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friends, that I know of but one member of the other house that has been hazarded in this expedition; and he a hopeless, abandoned patriot, insensible of the capacity or integrity of our ministry, and whom nothing has been able to reconcile to our late measures. Не, therefore, who has never exerted himself in defence of the ministry, was in his turn thought unworthy of ministerial protection, and was given up to the chance of war without reluctance.
But I hope your lordships will concur with me in the opinion, that it is not always necessary to gratify the ministry, but that our country claims some part of our regard; and therefore, that in establishing our army we should pursue that method which may be most accommodated to our constitution, and instead of imitating the military policy of the French, follow the example of those nations by whose troops they have been con. quered.
Had this scheme been hitherto followed, had our new levies, instead of being put under the command of boys, been distributed in just proportions among the standing regiments, where they might soon have been
qualified for service by the inspection of experienced officers, we might now have seen an army capable of awing the court of Spain into submission, or, if our demands had been still refused, of revenging our injuries, and punishing those who had insulted and despised us.
From an army thus raised and disciplined, detachments, my lords, ought to have been sent on board of all our fleets, and particularly that which is now stationed in the Mediterranean, which would not then have coasted about from one port to another, without hurting or frighting the enemy, but might by sudden descenis have spread terror through a great part of the kingdom, harassed their troops by continual marches, and by frequent incursions have plundered all the maritime provinces, driven the inhabitants into the inland country, and laid the villages in ashes.
There is yet, my lords, no appearance of a peace; for our success has not enabled us to prescribe terms, and I hope we are not yet fallen so low as to receive them. It is therefore proper to form such resolutions as may influence the conduct of the war, and enable us to retrieve the errors of our past measures.
The minister, my lords, is not without panegyrists, who may perhaps endeavour to persuade us, that we ought to resign all our understandings to his superior wisdom, and blindly trust our fortunes and our liberties to his unshaken integrity. They will, in proof of his abilities, produce the wonderful dexterity and penetration which the late negotiations have discovered, and will confirm the reputation of his integrity by the constant parsimony of all his schemes, and the unwillingness with which he, at any time, increases the expences of the nation.
But, my lords, it is the great duty of your high sta. tion to watch over the administration, and to warn those who are more immediately entrusted with the public affairs, against measures which may endanger the safety or happiness of the nation; and therefore, If I have proved to your lordships, that to raise new regiments is dangerous to our liberties; that a multitude of officers is of no use in war; and that an army may be more expeditiously disciplined by adding new men to every company, I hope your lordships will agree to this resolution, which I have drawn up with the greatest brevity, and of which the meaning cannot be mistaken:
That the augmenting the army by raising regiments, as it is the most unnecessary and most expensive method of augmentation, is also the most dangerous to the liberties of the nation.
HONOURABLE EDWARD COKE.
The following speech contains some reflections that are not • inappiicable to the present times. It is curious to observe how
exact a picture the author has exhibited of the present state of Europe, how literally his fears have been verified, and yet how utterly unfounded and chinerical they were at the time. One might be tempted to suppose, in reading the dreams of these forward and self-pleasing prognosticators, that the scheme of universal empire, with which the rulers of France bave been so often complimented, had familiarized her imagination to the design, and engendered those high thoughts of ambition and vanity which have at length rendered her power, not a glittering phantom, an idle bugbear, a handle for crooked policy, for low manæuvres, and petty, vexatious, endless hostility, the play thing of orators and statesmen, but a tremendous and overwhelming reality. that like a vast incubus overlays the continent of Europe, and benumbs its lethargic energies.
Flis Speech on the Address. Sir, As our duty to our sovereign makes it necessary for us to return some sort of address by way of answer to his speech from the throne, at the opening of a session, and as this practice has been established by immemorial custom, I should not think it necessary to give you any trouble, or to say any thing in support of the motion 1. am to make ; but the present conjucture is so critical, and the services his majesty has lately rendered, even at the risk of his sacred life, are so extraordinary, and have been attended with such happy consequences, that I cannot rise up, upon this occasion, without taking particular notice of them ; therefore I hope I shall be excused, if I introduce my motion with my sentiments upon that surprising turn which has been lately given to the affairs of Europe, by his majesty's wisdom and conduct.
In order to do this, sir, I must begin with observ. ing the dismal prospect we had of the affairs of Europe VOL. I.
about eighteen or nineteen months ago. I think there is no maxim in politics more certain than this--that it is inconsistent with the liberties of Europe, to allow France to increase her own power, or to divide the power of Europe into so many branches as to make it impossible for any one prince or state to think of opposing her in any of her ambitious schemes ; for it is very certain, that, as soon as the thoughts of opposition end, those of dependence begin; and consequently, if France could once effect this purpose, all the princes and states of Europe would become dependent upon her, and most of them would, at all times, think of preserving their insig. nificant shadow of sovereignty, only by being obedient to her commands, and assisting her against those who should bravely dare to rebel. We should then be in the same circumstances Europe, or, I may say, the world was, when the grandeur of the Romans was at its greatest height. Some of the princes and states of Europe might be dignified with the deceitful title of Socii Gallici Imperii ; but if ever any of them should dare to behave otherwise than as the most abject slaves, even that empty title they would be stripped of, and their territory would be converted into a province of the French Empire. Our royal family, like that of Macedon, might, for some time, be left in possession of their throne ; but if any one of our future princes should endeavour to shake off his dependency, a powerful in. vasion would be the certain consequence ; and if France were sole mistress of the continent of Europe, or had it entirely at her command, our natural barrier would prove ineffectual : she would then come up against us with such a power as we could not oppose, either by sea or land ; our royal family would be cut off; our noble and great families would be all carried captives into France ; and Britain would, from thenceforth, be divided, and governed by French intendants or lieutenants, as Macedonia was by Roman prætors or proconsuls.
This consequence was foreseen, sir : this consequence all Europe was sensible of in the last age : I wish
the same of the present ; but, by what fatality I know not, the present age seemed, a few months ago, to be struck with such a blindness as prevented their seeing this danger, though it was never more apparent. Several of the princes of Europe, governed by a private selfish interest, had actually joined with France in pulling down the house of Austria, though that was the only power, upon the continent of Europe, that could, by itself, pretend to limit or set bounds to the ambitious views of France. By this means the queen of Hungary was environed with such numerous hostile armies as it was impossible for her to resist for any long time, and the confederacy against her was so powerful, that no counter-confederacy equal to it could be formed. This, I shall grant, was in some measure owing to her own unseasonable obstinacy, as well as to the selfish views of some of her enemies; for, however unjust she might think their pretensions, in common prudence she should, upon the death of her father, have yielded to those that were the most moderate, in order to enable her to resist those who were so immoderate as to aim at the total overthrow of her house.
This, sir, was, from the beginning of the present troubles, his majesty's advice to her; but this prudent advice she would not, for a long time, give the least car to; and this not only united her enemies amongst them. selves, but increased the views and demands of each ; which reduced his majesty to the fatal necessity of wait. ing till her obstinacy should be softened, and the eyes of some of her enemies opened, by time and future accidents. This he was obliged to do before he could openly declare in her favour, or assist her in any other shape than by granting her sums of money; but this he did with a steady design to take advantage of every acci. dent that might happen; and the behaviour of the French in Germany, especially about the time of the battle of Crotzka, was such as furnished him with an opportu.