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mons had no legal authority to establish the precr- / But it seems he received upon the spot a sufficient dent; and the precedent itself is a mere fact, without chastisement for exercising so unfairly his talents of any proof of right whatsoever.
misrepresentation. You are a lawyer, sir, and know Your correspondent concludes with a question of better than I do upon what particular occasions a the simplest nature: Must a thing be wrong because talent for misrepresentation may be fairly exerted"; it has never been done before? No. But, admitting but to punish a man a second time, when he has been it were proper to be done, that alone does not convey once sufficiently chastised, is rather too severe. It an authority to do it. As to the present case, I hope is not in the laws of England; it is not in your I shall never see the time, when not only a single own Commentaries ; nor is it yet, I believe, in the person, but a whole county, and, in effect, the entire new law you have revealed to the house of commons. collective body of the people, may again be robbed of I hope this doctrint has no existence bue in your their birth-right by a vote of the house of commons.own heart. After all, sir, if you had consulted that But if, for reasons which I am unable to comprehend, sober discretion which you seem to oppose with it be necessary to trust that house with a power so triumph to the honest jollity of a tavern, it might exorbitant and so unconstitutional, at least let it be have occurred to you, that, although you could have given them by an act of the legislature.
succeeded in fixing a charge of inconsistence upon PHILO JUVIUS Mr. Grenville, it would not have tended in any shape
to exculpate yourself.
Your next insinuation, that sir William Meredith LETTER XVIII.
had hastily adopted the false glosses of his new ally, To SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, SOLICITOR GENERAL TO / is of the same sort with the first. It conveys a sneer, HER MAJESTY.
as little worthy of the gravity of your character, as SIR,
July 29, 1769. Tit is useless to your defense. It is of little moment I shall make you no apology for considering a cer- to the public to inquire by whom the charge was contain pamphlet, in which your late conduct is de- ceived, or by whom it was adopted. The only quesfended, as written by yourself. The personal inter- tion we ask is, whether or not it be true? The reest, the personal resentments, and, above all, that mainder of your reflections upon Mr. Grenville's conwounded spirit, unaccustomed to reproach, and, Iduct destroy themselves. He could not possibly come hope, not frequently conscious of deserving it, are prepared to traduce your integrity to the house; he signals which betray the author to us as plainly as if could not foresee that you would even speak upon your name were in the title page. You appeal to the the question ; much less could he foresee that you public in defense of your reputation. We hold it, sir, would maintain a direct contradiction of that docthat an injury offered to an individual is interesting trine which you had solemnly, disinterestedly, and, to society. On this principle, the people of England upon the soberest reflection, delivered to the public. made common cause with Mr. Wilkes. On this prin He came armed, indeed, with what he thought a reciple, if you are injured they will join in your re- spectable authority, to support what he was consentment. I shall not follow you through the insipidvinced was the cause of truth; and, I doubt not, he form of a third person, but address myself to you intended to give you, in the course of the debate, an directly.
an honorable and public testimony of his esteem. You seem to think the channel of a pamphlet more Thinking highly of his abilities, I cannot, however, respectable, and better suited to the dignity of your allow him the gift of divination. As to what you are cause, than that of a newspaper. Be it so. Yet, if pleased to call a plan, coolly formed, to impose upon newspapers are scurrilous, you must confess they are the house of commons, and his producing it, without impartial. They give us, without any apparent provocation, at midnight, I consider it as the language preference, the wit and argument of the ministry, as of pique and invective, therefore unworthy of regard. well as the abusive dullness of the opposition. The But, sir, I am sensible I have followed your examscales are equally poised. It is not the printer's fault ple too long, and wandered from the point. if the greater weight inclines the balance.
