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ity, and penetrated with the sharpness and mind, or some want of knowlei.ge of the world strength of that early impression, I have contin- to hazard plans of government, except from a ued ever since in my original sentiments without seat of authority. Propositions are made, not the least deviation. Whether this be owing to only ineffectually, but somewhat disreputably, an obstinate perseverance in error, or to a relig. when the minds of men are not properly dio. ious adherence to what appears to me truth and posed for their reception ; and, for my part, 1 reason, it is in your equity to judge.
am not ambitious of ridicule-not absolutely a Sir. Parliament having an enlarged view of candidate for disgrace. objects, made, during, this interval, more frequent Besides, sir, to speak the plain truth, I have in ehanges in their sentiment and their conduct than general no very exalted opinion of the virtue of could be justificd in a particular person upon the paper government, nor of any pilitics in which contracted scale of private information. But the plan is to be wholly separated from the exethough I do not hazard any thing approaching cution. But when I saw that anges and vio. to a censure on the motives of former Parliaments lence prevailed every day more and more, and to all those alterations, one fact is undoubted that things were hastening toward an incurable that under them the state of America has been alienation of our colonies, I confess my caution kept in continual agitation. Every thing admin- gave way. I felt this, as one of those few moistered as remedy to the public complaint, if it ments in which decorum yields to a higher duty. did not produce, was at least followed by, a Public calamity is a mighty leveler, and there heightening of the distemper; until, by a variety are occasions when any, even the slightest, of experiments, that important country has been chance of doing good, must be laid hold on, even brought into her present situation—a situation by the most inconsiderable person. which I will not miscall, which I dare not name, To restore order and repose to an empire so which I scarcely know how to comprehend in the great and so distracted as ours, is, merely in the terras of any description.
attempt, an undertaking that would ennoble the In this posture, sir, things stood at the begin flights of the highest genius, and obtain pardon Me Butto inni ning of the session. About that time, for the efforts of the meanest understanding. tad to come for a worthy member (Mr. Rose Fuller Struggling a good while with these thoughts, by
of great parliamentary experience, degrees I felt myself more firm. I derived, at who, in the year 1766, filled the chair of the Amer- length, some confidence from what in other cirican committee with much ability, took me aside, cumstances usually produces timidity. I grew and, lamenting the present aspect of our politics, less anxious, even from the idea of my own insig. told me, things were come to suwu a puss, that nificance. For, judging of what you are by what our former metnols of proceeding in the House you ought to be, I persuaded myself that you wou'd be no longer tolerated. That the public would not reject a reasonable proposition be tribunal (never too indulgent to a long and un-cause it had nothing but its reason to recom. successful Opposition) would now scrutinize our mend it. On the other hand, being totally desconduct with unusual severity. That the very titute of all shadow of influence, natural or advenvicissitudes and shiftings of ministerial measures, titious, I was very sure that if my proposition instead of convicting their authors of inconstancy were futile or dangerous—if it were weakly and want of system, would be taken as an occa conceived or improperly timed, there was nothsion of charging us with a predetermined discon- ing exterior to it of power to awe, dazzle, or de. tent, which nothing could satisfy; while we ac- lude you. You will see it just as it is, and you cused every measure of vigor as cruel, and ev- will treat it just as it deserves. ery proposal of lenity as weak and irresolute. The proposition is peace. Not peace through The public, he said, would not have patience to the medium of war; not peace to be hunt. The thing sce us play the game out with our adversaries: ed through the labyrinth of intricate and proposed. we must produce our hand. It would be ex- endless negotiations; not peace to arise out of pected, that those who for many years had been universal discord, fomented from principle, in all active in such affairs, should show that they had parts of the empire; not peace to depend on the formed some clear and decided idea of the prin- juridical determination of perplexing questions, ciples of colony government, and were capable or the precise marking the shadowy boundaries of drawing out something like a platform of the of a complex government. It is simple peace, grornd which might be laid for future and per- sought in its natural course and its ordinary manent tranquillity.
