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colour of excuse to any of my subjects, for the raising of disturbances in the government, and especially in the time of my absence; and I say this, both to inform you, and to let some ill affected men see that I am not unacquainted how busy they are in their present endea. vours to alter it.
Amongst other encouragements which I find they give themselves from the ways by which they hope to compass their designs, is the creating differences and disagreements in your councils; which I hope you will be very careful to prevent: for be assured, that our greatest enemies can have no better instruments for their purposes, than those who shall any way endeavour to disturb or delay your speedy and unanimous proceeding upon these necessary matters.
I must recommend also to your consideration, an union with Scotland. I do not mean it should be now entered upon; but they having proposed this to me some time since, and the parliament there having nominated commissioners for that purpose, I should be glad that commissioners might also be nominated here, to treat with them, and to see if such terms could be agreed on, as might be for the benefit of both nations, so as to be ready to be presented to you in some future session.
My lords and gentlemen, I have thought it most convenient to leave the administration of the government in the hands of the queen during my absence; and if it shall be judged necessary to have an act of parliament for the better confirmation of it to her, I desire you will let such an one be prepared, to be presented to me.
I have this only to add, that the season of the year, and my journey into Ireland, will admit but of a very short session; so that I must recommend to you the making such dispatch, that we may not be engaged in debates, when our enemies shall be in the field; for the success of the war, and the more thrifty manage. Voz. I.
ment of it, will both principally depend upon your specdy resolutions; and I hope it will not be long before we shall meet again, to perfect what the time will not now allow to be done.
SIR CHARLES SEDLEY,
( One of the Wits and Poets of the Courts of Charles II.)
Was born about 1639, and died 1701. His daughter had been mis
tress to James II. Who made her countess of Dorchester; so that, on being asked why he was so great a favourer of the revolution, he replied, “ From a principle of gratitude: for since his majesty has made my daughter a countess, it is fit I should do all I can to make his daughter a queen."
Sir Charles Sedley's Speech on the Taxes.
We have provided for the army; we have provided for the navy; and now, at last, a new reckoning is brought us : we must likewise provide for the lists. Truly, Mr. Speaker, 'tis a sad reflection, that some men should wallow in wealth and places, whilst others pay away, in taxes, the fourth part of their revenue for the support of the same government. We are not upon equal terms for his majesty's service : the courtiers and great officers charge, as it were, in armour; they feel not the taxes by reason of their places, whilst the country gen. tlemen are shot through and through by them. The king is pleased to lay his wants before us, and, I am confident, expects our advice upon it: we ought therefore to tell him what pensions are too great, what places may be extinguished during the time of the war and public ca
lamity. His majesty sees nothing but coaches and six, and great tables, and therefore cannot imagine the want and misery of the rest of his subjects: he is a brave and generous prince, but he is a young king, encompassed and hemmed in by a company of crafty old courtiers. To say no more, some have places of 30001. some of 60001. and others of 8000l. per annum ; and I am told the commissioners of the treasury have 16001. per annum, a piece. Certainly, public pensions, what- . ever they have been formerly, are much too great for the present want and calamity that reigns every where else ; and it is a scandal that a government so sick at heart as ours is, should look so well in the face. We must save the king money wherever we can; for I am afraid the war is too great for our purses, if things be not managed with all imaginable thrift. When the people of England see all things are saved, that can be saved, that there are no exorbitant pensions, nor unnecessary salaries, and all this applied to the use to which they are given, we shall give, and they will pay whatever his majesty can want, to secure the protestant religion, and to keep out the king of France, and king James too ; whom by the way I have not heard named this session, whether out of fear, discretion, or respect, I cannot tell. I conclude, Mr. Speaker, with this : let us save the king what we can, and then let us proceed to give what we are able.
