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with and hurried away by the violent; having, Let us, sir, embrace some systein or other be indeed, different dispositions, but a common inter.fore we end this session. Do you mear
l'erorat ta est. If you apprehend that on a concession you to tax America, and to draw a product- er shall be punished by metaphysical process to the ive revenue from thence? If you do, speak oct. extreme lines, and argued out of your whole au-name, fix, ascertain this revenue; settle its quan. thority, my advice is this: When you have recoy-tity; define its objects; provide for its collection ered your old, your strong, your tenable position, and then fight, when you have something to fight ihen face about-stop short-do nothing more- for. If you murder, rob! If you kill, take pos. reason not at all-oppose the ancient policy and session; and do not appear in the character of practice of the empire as a rampart against the madmen, as well as assassins, violent, vindictive, speculations of innovators on both sides of the bloody, and tyrannical, without an object. But question, and you will stand on great, manly, and may better counsels guide you! sure ground. On this solid basis fix your ma- Again and again revert to your old principles chines, and they will draw worlds toward you. Seek peace and ensue it. Leave America, if she
Your ministers, in their own and his Majesty's has taxable matter in her, to tax herself. I am oame, have already adopted the American dis- not here gợing into the distinctions of rights, nor tinction of internal and external duties. It is a attempting to mark their boundaries. I do not distinction, whatever merit it may have, that was enter into these metaphysical distinctions. I originally moved by the Americans themselves; hate the very sound of them. Leave the Amer. and I think they will acquiesce in it, if they are icans as they anciently stood, and these distinc not pushed with too much logic and too little tions, born of our unhappy contest, will die along sense in all the consequences; that is, if exter- with it. They and we, and their and our ances. nal taxation be understood as they and you un- tors, have been happy under that system. Let derstand it when you please, to be, not a distinc the memory of all actions, in contradiction to that tion of geography, but of policy; that it is a pow- good old mode, on both sides, be extinguished for. er for regulating trade, and not for supporting es- ever. Be content to bind America by laws of tablishments. The distinction, which is as noth- trade; you have always done it. Let this be ing with regard to right, is of most weighty con- your reason for binding their trade. Do not sideration in practice. Recover your old ground burden them with taxes; you were not used to and your old tranquillity. Try it. I am persuad- do so from the beginning. Let this be your reaed the Americans will compromise with you. son for not taxing. These are the arguments of When confidence is once restored, the odious and states and kingdoms. Leave the rest to the suspicious summum jus27 will perish of course. schools, for there only they may be discussed The spirit of practicability, of moderation, and with safety. But if, intemperately, unwisely, fa mutual convenience, will never call in geometri- tally, you sophisticate and poison ihe very source cal exactness as the arbitrator of an amicable of government, by urging subtle deductions, and settlement. Consult and follow your experience. consequences odious to those you govern, from Let not the long story with which I have exer- | the unlimited and illimitable nature of supreme cised your patience prove fruitless to your inter sovereignty, you will teach them by these means ests.
to call that sovereignty itself in question. When For my part, I should choose (if I could have you drive him hard, the boar will surely turn upon my wish) that the proposition of the honorable the hunters. If that sovereignty and their free. gentleman (Mr. Fuller) for the repeal could go dom can not be reconciled, which will they take? to America without the attendance of the penal They will cast your sovereignty in your face bills. Alone, I could almost answer for its suc- Nobody will be argued into slavery. Sir, let ress. I can not be certain of its reception in the the gentlemen on the other side call forth all bad company it may keep. In such heteroge-their ability ; let the best of them get up and neous assortments, the most innocent person will tell me what one character of liberty the Amer. 'ose the effect of his innocency. Though you icans have, and what one brand of slavery they should send out this angel of peace, yet you are are free from, if they are bound in their property sending out a destroying angel too; and what and industry by all the restraints you can imag. would be the effect of the conflict of these two ine on commerce, and at the same time are made adverse spirits, or which would predominate in pack-horses of every tax you choose to impose, the end, is what I dare not say: whether the without the least share in granting them ? When lenient measures would cause American passion they bear the burdens of unlimited monopoly, will io subside, or the severe would increase its fury. you bring them to bear the burdens of unlimited All this is in the hand of Providence. Yet now, revenue too? The Englishman in America wil even now, I should confide in the prevailing vir- feel that this is slavery—that it is legal slavery tue and efficacious operation of lenity, though will be no compensation either to his feelings or working in darkness, and in chaos, in the midst his understanding. of all this unnatural and turbid combination. Il A noble Lord (Lord Carmarthen), who spoke should hope it might produce order and beauty some time ago, is full of the fire of ingenuous in the end.
