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the opposition proceeded in the question relative to America. They might, indeed, well be led to act thus; for it was a favourite scheme of Pitt's, who actually ac
that is to say, they have given their ships liberty to come out, under the shabby, the miserable, the despicable appearance of still shewing their resentment against us. They know, that the cargoes will come to Eng-quired and consolidated his power by land; they know that they must come to persuading the nation, that it depended, England; they know that our Sea Orders, for its existence, wholly upon something preventing them from going any where other than its people and its own resources. else, still exist. Aye, and they intend they One time it was India, another time it was shall come here too; only their silly, their the Funds, another time it was the Openempty pride, will not let them acknow- ing of the Scheldt, another time it was our ledge it.- -Did I not say, that, if our Ailies upon the Continent, and all through, ministers held firm, they would be compelled to repeal this Embargo law? And did I not say, that they would sneak out of the thing in some way or other, which would, as they thought, hide their disgrace? No triumph can be more complete than that of the ministers, in this case. They have not moved an inch from their resolution. They have let the Americans do their worst; they have looked quietly on while America passed her avenging acts, which were to bring us upon our knces. We were fast forgetting her, when she herself, without any compromise, comes to. -I am not, perhaps, very disinterested in these praises of the ministers; for the truth is, that the measures towards America, were as much mine as they were theirs. I alone supported them, while they were assailed by pamphlets and paragraphs and speeches innumerable. That support lost me the friendship of that worthy fellow, the INDEPENDENT WHIG, who not only cut me upon the occasion, but ripped up all my old sins, and threw them in my face, which hurt me the more as I sincerely respected the writer and admired his writings, which I still do. What are now be come of all the predictions and alarms; all the threats of starvation and ruin; all the laborious calculations of Lords Grenville and Auckland? What talking, what debating, there were, this time twelvemonths, about the Orders in Council and about the corn, which, to poor starving England, would not come from America any longer! Lord Grenville spoke of the prospect of a rupture with America, with such manifest apprehensions in his mind, that I really felt pity for his lordship. Mr. Windham, upon whom it was incumbent to make a speech upon the subject, and whose mind is fertile in resource, left off without having distinctly asserted, or denied any thing.It is always bad to proceed upon a supposition, that there is a natural, inherent deficiency of means of any sort in the country itself; and this was the supposition, upon which
England's commercial greatness" swelled out the end of his noisy and empty speeches. Well, the Scheldt is shut, our ailies upon the Continent are pretty nearly extinguished and have long been lost to us, America has had her embargo, and Buonaparté has shut up all the ports of the Continent; and how do you feel yourself, my honest duped John Bull? Are you starved yet? Do the oxen fat in Devonshire? Do the sheep breed in Dorsetshire? Do the hogs breed and fat in Hampshire and the bees still collect honey there? Do you get wheat enough to make your loaf of? As to beer, the alarm of the barley-growers is, that they shall not know how to get rid of their corn.This is the master humbug. Only persuade a nation, that it cannot exist upon its own internal resources, and that nation is your slave. The nation is much indebted to Mr. SPENCE for proving the contrary; and much indebted to the ministers for having given us a practical demonstration of the truth of his doctrine. Really the Spaniards, in worshipping Dolls made for them by the heretics in Holland, are not much more foolish than were the Englishmen, who were cozened into a belief that they would all die if an end was put to Commerce and the Funds. They appeared, at one time, to believe that Pitt had the power of putting a stop to rains and snows; that it was he who made the grass grow and the corn ripen. But, some how or other, when he got out of place, he seemed to lose these divine powers. Mr. Addington came, and his partizans attempting to make the. praises of Pitt apply to their patron, the thing became ridiculous, and actually the subject of a very smart copy of verses, of which, it was said, Mr. Canning was the author.-The nation is never to be so duped again. The time for that gross duplicity is past. We have now proof, that our own resources are quite sufficient for us, and of this valuable knowledge we shall, I trust, make a proper use.
Botley, Thursday, 6 April, 1809.
