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come, (and unless prevented by exertion, it is not far distant,) our wealthy merchants will be to a modern court, what the Jews were to our kings six hundred years ago; that is, money-sponges to be squeezed at pleasure; and they may then expect to be addressed in the laconic stile of the Prussian Frederick, to a Jew at Berlin ;-"A MILLION OR A HALTER!” Even you, my Lord, a Duke of Bedford, with your eighty, or your hundred thousand pounds a year, should popular representation be annihilated past recovery, might, as yon well know, at any moment be clapped in the tower, and every atom of your estates be swept away by a confiscation. When Richard the second, says Rapin, had got " a parliament at his devotion,” made up of men who “ had promised to be subservient to his de
signs,” it "made no scruple to sacrifice to the pas“ sions of the king and his ministers, the most distin
guished lords of the kingdom, as well as the liberties " and privileges of the people.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, contrary to law and justice, was quickly banished," and his estate confiscated to the king's
The Earls of Arundel and Warwick, were as illegally condemned, the one to death, the other to banishment; and the Duke of Glocester, without any form of trial, was strangled; all their estates being confiscated to the king. I Let Mr. Pitt and the borough faction, but go on as they have done, till legislative representation be lost past recovery; and then these scenes and worse may be acted again. : Stand forth then, I say, men of England, to avert from yourselves and your posterity the evils, the misery, the degradation, and shame, that inevitably follow a Joss of liberty !
In your counties and in your towns immediately assemble. The discussion of all that is necessary to your well-being, may be brought within the narrowest compass. We have seen, that PROPERTY depends upon LIBERTY : we bave also seen, that the LIBERTY of a great natión depends upon its LEGISLATIVE RE
Here then, fix your attention! This
1 Rapin, I. p. 468.
is the right for which alone ye need to contend. See cure this, on the true principles of the constitution, and you then secure every thing. But I may be told, that my observations are not new; that my prescription is only a repetition of what I have given before. What then ? As the beneficence of God has furnished no other specific, no other medicine capable of curing our state disease, it would only be to play the imposture, were I to propose any other. Political alteratives in such a case, require to be long and patiently administered; the foundation of a cure may be laid, when little amendment appears to the uninstructed eye; and it is only by perseverance in the right course, that health can be restored. The cure may at last appear to come suddenly; when, in fact, the individual step by which we arrive at it, shall only be the last of ten thousand, equally necessary for bringing us to that point.
But if, for recovering our liberty, and preserving our property, a restoration of our constitution be necessary, à removal of Mr. Pitt's ministry is, to say the least, fit and proper. While contending for a parliamentary reformation, we cannot be satisfied that an apostate to that cause, who,' as events have taught us to believe, sold himself to the faction behind the throne, and the faction of the boroughs for ministerial power, which power he has uniformly employed against the people and to strengthen those factions, should retain in his hands the immense patronage of the crown. wish for the external prosperity and honour of our country, we must deprecate the longer continuance of the executive government in hands which experience has shewn to be unequal to the task. If we wish our government to rest on the salutary basis of
popular respect, and public opinion, it is absolutely necessary it should no longer be contaminated by the presence of a man, who, by the unaccountable complacency
of that house of commons which we want to reform, was allowed to escape impeachment, after having been privy to, and conniving at, the misapplication of public money, and therewith "accommodating" TWO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, Boyd and Benfield. I might speak in plainer English; for if a sum of forty
thousand pounds be, in the first place o be illegally diverted from its parliamentary destination by a minister; if that money be then to be clandestinely lent to two members of parliament (who always voted with the minister,) and without interest; if such secrecy be to hang over this dark transaction that not any other member of the cabinet (except his accomplice lord Melville) is to know it, and that no document of this loan is to be preserved, no memorandum of it to be any where entered ; and if when the business after a lapse of eight years is accidentally detected, the sole apology is a flimsy, absurd, and therefore insulting pretext of state necessity, which every man's common sense must reject with scorn, but which is also falsified by irresistible testimony, independent of the internal evidence of this circumstance, that the minister himself, when the proper time arrived for reporting what he had done, and the necessity of doing it, (if such a necessity had existed,) and asking for his indemnity, was altogether silent; if I say, such is the case, they who please may use Bardolph's word, “ accomodated;" and they who please may express the fact in still plainer English: and when the delinquency of an accomplice, gross in its form and infamous in its nature, has found an apologist, an advocate, a partizan, and a protecting patron in this presiding minister, every gentleman, every Englishman, that would not share in the disgrace, owes it to his own character to join in addressing the King, to make known to bim the dishonour which has fallen upon his government and upon the nation; and to pray that he will wipe out the stain by a removal of this disgraced minister, and of every colleague who has not revolted at acts of such turpitude.
