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most pernicious of all governments, because it is the go.vernment of ministers. It was therefore the general de. sire of every good Englishman, that a marriage so neces. sary to the public should no longer be delayed; and his majesty has graciously been pleased to comply with that desire. He has reinoved those uneasy apprehensions, and by strengthening and increasing the royal family, he has added a new security to our happiness, and we may hope, entailed it on our posterity.
As our thanks are due to him for the marriage, they are no less so for his choice of a daughter-in-law; a princess in whom piety and virtue are hereditary qualities. The eminent merit of whose great ancestor in the defence of the protestant religion, which was then in Germany as it now is in Great Britain, united to the cause of public liberty, has been so amply set forth by other gentlemen, particularly the honourable person (Mr. Pulteney,) who made this motion, whose great abi. lities are most equal to this, or any subject, that nothing is left for me to add, but an ardent wish that the same virtues may revive again with equal lustre and happier fortune in her posterity.
For all these reasons, for many more, more than the zeal of my heart can now suggest to me, more than the eloquence of others can express, we ought most joyfully to congratulate his majesty on an event which must give him the greatest pleasure, because it does so to his people ; for the satisfaction of neither can be perfect but when it is reciprocal. Let us therefore join our thanks to our felicitations, and let our unanimity in doing it, refute the calumnies of those who dare to insinuate out of doors, that gentlemen who sometimes differ here from the measures of the court, differ at all from those whom they oppose, I mean the very best of them, in sincere atI
. tachment to the government, and affectionate regard for the royal family. VOL. I.
(Afterwards Earl of Chatham,) Was born at Boconnock, in Cornwall, in 1708, and died in 1778.
He was originally an officer in the army, but was chosen member for Old Sarum in 1735. His history is too well known to need repeating here. I shall say something of his talents as a speaker hereafter.
Mr. Pitt's Speech on the same Occasion.
Mr. Speaker, I am unable to offer any thing that has not been said by the honourable persons who made you the motion in a manner much more suitable to the dignity and importance of this great occasion. But, sir, as I am really affected with the prospect of the blessings to be derived to my country from this so desirable and so long desired imeasure, the marriage of his royal highness the prince of Wales, I cannot forbear troubling you with a few words to express my joy, and to mingle my humble offering, inconsiderable as it is, with this great oblation of thanks and congratulation to his majesty.
How great soever the joy of the public may be, and very great it certainly is, in receiving this benefit from his majesty, it must be inferior to that high satisfaction which he himself enjoys in bestowing it. And if I may be allowed to suppose, that to a royal mind any thing can transcend the pleasure of gratifying the impatient wishes of a loyal people, it can only be the paternal delight of tenderly indulging the most dutiful application and most humble request of a submissive, obedient son. I mention, sir, his royal highness's having asked a marriage, because something is in justice due to him for having asked what we are so strongly bound by all the ties of duty and of gratitude to return his majesty our most humble acknowledgments for having granted.
The marriage of a prince of Wales, sir, has at all times Leen a matter of the highest importance to the public welfare, to present, and to future generations ; but at 110 time has it been a more important, a more dear cou
sideration than at this day, if a character at once amiable and respectable can embellish and even dignify the elevated rank of a prince of Wales. Were it not a sort of presumption to follow so great a person through his hours of retirement, to view him in the milder light of domestic life, we should find him busied in the noble exercise of humanity, benevolence, and of every social virtue. But, sir, how pleasing, how captivating soever such a scene may be, yet, as it is a private one, I fear I
a should offend the delicacy of that virtue I so ardently desire to do justice to, should I offer it to the consideration of this house. But, sir, filial duty to his royal parents, a generous love for liberty, and a just reverence for the British constitution, these are public virtues, and cannot escape the applause and benedictions of the public. They are virtues, sir, which render his royal highness not only a noble ornament, but a firm support, if any could possibly be necessary, of that throne so greatly filled by his royal father.
I have been led to say thus much of his royal highness's character, because it is the consideration of that character which, above all things, enforces the justice and goodness of his majesty in the measure now before you; a measure which the nation thought could never come too soon, because it brings with it the promise of an additional strength to the protestant succession in his majesty's illustrious and royal house. The spirit of liberty dictated that succession, the same spirit now rejoices in the prospect of its being perpetuated to latest posterity. It rejoices in the wise and happy choice which his majesty has been pleased to make of a princess so amiably distinguished in herself, so illustrious in the merit of her family, the glory of whose great ancestor it is to have sacrificed himself to the noblest cause for which a prince can draw his sword, the cause of liberty and the protes. tant religion. Such, sir, is the marriage, for which our most humble acknowledgments are due to his majesty ; and may it afford the comfort of seeing the royal family (numerous as I thank God it is,) still growing and rising up in a third generation; a family, sir, which I most sincerely wish may be as immortal as those liber. ties, and that constitution which it came to maintain ; and therefore I am heartily for the motion.
SIR JOHN ST. AUBIN.
His Speech on the Quaker's Tythe Bill.
Mr. Speaker, I THINK that a bill of this consequence, which affects so large a property, should undergo the wisest scrutiny of those regular forms which have hitherto circumscribed our proceedings, and guarded our constitution from any sudden and disguised attacks. But this bill, faulty as it was at first, after two readings in the house, and counsel had been solemnly heard against it, went avowedly into the committee to be almost entirely altered. A new bill, for so I may justly call this, arises out of the ashes of the old one, with the same fallacious title indeed, and less formidable than before. However, it is still suspected that there are latent mischiefs in it; and against those, the parties who are aggrieved, are deprived of an opportunity of a fresh defence. I hope therefore that the learned gentleman, who could not have been so defective in his first enterprize, if new inconveniences were not perpetually to be encountered in the alteration of settled constitutions, will at least be so candid as to withdraw his scheme for the present, take time to consider afresh, and not hurry a bill thus defective in form, and but half understood, in the conclusion of a session, when many gentlemen, quite worn out with a close and tedious attendance, have been forced to retreat. This cannot long retard the geart work of reformation which is at hand. The delay will be but a few months only. The same favourable tide will continue, and whatever new schemes, therefore, the learned gentlman may have ready to pro
duce, I hope he will indulge us in so short a respite. But lest this bill should pass, I hope you will permit me to enter my public protest against it, for I am one of those who think it fundamentally wrong.
There is no one more ready than I am to give all reasonable indulgences to the several unhappy sectaries among us.
I think, that in points of religious worship, compulsion ought never to be used; but truth is to have a fair opportunity of working by its own force upon the natural ingenuity of the mind, and the supreme lawgiver has the only right to interpose in such matters. But human authority has certainly a secondary power to restrain those wild excesses, which, under the false colour of religion, would invade the order and discipline of civil society. In this we are all united, and there is one medium, one common resort of our laws, for the protection of our respective rights and privileges. I am very sorry
I therefore that any of the dissenters should now see occasion to complain of their distinct allowances, and that stated measure which must be preserved in our civil union. Let them look upon the structure of our consti, tution in general ; are the several members well proportioned ? Have they a mutual dependence and regular connection with each other? And is there one law of convenience which runs through the whole? If this be so, and the pre-eminence is only maintained by a due subordination of the inferior parts, if the building was erected by the most able hands, and when architecture was at its height, I am not for inverting the order of it, in compliance with the Gothic fancy of any pretenders to that art.
Thus our constitution at present stands, and the laws of toleration are in this sense become a part of it; they protect, as they certainly ought, the established religion of our country, and at the same time allow a separate right in religious worship ; such, only, have not the ad. vantage of them, who deny the exterior forms of our government, whose consciences are a civil nuisance, and therefore forfeit the condition of this right. What, then,