MR. LYTTLETON has sent me a Letter, the honour of being one of your Represenin which he has given me a correct report, tatives, of returning you my sincere and according to the best of his recollection, heartfelt thanks. If I forbear from saying of that part of his Speech, relative to MR. much of your conduct at the last Election, CANNING's ancestry, upon which I took it is from fear that I should be supposed to occasion to offer some remarks. He has be praising myself in praising you; but at accompanied this with a criticism upon the same time, if I were to say nothing, I those remarks, from which criticism he fear it might by some be considered as inappears to have miscomprehended my gratitude and insensibility of the honour meaning much more than the reporter has, you have done me. As to the Resolutions according to his own account, miscompre- which have been read to you, in general hended his. I inserted what I found in they meet my most perfect approbation: the news-papers, which, as the speeches but, if there is any one to which I cannot are permitted to be published, I had a give such entire assent, it is to that in right to do. I am, at all times, happy to which your kindness to me has induced correct any report of a speech, or part of a you to return me particular thanks for the speech; but, I can acknowledge a right share I took in the discussion of those transin no one to require of me to insert expla- actions, which have recently occupied the nations, especially if the request be con- attention of Parliament and of the Public. veyed in a dictatorial tone. Mr. Lyttle- The share that I took was certainly not ton's "explanation" of his words I do not more than what my duty required; and think proper to insert; but, I here insert there were several other Members fully as his correction of the passage alluded to, forward in discharging their duty as I was. which will be quite sufficient for all pur- As to the Resolution of returning your poses, as the reader will be fully compe- thanks to Col. Wardle, this is most untent himself to find out the meaning of the doubtedly his due; for I am well convinc words, and to see in what, if in any thing ed, that out of the six hundred and fiftyessential, the error of the news-paper re- eight Members who compose the House of porter consisted.-66 That I should not be Commons, there is not another man who "deterred from freely uttering my opinion would have undertaken what he has under"by any dread of the right hon. gent.'s taken, or would have gone through it as "eloquence, even though he should exer- well as he has done. There never was, "cise himself in raking up some obscure perhaps, a business of such a nature "and scandalous anecdotes respecting my brought forward, where the Mover was so "grandfather, or great-grandfather. That, little liable to any imputation. Other "indeed, I thought it unworthy of that public prosecutions may be supposed to right hon. gent.'s talents and generosity originate from disappointed hopes, or per"to attack us in that manner, and to en-sonal resentment; but Col. Wardle had "gage in a species of warfare, in which "he must be conscious we should meet "him upon unequal terms, since we had "no weapons with which to retort upon him, in the utter deficiency, as far as my researches into English History had gone, either of authentic facts, or even "of traditionary rumours respecting his "ancestry. That I did deprecate such "unequal encounters, which I should not "have anticipated, or supposed possible, "if recent experience had not proved the contrary, and made it a point of pru"dence to guard one's self against them."
SIR FRANCIS BURDETT,
no personal disappointments or mortifica tions to resent, he had no promotion to look for, no hopes to gratify, and had brought the measure forward solely for the public good.
His whole conduct of the business evinced the utmost coolness, candour, and impartiality. I should be very happy indeed, to have been able to give the same praise of candour and impartiality to all the Members of that House who were the judges upon that occasion. Those qualities which the judges ought to have possessed, Col. Wardle eminently displayed; and yet great allowances would have been made to the zeal, and even the partial bias, which an accuser may be sup posed generally to entertain. In this case, however, the candour, impartiality, and all the qualities which were to be looked for in judges was with the accuser, and very little of those qualities were to be found on the other side. The Gentlemen who have preceded me, have told you
very truly, that these abuses arise from the imperfect state of our Parliamentary representation. I am fully convinced, that there is not, at the present moment, any subject worthy of engaging the serious attention of the English nation, except the necessity of a Reform in Parliament. This sentiment has been always entertained and always avowed by me, and I do flattered so unconstitutional, and so dangerous myself that it was this sentiment which first recommended me to your notice. We have heard of late of a great many Commissions and Boards of Inquiry, to consider about the growing abuses of Administration; but how does it happen, that, with all their inquiries and all their discoveries, none of the public peculators have been brought to punishment? (Loud applause.) They may bring forward Commission after Commission, and Act of Parliament after Act of Parliament, and yet peculation goes on, and the authors of it are not punished. Instead of the guilty being punished, all manner of imputations are always thrown upon those who detect their guilt. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has lately brought in one of those Bills. If my health had allowed me to have been in the House at the time, I should have certainly opposed the introduction of it. I should have objected to that or any other sham and ridiculous plan, which professed what it was evidently impossible that it could accomplish. Of Bills of this sort we have abundance. Lord Melville himself brought in a Bill to prevent corruption in his office, and it was afterwards found that this Bill was so ingeniously worded, that it did not apply to his particular case. You have had persons of all ranks and degrees in life brought to the Bar of the House of Commons, from the high rank of the person who was the subject of the late inquiry, down to the governor of the prison at Cold-bath-fields; and yet, was there an instance of any one of them having been punished? You have already Bills enough to prevent those abuses; but the Bills are a mere dead letter, and the abuses still continue, and are perpetually increasing. You have now upon your Statute-book the Bill of Rights, which was expressly calculated for the prevention of such abuses; and yet this Bill is no longer a protection to the country, for the abuses continue. If the family of the Stuarts had but possessed that knowledge which every body possesses now, the knowledge of managing a Parliament, they never would have been expelled the throne of this country. When
