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against me, who may be divided into three class- / be asked on this point, Are the people on the es, the Boys, the riper Patriots, and the Tories.' court side more united than on the other? Are The Tories I can easily forgive. They have un. not the Tories, Jacobites, and Patriots equally willingly come into the measure; and they do determined ? What makes this strict union ? me honor in thinking it necessary to remove me, What cements this heterogeneous mass? Party as their only obstacle. What, then, is the infer- engagements and personal attachments. How. ence to be drawn from these premises ? That ever different their views and principles, they all demerit with my opponents ought to be consid- agree in opposition. The Jacobites distress tho ered as merit with others. But my great and government they would subvert; the Tories conprincipal crime is my long continuance in office; tend for party prevalence and power. The Pa. or, in other words, the long exclusion of those triots, from discontent and disappointment, would who now complain against me. This is the hei. change the ministry, that themselves may ex. vous offense which exceeds all others. I keep clusively succeed. They have labored this point from them the possession of that power, those twenty years unsuccessfully. They are impahonors, and those emoluments, to which they so tient of longer delay. They clamor for change ardently and pertinaciously aspire. I will not of measures, but mean only change of ministers. attempt to deny the reasonableness and necessity | In party contests, why should not both sides of a party war; but in carrying on that war, all be equally steady? Does not a Whig adminisprinciples and rules of justice should not be de-tration as well deserve the support of the Whigs parted from. The Tories must confess that the as the contrary? Why is not principle the cemost obnoxious persons have felt few instances ment in one as well as the other; especially of extra-judicial power. Wherever they have when my opponents confess that all is leveled been arraigned, a plain charge has been exhib- against one man? Why this one man? Beited against them. They have had an impartial cause they think, vainly, nobody else could withtrial, and have been permitted to make their de- stand them. All others are treated as tools and fense. And will they, who have experienced vassals. The one is the corrupter; the num this fair and equitable mode of proceeding, actbers corrupted. But whence this cry of corrup in direct opposition to every principle of justice, tion, and exclusive claim of honorable distinc. ad establish this fatal precedent of parliament tion? Compare the estates, characters, and forary inquisition? Whom would they conciliate tunes of the Commons on one side with those on by a conduct so contrary to principle and pre the other. Let the matter be fairly investigated cedent ?
Survey and examine the individuals who usually Can it be fitting in them (the Tories), who support the measures of government, and those bare divided the public opinion of the nation, to who are in opposition. Let us see to whose side share it with those who now appear as their the balance preponderates. Look round both. competitors ? With the men of yesterday, the Houses, and see to which side the balance of vir. boys in politics, who would be absolutely con- tue and talents preponderates! Are all theso temptible did not their audacity render them de- on one side, and not on the other? Or are all testable? With the mock patriots, whose prac- these to be counterbalanced by an affected claim tice and professions prove their selfishness and to the exclusive title of patriotism? Gentlemen malignity; who threatened to pursue me to de- have talked a great deal of patriotism. A venstruction, and who have never for a moment lost erable word, when duly practiced. But I am sight of their object? These men, under the sorry to say that of late it has been so much name of Separatists, presume to call themselves hackneyed about, that it is in danger of falling exclusively the nation and the people, and under into disgrace. The very idea of true patriotism that character assume all power. In their es. is lost, and the term has been prostituted to the timation, the King, Lords, and Commons are a very worst of purposes. A patriot, sir! Why, faction, and they are the government. Upon patriots spring up like mushrooms! I could these principles they threaten the destruction of raise filty of them within the four-and-twenty all authority, and think they have a right to hours. I have raised many of them in one night. judge, direct, and resist all legal magistrates. It is but refusing to gratify an unreasonable or They withdraw from Parliament because they an insolent demand, and up starts a patriot. I succeed in nothing; and then attribute their want have never been afraid of making patriots; but of success, not to its true cause, their own want | I disdain and despise all their efforts. This preof integrity and importance, but to the effect of tended virtue proceeds from personal malice and places, pensions, and corruption. May it not disappointed ambition. There is not a man
among them whose particular aim I am not able By the Boys he means Pitt, Lyttleton, &c., who to ascertain, and from what motive they have were recently from college, with an ardent love of entered into the lists of opposition. liberty, and much under the influence of Pulteney
I shall now consider the articles of aycıxation and others of more mature age, who were the "riper
which they have brought against me, and which Patriots." * This refers to a secession from the House head.
