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ciples he lays down. I mean, says he, a moderate and temperate reform; that is, I mean to do as little good as. possible. If the constitution be what you represent it, and there be no danger in the change, you do wrong not to make the reform commensurate to the abuse. Fine reformer indeed! generous donor! What is the cause of this parsimony of the liberty, which you dole out to the people? Why all this limitation in giving blessings and benefits to mankind? You admit that there is an extreme in liberty, which may be infinitely noxious to those who are to receive it, and which in the end will leave them no liberty at all. I think so too; they know it, and they feel it. The question is then, what is the standard of that extreme? What that gentleman, and the associations, or some parts of their phalanxes, think proper? Then our liberties are in their pleasure; it depends on their arbitrary will how far I shall be free. I will have none of that freedom. If, therefore, the standard of moderation be sought for, I will seek for it. Where? Not in their fancies, nor in my own: I will seek for it where I know it is to be found, in the constitution I actually enjoy. Here it says to an encroaching prerogative, Your sceptre has its length, you cannot add an hair to your head, or a gem to your crown, but what an eternal law has given to it. Here it says to an overweening peerage, Your pride finds banks, that it cannot overflow: here to a tumultuous and giddy people,— There is a bound to the raging of the sea. Our constitution is like our island, which uses and restrains its subject sea; in vain the waves roar. In that constitution I know, and exultingly I feel, both that I am free, and that I am not free dangerously to myself or to others. I know that no power on earth, acting as I ought to do, can touch my life, my liberty, or my property. I have that inward and digni fied consciousness of my own security and independence, which constitutes, and is the only thing, which does constitute, the proud and comfortable sentiment of freedom in the human breast. I know too, and I bless God for my safe mediocrity; I know that, if I possessed all the talents

e side of the House I sit, and on royal favour, or by popular deluel cabal, elevate myself above a cerpoint, so as to endanger my own fall, or the ry. I know there is an order, that keeps a their place; it is made to us, and we are Why not ask another wife, other children, ly, another mind?

great object of most of these reformers is to pre

e destruction of the constitution, by disgracing and reiting the House of Commons. For they think, dently, in my opinion, that if they can persuade the Ion, that the House of Commons is so constituted as not to secure the public liberty; not to have a proper connexion with the public interests, so constituted as not either actually or virtually to be the representative of the people, it will be easy to prove, that a government composed of a monarchy, an oligarchy chosen by the crown, and such a House of Commons, whatever good can be in such a system, can by no means be a system of free go


The constitution of England is never to have a quietus; it is to be continually vilified, attacked, reproached, resisted; instead of being the hope and sure anchor in all storms, instead of being the means of redress to all grievançes, itself is the grand grievance of the nation, our shame instead of our glory. If the only specific plan pro-. posed, individual personal representation, is directly rejected by the person, who is looked on as the great support. of this business, then the only way of considering it is a question of convenience. An honourable gentleman prefers the individual to the present. He therefore himself sees no middle term whatsoever, and therefore prefers of what he sees the individual; this is the only thing distinct and sensible that has been advocated. He has then a scheme, which is the individval representation; he is not at a loss, not inconsistent - which scheme the other right honourable gentleman reprobates. Now, what does this go to,

but to lead directly to anarchy? For to discredit the only government, which he either possesses or can project, what is this but to destroy all government; and this is anarchy. My right honourable friend*, in supporting this motion, disgraces his friends and justifies his enemies, in order to blacken the constitution of his country, even of that House of Commons which supported him. There is a difference between a moral or political exposure of a public evil, relative to the administration of government, whether in men or systems, and a declaration of defects, real or sup posed, in the fundamental constitution of your country. The first may be cured in the individual by the motives of religion, virtue, honour, fear, shame, or interest. Men may be made to abandon also false systems, by exposing their absurdity or mischievous tendency to their own betterthoughts, or to the contempt or indignation of the public; and after all, if they should exist, and exist uncorrected, they only disgrace individuals as fugitive opinions. But it is quite otherwise with the frame and constitution of the state; if that is disgraced, patriotism is destroyed in its very source. No man has ever willingly obeyed, much less was desirous of defending with his blood, a mischievous and absurd scheme of government. Our first, our dearest, most comprehensive relation, our country, is gone.

It suggests melancholy reflections, in conseqnence of the strange course we have long held, that we are now no longer quarrelling about the character, or about the conduct of men, or the tenour of measures; but we are grown out of humour with the English constitution itself; this is become the object of the animosity of Englishmen. This constitution in former days used to be the admiration and the envy of the world; it was the pattern for politicians; the theme of the eloquent; the meditation of the philosopher in every part of the world. As to Englishmen, it was their pride, their consolation. By it they lived, for

* Mr. Fox.

it they were ready to die. Its defects, if it had any, were partly covered by partiality, and partly born by prudence. Now all its excellencies are forgot, its faults are now forcibly dragged into day, exaggerated by every artifice of representation. It is despised and rejected of men; and every device and invention of ingenuity, or idleness, set up in opposition or in preference to it. It is to this humour, and it is to the measures growing out of it, that I set myself (I hope not alone) in the most determined opposition. Never before did we at any time in this country meet upon the theory of our frame of government, to sit in judgment on the constitution of our country, to call it as a delinquent before us, and to accuse it of every defect and every vice; to see whether it, an object of our veneration, even our adoration, did or did not accord with a pre-conceived scheme in the minds of certain gentlemen. Cast your eyes on the journals of parliament. It is for fear of losing the inestimable treasure we have, that I do not venture to game it out of my hands for the vain hope of improving it. I look with filial reverence on the constitution of my country, and never will cut it in pieces, and put it into the kettle of any magician, in order to boil it, with the puddle of their compounds, into youth and vigour. On the contrary, I will drive away such pretenders; I will nurse its venerable age, and with lenient arts extend a parent's breath.

The previous question having been moved by Lord Mulgrave, the House divided on Mr. Alderman Sawbridge's motion: Yeas 125: Noes 199. So it passed in the negative.


July 28.

AFTER a variety of business had been gone through, at

eleven o'clock at night, the order of the day for the third reading of Mr. Pitt's bill for the government of India was read; upon which,

Mr. BURKE rose. He said, that before the House proceeded to the order of the day for the third reading of the East India bill, he begged leave to submit a few observations to their consideration. At so late an hour as eleven o'clock, he did not mean to go at large into the merits of the bill; but he could not help saying that it was very singular it should contain no preamble, on which the necessity and principle of the bill were founded. A former bill which his right honourable friend had brought in, contained a long preamble, a narrative of the principal grounds on which it was founded; but the present bill seemed to set at defiance the voluminous reports that the labours and industry of several gentlemen had produced; for it was framed in such a manner, that must convince every thinking man that no credit whatever was given to these reports. Of the bill, he must say, that if it was meant as a remedy, no mention was made in it of a defect which was to be remedied by it; and therefore no one could say whether it was an adequate remedy or not: if, on the other hand, it was admitted that such evils as had been pointed out in the reports really existed, the bill contained no remedy at all; on the contrary, it confirmed all the causes of the calamities in India. The reports accused the Company's servants abroad and the directors at home; the former of rapacity

* Mr. Fox,

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