youth; and when he has modeled the ideas of a 39 Referring to the adage, “Summum jus est som lively imagination by farther experience, he will ma injuria"---Right, when pressed to an extreme, bebe an ornament to his country in either House omes the heigh of injustice.
| He has said that the Americans are our children and how can they revolt against their parent? ually afford mutual assistance. It is necessary He says that if they are not free in their present to coerce the negligent, to restrain the violeni, stale, England is not free, because Manchester, and to aid the weak and deficicnt by the over. and other considerable places, are not represent- ruling plenitude of her power. She is never to sd. So, when, because some towns in England are intrude into the place of others while they are Dot represented, America is to have no represent- equal to the common ends of their institution ative at all. They are "our children;" but when | But, in order to enable Parliament to answer al) children ask for bread, we are not to give a stone. these ends of provident and beneficent superinIs it because the natural resistance of things, and tendence, her powers must be boundless. The the various mutations of time, hinders our govern- gentlemen who think the powers of Parliament neul, or any scheme of government, from being limited, may please themselves to talk of requi any more than a sort of approximation to the sitions. But suppose the requisitions are not right, is it therefore that the colonies are to re- obeyed. What! shall there be no reserved cede from it infinitely? When this child of ours power in the empire to supply a deficiency wishes to assimilate to its parent, and to reflect which may weaken, divide, and dissipate the with a true filial resemblance the beauteous coun. whole? We are engaged in war ; the Secretenance of British liberty, are we to turn to them tary of State calls upon the colonies to contrib. the shameful parts of our Constitution ? Are we ute; some would do it-I think most would to give them our weakness for their strength- cheerfully furnish whatever is demanded; one our opprobrium for their glory; and the slough or two, suppose, hang back, and, easing them. af slavery, which we are not able to work off, to selves, let the stress of the dranght lie on the serve them for their freedom ?
others : surely it is proper that some authority If this be the case, ask yourselves this ques. might legally say, “ Tax yourselves for the tion: Will they be content in such a state of common supply, or Parliament will do it for slavery? If not, look to the consequences. Re- you.” This backwardness was, as I am told, fleet how you ought to govern a people who actually the case of Pennsylvania for some short think they ought to be free, and think they are time toward the beginning of the last war, ow. Dot. Your scheme yields no revenue; it yields ing to some internal dissensions in the colony. nothing but discontent, disorder, disobedience; | But, whether the fact were so or otherwise, the and, such is the state of America, that, after wad- case is equally to be provided for by a compeing up to your eyes in blood, you could only end tent sovereign power. But then this ought to just where you began; that is, to tax where no be no ordinary power, nor ever used in the first revenue is to be found; to-my voice fails me; instance. This is what I meant when I have my inclination, indeed, carries me no farther-all said at various times that I consider the power * confusion beyond it. (Here Mr. Burke was of taxing in Parliament as an instrument of em compelled by illness to stop for a short time, aft- pire, and not as a means of supply. • er which he proceeded :
Such, sir, is my idea of the constitution of the Well, sir, I have recovered a little, and, before Britisb empire, as distinguished from the constiI sit down, I must say something to another point tution of Britain ; and on these grounds I think with which gentlemen urge us: What is to be subordination and liberty may be sufficiently rec tome of the Declaratory Act, asserting the en-onciled through the whole; whether to serve a foreness of British legislative authority, if we refining speculatist or a factious deinagogue, I abandon the practice of taxation ?
