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therefore just, as well as politic, that the loss sive, than if he had knocked them down with should attach upon the delinquency.
his staff—"Sir, (or my Lord,) you are calling If the failure from the delinquency should for my own salary--Sir, you are calling for the be very considerable, it will fall on the class appointments of my colleagues who sit about direcuy above the first lord of the treasury, as me in office-Sir, you are going to excite a well as upon himself and his board. It will mutiny at court against me-you are going to all, as it ought to fall, upon offices of no pri- estrange his majesty's confidence from me, mary importance in the state ; but then it will through the chamberlain, or the master of the all upon persons, whom it will be a matter horse, or the groom of the stole." of no slight importance for a minister to pro- As things now stand, every man in proporvoke—it will fall upon persons of the first rank tion to his consequence at court, tends to add and consequence in the kingdom ; upon those to the expense of the civil list, by all manner who are nearest to the king, and frequently of jobs, if not for himself, yet for his depenhave a more interiour credit with him than dents. When the new plan is established, the minister himself. It will fall upon masters those who are now suitors for jobs, will become of the horse, upon lord chamberlains, upon the most strenuous opposers of them. They lord stewards, upon grooms of the stole, and will have a common interest with the minister lords of the bed-chamber. The household in public economy. Every class, as it stands troops form an army, who will be ready to low, will become security for the payment of mutiny for want of pay, and whose mutiny the preceding class ; and thus the persons will be really dreadful to a commander in chief. whose insignificant services defraud those that A rebellion of the thirteen lords of the bed- are useful, would then become interested in
chamber would be far more terrible to a mi- their payment. Then the powerful, instead I nister, and would probably affect his power of oppressing would be obliged to support the
more to the quick, than a revolt of thirteen co- weak ; and idleness would become concerned lonies. What an uproar such an event would in the'reward of industry. The whole fabric create at court! What petitions, and commit- of the civil economy would become compact tees, and associations, would it not produce! and connected in all its parts; it would be Bless me! what a clattering of white sticks formed into a well-organized body, where and yellow sticks would be about his head- every member contributes to the support of the what a storm of gold keys would fly about the whole: and where even the lazy stomach seears of the minister--what a shower of cures the vigour of the active arm. Georges, and Thistles, and medals, and col- This plan, I really flatter myself, is laid, not lars of S.S. would assail him at his first en- in official formality, nor in airy speculation, trance into the antichamber, after an insolvent but in real life, and in human naturo, in what Christmas quarter. A tumult which could not “comes home (as Bacon says) to the bube appeased by all the harmony of the new
siness and bosoms of men." You have now, year's ode.
Rebellion it is certain there Sir, before you, the whole of my scheme, as would be ; and rebellion may not now indeed far as I have digested it into a form, that be so critical an event to those who engage in might be in any respect worthy of your conit, since its price is so correctly ascertained at sideration.-I intend to lay it before you in just a thousand pound.
five bills. * The plan consists, indeed, of Sir, this classing, in my opinion, is a seri- many parts, but they stand upon a few plain ous and solid security for the performance of a principles. It is a plan which takes nothing minister's duty. Lord Coke says, that the from the civil list without discharging it of a staff was put into the treasurer's hand to en- burthen equal to the sum carried io the public able him to support himself when there was service. It weakens no one function necesno money in the exchequer, and to beat away sary to governinent; but on the contrary, by importunate solicitors. The method, which I appropriating supply to service, it gives it propose, would hinder him from the necessity greater vigour. It provides the means of of such a broken staff to lean on, or such a order and foresight to a minister of finance, miserable weapon for repulsing the demands which may always keep all the objects of his of worthless suitors, who, the noble lord in the office, and their state, condition, and relations, blue riband knows, will bear many hard blows distinctly before him. It brings forward ac on the head, and many other indignities, before counts without hurrying and distressing the they are driven from the treasury. In this accountants ; whilst it provides for publie plan, he is furnished with an answer to all their importunity; an answer far more conclu
* Titles of the bills read
convonience, it regards private rights. It sinister and servile dexterily, for the parpose extinguishes secret corruption almost to the of evading our duty, and defrauding our empossibility of its existence. It destroys direct ployers, who are our natural lords, of the obe and visible influence equal to the offices of at ject of their just expectations. I think the least fifty members of parliament. Lastly, it whole not only practicable, but practicable in prevents the provision for his majesty's chil- a very short time. If we are in earnest about dren, from being diverted to the political pur- it, and if we exert that industry, and those poses of his minister.
