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of the grief and calamity of my warm friends, my zealous supporters, my generous benefactors. This is a true, unvarnished, undisguised state of the affair. You will judge of it.

This is the only one of the charges in which I am personally concerned. As to the other matters objected against me, which in their turn I shall mention to you, remember once more I do not mean to extenuate or excuse. Why should I, when the things charged are among those upon which I found all my reputation? What would be left to me, if I myself was the man who softened and blended and diluted and weakened all the distinguishing colours of my life, so as to leave nothing distinct and determinate in my whole conduct?

It has been said, and it is the second charge, that in the questions of the Irish trade I did not consult the interest of my constituents,- or, to speak out strongly, that I rather acted as a native of Ireland than as an English member of Parliament.

I certainly have very warm good wishes for the place of my birth. But the sphere of my duties is my true country. It was as a man attached to your interests, and zealous for the conservation of your power and dignity, that I acted on that occasion, and on all occasions. You were involved in the American war. A new world of policy was opened, to which it was necessary we should conform, whether we would or not; and my only thought was how to conform to our situation in such a manner as to unite to this kingdom, in prosperity and in affection, whatever remained of the empire. I was true to my old, standing, invariable principle, that all things which came from Great Britain should issue as a gift of her bounty and beneficence, rather than as claims recovered against a struggling litigant; or, at least, that if your beneficence obtained no credit in your concessions, yet that they should appear the salutary provisions of your wisdom and foresight, not as things wrung from you with your blood by the cruel gripe of a rigid necessity. The first concessions, by being (much against my will) mangled and stripped of the parts which were necessary to make out their just correspondence and connection in trade, were of no use. The next year a feeble attempt was made to bri the thing into better shape. This tempt, (countenanced by the Minister,) on the very first appearance of some popular uneasiness, was, after a considerable progress through the House, thrown out by him.

What was the consequence? The whole kingdom of Ireland was instantly in a flame. Threatened by foreigners, and, as they thought, insulted by England, they resolved at once to resist the power of France and to cast off yours. As for us, we were able neither to protect nor to restrain them. Forty

thousand men were raised and disciplined without commission from the Crown. Two illegal armies were seen with banners displayed at the same time and in the same country. No executive magistrate, no judicature, in Ireland, would acknowledge the legality of the army which bore the King's commission; and no law, or appearance of law, authorized the army commissioned by itself. In this unexampled state of things, which the least error, the least trespass on the right or left, would have hurried down the precipice into an abyss of blood and confusion, the people of Ireland demand a freedom of trade with arms in their hands. They interdict all commerce between the two nations. They deny all new supply in the House of Commons, although in time of war. They stint the trust of the old revenue, given for two years to all the King's predecessors, to six months. The British Parliament, in a former session, frightened into a limited concession by the menaces of Ireland, frightened out of it by the menaces of England, was now frightened back again, and made an universal surrender of all that had been thought the peculiar, reserved, uncommunicable rights of England: the exclusive commerce of America, of Africa, of the West Indies,- all the enumerations of the Acts of Navigation,- all the manufactures,-iron, glass, even the last pledge of jealousy and pride, the interest hid in the secret of our hearts, the inveterate prejudice moulded into the constitution of our frame, even the sacred fleece itself, all went together. No reserve, no exception; no debate, no discussion. A sudden light broke in upon us all. It broke in, not through well-contrived and well-disposed windows, but through flaws and breaches,— through the yawning chasms of our ruin. We were taught wisdom by humiliation. No town in England presumed to have a prejudice, or dared to mutter a petition. What was worse, the whole Parliament of England, which retained authority for nothing but surrenders, was despoiled of every shadow of its superintendence. It was, without any qualification, denied in theory, as it had been trampled upon in practice. This scene of shame and disgrace has, in a manner, whilst I am speaking, ended in the perpetual establishment of a military power in the dominions of this Crown, without consent of the British legislature, 10 contrary to the policy of the Constitution,

9 Most of the English people at that time were stiff bigots to the notion, that the best way to promote their own commercial interests was by oppressing those of their neighbours. So, in order to protect English manufactures, they insisted on having the importation of Irish manufactures heavily taxed. Burke, on the contrary, was all the while a staunch believer in freedom of trade, and was the very first to put forth just and liberal ideas on that subject. 10 The allusion is to what was called the Perpetual Mutiny Act, passed by the Parliament of Ireland, in order to secure their freedom of trade. The par. liamentary union of Great Britain and Ireland, which now exists, did not take place till after the death of Burke.

contrary to the Declaration of Right;1 and by this your liber. ties are swept away along with your supreme authority; and both, linked together from the beginning, have, I am afraid, both together perished for ever.

What! Gentlemen, was I not to foresee, or foreseeing, was I not to endeavour to save you from all these multiplied mischiefs and disgraces? Would the little, silly, canvass prattle of obeying instructions, and having no opinions but yours, and such idle, senseless tales, which amuse the vacant ears of unthinking men, have saved you from “the pelting of that pitiless storm” to which the loose improvidence, the cowardly rashness, of those who dare not look danger in the face so as to provide against it in time, and therefore throw themselves headlong into the midst of it, have exposed this degraded nation, beat down and prostrate on the earth, unsheltered, unarmed, unresisting? Was I an Irishman on that day that I boldly withstood our pride? or on the day that I hung down my head, and wept in shame and silence over the humiliation of Great Britain ? I became unpopular in England for the one, and in Ireland for the other. What then? What obligation lay on me to be popular? I was bound to serve both kingdoms. To be pleased with my service was their affair, not mine.

