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pur Sovereign, even if we could be assured happily debarred from a personal exercise that he must always remain unconscious of these best prerogatives of his station, is of the disregard which he would thus have it pot rather an additional reason for conexperienced from the representatives of the tinuing to him the outward forms and enBritish nation. But if we carry our eyes signs of sovereignty? I trust and believe farther, and look to that happy period that the sentiments which his virtues have to which oar wishes and our hopes are inspired, are so deeply rooted in the hearts turned, what a picture must then present of all his subjects, that no length of time itself! Let us, if we can, imagine, what | that could elapse, no misfortune that could must be his feelings in such a moment as overwhelm him, no disregard under which that, when he is told that his parliament he could be suffered to fall, would weaken has availed itself with eagerness and avi. | their attachment, diminish their affection, dity, even of the shortest interval, to new or repress the ardour of their loyalty. model the offices attendant on his person, But surely, we shall not feel ourselves at and by a miserable economy, to degrade liberty, from these considerations, to negtheir Sovereign from those circumstances lect the natural and obvious means of preof splendour which belong to the rank in serving in the country a just remembranco wbich he was born, and to the station which of his rights. We must be sensible that he still occupies.
every wise motive which before induced - But, Sir, this is not all, though I trust us to maintain the splendour and dignity this is infinitely more than sufficient of his exalted rank, has from the circumto rouse the feelings of every English stances of his actual situation acquired an heart. We profess in our deliberations additional and stronger claim to our attenhere, and we have published it to the tion. Even if our present hopes should country in our resolutions, that we mean be disappointed, and if by the continuance to establish a system which is to continue of this calamity we should hereafter find only during the King's indisposition. If ourselves compelled to resort to a new we are sincere in this declaration we shall arrangement in this respect; yet let it be careful to keep alive among the people never be forgotten, neither at this, nor at at large, the impression of that allegiance any other period of his life, that the duty which is still due to him, and to him alone. which we are this day to discharge, is Can we believe that it is consistent with not that of electing a king to reign over this purpose, to withdraw from him every us in his stead, bui that of creating a demark of dignity, every external circum- legated trust to administer the government stance by which he is distinguished as an during his indisposition, in his name, and object of respect, and to reduce him in on his behalf. this instance to the same level with every Sir, I have now trespassed upon the atcommon subject ?
tention of the House much longer than I We know, and it will not be disputed, have done at any former time, or than I that the splendour which attends our mo- | had intended upon this occasion. The narchs in the exercise of their authority is nature of the subject, its extent, its conpot created for an empty pageant; is not sequences, and the deep impression which given to gratify an idle vanity, which they it has made upon my mind, must be my would be ashamed to feel; but is esta. apology. The question is one of the most blisbed for solid reasons of sound policy. interesting that has at any time been agiIt serves to mark and to define that rank tated within these walls. It is probably in which the constitution of this country the most important that will ever occur has designed them to stand. It serves to during the course of my life. And sure create respect among the people at large, I am that there will be no moment of it, and to impress continually on their minds at wbich it will not be a satisfaction to me those sentiments of habitual reverence to reflect, that I have discharged this high which are justly due to the higher attri. and sacred duty, faithfully and conscienbutes of royalty. I mean not certainly to i tiously, without respect of persons, or compare these external circumstances with consideration of interest, and looking only the real and substantial dignity of a king to that allegiance whieh I owe to my -with the power of administering justice Sovereign, and to that concern which is in mercy, or with the power of conferring due to the peace, prosperity, and haphappiness on millions of bis fellow.crea- piness of my country. tures. But if there exists a situation up- Mr. Welbore Ellis said, that no preceder which our Monarch is for a time un- dent had yet been discovered, which (VOL. XXVII.]
