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the people of Naples, he had only country. He had heard with to say that the necessity of it had shame and sorrow, that a British been long admitted. How then accredited agent not only took a could the government of Naples part in the military commission have been taken by surprise. He which condemned that fallen sohad bimself been told by the pre- vereign to death, but also saw sent king of Naples, when that the execution carried into effect. monarch was excluded from his He concluded by declaring that, dominions, that the moment he as a friend of freedom, he rejoiced became repossessed of them, he at the struggle of the Neapolitans, should give his people the con and could not but anticipate from stitution they desired. The late it eventual success, provided the king of Naples (Murat) had also people were determined to pertold him that he saw a constitu severe. He looked at the event tion could no longer be withheld as one of those mysterious transfrom the people, and added his actions by which providence occaanxiety to give them a constitu- sionally worked out the freedom tional government; but foresceing of mankind. that by so doing he must fall into Mr. Wilberforce observed, that the disfavour of either Austria or whether the constitution now France, just as their respective established at Naples, in the way interests preponderated in Italy, stated by his noble friend, was or he (Murat) earnestly inquired whe was not likely to prove a good ther he could reckon upon having one, was not the question for conthe support of England in main- sideration. His noble friend in taining a constitutional govern- his state paper had very properly ment. That unhappy king fore- divided the subject into two parts. saw the danger of his attempt, if The first, containing certain gehe could not rely upon England neral principles; and the second, for support; he foresaw, and to referring to the application of him (Sir R. Wilson) had often those principles. His noble friend expressed it, that the time might had confined his argument to come when he should have to the latter subject; but the first defend by the sword what that part bore on his mind as infinitely sword had won. And he also, more important. That the three with prophetic truth, declared his greatest military powers of Eubelief of the near connexion rope should assume to themselves which must occur between his the right of saying to other states deposition from the throne of "You shall form no constituNaples and his grave. When he tion, except that which we please alluded to that sad catastrophe, to sanction," was a principle hoshe had to ask a question of the tile to every idea of liberty. He noble lord opposite relative to the could scarcely conceive any princircumstances attending the last ciple in itself so unjust or so aboact of the tragedy in which king minable. His noble friend had Murat was the victim, and the distinctly set forth in the state answer to which, he earnestly paper which had been laid on the hoped, would remove one impu- table, that this principle was not tation from the character of this only contrary to the constitution
of the country, but to the general was it not likely that those people laws of nations; but still he (Mr. would begin to take the alarm, Wilberforce) felt indebted to his and feel their high spirits excited honourable and learned friend (as to action, by the exertions of inwell for giving him an opportunity dividuals in other countries to of expressing his sentiments on obtain their liberties? This upthe subject as for the pleasure he doubtedly might be the case, and experienced in the admiration of war being once commenced, they the great powers which he had all knew how easy it was to conthis night displayed,) for bringing tinue it. In such a state of things, this question under consideration, it became the more necessary to in order that the principle to object to such a principle, because which he had adverted might re the public acts of monarchs so ceive the utter reprobation of the powerful were in the highest dehouse. His noble friend would gree important, and the promulallow him to state, that it might gation by them of such a doctrine be supposed, when those foreign was calculated to fill with terror powers made such a proposition the mind of every man who to this court, as was contained in cherished the love of national their declaration, that they looked liberty.
Let the house look to upon it as a principle which we the fact of Poland. When the were willing to adopt. That na revolution took place in that counturally excited the jealousy of the try, it was eulogised as an event house. But the powers in ques- which heaven itself might stoop tion, after what had passed, down to admire. But Poland was could no longer entertain any such afterwards conquered and partidelusion. Still, however, it was tioned; and he drew the attensufficient to create jealousy in the tion of the house to the circummind of every man, when it was stance, in order to guard against stated that the courts of London a position which his noble friend, and Paris were likely to agree in throughout his speech, had insistthe principle, and to tolerate the ed on. His noble friend argued, acts that would probably flow that it was not likely that the from it. What the honourable other powers would allow any general had said, as well as what one of their number to aggrandize they knew of the state of Europe, itself. But gentlemen well knew might lead them to suppose that that each monarch had a way of Europe would be a
of taking a slice.
Each might retrouble for some time to come. ceive a share, and thus the ruin They knew that some monarchs, of any country, as was the case who, in their time of distress and with Poland, might be effected. danger, had held out to their He would say that the liberties of subjects the expectation of a free England itself were not safe if constitution, had not effected that such a doctrine were admitted. object. Now, when such a prin. Neither could true morality nor ciple as this was publicly stated true religion flourish, where the to their people—when it was said people were not allowed, in the that no constitution should exist strongest manner, to express their but that which they sanctioned, dissent from it. His noble friend
had spoken of the manner in ther, that the interest of this which the Neapolitan revolution country depended not merely on had been effected, in terms of looking with a watchful eye on strong reprobation; but he admit- the proceedings of foreign powers, ted that there was nothing in the as they affected each other, but case that called for our interfe. on cultivating the blessings which rence. He (Mr. Wilberforce) knew providence had placed within our how slowly countries learned wis- reach; and by economy, by redom, compared with individuals.
