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see an army of foreign auxiliaries in Great Britain; we do not want it. If our people are united; if they are attached to the king, and place a confidence in his government, we have an internal strength sufficient to repel any foreign invasion. With respect to Ireland, my lords, I am not of the same opinion. If a powerful foreign army were landed in that kingdom, with arms ready to be put into the hands of the Roman Catholicks, I declare freely to your lordships, that I should heartily wish it were possible to collect twenty thousand German protestants, whether from Hesse or Brunswick, or Wolfenbuttle, or even the unpopular Hanoverian, and land them in Ireland. I wish it, my lords, because I am convinced, that whenever the case happens, we shall have no English army to spare.
I have taken a wide circuit, my lords, and trespassed, I fear, too long upon your lordships' patience. Yet I cannot conclude without endeavouring to bring home your thoughts to an object more immediately interesting to us than any I have yet considered; I mean the internal condition of this country. We may look abroad for wealth, or triumphs, or luxury; but England, my lords, is the main stay, the last resort of the whole empire. To this point every scheme of policy whether foreign or domestick, should ultimately refer. Have any measures been taken to satisfy, or to unite the people? Are the grievances they have so long complained of removed? or do they stand not only unredressed, but aggravated? Is the right of free election restored to the elective body? My lords, I myself am one of the people. I esteem that security and independence, which is the original birthright of an Englishman, far beyond the privileges, however splendid, which are annexed to the peerage. I myself am by birth an English elector, and join with the freeholders of England as in a common cause. Believe me, my lords, we mistake our real interest as much as our duty, when we separate ourselves from the mass of the people. Can it be expected that Englishmen will unite heartily in the defence of a government, by which they feel them
selves insulted and oppressed? Restore them to their rights; that is the true way to make them unanimous. It is not a ceremonious recommendation from the throne, that can bring back peace and harmony to a discontented people. That insipid annual opiate has been administered so long, that it has lost its effect. Something substantial, something effectual must be done.
The publick credit of the nation stands next in degree to the rights of the constitution; it calls loudly for the interposition of parliament. There is a set of men, my lords, in the city of London, who are known to live in riot and luxury, upon the plunder of the ignorant, the innocent, the helpless, upon that part of the community, which stands most in need of, and best deserves the care and protection of the legislature. To me, my lords, whether they be miserable jobbers of 'Change-alley, or the lofty Asiatick plunderers of Leadenhall-street, they are all equally detestable. I care but little whether a man walks on foot, or is drawn by eight horses or six horses; if his luxury be supported by the plunder of his country, I despise and detest him. My lords, while I had the honour of serving his majesty, I never ventured to look at the treasury but at a distance; it is a business I am unfit for, and to which I never could have submitted. The little I know of it has not served to raise my opinion of what is vulgarly called the monied interest; I mean that blood-sucker, that muckworm, which calls itself the friend of government-that pretends to serve this or that administration, and may be purchased, on the same terms, by any administration-that advances money to government, and takes special care of its own emoluments. Under this description I include the whole race of commissiaries, jobbers, contractors, clothiers, and remitters. Yet I do not deny that, even with these creatures some management may be necessary. I hope my lords, that nothing I have said, will be understood to extend to the honest, industrious tradesman, who holds the middle rank, and has given
repeated proofs, that he prefers law and liberty to gold. I love that class of men. Much less would I be thought to reflect upon the fair merchant, whose liberal commerce is the prime source of national wealth. I esteem his occupation, and respect his character.
My lords, if the general representation, which I have had the honour to lay before you, of the situation of publick affairs, has, in any measure, engaged your attention, your lordships, I am sure, will agree with me, that the season calls for more than common prudence and vigour in the direction of our councils. The difficulty of the crisis demands a wise, a firm, and a popular administration. The dishonourable traffick of places has engaged us too long. Upon this subject, my lords, I speak without interest or enmity. I have no personal objection to any of the king's servants. I shall never be minister; certainly not without full power to cut away all the rotten branches of government. Yet, unconcerned as I truly am for myself, I cannot avoid seeing some capital errours in the distribution of the royal favour. There are men, my lords, who if their own services were forgotten, ought to have an hereditary merit with the house of Hanover; whose ancestors stood forth in the day of trouble, opposed their persons and fortunes to treachery and rebellion, and secured to his majesty's family this splendid power of rewarding. There are other men, my lords,* who, to speak tenderly of them, were not quite so forward in the demonstrations of their zeal to the reigning family; there was another cause, my lords, and a partiality to it, which some persons had not at all times discretion enough to conceal. I know I shall be accused of attempting to revive distinctions. My lords, if it were possible, I would abolish all distinctions. I would not wish the favours of the crown to flow invariably in one channel. But there are some distinctions, which are inherent in the nature of things.
* Looking sternly at lord Mansfield.
There is a distinction between right and wrong; be tween wHIG and TORY.
When I speak of an administration, such as the necessity of the season calls for, my views are large and comprehensive. It must be popular, that it may begin with reputation. It must be strong within itself, that it may proceed with vigour and decision. An administration, formed upon an exclusive system of family connexions or private friendships, cannot, I am convinced, be long supported, in this country. Yet, my lords, no man respects, or values more than I do, that honourable connexion, which arises from a disinterested concurrence in opinion upon publick measures, or from the sacred bond of private friendship and esteem. What I mean is, that no single man's private friendships or connexions, however extensive, are sufficient of themselves, either to form or overturn an administration. With respect to the ministry, I believe, they have fewer rivals than they imagine. No prudent man will covet a situation so beset with difficulty and danger.
I shall trouble your lordships with but a few words more. His majesty tells us in his speech, that he will call upon us for our advice, if it should be necessary in the further progress of this affair. It is not easy to say whether or no the ministry are serious in this declaration; nor what is meant by the progress of an affair, which rests upon one fixed point. Hitherto we have not been called upon. But though we are not consulted, it is our right and duty as the king's great, hereditary council, to offer him our advice. The papers, mentioned in the noble duke's motion, will enable us to form a just and accurate opinion of the conduct of his majesty's servants, though not of the actual state of their honourable negotiations. The ministry too, seem to want advice upon some points in which their own safety is immediately concerned. They are now balancing between a war which they ought to have foreseen, but for which they have made no provision, and an ignominious compromise. Let me warn them of their danger. If they are forced