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proved that two branches of the legisla- our liberties, and had magnanimously asiure could carry any law into execution, serted the rights of the people. With rewithout the concurrence of the third. spect to the restrictions proposed, he was He maintained, that every step the House inclined to think, that his Majesty's househad taken in the question of the Regency, hold should remain as it was, because · was not only irregular, but directly con- many of them might now be considered trary to the spirit of the constitution. as professionally in their respective emHe asserted, that no government could ployments, and it would be a pity to turn prove effectual, which was not invested them out. He professed great respect with the power of conferring honours and for the Prince of Wales, and begged leave of punishing offenders: the first was one to conclude his speech with what he call. of the most exalted prerogatives of the ed a parliamentary prayer--that virtue, as Crown, and the last was committed to the well as the graces, might be the ornament operation of the laws. A weak govern- and support of the throne, and that the ment was, perhaps, worse than no govern- / virtues of the King might descend to the ment at all; for it had not the power of Regent, his future successor ! .acting with energy and effect. But, said Colonel Fullarton begged leave to tresthe Chancellor of the Exchequer, we will pass upon the attention of the House, not trust you with power, because you whilst he adverted solely to two points · may abuse it: for the sake of argument, which were not in the least connected he would admit the possibility of its being with either the lords of the bedchamber, abused; but what then? Had this House or with the examinations of physicians, or no power to check, to control, to impeach, with Philip of Macedon, who seemed so and to punish any man, or set of men, intimate an acquaintance of a noble lord, who dared to trample on the rights of the or with the evidence of Dr. Willis; but people, by an abuse of that power which referred solely to the established principles had been committed to them? If this was and practice of the constitution, and, he true, in general, it was still stronger in trusted, would be found of material consethe case of a regency. The Regent was quence to the decision of the great question doubly answerable. He was not only re- then before the Committee. In the first sponsible by his ministers, but he was place, he understood it to be the declared responsible in his own person; for, the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchemaxim that the King can do no wrong, quer, that all powers and authorities bedid not extend to the Regent.
longing to the Crown, attached as it were Mr. Drake said, that he felt himself so to the person of the sovereign ; that they much agitated by the eloquent oration of remained entire in the King, although he Mr. Sheridan, that it was with the greatest was incapacitated from the personal exerdifficulty he could repress the emotions of cise of them, and that, in contemplation his soul, when that hon. gentleman sat of law, the political capacity of the King down. Such was the versatility of the hon. continued perfect, and could neither sul-gentleman's oratory, that he could at will fer diminution nor defect. If by this
civilize barbarity, and symetrize defor- technical phraseology was meant, that all mity. He confessed that he had caught the powers and authorities of executive
a spark of his fire, wbich he said had government remained entire in the person 1. kindled in his bosom a flame of the most of the King, during his incapacity, in genial and animating nature. But, how- such a way, that he should of right exerever, much he admired the splendid cise the same as soon and as long as he talents of that bon. gentleman, he could was capable of exercising them personally, not approve of that party spirit which led and that, while he should not be capable him to censure, in terms of so much aspe- of exercising them personally, they should rity, the right hon. gentleman, whose ad- be exercised in trust for him, no person ministration it had been his pride to sup- could be more ready to admit that docport; but though he had been a partisan trine than he was. But if, by the conof Mr. Pitt, he had never spoken disre- templation of law, and the political capaspectfully of Mr. Fox. It was his duty, city of the King remaining entire, was no less than his inclination, to support the meant, that the powers and authorities of , measures of that man, who had raised his executive government might remain dor. country to a pitch of glory, that was the mant, unemployed, unproductive to the envy of the universe; he had proved himself public service, as long as the King was the guardian of our morals, as well as of incapacitated from the personal exercise
of them, they were doctrines which, in for the public service. The right hon. the language of the right hon. gentleman gentleman seemed to conceive, that every on another occasion, deserved to be treat thing that could possibly be withheld from ed as treason against the state. Would the representative of the sovereign, during any man who pretended to the slightest the King's incapacity, was so much gained respect for the constitution, venture to to the state. For his own part,' he condeclare, that the powers and authoritiesceived that every portion of the just and of government were to be considered as established exercise of executive authothe mere property of the sovereign ? That rity, which was so withheld was so much they were to be considered like the store, lost to the state, for whose benefit every or the wardrobe, or the privy-purse, as portion of authority was held. He had things meant for the personal use, plea- ever understood the king of this country, sure, and convenience of the sovereign, in his legislative capacity, to be soveand that when he was incapable of using reign, and at liberty to act according to them personally, they needed not be used his will; but that in his executive capaat all? Did gentlemen recollect that the city, the King was no more than chief powers of the Crown were vested in the magistrate, invested with certain powers King; not for the personal benefit of the and authorities, specified by the constiKing, but for the benefit of the state? tution, and as much bound by those acts That there were duties and obligations which he and his predecessors had mutually to be performed between the so- ratified, as the meanest subject in his vereign and the subject, duties of an realm.