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nity, which he, wisely took care to lay hold of, and to make the best use of it he could ; whereby he prevailed upon both the kings of Prussia and Poland to withdraw themselves from the French alliance, and to make peace with tlie queen of Hungary, upon terms which (her ub. stinacy being now overcome by time and mature cousideration) he readily agreed to.
By this prudent conduct of his majesty, it became now possible to form such a confederacy in Europe as might, with some hopes of success, endeavour to oppose the ambitious designs of France; and to give courage to the other powers of Europe to enter in o such a confederacy, he resolved to send a body of his British troops to Flanders, in order to have a numerous army formed there, which, before the end of the campaign, raised such terrors in France as prevented their sending sufficient reinforcements to their troops already in Germany, and likewise prevented their joining the Spaniards with such armies as might have overwhelmed the king of Sardinia, or compelled him to desert the alliance he had before, by his majesty's interposition, entered into with the queen of Hungary. At the same time, proper orders were given to his majesty's admirals in the Mediterrancan to prevent the Spaniards from sending any reinforcements or provisions by sea to their army in Italy, and our squadron there was reinforced and instructed so as to enable it to execute those orders, against whosoever should dare to abet the Spaniards in any such attempt.
By these means, sir, the queen of Hungary was, before the end of the campaign, restored to the posses. sion of Bohemia. Westphalia was freed from the burden and terror of a French army, and the Spaniards were, during the whole campaign, defeated in every attempt they made against Italy; but there were two things sull remaining to be done; which were, to drive the French entirely out of Germany, and to establish, upon a more solid basis, the alliance of the king of Sardinia,
in order to drive the Spaniards entirely out of Italy; for which purpose, it was requisite to obtain the hearty concurrence of the Dutch. These things were to be the work of the next campaign, and therefore, as early as the season would permit, the army which had been formed in Flanders, marched into Germany, and his majesty not only joined it with a considerable body of his electoral troops, but went in person to command the army; and, by his valour and conduct chiefly, the glorious victory at Dettingen was obtained, which compelled the French to evacuate Germany, and not only put the queen of Hungary in possession of all Bavaria, but opened a free passage for her armies to the Rhine ; so that France, from being the invader of the dominions of others, had now enough to do to defend her own.
Whilst his majesty was thus triumphing over the arms of France in the field, he equally triumphed over her counsels in the cabinet; for, notwithstanding the utmost efforts of France to the contrary, he prevailed with the Dutch to send a body of 20,000 men to the assistance of the queen of Hungary, and a definitive treaty of alliance was concluded at Worms, between his majesty, the queen of Hungary, and the king of Sardinia, by which the alliance and assistance of that prince was established upon a firm basis; and experience has already shewn the great use it inay be of to us, in defeating the designs of our enemies the Spaniards, in Italy, which will convince that haughty nation of its being necessary for them to cultivate a good correspondence with Great Britain, if they have a mind to be quiet in their own possessions, or to disturb the possessions of any of their neighbours.
These great and unexpected events, sir, have been all brought about by the wisdom and vigour of his majesty's counsels; and therefore we cannot in gratitude omit taking notice of them upon this occasion. I was very sensible that there were many gentlemen in this house, who could have set them in a clear light, and recommended them to your consideration with greater energy, than I can; but I knew your affection and duty to your sovereign, and the lustre of those events was in itself so refulgent, that I thought it required no high degree of eloquence to excite your grateful acknowledg. ments; therefore I ventured to undertake the task, and hope I shall be forgiven my arrogating to myself the honour of moving for its being resolved, “ That an humble address be presented to his majesty, to return his majesty the thanks of this house for his most gracious speech from the throne; to congratulate his majesty upon his safe and happy return to this kingdom, after the dangers to which his sacred person has been exposed, in defence of the common cause, and of the liberties of Europe ; to acknowledge bis majesty's regard and attention to the advice of his parliament, in exerting his endeavours for the preservation of the house of Austria ; to congratulate his majesty on the success of his arms, in the prosecution of this great and necessary work, with so much glory to his majesty and honour to this nation; to assure his majesty, that nothing could be more welcome to his faithful commons, than to hear that he was joined by a body of the troops of the States General, whose interests and those of this country are inseparable; to declare our satisfaction in his majesty's having concluded a definitive treaty between his majesty, the queen of Hungary, and the king of Sardinia; which al. liance must naturally contribute to the advantage of the common cause, and to the disappointing and distressing the crown of Spain, with which this nation is engaged in so just and necessary a war; to assure his majesty that we will, with the greatest zeal, unanimity, and dis. patch, grant to his majesty such effectual supplies as shall be found requisite for the honour and security of this nation, and as may enable his majesty to concert such alliances, and pursue with vigour such measures, as may be necessary for re-establishing the public tranquillity, and procuring a safe and honourable peace. SIR DUDLEY RYDER.