know not; but enough, surely, for the ease and For my part, I look upon the rights stated in happiness of man. Deckaralary art that act exactly in the manner in Sir, while we held this happy course, we drew spect of the red which I viewed them on its very first more from the colonies than all the impotent vi
proposition, and which I have often olence of despotism ever could extort from them. taken the liberty, with great humility, to lay be. We did this abundantly in the last war. It has fore you. I look, I say, on the imperial rights of never been once denied ; and what reason have Great Britain, and the privileges which the col. we to imagine that the colonies would not nave orists ought to enjoy under these rights, to be proceeded in supplying government as lwerally, just the most reconcilable things in the world. If you had not stepped in and hindered them from The Parliament of Great Britain sits at the head contributing, by interrupting the channel in which of her extensive empire in two capacities : one their liberality flowed with so strong a course as the local Legislature of this island, providing by attempting to take, instead of being satisfie. or all things at home, immediately, and by no to receive ? Sir William Temple says, that Hol other instrument than the executive power. The land has loaded itself with ten times the imposi
ther, and, I think, her nobler capacity, is what I tions which it revolted from Spain rather than call her imperial character, in which, as from the submit to. He says true. Tyranny is a poor trone of heaven, she superintends all the sever- provider. It knows neither how to accumulate u inferior Legislatures, and guides and controls nor how to extract. them all without annihilating any. As all these I charge, therefore, to this new and unfortunate provincia! Legislatures are only co-ordinate to system, the loss not only of peace, of union, and each oher they ought all to be subordinate to of commerce, but even of revenue, wbich its ber; else they can neither preserve mutual friends are contending for. It is morally certai) reace, nor hope for mutual justice, nor effect that we have lost at leasi a million of free giants
since the peace. I think we have lost a great | laid deep in voor truest interests; and that, by deal more ; and that those who look for a rev- limiting the exercise, it fixes on the firmest foun. onue from the provinces, never could have pur-dations a real, consistent, well-grounded author. sued, even in that light, a course more directly ity in Parliament. Until you come back to thai repugnant to their purposes.
system, there will be no peace for England. Now, sii, I trust I have shown, first, on that narrow grɔund which the honorable gentleman Mr. Burke's motion was negatived by a vole measured, that you are like to lose nothing by of 182 to 49. The ministry were bent on vio complying with the motion except what you have lent measures, and the act for quartering troope lost already. I have shown afterward, that in in Boston was passed about a month after. time of peace you flourished in commerce, and when war required it, had sufficient aid from the The name of Lord North occurs so osten 10 colonies, while you pursued your ancient policy ; this speech and in other parts of this volume, that that you threw every thing into confusion when the reader will be interested in a brief notice of you made the Stamp Act; and that you restored bis life and character. He was the eldest son of cvery thing to peace and order when you re the Earl of Guilford, and was born in 1732. pealed it. I have shown that the revival of the Having completed his education at Oxford, and system of taxation has produced the very worst traveled extensively on the Continent, he became effects; and that the partial repeal has produced, a member of Parliament in 1754, and in 1759 not partial good, but universal evil. Let these was brought into office by Lord Chatham as a considerations, founded on facts, not one of which Commissioner of the Treasury. This office he can be denied, bring us back to our reason by continued to hold during Lord Bute's administrathe road of our experience.
. tion, and at the close of it was made head of the I can not, as I have said, answer for mixed board by Mr. Grenville, who could always rely measures; but surely this mixture of lenity on him as a determined advocate of American would give the whole a better chance of success. taxation. He was thrown out of office in 1766, When you once regain confidence, the way will when Lord Rockingham came into power; but be clear before you. Then you may enforce the the next year was made Paymaster of the Forces Act of Navigation when it ought to be enforced. by Lord Chatham, in his third administration, so You will yourselves open it where it ought still graphically described in this speech. In 1767 farther to be opened. Proceed in what you do, he became Chancellor of the Exchequer under whatever you do, from policy, and not froin ran- the Duke of Grafton, and when the latter resigncor. Let us act like men, let us act like states. ed in 1770, took his place as First Lord of the men. Let us hold some sort of consistent con-Treasury and prime minister. The King felt duct. It is agreed that a revenue is not to be greatly indebted to Lord North for thus saving had in America. If we lose the profit, let us get him the necessity of going back to the Whigs rid of the odium.