haunts. It is peace sought in the spirit of peace, I felt the truth of what my honorable friend and laid in principles purely pacific. I propose, Relactance represented, but I felt my sitnation too. by removing the ground of the difference, and by to do mo. His applicaticn might have been made restoring the former unsuspecting confidence of with far greater propriety to many other gentle the colonies in the mother country, to give per men. No man was. indeed, ever better disposed manent satisfaction to your people; and, far 07 Foi se qualified for such an undertaking than from a scheme of ruling by discord, to reconcile Qyself. Though I gave 30 far into his opinion them to each other in the same act, and by the that I immediately threw my thoughts into a bond of the very same interest, which reconciler sort of parliamentary form, I was by no means them to British government. equally ready to produce them. It generally My idea is nothing more. Refined policy ever ugues some degree of natural 'mpotence of has been the parent of confusion, and ever wili br so as long as the world endures. Plain good good deal beyond that mark, and has admitted intention, which is as easily discovered at the that the complaints of our former mode of exert first view as fraud is surely detected at last, is ing the right of taxation were not wholly un (let me say) of no mean force in the govern- founded. That right, thus exerted, is allowed ment of mankind. Genuine simplicity of heart to have had something reprehensible in it, some is a healing and cementing principle. My plan, thing unwise, or something grievous; since, in therefore, being formed upon the most simple the midst of our heat and resentment, we, of our grounds imaginable, may disappoint some peo- selves, have proposed a capital alteration, and ple when they hear it. It has nothing to rec. in order to get rid of what seemed so very ex ommend it to ihe pruriency of curious ears. ceptionable, have instituted a mode that is alto. There is nothing at all new and captivating in gether new; one that is, indeed, wholly alicn t. It has nothing of the splendor of the project from all the ancient methods and forms of Par. which has been lately laid upon your table by liament. the noble Lord in the blue ribbon (Lord North). The principle of this proceeding is large It does not propose to fill your lobby with squab- enough for my purpose. The means proposed bling colony agents, who will require the inter- by the noble Lord for carrying his ideas into exposition of your mace at every instant to keep ecution, I think, indeed, are very indifferently the peace among them. It does not institute a suited to the end; and this I shall endeavor to magnificent auction of finance, where captivated show you before I sit down. But, for the pres. provinces come to general ransom by bidding ent, I take my ground on the admitted principle. against each other, until you knock down the I mean to give peace. Peace implies reconcilhammer, and determine a proportion of pay- iation; und, where there has been a material dis. ments beyond all the powers of algebra to pute, reconciliation does in a manner always imequalize and settle.
ply concession on the one part or on the other The plan which I shall presume to suggest In this state of things I make no difficulty in The plan jus derives, however, one great advantage affirming that the proposal ought to originate Noed by Lord from the proposition and registry of from us. Great and acknowledged force is not ect that noble Lord's project. The idea impaired, either in effect or in opinion, by an unof conciliation is admissible. First, the House, in willingness to exert itself. The superior power accepting the resolution moved by the noble Lord, may offer peace with honor and with safety. has admitted, notwithstanding the menacing front Such an offer from such a power will be attrib. of our address," notwithstanding our heavy bill of uted to magnanimity. But the concessions of the pains and penalties, that we do not think ourselves weak are the concessions of fear. When such a precluded from all ideas of free grace and bounty. one is disarmed, he is wholly at the mercy of his
The House has gone farther; it has declared superior, and he loses forever that time and those conciliation admissible, previous to any submis chances which, as they happen to all men, arc sion on the part of America. It has even shot al the strength and resources of all inferior power.
