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tainly meant to pay a just tribute of applause to those who, feeling alive to a sense of the oppressions under which their countrymen had groaned, disobeyed the des. potic commands of their leaders, and gallantly espoused the cause of their fellow-citizens, in a struggle for the acquisition of that liberty, the felicities of which we all enjoyed. He begged, however, not to be misunder. stood in his ideas of liberty. True liberty could only exist amidst the union and co-operation of the different powers which composed the legislative, and the executive government. Never should he lend himself to support any cabal, or scheme, formed in order to introduce any dangerous innovation into our excellent constitution; he would not, however, run the length of declaring, that he was an enemy to every species of innovation. That constitution, which we all revered, owed its perfection to innovation ; for however admirable the theory, experience was the true test of its order and beauty. His right honorable friend might rest assured, that they could never differ in principles, however they might differ in their application. In the application of their principles, they more than once had experienced the misfortune of differing, particularly in regard to the representation of the people in parliament, and they might occasionally continue to differ in regard to other points, which depended rather on the application of their principles, than on their principles themselves. The scenes of bloodshed and cruelty which had been acted in France, no man could have heard of, without lamenting ; but still, when the severe tyranny under which the people had so long groaned, was considered, the excesses which they committed, in their endeavour to shake off the yoke of des. potism, might he thought, be spoken of, with some des gree of compassion ; and he was persuaded that, un.
settled as their present state appeared, it was preferable to their former condition, and that ultimately it would be for the advantage of this country, that France had regained her freedom. What had given him the greatest uneasiness, in hearing the latter part of his right honorable friend's speech, was, lest from its being well-known that he had long considered it as the boast and happiness of his life to have lived on terms of the most perfect confidence and intimacy with his right honorable friend, an impression might be left on the minds of that House, or on the minds of the public, that there had existed some grounds for suspicion that he could so far forget himself, upon the score either of principles or duty, as at any moment to countenance, or rather not vehemently to reprobate all doctrines and all measures inimical to the constitution. Again, therefore, must he repeat, under the most solemn assurances, to his right honorable friend, that he never would lend himself to any cabal, nor, on any occasion, act in a manner in. compatible with the principles which he had so repeatedly professed, and which he held in common with his right honorable friend. He differed, however, from his right honorable friend in his opinion of the Revolution in 1688. From that period we had undoubtedly to date the definition and confirmation of our liberties; and the case was certainly more parallel to the revolution in France, than his right honorable friend seemed willing to allow. The reason why France had so long been settling her constitution, and why we had so soon adjusted ours in 1688, was owing to there being so much despotism to destroy in France, and so little which called for destruction when the revolution in our government took place; a fact which of itself was sufficient to convince his right honorable friend that there was no ground
whatever for the apprehensions which he had that day stated. He imputed this warmth of his right honorable friend, and the extent to which he had pushed this argument, to a laudable, but extreme, anxiety, lest any man should be rash enough to hazard an attempt to render what had passed in France an object of imitation in this country. In conclusion, Mr. Fox observed, that he should embrace a future opportunity of entering more amply into a discussion respecting the affairs of France, as far they may ultimately operate either in favor of, or against this country, should the House consider it necessary to fix upon such a topic for conversation."
“Mr. BURKE answered, that he could, without the least flattery or exaggeration, assure his right honorable friend that the separation of a limb from his body could scarcely give him more pain, than the circumstance of differing from him, violently and publicly, in opinion. It was not even in his idea to insinuate that his right honorable friend would lend his aid to any plan concerted for the support of dangerous and unconstitutional procedures He knew the contrary-His motive for the remarks which he had made, was to warn those who did not possess the brilliant talents and illumined penetration of his right honorable friend, whose moderation was one of the leading features of his political character, from entertaining sentiments which he conceived to be adverse to good government. He was exceedingly glad, however, that he had delivered himself so plainly in his former speech, since what he had said had drawn from his right honorable friend an explanation not more satisfactory to his mind, than it was (he was persuaded) to the House, and all who had heard it.
“ With regard to innovation, he was the last man living who was an enemy to reform. Indeed, he must be regarded as a fool, if he, who had himself been a known proposer of reforms of various descriptions, should now stand up as an enemy to every reform. All which he was anxious to protect and preserve, were the grounds of the constitution itself, which ought ever to be kept sacred. Of clubs, and associations he had, generally, disapproved; and he should always resist, to the utmost of his power and ability, any attempt to destroy or enfeeble the first principles of our unrivalled form of government, in the defence of which, were it to become necessary, the last drop of his blood should be expended. Having recurred to the example of the conduct of France, during a time of peace, and contended, that, as was the case in the reign of Louis the Fourteenth, it had frequently proved more dangerous to this country than a state of open war, Mr. Burke, in conclusion, became again the warm panegyrist of Mr. Fox; and repeated and re-inforced the doctrine which he had maintained upon the subject of the revolution.”
Mr. SHERIDAN declared,“ that he rose with the greatest regret ; but that the very reasons which his right honor. able, friend (Mr. BURKE) had given for the sentiments which he had that day uttered, namely, an apprehension of being supposed to acquiesce in the opinions of those for whom he entertained the highest regard, and with whom he had uniformly acted, operated also on his mind, and made him feel it a duty to declare, that he dif. fered decidedly from that right honorable gentleman in almost every word that he had uttered respecting the French Revolution. Mr. SHERIDAN added some warm compliments to Mr. BURKE's general principles; but said that he could not conceive how it was possible for a person of such principles, or for any man who valued our own constitution, and revered the Revolution that
obtained it for us, to unite with such feelings an indige nant and unqualified abhorrence of all the proceedings of the patriotic party in France.
“He conceived theirs to be as just a Revolution as qurs, proceeding upon as sound a principle, and a greater provocation. He vehemently defended the general views and conduct of the national assembly; he could not even understand what was meant by the charge against them of having overturned the laws, the justice, and the revenues of their country. What were their laws? The arbitrary mandates of capricious despotism. What their justice? The partial adjudications of venal magistrates. What their revenue ? National bankruptcy. This he thought the fundamental error of the right honorable gentleman's argument, that he accused the national assembly of creating the evils, which they had found existing in full deformity at the first hour of their meeting. The public creditor had been defrauded; the manufacturer was without employ; trade was languishing ; famine clang upon the poor; despair on all. In this situation, the wisdom and feelings of the nation were appealed to by the government; and was it to be wondered at by. Englishmen, that a people, so circumstanced, should search for the cause and source of all their calamities; or that they should find them in the arbitrary constitution of their government, and in the prodigal and corrupt administration of their revenues ? For such an evil, when proved, what remedy could be resorted to, but a radical amendment of the frame and fabric of the constitution itself. This change was not the object and wish of the national assembly only; it was the claim and cry of all France, united as one man for one purpose. He joined with Mr. Burke in abhorring the cruelties that had been committed ; but what was the