes, which on straints upon their trade. He trial would not be found imputa. did not believe in their distress; ble to them, would be equally un. and as he did not know the evil, he just and unprecedented. There. was not able to point out a specific fore, though he admitted, to the remedy. But whenever her griev. fullest extent, the right of that ances appeared, he was well dir. house to address the throne for a posed to redress them. Ireland, removal of ministers; yet, as there