they have not thought fit to reduce to specific ed by Wyndham, after the debate on the Spanish charges; and I shall consider these in the saine convention in 1739. It placed those who withdrew in a very awkward and even ridiculous position, ency some months after, when war was declarec from which they were glad to escape with consist against Spain.
order as that in which they were placed by the I hope it will no. ve said we had any reason honorable member who made the motion. First, to quarrel with France upon that account; and in regard to foreign affairs; secondly, to domestic therefore, if our accepting of that mediation affairs; and, thirdly, to the conduct of the war. might have produced a rupture with France, it
i. As to foreign affairs, I must take notice of was not our duty to interfere unless we had the uncandid manner in which the gentlemen on something very beneficial to expect from the ac the other side have managed the question, by ceptance. A reconciliation between the courts blending numerous treaties and complicated ne- of Vienna and Madrid, it is true, was desirable gotiations into one general mass.
to all Europe as well as to us, provided it had To form a fair and candid judgment of the been brought about without any design to dissubject, it becomes necessary not to consider the turb our tranquillity or the tranquillity of Europe. treaties merely insulated; but to advert to the But both parties were then so high in their de. time in which they were made, to the circum-mands that we could hope for no success; and stances and situation of Europe when they were if the negotiation had ended without effect, we made, to the peculiar situation in which I stand, might have expected the common fate of arbi. and to the power which I possessed. I am call- trators, the disobliging of both. Therefore, as ed repeatedly and insidiously prime and sole min. it was our interest to keep well with both, I ister. Admitting, however, for the sake of ar- must still think it was the most prudent part we gument, that I am prime and sole minister in could act to refuse the offered mediation this country, am I, therefore, prime and sole The next step of our foreign conduct, exposed minister of all Europe ? Am I answerable for to reprehension, is the treaty of Hanover." Sir the conduct of other countries as well as for that if I were to give the true history of that treaty, of my own ? Many words are not wanting to which no gentleman can desire I should, I am show, that the particular view of each court oc- sure I could ful!: justify my own conduct. But casioned the dangers which affected the public as I do not desia to justify my own without jus. tranquillity; yet the whole is charged to my ac- tifying his late Majesty's conduct, I must ob. count. Nor is this sufficient. Whatever was serve that bis late Majesty had such information the conduct of England, I am equally arraigned. as convinced not only him, but those of his counIf we maintained ourselves in peace, and took cil, both at home and abroad, that some danger. no share in foreign transactions, we are reproach-ous designs had been formed between the Em. ed for tameness and pusillanimity. If, on the peror and Spain at the time of their concluding contrary, we interfered in these disputes, we are the treaty at Vienna, in May, 1725; des gns, called Don Quixotes, and dupes to all the world. sir, which were dangerous not only to the liberIf we contracted guarantees, it was asked why ties of this nation, but to the liberties of Europe. is the nation wantonly burdened? If guarantees They were not only to wrest Gibraltar and Port were declined, we were reproached with having Mahon from this nation, and force the Pretender no allies.
upon us; but they were to have Don Carlos mar. I have, however, sir, this advantage, that all | ried to the Emperor's eldest daughter, whu the objections now alleged against the conduct would thereby have had a probability of uniting of the administration to which I have the honor in his person, or in the person of some of his suc-, to belong, have already been answered to the cessors, the crowns of France and Spain, with satisfaction of a majority of both houses of Par- the imperial dignity and the Austrian dominions. liament, and I believe to the satisfaction of a It was therefore highly reasonable, both in France majority of the better sort of people in the na- and us, to take the alarm at such designs, and tion. I need, therefore, only repeat a few of these to think betimes of preventing their being caranswers that have been made already, which I ried into execution. But with regard to us, it shall do in the order of time in which the sev- was more particularly our business to take the eral transactions happened ; and consequently alarm, because we were to have been immedi. must begin with our refusing to accept of the ately attacked. I shall grant, sir, it would have sole mediation offered us by Spain, on the breach been very difficult, if not impossible, for Spain between that court and the court of France, occasioned by the dismission of the Infanta of
