Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

here is a House of Commons also chosen by the very People themselves newly come from among them, or should be fo, to represent all their Griev. ances, to express the true Mind of ihe Nation, and to dispole of their Moncy, at least 10 far as to begin all Bills of that Nature ; and if I am 110t miltaken, the very Writ for Elections font down to the Sheriffs does impower them to chule ; what? Their Reprefentatives.

Now, my Lords, I beseech you to consider the meaning of that Word R presentative ; is it to do any thing contrary to their Mind? It would be ablurd to propose it : And yet how can it be otherwise, if they, after being chosen, change their Dependency, engage themselves in Employments plainly inconsistent with that great Truit repos'd in them? And that I will take the Liberty to demonstrate to your Lordships they now do, at least according to my humble Opinion.

I will Instance first in the least and lowest Incapacity, they must be under, who fo take Employments.

Your Lordships krow but too well what a general Carelesnels there appears every Day, more and more in the publick Buliness ; it lo, how is it likely that Men should be as diligent in their Dury in Parliament as that Business requires, where Employments, and a great deal of other Busine's fhail take up both their Minds and their Tine?

But then in fome Cafes 'tis worse, as in Commands of the Army, and other Employments of that kind, when they must have a divided Duty: For it does admirably become an Officer to fit Voting away Money in the boule of Commons, while his Soldiers are perhaps taking it away at their Quarters for want of his Presence to restrain them, and of better Discipline among them ; nay, perhaps his Troop or Regiment may be in some Action abroad, and he must either have the shame of being absent from them at such a time, or from that Houle

a where he is intrusted with our Liberties.

To this I have heard but one Objection by a Noble Lord, that if this Act should pass, the King

is

[ocr errors]

a

а

is not allow'd to make a Captain, a Colonel, without disabling him to sit in Parliament.

Trucly, if a Captain has only deterv'd to be ad vanc'd for exposing himself in Parliament, I think the Nation wou'd have no great loss in the King's letting alone such a Preferment.

But, my Lords, there is another fort of Incapacity yet worse than this, I mean that of Parliament Men's having luch Places in the Exchequer, as the very profit of them depends on the Money given to the King in Parliament.

Would any of your Lordships sent and intrust a Man to make a Bargain for you, whose very Interest shall be to make you give as much as he can posibly?

It puts me in mind of a Farce, where ar Actor holds a Dialogue with himself, speaking first in one Tone, and then Answering himlelf in another.

Rcally, my Lords, this is no Farce, for 'tis no laughing matter to undo a Nation : But 'tis altogether as unnatural for a Member of Parliament to ask first in the King's Name for such' a sort of Supply, give an Account from him how much is needful towards the paying such an Army, or luch a Fleet, and then immediately give by his ready Vote what he had before ask'd by his Master's Order.

Besides, my Lords, there is such a necessity now for long Sellions of Parliaments, and the very Pri. vileges belonging to Members are of so great Extent, that it would be a little hard and unequal to other Gentlemen that they should have all the Places also.

All the Objections that have been made may be reduc'd to these.

First, 'Tis told us, that 'tis a disrespect to the King, that his Servants or Officers should be excluded.

To this, I desire it may be consider'd, that 'tis in this Case, as when a Tenant sends up any Brody to treat for him : Would any of your Lordships think it a disrespect, nay, would the King himself think it any, if the Tenant would not

wholly wholly refer himself to one of your own Servants, or the King's Commissioners in the Case of the Crown? And if he chuses rather some plain honest Friend of his own to lupply his Absence here, will any Man blame such a Proceeding, or think it unmannerly?

Besides, your Lordships know even this Act ad. mits them to be chosen, notwithstanding their Em. ployments, provided the Electors know it first, and are not deceived in their Choice.

All we would prevent is, that a good rich Corporation should nor chuse to intrust with all their Liberties a plain honest Country Neighbour, and find him within Six Month changed into a preferred cunning Courtier; who Thall tye them to their Choiee, tho' he is no more the fame Man, than if he were turn’d Papilt, which by the Law as it stands already, puts an Incapacity upon him.

