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wick; perhaps I repented of what I did at that time, because of the turn that the affairs of Europe took soon after. But I am fully convinced, I shall never have occasion to repent of being for the reduction now proposed. For my part, my lords, I cannot but say, that the question now before us, puts me in mind of what happened to a farm house of mine in the country. The wall of the house upon one side had failed, and the house had sunk a little ; yet it might have stood for many years without any necessity of pulling it quite down in order to be re. built ; for which reason, I believe, I should have then contented myself with repairing it a little, and adding some buttresses to that wall which had failed ; but some workmen persuaded me' that they could raise it up, and repair the wall without pulling the house down ; and I being prevailed on, to work they went ; but in planting posts and other engines to raise up that side which had sunk, I do not know how, whether by design, or by the unskilfulness of the workmen, they raised the house so high on that side, that they tumbled it quite over.
MR. HORATIO WALPOLE. His Speech in Reply to some Animadversions thrown out
against the Ministry by Mr. Pulteney. Sir, The honourable gentleman who spoke last, ended his speech with saying, that he would not willingly fling the first stone ; but it seems he had then forgot what he had said but a very little before, by which, if he did not fling a stone, he at least, in my opinion, threw a very great pebble at the whole house. After having told us that it was not allowable to say any thing against what was done by the majority of this house, he said, that there were, notwithstanding, some methods of speak. ing, which were not against order, and by which gentlemen might be made to feel that an answer might be given to what the majority thought unanswerable ; then he talked of scandalous things having been done in form mer parliaments by a corrupt majority. Now, sir, I would be glad to know how this house can feel any thing what is said of the former parliaments, unless it be meant that the present parliament is of the same nature with the former parliaments talked of? This, sir, as I have said, seems to be a very great pebble thrown at the whole house; besides the dirt he had before flung at the supposed author of a pamphlet lately published, whom he took care to describe so particularly, that I believe every gentleman thinks the author, or at least the supposed author of that pamphlet, is now speaking to you ; but I can freely declare that I am not the author of it; I have indeed, read it, and I believe the greatest quarrel that gentleman and his friends have with it is, that they do not know how to answer it.
The honourable gentleman likewise mentioned the case of a patient and his physician; but I leave the world to judge who most deserve the appellation of quacks; they who have the proper degrees, and who practise in a regular manner; or that gentleman's friends, who have been for some years past dispersing their quack bills round the country, exclaiming against all those in the regular practice, and endeavouring to persuade people in good health, that they are in a danger. ous condition, and that if they do not immediately discharge all their regular physicians, and swallow their quack powders, they must inevitably perish.
But, sir, to be serious, as the gentleman said upon this subject, though I cannot think that the subject now before us is so serious as he would represent; if those gentlemen would fairly and openly enter into the consideration of the state of the nation, I will defy that gentleman, or any other gentleman, to shew that those in the administration have acted any part, or entered into any measures but that were, at the time they were
transacted, the most consistent with the interests of Great Britain of any that could be then thought of, or entered into. Gentlemen may give to the present administration the name of a shifting administration ; gentlemen may say that they have wheeled about from court to court; but upon enquiry, it will appear that they have never shifted or wheeled, but when the interest of their country required it; and that if there has been any shifting or wheeling, it was always owing to a change of the measures at other courts. As long as any power in friendship or alliance with us, continued to act agreeably to the interests of Great Britain, so long we continued firm to them ; but when any of them began to enter into measures which were directly opposite to our interest, we then likewise changed our measures, and had recourse to other powers, who from that moment became our more natural allies. This, sir, has been the me thod always observed by those in the administration ; but I know who they are who have shifted and wheeled with quite another view than that of the interest of Great Britain ; when we were in friendship with France, they were caballing with the ministers and agents of the emperor; when the face of affairs changed, and our friendship with the emperor was restored, they then caballed with the ministers and agents of France; and thus they have been always in the greatest friendship with those who have been most at enmity with their na
In short, sir, I find that those gentlemen who call themselves patriots, have laid this down as a fixed prin. ciple--that they must always oppose those measures which are resolved on by the king's ministers ; and consequently must always endeavour to shew that those mea. sures are wrong; and this, sir, I take to be the only reason why they have been as yet so silent as to a certain subject, in which the interest of their country is very much concerned. Their language at present is, as I suppose, Do not let us declare our opinion, let us Val, I,
tvait till we know what part the ministry takes, and then let us endeavour to shew that they ought to have acted quite otherwise.' If I may be allowed to use a low si. mile, they treat the ministry in the same way as I am treated by some gentlemen of my acquaintance, with respect to my dress : if I am in plain clothes, then they say I am a slovenly dirty fellow; and if by chance Í have a suit of clothes with some lace upon them, they cry, What, shall such an awkward fellow wear fine clothes ? So that no dress I can appear in can possibly please them. But, to conclude, sir, the case of the nation, ander the present administration, has been the same with what it always has been, and always must be : for to use another simile, which my worthy friend over the way, whom I have in my eye, will understand; as long as the wind was fair, and proper for carrying us to our designed port, the word was steady-steady ; but when the wind began to shift and change, the word came then necessarily to be : thus thus, and no nearer.
(Member for Pembrokeshire.)
lle seems in this debate to have steered clear of any thing like com
mon sense, with such dexterity, that it would be no difficult mata ter to pronounce him more knave than foot. A man cannot be so ingeniously in the wrong by accident. There is a striking resemblance between the arguments here used, and some that have been brought forward on more recent occasions. Change the form, the names, and the date, and in reading this, and the following speech, you would suppose yourself to be reading the contents of a modern newspaper. It is astonishing how trite, how thread-bare this subject of politics is worn; how completely every topic relating to it is exhausted ; how little is left for the invention of low cunning to plume itself upon, or for honest ambition to boast of ! Those who have it in their power may very wisely devote themselves to politics, either to serve their own ends, or to serve the public : but it is too late to think of acquiring disSincrion in this way. A man oan at present only be a retail dealer
in politics : he can only keep a sort of huckster's shop of ready made goods. Do what he can, he can only repeat what has already been said a thousand times, and make a vain display of borrowed wisdom or folly. “ 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and may be any man's." What gratification there can be in this to any one, who does not live entirely in the echo of his own name, I do not understand. I should as soon think of being proud of wearing a suit of second hand clothes, or marrying another man's cast-off mistress. In the beaten path of vulgar ambition, the dull, the mechanical, the superficial, and the forward press on, and are successful, while the man of genius, ashamed of his competitors, shrinks from the contest, and is soon lost in the crowd.
His Speech against a Bill to prevent officers of Gør
vernment from sitting in Parliament.
Sir, IN my opinion, this bill is one of the most extraordinary and most unreasonable bills I have ever seen brought into parliament. It is, I think, not only unreasonable, but in several respects unjust. For, as to the electors, the people of Great Britain, it is certain that they are the best, and indeed, the only proper judges, who are the most capable, and the most proper persons to represent them in parliament; and for us to pretend, by a law, to lay a restraint upon them in their choice, is certainly doing them very great injustice. If the people, the electors of any shire, city, or borough, make choice of a gen. tleman to represent them in parliament, who has an employment in the government, that very choice is a sufficient proof that they do not think the service of their country in parliament, and the service of the crown, incompatible. And the law has already wisely provided, that in case any gentleman accepts of a place, or an em. ployment in the government, after he has been chosen a member of parliament, his seat in parliament shall there. by be vacated; he must return to his county, city, or borough, to be re-chosen, and if they again choose him,