under Lord Chatham and Lord Rockingham, On this business of America, I confess I am and Lord North, on his part, yieldeď implicitly to serious even to sadness. I have had but one the King's wishes, and carried on the war long opinion concerning it since I sat, and before I sat, after he was convinced that the contest was hopein Parliament. The noble Lord (Lord North] less. At the end of twelve years he was defeat. will, as usual, probably attribute the part taken ed on this subject in the House of Commons, and, by me and my friends in this business to a de- although urged by the King to persevere, he resire of getting his places. Let him enjoy this signed his office on the 19th of March, 1782. happy and original idea. If I deprived him of Within a year from this time he formed his coit, I should take away most of his wit, and all alition with Mr. Fox, and came again into power his argument. But I had rather bear the brunt as joint Secretary of State with his old opponent. of all his wit, and, indeed, blows much heavier, They were dismissed, however, within less than than stand answerable to God for embracing a nine months, and from this time Lord North beld system that tends to the destruction of some of no responsible office under government. the very best and fairest of his works. But I As leader of the House of Commons, he showed know the map of England as well as the noble much more talent than his early opponents, esLord, or as any other person ; and I know that pecially Junius, supposed him to possess. He the way I take is not the road to preferment. never rose into high eloquence, but he succeeded My excellent anu honorable friend under me on admirably in managing the House. He had ex. the floor (Mr. Dowdeswell] has trod that road traordinary tact, perfect sell-command, and inwith great toil for upward of twenty years to flexible courage. To these was added a great gether. He is not yet arrived at the noble Lord's fund of wit, which he used with much effect in destination. However, the tracks of my worthy allaying the violence of debate, when rendered friend are those I have ever wished to follow, almost savage, as it was at times, by the impet. because I know they lead to honor. Long may uous attacks of Mr. Fox and his other opponents. we tread the same road together, whoever may Often, when assailed with the bitterest invectives accompany us, or whoever may laugh at us on threatened with impeachment, or held out as a our journey. I honestly and solemnly declare, fit object of popular violence, he would rise at the I hare in all seasons adhered to the system of close of a debate and turn the laugh on his oppo. 1766, for no olbor reason than that I think it nents by his good-humored pleasantry while he furoislied the ministerial benches with plausible North attempted to allay the feeling, and check reasons, at least, for carrying him through by their the prevailing disposition to take offense at what botes. He sometimes refreshed himself with a was said in debate. He referred to the attacks cap during these attacks; and on one occasion, on himsell, and the manner in which he was ac. when the orator, who had been threatening him customed to treat them. “A gentleman," he with the block for his crimes, poured out an invect. remarked, “spoke of me some time ago as th3! ise against him for being able to slumber over the thing called a minister. Now," said he, looking rujn of his country, Lord North rose and com- down at his large, round form, and patting his plained of it as cruel that he should be denied a side, “I certainly am a thing : the member, wher. privilege always granted to criminals, that of a he called me so, said what was true. I can not, good night's rest before going to execution. therefore, be angry with him. And when he After his union with Mr. Fox, when Mr. Mar- 'spoke of me as the thing called a minister, he 6, wh> harped continually on the subject, said called me that which of all things he wished to " be wisbed he could see a starling perched on be himself, and therefore I took it as a complithe right elbow of the speaker's chair, to repeat ment." In private life, Lord North was beloved incessantly to the Treasury Bench 'disgraceful, by all; and, notwithstanding the incessant at. shameless COALITION,'” Lord North suggested it tacks to which he was subjected in the House of would be a saving of expense to have the honor- Commons, it is probably true, as Charles Butler able gentleman himself perform the service, as remarks, that "among all his political adversa. Leputy to the starling. In one instance, when ries he had not a single enemy." On the death the worst possible spirit prevailed in the House, ' of his father in 1790, he succeeded to the earlarising out of an attack made by Colonel Fuller. dom of Guilford, and died about two years alter, 100 on Lord Shelburne, and Mr. Adam on Mr. at the age of sixty. Fox (leading to a duel in the latter case), Lord
SPEECH OF MR. BUKKE ON MOVING HIS RESOLUTIONS FOR CONCILIATION WITH AMERICA, DELIVERED IN
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, MARCH 22, 1775.