The capital leading questions on which you That when the governor, council, or Assembly, or
must this day decide, are these two: First, General Court of any of his Majesty's provinces or whether you ought to concede ; and, secondly, colonies in America, shall propose to make provision, what your concession ought to be. according to the condition, circumstances, and situa I. On the first of these questions we hare tion of such province or colony, for contributing their gained, as I have just taken the liberty of observ. proportion to the common defense (such proportion to
ing to you, some ground. But I am sensible that be raised under the authority of the General Court or
| a good deal more is still to be done. Indeed, sir, General Assembly of such province or colony, and disposable by Parliament), and shall engage to make
| to enable us to determine both on the one and the provision also for the support of the civil government other of these great questions with a firm and preand the administration of justice in such province or cise judgment, I think it may be necessary to concolony, it will be proper, if such proposal shall be ap- sider distinctly, proved by his Majesty and the two houses of Parlia The true nature and the peculiar circuin ment, and for so long as such provision shall be made stances of the object which we have first reperat accordingly, to forbear, in respect of such province before us; because, after all our strug. consideration
S; Decause, and an out or colony, to levy any duty, tax, or assessment, or to
"E' State and er
gle, whether we will or not, we must cumstances of impose any farther duty, tax, or assessment, except
govern America according to that nasuch duties as it may be expedient to continue to levy or impose for the regulation of commerce: the
ture and to those circumstances, and not accord. net produce of the duties last mentioned to be car. ing to our imaginations; not according to abstract ried to the account of such province or colony re- ideas of right; by no means according to mere spectively.-Resolution moved by Lord North in general theories of government, the resort to the committee, and agreed to by the House, 27th which appears to me, in our present situation. February, 1775.
no better than arrant trifling. I shall therefore 5 The ministry had previously procured the pass- endeavor, with your leave, to lay before you some ing of an address to the King, declaring that a re.
of the most material of these circumstances in as belli in existed in Massachusetts ; requesting his Majesty to take reflectual means for its suppression;
| full and as clear a manner as I am able to state and pledging the zealous o-operation of Parliament
them. in whatever measures bo might adopt for that par
(1.) The first thing that we have in consider poso.
| with regard to the nature of the oljaet, is the
number of people in the colonies. I with great ability, by a distinguished person (Mr. Population
have taken for some years a good deal Gower) at your bar. This gentleman, after thir, of pains on that point. I can by no calculation ty-five years—it is so long since he appeared ar justify myself in placing the number below two the same place to plead for the commerce of millions of inhabitants of our own European Great Britain—has come again before you to blood and color, besides at least five hundred plead the same cause, without any other effect of thousand others, who form no inconsiderable part time, than that, to the fire of imagination and exof the strength and opulence of the whole. This, tent of erudition which even then marked him as sir is, I believe, about the true number. There one of the first literary characters of his age, he is no sccasion to exaggerate, where plain truth has added a consummate knowledge in the conis of so much weight and importance. But mercial interest of his country, formed by a lorg whether I put the present numbers too high or course of enlightened and discriminating expetoo low, is a matter of little moment. Such is rience. the strength with which populatior. shoots in Sir, I should be inexcusable in coming after that part of the world, that, state the numbers such a person with any detail, if a great part of as high as we will, while the dispute continues, the members who now fill the House had not the exaggeration ends. . While we are discuss the misfortune to be absent when he appeared ing any given magnitude, they are grown to it. at your bar. Besides, sir, I propose to take the While we spend our time in deliberating on the matter at periods of time somewhat different mode of governing two millions, we shall find from his. There is, if I mistake not, a point of we have two millions more to manage. Your view, from whence, if you will look at this sub children do not grow faster from infancy to man-ject, it is impossible that it should not make an hood, than they spread from families to commu- impression upon you. nities, and from villages to nations.
I have in my hand two accounis : one a comI put this consideration of the present and the parative state of the export trade of England to growing numbers in the front of our deliberation; its colonies as it stood in the year 1704, and as because, sir, this consideration will make it evi- it stood in the year 1772; the other a state of dent to a blanter discernment than yours, that no the export trade of this country to its colonies partial, narrow, contracted, pinched, occasional | alone, as it stood in 1772, compared with the system will be at all suitable to such an object. whole trade of England to all parts of the world, It will show you that it is not to be considered the colonies included, in the year 1704. They as one of those minima which are out of the eye are from good vouchers; the latter period from and consideration of the law; not a paltry ex- the accounts on your table, the earlier from an crescence of the state ; not a mean dependent, original manuscript of Davenant, who first es. who may be neglected with little damage, and tablished the inspector general's office, which provoked with little danger. It will prove that has been ever since his time so abundant a some degree of care and caution is required in source of parliamentary information. the handling such an object; it will show that The export trade to the colonies consists of you ought not, in reason, to trifle with so large three great branches : the African, which, term. a mass of the interests and feelings of the hunan inating almost wholly in the colonies, must be race. You could at no time do so without guilt; ! put to the account of their commerce; the West and, be assured, you will not be able to do it long Indian, and the North American. All these are with impunity.