Another Obječtion is, that this A& may by its Consequence prolong this Parliament, which they allow would be a very great Grievance, and yet suppose the King capable of putting it upon us, which I have too much Respect for him to admit of; tho' I am glad however, that ’ris objected by Privy-Councellors in Favour, who consequently, I hope, will never advise a thing which they now exclaim against as so great a Grievance.

But pray, my Lords, what should rempt the King to fo ill a Policy? Can he fear a freedom of Choice in the People, to whose good Will he owes all his Power, which these Lords suppose he may Ule to their Pr«judice?

And therefore give me leave to say, as I must not fufpe&t him of so ill a Wesign as the perpetuating this Parliament, so he cannot, he ought not to suspect a Nation lo entirely, I was going to fay, sa fondly devoted to him.

My Lords, no Man is readier than my self to allow that we owe the Crown all Submilion as to the time of calling Parliaments according to Law, and appointing allo where they thall sit. But with Reverence be it spoken, the King owes the Nation entire freedom in chuling their Reprelentatives

and

a

а

and it is no less his Duty, than 'tis his true Interest, that such a fair and juit Proceeding should be uled towards us.

Conlider, my Lords, of what mighty Conse. quence it may be, that so many Votes should be free, when upon one single one may depend the whole security or loss of this Nation. By one lingle Vote such things may happen, that I almost tremble to think : By one single Vore a General Excile may be granted, and then we are all loft; by one Gingle Vore the Crown may be impower'd to Name all the Commiilioners for railing the Taxes, and then surely we shou'd be in a tair way towards it.

Nay, whatever has happen'd may again be apprehended; and I hope thote Reverend Prelates will reflct, that if they grow once obnoxious to a prevalent Party, one single Voice may be as dangerous to that Berch, as a general diffatisfation among the People proved to be one in a lare Expeperience: Which I am far from laying by way of Threatning, but only by way of Caution.

My Lords, We may think because this concerns not the House of Lords, that we need not be so over careful of the Mutter; but there are Noblemen in France, at leait such as were so before they were enllav'd, who that they might dominecr over o. thers, and serve a present turn perhaps, ler all things alone so long till the people were quite master'd, and the Nobility themselves too, to bear them Company,

So that I never mer a Frenchman, even of the greatest Rank (and some bad 10000 Pistoles a Year in Employments) that did not envy us here for our Freedom, from that Slavery which they groan under; and this I have observ'd universally, except just Monsieur de Loudny, Monsieur Coibort, or such People, because they were the Ministers themselves who occasion'd these Complaints, and thriv’d by the Oppreillon of others. My Lords, This Country of ours is very apt to

, be provok'd; we have had a late Experience of it, and tho' no Wiseman, but would bear a great deal rather than make a Bustle ; yet really the People are otherwise and at any time change a prefent Unealiness, for any other Condition, tho' a worfe; we have known it fo too oftin, and sometimes repented it too late.

deal

Let them not have this new Provocation in being debarr d from a security in their Representatives : For malicious People will not fail to infuse into their Minds that all those vast Sums, which have been and still must be rais'd towards this War, are not dispos’d away in fo fair a manner as ought to be, and I am afraid they will say their Money is not given but taken.

However, whate're success this Bill may have, there must needs come some good Effect of it: For if it passes, it will give us Security: If it be obstructed, it will give us Warning.

a

Proposals of Peace made to King WILLI.

A M from FRANCE, through the Mediation of the King of DENMARK.

London Decem, 19th O. S. 1694.

SIR,

T!
He Desolation this present War carries into most

Parts of Europe, together with the Duty incumbent on a Christian King, to apply all the Remedies that lie in his power to fo general a Calamity, oblige the King of Denmark, my Master, to impar: to Your Majesty, those Proposals of Peace which the most Christian King has Communicated to Him. My Mafter might have reason to decline hi: Offices towards the Peace of Europe, and taking upon him so important a Negotiation, since the Adv nces He has already made as well as the King of Sw den, have not only prov'd Ineffectual, but likewile have been so misconitructed, as to render them suspected. Nevertheless it is most evident, that without any prospect of private Interest ( the Uni

OTT

« ПредишнаНапред »