INTRODUCTION. This speech was occasioned by one of those sudden changes of policy which occurred so often in Lord North's treatment of the colonies.
In the midst of violent measures, and at the moment when bills were before Parliament for extinguishing the entire trade of America, he came forward, to the astonishment of his nearest friends, with a plan for conciliation! It was in substance this, that, whenever a colony, in addition to providing for its own government, should raise a fair proportion for the common defense, and place this sum at the disposal of Parliament, that colony should be exempted from all farther taxation, except such duties as might be pecessary for the regulation of commerce. This was obviously an insidious scheme for sowing dissension among the Americans. Lord North's design was to open the way for treating separately with the differ ent provinces. He could thus favor the loyal and burden the disaffected. He could array them against each other by creating bostile interests; and thus taking them in detail, he could reduce them all to complete sobjection. There was cunning in the scheme, but it proceeded on a false estimate of American character. It sprang from a total ignorance of the spirit which actuated the colonies in resisting the mother country; and exemplified in a striking manner the trath of the remarks made by Mr. Barke in the preceling speech, on " the mischief of not baving large and liberal ideas in the management of great affairs."
While Mr. Burke saw through this scheme, he thought it presented a favorable opportunity for bringing forward a plan of conciliation suited to the exigencies of the case ; a plan which, if not adopted, might at least put the ministry wholly in the wrong. The idea of conciliating, and even of conceding, before Amer. ica las submitted, was certainly admissible, for the minister himself had founded his scheme upon it Mi Darke, therefore, proposed " to admit the Americans to an equal interest in the British Constitution, 11. : place them at once on the footing of other Englishmen." In urging this measure, he discusses two by zestions :
Ist. “Ought we to concede ?" and if so, 2dly. "What should the concessior be?"
In considering the first question, he enters minutely, and with surprising accuracy of detail, into the con. dition of the colonies, (1.) their population, (2.) commerce, (3.) agriculture, and (4.) fisheries. He shows that force is an improper and inadequate instrument for holding such a people in subjection to the mother coun. try; especially considering their spirit of liberty, wbicb he traces to (1.) their descent, (2.) their forms of govero vent, (3) the religious principles of the North, 14.) the sccial institutions of the South, (5.) the peca. liarities of their education, and (6.) their remoteness from Great Britain. He concludes this head by show ing that it is vain to think either (1.) of extinguishing this spirit by removing the causes mentioned above since this is plainly iinpossible), or (2.) of putting it down by proceeding as ainst it as criminal. He comes, therefore, to the conclusion that it must be propitiated; or, in other words, that Englan 1 trust com rede. He now considers.
2dly. "What should the concession be ?"
He remarks that it must obviously relate to taxation, since this was the origin of the contest; and the appeals to the case of Ireland, which was early allowed a Parliament of its own, and of Wales, Chester, and Durbam, which were admitted to a representation in the Parliament of England. After obviating objections, and exposing the evils of Lord North's scheme, he comes to the conclusion that the Americans ought (as in the cases adduced) to be admitted to the peculiar privilege of Englisbmen, that of " givils and granting," through their own Legislatures, whatever they contributed in aid of the Crown: and act be subjected to the imposition of taxes by a Parliament in which they were not represented. He there. fore offers six main resolations asserting these principles, and three subordinate ones for rescinding tin penal statutes against America, thas carrying the plan of conciliation into full effect.
