ePub 版

Jal emancipation of Europe. That the uninterrupted enjoyment of those these public declarations might not invaluable blessings which they had miss their effect upon the minds of so long derived from our excellent the people, they were accompanied conititution. with plaintive comparisons between After the usual demand of supplies the august perfection of the new for the services of the year, he inFrench constitution, and the imper- forrned them of the measures he had fections of our own; and the palm been under the necessity of taking, of having so foon outstripped their during the recess of parliament, for ancient rivals, in the glorious race preventing the exportation and faof freedom, was conceded with af- cilitating the importation of corn, fected regret

and humiliation. and that he had directed a copy of At the same time the press teemed the order issued for that purpose to with the most daring libels upon the be laid before them. conftitution of this country, and all Before the house of lords proceedits constituent parts.

They were ed to take his majesty's speech into distributed gratis, and circulated with consideration, the marquis of Bath, astonishing industry, not only a the marquis of Salisbury, the earl of, mongst the lowest class of the com Mount Edgecumbe; and the earl of munity, but through the army and « Fortescue, who had been advanced, the navy. In these writings the peo- during the recess of parliament, to ple were invited to form themselves their several respective ranks in the into clubs and societies, after the peerage, took their seats with the manner of the French; and inany accustomed folemnities. were actually formed in a great num The usual addresses were moved; ber of the most populous towns of and seconded in the houc of 'lords the kingdom, avowedly affiliated (to by lord viscount Falmouth and lord usz an expression of their own) by Cathcart; and in the house of comthe democratic clubs in France. mons by the viscount Valletort and

Such was the state of things pre- Mr. Cawthorne, and voted without vious to the meeting of parliament, opposition or debate. The topics which took place on Thursday the chiefly insisted upon by the several 21st day of January.

speakers, were the notoriety of the In the speech from the throne, his facts mentioned or alluded to in the majesty, after expreffing his concern speech from the throne, and the strika at the continuance of the war on the ing contrast which the happiness and continent, and lamenting the inter- prosperity of this nation exhibited, nal commotions which disturbed the when compared with the situation of tranquillity of different parts of Eu. almost every other power in Europe, informed the two houses, that rope; circumstances which, 'they he continued to receive assurances said, were to be attributed, in the of the good disposition of all foreign first place, to the superior excellence powers towards these kingdoms; and of our constitution, and, in the fethat he was persuaded they would cond, to the wife and prudent adentertain with him a deep and grate. ministration of the executive goful sense of the favour of providence vernment. In the house of comin continuing to his subjects the in- mons, as foon as the address was creasing advantages of peace; and voted, an act of indemnity was orderVOL. XXXII.



[ocr errors]

ed to be brought ir, respecting the to tempt an attack by our weakness, orders of council allided to in the and for a miserable present saving speech from the throne.

to hazard a great future expence. The estimates for the military That our foreign alliances, which establishments were nearly the same had been approved of by all parties with those of the preceding year, and as necessary for the preservation of were not voted without some objec- that balance of power in Europe, tions from the side of opposition. upon which the permanence of its It was observed by Sir Grey Coo- tranquillity depended, could only be per, Mr. Marihan, and Mr. Fox, rendered effectuel for that purpose, that eight years of peace had claps by our being able to fupport them ed, and that the military estimates with an adequate force; and, lastly, were not yet reduced even to the that it would be found upon an exapeace establishment of 1775, though mination of the detail of all our mithe commitiee of finance, which fat litary establishments, that they could in the year 1786, had presumed upon 'not with common prudence be rea ftil greater reduction. That there duced to a narro ver scale. was nothing in the actual situation

In the course of the debate upon of affairs that called for this extra this subject, Mr. Fox took occasion ordinary military force : but, on the to remark, that the conduct of the contrary, that his Majesty had al- French soldiers, during the late comfured them of the pacific disposition motions, tended greatly to remove of all the foreign poweis; that our one of the objections, which he had antient rival and enemy, in coníe- always entertained against standing quence of her internal difurbances, armies. That army, by refusing to would probably be disabled from obey the dictates of the court, had giving us any moleitation for a long fet a glorious example to all the micourse of years; and, lailly, that the litary of Europe, and had itewn, that alliances we had made, and the sub men, by becoming soldiers, did not fidiary treaties we had entered into cease to be citizens. on the continent, inasmuch as they This remark did not pass without mukiplied the chances of our being animadversion at the time it was involved in war, were proportiona- made. Colonel Phipps begged leave bly mischievous, if they did not en to enter his protcit against the comable us to reduce our expences in pliment which had been paid to the