talents in forwarding the work, which I am These are the points, on which I rely for afraid may be exerted in impeding it-I enthe merit of the plan: I pursue ceconomy, in a gage, that the whole may be put in complete secondary view, and only as it is connected execution within a year. For my own part, with these great objects. I am persuaded, I have very little to recommend me for this or that even for supply this scheme will be far for any task, but a kind of earnest and anxious from unfruitful, if it be executed to the extent perseverance of mind, which, with all its good I propose it. I think it will give to the public, and all its evil effects, is moulded into my conat its periods, two or three hundred thousand stitution. I faithfully engage to the house, if pounds a year; if not, it will give them a they choose to appoint me to any part in the system of economy, which is itself a great execution of this work, which (when they have revenue. It gives me no little pride and satis- made it theirs by the improvements of their faction, to find that the principles of my pro- wisdom, will be worthy of the able assistance ceedings are, in many respects, the very same they may give me) that by night and by with those which are now pursued in the plans day, in town, or in country, at the desk, or of the French minister of finance. I am sure, in the forest, I will, without regard to conthat I lay before you a scheme easy and prac- venience, ease, or pleasure, devote myself ticable in all its parts. I know it is common to their service, not expecting or admitting at once to applaud and to reject all attempts any reward whatsoever. I owe to this counof this nature. I know it is common for men try my labour, which is my all; and I owe to to say, that such and such things are perfectly it ten times more industry, if ten times more right-very desirable ; but that, unfortunately, I could exert. After all I shall be an unthey are not practicable. Oh! no, Sir, no. profitable servant. Those things which are not practicable, are At the same time, if I am able, and if I not desirable. There is nothing in the world shall be permitted, I will lend an humble really beneficial, that does not lie within the helping hand to any other good work which is reach of an informed understanding, and a going on. I have not, Sir, the frantic prewell-directed pursuit. There is nothing that sumption to suppose, that this plan contains God has judged good for us, that he has not in it the whole of what the public has a right given us the means to accomplish, both in the to expect, in the great work of reformation they natural and the moral world. If we cry, like call for. Indeed it falls infinitely short of ii. children for the moon, like children we must It falls short, even of my own ideas. I have cry on.
some thoughts not yet fully ripened, relative to We must follow the nature of our affairs, a reform in the customs and excise, as well as and conform ourselves to our situation. If we in some other branches of financial adminisdo, our objects are plain and compassable. tration. There are other things too, which Why should we resolve to do nothing, because form essential parts in a great plan for the what I propose to you may not be the exact purpose of restoring the independence of pardemand of the petition ; when we are far from liament. The contractor's bill of last year it resolved to comply even with what evidently is is fit to revive ; and I rejoice that it is in better so ? Does this sort of chichanery become us? hands than mine. The bill for suspending tho The people are the masters. They have only votes of custom-house officers, brought into to express their wants at large and in gross. parliament several years ago, by one of our We are the expert artists; we are the skilful worthiest and wisest members,* (would 10 workmen, to shape their desires into perfect God we could along with the plan revive the form, and to fit the utensil to the use. They person who designed it.) But a man of very are the sufferers, they tell the symptoms of the real integrity, honour, and ability will be found complaint ; but we know the exact seat of the to take his place, and to carry his idea into disease, and how to apply the remedy according to the rules of art. How shocking
* W. Dowdeswell, Esq. chancellor of the es would it be to see us pervert our skill into a chequer, 1765.
tull executior.. You all see how necessary it not those that love you most. Moderate is to review our military expenses for some affection, and satiated enjoyment, are cold years past, and, if possible, to bind up and and respectful; but an ardent and injured close that bleeding artery of profusion: but passion is tempered up with wrath, and grief that business also, I have reason to hope, will and shame, and conscious worth, and the madte undertaken by abilities that are fully ade- dening sense of violated right. A jealous love quate to it. Something must be devised (if lights his torch from the firebrands of the fupossible) to check the ruinous expense of ries. They who call upon you to belong elections.
wholly to the people, are those who wish you Sir, all or most of these things must be done. to return to your proper home ; to the sphere Every one must take his part.