trenchment of expense, by an apBut this country had been so plication of relief to the people, in long in the school of suffering, every way that could be conceivher efforts had been so tremen- ed-by employing the surplus of dous, that nothing ought to in- the consolidated fund, or even of duce her again to plunge in war, the sinking fund, to remove taxes except the most essential and in. to that amount_by thus cultivatdispensable necessity. His noble ing the affections of the people, friend, in speaking of the con this country would become great duct of those foreign powers, had and happy, and its inhabitants expressed himself in a
more might hope to rise from the situaguarded manner than accorded tion of difficulty and distress in with his (Mr. Wilberforce's) feel- which they were now placed, to ings on the subject. Now, though that point of greatness and dighe (Mr. Wilberforce) was extreme- nity which they had asserted so ly jealous of continental connex- nobly throughout the war. ions and alliances, yet he must conclusion, the honourable gentle. observe that he would act most man stated that he would not ungratefully and unfairly, if he vote for the motion, which he forgot the benefits which England considered unnecessary, after the had derived from the union with statement of the noble lord, and those powers; and he thought, the discussion which had that that in this country they did not night taken place. sufficiently remember the signal Lord Castlereagh explained. deliverance which they had ex- From what had fallen from his perienced by their connexion with honourable friend, he supposed the allies in the late war, crowned that he was not present at the by the victory of Waterloo, to commencement of his (Lord Caswhich they owed the destruction tlereagh's) speech: for he had of the great enemy of this coun. distinctly stated, that if he could try, who had brought into action express his dissent from those the most powerful engines for its general principles in terms more subjugation. Recollecting these strong than he had used, he would circumstances, it was of course have adopted them. He also becoming in his noble friend to stated that those powers could speak with more delicacy and with not expect the concurrence of greater diplomatic civility of the England, because, whenever quesconduct of those monarchs than tions of this nature had been agicould be expected of a member tated, he had pointed out clearly of parliament standing up in his and distinctly the course this counplace. He would only say fur- try would adopt. He had on all
occasions disclaimed those prin. misprision of treason be read. ciples; but he did not say that [The act was accordingly re
read, Naples might not form an excep- pro forma, by the clerk.) This tion, as connected with Austria. act, his lordship observed, conHe had no right to suppose that tained many wise provisions and Austria might not adduce good enactments, the grounds for which grounds for her conduct.
were expressed in the preamble. Mr. S. Wortley said, his great But this act of parliament did not reason for rising was to lay before extend to Ireland, as it the house his protest against the long before the countries were doctrines contained in the
united. It appeared, however, to which the honourable and that many of the provisions of this learned gentleman had alluded. act had been adopted by the parIf such a tribunal of monarchs was liament of Ireland, and thus exsuffered to exist in Europe, then tended to that country. Two he would say not only that Europe provisions, however, did not form was not safe, but that the British a part of the law of Ireland. There constitution was not safe. He might perhaps be more; but he saw, in such a tribunal danger found that certainly two important without end---not only danger to provisions had not been adopted others, but to the throne of this by the Irish legislature. One was, country. With respect to Aus- that clause which requires the tria marching against Naples, a testimony of two lawful witnesses case might, perhaps, be made in order to convict of treason ; the out to justify her aggression ; but other, that which limits to three with respect to the conduct of years the period within which a those monarchs in forming a court prosecution for treason must be to summon before them the mo commenced. With regard to the narch of a free country, because he latter clause, he believed it never gave to his people a constitution was the law of England until the act of which that people were at the to which he had adverted passed. time in possession, it was an act With respect to the former, its of tyranny against which, as a history was more remarkable. By member of the British parliament, the statute of Edward the sixth, he must raise his voice.
the evidence of two witnesses was Col. Davies, Mr. Robinson, Mr. made necessary to convict of treaWard, and Mr. Brougham then son : but, though this law was spoke: after which
constantly acted on in England, Sir J. Macintosh replied. it was not imitated in Ireland.
The house then divided, when The act of Philip and Mary, which the numbers were
provided for the trial of all kinds For the motion
125 of treason, made some alterations, Against it
194 and continued to be the law of
treason until the revolution. The Majority
69 rites of evidence, according to House of Lords, Feb. 26.- the common law, were in the Lord Holland, on the order of the mean time followed. It might be day, moved that the act for regu- questioned whether the act of lating trials for high treason and Philip and Mary was repealed or
not by the act which restored the move that it be printed; and as law to the state in which it stood he understood that the prints by the act of Edward the fourth. would be on the table to-morAll that he could say on the sub. row, he should move that it be ject was, that the acts passed af read a second time on Friday ter the revolution took no notice or Monday next, unless it should of that of Philip and Mary, but appear
difference of opimerely enacted that the treason nion was likely to arise. He would should be proved by two witnesses. not give the house the trouble He was no lawyer; but, as far as of being summoned, if it was prohe could judge, there appeared to bable that no discussion would be no doubt whatever on the take place. question as to witnesses required The earl of Limerick returned his, by the common law. It had been warmest thanks to the noble lord the opinion of most great lawyers, for bringing forward his measure. with the exception of lord Coke, It was most desirable that Irethat the common law, in most land should be placed on the same cases, required only one witness; footing with England in every reand this opinion seemed to be spect. Nothing would tend so confirmed by the practice which much to conciliate the people of had prevailed in Ireland. He had, Ireland as the conviction that the however, proceeded on the statute same law and the same rule ap. of William the third, which he plied to both countries. Nothing thought ought to be followed, in or- could so much tend to civilize the der to render the law alike in both people and harmonize the feelings countries. After the bill which of the two countries as measures he was about to introduce should such as the present. The bill be read a first time, he would was then read a first time.
Discussion of the Catholic Petitions.—Irish Mastership in Chancery.-
Taration.--Agricultural Distresses. — Army Estimates. — Petitions respecting the Catholics.-Bill to repeal the Malt Tax. HOUSE
TOUSE of Commons, Feb. Lord Nugent presented a peti
28th-Petitions from various tion from the Roman catholics counties were presented on the of England. subject of the agricultural distress Mr. Plunkett said he held in his of the country. They were fol- hand a petition signed by some lowed by many on the catholic thousands of Roman catholics in question, chiefly against their Ireland. From the means he posclaims.
sessed of knowing the people of