To those who have to wade through the crude, undigested mass of
the records of parliament, there is such a tedious monotony, such a dreary vacuity of thought, such an eternal self-complacent repetition of the same worn-out topics, which seem to descend like an inheritance from one generation to another, that it is some relief to escape now and then from the dull jargon of political controversy. I have given the following speech, though it is sufficiently dry and uninteresting in itself, because it a little varies the prospect, and contains something that looks like ingenuity and argument.
His Speech on the Pretender's Sons Bill.
Though the bill now before us went through this house with great unanimity, yet as the amendments made to it by the other house, are not only important, but, I think, absolutely necessary, I shall beg leave to explain them a little ; and when they are explained, I hope they will meet with a ready concurrence from this house. The first material amendment, I mean that for attainting the two sons of the pretender, in case they should land, or attempt to land in Great Britain, or any of the dominions thereunto belonging, can stand in no need of any long explanation, or many arguments for procuring your approbation. If they, or either of them, attempt to land in any of his majesty's British domi. nions, we can make no doubt of the design they will have in view : we must be convinced, that it will be with a design to raise or countenance a rebellion against his majesty's government, and therefore, every gentleman must see the necessity of declaring them guilty of high treason, in case they make any such attempt.
I shall therefore, sir, say nothing farther upon this head; but the other amendments, by which the effect of one of the clauses in the act of the 7th of quee Anne is to be suspended during the lives of the pretender's two sons, will require some more elucidation, not because it is in itself obscure or difficult to be un derstood, but because of the deceitful lights it has been thrown into, 'and the clamour that has been thereby raised against it. To my great surprize, sir, this amenc. ment has been represented as inconsistent with religion, inconsistent with natural justice, inconsistent with our laws, and inconsistent with the freedom of our const. tution. These are such heavy charges, that I think my. self obliged in duty to the crown, in duty to this house, and in duty to myself, as I am to propose agreeing with the other house in this amendment as well as the rest; I say, sir,
sir, upon all these accounts I think myself obliged to shew, that every one of these charges is false, and that what is now proposed, is not only agreeable to religion, natural justice, and our laws, ancient and modern, but absolutely necessary for preserving the freedom of our constitution. In order to do this, if I dipa little farther into the writings of learned inen, and famous lawyers, than is usual in debates here, I hope the necessity I am under will excuse the liberty I take ; but before I begin, I must observe, that by this amendment it is not proposed to repeal the law of the 7th of queen Anne, with regard to forfeitures for treason, but only to suspend the effect of that law for a period, which may perhaps, be of longer duration than the period for which it stands now suspended; and therefore, if I can shew that there is nothing irreligious, unjust, or inconsistent with our laws or liberties, in those forfeitures, were they to be made perpetual, I hope it will operate more strongly in favour of the amendment now under our consideration.
All that can be said, sir, against forfeitures for trea. son, must proceed from mistaking or misrepresenting the nature of punishments, and the ends for which they have been introduced into human societies. Punishment is