The quotation from your Commentaries is matter Your pamphlet, then, is divided into an attack of record : it can neither be altered by your friends, upon Mr. Grenville's character, and a defense of your noi misrepresented by your enemies: and I am will. own. It would have been more consistent, perhaps, ing to take your own word for what you have said in with your professed intention, to have confined your- the house of commons. If there be a real difference self to the last. But anger has some claim to in-between what you have written, and what you have dulgence, and railing is usually a relief to the mind. spoken, you confess that your book ought to be the I hope you have found benefit from the experiment. standard. Now, sir, if words mean any thing, I apIt is not my design to enter into a formal vindication prehend, that when a long enumeration of disqualiof Mr. Grenville upon his own principles. I have fications (whether by statute or the custom of parneither the honor of being personally known to him. liament) concludes with these general comprehensive nor do I pretend to be completely master of all the words, “but subject to these restrictions and disfacts. I need not run the risk of doing an injustice qualifications, every subject of the realm is eligible to his opinions, or to his conduct, when your pamph- of common right,"--a reader, of plain understandlet alone carries, upon the face of it, a full vindication ing, must of course rest satisfied that no species of of both.
disqualification whatsoever had been omitted. The Your first reflection is, that Mr. Grenville* was, known character of the author, and the apparent acof all men, the person who should not have com-curacy with which the whole work is compiled, plained of inconsistence with regard to Mr. Wilkes. would confirm him in his opinion : nor could he posThis, sir, is either an unmeaniug sneer, a peevish ex- sibly form any other judgment, without looking upon pression of resentment; or, if it means anything, your Commentaries in the same light in which you you plainly beg the question ; for whether his par- consider those penal laws, which, though not reliamentary conduct, with regard to Mr. Wilkes, has pealed, are fallen into disuse, and are now, in effect, or has not been inconsistent remains yet to be proved. a snare to the unwary.*
Mr. Grenville bad quoted a passare from the doctor's! * T. in stating the law upon any point. a iu
the law upon any point, a judge deliberexcellent Commentaries, wbich directiy contradicted the ately affirms that he has included every case, and it should dortrine maintained by the Joctor in the house of com! appear that he has purposely omitted a materiai case, he mons.
does, in effect, lay a snare for the unwary.
You tell us, indeed, that it was not part of your him for a bad reasoner.' Junius does not say that it plan to specify any temporary incapacity; and that was incumbent upon doctor Blackstone to foresee you could not, without a spirit of prophecy, have | and state the crimes for which Mr. Wilkes was exspecified the disability of a private individual sub- pelled. If, by a spirit of prophecy, he had even done sequent to the period at which you wrote. What so, it would have been nothing to the purpose. The your plan was I know not; but what it should have question is, not for what particular offenses a person been, in order to complete the work you have given may be expelled, but, generally, whether by the law us, is by no means difficult to determine. The in- of parliament expulsion alone creates a disqualifica capacity, which you call temporary, may continue tion. If the affirmative be the law of parliament, seven years; and though you might not have fore- doctor Blackstone might and should have told us so. seen the particular case of Mr. Wilkes, you might, The question is not confined to this or that particuand should, have foreseen the possibility of such a lar person, but forms one great general branch of case, and told us how far the house of commons were disqualification, too important in itself, and too exauthorized to proceed in it by the law and custom of tensive in its consequences, to be omitted in an accuparliament. The freeholders of Middlesex would rate work expressly treating of the law of parliathen have known what they had to trust to, and ment. would never have returned Mr. Wilkes, when colonel The truth of the matter is evidently this: doctor Luttrell was a candidate against him. They would Blackstone, while he was speaking in the house of have chosen some indifferent person, rather than commons, never once thought of his Commentaries, submit to be represented by the object of their con- until the contradiction was unexpectedly urged, and tempt and detestation.
stared him in the face. Instead of defending himYour attempt to distinguish between disabilities self upon the spot, he sunk under the charge in an which affect whole classes of men, and those which agony of confusion and despair. It was well known affect individuals only, is really unworthy of your that there was a pause of some minutes in the house, understanding. Your Commentaries had tanght me, from a general expectation that the doctor would that, although the instance in which a penal law is say something in his own defense; but it seems his exerted, be particular, the laws themselves are gen-faculties were too much overpowered to think of eral: they are made for the benefit and instruction those subtleties and refinements which have since of the public, though the penalty falls only upon an occurred to him. It was then Mr. Grenville received individual. You cannot but know, sir, that what that severe chastisement which the doctor mentions was Mr. Wilkes's case yesterday may be yours or with so much triumph: I wish the honorable yentlemine to-morrow, and that, consequently, the com- man, instead of shaking his head, would shake a good mon right of every subject of the realm is invaded argument out of it. If to the elegance, novelty, and by it. Professing, therefore, to treat of the constitu- bitterness of this ingenious sarcasm, we add the natution of the house of commons, and of the laws and ral melody of the amiable sir Fletcher Norton's pipe, customs relative to that constitution, you certainly we shall not be surprised that Mr. Grenville was unwere guilty of a most unpardonable omission, in tak- able to make him any reply. ing no notice of a right and privilege of the house more As to the doctor, I would recommend it to him to extraordinary and more arbitrary than all the others be quiet. If not, he may, perhaps, hear again from they possess put together. If the expulsion of a Junius himself.
