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an English people as a compacted faction in battle array, against the accusers of a state delinquent; while at the same time they are emasculating, and trampling on the constitution!
But with reference to the state of the nation, as opposed to the state of France, it seems prudent that we compare the capacities and talents of the two men who respectively preside over those countries and direct their energies. Equally hypocritical, intriguing, perfidious, and unfeeling, an unprincipled ambition sways the soul of both; a Napolean and a Pitt equally pay to the cause of human freedom the homage of words, and stab it in their deeds; one, without impoverishing, has beyond example aggrandized and strengthened; the other, without aggrandizing, has beyond example im. poverished and weakened his country: 1 one, grasps the widest combinations of state policy, directing with success all means to an individual end; the other, has attempted such combinations, and miserably failed: one, with all his vices and vanities, is the dread of Europe; the other, with all his pomp and importance, is her scorn : the one is no talker, but fills a throne with a silent energy that is felt by every cabinet and every people; the other, although an able maker of speeches, is wholly wanting in the deep energies of a statesman; and is known in other cabinets and nations, but as a subsidizing financier, and as the author of misfortunes : one is doubtless formed by nature to preside over a powerful nation whose government is despotic ; the other is qualified to preside among commissioners for the affairs of taxes, but not in the councils of the king of a free people: one has great ability as a foreign negoci. ator; the talents of the other are for domestic intrigue and discord : the one possesses, even to a comparison with a Cæsar or an Alexander, the qualities of a warrior; the other makes acts of parliament to turn militia men into desposeable soldiers, parish officers into recruiting serjeants, and sonorous speeches about such
1 Strength and weakness are relativc terms: in respect of France, every one must see how much by Mr. Pitt's war, France has been strengthened, and England weakened,
things; but as for the nature of war he knows nothing about it, and as for the conduct of war, he leaves that to lawyer Dundass, to a war secretary, or a secretary at war, who sends his disposeable soldiers to be captured, or to be slain, or ingloriously to perish, by thousands and tens of thousands, in such expeditions as those to Holland, Quiberon, and St. Domingo; and who purchasc misfortune and disgrace, with those millions he has wrung from wearied industry.
But if in real war he may not vie with the Corsican, in the warfare of domestic faction he is second to none. After suffering defeat at the hands of reformers, in two hard fought battles, and, from the cause of contest, defeat with moral infamy, no leader but himself would again have faced a victorious enemy; but, true to his wicked trust, and in a cause congenial with the temper of his soul, this chosen leader of the faction behind the throne, and the faction of the boroughs, shewed himself worthy of the choosers, worthy of the cause, for whom and for which he fought. Although forced in his intrenchments, and twice routed, twice he rallied and returned to the charge, while his too careless conquerors thought him subdued, snatching up, and waving high, the black banner of corruption, and crying to his myrmidons 'victory, or fatal reform,' with a victory he closed the parliamentary campaign: nor was he content with a victory without spoil : on the Isle of Man he proudly erected his trophy. But will the nation suffer to its reproach, this trophy to stand ? Does it mean for the last time and for ever to bow its neck, and
pass under the rotten borough yoke? Is it content to be led in triumph at the chariot wheels of a captain of Coterelli, 1 who ought himself to be led to the bar of national justice, as an impeached culprit ?
As a Middlesex freeholder, I ask these questions of the Duke of Bedford! I ask them of the Dukes of
1 “ The Coterelli, or banditti, who wandered over Europe, and e offered their swords to the highest bidder, introduced the idea " that war might be considered as a trade.” Stewart's View of Society in Europe, p. 128.
Norfolk, of Devon, of Northumberland! I ask them of Lord Dundas, and of every other freeholder who called, or ho attended, our last county meeting! And as a native of England, I ask the same questions of every Englishman who is not content to read, that his country once bred men who were renovators of a decayed constitution, and restorers of perishing liberties; and who desires to shew, that the race is not extinct! Has the political empiric, who has so abundantly poured out calamity and dishonour on the nation and its government, some Circean enchantment, to strike us dumb, and to bereave us of our reason? Has the juggler some all-quieting opiate, to tame us into the passiveness of cattle? Has he indeed some potent drug to transform
“swinish multitude, to lie groveling in our sty, or to be driven, or to be sold, or butchered, for the profit of the base factions he serves ?
