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CHAP. Hardwicke made a strong speech in its favour. In reference :XXXIV- to Charles's landing at Moidart, he said, "Rebellion may take
its rise in one of the remotest, — one of the smallest and
least populous corners of this island : —
'Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit eundo:
I am astonished, my Lords, to hear any regulation called
To the enactments for the universal seizure of arms, the most captivating objection was, that they made no distinction between Jacobites and Georgites. The loyal clans murmured "that, after having defended the King upon the throne, they were forbidden for the future to defend themselves, and that the sword was forfeited which had been legally employed." I believe such measures are powerless to
* 37 to 32.
put down disaffection, and rather excite irritation than CHAP, cripple the means of annoying the established government. The Highlanders were first reconciled to the House of Hanover by the great Lord Chatham, who pursued towards them a policy very different from that of Lord Hardwicke's "Coercion Bill," for he put arms into their hands, and called upon them, with confidence, to fight against the enemies of their country. * It is amusing to find Dr. Johnson Effect of ascribing the tranquillity he observed in the Highlands, in this baL the year 1773, to an act which, having prolonged agitation for a while, had soon become a dead letter,—the very memory of it having been blotted out by a more generous and wiser policy. "The last law," says he, "by which the Highlanders are deprived of their arms, has operated with efficacy beyond expectation." His remarks are more amusing, and therefore more valuable, on the clauses respecting the Highland garb. "In the Islands the plaid is rarely worn. The law by which the Highlanders have been obliged to change the form of their dress has, in all the places that we have visited, been universally obeyed. I have seen only one gentleman completely clothed in the ancient habit, and by him it was worn only occasionally and wantonly. The common people do not think themselves under any legal necessity of having coats; for they say that the law against plaids was made by Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, and was in force only for his life; but the same poverty that made it then difficult for them to change their clothing hinders them now from changing it again." Instead of breaking the spirit of the clans, this tyrannical law only helped to keep up clannish distinctions and customs. In Lord Hardwicke's lifetime it was evaded by Highlandmen carrying a pair of breeches, suspended by a stick, over their shoulders; for the Highlanders wearing a short petticoat like the Romans,
• "I remember how I employed the very rebels in the service and defence of their country. They were reclaimed by this means: they fought our battles; they cheerfully bled in defence of those liberties which they hail attempted to overthrow but a few years before." — Lord Chatham's Speech in the House of Lord*, 2d Dec. 1777.
— thought, like the Romans, with contempt of all to whom the line of Ovid might be applied,—
"laxis arcent mala frigora braccis." *
Jacobitism was not completely extinguished in the Highlands
"Thee, Graham 1 thee the frozen chieftains bless,
A.b. 1748'. Lord Hardwicke, after these exertions, talked so much of after the"" ^9 ^atiSue and desire of ease, as actually to create a belief Rebellion, among those who did not know him well, that he was going to give up his office for one less laborious: "We talk much," writes Horace Walpole to his correspondent at Florence, " of the Chancellor resigning the Seals, from weariness of the fatigue,—and being made President of the Council—with other consequent changes; but as this has already been a discourse of six months, I don't give it you for certain."f Had the Chancellor been suddenly required to resign, he would have felt like the old man when Death actually appeared to him to relieve him of his burthen.
For several succeeding years his political career becomes obscure, partly from the quietness of the times, and partly from the growing deficiency of our parliamentary records. The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle excited no discussion in the
* Trist. v. 7. Pronouncing the c before i", as the Italians do, and the Romans
probably did, it is wonderful with how little change of sound this word has descended to us from our Scythian ancestors See Luc. i. 430.
t Letter to Sir H. Maun, L'd Dec. 17-1S.
Lords, and, notwithstanding the machinations of the Prince CHAP, of Wales and his party, the Chancellor, sitting on the wool- cxxxlVsack, seems to have enjoyed nearly a sinecure. Mr. Pelham, with his unostentatious virtues, enjoyed the confidence both of the Sovereign and of the people, and, while he lived, faction was stilled almost into silence. The Chancellor in those halcyon days only came forward on occasions of ceremony, such as the choice of a Speaker, and, to keep his name before the public, he then tried to say something smart, which he would not have thought of had he been to take part in a debate on which the fate of the ministry might .depend. * Compliments to Speaker Onslow, and such common places, however prettily turned, have lost all their interest. f
The Mutiny Bill, which now passes as quietly as any road Lord Hardbill, still continued an annual occasion for patriots to declaim specch^on against a standing army. In 1749, the Lord Chancellor U^Mutiny found it necessary to reply to them in a speech curious for the view it gives of the state of public feeling which prevailed while Prince Charles was advancing to Derby, and of the danger to which the government was then exposed. "When the late rebellion broke out, I believe most men were convinced that, if the rebels had succeeded, popery as well as slavery would have been the certain consequence; and yet what a faint resistance did the people make in any part of the kingdom?—so faint, that had we not been so lucky as to procure a number of regular troops from abroad time enough to oppose their approach, they might have got possession of our capital without any opposition, except from the few soldiers we had in London, and the fate of the kingdom would have depended upon a battle fought within a few miles of this city. Whilst the people therefore remain in their present unarmed and undisciplined condition, let the consequence be what it will, we must keep up a standing force, and no one ever heard of an army being long kept up in any country in the world without military laws and court
* 14 Pari. Hist. 93.; 15 Pari. Hist. 328.
f About this time Lord Hardwicke was elected High Steward of the University of Cambridge, an honour which he held for his life, and which was long enjoyed by his posterity.
CHAP, martials for holding the officers and soldiers to their duty.
'' But these officers and soldiers are still our fellow-citizens, actuated by the same feelings with ourselves, and while they preserve internal quiet and defend us from foreign aggression, they would join us to preserve the constitution instead of combining against us to overturn it."* After a few patriotic sallies on the subversion of liberty by military violence, the bill was carried, and dulness again overspread the House—■ till a great excitement was produced by a melancholy event which changed the succession to the throne.
• 14 Pari. Hist. 451.