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exchequer, from the train of our ordinary ideas, or the idiom of our common language. The difference, therefore, in the two cases is not in the comparative difficulty or facility of the two subjects, but in our attention to the one, and our total neglect of the other. Had this attention and neglect been regulated by the value of the several objects, there would be nothing to complain of. But the reverse of that supposition is true. The scene of the Indian abuse is distant indeed; but we must not infer, that the value of our interest in it is decreased in proportion as it recedes from our view. In our politicks, as in our common conduct, we shall be worse than infants, if we do not put our senses under the tuition of our judgment, and effectually cure ourselves of that optical illusion which makes a briar at our nose of greater magnitude, than an oak at five hundred yards distance.

I think I can trace all the calamities of this country to the single source of our not having had steadily before our eyes a general, comprehensive, well-connected, and well-proportioned view of the whole of our dominions, and a just sense of their true bearings and relations. After all its reductions, the British empire is still vast and various. After all the reductions of the house of commons (stripped as we are of our brightest ornaments, and of our most important privileges) enough are yet left to furnish us, if we please, with means of showing to the world, that we deserve the superintendance of as large an empire as this kingdom ever held, and the continuance of as ample privileges as the house of commons, in the plenitude of its power, had been habituated to assert. But if we make ourselves too little for the sphere of our duty; if on the contrary, we do not stretch and expand our minds to the compass of their object, be well assured, that every thing about us will dwindle by degrees, until at length our concerns are shrunk to the dimensions of our minds. It is not a predilection to mean, sordid, home-bred cares, that will avert the consequences of a false estimation of our interest, or prevent the shameful dilapidation into

which a great empire must fall, by mean reparations upon mighty ruins.

I confess I feel a degree of disgust, almost leading to despair, at the manner in which we are acting in the great exigencies of our country. There is now a bill in this house, appointing a rigid inquisition into the minutest detail of our offices at home. The collection of sixteen millions annually; a collection on which the publick greatness, safety, and credit have their reliance; the whole order of criminal jurisprudence, which holds together society itself, have at no time obliged us to call forth such powers; no, nor any thing like them. There is not a principle of the law and constitution of this country that is not subverted to favour the execution of that project. And for what is all this apparatus of bustle and terrour? Is it because any thing substantial is expected from it? No. The stir and bustle itself is the end proposed. The eye-servants of a short sighted master will employ themselves, not on what is most essential to his affairs, but on what is nearest to his ken. Great difficulties have given a just value to economy; and our minister of the day must be an economist, whatever it may cost us. But where is he to exert his talents? At home to be sure; for where else can he obtain a profitable credit for their exertion? It is nothing to him, whether the object on which he works under our eye be promising or not. If he does not obtain any publick benefit, he may make regulations without end. Those are sure to pay in present expectation, whilst the effect is at a distance, and may be the concern of other times, and other men. On these principles he chooses to suppose (for he does not pretend more than than to suppose) a naked possibility, that he shall draw some resource out of crumbs dropped from the trenchers of penury; that something shall be laid in store from the short allowance of revenue officers, overloaded with duty, and famished for want of bread; by a reduction from officers who are at this very hour ready to batter the treasury with what breaks through stone walls, for an

increase of their appointments. From the marrowless bones of these skeleton establishments, by the use of every sort of cutting, and of every sort of fretting tool, he flatters himself that he may chip and rasp an empirical alimentary powder, to diet into some similitude of health and substance the languishing chimeras of fraudulent reformation.

Whilst he is thus employed according to his policy and to his taste, he has not leisure to inquire into those abuses in India that are drawing off money by millions from the treasures of this country, which are exhausting the vital juices from members of the state, where the publick inanition is far more sorely felt than in the local exchequer of England. Not content with winking at these abuses, whilst he attempts to squeeze the laborious ill-paid drudges of English revenue, he lavishes in one act of corrupt prodigality, upon those who never served the publick in any honest occupation at all, an annual income equal to two thirds of the whole collection of the revenues of this kingdom.