SIR JOHN KNIGHT,
(Member for Bristol.) This worthy citizen, (of whom I am sorry I can learn no more than
his title, and the place which he represented,) shall make his appearence, and at full length, though he should be received with as dreadful a storm of criticism, as that which he describes in the outset of his speech. He is a true Englishman, a perfect islander. He seems to have as thorough a hatred for the continent, and all its inhabitants, as if he had been first swaddled in the leaky hold of
a merchantman, or had crawled out of the mud of the Bristol channel. He is not merely warm, he perfectly reeks with patriotism, and antipathy to all foreigners. For the last hundred years, we have only been working on this model, and I do not see that we can get much beyond it. We have, it is true, refined the style, filled up the outlines, added elegance to fury, and expanded our preju. dices into systems of philosophy. But we have added nothing to the stock The design and principles remain the same ; and they are unalterable. The pattern is closely copied from human nature. Indeed I do not know whether the best examples of modern declamation on this subject, will be found to be much better than awk. ward affectation, and laboured extravagance, in which the writers scarcely seem to believe themselves, if we compare them with the spirit, the natural expression, the force, and broad decided manner
of this great master ! For my own part, I confoss I like the blunt, uncouth, bear-garden
style ; the coarse familiarity, and virulont abuse of this honest knight, better than the studied elegance of modern invective. The style is suited to the subject. Every thing is natural and sincere, and warm from the heart. Here are no fine-spun theories, no affected rancour, no attempts to bind fast the spell of ignorance, by the calling in of metaphysical aid," or to make use of the ice of philosophy as a burning-glass to inflame the violence of the passions Downright passion, unconquerable prejudice, and unaffected enthusiasm, are always justifiable ; they follow a blind, but sure instinct; they flow from a real cause : they are uniform and consistent with themselves ; and their mischiefs, whatever they are, have certain limits, may be calculated upon and provided against. But fine reasonings, and gross feelings, do not accord well together. We may apily to them what has been said of love, non bene conveniunt, nec in una sede morantur majestas et amor. It is an unnatural union, which can produce nothing but distortion. We are not at present hurried away by the honest ebullitions of resentinent, or blind zeal, but are in that state described by Shakespeare, in which “ reason panders will." No one is offended at the ravings, the fierce gestures of a madman: but what should we think of a man who affected to start, to foam at the mouth, and seigned himself mad only to have an opportunity for executing the most mischievous purposes ? We are not surprised to see poisonous weeds growing in a wilderness; but who would think of transplanting them into a cultivated garden? I am therefore glad to take refuge from the mechanic, cold blooded fury, and mercenary malice of pretended patriotism, in the honest eloquence, “ the downright violence and storm of passion" of this rcal enthusiast,
Sir John Knight's Speech against the Dutch.
Mr. Speaker, I have heard of a ship in a violent storm, in danger of perishing every moment; it was not such a sham storm as we were lately entertained with in the Gazette, which deceives the people, by affirming that many ships going for Francé laden with corn were cast away, though those ships, and many more, are safely arrived in France ; but it was such a real storm as on the 7th of the last month, destroyed on the coast of Cornwall upwards of seventy sail of our English ships, most of which were laden with corn, and several sorts of provisions, for the use of our Dutch allies, to enable them to live cheap, by making the same dear at home: perhaps some was for the support of our half-starved, and unpaid English sol. diers, now in Flanders; when perished, likewise, more than seven hundred sailors, who have left a great many widows, children, and poor relations, to curse our conduct at sea, the cause of this calamity. In such a dreadful storm it was, (that the foresaid ship was in,) when the good commander seeing the danger, and apprehending death, desired his crew to assist with resolution, and preserve themselves and the ship; which the sailors refusing to do, he retired to his cabin, humbled himself in prayer, and implored the powers that alone could save in time of need, that the ship and the company might be justly swallowed up for the disobedience of the sailors; yet, that he and his cabin might suffer no damage.
Sir, I cannot, as that good commander did, be so vain as to hope, either myself or the place for which I serve can be preserved from the general inundation which this bill we are now debating lets in, on the liberties of my native country, and countrymen; and therefore be unconcerned for the good of England, provided Bristol were safe. To hope for, and expect happiness in life, when all mankind but myself are dead, would not be