When the cause of freedom requires, there is, my Lord, a Runnimead in every county. Let Englishmen, then, shake off their indolence, and thither repair Let them tell the factions, they are not yet deprived of reason; they are not yet become their cattle, or their swine; But, dropping all metaphor, if we would not be conscious of basely deserting the duty we owe our country, of giving a national sanction to the most wicked usurpation of our legislative rights, and tamely submitting to the most profligate abuse of power that ever insulted our feelings, we shall not be capable of suffering a whole autumn to pass away, withoui exercising our constitutional rights of assembling, addressing, petitioning, and remonstrating, for a substantial reform in our representation, and for a complete change of mi. nisters. The Ishmael of our unhappy land has too long had his hand against every man's liberty, and against every man's property : it is time that every man's hand was against his continuance in power. For changing a ministry while the enemy was at the gate, he himself has set us the example. A change from bad to worse certainly wanted apology; but now to change from bad to better, affords a prospect of changing from danger to security, from war to peace, from ruin to prosperity; but at all events it must be a change from "a disgraced ministry,” to one of fair reputation.
MY LORD, It is now universally felt that “ this nation, with the “best capacities for grandeur and happiness of any on “ the face of the earth;" (p. 21,) and furnished as she richly is with political sinews, latent energies, and in- nate courage, yet labours under some morbid affection by which her health is undermined and her strength paralysed. At home she is feverish, restless, and splenetic; abroad, she moves not in her wonted majesty, with vigour and authority. Her constitution impaired, a bad habit of the body politic has ensued : tumours have appeared, and quack plaisters have been applied ; many call for more such quackery; while other babblers say, give us a new ministry ; but mix it up so as to include the ability of all parties ? Would to heaven we could see an end to folly and to faction? What! a mixed ministry, a hotch-potch of contraries! Honour and dishonour, patriotism and perfidy to be mixed together in the same cabinet! Whether in such a pro- . posal there be more contempt of public feeling and opinion, more political depravity, or more want of sense, let others decide.
When a state is descending with rapidity from the heights of freedom, power, and glory, the drag-chain of a parliamentary opposition is rightly applied; but when attempting to recover the lost elevation, to reclimb the steep ascent, to regain by painful effort the mountain's top, what man in his right mind would then clap on the drag-chain of a cabinet opposition? What honest man would then clog the political wheels with anti-constitutional doctrines, apostacy, and treachery? What man of sense give his voice for a mixed ministry, in which he cannot know whether the good of the evil shall preponderate ? What man who respects,
the constitution, desires to see again in power those who, during Mr. Pitt's most unconstitutional career, and bis highest flights of despotism, were his colleagues and not reluctant coadjutors? Do such men again aspire to high offices in the state? Let them inform the people of their new claims to confidence, before they receive a popular suffrage in their favour! For past wrongs the people are easily appeased, when they have good grounds for expecting better treatment in future.
But the very idea of benefit from a good ministry, while the people have no representation in parliament, is folly and madness; for leave the commons house of parliament and the public purse in the hands of the faction behind the throne, and the
faction of the boroughs, not a ministry of arch-angels could, under such circumstances, save the state, unless indeed there sat on the throne, an intelligent and determined reformer. But although, had we an honest minister, as well as an honest reforming king, they alone (because sure of the people,) would soon compel the factions to swallow the pill of reformation ; it will not at present become the good sense of the people, to contend exclusively for that, which without an accompaniment of more potency than itself, can do them no good. I do not mean, my Lord, to discourage the idea of contending for a change of ininistry; far from it: quite the contrary ; that no man more than myself desires such a change, my book in every page bears witness; but then I desire we may not shew ourselves contemptibly ignorant, nor do our work by halves. A constitutional ministry, and a constitutional representation, are both necessary to us: we cannot dispense with either; but if we get the mi, nistry, it cannot, unassisted by the people, get us the representation; whereas, if we get the representation, we are sure it will get us the ministry ; besides, which of the two is most important we see also in this, that constitutional representation is only another phrase for national liberty ; whereas, there is no such relationship between liberty and the best of ministries. These appear to me sound reasons why the people ought strenuously to contend for both objects at once ; and THE