PHILO JUNIUS member, not under any legal disability, of itself creates in him an incapacity to be elected, I see a ready way marked out, by which the majority may, at any time, remove the honestest and ablest men who
Postscript to a pamphlet entitled An Answer to a happen to be in opposition to them. To say that
Question stated; supposed to be written by Dr. they will not make this extravagant use of their pow
Blackstone, solicitor to the queen, in answer to er would be a language unfit for a man so learned in
Junius's letter. the laws as you are. By your doctrine, sir, they have Since these papers were sent to the press, a writer, the power: and laws, you know, are intended to in the public papers, who subscribes himself Junius, guard against what men may do, not to trust to what has made a feint of bringing this question to a short they will do.
issue. Though the foregoing observations contain, in Upon the whole, sir, the charge against you is of a my opinion at least, a full refutation of all that this plain, simple nature; it appears even upon the face writer has offered, I shall, however, bestow a very few of your own pamphlet. On the contrary, your justi- words upon him. It will cost me very little trouble fication of yourself is full of subtlety and refinement. to unravel and expose the sophistry of his argument. and in some places not very intelligible. If I were
“I take the question," says he, "to be strictly this: personally your enemy, I should dwell with a malig
Whether or no it be the known established law of nant pleasure upon those great and useful qualifica- parliament, that the expulsion of a member of the tions which you certainly possess, and by which you house of commons, of itself, creates in him such an have once acquired, though they could not preserve to incapacity to be re-elected, that, at a subsequent elecyou the respect and esteem of your country; I should tion, any votes given to him are nun
tion, any votes given to him are null and void ; and enumerate the honors you have lost, and the virtues that any other candidate, who, except the person exyou have disgraced ; but, having no private resent- pelled has the greatest number of votes, ought to be ments to gratify, I think it sufficient to have given the sitting member." my opinion of your public conduct, leaving the pun Waiving, for the present, any objection I may have ishment it deserves to your closet and to yourself to this state of the question, I shall venture to meet
our champion upon his own ground, and attempt to support the affirmative of it, in one of the two ways
by which he says it can be alone fairly supported. LETTER XIX.
“If there be no statute,” says he, “in which the ADDRESSED TO THE PRINTER OF THE PUBLIC ADVERTISER
specific disability is clearly created, etc. (and we ac
knowledge there is none) the custom of parliament SIR,
August 14, 1769. I must then be referred to; and some case, or cases, A correspondent of the St. James's Evening Post strictly in point, must be produced, with the decision first wilfully misunderstands Junius, then censures of the court upon them.” * Now I assert that this has
been done. Mr. Walpole's case is strictly in point, to null and void ; and that his competitor ought to have prove that expulsion creates absolute incapacity of been returned. No, says a great orator, first show me being re-elected. This was the clear decision of the your law for this proceeding Either produce me a house upon it; and was a full declaration that in statute, in which the specitic disability of a clergycapacity was the necessary consequence of expulsion. man is created; or produce me a precedent, where a The law was as clearly and firmly fixed by this reso- clergyman has been returned, and another candidate, lution, and is as binding in every subsequent case of with an inferior number of votes, has been declared the expulsion, as if it had been declared by an express sitting member. No such statute, no such precedent, statute that a “member, expelled by a resolution of to be found. What answer then is to be given to this the house of commons, shall be deemed incapable of demand? The very same answer which I will give being re-elected.” What ever doubt, then, there to that of Junius. That there is more than one premight have been of the law, before Mr. Walpole's cedent in the proceedings of the house, “where an ease, with respect to the full operation of a vote of incapable person has been returned, and another canexpulsion, there can be none now. The decision of didate, with an inferior number of votes, has been the house, upon this case, is strictly in point, to prove declared the sitting member; and that this is the that expulsion creates absolute incapacity in law or known and established law, in all cases of incapacity, being re-elected.