profesion, to which he had the hoTo these arguments it was an nour to belong, so far as it was confovered in general by Mr. Grenville nected with any approbation of the and Mr. Pitt, that though there was proceedings of the French army. 113 reason at present to apprehend He conceived, that the conduct of tiat we thould be engaged in holi- the British army in the year 1780, lities with any foreign power; yet might have furnished the right hothe unfettled itate of Europe, and the nourable gentleman with a much internal Stuation of scveral parts of . more unexceptionable ground of it, made it neceffary for us to keep panegyric. He would there have ourfcives in fuch a state, as might found the soldiery of this nation not enable us to act with vigour and joining those, who were riotously effect. if occasion mould require. disturbing the public peace and That it was a preposterous a conomy scattering ruin among individuals;

time of peace.


not the first, in violation of their through an admiration of successful caths and of their allegiance, to head fraud and violence, to an imitation anarchy and rebellion; but men of the excesses of an irrational, unreally feeling as citizens and folo principled, proscribing, confiscating, diers, patiently submitting to the in- plundering, ferocious, bloody, and fults of the populace, and, in spite of tyrannical democracy. provсcation, maintaining the laws He then proceeded to observe, and acting under the constituted au that the very worst part of the exthorities of the realm.

ample fet us in France was, in his On the oth of February, when opinion, the late affumption of citithe military estimates were reported zenthip by the army. As this opi. from the committee, a further debate nion was in direct oppohtion to the took place; in which Mr. Fox hav- sentiments of Mr. Fox, Mr. Burke ing again let fall fome exprellions of expressed the great regret he felt in applause of the French revolution, differing from his right honourable Mr. Burke rose, and after a few ob- friend; and after pronouncing a fine servations


the general slate of panegyric upon his fuperior abiliEurope, as it affected the question ties, and bearing teftimony to the of encreasing or diminishing the mi- natural moderation, dilinterestedlitary force of Great Britain ; he ness, and benevolence of his disposiadverted, in a more particular man- tion, he begged the house to judge ner, to the situation of France. That from his coming forward to mark country, he remarked, by the mere an expression or two of his best circumstance of its vicinity, ought friend, how anxious he was to keep to be the firit object of our vigilance, the diítemper of France from the not only with regard to her actual least countenance in England, where, power, but also to her influence and he was sure, some wicked persons had example, which had once been, and shewn a trong disposition to recommight again become, more danger- mend an imitation of the French {p:ous to us than her worst hostility. rit of reform; so ítrongly, he faid, He instanced the earlier part of the was he opposed to any the leaf tor:reign of Louis the Fourteenth, and dency towards the means of introthe difficulty, with which the patriots ducing a democracy like theirs, as of that day struggled in this country well as to the end itself, that lie against the influence of an example, would abandon his best friends, and which, by its splendor and success, join with his worst enemies, to ophad not only captivated our then fo- pose either the means or the end. vereigns. king Charles and king Mr. Burke then took a concise James, but gained something upon. view of what had been lately done all ranks of people. The danger, in in France. That nation, he observthe last age, he observed, was from ed, had gloried (and some people in an example of despotism in govern- England had thought fit to take ment, and of intolerance in reli- share in that glory) in making a re. gion. In the present the disease volation; as if revolutions were was altered, but it was far more good things in themselves. All the likely to be contagious; it was on horrors and all the crimes of the the side of religion, atheism, and, anarchy, which led to their reveluwith regard to government, anar, tion, which attend its progress, and chy; it was the danger of being led which ma; virtually attend it in its

[E] 2


establishment, pafs for nothing with but this declaration of rights was the lovers of revolutions. The worse than trifling and pedantic in | French have made their way, thro' them; as by their name and authothe destruction of their country, to a rity, they systematically destroyed bad conftitution, when they were ab- every hold of authority by opinion, solutely in possession of a good one. religious or civil, on the minds of They were in poffeffion of it the day the people. By this mad declarathe States met in separate orders. tion, they subverted the state, and Their business, had they been either brought on such calamities as no virtuous, or wise, or had been left to country, without a long war, has their own judgment, was to secure ever been known to suffer, and the stability and independence of which may in the end produce such the States, according to those orders, 'a war, and, perhaps, many such. under the monarch on the throne. Should they even perfectly succeed It was then their duty to redress in what they propose, as they were grievances.

