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ing the highest applause, not on his eloquence only, but on his financial principles. When, however, the principles came to be applied to the particular plans of reform, they did not accede. Burke grounded four bills on his plan, which, after much discussion, were at length rejected.
A new law was proposed this session for excluding contractors from Parliament, and very ably supported by Burke, Fox, and Dunning, and passed the House of Com
During the discussion of Burke's bill, Mr. Dunning, after enlarging very much on the influence of the Crown, and endeavouring to shew that it was attended with most pernicious effects, moved the famous resolution, that the influence of the Crown bas increused, is increasing, and ought , to be diminished. This resolution was supported by Fox, Burke, and the whole force of Opposition, with such effect, that, to the surprise and alarm of Adıninistration, and probably to the astonishment of the mover himself, it was carried by a majority
of 233 to 215, and on it several other resoJutions were grounded. Although this majority was of no long duration on the side of Opposition, it afforded them well grounded hopes that their warfare against the Minister would be at last successful. The country gentlemen had been so moved by the state of public affairs as described by Dunning, Fox, and Burke, that they were staggered in their opinion of Lord North ; and though, after a short dereliction, they again returned to him, it was probable that the increasing burdens from the war, joined to the forcible eloquence of the Opposition leaders, would induce them entirely to abandon Administration ; as afterwards took place. On the general ground of diminishing the influence of the Crown, a bill was proposed under the auspices of Burke, for
preventing revemie officers from voting at elections, but rejected by a small majority. The bill for excluding contractors was lost in the House of Lords. Whether Lord North had suffered it to pass without much opposition in the House of Commons, from either a foreknowledge or predestination of its fate in the upper house, or that he did not actually disapprove of it, I cannot determine. The exclusion of the contractors would probably, in some degree, have promoted Burke's twofold object, restriction of profusion and diminution of corruption.
A motion was made by General Conway for reconciliation with America. posed to remove all their just complaints, but not to acknowledge their independence. It was opposed by the Ministers, who thought it humiliatory as to this nation, and ineffectual as to the object. It was very faintly supported by Burke and the Rockingham part of Opposition, who thought it totally inadequate to the objects.
Although the eminent abilities of Burke had not succeeded in procuring in Parliament the desired reduction of expence, associations continued to be formed by men of talents and property, both in London and other parts of England, the object of which
was reform; an object which they expected ultimately to obtain. Meanwhile, an association for a very different purpose,
and composed of very different persons, gave rise to proceedings of the most disorderly and licentious kind. A Protestant association had been formed in England, consisting of persons of nearly the same rank and character which composed that of Scotland ; persons, who, though many of them were well meaning friends to the Protestant religion, were generally ignorant, and estimated Popery by its former, not its modern state; and who were for applying towards Papists that intolerant spirit which constituted one of the worst qualities of Popery during the
ages of ignorant credulity and clerical usurpation. No man of liberal sentiments, of any party,
any connection with them : they consisted chiefly of persons equally low in rank with those who, in latter times, make up the bulk of the London Corresponding Society. Their object was to procure the repeal of the law of 1778. They framed a petition to Parliament, to which one hundred and twenty thousand of those enlightened theologians put either their names or their marks. It was resolved, that as many of the petitioners as possible should attend at the presentment of their petition. An advertisement for that purpose, signed by Lord George Gordon, was issued. Fifty thousand, at least, assembled with this view, June the 2d, in St. George's Fields: thence they proceeded to the House of Commons, where their petition was presented by their President. The theologians insulted several members of both parties in Parliament. A mob, whether of Protestant associators, other rabble, or both, displayed their zeal in fire-brands, and burnt several popish buildings. The outrages continued, and rapidly extended to the persons and houses of others as well as Roman Catholics. The prisons were destroyed, and their inhabitants let loose, to co-operate with the mob. London, for a week, was the scene of uproar, plunder, and conflagration ; the military force only saved the city from destruc