from whatever cause it may arise." But incapacity in law, in this instance, must have I shall now, therefore, beg leave to make a slight the same operation and effect with incapacity in law amendment to Junius's state of the question, the in every other instance. Now, incapacity of being affirmative of which will then stand thus: re-elected implies, in its very terms, that any votes “ It is the known and established law of parliagiven to the incapable person, at a subsequent elec-ment, that the expulsion of any member of the house tion, are null and void. This is its necessary opera- of commons creates in him an incapacity of being retion, or it has no operation at all: it is vox et præterea elected ; that any votes given to him at a subsequent nihil. We can no more be called upon to prove this election are, in consequence of such incapacity, null proposition, than we can to prove that a dead man is and void ; and that any other candidate, who, except not alive, or that twice two are four. When the the person rendered incapable, has the greatest numterms are understood, the proposition is self-evident. ber of votes, ought to be the sitting member."
Lastly, it is, in all cases of election, the known and But our business is not yet quite finished. Mr. established law of the land, grounded upon the clear-Walpole's case must have a re-hearing. “It is not est principles of reason and common sense, that if the possible," says the writer, “ to conceive a case more exvotes given to one candidate are null and void, they actly in point. Mr. Walpole was expelled, and, havcannot be opposed to the votes given to another can- ing a majority of votes at the next election, was redidate; they cannot affect the votes of such candi- turned again. The friends of Mr. Taylor, a candidate date at all. As they have, on the one hand, no posi- set up by the ministry, petitioned the house that he tive quality to add or establish, so have they, on the might be the sitting member. Thus far the circumother hand, no negative one to substract or destroy. stances tally exactly, except that our house of comThey are, in a word, a mere nonentity. Such was the mons saved Mr. Luttrell the trouble of petitioning. determination of the house of commons in the Mal- | The point of law, however, was the same. It came den and Bed ford election; cases strictly in point to regularly before the house, and it was their business the present question, as far as they are meant to be in to determine upon it. They did determine it; for point; and to say that they are not in point in all they declared Mr. Taylor not duly elected." circumstances, in those particularly which are inde- ! Instead of examining the justness of this reprependent of the proposition which they are quoted to sentation, I shall beg leave to oppose against it my prove, is to say no more than that Malden is not Mid- own view of this case, in as plain a manner and as dlesex, nor serjeant Comyns Mr. Wilkes.
few words as I am able. Let us see then how our proof stands. Expulsion It was the known and established law of parliacreates incapacity, incapacity annihilates any votes ment, when the charge against Mr. Walpole came begiven to the incapable person; the votes given to the fore the house of commons, that they had power to qualified candidate stand, upon their own bottom, l expel, to disable, and to render incapable for offenses. firm and untouched, and can alone have effect. This, In virtue of this power they expelled him. one would think, would be sufficient. But we are Had they, in the very vote of expulsion, adjudged stopped short, and told that none of our precedents him, in terms, to be incapable of being re-elected, come home to the present case, and are challenged to there must have been at once an end with him. But produce“ a precedent in all the proceedings of the though the right of the house, both to expel and house of commons that does come home to it, viz.: adjudge him incapable, was clear and indubitable, it where an expelled member has been returned again, and does not appear to me that the full operation and another candidate, with an inferior number of votes, effect of a vote of expulsion singly was so. The law has been declared the sitting member.”
in this case had never been expressly declared; there Instead of a precedent, I will beg leave to put a had been no event to call up such a declaration. I case, which, I fancy, will be quite as decisive to the trouble not myself with the grammatical meaning of present point. Suppose another Sacheverel (and every the word expulsion ; I regard only its legal meaning. party must have its Sacheverell) should, at some fu- | This was not, as I think, precisely fixed. The house ture election, take it into his head to offer himself a thought proper to fix it, and explicitly to declare the candidate for the county of Middlesex. He is op- full consequences of their former vote, before they posed by a candidate whose coat is of a different suffered these consequences to take effect: and in color, but, however, of a very good color. The divine this proceeding they acted upon the most liberal and has an indisputable majority ; nay, the poor layman solid principles of equity, justice, and law. What is absolutely distanced. The sheriff, after having had then did the burgesses of Lynn collect from the second bis conscience well informed by the reverend casuist, vote? Their subsequent conduct will tell us: it returns him, as he supposes, duly elected. The whole will with certainty tell us that they considered it as house is in an uproar at the apprehension of so decisive against Mr. Walpole. It will also, with strange an appearance amongst them. A motion, equal certainty, tell us, that, upon a supposition that however, is at length made, that the person was inca- the law of election stood then as it does now, and pable of being elected; that his election, therefore, is that they knew it to stand thus, they inferred, “ that, at a future election, and in case of a similar return, The writer of the volume in question meets me the house would receive the same candidate, as duly upon my own ground. He acknowledges there is no elected, whom they had before rejected." They statute by which the specific disability we speak of could infer nothing but this.