likely enough to do, and eitablish a Inttead of redrefling grievances, democracy, or a mob of democraand improving the fabric of their cies, in a country circumstanced like state, to which they were called by France, they would establifh a very their monarch, and sent by their bad government-a very bad fpecies country, they were made to take a of tyranny. very different course. They first But the worst effect of all their destroyed all the balances and coun- proceedings, he said, was on their terpoises, which serve to fix the state military. If the question was, wheand to give it a steady direction, ther foldiers were to forget they and which furnish sure correctives were citizens, as an abstract

propoto any violent fpirit which may pre- fition, he could have no difference vail in any of the orders. These about it; though, as it is usual, balances existed in their oldest con when abstract principles are to be ftitution, and in the constitution of applied, much was to be thought on this country, and in the constitution the manner of uniting the character of all the countries in Europe. These of citizen and soldier. But as apthey rafhly destroyed, and then they plied to the events which had hapmelted down the whole into one in- pened in France, where the abstract congruous, ill-connected mass.

principle was clothed with its cirWhen they had done this, they cumstances, he thought that his instantly, with the most atrocious friend would agree with him, that perfidy and breach of all faith among what was done there furnished no men, laid the axe to the root of all matter of exultation, either in the property, and consequently of all act or the example. It was not an national prosperity, by the princi. army embodied under the respectaples they established, and the exam ble patrioť citizens of the state in ple they set, in confiscating all the resisting tyranny. Nothing like it. possessions of the church. They It was the case of common soldiers made and recorded a sort of insti- deserting from their officers, to join rute and digest of anarchy, called the a furious, licentious populace. rights of man, in such a pedantic He expreffed his concern that this abuse of elementary principles as strange thing, called a Revolution would have disgraced boys at school; in France, thould be compared with


the glorious event, commonly called Instead of lying as dead, in a fort of the Revolution in England; and the trance, or exposed, as some others, conduct of the foldery, on that oc in an epileptic fit, to the pity or deCurion, compared with the behaviour rision of the world, for her wild, ri. of force of the troops of France in diculous, convulsive movements, im. the prefent instance. At that pee potent to every purpose but that of riod, the prince of Orange, a prince dahing out her brains againit the of the blood royal in England, was pavement, Great Britain rose above called in by the flower of the Eng the standard, even of her former self. lifh aristocracy to defend its ancient An æra of a more improved domefconftitution, and not to level all dir- tic prosperity then commenced, and tinctions. To this prince, so in still continues, not only unimpaired, vited, the aristocratic leaders who but growing, under the wafting hand commanded the troops, went over

of time. with their several corps, in bodies, This speech of Mr. Burke was to the deliverer of their country.

received with great and general apMilitary obedience changed its ob- plaule. As soon as he sat down, Mr. ject; but military discipline was not Fox rose and said, that his right hofor a moment interrupted in its prin

nourable friend ad mixed his reciple.

marks upon what he had said with But as the conduct of the English so much personal kindness towards armies was different, so was that of him, that he felt himielf under a difthe whole English nation at that ficulty in making any return, lest time. In truth, the circumstances the houle should doubt his fincerity, of our revolution (as it is called) and consider what he might £y as and that of France, are just the re a mere discharge of a debt of cimverse of each other in almost every pliments. He mult

, however, departicular, and in the whole spirit of clare, that such was nis sense of the the transaction. What we did was judgment of his right honourable in truth and substance, and in a cor friend, and such the estimation in ftitutional light, a revolution, not which he held his friendship, that if made, but prevented. We took fo- he were to put all the political inlid securities; we settled doubtful formation which he had learnt from questions; we corrected anomalies books, all which he had gained from in our law. In the stable, funda- science, and all which any knowmental parts of our conftitution we ledge of the world and its affairs made no revolution; no, nor any had taught him, into one cale, and alteration at all. We did not im- the improvement, which he had depair the monarchy: perhaps it might rived from his right honcurable be shewn, that we strengthened it friend's instruction and conversation, very considerably. The church was were placed in the other, he'liould not impaired. The nation kept the be at a loss to decide, to which to same ranks, the same privileges, the give the preference. same franchises, the same rules for With respect to the approbation property. The church and the state he had expressed of the late conduct were the same after the revolution of the French military, and his exthat they were before, but better se- ultation upon the revolution, which cured in every part.

had taken place in that country, Accordingly the safe flourished. Mr. Fox faid, he should fill main



« 上一頁繼續 »