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of almost every power we have treated with ; and if by such means we have at last got off upon any tolerable conditions, it must be said, that we have been like a man in a room who wants to get out, and though the door be open, and a clear way to it, yet he stalks round the room, breaks his shins over a stool, tumbles over a chair, and at last rumbling over every thing in his way, chance finds the door and gets out, after abundance of needless trouble and unnecessary danger.


His Speech on the Pension Bill. My Lords, The bill now before us bears a very specious title or preamble ; from the first view thereof one would be apt to conclude, that something very beneficial for this nation were intended; but upon a more serious perusal, we find, that at bottom there is really nothing intended, that can in the least contribute to the public good.

Wc all know, my lords, how some motions come to be made, and how some bills come to be brought into the other house. Such bills as this now before us, are often brought in by would be ministers; that is, by gentlemen who affect popularity, and set themselves up as protectors of the liberties of the people, and under that pretence encourage and promote faction and discontent, in order thereby to raise themselves to be the chief men in the adıninistration of the public affairs of the nation, I shall always be ready to join in reasonable measures for insuring the liberties and privileges of the people ; and if any attempts were making against them, I should be as ready as any man to concert measures for short, ening the arm of the crown : but, my lords, when I find

that no attempts are made by the crown against the liberties of the people ; when I find that the popular cries of liberty are raised and spirited up only by the factious and the discontented, I shall never be for diminishing the power of the crown, especially when I see that it has but just enough to support itself against the factious and the disaffected. I remember, my lords, that a noble lord put the question last session of parliament, when this very affair was before the house, How the pretender would desire one to vote in the case then before us? If the same question were now again to be put, I believe the proper answer would be, That he would desire us to vote for the bill now before us. I do not doubt, but that he would be for diminishing his majesty's power of rewarding those who should happen to merit well of their country, by a zealous and hearty opposition to him and his faction. I hope, my lords, that there will always be men of honour and integrity enough in this country to defend us against that faction, or any faction, without the hopes or expectation of a reward; but if it should be found necessary for our defence, to give rewards to many of those who assisted in the protecting of the go. vernment against faction, I would rather chuse that the government should have it in its power to give rewards to those that contributed to the preserving of us, than that the factious should have it in their power to give rewards to those that assisted them in the destroying of us.

The methods proposed by the bill now before us, are so far from being proper methods for preventing bribery and corruption, that I am afraid they will give such an encouragement to faction, as may lead us into confusion ; and therefore I shall be for rejecting the bill. As this bill is the very same with that which was refused by your lordships the last session of parliament, I am convinced that the same reasons which prevailed against it last session will now likewise prevail against it; for my own part at least, I am sure, that there is nothing since happened, that can afford me the least pretence for being of a different opinion,


I can find no particular account of the author of this speech, though

I suppose he was a descendant of the great lord Strafford. A noble line seldom furnishes more than one great name. The succeeding branches seldom add any thing to the illustriousness of the stock, and are

so far from keeping up the name, that they are lost in it. However I do not discover any marks of degeneracy in the present instance ; one may trace a sort of family likeness in the sentiments; the pedigree of the mind seems to have been well kept up. There is a nobility of soul as well as of blood ; and the feelings of humanity so closely and beautifully expressed in the conclusion of this speech, are such as we should expect from the cultivated descendant of “a man of honour and a cavalier."

The Earl of Strafford's Speech on the Mutiny Bill.

My Lords,

It is certainly very necessary for us upon occasion of this bill, to take the army under our consideration, and to determine what number of troops ought to be kept up; because, my lords, this is the only opportunity we can have of reducing the number allowed of, in case we happen to think it too great; ard in case this bill goes the length of a committee, I shall then take the liberty to declare my sentiments upon that head. But, my lords, I now rise up to declare, that I am entirely against this bill, or any mutiny bill; because I always looked upon it, as setting up a constitution within a constitution; or rather, indeed, it is the turning of our civil government into a military government. This, 'tis true, my lords, we may do by a law, and that law when passed will be a part of our constitution; yet I hope it will not be said, that such an extraordinary law would make no alteration in our constitution. I cannot be of opinion, that the keeping up of any regular troops in this kingdom is ab.


solutely necessary; but granting that it were, I am certain, that in order to keep such troops under proper discipline, it is not absolutely necessary to have a law against mutiny and desertion. I had, my lords, the honour to command a regiment of dragoons in the reign of king William, which was given to me at the time of the siege of Namur ; and I very well remember, that there was not at that time in England any such law, as what is now by this bill to be enacted. We had then no such thing as mutiny bills yearly brought in, nor any such bill passed into a law, and yet in those days, we found means to keep our regiments in good order enough; and I believe there was as exact discipline observed in the regiments then quartered in England, as has been observed at any time since. If any of the soldiers committed any crime, they were sure to be punished ; but then they were punished according to the ancient laws of the kingdom. The officers took care to deliver them up to the civil power, and to see them convicted and punished as severely as the laws of their country would admit of; which we always found was sufficient for keep, ing the men in good order, and for making them observe the most exact discipline.

If I were to enter into a particular examination of this bill, I could make strong objections against several clauses thereof; I shall only mention that of desertion : how unnecessary, how cruel is it, now in time of peace, to punish that crime with death! In the time of war, such a severe punishment was necessary; it was then just to punish it with death, because the deserters were generally at the same time guilty of the most heinous treachery; they generally ran in to the enemy, and turned those arms against their country, which their country had put into their hands for its defence. But now in time of peace, desertion has nothing in it of such a heinous nature; if a poor fellow deserts, he runs but from one of our own regiments to another; and the cruel treatment he meets with from some of the officers,


often afford him an excuse, if his case be examined by men of humanity and candour. How many poor country-fellows, either out of a frolic, or because they have been disobliged or slighted by their mistress, go and list themselves for soldiers ! When such a fellow begins to cool, he perhaps repents of what he has done, and deserts without any other view or design but that of returning home, and following some industrious and laborious way of living in his own country. Is it not hard, that such a poor fellow should be shot for such a triling crime? The law perhaps may not be executed with ri. gour ; that, my lords, may be an excuse for the judge, but none for the lawgiver ; considering that the officers are the sufferers by desertion, and also the judges in all trials of that crime, I think, my lords, that their not executing the law with rigour, is a convincing argument, that the pains are too severe; but, my lords, as I am against the bill itself, as well as every clause thereof, I am therefore against giving it a second reading, or entering into the consideration of the several clauses of it.


( Brother to Sir Robert,) Was member for Yarmouth. He seems to have been little inferior

to the minister in facility of speaking, and a certain ambidexterity of political logic He had the art to make the question assume at will whatever shape he pleased, and to make the worse appear the better reason." But this seems to have been more a trick, or an habitual readiness in the common-place forms of trivial argument, and less owing to natural capacity and quickness of mind, than it was in his brother. There is also less ease and more slovenliness, less grace and more of the affectation of it, than are to be found in his brother's speeches. He appears more desirous of shewing his art than of concealing it, and to be proud of the trappings of ministerial authority which excite the spleen and envy of his opponents.

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