so interwoven, that the attempt to separate them (2.) But the population of this country, the would tear to pieces the contexture of the whole.
great and growing population, though and, if not entirely destroy, would very much de
* a very important consideration, will preciate the value of all the parts. I therefore lose much of its weight, if not combined with consider these three denominations to be, wha: other circumstances. The commerce of your | in effect they are, one trade. colonies is out of all proportion beyond the num-/ The trade to the colonies, taken on the export bers of the people. This ground of their com- side, at the beginning of this century, that is, in merce, indeed, has been trod some days ago, and the year 1704, stood thus :
Exports to North America and the This is in Mr. Burke's best style. The compar
West Indies................. €483 ison beautifully illastrates the idea, and justifies his
To Africa.......... ....... 86,603 assertion, that while "the dispute continues, the exaggeration ends." It is curious to observe, as one
£569,930 of the artifices of language, how Jobnson treats the same idea in bis Taxation no Tyranny, where be In the year 1772, which I take as a middle contrives to cover it with contempt in the minds of year between the highest and lowest of those late. the Tories, for whom he wrote, by a dexterous use ly laid on your table, the account was as follows. of speers and appropriate imagery. “We are told i To North America and the West that the continent of North America contains three Indies ..... millions, not merely of men, but of Whigs--of Whigs
................. £4,791,734 To Africa.................
866,398 fierce for liberty and disdainful of dominion; that
To which, if you add the export they multiply with the fecundity of their raltvio
trade from Scotland, which Saukes, so that every quarter of a century they duable their pambers !"
had in 1704 no existence.... 364,000 His conclusion is, that hey mast be crushed in the egg.
From ñve huadred and odd thousand, it basauspicious youth, foreseeing the many virtues. grown to six millions. It has increased no less which made him one of the most amiable, as he than twelve-fold. This is the state of the colony is one of the most fortunate men of his age, had trade, as compared with itself at these two pe- opened to him in vision, that when, in the fourth riods, within this century; and this is matter for generation, the third prince of the house of Bruns. meditation But this is not all. Examine my wick had sat twelve years on the throne of that second account. See how the export trade to nation, which, by the happy issue of moderate and the colonies alone in 1772 stood in the other healing councils, was to be made Great Britain point of view, that is, as compared to the whole he should see his son, Lord Chancellor of England, trade of England in 1704.
turn back the current of hereditary dignity to its The whole export trade of En
sountain, and raise him to a higher rank of peergland, including that to the
age, while he enriched the family with a new colonies, in 1704........... £6,509,000 one. If, amid these bright and happy scenes of Exported to the colonies alone,
domestic honor and prosperity, that angel should in 1772 .................. 6,024,000 have drawn up the curtain, and unfolded the ris. Difference.. £485,000
| ing glories of his country, and while be was gaz.
