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clear terms, as not to be misunderstood; and God forgive them, who consented to the giving them up.

I am extremely surprised, sir, to hear it said, that the triennial bill was introduced by the enemies to the revolution. I will not say that it was introduced by the courtiers at that time we seldom see such bills introduced by such gentlemen ; but does not every one know, that it was my lord Somers who was the chief promoter of that bill, and that most of those who supported him in it, were gentlemen who had been deeply concerned in bringing about the revolution? It is true, the courtiers opposed it, and even king William himself, by the advice of some wicked ministers, refused to pass it the first time it was offered; but when it came back again to him, he was better advised ; and if he had not passed it, he had not done what he ought to do, he had not done all he came to do, nor that which, when he came, he promised to do, which was to restore the people to the full enjoyment of all their rights and privileges.

To pretend, sir, that the triennial bill was introduced with a view of distressing king William's government, is really casting a reflection upon his government; for to tell us, that the people's claiming those rights, which he came to establish, was a dis. tressing of his government, is to tell us, that his government was contrary to the rights of the people, which is in my opinion, a very high reflection, and such a one as the gentlemen, who tell us so, would not patiently hear cast upon that reign by others. The other pretence, that triennial parliaments were the cause of his putting an end to the war, or of that treaty which was so much complained of, is, I am sure, as groundless; for the second war was begun and carried on with great success, under the influence of triennial parliaments, till the balance of power was fully restored, and so firmly established, that France has never since endeavoured to make the least encroachment upon any of her neighbours. What some late measures may encourage her to do hereafter, I shall not pretend to determine; but this nation has, ever

since that time, enjoyed what I think I may call a profound tranquillity, which, if the triennial law had remained in force, we should, I believe, have made a much better use of, than we now seem to have done.

The learned gentleman has told us, that the septennial law, is a proper medium between the unlimit. ed power of the crown, and the limiting that power too much ; but, sir, before he had fixed upon this as a medium, he should first have discovered to us the two extremes. I will readily allow, that an unlimited power in the crown, with respect to the continuing of parliaments, is one extreme; but the other, I cannot really find out; for I am very far from thinking, that the power of the crown was too much limited by the triennial law, or that the happiness of the nation was any way injured by it, or can ever be injured by frequent elections. As to the

As to the power of the crown, it is very certain, that as long as the administration of publick affairs, is agreeable to the generality of the people, were they to choose a new parliament every year, they would choose such representatives as would most heartily concur in every thing with such an administration; so that even an annual parliament could not be any limitation of the just power of the crown; and as to the happiness of the nation, it is certain that gentlemen will always contend with more heat and animosity about being members of a long parliament, than about being members of a short one; and therefore, the elections for a septennial parliament must always disturb the peace, and injure the happiness of the nation, more than the elections for an annual or triennial parliament. Of this the elections in the city of London, mentioned by my worthy friend, are an evident demonstration.

As to the elections coming on when the nation is in a ferment, it is so far from being an objection to frequent elections, that it is, in my opinion, sir, a strong argument in favour of them; because it is one of the chief supports of the freedom of the nation. It

is plain, that the people seldom or ever were in a fers ment, but when encroachments were made upon their rights and privileges; and when any such are made, it is very proper, nay it is even necessary, that the people should be allowed to proceed to a new election, in order that they may choose such representatives

, as will do them justice, by punishing those who have been making encroachments upon them; otherwise one of these two effects may very probably ensue: either the ferment will break out into an open insur. rection, or the encroachment that has been made, may happen to be forgot before a new election comes on, and then the invaders of the people's rights, will have a much better lay for getting such a new parliament chosen, as will not only free them from all punishment, but will confirm the encroachments that have been made, and encourage the making of new. Thus the rights of the people may be nibbled and curtailed by piecemeal, and ambitious criminals may at last get themselves so firmly seated, that it will be out of the power of the people to stop their career, or to avoid the chains which they are preparing.