of your duty, to the post of your honour, to If we should be able by dexterity or power the mansion-house of all genuine, serene, and or intrigue, to disappoint the expectations of solid satisfaction. We have furnished to the our constituents, what will it avail us? We people of England (indeed we have) some shall never be strong or artful enough to party, real cause of jealousy. Let us leave that sort or to put by the irresistible demands of our of company which, if it does not destroy our situation. That situation calls upon us, and innocence, pollutes our honour : let us free upon our constituents too, with a voice which ourselves at once from every ihing that can will be heard. I am sure no man is more increase their suspicions, and inflame their zealously attached than I am to the privileges just resentment: let us cast away from us, of this house, particularly in regard to the with a generous scorn, all the lovo-tokens, and exclusive management of money. The lords symbols that we have been vain and light have no right to the disposition, in any sense, enough to accept ;-all the bracelets, and snuffof the public purse; but they have gone further boxes, and miniature pictures, and hair dein self-denial* than our utmost jealousy could vices, and all the other adulterous trinkets that have required. A power of examining ac- are the pledges of our alienation, and the mocounts, to censure, correct, and punish, we numents of our shame. Let us return to our never, that I know of, have thought of denying legitimate home, and all jars and all quarrels to the house of lords. It is something more will be lost in embraces. Let the commons than a century since we voted that body use- in parliament assembled, be one and the same less; they have now voted themselves so. thing with the commons at large. The dis
The whole hope of reformation is at length tinctions that are made to separate us, are cast upon us; and let us not deceive the na- unnatural and wicked contrivances. Let us tion, which does us the hononr to hope every identify, let us incorporate ourselves with the thing from our virtue. If all the nation are people. Let us cut all the cables and snap the not equally forward to press this duty upon us chains which tie us to an unfaithful shore, and yet be assured, that they will equally expect enter the friendly harbour, that shoots far out we should perform it. The respectful silence into the main its moles and jettees to receive of those who wait upon your pleasure, ought us.—“War with the world, and peace with to be as powerful with you, as the call of those our constituents.” Be this our motto, and our who require your service as their right. Some, principle. Then indeed, we shall be truly without doors, affect to feel hurt for your dig- great. Respecting ourselves we shall be renity, because they suppose that menaces are spected by the world. At present all is held out to you. Instify their good opinion, troubled and cloudy, and distracted, and full by shewing that no menaces are necessary to of anger and turbulence, both abroad and at stimulate you to your duty.—But, Sir, whilst home; but the air may be cleared by this we may sympathise with them, in one point, storm, and light and fertility may follow it. who sympathise with us in another, we ought Let us give a faithful pledge to the people that to attend no less to those who approach us like we honour, indeed, the crown; but that we men, and who, in the guise of petitioners, belong to them; that we are their auxiliaries, speak to us in the tone of a concealed autho- and not their task-masters; the fellow-labourers rity. It is not wise to force them to speak out in the same vineyard, not lording over their more plainly, what they plainly mean.-But rights, but helpers of their joy: that to tax the petitioners are violent. Be it so. Those them is a grievance to ourselves, but to cut off who are least anxious about your conduct, are from our enjoyments to forward theirs, is the
highest gratification we are capable of re. Rejection of Lord Shelburne's motion in the ceiving. I feel with comfort, that we are all house of lords.
warmed with these sentiments, and while wo Vol 1.-20
are thus warm, I wish we may go directly ditaments, held by his majesty in right of the and with a cheerful heart to this salutary said principality, or county palatine of Cheswork.
ter, and for applying the produce thereof to the Sir, I move for leave to bring in a bill, public service."
“For the better regulation of his majesty's 3d. “A bill for uniting to the crown he civil establishments, and of certain public duchy and county palatine of Lancaster; or offices; for the limitation of pensions, the suppression of unnecessary oflices now beand the suppression of sundry useless, longing thereto; for the ascertainment and expensive, and inconvenient places ; and security of tenant and other rights; and for the for applying the monies saved thereby to sale of all rents, lands, tenements, and here. the public service."*
ditaments, and forests, within the said duchy Lord North stated, that there was a diffe- and county palatine, or either of them; and rence between this bill for regulating the esta- for applying the produce thereof to the public blishments, and some of the others, as they service." -And it was ordered that Mr. Burke, affected the ancient patrimony of the crown; Mr. Fox, Lord John Cavendish, Sir George and therefore wished them to be postponed, Savile, Colonel Barrè, Mr. Thomas Towntill the king's consent could be obtained. shond, Mr. Byng, Mr Dunning, Sir Joseph This distinction was strongly controverted; Mawbey, Mr. Recorder of London, Sir Robut when it was insisted on as a point of deco- bert Clayton, Mr. Frederick Montagu, the rum only, it was agreed to postpone them to Earl of Upper Ossory, Sir William Guise, another day. Accordingly, on the Monday and Mr. Gilbert, do prepare and bring in the following, viz. February 14, leave was given, same. on the motion of Mr. Burke, without opposi- At the same time, Mr. Burke moved for tion, to bring in
leave to bring in-4th. " A bill for uniting the Ist. “A bill for the sale of the forest and duchy of Cornwall to the crown; for the supother crown lands, rents, and hereditaments, pression of certain unnecessary offices now with certain exceptions ; and for applying the belonging thereto; for the ascertainment and produce thereof to the public service; and for security of tenant and other rights; and for the securing, ascertaining, and satisfying, tenant- sale of certain rents, lands, and tenements, rights, and common and other rights." within or belonging to the said duchy; and
20. “A bill for the more perfectly uniting for applying the produce thereof to the pablic to the crown the principality of Wales, and service." the county palatine of Chester, and for the But some objections being made by the sur more commodious administration of justice veyor-general of the duchy concerning the within the same; as also for abolishing certain rights of the prince of Wales, now in his mi- ' offices now appertaining thereto; for quieting nority, and Lord North remaining perfectig dormant claims, ascertaining and securing tes' silent, Mr. Burke, at length, though he strongnant-rights; and for the sale of all the forest ly contended against the principle of the ob lands, and other lands, tenements, and here- jection, consented to withdraw this last motion
for the present, to be renewed upon an early Tho motion was seconded by Mr. Fox. occasion.