1 Spain now tarned her resentment against En. Spain.)
gland, and settled her differences with the Emperor
of Germany on terms so favorable to the latter, as 3 The Infanta of Spain was betrothed to Louis to awaken suspicions (which were confirmed by seXV., king of France, when four years old, and was cret intelligence) that some hidden compact had sent to Paris to be educated there. At the end of been made, for conjointly attacking the dominions of two years, Louis broke off the engagement and sent England. To counteract this, England 1725 her back to Madrid. This indigpity awakened the united with France, Prussia, Denmark, and Holland. kenest resentment at the Spanish court, which in an opposing league, by a compact called the soucht to involve England in the quarrel by offering treaty of Hanover, from the place wbere it was to mike her sole mediator in respect to existing made. The evidence of these facts could not ther differenres between Spain and the Emperor of Ger- be brought forward to defend the ministry; and many, thus throwing Spain entirely into the hands hence the treaty of Hanover, and the consequent of England. The English government, for the real expenditures on the Continent, were extremely un. cons here assigned by Walpole, wisely rejected the popular in England. But subsequent disclosures mediation, and this was now imputed to him as a bave made it nearly or quite certain, that every crime.
I thing here alleged by Walpole was strictly true.
and the Emperor joined together, to have invaded of the cabinet .o assist the mouse of Austria, ir or made themselves masters of any of the Brit- conformity with the articles of ihat guarantee.' ish dominions. But will it be said they might As to the guarantee of the Pragmatic Sanc not bave invaded the King's doszisions in Ger- | tion, I am really surprised to find that measure many, in order to force him to a compliance with objected to. It was so universally approved of, wba: they desired of him as King of Great Brit- both within doors and without that till this very ain? And if those dominions had been invaded day I think no fault was ever found with it, ulon account of a quarrel with this nation, should less it was that of being too long delayed. If w not have been obliged, both in honor and in it was so necessary for supporting the balance terest, to defend them? When we were thus of power in Europe, as has been insisted on in hreatened, it was therefore absolutely necessary this debate, to preserve entire the dominions of for us to make an alliance with France; and the house of Austria, surely it was not our busithat we might not trust too much to their assist- ness to insist upon a partition of them in favor ance, it was likewise necessary to form allian- of any of the princes of the empire. But if we ces with the northern powers, and with some of had, could we have expected that the house of the princes in Germany, which we never did, Austria would have agreed to any such partition, nor ever could do, without granting them imme- even for the acquisition of our guarantee? The diate subsidies. These measures were, there- King of Prussia had, it is true, a claim upon fore, I still think, not only prudent, but necessa- some !ordships in Silesia; but that claim was ry; and by these measures we made it much absolutely denied by the court of Vienna, and more dangerous for the Emperor and Spain to was not at that time so much insisted on by the attack us, than it would otherwise have been. late King of Prussia. Nay, if he had lived till
But still, sir, though by these alliances we put this time, I believe it would not now have been ourselves upon an equal footing with our ene- insisted on; for he acceded to that guarantee mies in case of an attack, yet, in order to pre- without any reservation of that claim; therefore serve the tranquillity of Europe as well as our i I must look upon this as an objection which has own, there was something else to be done. We since arisen from an accident that could not then knew that war could not be begun and carried be foreseen or provided against. on without money; we knew that the Emperor I must therefore think, sir, that our guaranteo had no money for that purpose without receiving of the Pragmatic Sanction, or our manner of do. large remittances from Spain; and we knew that ing it, can not now be objected to, nor any per. Spain could make no such remittances without son censured by Parliament for advising that receiving large returns of treasure from the West measure. In regard to the refusal of tho cate Indies. The only way, therefore, to render these inet to assist the house of Austria, though it was two powers incapable of disturbing the tranquil- prudent and