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Chap. V. some additions being made to their monarchy, we ought U.—y——J to be well convinced, that there is still some such scheme 1744. in petto, before we agree to load our country with so great an expence; because from the public accounts we have great reason to believe, that, if ever the French had such a scheme, they have now given it up; and because we have no reason to believe, that the French would embark in a scheme which must be attended with great danger, difficulty and expence to them, when unassisted by any of the Princes of Germany. The only hopes they can now have of being able to execute such a scheme, must arise from our encouraging the Queen of Hungary tone immoderate in her demands, which may raise the jealousy of the German Princes to such a height, as may force them to join again in alliance with France, for reducing her power, and putting an end to her ambitious views.
"In all I have yet said, Sir, I have not mentioned Italy, because I believe no one is so ignorant as to suppose, that in order to assist the Queen of Hungary to preserve her dominions in Italy, the best method is to form an army in Flanders, or to attempt to make an impression upon France on that side, where every one knows their monarchy is the best guarded, and the least susceptible of an impression; therefore, no one surely will pretend, that this is the end of our forming or maintaining an army in Flanders.
"I shall now, Sir, consider the manner in which we ought to assist the Queen of Hungary; and let the end be what it will, I am very sure the manner proposed is in every respect wrong. I must lay it down, and I shall always consider it as a certain maxim, that we ought never to think of assisting any of our allies upon the continent with a great number of troops. If we send any of our troops to their assistance, it ought always to be, rather with a view to give our gentlemen an opportunity to improve themselves in the military art, than with a view to assist our allies. They have no occasion for our men, and the Queen of Hungary less than any other. She has men, and brave men too, in abundance. She only wants money to arm and support them Therefore, the only manner in which we ought to think of supporting her, or any other of our allies upon the continent, is with our money and our navy. And my reason for Cha*. V. laying this down as a maxim is, not only because the v»--y-^/ sea is our natural element, but because it is dangerous 17,44. to our liberties, as well as destructive to our trade, to encourage great numbers of our people to make the prosession of arms their trade, so as to depend upon that alone for their livelihood., A sarmer, a day-labourer, a cobler, may be a good soldier, if you take care to have him properly disciplined, and always will be ready to desend his country, in case of an attack; but as he has another way of living, he may be a good subject; whereas a man who has no other way of living, can never be a good subject, especiallyjn a free country; and for this reason we ought to have as sew of them as possible, either abroad or at home. At least, they ought never to be kept long in the service; for aster a long disuse, there are very sew of them can asterwards turn to any industrious employment for their support.
"Another reason is, Sir, because custom has made our troops more expensive than those of any ofher country; and therefore our money will always be of more service to our allies, because it will enable them to raise and maintain a greater number of troops than we can surnish them with for the same sum of money. This, Sir, I shall prove by sigures, which are such strange obstinate things, that they will not twist and wind at the pleasure of a minister, or any of his orators. By the motion now made to us, our own troops in Flanders are to cost us for the next year 634,3441. and, I suppose, the 16,000 Hanoverians will cost us near 400,000!. To these two sums 1 shall add 20o,oool. for waggon money, dry and green forage, douceurs, and the like; for I believe we shall sind, that this article for the last year amounts to a much larger sum. These three articles make 1,234,3441. I shall call it the even sum of 1,200,000!. which we must pay next year, for maintaining an army of 37,000 men, one third part of which I shall suppose to be horse or dragoons. Now, if we had sent this sum to the Queen of Hungary, let us see what an additional number of men fte might have maintained with it. By several treaties, and particularly by the accession of of the States-General to the Vienna-treaty of 1731, the charge of icoo foot is sixed at 1.0,000 guilders per
Ap. V. month: which in sterling money, at the rate of 10 guil—ders 16 stivers per pound sterling, is 926I. and the 744- charge of 1000 horse is fixed at 30,000 guilders for the same time, which is 2778I. so that i,200,oool. would have maintained near 108,000 for the Queen of Hungary, or near 36,000 horse; or it would have maintained an army for her of 54,000 foot, and 18,000 horse for the ensuing year; and I must ask even our ministers, if they do not think, that an additional army of 72,000 men, to be employed wherever (he pleased, would have been of more service to her and the common cause, as they are pleased to call it, than our 37,000 men in Flanders? For though I will not allow that any of her troops are better than the British, yet I may take upon me to say, that the worst of her troops are better than the Hanoverians were ever yet supposed to be.