After the sketch here given, it is hardly necessary to say that this speech is distinguished for the felicitous selection of its topics; the lucid order in wbich they are arranged; their close connection; the ease with which one thought grows out of another in a regular and progressive series; and the tendency of the wbole to a single point, with all the force and completeness of a moral demonstration. The argument throughout is founded on facts; and yet never was there a speech which had less the character of a mere * matter of fact" prodaction than the one before us. The outline just given is filled up with thoughts fresh from a mind teeming with original and profound reflections on the science of government and the nature of man. There are more passages in this than in any other of Mr. Burke's speeches, which have been admired and quoted for the richness of their imagery, or the force and beauty of their descriptions. The language was evidently elaborated with great care; and Sir James Mackintosh nas pronounced it "the most faultless of Mr. Burke's productions."
SPEECH, &c. I HOPE, sir, that, notwithstanding the austerity ! bill, which seemed to have taken its flight lut of the chair, your good nature will incline you to ever, we are, at this very instant, nearly as free some degree of indulgence toward human frailty.' to choose a plan for our American government, You will not think it unnatural that those who as we were on the first day of the session. If have an object depending, which strongly enga- sir, we incline to the side of conciliation, we are ges their hopes and fears, should be somewhat in- not at all embarrassed (unless we please to make clined to superstition. As I came into the House ourselves so) by any incongruous mixture of cofull of anxiety about the event of my motion, I ercion and restraint. We are therefore called found, to my infinite surprise, that the grand pe- upon, as it were by a superior warning voice na! I ill. by which we had passed sentence on the again to attend to America; to attend to the trace and sustenance of America, is to be re- whole of it together; and to review the subject turned to us from the other House. I do con- with an unusual degree of care and calmı ess. foss, I could not help looking on this event as a Surely it is an awful subject, or there s none sortunate omen. I look upon it as a sort of prov. so on this side of the grave. When Thm asbjert ose idential favor, by which we are put once more in I first had the honor of a seat in this tema vas possession of our deliberative capacity, upon a House, the affairs of that continent pressed thembusiness so very questionable in its nature, so selves upon us as the most important and most very uncertain in its issue. By the return of this delicate object of parliamentary attention. My
little share in this great deliberation oppressed 1 There is too much that is fanciful in some parts
me. I found myself a partaker in a very high of this exordium. A man who was wholly absorbed trust; and having no sort of reason to rely on in his subject would not talk thus about himself, or the strength of my natural abilities for the propabout “the austerity of the chair," " indulgence to er execution of that trust, I was obliged to take ward human frailty," being “inclined to supersti. more than common pains to instruct myself in er. tion," "a fortunate omen," "a superior warning
ery thing which relates to our colonies. I was not voice," &c. It was this that made Mr. Hazlitt say.'
less under the necessity of forming some fixed *Most of his speeches have a sort of parliamentary preamble to tben: there is an air of affected mod. 1
ideas concerning the general policy of the British esty, and ostentatious trifling in them: he seems i empire. Something of this sort seemed to be infond of coqueting with the House of Commons, and dispensable, in order, amid so vast a fluctuation of is perpetually calling the speaker out to dance a passions and opinions, to concenter my thoughts; minuet with him before be begins.” This is strongly to ballast my conduct; to preserve me from bestated, but it sbows a faalt in Mr. Burke, which was ing blown about by every wind of fashionable often spoken of by his contemporaries. Hazlitt at. doctrine. I really did not think it safe, or mastributes it to bis having been " raised into public liv, to have fresh principles to seek upon every life: he was proader of his new dignity than be.
fresh mail which should arrive from America. came so great a man." Perhaps a truer solution is, that Mr. Burke's fancy too ften outran his judgment,
At that period I had the fortune to find my. wbicb was certainly the o.'casion of most of his er.
self in perfect concurrence with a large majonty ors in composition.
in this House 3 Bowing under that high author : An act interdicting the trade and fisheries of all ? This was in 1766, when the Stamp Act was ro the New England colonies.
| pealed by the Rockingbam ndininistration