ing with admiration on the then commercial The trade with America alone is now within grandeur of England, the genius should point out less than £500,000 of being equal to what this to him a little speck, scarce visible in the mase great commercial nation, England, carried on at of the national interest, a small seminal principle the beginning of this century with the whole rather than a formed body, and should tell him, world! If I had taken the largest year of those “Young man, there is America—which at this on your table, it would rather have exceeded. day serves for little more than to amuse you with But, it will be said, is not this American trade stories of savage men and uncouth manners; ret an unnatural protuberance, that has drawn the shall, before you taste death, show itself equal to juices from the rest of the body? The reverse. the whole of that commerce which now attracts It is the very food that has nourished every other the envy of the world. Whatever England has part into its present magnitude. Our general been growing to by a progressive increase of im. trade has been greatly augmented, and aug- provement, brought in by varieties of people, by mented more or less in almost every part to which succession of civilizing conquests and civilizing it ever extended, but with this material differ settlements in a series of seventeen hundred years, ence, that of the six millions which in the be- you shall see as much added to her by America ginning of the century constituted the whole mass in the course of a single life!" If this state of of our export commerce, the colony trade was his country had been foretold to him, would is but one twelfth part; it is now (as a part of six- | not require all the sanguine credulity of youth teen millions) considerably more than a third of and all the fervid glow of enthusiasm, to make the whole. This is the relative proportion of the him believe it ? Fortunate man, he has livec importance of the colonies at these two periods; to see it! Fortunate indeed, if he live 10 sec and all reasoning concerning our mode of treating them must have this proportion as its basis. The quotation is taken from Virgil's fourth Eclogue. or it is a reasoning weak, rotten, and sophistical where the poet predicts the birth of a child who
should restore the peace and plenty of the Golden Mr. Speaker, I cannot prevail on myself to
Age. The passage has been commonly referred to nurry over this great consideration. It is good a child whose birth was expected from the sister of for us to be here. We stand where we have an Augustus, and which the Emperor designed to adopt immense view of what is, and what is past. as bis own. Hence the “acta parentis” in the words Clouds, indeed, and darkness, rest upon the fu below. ture. Let us, however, before we descend from At simul heroum laudes et acta Parentis this noble eminence, reflect that this growth of Jam legere, et quæ sit poteris cognoscere rirtus, Jur national prosperity has happened within the Molli paulatim flavescet campus arista, short period of the life of man. It has happened Incultisque rubens pendebit sentibus riva, within sixty-eight years. There are those alive
Et duræ quercus sudabunt roscida mella. whose memory might touch the two extremities.
When thou can'st read For instance, my Lord Bathurst might remem Our heroes' praises and thy Father's deeds, ber all the stages of the progress. He was in
And know what virtue is, o'er all our plains 1704 of an age at least to be made to compre
Sball golden harvests wave with ripened cord ,
The raddy grape hang from ancultured thorps, hend such things. He was then old enough"acta
And dewy honey flow from rugged oaks. parentum jam legere, et quæ sit poterit cognoscere virtus.”? Suppose, sir, that the angel of this
In thus alluding to Lord Bathurst, Mr. Burke au
doubtedly thought of bim only as advanced in years, 7 Mr. Burke in adapting this passage to the con. without reflecting on his exact age. He was bort text, has changed some of the words and omitted in 1684, and was therefore, in 1704, not onlv"Cfar others. so as to render the construction obscure. age to be made to comprehend such things,' Blog When he made the first infinitive, legere, dependent the verge of manhood, and actually took his seat in
n the preceding English plerase, he should have done Parliament the next year, 1705. The son of Lord the same with cognoscere, omitting poterit. Thus Bathurst, referred to above, was Henry,created Lord it would read," He was then old enough to read the Apsley, and raised to the dignity of Lord Cleocelly sploits of his ancestors, and learn what virtue is." 1 in 1771.
nothing to vary the prospect and cloud the set-1 (4.) As to the wealth which the colonies have ung of his day !
| drawn from the sea by their fisheries, you Fisheries Excuse me, sir, if, turning from such thoughts, had all that matter fully opened at your came I resume this comparative view once more. You bar. You surely thought those acquisitions of have seen it on a large scale; look at it on a value, for they seemed even to excite your envy; small one. I will point out to your attention a and yet, the spirit by which that enterprising emparticular instance of it in the single province of ployment has been exercised, ought rather, in my Pennsylvania. In the year 1704 that province opinion, to have raised your esteem and admiracalled for <€11,459 in value of your commodities, tion. And pray, sir, whai in the world is equai native and foreign. This was the whole. What to it? Pass by the other parts, and look at the did it demand in 1772? Why nearly fisty times manner in which the people of New England have as much; for in that year the export to Pennsyl- of late carried on the whale fishery. While vie Fania was £507,909, nearly equal to the export follow them among the tumbling mountains of to all the colonies together in the first period. lice, and behold them penetrating into the deep
I choose, sir, to enter into these minute and par- est frozen recesses of Hudson's Bay and Davis's ticular details, because generalities, which, in all Straits — while we are looking for them be. other cases are apt to heighten and raise the sub- neath the arctic circle, we hear that they have ject, have here a tendency to sink it. When we pierced into the opposite region of polar coldspeak of the commerce with our colonies, fiction that they are at the antipodes, and engaged unlags after truth; invention is unfruitful, and im- der the frozen Serpent of the south.10 Falkland agination cold and barren.