"But now, Sir, suppose we could think it of advantage to the common cause to afHst the Queen of Hungary with troops instead of money, the very worst place we could think of sending these troops to, or employing them in, is Flanders. If we had formed no army there, the French would have formed no army there, nor would they have attacked any place there, for fear of provoking the Dutch to declare against them. Whereas, if we form an army next summer in Flanders, though we do not begin to act ossensively with that army, as I firmly believe we do not intend to do, it may surnish the French with an excuse for attacking the Queen of Hungary in that country, and that excuse may be admitted by the Dutch, who seem at present to have no sort of jealousy of France; and for that, as well as several other reasons, they seem resolved not to enter into any of our romantic schemes. If we must assist the Queen of Hungary with troops, why did they not stay and take winter quarters in Germany, or upon the Rhine, by which we might have secured a passage for Prince Charles in the spring? If it be alledged that the princes and circles of the empire would not admit of our troops taking winter quarters within the empire, this of itself alone was a good reason for our calling home our troops, dismissing our mercenaries, and resolving to assist the Queen of Hungary for the suture, as we ought to have done from the
beginning, beginning, solely with our money, and our squadron in Chap. V. the Mediterranean. v»—y-^
"In short, Sir, as I could at sirst see no reason for '744' sending our troops to Flanders, unless it was to surnish our ministers with a pretence for loading us with the maintenance of 16,000 Hanoverians, I can now sec no reason for our keeping them there, unless it be to surnish a pretence for continuing that load upon us; and as I think our keeping them there may be attended with insinite danger to the cause of the Queen of Hungary, I cannot therefore agree with the report of the committee."
The report was agreed to.
Some apology or explanation is necessary for Explanainserting the preceding speeches, under the name''0"' of Mr. Pitt.—The reader has undoubtedly observed, that the stile in which they are written, does not seem to preserve Mr. Pitt's language, or phrase; but they have been printed in the parliamentary debates of this period; and it has not come to the editor's knowledge that there is any better, or even any other account of them. They were written by a Mr. Gordon, a minister of the church of Scotland, originally for the London Magazine—when Dr. Samuel Johnson ceased to write the speeches for the Gentleman's Magazine; or rather when Cave, the printer of that miscellany, was punished for printing them;— Gordon continued some sketches of them, with less accuracy, and in inferior language, but with more attention to the argument, until the death of Frederick Prince of Wales, in 1751. His practice was to go to the coffee-houses contiguous to Westminster Hall; where he frequently heard
Cm As. V. tne members conversing with each other, upon 1744. what pasted in the House; and sometimes he? gained admission into the gallery; and as he was known to a sew of the gentlemen, two or three of them, upon particular occasions, furnished him with some information.
The vigorous opposition which Mr. Pitt had made in parliament, to the measures pursued for the desence of Hanover, raised him very high in the esteem of the English nation. He had for some years been admired as an orator—he was now revered as a patriot. The spirit and energy Which distinguished his parliamentary conduct, evinced that he was actuated by principle, not by an illiberal passion, to display the superiority of his talents; that his opposition was the result of conviction, not of pique; that it was not founded in a personal consideration of the men who held the ofsices of government, but in an indignant abhorrence of the measures, which, he said, insulated Great Britain, from a participation of the advantages her money was voted to procure, and gave her a right to demand.
Duchess Amongst the many persons of elevated rank, bLou^l'g who honoured this conduct of Mr. Pitt with the legacy. warmest approbation, was the late Sar,ab Duchess Dowager of Marlborough. This lady, by a codicil to her will, dated on the nth of August, 1744, gave to Mr. Pitt a legacy in these words: *
* She died in October following, and the money wa» paid.