right in us to enter into that guarity of Europe, was by sending a squadron to the antee, we were not therefore obliged to enter West Indies to stop the return of the Spanish into every broil the house of Austria might aftergalleons; and this made it necessary, at the ward lead themselves into. And therefore, we sanie time, to send a squadron to the Mediter were not in honor obliged to take any share in ranean for the security of our valuable posses- the war which the Emperor brought upon him. sions in that part of the world. By these meas- self in the year 1733 ; nor were we in interest gres the Emperor saw the impossibility of at- obliged to take a share in that war as long as tacking us in any part of the world, because neither side attempted to push their conquests Spain could give him no assistance either in larther than was consistent with the balance of money or troops; and the attack made by the power in Europe, which was a case that did not Spaniards upon Gibraltar was so feeble, that we happen. For the power of the house of Aushad no occasion to call upon our allies for assist- tria was not diminished by the event of that war, ance. A small squadron of our own prevented because they got Tuscany, Parma, and Placentheir attacking it by sea, and from their attack tia in lieu of Naples and Sicily; nor was the by land we had nothing to fear. They might power of France much increased, because Lor oave knocked their brains out against inaccessible rocks to this very day, without bringing that
Charles VI., emperor of Germany, having no fortress into any danger. .
male issue, made an instrument called a Pragmatic
Sanction, by wbich all his hereditary estates were I do not pretend, sir, to be a great master of
to devolve on his female descendants. To give this foreign affairs. In that post in which I have the
instrument greater force, he induced nearly all the gonor to serve his Majesty, it is not my business powers of Europe (and England among the rest, for to interfere; and as one of his Majesty's council, reasons assigned by Walpole) to unite in a guar I hare but one voice. But if I had been the antee for carrying it into effect. But this, although sole adviser of the treaty of Hanover, and of all designed to secure Austria against a partition be. the measures which were taken in pursuance of tween various claimants, in case of his death, WR! it, from what I have said I hope it will appear
certainly not intended to pledge England or any
other power to interfere in all the quarrels in which that I do not deserve to be censured either as a
the Emperor might engage. When he became inweak or a wicked minister on that account.
volved in war with France, therefore, in 1733, by The next measures which incurred censure supporting Augustus for the vacant throne of Po were the guarantee of the Pragmatic Sanction land, against the remonstrances of Walpole, the lat. by the second treaty of Vienna, and the refusal |te was under no obligation to afford him eid.
raine was a province she had taken and kept | English counsels ?? And if to English counsels. possession of during every war in which she had why are they to be attributed to one man ? been engaged.
I II. I now come, sir, to the second head, the As to the disputes with Spain, they had not conduct of domestic affairs. And here a most :hen reached such a height as to make it neces.heinous charge is made, that the nation has been sary for us to come to an open rupture. We had burdened with unnecessary expenses, for the sole then reason to hope, that all differences would purpose of preventing the discharge of our debts be accommodated in an amicable manner; and and the abolition of taxes. But this attack is while we have any such hopes, it can never be more to the dishonor of the whole cabinet coun. prudent for us to engage ourselves in war, especil than to me. If there is any ground for this cially with Spain, where we have always had a imputation, it is a charge upon King, Lords, very beneficial commerce. These hopes, it is and Commons, as corrupted, or impused upon. true, sir, at last proved abortive; but I never And they have no proof of these allegations, but heard it was a crime to hope for the best. This affect to substantiate them by common fame and sort of hope was the cause of the late Conven- public notoriety! tion. If Spain had performed her part of that No expense has been incurred but what has preliminary treaty, I am sure it would not have been approved of, and provided for, by Parliabeen wrong in us to have hoped for a friendly ment. The public treasure has been duly apaccommodation ; and for that end to have waited plied to the uses to which it was appropriated nine or ten months longer, in