Actuated by the same principle of choice, he has now on the anvil another scheme, full of difficulty and desperate hazard, which totally alters the commercial relation of two kingdoms; and what end soever it shall have, may bequeath, a legacy of heartburning and discontent to one of the countries, perhaps to both, to be perpetuated to the latest posterity. This project is also undertaken on the hope of profit. It is provided, that out of some (I know not what) remains of the Irish hereditary revenue, a fund at some time, and of some sort, should be applied to the protection of the Irish trade. Here we are commanded again to task our faith, and to persuade ourselves, that out of the surplus of deficiency, out of the savings of habitual and systematick prodigality, the minister of wonders will provide support for this nation, sinking under the mountainous load of two hundred and thirty millions of debt. But whilst we look with pain at his desperate and laborious trifling; whilst we are apprehensive that he will break his

back in stooping to pick up chaff and straws, he recovers himself at an elastick bound, and with a broad-cast swing of his arms, he squanders over his Indian field a sum far greater than the clear produce of the whole hereditary revenue of the kingdom of Ireland.*

Strange as this scheme of conduct in ministry is, and inconsistent with all just policy, it is still true to itself, and faithful to its own perverted order. Those who are bountiful to crimes, will be rigid to merit, and penurious to service. Their penury is even held out as a blind and cover to their prodigality. The economy of injustice is to furnish resources for the fund of corruption. Then they pay off their protection to great crimes and great criminals, by being inexorable to the paltry frailties of little men; and these modern flagellants are sure, with a rigid fidelity, to whip their own enormities on the vicarious back of every small offender.

It is to draw your attention to economy of quite another order; it is to animadvert on offences of a far different description, that my honourable friend has brought before you the motion of this day. It is to perpetuate the abuses which are subverting the fabrick of your empire, that the motion is opposed. It is therefore with reason (and if he has power to carry himself through, I commend his prudence) that the right honourable gentleman makes his stand at the very outset; and boldly refuses all parliamentary information. Let him admit but one step towards inquiry, and he is undone. You must be ignorant, or he cannot be safe. But before his curtain is let down, and the shades of eternal night shall veil our eastern dominions from our view, permit me, sir, to avail myself of the means which were furnished in anxious

* The whole of the net Irish hereditary revenue is on a medium of the last seve years, about 330,000l. yearly. The revenues of all denominations fall short more than 150,000l. yearly of the charges. On the present produce, if Mr. Pitt's scheme was to take place, he might gain from seven to ten thousand pounds a year.

and inquisitive times, to demonstrate out of this single act of the present minister, what advantages you are to derive from permitting the greatest concern of this nation to be separated from the cognizance, and exempted even out of the competence, of parliament. The greatest body of your revenue, your most numerous armies, your most important commerce, the richest sources of your publick credit, (contrary to every idea of the known settled policy of England) are on the point of being converted into a mystery of state. You are going to have one half of the globe hid even from the common liberal curiosity of an English gentleman. Here a grand revolution commences. Mark the period, and mark the circumstances. In most of the capital changes that are recorded in the principles and system of any government, a publick benefit of some kind or other has been pretended. The revolution commenced in something plausible, in something which carried the appearance at least of punishment of delinquency, or correction of abuse. But here, in the very moment of the conversion of a department of British government into an Indian mystery, and in the very act in which the change commences, a corrupt, private interest is set up in direct opposition to the necessities of the nation. A diversion is made of millions of the publick money from the publick treasury to a private purse. It is not into secret negotiations for war, peace, or alliance, that the house of commons is forbidden to inquire. It is a matter of account; it is a pecuniary transaction; it is the demand of a suspected steward upon ruined tenants and an embarrassed master, that the commons of Great Britain are commanded not to inspect. The whole tenour of the right honourable gentleman's argument is consonant to the nature of his policy. The system of concealment is fostered by a system of falsehood. False facts, false colours, false names of persons and things, are its whole support.

Sir, I mean to follow the right honourable gentleman over that field of deception, clearing what he

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