--I have ever understood, added awful magnitude, involving the welfare colonel Fullarton, that the constitution and happiness of the people? How, then, is not safe, unless when the three es. could the right hon. gentleman maintain, tates are kept separate, distinct, and that these duties and obligations, in con- entire. That' for one or two of the templation of law, could possibly remain three estates to treneh on the powers and entire in the person of the King, during privileges of the other, has been consihis incapacity, any other way than this; dered as a sacrilege committed against that when the King was incapacitated the general freedom of the state. That from the personal exercise of them, they such extreme delicacy has been observed must be performed in trust for him ; that in this particular, that the two Houses of some person or persons, either by devolu- Parliament do not venture to interfere tion or appointment, must perform the with the executive authority, no, not in duties of the royal station, and exercise the most minute particular, excepting by the functions of authority in trust for the address. That the House of Commons King, during his incapacity; unless the does not even venture on the executive Committee were prepared to declare the act of publishing its own journals, but kingly power either totally or in part use applies to the executive power to do it for less ? Surely, the right hon. gentleman them, and applies by address. If this had too mueh respect for the principles of statement be neither frivolous nor fallathe constitution, too much respect for cious, the right hon. gentleman will feel it his own character, to maintain that the incumbent on him to prove of two things powers and authorities of executive go. 4 one, either that to invest the Prince of vernment, that the great and godlike attri- Wales with all the executive government butes of majesty were to be considered would prove dangerous to the King, for as a mere appendage, attached to the per. the resumption of his royal power in the son of the royal individual; to sleep when event of his recovering his faculties, or he slept, and only to wake when his fa- else, that it would prove detrimental to culties ceased to lie dormant! It would the public welfare.---With regard to the be a profanation of the attributes of ma. first of these grounds of apprehension, the jesty; it would be a profanation of the delicacy and moderation of his royal highrights and welfare of mankind, to admit of ness, so distinguishingly manifested in the such a doctrine.-Colonel Fullarton pro- ( late trying and distressful scenes, ought to ceeded next to the consideration of the have proved more than a sufficient safesecond point to which he had alluded. | guard against the possibility of such an He said, that the Chancellor of the Ex. imputation. With regard to the second chequer had declared it to be the duty of ground of apprehension, on which the the House to grant no more power to the right hon. gentleman rests the justification Regent than appeared absolutely necessary of these limitations, namely, that to invest the Regent with all the powers of execu-withhold any part of the executive power, tive government, might prove dangerous to portion out the executive authority, in to the public welfare, does the right hon. what proportions you please, and to whom gentleman mean to state, that any of the you please; there is but one step farther, established powers of executive govern-in which it is possible for the House to ment are superfluous, that they can be proceed, and that is, to adopt the wild and spared, that they are detrimental? Has desperate notions of some mad republicans he over found, during his administration, in the last century, and to parcel out the that they were more than sufficient for the powers, authorities, and departments of public service? If he answers “no, they executive government. The right hon. are neither superfluous nor detrimental ; gentleman, in the course of these discusbut it is improper to vest them in the sions, had repeatedly resorted to history hands of the Regent,” with what front can and precedent, for which reason he would that right hon. gentleman maintain, that beg leave to quote a passage from history those powers and authorities which he too, by no means as a precedent for the admits not to be dangerous, not to be House to follow, but as an example to superfluous for the public service in the deter from committing encroachments on hands of a sovereign, in the full possession the established government of a country. of his faculties, can possibly, without great in the reign of Charles G of France, who detriment to the public service, bear limi. was in a state of incapacity, Isabeau de tation, mutilation, and restraint, in the Bavière was his queen; a princess attached liands of a regent? Until the right hon. only to her treasures, influenced by the gentleman reconciles these contradictions, chancellor, by the prime minister, and I defy him to stir one step in the business other principal officers of the court, who of restriction, without involving himself in were afraid, that if the government should the uncomfortable imputation of endea- be entrusted to the heir apparent; during vouring to alter, if not to subvert, the the King's incapacity, they would lose constitution, in a very material point of their situation. Under this impression, executive government. The colonel said, the desperate resolution was formed, of that if those considerations were not suffi- insulting the heir apparent, almost be. cient to deter from encroaching on the yond the limits of endurance; and mean executive authority, it ought to be recol- sures were actually adopted for excluding lected, that Montesquieu had foretold, from the government, that able and disthat the liberties of England would be in tinguished prince, sole heir and represendanger, whenever the legislative power tative of