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perseverance, to man, the spirit of revenge for the injuries you have done them, of retaliation for the hardships you have inflicted on them, and of opposition to the unjust powers you have exercised over them. Every thing combines to animate them to this war, and such a war is without end; for whatever obstinacy enthusiasm ever inspired man with you will now find in America. No matter what gives birth to that enthusiasm, whether the name of religion or of liberty, the effects are the same; it inspires a spirit which is unconquerable, and solicitous to undergo difficulty, danger, and hardship: and as long as there is a man in America, a being formed such as we are, you will have him present himself against you in the field.
CHARLES JAMES FOX (1778).
XV. – THE IMPOLICY OF INJUSTICE.
THE march of the human mind is slow. Sir, it was not until after two hundred years discovered, that, by an eternal law, Providence had decreed vexation to violence, and poverty to rapine. Your ancestors did, however, at length open their eyes to the ill-husbandry of injustice. They found that the tyranny of a free people could of all tyrannies the least be endured; and that laws made against a whole nation were not the most effectual methods for securing its obedience. Accordingly, in the twenty-seventh year of Henry the Eighth, the course was entirely altered. With a preamble stating the entire and perfect rights of the crown of England, it gave to the Welsh all the rights and privileges of English subjects. A political order was established; the military power gave way to the civil; the marches were turned into counties. But that a nation should have a right to English liberties, and yet no share at all in the fundamental security of these liberties, the grant of their own property, seemed a thing so incongruous, that eight years after, that is, in the thirty-fifth of that reign, a complete and not ill-proportioned representation by counties and boroughs was bestowed upon Wales by act of Parliament. From that moment, as by a charm, the tumults subsided. Obedience was restored. Peace, order, and civilization, followed in the train of liberty. When the day-star of the English constitution had arisen in their hearts, all was harmony within and without :
Simul alba nautis,
THE BANK OF ENGLAND.
Are not the people of America as much Englishmen as the Welsh? The preamble of the act of Henry the Eighth says, the Welsh speak a language no way resembling that of his majesty's English subjects. Are the Americans not as numerous ? The people of Wales can not amount to above two hundred thousand
— not a tenth part of the number in the colonies. Is America in rebellion ? Wales was hardly ever free from it.
My resolutions go to establish the equity and justice of a taxation of America by grant, and not by imposition; to admit the legal competency of the colony assemblies for the support of their government in peace, and for public aids in time of war; to acknowledge that this legal competency has had a dutiful and beneficial exercise; and that experience has shown the benefit of their grants, and the futility of parliamentary taxation as a method of supply. These solid truths compose six fundamental propositions; six massive pillars of strength, sufficient, I think, to support the temple of British concord.
BURKE (March, 1775).
XVI. - THE BANK OF ENGLAND. WHILE the Bank of England continues in its present state of dependence on the minister, it is impossible to hope, Mr Speaker, that public credit can be restored, and the funds raised. Last year, much was said in the newspapers about the connection between the right honorable gentleman and the bank. It was said that the banns had been forbidden. The conduct of the chancellor of the exchequer showed that he cultivated the connection on account of the lady's dowry, not for the comfort of her society.
The advances made by the bank to government occasioned the first stoppage, and now three millions are again to be advanced without any security whatever. If the directors do not insist on some security for their repayment, they will be guilty of a gross breach of duty, and the most culpable neglect of the interest of their constituents.
It seems that the bank is to be the new temple of Janus ever shut in time of war. While war continues we must be contented to view the meager paper profile; nor will we be permitted to contemplate the golden bust till the return of peace. The French directory are thus to have the keys of the bank, which can not be opened till they grant permission. Siç, it is mere cant and delusion to talk any longer of giving up a part to preserve the whole, that we must leave both our liberty and property unmortgaged to posterity. If I am called upon to pay a shilling to preserve a pound, this is intelligible; but if I am called upon twenty times successively for my
shilling, it is ridiculous to tell me of giving up a part for the preservation of the whole. This will not do; and, as a worthy baronet said on another occasion, “ if it is so often repeated, it comes to be no joke.”
Sir, this kind of paradoxical insult can not long be endured. It will not do to tell us that sending millions of money to Germany for the defense of this country is true economy; that to lop off the most valuable of our liberties is to preserve the constitution; that not to pay its lawful creditors is to support the credit of the bank; and to introduce a general disclosure of income is to protect property. This is the last stage of such delusion. The tricks have been too often repeated to elude the most inattentive observation. While the affairs of this country continue in the same hands, they can not be administered wisely or well. The country can not have confidence in a system always unsuccessful, now hopeless; and the dismissal of ministers must be the preliminary step to any vigor of system, any prospect of peace.