How different the feelings of that minister, (in whose private sympathies are lost all sense of the duty of office, of the dignity of station, of the purity of character, as well as of the nation's disgust,) from the feelings of magistrates I could name, who would not sit down on the same bench with rotten borough members of parliament, their brethren, after these in their estimation had forfeited the characters of gentlemen, by voting on the 8th of April, against Mr. Whitbread's motion of censure, on Lord Melville! Or from the feelings of mercantile members of parliament, -not opposition men who to the writer's knowledge declared, that had they not voted with Mr. Whitbread, they could not have shewn their faces upon the Royal Exchange! And how the declaration of Mr. Byng, at the Middlesex county meeting, on the 2d of May, drew from his auditors a burst of applause, your grace will recollect : "If I could have taken a different
part, from that which it is my pride to have espoused, “ I should have thought myself unworthy of being
your representative, or of being respected in society i « and should have expected to have been shunned by " all men of independent minds. I do not look upon o the defenders of Lord Melville, as less guilty than « himself.”
BeFORE we altogether take our leave of Messrs. Boyd and Benfield, it may gratify our readers to have it brought to their recollection, or to be informed that the instance lately brought to light, was not the first in which a friendly intercourse between the minister and one of these gentlemen, had been made conspicuous; for Mr. Burke, in his speech on the motion made for certain papers relative to India, delivered on the 28th Feb. 1785, gives us the following information. “ Our " wonderful minister, as you all know, formed a new
plan, a plan insigne recens alio indictum ore, a plan “ for supporting the freedom of our constitution by “ court intrigues, and for removing its corruptions by ' “ Indian delinquency. To carry this bold para
o doxical design into execution, sufficient funds and
apt instruments became necessary. You are per
fectly sensible that a parliamentary reform occupies “ his thoughts day and night, as an essential member “ in this extraordinary project. In his anxious re“ searchés, upon this subject, natural instinct, as well
as sound policy, would direct his eyes, and settle his “ choice on Paul Benfield. Paul Benfield is the grand
parliamentary reformer, 'the reformer to whom the “ whole choir of reformers bow, and to whom even the “ right honourable gentleman himself must yield the
palm." "Mr. Benfield has thrown in the borough do of Cricklade, to reinforce the county representation.1 “ Not content with this, in order to station a steady “phalanx for all future reforms this public-spirited
usurer, amidst his charitable toils for the relief of “ India, did not forget the poor rotten constitution of “ his native country. For her, he did not disdain to
stoop to the trade of a wholesale upholsterer for this “ house, to furnish it, not with the faded tapestry
figures of antiquated merit,such as decorate and may “ reproach some other houses, but with real, solid, “ living patterns of true modern virtue. Paul Benfield " made, (reckoning himself,) no fewer than eight • members in the last parliament. What copious streams of
blood must he not have transtused " into the veins of the present !"-" Mr. Benfield was
no sooner elected than he set off for Madrass.' It was therefore impossible for the minister, to consult personally with this great man. What then was he
to do? Through a sagacity that never failed him in " these pursuits, he found out in Mr. Benfield's repre. “ sentative, his exact resemblance. A specific attrac“ tion, by which he gravitates towards all such charac
ters, soon brought our minister into a close connec“ tion with Mr. Benfield's agent and attorney; that is, 'with the grand character, (whom I name to honour) « Mr. Richard Atkinson, a name thạt will be well re
1 As a punishment for the corruption of this borough, a, part of the county was united to it, for the purposes of returning members to parliament.