Island, which seemed too remote and romantic an So far, sir, a ; to the importance of the object in object for the grasp of national ambition, is but a the view of its commerce, as concerned in the ex- stage and resting-place in the progress of their ports from England. If I were to detail the im- victorious industry. Nor is the equinoctial heat ports, I could show how many enjoyments they more discouraging to them than the accumulated procure, which deceive the burden of life; how winter of both the poles. We know that whilo many materials which invigorate the springs of some of them draw the line and strike the har. national industry, and extend and animate every poon on the coast of Africa, others run the lonpart of our foreign and domestic commerce. gitude, and pursue their gigantic game along the This would be a curious subject indeed; but I coast of Brazil. No sea but what is vexed by most prescribe bounds to myself in a matter so their fisheries. No climate that is not witness vast and various.
to their toils. Neither the perseverance of Hol. (3.) I pass, therefore, to the colonies in another land, nor the activity of France, nor the dexter.
point of view—their agriculture. This ous and firm sagacity of English enterprise, ever 1 ltare
they have prosecuted with such a spir- carried this most perilous mode of hardy industry tbat, besides feeding plentifully their own grow- to the extent to which it has been pushed by this ing multitude, their annual export of grain, com- recent people—a people who are still, as it were, prehending rice, has, some years ago, exceeded a but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the million in value of their last harvest I am per- bone of manhood. When I contemplate these suaded they will export much more. At the be- things—when I know that the colonies in general ginning of the century, some of these colonies im- owe little or nothing to any care of ours, and that ported corn from the mother country. For some they are not squeezed into this happy form by time past the old world has been sed from the new. the constraints of watchful and suspicious gov. The scarcity which you have felt would have been ernment, but that, through a wise and salutary a desolating lamine, if this child of your old age, neglect, a generous nature has been suffered to with a true filial piety, with a Roman charity, had not put the full breast of its youthful exuberance for some atrocious crime to be strangled in prison ; to the mouth of its exhausted parent.
but the jailer, disliking to execute the sentence, left
ber without food to perish of hunger. Her daughter, . It may be doubted whether this amplification, with great importunity, obtained permission to visit and tbe more graphic one which follows in respect her from time to time, but only after being carefully to the fisheries of New England, are not out of place searched to prevent the introduction of food. As in an argument of this kind before the House of Com the woman lived beyond all expectation, the jailer mons. They would bave been perfectly appropriate | resolved to discover the secret; and, coming sudin an address like that of Daniel Webster on the denly upon them, found the daughter (who had a landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, since the au. little before given birth to a child) sustaining the dience had met for the very purpose of being de- | mother from her own breast. The magistrates, lighted with rich trains of thought, beautifully ex. struck with admiration at this instance of filial pi. pressed. We who read the speech at the present ety, pardoned the mother for the daughter's sake, day, dwell on such passages with unmingled grati- and provided for the support of both at the public fication, because we peruse them much in the same expense. Festus and Solinus, writers of a later spirit. But they would certainly be unsafe models age, represent it to bave been a father, not a moth. for a business speaker.
er, who was thus sustained; and in this forc: the The deed of “Roman charity" referred to in this story has been more generally received in modero beautiful image was celebrated in the annals of the times. republic, and is related by Pliny in his Natural His- 10 The Hydrus, or Water Serpent, is a small cor tory, lib. vii., 36, and alsc, more at large, by Vale. stellation lying very far to the south, w thin the ani rias Maximus, lib. v., 4. A woman was condenad ) arctic circle.