XVII. - JUSTICE TO ROMAN CATHOLICS. On moving for a committee on the Roman Catholic claims, February 28, 1821.
Sır, on the part of the Roman Catholics, I will be bold to say, that they harbor no principle of hostility to our Establishment. What have they said or done, since the period of the Revolution, to show that they mean to touch the Establishment? “Let them swear what they will,” it is said, “the Catholics must break their oaths, and our Establishment must be endangered.” The right honorable gentleman maintains, that he is authorized by his views to exclude them from this State on principles that would make them unworthy of any State.
Sir, I cannot find, in the large volume of human nature, any principle which calls upon the Roman Catholic to subvert that State by whose laws he is protected, merely that the heads of his priests may be decorated with a miter! And the right honorable gentleman must excuse me if I say, that he equally mistakes the institutions of man and the principles of human action. The Catholic does not indulge the chimerical notion of heaving the British constitution from its basis, that his priest may wear lawn sleeves and a miter. If, however, he is excluded from the privi
THE DELIVERANCE OF EUROPE.
leges of the State merely on account of his religion; if he is made an invidious exception in a country which permits the talents and virtues of all other men to advance them to the highest honors; and if this exception extend to his posterity,-"nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis,” — he will indeed have a sufficient motive to aim at the destruction of that State which heaps upon him only so heavy a load of injustice.
Sir, I would unite the Catholic by every affectiou and every good feeling of his nature, by every motive that can operate upon his heart and head, by every obligation that can bind his conscience, and every argument that can convince his understanding; not so much by adding to his power, as by removing every offensive exclusion, every unworthy distinction. I do not propose here to strike the shackle from his limbs, for he is free; but to remove the brand from his forehead, for he is stigmatized. I would not have him a marked man and a plotting sectary, but would raise him to the proudest rank that man can attain, to the rights and privileges of a free-born subject. Do not, I entreat you, as sincere friends to the Protestant establishment, do not reject this appeal for justice and grace. Do not drive your Roman Catholic brother from your bar a discontented sectary. Do not tell him who wishes to be a friend, that he is, and ought to be, an enemy.
W. C. PLUNKETT.
XVIII. - THE DELIVERANCE OF EUROPE. That we have objects, great and momentous objects, in our view, there is no man that must not feel. I can have no difficulty in declaring that the most complete and desirable termination of the contest would be the deliverance of Europe. told, indeed, that there are persons who affect not to understand this phrase; who think there is something confused, something involved, something of a studied ambiguity and concealment, in it. I can not undertake to answer for other gentlemen's powers of comprehension. The map of Europe is before them. only say that I do not admire that man's intellect, and I do not envy that man's feelings, who can look over that map without gathering some notion of what meant by the deliverance of Europe. I do not envy that man's feelings who can behold the sufferings of Switzerland, and who derives from that sight no idea of what is meant by the deliverance of Europe. the feelings of that man who can look without emotion at Italy, - plundered, insulted, trampled upon, exhausted, covered with ridicule, and horror, and devastation, who can look at all this,
I do not envy
and be at a loss to guess what is meant by the deliverance of Europe ! As little do I envy the feelings of that man who can view the people of the Netherlands driven into insurrection, and struggling for their freedom against the heavy hand of a merciless tyranny, without entertaining any suspicion of what may be the sense of the word deliverance !
Does such a man contemplate Holland groaning under arbitrary oppressions and exactions? Does he turn his eyes to Spain trembling at the nod of a foreign master ? And does the word deliverance still sound unintelligibly in his ear ? Has he heard of the rescue and salvation of Naples by
and the triumphs of the British fleet? Does he know that the monarchy of Naples maintains its existence at the sword's point ? And is his understanding and is his heart still impenetrable to the sense and meaning of the deliverance of Europe ?
Sir, that we shall succeed in effecting this general deliverance, I do not pretend to affirm. That in no possible case we should lay down our arms and conclude a peace before it is fully effected, I do not mean to argue. But that this is the object which we ought to have in view, even if we look to our own safety only,
that of this we ought to accomplish as much as our means, our exertions, our opportunities, will allow,- I do most anxiously contend. If circumstances should unhappily arise to make the attainment of the object hopeless, it will be time enough when they do arise to give up the hopes of attaining it. But do not let us run before misfortune; do not let us presume disappointment, and anticipate the necessity of disgrace.
XIX. - THE VOTE BY BALLOT. Sir, it is said that the morals of the people would be affected by clandestine voting. We are told that it would conduce to the propagation of the most pernicious habits; that falsehood and dissimulation would be its natural results; men would make promises which they had no intention of keeping, and suspicion and mistrust would arise where confidence and reliance now happily prevail. Sir, I am persuaded that promises spontaneously made, flowing from a free and unbiased volition, would be observed under the ballot as faithfully as they now are; and, with regard to promises purchased from corruption or wrung from fear, they belong to that class of engagements of whose inchoate* depravity the profligate performance is the infamous consummation.
* Pronounced in'ko-ate,