the Bill of Rights stated that standing armies were on no account to be kept up without the consent of Parliament, it had not anticipated the time that Parliaments could be brought to consent to any thing. that the King's Ministers should require. At the time in which the Bill of Rights was passed, a standing army was conceiv
to civil liberty, that it was not supposed that Parliament could grant it, except on some case of great emergency. It was a distinct charge against James II. that he kept up a standing army contrary to law; but if he had known the modern art of managing a Parliament, that and much more could have easily been done according to law. What, however, is the most cruel and afflicting consideration is, that that very body to which the people should naturally look up as its protector from those abuses, has become the principal cause of the:n. So far from the House of Commons representing the sense of the people of England, I have ever found, since I have been a Member of the House of Commons, that the most popular sentiment which can be expressed in that place, is a sentiment of contempt for the people of England, whose Representatives they still profess to he. I do believe that the House of Commons is the only spot in all the world, where the people of England are spoken of with contempt. There they are calumniated, there the character of Englishmen is spoken lightly of, and their opinion and feelings set at nought. If this circumstance docs not shew you the necessity of Parliamentary Reform, there is nothing that I can say (were I speaking till night) which could convince you. Among those Bills, of which I have been speaking, there is one which is called Magna Charta. This has now grown almost obsolete, and was certainly never mentioned in the Courts of Law. By this law no man was to be imprisoned, except by the course of law. There was no exception in favour of Attorney-Generals granting their informations ex officio, and having the King's subjects imprisoned contrary to the due course of law. We had an Habeas Corpus Act too, but our ancestors had not calculated on its being suspended, whenever Ministers should ask Parliament so to do. If those laws are now permitted to remain on our Statute Book, they only stand to shew us in what a degrading situation we are now placed, and from what an eminence we have fallen. It is now high time that the country should
call for such a reform as will give us a House of Commons really looking to the interests of the people, and not to the emoluments which are to be derived from the favour of the Crown. (Loud applauses.) "There is another sentiment which I feel it necessary for me to express, and in which I differ from many persons. I have heard that spirit much applauded which induces the nobility and gentry of this country to turn farmers, and give their principal attention to the cultivation of their estates. Now it appears to me that it forebodes no good to the country, in its present critical situation, to see those who ought to be considered as its natural defenders, desert its cause at such a time as this, indifferent about those abuses which may lead to its utter destruction, and anxious about fattening sheep and oxen. These cares are in themselves very proper; but they should be only of secondary importance to those whose rank and consideration should rather call them to rescue their country from oppression, than to spend their lives, and devote their whole minds to the consideration of the best manner of fattening cattle.
ful beauty and contrivance of the Consti tution. Now, if we are to judge from the practice, we must suppose that it is a thing too beautiful to be made use of. country is over-run with numerous taxgatherers (armed with excessive powers), besides supervisors, and a number of other revenue-officers, whose titles I do not recollect, but who swarm over the face of the land like insects on the banks of the Nile, and, like them, raised and fattened by corruption. The Bill of the Chancellor of the Exchequer will, like other Bills, be soon a dead letter. Need I mention to you the conduct of Judges, who, for of fences committed and tried in this city, send men for years to Dorchester Jail, and to solitary imprisonment? Need I describe to you the horrible cruelty of the punishment of solitary imprisonment? The day that introduced that system into England should stand
For aye accursed in the calendar.'
Do you think, however, that such things are to be remedied by any Bills to be brought in to prevent Judges from acting in this manner? No: they would be effectually prevented by an honest House of Commons, who would call to account Judges, or any other public officers that should abuse the trust reposed in them. Without a House of Commons which really represents the people of England, the
"I would really wish that those Noblemen and Gentlemen would learn how dangerous it is to them and to the security of their property, to be neglectful of the situation of the country in general. If the country is lost, what will become of their properties? I do really believe that if bet-country is like a ship without a rudder, ter measures of defence for the country are not provided, the country will be lost. If, then, some General Junot or Duke of Abrantes becomes the master of it, perhaps indeed these Noblemen or Gentlemen may be still allowed to follow their agricultural experiments (only accounting to him for the profits), and he may be obliged to them for their diligence, and pleased with the discoveries they may make. (Laughter and applauses.) I see but two measures for the salvation of the country. The first is, to get rid of that intolerable grinding corruption which devours the country, which has placed it in the state of the fabled Prometheus, who was chained to a rock, on whose liver a vulture was constantly preying, but which perpetually grew again. It was in this manner, that notwithstanding the sums which were lavished by corruption, the unexampled industry of the people of this country reproduced the means to supply the constant waste of this infernal corruption. (Loud applause.)