which time the by Parliament, and regular accounts have been plenipotentiaries were, by the treaty, to have annually laid before Parliament, of every article adjusted all the differences subsisting between of expense. If by foreign accidents, by the disthe two nations. But the failure of Spain in putes of foreign states among themselves, or by performing what had been agreed to by this their designs against us, the nation has often preliminary, put an end to all our hopes, and been put to an extraordinary expense, that exthen, and not till then, it became prudent to en- pense can not be said to have been unnecessary; ter into hostilities, which were commenced as because, il by saving it we had exposed the balsoon as possible alter the expiration of the term ance of power to danger, or ourselves to an at limited for the payment of the £95,000.6 tack, it would have cost, perhaps, a hundreu
Strong and virulent censures have been cast times that sum before we could recover from un me for having commenced the war without a that danger, or repel that attack. single ally; and this deficiency has been ascrib 1 In all such cases there will be a variety of od to the multifarious treaties in which I have opinions. I happened to be one of those who bewildered myself. But although the authors thought all these expenses necessary, and I had of this imputation are well apprised, that all the good fortune to have the majority of both :hese treaties bave been submitted to and ap- houses of Parliament on my side. But this, it proved by Parliament, yet they are now brought seems, proceeded from bribery and corruption. forward as crimes, without appealing to the judg. Sir, if any one instance had been mentioned, if ment of Parliament, and without proving or de- it had been shown that I ever offered a reward claring that all or any of hem were advised by to any member of either House, or ever threat. me. A supposed sole minister is to be condemn | ened to deprive any member of his office or emed and punished as the author of all ; and what ployment, in order to influence his vote in Par adds to the enormity is, that an attempt was liament, there might have been some ground for made to convict him uncharged and unheard, this charge. But when it is so generally laid, without taking into consideration the most ar- I do not know what I can say to it, unless it be duous crisis which ever occurred in the annals to deny it as generally and as positively as it has of Europe. Sweden corrupted by France; Den- ! This "critical janctare” was occasioned by the mark tempted and wavering ; the Landgrave of recent death of the Emperor Charles VI. Under the Hesse Cassel almost gained; the King of Prus- Pragmatic Sanction, bis Austrian possessions fell to sia, the Emperor, and the Czarina, with whom his daughter Maria Theresa, queen of Hangary; alliances had been negotiating, dead; the Aus. but were claimed in part by Spain, though chiefly trian dominions claimed by Spain and Bavaria ;
by the Elector of Bavaria, supported by France. the Elector of Saxony hesitating whether he
Frederick of Prussia, afterward called the Great, should accede to the general confederacy plan
who had jast succeeded his father, was fluctuating
between France and the Queen ; but offered to sup. ned by France; the court of Vienna irresolute
port the latter if she would cede to him Silesia. and indecisive. In this critical juncture, if France
Walpole, who wished to defeat the plans of France, enters into engagements with Prussia, and if the advised her to yield to this demand, though unjust. Queen of Hungary hesitates and listens to France, and thus prevent a general war. Her ministers were are all or any of those events to be imputed to weak and irresolute, and the affairs of Europe were
in utter confusion. The proud spirit of the Queer. . This is the only point on which Walpole is tame soon decided the question. She refused the surren und weak. It is exactly the point where, if he bad der of Silesia, was attacked by Frederick and the acted a manly part eighteen months before, bis de French, and was on the brink of ruin; when she fense would bave been inost triumphant. He knew made, seven months after this speech was deliver there was no ground for a war with Spain; and be ed, her celebrated appeal for support to the Diet of onght to have beld to the truth in that point, even Hungary, by which, in the words of Johnson, "The at the sacrifice of his office.
Queen, the Beauty, set the world in arms."
been asserted. And, thank God! til some proof less than £8,000,000 of our debt has been act. be offered, I have the laws of the land, as well ually discharged, by the due application of the as the laws of charity, in my favor.