Now, sir, to return to the power of the crown, which the learned gentleman has told us was too much limited by the triennial law. I think I have made it plain, that the just power of the crown cannot possibly be limited by frequent elections, and consequently could not be too much limited by the triennial law. But by long parliaments the crown may enabled to assume, and to make use of an unjust power. By our constitution, the only legal method we have of vindicating our rights and privileges

, against the encroachments of ambitious ministers, is by parliament. The only way we have of rectifying a weak or wicked administration, is by parliament. The only effectual way we have of bringing high and powerful criminals to condign punishment, is by parliament. But if ever it should come to be in the power of the administration to have a majority of this house depending upon the crown, or to get a majority of such men returned as the representatives of the people,


the parliament will then stand us in no stead. It can answer none of these great purposes. The whole nation may be convinced of the weakness or the wickedness of those in the administration, and yet it may be out of the nation's power, in a legal way, to get the fools turned out, or the knaves hanged.

This misfortune, sir, can be brought upon us by nothing but by bribery and corruption; and therefore there is nothing we ought to guard more watchfully against. And an honourable gentleman who spoke some time ago, upon the same side with me, has so clearly demonstrated, that the elections for a septennial parliament are more liable to be influenced by corruption than those for a triennial, that I am surprised his argument should be mistaken or not comprehended. But it seems the most certain maxims, the plainest truths, are now to be controverted or denied. It has been laid down as a maxim, and I think it is a most infallible maxim, that a man will contend with more heat and vigour for a post, either of honour or profit, which he is to hold for a long term, than he will do for one he is to hold for a shorter term. This has been controverted. It has been laid down as a maxim, and I think equally infallible, that a hundred guineas is a more powerful bribe than fifty. This has been denied. Yet nevertheless I must beg leave to push this argument a little further.

Let us suppose, sir, a gentleman at the head of the administration, whose only safety depends upon corrupting the members of this house. This may now be only a supposition ; but it is certainly such a one as may happen; and if ever it should, let us see whether such a minister might not promise himself more success in a septennial than he could in a triennial parliament. It is an old maxim, that every man has his price, if you can but come up to it. This, I hope, does not hold true of every man ; but I am afraid it too generally holds true; and that of a great many it may hold true, is what, I believe, was never doubted of; though I don't know but it may now likewise be denied. However, let us suppose this distressed

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minister applying to one of those men who has a price and is a member of this house. In order to engage this member to vote as he shall direct him, he offers him a pension of 1000l. a year ; if it be but a trien, nial parliament, will not the member immediately consider within himself; If I accept of this pension, and vote according to direction, I shall lose my character in the country, I shall lose my seat in parliament the next election, and my pension will then of course be at an end; so that by turning rogue I shall get but 30001. This is not worth my while ; and so the minister must either offer him perhaps the double of that sum, or otherwise he will probably determine against being corrupted. But if the parliament were septennial, the same man might, perhaps, say within himself, I am now in for even years. By accepting of this pension I shall have at least 70001. This will set me above contempt, and if I am turned out at next election, I do not value it. I'll take the money in the mean time. Is it not very natural to suppose all this, sir, and does not this evidently show, that a wicked minister cannot corrupt a triennial par. liament, with the same money with which he may corrupt a septennial ?

Again; suppose this minister applies to a gentleman who has purchased, and thereby made himself member for a borough, at the rate of perhaps 15001. be. sides travelling charges, and other little expenses : suppose the minister offers him a pension of 500l. a year to engage his vote : will not he naturally consider, if it be a triennial parliament, that if he cannot get a higher pension he will lose money by being a member? and surely if he be a right burgess, he will resolve not to sell at all, rather than sell his commodity for less than it cost him ; and if he finds he cannot sell at all, he will probably give over standing a candidate again upon such a footing; by which not only he, but many others, will be induced to give over dealing in corrupting the electors at the next election. But in case it be a septennial parliament, will he not then probably accept of the 500l. pension,

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