MR. BURKE'S SPEECH
AT THE GUILDHALL, IN BRISTOL, PREVIOUS TO THE LATE ELEC. TION IN THAT CITY, UPON CERTAIN POINTS RELATIVE TO HIS PALIAMENTARY CONDUCT. 1780.
MR. MAYOR, AND GENTLEMEN,
it in my favour. I ask it seriously and unaf I am extremely pleased at the appearance fectedly. If you wish that I should retire, I of this large and respectable meeting. The shall not consider that advice as a censure steps I may be obliged to take will want the upon my conduct, or an alteration in your sensanction of a considerable authority; and in timents; but as a rational submission to the explaining any thing which may appear doubts circumstances of affairs. If, on the contrary, ful in my public conduct, I must naturally you should think it proper for me to proceed desire a very full audience.
on my canvass, if you will risk the trouble on I have been backward to begin my canvass. your part, I will risk it on mine. My pre-The dissolution of the parliament was un- tensions are such as you cannot be ashamed certain ; and it did not become me, by an of, whether they succeed or fail. unseasonable importunity, to appear diffident If you call upon me, I shall solicit the favour of the fact of my six years' endeavours to please of the city upon manly ground. I come before vou. I had served the city of Bristol honour- you with the plain confidence of an honest ably ; and the city of Bristol had no reason to servant in the equity of a candid and discerthink, that the means of honourable service ning master. I come to claim your approbato the public, were become indifferent to me. tion, not to amuse you with vain apologies, or
I found on my arrival here, that three gen- with professions still more vain and senseless. tlemen had been long in eager pursuit of an I have lived too long to be served by apologies, object which but two of us can obtain. I or to stand in need of them. The part I have found, that they had all met with encourage acted has been in open day; and to hold out
A contested election in such a city as to a conduct, which stands in that clear and this, is no light thing. I paused on the brink steady light for all its good and all its evil, to of the precipice. These three gentlemen, by hold out to that conduct the paltry winking various merits, and on various titles, I made tapers of excuses and promises-I never will no doubt were worthy of your favour. I shall do it.— They may obscure it with their smoke; never attempt to raise myself by depreciating but they never can illumine sunshine by such lhe merits of my competitors. In the com- a flame as theirs. plexity and confusion of these cross pursuits, I am sensible that no endeavours have been I wished to take the authentic public sense of left untried to injure me in your opinion. But my friends upon a business of so much deli- the use of character is to be a shield against cacy. I wished to take your opinion along with calumny. I could wish, undoubtedly (if idle me; that if I should give up the contest at the wishes were not the most idle of all things) to very beginning, my surrender of my post may make every part of my conduct agreeable to not seem the effeci of inconstancy, or timidity, every one of my constituents. But in so great or anger, or disgust, or indolence, or any other a city, and so greatly divided as this, it is weak temper unbecoming a man who has engaged to expect it. in the public service. If, on the contrary, I In such a discordancy of sentiments, it is should undertake the election, and fail of suc- better to look to the nature of things than to cess, I was full as anxious, that it should be the humours of men. The very attempt manifest to the whole world, that the peace of towards pleasing every body, discovers a temthe city had not been broken by my rashness, per always flashy, and often false and insinpresumption, or fond conceit of my own merit. cere. Therefore, as I have proceeded strait
I am root come, by a false and counterfeit onward in my conduct, so I will proceed in my sbow of deference to your judgment, to seduce account of those parts of it which have been