is created; but he affirms, that the custom of parIt is needless to repeat the circumstance of dis- liament has been referred to, and that a case strictly similarity in the present case: it will be sufficient to in point has been produced with the decision of the observe, that, as the law of parliament, upon which court upon it. I thank him for cominy so fairly to the house of commons grounded every step of their the point. He asserts, that the case of Mr. Walpole proceedings, was clear beyond the reach of doubt, so is strictly in point, to prove that expulsion creates an neither could the freeholders of Middlesex be at a absolute incapacity of being re-elected ; and for this loss to foresee what must be the inevitable conse- purpose he refers generally to the first vote of the quence of their proceedings in opposition to it; for, house upon that occasion, without venturing to recite upon every return of Mr. Wilkes, the house made the vote itself. The unfair, disingenuous artifice of inquiry whether any votes were given to any other adopting that part of a precedent which seems to suit candidate.
his purpose, and omitting the remainder, deserves But I could venture, for the experiment's sake, some pity, but cannot excite my resentment. He even to give this writer the utmost he asks; to allow takes advantage eagerly of the first resolution, by the most perfect similarity throughout, in these two which Mr. Walpole's incapacity is declared; but as cases; to allow that the law of expulsion was quite to the two following, by which the candidate with as clear to the burgesses of Lynn as to the freeholders the fewest votes was declared "not duly elected," and of Middlesex. It will, I am confident, avail his the election itself vacated, I dare say he would be cause but little. It will only prove, that the law of well satisfied if they were for ever blotted out of the election, at that time, was different from the present journals of the house of commons. In fair argulaw. It will prove, that, in all cases of an incapable ment, no part of a precedent should be admitted, candidate returned, the law then was, that the unless the whole of it be given to us together. The whole election should be void. But now we know author has divided his precedent; for he knew, that, that this is not law. The cases of Malden and Bel- taken together, it produced a consequence directly ford were, as has been seen, determined upon other the reverse of that which he endeavors to draw from and more just principles; and these determinations a vote of expulsion. But what will this honest perare, I imagine, admitted on all sides to be law. son say, if I take him at his word, and demonstrate
I would willingly draw a veil over the remaining to him, that the house of commons never meant to part of this paper. It is astonishing, it is painful, to found Mr. Walpole's incapacity upon his expulsion see men of parts and ability giving in to the most only? What subterfuge will then remain ? unworthy artifices, and descending so much below Let it be remembered, that we are speaking of the their true line of character. But, if they are not the intention of men who lived more than half a century dupes of their sophistry, (which is hardly to be con- ago; and that such intention can only be collected ceived) let them consider that they are something from their words and actions, as they are delivered to much worse.
us upon record. To prove their designs by a supThe dearest interests of this country are its laws position of what they would have done, opposed to and its constitution. Against every attack upon what they actually did, is mere trifling and imthese, there will, I hope, be always found amongst pertinence. The vote by which Mr. Walpole's incaus the firmest spirit of resistance, superior to the pacity was declared is thus expressed : “ That Robert united efforts of faction and ambition: for ambition, Walpole, esq., having been, this session of parliament, though it does not always take the lead of faction, committed a prisoner to the Tower, and expelled this will be sure, in the end, to make the most fatal ad- house for a breach of trust in the execution of his vantage of it, and draw it to its own purposes. But, office, and notorious corruption, when secretary at I trust, our day of trial is yet far off; and there is a war, was and is incapable of being elected a member fund of good sense in this country which cannot long be to serve in this present parliament."* Now, sir, deceived by the arts either of false reasoning or false to my understanding, no proposition of this kind can patriotism.
