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gone nigh to convert the monarchy of Scotland into a sort of republic with a statdtholder or president at its head; at all events, they would have formed a sort of experiment, to show with how little power in the monarch a mixed government might be carried on.

But what is the conclusion of the whole? Surely this——the care, circumspection, and kindness with which the ministry of a superior nation should carry on the government of any inferior and connected nation.

We may here see plainly what men of intelligence and strong feelings are constantly thinking, while a cabinet is despising their country, its interests and its opinions. The truth, and the whole truth, is here fully displayed.

One word more in the way of narrative, and for the same purpose of attracting your notice to the whole.

The English minister, Godolphin, in the absence, as he thought, of every other alternative, at last advised the queen to give the royal assent to this Act of Security, and it was accordingly passed. Wharton, his political opponent, now triumphed. “I have now then,” said he, to quote his own expression, “I have now the treasurer's head in a bag.” Godolphin was probably much of the same opinion, and even the English nation, unfeeling as they had been to the interests and happiness of Scotland, and selfish and stupid as they were, and always will be, to the claims and merits of every other nation, when their own trade to their colonies, and their own manufactures are concerned, could at length, and for once in this critical emergence, perceive that sacrifices must be made, and at all events that such questions as had lately been agitated in Scotland, nearly amounting to a revolution and a civil war, must be avoided.

There seemed no other way of attempting to avoid them but by an union of the two kingdoms, complete and entire ; and in this manner the English nation, as well as the English ministry, were at last rendered no longer the coy and supercilious parties with whom Scotland had before to treat, but the ardent proposers and claimants of a measure, without which, as they represented, and truly represented, all chance for the tranquillity and prosperity of both countries was at an end.

I stop to observe, that when the Act of Security was known

in England, a retaliating act was passed by the English parliament; i. e., a proper spirit, as it was called, was shown, and the breach in fact made wider, and the crisis more dangerous. This sort of spirit, or rather of folly, on such occasions is always shown. What was the result? Before the Scotch parliament could be brought to treat of the union at all, the English parliament were obliged to repeal their act.

The point of interest that next presents itself is, how the union was carried.

This is a part of the subject which cannot be contemplated without pain. It was carried by force and fraud. The victories of the Duke of Marlborough left England with a strong military force at her disposal ; and the Duke of Hamilton proved at last a traitor to his country; so did others. This foul name must belong to him, and must always more or less belong to all men who on great public occasions pursue even the right measure only because they are corrupted, who act upon any motives but those of the good of their country. Men may mistake the interests of their country; this is very pardonable ; they cannot engage to be wise, but they may to be honest. It is of no consequence in what manner the bribe that makes them otherwise is administered ; a place to their friends, a purse thrown to themselves, or a coronet to their descendants : the business is the same ; and this deflection from virtue, this sacrifice of principle, is in no way to be distinguished from the acts of dishonesty, from the mere picking and stealing, of the vulgar, but that there is no personal risk incurred by the great, and that the consequences are far more important to society.

This part of the subject is painful on another account.

The union was a measure clearly conducive to the happiness of both kingdoms. The English ministry and nation had been thoroughly frightened, and they therefore made the terms of the union as reasonable and as advantageous as they could, the better to preclude opposition.

It is, therefore, very melancholy to observe, in the first place, that a great nation like England could never adopt a proper system of policy before, and never behave with proper liberality and prudence, till both were extorted from her by the ungenerous motives of selfishness and fear.

It is again very mortifying to observe how little the affairs of nations are affected by the influence of any calm and deliberating wisdom. The real merits of the measure seem to have had but little effect with the generality of those concerned ; a sort of opposition resounded from every quarter. The meanness, ignorance, and cowardice of it are instructive.

We shall have our religion, said the Presbytery of Scotland, destroyed by the bishops in the English house. How can our sixteen peers oppose them?

The church, said the English bishops, on the contrary, the church of England will be swept away, as it has before been, in the times of Charles I., by this new influx of Presbyterians.

Our manufactures will move away to the poor country where labour is cheap, said the English artists.

We shall be ruined, said the Scotch, by the superior articles of the English; if they are allowed to bring them into our markets, how can we contend with their advantages of skill and capital ?

