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rom prejudice or habit, but which we cherishand value because we know that it practically secures the tranquillity and welfare both of individuals and of the publick, and provides, beyond any other frame of government which has ever existed, for the real and useful ends which form at once the only true foundation and only rational object of all political societies.
I have now nearly closed all the considerations which I think it necessary to offer to the committee. I have endeavoured to give a distinct view of the surplus arising on the comparison of the permanent income (computed on the average which I have stated) with what may be expected to be the permanent expenditure in time of peace, and I have also stated the comparison of the supply, and of the ways and means of this particular year. I have pointed out the leading and principal articles of revenue in which the augmentation has taken place, and the corresponding increase in the trade and manufactures of the country; and finally, I have attempted to trace these effects to their causes, and to explain the principles which appear to account for the striking and favourable change in our general situation. From the result of the whole, I trust I am entitled to conclude, that the scene which we are now contemplating is not the transient effect of accident, not the short-lived prosperity of a day, but the genuine and natural result of regular and permanent causes. The season of our severe trial is at an end, and we are at length relieved, not only from the dejection and gloom which, a few years since, hung over the country, but from the doubt and uncertainty which, even for a considerable time after our prospect had begun to brighten, still mingled with the hopes and expectations of the publick. We may yet indeed be subject to those Auctuations which abound in the affairs of a great nation, and which it is impossible to calculate or foresee; but as far as there can be any reliance on human speculations, we have the best ground, from the experience of the past, to look with satisfaction to the present, and with confidence to the future.
demum redit animus, cùm non spem modo ac votum securitas publica, sed ipsius voti fiduciam et robur assumpserit.” This is a state not of hope only, but of attainment; not barely the encouraging prospect of future advantage, but the solid and immediate benefit of present and actual possession.
On this situation and this prospect, fortunate beyond our most sanguine expectations, let me congratulate you, and the house, and my country! And before I conclude, let me express my earnest wish, my anxious and fervent prayer, that now in this period of our success, for the sake of the present age and of posterity, there may be no intermission in that vigilant attention of parliament to every object connected with the revenue, the resources, and the credit of the state, which has carried us through all our difficulties, and led to this rapid and wonderful improvement;-that, still keeping pace with the exertions of the legislature, the genius and spirit, the loyalty and publick virtue of a great and free people, may long deserve, and under the favour of Providence, may ensure the continuance of this unexampled prosperity; and that Great Britain may thus remain for ages in the possession of these distinguished advantages, under the protection and safeguard of that constitution, to which (as we have been truly told from the throne) they are principally to be ascribed, and which is indeed the great source, and the best security of all that can be dear, and valuable to a nation !
MR. BURKE'S SPEECH
AT BRISTOL, PREVIOUS TO THE ELECTION IN THE
THIS speech, Mr. Burke delivered' on the hustings of the city of Bristol, at the election of 1780, in vindication of his parliamentary conduct, which he found on coming among them to be condemned by so large a proportion of his constituents as materially to affect his popularity.
He was charged particularly with having voted for the grant of increased privileges to the Irish
trade contrary to their positive instructions, and under the conviction that the measure would be highly injurious to the commerce of Bristol.
In his defence he is manly, independent, and spirited. Confident of the rectitude of the principles which had governed his conduct, he no where descends to appease the murmurings of discontent, by holding out the winking taper of paltry excuses. “No,” he exclaims, “ I did not obey your instructions. I conformed to the instructions of truth and nature, and maintained your interest, against your opinions, with the constancy that became me. A representative worthy of you, ought to be a person of stability. I am to look, indeed, to your opinions; but to such opinions as you and I must have five years hence. I was not to look at the flash of the day. I knew that you chose me in my place, along with others to be a pillar of the state, and not a weathercock on the top of the edifice, exalted for my levity and versatility; and of no use but to indicate the shiftings of every fashionable gale.”
This eloquent address, however, was ineffectual. On the second day of the election he declined the contest.
MR. MAYOR, AND GENTLEMEN,
the appearance of this large and respectable meeting. The steps I may be obliged to take will want the sanction of a considerable authority; and in explaining any thing which may appear doubtful in my publick conduct, I must naturally desire a very full audience.
I have been backward to begin my canvass.-The dissolution of the parliament was uncertain ; and it did not become me, by an unseasonable importunity, to appear diffident of the fact of my six years endea- . vours to please you. I had served the city of Bristol honourably; and the city of Bristol had no reason to think, that the means of honourable service to the publick, were become indifferent to me.
I found on my arrival here, that three gentlemen had been long in eager pursuit of an object which but two of us can obtain. I found, that they had all met with encouragement. A contested election in such a city as this, is no light thing. I paused on the brink of the precipice. These three gentlemen, by various merits, and on various titles, I made no doubt, were worthy of your favour. I shall never attempt to raise myself by depreciating the merits of my competitors. In the complexity and confusion of these cross pursuits, I wished to take the authentick publick sense of my friends upon a business of so much delicacy. I wished to take your opinion along with me; that if I should give up the contest at the very