be more evident, than that the house of commons, by this very vote, themselves understood, and meant to
declare, that Mr. Walpole's incapacity arose from the LETTER XX.
crimes he had committed, not from the punishment TO THE PRINTER OF THE PUBLIC ADVERTISER. the house annexed to them. The high breach of SIR,
August 8, 1769. trust, the notorious corruption, are stated in the The gentleman who has published an answer to strongest terms. They do not tell us that he was Sir William Meredith's pamphlet, having honored incapable because he was expelled, but because be me with a postscript of six quarto pages, which he had been guilty of such offenses as justly rendered modestly calls bestowing a very few words upon me, him unworthy of a seat in parliament. If they had I cannot, in common politeness, refuse him a reply. intended to fix the disability upon his expulsion The form and magnitude of a quarto imposes upon alone, the mention of his crimes in the same vote the mind; and men, who are unequal to the labor of would have been highly improper. It could only discussing an intricate argument, or wish to avoid it, perplex the minds of the electors, who, if they colare willing enough to suppose that much has been lected any thing from so confused a declaration of proved, because much has been said. Mine, I con the law of parliament, must have concluded, that fess, are humble labors: I do not presume to instruct their representative had been declared incapable bethe learned, but simply to inform the body of the people, and I prefer that channel of conveyance which
* It is well worth remarking, that the compiler of a
certain quarto, called The Case of the last Election for the is likely to spread farthest among them. The advo- County of Middlesex considered,bás the impudence to re cates of the ministry seem to me to write for fame. I cite this very vote in the following terms (vide page II:
* Resolved, that Robert Walpole, esq., having been this and to flatter themselves, that the size of their works
session of parliament expelled the house, was, and is in will make them immortal. They pile up reluctant capable of being elected a member to serve in the presquarto upon solid folio, as if their labors, because ent parliament." There cannot be a stronger positive
al proof of the treachery of the compiler, nor a stronger they are gigantic, could contend with truth and
presumptive proof that he was convinced that the vote, heaven.
if duly recited, would overturn his whole argument.
cause he was highly guilty, not because he had been of a public office, was, and ought to be, incapable of punished. But, even admitting them to have un- sitting in the same parliament. Far from attemptderstood it in the other sense, they must then, from ing to invalidate that vote, I should have wished that the very terms of the vote, have united the idea of the incapacity declared by it could legally have been his being sent to the Tower with that of his ex- continued for ever. pulsion; and considered his incapacity as the joint Now, sir, observe how forcibly the argument reeffect of both.*
turns. The house of commons, upon the face of their I do not mean to give an opinion upon the justice proceedings, had the strongest motives to declare of the proceedings of the house of commons with Mr. Walpole incapable of being re-elected. They regard to Mr. Walpole; but certainly, if I admitted thought such a man unworthy to sit among them. their censure to be well founded, I could no way To that point they proceeded, and no farther; for avoid agreeing with them in the consequence they they respected the rights of the people, while they drew from it. I could never have a doubt, in law or asserted their own. They did not infer, from Mr. reason, that a man convicted of a high breach of Walpole's incapacity, that his opponent was duly trust, and of a notorious corruption, in the execution elected ; on the contrary, they declared Mr. Taylor
“not duly elected," and the election itself void. * ADDRESSED TO THE PRINTER OF THE PUBLIC ADVER
VER! Such, however, is the precedent which my honest TISER,
| friend assures us is strictly in point, to prove that exSIR,
May 22, 1771. | pulsion of itself creates an incapacity of being elected. Very early in the debate upon the decision of the If it had been so, the present house of commons Middlesex election, it was observed by Junius, that the
should at least have followed strictly the example house of commons had not only exceeded their boasted precedent of the expulsion and subsequent in- before them, and should have stated to us, in the capacitation of Mr. Walpole, but that they had not even same vote, the crimes for which they expelled Mr. adhered to it strictly as far as it went. After convicting
Wilkes : whereas they resolve simply, that, “having Mr. Dyson of giving a false quotation from the journals, and having explained the purpose which that contemp
| been expelled, he was and is incapable." In this tible fraud was intended to answer, he proceeds to state
authorize the vote itself by which Mr. Walpole's supposed incapa
