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of the nobler sensibilities of humanity. Never was BOOK it suspected that the contest by which an empire was rent asunder, by which every political, civil and social tie was dissolved that can unite and endear nation to nation, or man to man, cost this monarch a sigh or a tear.
Attached to the forms of the church with a degree of zeal more nearly allied to bigotry and superstition than to an enlarged and enlightened mo. rality, he regarded all the sects which diverged from it in different directions, with a fixed suspicion and dislike, leading by easy and imperceptible gradations to dread and detestation. The reverse of the medal will indeed discover a life passed without any remarkable deviation from the rules of de. corum, and much less any direct violation of the higher and more serious obligations of morality and religion. Grave, temperate, devout-from the contamination of those vices which are usually considered as more peculiarly characteristic of courts, he was wholly free. But the virtues of the man, were they such as to entitle him to the honors of canonization, afforded a very inadequate compensation for the errors and imperfections of the mo. narch; under whose reign it may be justly affirmed, that from the almost perpetual predominance of evil councils, the people suffered all that could be inflicted under the restraints of a constitution radi. cally excellent.
The speech from the throne underwent, as may
well be imagined, the severest animadversion. Mr. Menorable Fox said he had expected, and he knew it had been the address, expected by many others, to hear on this occasion
his majesty declare from the throne that he had been deceived and imposed upon by misinformation and misrepresentation ; that, in consequence of his delusion, the parliament had been deluded, but that now the deception was at an end; and requesting of his parliament to devise the most speedy and efficacious means of putting an end to the public cala, mities :- instead of which they had heard a speech breathing liitle else than vengeance, misery, and blood. Those who were ignorant of the personal character of the sovereign, and who imagined this speech to originate with him, might be led to sup: pose that he was an unfeeling despot, rejoicing in the horrid sacrifice of the liberty and lives of his subjects, who, when all hope of victory was vanished, still thirsted for revenge. The ministers who advised this speech he affirmed to be a CURSE to the country over the affairs of which they had too long been suffered to preside. From that un, rivalled pre-eminence which we so lately possessed, they had made us the object of ridicule and scorn to the surrounding nations. The noble lord in the l'lue ribband had indeed thought fit to ascribe the American war and all its attendant calamities to the speeches of opposition, Oh! wretched and inca;
pable minister, whose measures are framed with so BOOK little foresight, and executed with so little firmness, that, because a rash or intemperate invective is ut. tered against them in the house of commons, they shall instantly crumble in pieces, and bring down ruin upon the country!- Miserable statesman! to allow for no contingences of fortune, no ebullition of passion, no collision of sentiment! Could he expect the concurrence of
individual in that house ? and was he so weak or wicked as to con. trive plans of government of such a texture that the intervention of circumstances obvious and unávoidable would occasion their total failure, and hazard the existence of the empire? Ministers must expect to hear of the calamities in which they had involved the empire, again and again—not merely in that house, but, as he trusted, at the tribunal of justice :-“for (said he) the time will surely come, when an oppressed and irritated people will firmly call for SIGNAL PUNISHMENT on those whose counsels have brought the nation so near to the brink of destruction. An indignant nation will surely in the end compel them to make some faint atonement for the magnitude of their offences, on a PUBLIC SCAF. FOLD.” He concluded with moving, “ That of the address proposed the whole be omitted excepting the first paragraph, and the following words inserted :— And we will without delay apply our
BOO K selves with united hearts to propose and digest such
counsels as may in this crisis excite the efforts, point 1781, the arms, and, by a total change of system, com
mand the confidence, of all his majesty's subjects.'
This amendment was vigorously supported by Mr. Pitt, who declared, “ That the duty he owed his sovereign and his country compelled him to exert every effort to prevent the house from precipitately voting an address which pledged them to the support of that fatal system which had led this country, step by step, to the most calamitous and dis. graceful situation to which a once flourishing and glorious empire could be reduced.-Was it becoming the parliament of a free people to echo back the words which a minister, long practised in the arts of delusion, had dared to put into the royal mouth? He implored the house not to vote for an address fraught with treachery and falsehood, which could not have been framed by any who felt for the honor of the king, the dignity of parliament, or the interest of the nation."
Mr. Burke drew a 'most striking picture of the losses and disasters which had been sustained through the egregious folly and misconduct of the present adıninistration. “Under such circumstances the language held by the noble lord was (he said) audacious; it was insulting.” Mr. Burke declared
that he deplored and mourned over the calamities BOOK of his country: but to see the noble lord stand up in the face of day, and hear him impudently vindicate the measures which had given birth to themthis was most of all alarming—this it was which ' froze his blood and harrowed up his soul!” Mr. Burke ridiculed with keen and exquisite poignancy the stress so absurdly laid on the supposed original and inherent right of Great Britain to exercise taxation over America. “ Oh inestimable right !" exclaimed Mr. Burke, “Oh wonderful transcendent right! the assertion of which has cost this country thirteen provinces, six islands, 100,000 lives, and seventy millions of money! Oh invaluable right! for the sake of which we have sacrificed our rank among nations, our importance abroad, and our happiness at home! Oh right! more dear to us than our existence; which has already cost us so much, and which seems likely to cost us our all!—Infatuated man!” cried Mr. Burke, fix, ing his eye on the minister : “ Miserable and un. done country! not to know that the claim of right, without the power of enforcing it, is nugatory and idle! “ We had a right to tax America, the noble lord tells
us, therefore we ought to tax America.' This is the profound logic which comprises the whole chain of his reasoning. Not inferior to this was the wisdom of him who resolved to shear the wolf, What! shear a wolf ? Have you considered