What security for our country or our constitution, said the Scotch politicians, when the union has been once made ? We have only forty-five members in the one house, and sixteen in the other; how can these oppose the whole English legislature? We are destroyed, and that for ever.

What will become of us, said the English, when this new northern hive is allowed to swarm and settle upon our country and upon our houses of legislature? These are invaders that are hungry, intelligent, and servile; neither post nor place will be left for any of us.

The prostrate south to the destroyer yields

Its purple harvests and its golden fields.” Such are always, on great occasions like these, on subjects of great national concern (unions of kingdoms, for instance, treaties of commerce, treaties of peace, abolitions of slavery), such are always the contracted, wretched arguments and pretences which men make use of when they affect to debate, and are in fact not debating, but thinking only of themselves and their own supposed interests.

On this subject of the union, the speeches of Lord Belhaven have been always adverted to. They are highly deserving of your perusal. They are rich with the proper beauties of eloquence, and very creditable to his age and nation. His celebrated speech you will of course examine; it has great merits, but appears to me, if for a moment I may digress, merely to allude to a point of taste, objectionable in its original conception. It endeavours to accomplish two ends : first, the entire rejection of the union, be the terms what they may; secondly, its rejection on account of the terms. These objects are too much intermixed and united; elo

; quence, more especially eloquence of the character of Lord Belhaven’s, should attempt some one great object, and entirely carry it or entirely fail; it should throw all its force on the enemy, and carry every thing by storm, or instantly retire ; not descend to all the manæuvres and forms of a regular engagement. The speech, too, begins with images and ends with reasonings. It comes full and majestic down its course, and then squanders itself in many channels, and seems to disappear as it proceeds to its termination. There can be no greater fault than this.

But I haste to call your attention to the speech of Mr. Seton, as well as that of Lord Belhaven. Seton spoke in favour of the union. The speeches are very different in their character as well as their import.

And now I must digress for another moment, to observe, that eloquence and wisdom are by no means the same thing. They are sometimes united, but not necessarily; perhaps never when eloquence is the mere gift of nature rather than the slow result of nature and art conjoined. A ready supply of glittering language and an ardent conception, i. e., a fertile imagination, and quick feelings, united to a retentive memory—these are together quite sufficient to make an orator, but by no means to make a wise man; to make a speaker, or even a leader in a popular assembly, but not necessarily a statesman. Amplification, for instance, is the great business of eloquence, while the first occupation of wisdom is to reduce every thing, if possible, to its original elements. The one distinguishes not, examines not, hesitates not, reflects not; the other is cautious, scrupulous, precise,

patient, and deliberative. Enthusiasm is the soul of the one, calmness the essence of the other.

I would recommend the speeches of Mr. Seton and Lord Belhaven, not only as very remarkable speeches on a very great occasion, and therefore as subjects of history, but as very finished specimens of the difference which I conceive to exist between wisdom and eloquence, and therefore fitted, if this distinction be just, to illustrate a truth of very ordinary application, and therefore of some value in human life.

I have omitted, when speaking of Fletcher, to mention that those who meet with his works should look at his account of a conversation concerning a right regulation of governments for the common good of mankind. It is in the repulsive form of dialogue, but it is the best exhibition of his political views, and on the whole the best of his works.

After all, Fletcher had the fault which so often belongs to men of strong feelings and earnest thought, when they meditate on the improvement of the affairs of the world-he was not sufficiently practical. He had brooded over the contests and ambition of the nations of Europe, over the vices and follies of a great metropolis ; he had satisfied himself that Scotland, in a state of separation from England, would be perpetually involved in bloody and destructive wars; and, if united, must of necessity fall under the miserable and languishing condition (such are his expressions) of all places that depend on a remote seat of government.

His plan for the remedy of these evils was to divide Europe into different portions, each adequate to its own defence, and accommodated by forts and capitals for the purpose, but not fitted for schemes of offence and aggrandizement. In EngLand and Scotland were to be formed, in the mean time, about a dozen capital cities instead of one overgrown capital like London; by which means all the benefits, as he conceived, of our present metropolis would be secured, and its serious evils avoided. But without mentioning the very indispensable advantages that result from the concentration of so much of the affluence, genius, and intelligence of the people into one point, advantages which seem never to have occurred to him, it seems sufficient to observe, in a few short melancholy words, that the great difficulty on all occasions of projected

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