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when really wrong, was the duty of a patriotic senator: to censure them in 'every case, whether wrong or right, was the part merely of an Opposition member. Burke, indeed, as we have seen in the " • Thoughts on the Cause of the Discontents,' avowed himself a party man, and persisted, during a great portion of his life, in that declaration. His avowal that he was so is nothing to the merit or demerit of the question ; parties are right or wrong according to their object, and the means they employ. To attack not measures only, but men, whatever the measures be, though commonly practised by parties, is inconsistent with justice and truth. It is on questions of great and general policy, involving measures and not men, that we are to look for the exertions of Burke in their highest intellectual, moral, and political excellence. Fox made a motion for an inquiry into the unfortunate expedition from Canada, the purport of which was to prove that the Minister was to blame for the disaster; that the plan was wrong; that Burgoyne had acted agreeably to the tenor of his instructions ; that the force afforded him was inadequate. Burke warmly supported these arguments, although he had neither oral nor written evidence, and proceeded on conjecture, a conjecture in which he was afterwards proved to be wrong, it being evinced by documents that the plan was concerted in conjunction with Burgoyne himself, and that all the force was supplied to him which he deemed necessary.

Here, therefore, Burke was an advocate against the Minister instead of a judge:--a partizan instead of a


The Opposition party, however unanimous in inveighing against Ministers, by no means agreed respecting the terms on which they would proffer peace to the Americans. They were ranged in two classes :-hose of whom the Marquis of Rockingham was the nominal head, Fox and Burke the real; and those of whom Chatham was the leader, assisted by Temple, Shelburne, and Camden, in the House of Lords ; by Colonel Barré,


Dunning, and some others, in the House of
Commons. In the upper house the Chatham
party prevailed ; in the lower the Rocking-
ham. Lord Chatham was utterly inimical
to the independence of America: Burke
and Fox considered it as unavoidable. In

house the principal supporter of that part of Opposition was the Duke of Richmond. Chatham, and the members who joined with him, thought the independence of America the greatest of all possible national evils: Burke and Fox admitted the independence of America to be a great evil, but not to be avoided, without incurring a greater, in the continuance of hostilities, with the addition of a French war; and that even after all our enormous expence

of blood and treasure, its acknowledgement must be ultimately made.

There were some other points in which the different members of Opposition disagreed. Burke and the Rockingham party were inimical to reform in Parliament: Chatham, Shelburne, Dunning, and Camden, were for a reform. Fox and the Duke of Richmond, though

VOL. 11.


they concurred with Burke on the subject of American independence, coincided with Chatham as to reform in Parliament. But though these great inen agreed that some change was necessary, they by no means proposed the same specific object and plans. The Duke of Richmond's scheme of universal suffrage and annual parliaments would have been the greatest deviation from the constitution of Britain: a scheme arising from theoretical views of possible perfection in mankind, and not from the contemplation of their actual history and conduct.


Towards the close of this session, application was made to Parliament in favour of Ireland, to relieve that country from sundry unjust and injudicious restraints respecting their manufactures and trade. These restraints had injured Ireland, it was alledged, without serving Britain. The Irish had been hindered from manufacturing their own wool, in order to favour the woollen manufactory of England. The consequence of this was, that Irish wool was smuggled over into France, to the great detriment of British manufactures, as with such materials France was able to rival this island. The bills were intended to relieve Ireland, and promote her trade and manufactures, without injuring those of this country. Burke was the

great and powerful supporter of the bills. On this subject he displayed an amazing extent of commercial knowledge; he went over the manufactures and trade of the two kingdoms, with the contributions of each to support Government; not their actual state only, but their history and principles. His speech alone was sufficient to convey to any man of understanding, unacquainted with the relative commerce of England and Ireland, and the absolute and relative commerce of Ireland, a complete kno!vledge of the subject. Indeed, whatever speech Burke made on a new question exhibited a full view of the matter in discussion, in all its various relations. One circumstance placed him in a very delicate and embarrassing situation. His constituents of Bristol apprehended that their interest would

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