"We hear perpetually of the wonder
which, however it may appear upon the water, is in perpetual danger of shipwreck. We may remember an instance some years ago, of a youth, about 16 or 17 years of age (Mr. Le Maitre), being sent to solitary imprisonment, where he was left for near seven years, without being brought to trial. He had been charged with intending to kill the King, by blowing something out of a reed. It was generally called the Pop-gun Plot; and yet when it was recollected that upon a charge which was probably void of all foundation as well as probability, a man was kept in solitary imprisonment seven years without a trial, I must ask what is the use of Magna Charta, or the Habeas Corpus Bill, or any other Bill which a corrupt House of Commons will permit the Minister to suspend at his pleasure? The abuses of which we complain proceed directly from the cor ruption which has taken root in the whole system of our Government. Where the source is corrupt, the streams cannot be pure. Where corruption has fastened in the root, it will be discovered in the fruits
other conspiracy existing, except a conspiracy against every honest man that shall have the boldness to point out guilt, and to endeavour to remedy abuses. Some persons talk a great deal of the danger of popular influence: I would be glad, however, that they would lay their hand on the map of Europe, and point out any one country that has ever been destroyed by the prevalence of popular influence. It is easy to point out those which have been destroyed from their Governments being inattentive to the wishes and wants of the Peo
of the tree. Those abuses have arrived to so flagrant a pitch, that even the friends of that system thought it necessary to have commissions and inquiries instituted for the purpose of pruning and dressing the tree which now produces such bitter fruit. This, however, is not our business; we must lay the axe to the root of the tree. (Loud applauses). Unless we destroy this hydra of corruption, it will destroy the country. The monster now stands, with harpy claws seizing on all our substance, to supply the means of its boundless prodigality. If this monster is not now sub-ple. I indeed will readily admit, that a dued and destroyed, England must, like many other nations,
House of Commons, sitting in its judicial capacity, should not be governed by popular influence upon any other consideration but justice. I should be as much ashamed to have my vote as a judge biassed by any consideration, or whether I was to gain or lose popularity, as I would be to accept a bribe or any other corrupt consideration. The character of the people of this country is not for severity of punishment, not for running down any man by clamour, but they look for patient investigation, and above all for impartial justice, and for laws equally applied to all ranks and degrees.
"Lie at the proud feet of a conqueror." "This is then the task of the people of England, and what we have now to do. I hope this use will be made of the patriotic spirit which has been excited by Colouel Wardle. If it does not produce this effect, it will avail but little. If the people of England can be contented at the present moment to assemble merely for the purpose of saying how glad they are of the resignation of the Duke of York, then the country cannot be saved. I have, however, a better opinion of the people of this coun- "Our constitution seems to be sometry, than to suppose that their hopes and thing like a partnership concern. There expectations can be so limited. I am free are three partners; the King, the Lords, to confess that it is my opinion, that a and the Commons. Now what would be Parliamentary Reform is now absolutely said of any common partnership, where necessary. If it can be obtained by quiet one or two of the partners would take the means, it will be a most fortunate circum-profits to themselves, but leave the full prostance, not only for the country but for the Government, for they are the most foolish and wicked advisers of the Crown, who advise the Sovereign to treat with scorn the wishes and opinions of the people. When Colonel Wardle brought forward his motion, he was immediately charged with being connected with a conspiracy. This is the common course of every scoundrel who is charged with any crime; he immediately turns about, and charges his accuser. It was, however, somewhat extraordinary, that these Gentlemen, who, with such a mass of evidence before them as was sufficient to convince every other person, could not yet be convinced of any impropriety in the Duke of York, should immediately, and without any evidence at all, find out that Colonel Wardle was a conspirator as soon as he had brought forward his accusation. Before he brought forward this accusation, he The answer was, had a fair and unimpeached character, but now they tell you he is almost as bad as us Jacobins. (Loud laughter.) I can see no
portion of burden and risk to the other? What share now has the people of England in this firm? It is my hope and wish that they shall at length be restored to their share. (Loud applause.) I think nothing can be more improper or pernicious in its consequences, than the endeavour to couple the rest of the Royal Family with the transactions in which the Duke of York is concerned. The Duke of York should be tried for his own offences; but it is unfair as well as injurious to the country to involve others in that odium which only should belong to the guilty. If his Majesty has been obliged to accept the resignation of the Duke of York, the affliction should not go farther. It puts me in mind of the advice given by Hamlet, when his mother complained:
"O Hamlet, you have cleft my heart in twain !"
"Then throw away the worser part, "And live the purer with the other half." I hope that the nation has ceased to look