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for the safety of this country, he had not been in. BOOK attentive to the state of his loyal and faithful kingdom of Ireland ; and, in consequence of the addresses presented to him the preceding session, he had ordered such papers to be laid before them as might assist their deliberations, and he recommended it to them to consider what further benefits and advantages might be extended to that country. ” The opposition in both houses of parliament was now invigorated by the consciousness that the majority of the nation were at length awakened to a sense of the danger resulting to the public from the measures adopted by the present obstinate and incapable administration. On the very face of their conduct much appeared, which, politically speaking, might be regarded as highly criminal ; what was not criminality was weakness; or what was not weakness was at least misfortune: upon the whole, it was almost universally acknowledged, that under the present system of government every thing went practically wrong; and few persons were found bold enough to affirm, in such a state of things, that the general policy adopted was theoretically right. The usual motion for an address in answer to the Lord Rock

ingham's speech from the throne, produced on this occasion spirited adebates in both houses the most animated and im-to the adpressive. The marquis of Rockingham, who first rose, censured in strong language the facility with which the two ambassadors, lord Grantham and




BOOK lord Stormont, had suffered themselves to be de

ceived by the craft of Spain and France; and the confidence with which ministers had assured parliament that treaties inimical to the interests of Great Britain were not in existence, or even in embryo. The address recognised the blessings of his majesty's government; but that recognition was unfounded in truth, and an insult to the house. There was a time, indeed, at which he could have congratulated the king on the blessings enjoyed under his government. He remembered when his majesty ascended the throne of his ancestors with glory and lustre ; but for the last seventeen years

those blessings had gradually decreased, and the nation was at length reduced to an unexampled state of degradation. This change he attributed to a baleful and pernicious system of unconstitutional advice and con. trol, the effects of which extended themselves to every department. The discontents in Ireland his lordship ascribed to the bad faith of ministers, who promised to produce measures for their relief before the rising of parliament ; but although the session - continued seven weeks they had paid no further attention to the subject. The people were consequently left in suspense ; the associators were permitted to become important; and concessions which would then have been received as favours were now demanded as rights, not to be resigned, modified, or qualified



The marquis then, adverting to the progress of BOOK hostilities in America, censured, with unrestrained and merited severity, the proclamation issued by the commissioners, as an accursed manifesto, the forerunner of a war of the most horrid nature; a war not merely contrary to the christian religion, to the acknowledged principles of morality and humanity, þut to the laws of war, and the modes of carrying on hostilities among Turkish and other the most san- . guinary nations. It would be a precedent and a justification to France and Spain, should they land on the defenceless parts of the British coast, and commit the most wanton and unprovoked ravages. His lordship concļuded a speech of various excellence with moving an amendment, omitting the whole address except the initiatory words of form, and beseeching his majesty to reflect upon the extent of territory, power and opulence, of reputation abroad and concord at home, which distinguished the opening of his majesty's reign, and marked it as the most splendid and happy period in the his, tory of this nation ; and to turn his eyes on the present endangered, impoverished, distracted, and even dismembered state of the empire, after all the grants of successive parliaments, liberal even to profusion, and trusting to the very utmost extent of rational confidence ;—and finally stating to his majesty, that if

any thing could prevent the consummation of public ruin, it can be only new counsels and new coun.

BOOK sellors, a real change from the conviction of past

errors, -and not a mere palliation, which must prove


1779. fruitless.

The marquis of Rockingham was supported in this interesting and important motion of amendment by the dukes of Richmond and Grafton, the earls of Shelburne and Effingham, lord Camden, and all the most distinguished peers in opposition. The defence on the part of ministers was unusually feeble. Lord Stormont imputed a great part of the public misfortunes to the incautious and too often violent language held in parliament-a contemptible argument, the validity of which can only be main, tained by going the extravagant length of affirming that the most absurd and pernicious measures of government ought to pass without any harshness of animadversion from those who are best able to expose their weakness or their guilt.

Lord Mansfield declared, that, from the distressed and perilous situation of the country, he was 'persuaded nothing but a 'full and comprehensive union of all parties and all men could effect its salvation. He was old enough to remember the realm in very embarrassing situations. He had seen violent party struggles ; but no previous time presented an image of the present. How far the ternper of the nation and the state of parties might admit of a coalition, he could not decide; but the event was devoutly to be wished. Such was the alarming state of affairs, that



the country loudly claimed the assistance of every BOOK heart and hand.

Doubtless an union of parties is, abstractedly speaking, at all times a very desirable thing ; and if the causes.preventive of union are of a personal nature merely, the removal of them is devoutly to be wished. But if the country is divided into two opposite parties, one of which, by its obstinate perseverance in a series of ruinous and unconstitutional measures, has reduced the nation to the most dangerous extremities, and the other has uniformly foreseen and foretold the consequences which would inevitably result from them, has in vain for a long succession of years admonished, warned, and implored the adverse party to desist from those evil courses, and to return to the good old paths, which reason, equity and justice have so clearly marked out; if, in return, they have been treated with every species of reproach and contumely, and even, by the vilest of falsehoods, declared to be the authors of the mischiefs which they dreaded and deprecated;_between two such parties, whatever candour may suggest in palliation of the errors of individuals, no political amity, no alliance, no coalition, can ever take place. With such pernicious principles there can be no compromise. The great cause of humanity is at issue ; and it must either rise ultimately triumphant, or its advocates and defenders must be prepared to perish with it.

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