neither statute, nor custom, nor reason, nor one city was declared, viz., "Resolved, that Robert Walpole, esq., having been this session of parliament committed a single precedent to support them. On the other side, prisoner to the Tower, and expelled this house for a high there is, indeed, a precedent so strongly in point, breach of trust in the execution of his office, and notorious corruption when secretary at war, was and is incapable of being elected a member to serve in this pres
es fall before it. In the year 1698 (a period which the ent parliament;" and then observes, that from the rankest terms of the vote, we have no right to annex the incapaci- / ton was expelled, re-elected, and admitted to take tation to the expulsion only ; for that, as the proposition stands, it must arise equally from the expulsion and the
his seat in the same parliament. The ministry have mitment to the Tower. I believe, sir, no man, who precluded themselves from all objections drawn from knows anything of dialectics, or who understands Eng
absolu lish, will dispute the truth and fairness of this construction. But Junius has a great authority to support him, that expulsion, of itself, creates the disability. which, to speak with the duke of Grafton, I accidentally met with this morning in the course of my reading. It impudence deny; here stands the precedent: a landcontains an admonition, which cannot be repeated too often. Lord Sommers, in his excellent tract upon the
mark to direct us through a troubled sea of controRights of the People, after reciting the votes of the convention of the 28th of January, 1689, viz.:. “That king I have dwelt the longer upon the discussion of this James the Second, having endeavored to subvert the constitution of this kingdom, by breaking the original contract between king and people, and, by the advice of whole question. The rest is unworthy of notice. Jesuits, and other wicked persons, having violated the We are inquiring whether incapacity be, or be not, fundamental laws, and having withdrawn himself out of
created by expulsion. In the cases of Bedford and this kingdom, hath abdicated the government," etc.makes this observation upon it: "The word abdicated Malden, the incapacity of the persons returned was relates to all the clauses foregoing, as well as to his matter of public notoriety, for it was created by act deserting the kingdom, or else they would have been wholly in vain." And that there might be no pretence
of parliament. But really, sir, my honest friend's for confirming the abdication merely to the withdrawing, suppositions are as unfavorable to him as his facts. lord Sommers' father observes, That king James, by He well knows that the clergy, besides that they are refusing to govern us according to that law by which he
represented in common with their fellow subjects, held the crown, did impliedly renounce his title to it.
Junius's construction of the vote against Mr. Walpole be have also a separate parliament of their own; that now admitted (and, indeed, I cannot comprehend how it their incapacity to sit in the house of commons has can honestly be disputed) the advocates of the house of | been confirmed by repeated decisions of that house: commons must either give up their precedent entirely, or be reduced to the necessity of maintaining one of the and that the law 01 parliament, declared by those grossest absurdities imaginable, viz.: " That a commitment to the Tower is a constituent part of, and contributes half at least to the incapacitation of the person who suffers it.
to fancy cases, and make whatever comparisons he I need not make you any excuse for endeavoring to thinks proper: his suppositions still continue as diskeep alive the attention of the public to the decision of tant from fact as his wild discourses are from solid the Middlesex election. The more I consider it, the more I am convinced, that, as a fact, it is indeed highly in
argument. jurious to the rights of the people; but that, as a prece The conclusion of his book is candid to an extreme. dent, it is one of the most dangerous that ever was egtablished against those who are to come after us. Yet, I am so far a moderate man, that I verily believe the
lieve the may safely admit, that the case of Mr. Walpole majority of the house of commons, when they passed this makes directly against him ; for it seems he has one dangerous vote, neither understood the question, or grand solution in petto for all difficulties. “If (says knew the consequence of what they were doing. Their motives were rather despicable than criminal, in the ex-turn the same person to parliament. But, in time, the treme. One effect they certainly did not foresee. They precedent will gain strength ; a future house of commons are now reduced to such a situation, that if a member will have no such apprehensions : consequently, will not of the present house of commons were to conduct himself scruple to follow a precedent which they did not estabever so improperly, and, in reality, deserve to be sent lish. The miser himself seldom lives to enjoy the fruit back to his constituents with a mark of disgrace, they of his extortion, but his heir succeeds to him of course, would not dare to expel him ; because they know that and takes possession without censure. No man expects the people, in order to try again the great question of him to make restitution ; and, no matter for his title, he right, or to thwart an odious house of commons, would lives quietly upon the estate. probably overlook his immediate unworthiness, and re