« ПредишнаНапред »
certain and effectual, as what I propose ; for thus his power will be tempered by the presence, the counsels, and influence of Prince Henry ; who, from his own interest in the weal of the kingdom which he is to inherit, will always have a right to interpose his advice, and even his authority, if it be necessary, against any future violation of our liberties ; and to procure an effectual redress of our grievances, which we have hitherto sought in vain. If all the English in both armies, unite, as I hope they may, in this plan on pacification, they will be able to give the law to the foreigners, and oblige both the king and the duke to consent to it. This will secure the public tranquility, and leave no secret stings of resentment, to rankle in the hearts of a suffering party, and produce future disturbances. As there will be no triumph, no insolence, no exclusive right to favour, on either side, there can be no shame, no anger, no uneasy desire of change. It will be the work of the whole nation; and all must wish to support what all have established. The sons of Stephen indeed may endeavour to oppose it ; but their efforts will be fruitless, and must end very soon, either in their submission, or their ruin. Nor have they any reasonable cause to complain. Their father himself did not come to the crown by hereditary right. He was elected in preference to a woman and an infant, who were deemed not to be capable of ruling a kingdom. By that election or allegiance is bound to him during his life ; but neither that bond, nor the reason for which we chose him, will hold, as to the choice of a successor. Hen. ry Plantagenet is now grown up to an age of maturity, and
every way qualified to succeed to the crown. He is the grandson of a king whose memory is dear to us, and the nearest heir male' to him in the course of descent: he appears to resemble him in all his good qualities, and to be worthy to reign over the Normans and English, whose noblest blood, united, enriches his veins. Normandy has already submitted to him with pleasur.
Why should we now divide that duchy from England, when it so greatly the interest of our nobility to keep them always connected ? If we had no other induce ment to make us desire a reconciliation between him and Stephen, this would be sufficient. Our estates in both countries will by that means be secured, which otherwise we must forfeit, in the one or the other, while HenTy remains possessed of Normandy : and it will not be an easy matter to drive him from thence, even though we should compel him to retire from England. But, by amicably compounding his quarrel with Stephen, we shall maintain all our interests, private and public. His greatness abroad will increase the power of this kingdom: it will make us respectable and formidable to France ; England will be the head of all those ample dominions, which extend from the British ocean to the Pyrenean mountains. By governing in his youth, so many different states, he will learn to govern us, and come to the crown after the decease of king Stephen, accomplished in all the arts of good policy. His mother has willingly resigned to him her pretensions, or rather she acknowledges that his are superior : we therefore can have nothing to apprehend on that side. in every view, our peace, our safety, the repose of our consciences, the quiet and happiness of our posterity, will be firmly established by the means I propose. Let Stephen cotinue to wear the crown that we give him, as long as he lives; but after his death let it descend to that prince, who alone can put an end to our unhappy divisions. If you approve of my advice, and will empower me to treat in your names, I will immediately convey your desires to the king and the duke.
MR. PULTENEY'S SPEECH ON THE MOTION FOR
REDUCING THE ARMY.
SIR, WE have heard a great deal about parliamentary armies, and about an army continued from year to year; I have always been Sir, and always shall be, against a standing army of any kind: to me it is a terrible thing, whether under that of parliamentary or any other designation ; a standing army is still a standing army, whatever name it be called by ; they are a body of men distinct from the body of the people; they are governed by different laws, and blind obedience, and an entire submission to the orders of their commanding officer is their only principle. The nations around us, Šir, are already enslaved, and have been enslaved by those very means; by means of their standing armies they have every one lost their liberties; it is indeed impossible that the liberties of the people can be preserved in any country where a numerons standing army is kept up. Shall we then take any of our measures from the examples afour neighbours? No, Sir, on the contrary, from their misfortunes we ought to learn to avoid those rocks upon which they
IT signifies nothing to tell me, that our army is commanded by such gentlemen as cannot be supposed to join in any measures for enslaving their country; it may be so: I hope it is so ; I have a very good opinion of many gentlemen now in the army; I believe they would not join in any such measures; but their lives are uncertain, nor can we be sure how long they may be continued in command ; they may be all dismissed in a moment, and proper tools of power put in their room. Besides, Sir, we know the passions of men, we know how dangerous
it is to trust the best of men with too much power. Where was there a braver army than that under Julius Cæsar ? Where was there ever an army that had served their country more faithfully? That army was commanded generally by the best citizens of Rome, by men of great fortune and figure in their country ; yet that army enslaved their country. The affections of the soldiers towards their country, the honour and integrity of the under officers, are not to be depended on ; by the military law, the administration of justice is so quick, and the punishment so severe, that neither officer nor soldier dares offer to dispute the orders of his supreme commander ; he must not consult his own inclinations ; if an officer were commanded to pull his own father out of his house, he must do it ; he dares not disobey ; immediate death would be the sure consequence of the least grumbling. And if an officer were sent into the court of requests, accompanied by a body muscateers with screwed bayonets, and with orders to tell us what we ought to do, and how we were to vote, I know what would be the duty of this house; I know it would be our duty to order the officer to be taken and hanged up at the door of the lobby ; but, Sir, I doubt much if such a spirit could be found in the house, or in any house of Commons that will ever be in England.
Sir, I talk not of imaginary things ; I talk of what has happened to an English house of Commons, and from an English army ; not only from an English army, but an army that was raised by that very house of Commons, an army
that was paid by them, and an army that was commanded by generals apponated by them. Therefore do not let us vainly imagine, that an army raised and maintained by authority of Parliament, will always be sbmissive to them: if an army be so numerous as to have it in their power to over-awe the Parliament, they wil be submissive as long as the Parliament does nothing to disoblige their favorite general; but when that case happens, I am afraid that in place of the parliament's dismissing the army, the army will dismiss the parliament, as they have done heretofore. Nor does the legality or illegality of that Parliament, or of that army, alter the case ; for with respect to that army, and accordi g to their way of thinking, the Parliament dismissed by them was a legal Parliament; they were an army raised and maintained according to law, and at first they were raised, as they imagined, for the preservation of those liberties which they afterwards destroyed.
It has been urged, Sir, that whoever is for the Protestant succession must be for continuing the army : for that very reason, Sir, I am against continuing the army. I know that neither the Protestant succession to his Ma. jesty's most illustrious house, nor any succession can ever be safe as long as there is a standing army in the country. Armies, Sir, have no regard to hereditary successions. The first two Cæsars at Rome did pretty well, and found means to keep their armies in tollerable subjection, because the generals and officers were all their own tures. But how did it fare with their successors? Was not every one of them named by the army, without reregard to hereditary right, or to any right ? A cobler, a gardener, or any man who happened to raise himself in the army, and could their affections, was made emperor of the world : was not every succeeding emperor raised to the throne, or tumbled headlong into the dust, according to the mere whim, or mad frenzy of the soldiers ?
We are told this army is desired to be continued but for one year longer, or for a limited term of years. How absurd is this distinction ! Is there any army in the world continued for any term of years ? Does the most absolute monarch tell his army, that he is to continue them for any number of years or any number of months ? How long have we already continued our army from year to year ? And if it thus continues, wherein will it differ from the standing armies of those countries which have already