sinking fund; and at least £7,000,000 has been Some members of both Houses have, it is true, taken from that fund, and applied to the ease of becn removed from their employments under the the land tax. For if it had not been applied to Crown; but were they ever told, either by me, the current service, we must have supplied that or by any other of his Majesty's servants, that it service by increasing the land tax; and as the was for opposing the measures of the adminis- sinking fund was originally designed for payins tration in Parliament? They were removed off our debts, and easing us of our taxes, the ap. because his Majesty did not think fit to continue plication of it in ease of the land tax, was certhem longer in his service. His Majesty had a tainly as proper and necessary a use as could be right so to do; and I know no one that has a made. And I little thought that giving reliel right to ask him, " What doest thou ?” If his to landed gentlemen, would have been brought Majesty had a mind that the favors of the Crown against me as a crime. should circulate, would not this of itself be a III. I shall now advert to the third topic of good reason for removing any of his servants ? accusation : the conduct of the war. I have alWould not this reason be approved of by the ready stated in what manner, and under what
whole nation, except those who happen to be circumstances, hostilities commenced ; and as I the present possessors? I can not, therefore, am neither general nor admiral—as I have nothsee how this can be imputed as a crime, or how ing to do either with our navy or army—I am any of the King's ministers can be blamed for sure I am not answerable for the prosecution of his doing what the public has no concern in; for it. But were I to answer for every thing, no if the public be well and faithfully served, it has fault could, I think, be found with my conduct in 10 business to ask by whom.
the prosecution of the war. It has from the beAs to the particular charge urged against me, ginning been carried on with as much vigor, and I mean that of the army debentures, I am sur-as great care of our trade, as was consistent prised, sir, to hear any thing relating to this affair with our safety at home, and with the circumcharged upon me. Whatever blame may at- stances we were in at the beginning of the war. tach to this affair, it must be placed to the ac- If our attacks upon the enemy were too long decuunt of those that were in power when I was, layed, or if they have not been so vigorous or so as they call it, the country gentleman. It was frequent as they ought to have been, those only by them this affair was introduced and conduct are to blame who have for many years been haed, and I came in only to pay off those public ranguing against standing armies; for, without secarities, which their management had reduced a sufficient number of regular troops in proporto a great discount; and consequently to redeem tion to the numbers kept up by our neighbors, I our public credit from that reproach which they am sure we can neither defend ourselves nor had brought upon it. The discount at which offend our enemies. On the supposed miscar. the army debentures were negotiated, was a riages of the war, so unfairly stated, and so unstrong ind prevalent reason with Parliament justly imputed to me, I could, with great ease, to apply the sinking fund first to the payment frame an incontrovertible defense. But as I of those debentures; but the sinking fund could have trespassed so long on the time of the House, not be applied to that purpose till it began to I shall not weaken the effect of that forcible exproduce something considerable, which was not culpation, so generously and disinterestedly ad. till the year 1727. That the sinking fund was vanced by the right honorable gentleman who then to receive a great addition, was a fact pub so meritoriously presides at the Admiralty. licly known in 1726 ; and if some people were If my whole administration is to be scrutinized sufficiently quick-sigh:ed to foresee that the Par- and arraigned, why are the most favorable parts liament would probably make this use of it, and to be omitted? If facts are to be accumulated cunning enongh to make the most of their own on one side, why not on the other? And why foresight, could I help it, or could they be blamed for doing so ? But I desy my most inveterate
Here Walpole dexterously avoids the main point enemy to prove that I had any hand in bringing
of the difficulty. In 1717, it was provided by law
that all the surplus income of the government should these debentures to a discount, or that I had any
be converted into what was called the Sinking share in the profits by buying them up.
Fund, which was to be used for paying off the pub. In reply to those who confidently assert that
lic debt. This principle was strictly adhered to the national debt is not decreased since 1727,
down to 1729, when more than a million of this fund and that the sinking fund has not been applied was used for current expenses, instead of laying to the discharge of the public burdens, I can taxes to meet them. The same thing was done in with tru'n declare, that a part of the debi has six other instances, under Walpole's administra been paid off; and the landed interest has been tion. Now it is true, as Walpole says, that by thug very much eased with respect to that most un
applying the fund, he lessened the land tax. Still,
it was a perversion of the fund from its original de equal and grievous burden, the land tax. I say
sign; and if the taxes had been uniformly laid for 80, sir, because upon examination it will appear,
all current expenses, and the fund been faithfully chat within these sixteen or seventeen years, no applied to its original purpose, the debt (small as it
then was) might perhaps have wholly been extir Ope who held traseif bound to peither party. I gushed.