I was an Irishman in the Irish business, just as much as I was an American, when, on the same principles, I wished you to concede to America at a time when she prayed concession at our feet. Just as much was I an American, when I wished Parliament to offer terms in victory, and not to wait the illchosen hour of defeat, for making good by weakness and by supplication a claim of prerogative, preëminence, and authority.

Instead of requiring it from me, as a point of duty, to kindle with your passions, had you all been as cool as I was, you would have been saved disgraces and distresses that are unutterable. Do you remember our commission ? We sent out a solemn embassy across the Atlantic Ocean, to lay the crown, the peerage, the commons of Great Britain at the feet of the American Congress. That our disgrace might want no sort of brightening and burnishing, observe who they were that com

1 The Declaration of Right, one of the great landmarks of British freedom, and ranking along with Magna Charta in the history of English Constitutional Law, is the solemn compact or covenant under which, in 1088, William and Mary took the throne, to the exclusion of James the Second. One of its affirma. tions is, that the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom, in time of peace, unless by consent of Parliament, is illegal.

posed this famous embassy. My Lord Carlisle is among the first ranks of our nobility. He is the identical man who, but two years before, had been put forward, at the opening of a session, in the House of Lords, as the mover of an haughty and rigorous address against America. He was put in the front of the embassy of submission. Mr. Eden was taken from the office of Lord Suffolk, to whom he was then Under-Secretary of State,from the office of that Lord Suffolk who but a few weeks before, in his place in Parliament, did not deign to inquire where a congress of vagrants was to be found. This Lord Suffolk sent Mr. Eden to find these vagrants, without knowing where his King's generals were to be found who were joined in the same commission of supplicating those whom they were sent to subdue. They enter the capital of America only to abandon it; and these assertors and representatives of the dignity of England, at the tail of a flying army, let fly their Parthian shafts of memorials and remonstrances at random behind them. Their promises and their offers, their flatteries and their menaces, were all despised; and we were saved the disgrace of their formal reception only because the Congress scorned to receive them; whilst the state-house of independent Philadelphia opened her doors to the public entry of the ambassador of France. From war and blood we went to submission, and from submission plunged back again to war and blood, to desolate and be desolated, without measure, hope, or end. I am a Royalist: I blushed for this degradation of the Crown. I am a Whig: I blushed for the dishonour of Parliament. I am a true Englishman : I felt to the quick for the disgrace of England. · I am a man: I felt for the melancholy reverse of human affairs in the fall of the first power in the world.

To read what was approaching in Ireland, in the black and bloody characters of the American war, was a painful, but it was a necessary part of my public duty. For, Gentlemen, it is not your fond desires or mine that can alter the nature of things; by contending against which, what have we got, or shall ever get, but defeat and shame? I did not obey your instructions. No. I conformed to the instructions of truth and Nature, and maintained your interest, against your opinions, with a constancy that became me. A representative worthy of you ought to be a person of stability. I am to look, indeed, to your opinions,- but to such opinions as you and I must have five years hence. I was not to look to the flash of the day. I knew that you chose me, in my place, along with others, to be a pillar of the State, and not a weathercock on the top of the edifice, exalted for my levity and versatility, and of no use but to indicate the shiftings of every fashionable gale. Would to God the value of my sentiments on Ireland and on America had been at this day a subject of doubt and discussion! No matter what my sufferings had been, so that this kingdom had kept the authority I wished it to maintain, by a grave foresight, and by an equitable temperance in the use of

its power.

The next article of charge on my public conduct, and that which I find rather the most prevalent of all, is Lord Beauchamp's bill : I mean his bill of last session, for reforming the law-process concerning imprisonment. It is said, to aggravate the offence, that I treated the petition of this city with contempt even in presenting it to the House, and expressed myself in terms of marked disrespect. Had this latter part of the charge been true, no merits on the side of the question which I took could possibly excuse me. But I am incapable of treating this city with disrespect. Very fortunately, at this minute, (if my bad eyesight does not deceive me,) the worthy gentleman deputed on this business stands directly before me. To him I appeal, whether I did not, though it militated with my oldest and my most recent public opinions, deliver the petition with a strong and more than usual recommendation to the consideration of the House, on account of the character and consequence of those who signed it. I believe the worthy gentleman will tell you that, the very day I received it, I applied to the Solicitor, now the Attorney General, to give it an immediate consideration; and he most obligingly and instantly consented to employ a great deal of his very valuable time to write an explanation of the bill. I attended the committee with all possible care and diligence, in order that every objection of yours might meet with a solution, or produce an alteration. I entreated your learned recorder (always ready in business in which you take a concern) to attend. But what will you say to those who blame me for supporting Lord Beauchamp's bill, as a disrespectful treatment of your petition, when you hear that, out of respect to you, I myself was the cause of the loss of that very bill? For the noble lord who brought it in, and who, I must say, has much merit for this and some other measures, at my request consented to put it off for a week, which the Speaker's illness lengthened to a fortnight; and then the frantic tumult about Popery drove that and every rational business from the House. So that, if I chose to make a defence of myself, on the little principles of a culprit, pleading in his exculpation, I might not only secure my acquittal, but make merit with the opposers of the bill. But I shall do no such thing. The truth is, that I did occasion the loss of the bill, and by a delay caused by my

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