Page images

fovereign ftatė, and all her dangers and divisions- if I contemplate the peculiar evils of her constitution, admired I think by none of the wise and provident, and commended only by the speculatist and the Jacobin as example of revolution and impunity-if I consider her present state, and the circumstances upon which the advances, I am fcarcely to be restrained from affirming that there is nothing but union-this very mea: sure of union and incorporation, of all her Provinces--that can fave and defend her: or extricate her from the dangers and perplexities of that federal independence, which has neither defended Holland, nor Switzerland, Áor the empire of Germany.

From the case of America, who has feperated, we are naturally led to that of Scotland, who has united herself with England; and I confess it appears to me not a little fingular, that I should have been so little anticipated upon one of the great and leading


points of that argument; which does not appear to me to be half so interesting, nor half so powerful from anology as from contrast. The anology extends no farther than the

probable consequences of a parallel experiment, but the contrast comprises the whole general circumstance and position of the two countries previous to the experiment; and the inference follows with accumulated and, I think, irresistible force, in favour of the present measure ; since experience has shewn, that under circumstances of so unpromising a difference, that Union has still proved fortunate, and surpassed the most fanguine predictions of the great statesmen, who were the authors of it. In the Scottish union, I am at a loss to discover any circumstances of resemblance to the present measure, besides the accidental union of the two crowns upon

the same head. Was Scotland a colony of ours ? Was Scotland planted and watered by our hand? Had it grown and flourished under

[ocr errors]


our protecting shade ? Was the property of Scotland in the hands of Englishmen? Was the parliament elected by Englishmen, and composed of Englishmen, to the exclusion of the antient occupants of the soil? Hąd the laws, the religion, the constitution, and the language and the state, þeen transported thither from this parent country ? From thọ first union of the crowns to the beginning of Queen Anne's reign, the legislative union had been a subject of deep deliberation. Scotland had to melt and blend with a nation of “ foreigners, and with foreigners her antient, and, as it was then said, her natural enemies. Her wounds were yet green and stiff: reciprocal hatreds, alternate triumphs, a frontier desolated and famous from eternal warfare, and a hiftory full of nothing but the injuries and invasions of England, were but little propitious to this new and wise design. There was much to be forgotten or forgiven natural jealousies, old antipathies, national




pride and family resentments, were all to be soothed and won over by the evident utility and advantage of the union. Scotland be sides possessed an actual and efficient independence ; she had a real fovereignty to subscribe and surrender to the united parliament; she had a valuable consideration to contribute for the wealth, the security, and the dignity The received

But is this the case of the Irish planter? is his independence real, or any thing but a dangerous and delusive sound, which tempts him to the rock, and draws him to the whirlpool ? Is he independent of France, who pours her avengers upon the land ? or independent of three millions of natives, who claim his estate with title-deeds and pikęs ? or independant of England, who defends him with her ships, her foldiers, and even her militia ? Yet Scotland preferred to yield this real independance, so dear to her early prejudice. She preferred the substantial useful glory of a common


[ocr errors]

fceptre and an imperial legislature, to the dull privilege of provincial greatness and municipal ambition. After centuries of cruel hostilities, fruitful of wretchedness and glory, The subsided into her true and just position, and incorporated with her mighty neighbour, to whom fate and nature had awarded the feat of empire. Now then comes the question of analogy. Has she repented of her prudence, of her true and wise magnanimity? Is the British name less glorious than the Scots ? Is population, is commerce, is internal peace, a motive for repentance? Are improvement, arts and civilization, or the well being of life, motives for repentance ? Have we violated the treaty - have we imposed tribute-have we abused our imperial power, or betrayed the confidence of the kingdom we united with? If all this experience is lost and thrown away ; if this analogy and contrast are both ineffec


« PreviousContinue »