the sovereign. This minisi er, at should be more corrupt than the executive that time the chief confident of Isabeau de power; that was, whenever the legislative Bavière, was Mervilliers; who coumenced power should, for personal or party con- his career in the profession of the law, but siderations, commit violations on the exe-quickly found a nearer opening to ad. cutive authority. He then adverted to vancement, by the more productive path the violations of the constitution, com- of politics. The minister and his party, mitted at different periods, and said, that trusting to his eloquence, his talents, his when Henry 8 procured to his own pro- temerity, and his credit with a large por. clamation the authority of law, the con- tion of the public, adopted the desperate stitution was undone : again, when Crom- resolution already stated. Charles 6 being well voted the House of Lords useless, it in a state of total incapacity, and conse was a death-blow to the constitution. quently unable to declare bis assent, he And surely now, added the colonel, I undertook to procure the co-operation of cannot think the constitution free from Isabeau de Bavière, to the exclusion of danger, when this House has not only her own son from the government, and he declared it to be the right of this House, farther undertook to procure the thanks and of the House of Lords, in all possible and approbation of the mayor and corpo. cases of the sovereign's incapacity, to ration of Paris. What is extraordinary, choose whom they please for Regent, to he did in fact succeed in this atrocious elect the emperor of Morocco, if they endeavour. He accomplished a treaty to pkuse, or to elect a Regent, as the Per- this effect, the treaty of Arras, preliminary sians did their king Darius, by the neigh-to the famous treaty of Troyes, as re ing of a horse ; but when you are pro- corded in the registers of the parliament ceeding to declare, that it is the right of of Paris for 1419. By means of the Chanthis House and of the House of Lords, to cellor, and a fiction of the parliament of Paris, he affixed the great seal to acts from wishing to include in these observawhich were the consequence of that tions, the necessary precautions which, at treaty; and thus he devised means for different periods, had been adopted, for giving the royal assent, at a time when preventing the encroachments of the royal the royal assent could not possibly be power, and for preserving the liberty and given. He prevailed on Isabeau de Ba- safety of the subject. It was true, that vière to ratify that treaty, to the exclusion instances had occurred in the English of her own son from the government, and history, where the misfortunes of a weak he was thanked for so doing by the mayor and restrained government appeared aland aldermen and corporation of the city most unavoidable. And why? To preof Paris. But, what were the conse- vent the still greater calamities of disputed quences of these transactions ? That the successions, usurpations, and civil wars, kingdom was involved in all the miseries naturally to be dreaded in turbulent times, of a weak, mutilated, and distracted go. if all the powers of government were vernment. There was a double govern- vested in the lands of one man, too nearly ment, a double parliament, a double can connected with the Crown, and possessing binet, double ministers, double officers of too much influence in the country, as in state, and of the household. The king. the cases of the dukes of Bedford and dom was betrayed to its enemies, and was Gloucester, during the minority of Henry afterwards rescued from those disasters, by 6; Richard, duke of Gloucester, during the superior efforts of that brave and dis. the minority of Edward 5; and Somerset, tinguished prince whom they had excluded during the minority of Edward 6. In from the government. That prince, who these, and similar instances, the King, possessed the most interesting qualities, Lords, and Commons, in parliament asand the most fascinating manners, who sembled, making provision for a long mihad attached to his cause the noblest nority, had judged it more expedient to spirits, and the best abilities of his country, expose the king to the misfortunes of a and afterwards, under the name of Charles fettered and imperfect government, than the victorious, rescued this country from to the greater calamities alluded to before. the misery and disgrace in which it had But, would any impartial man, with no. been involved, by those ambitious minis. such preponderating considerations of ters, from the wretched yoke of Henry 6 danger on his mind, with the history of of England, that unhappy monarch, whose this country, and the principles and pracreign had afforded such abundant subject tice of this constitution before his eyes; of quotation, in the course of those de. with a reference to the present circumbates. Col. Fullarton added, that bis stances of his Majesty, of the country, of. object had been, to show the desperate the Prince of Wales, wish to involve the extremities to which the passions of am. kingdom in the misfortunes of a weak, bitious men might hurry them, and the mutilated, and degraded government fatal consequences which had resulted The colonel earnestly intreated the Comfrom innovations and violations of the mittee seriously to consider, before they established government of a country; he adopted so dangerous and so desperate a thanked Heaven, that no such example, resolution. nor any thing like it, could as yet be The Committee divided on Mr Powys's found to stain the annals of England. He Amendment on the first Resolution : Yeas, had only farther to remark, that the right 154; Noes, 227. The Resolution as orihon. gentleman had endeavoured, with a ginally moved, was then put, and carried peculiar predilection, to shelter his pro- without a division. When strangers were ceedings under the sanction of precedents readmitted into the gallery, and analogies of history. Now, said the Mr. Fux was speaking. He said, that colonel, I will meet the right hon. gentle if the maxim which the Solicitor general man on that ground, and in direct contra. had argued from on a former occasion, diction to the uses which he has endea- ; " that the power which necessity creates, voured to make of precedent and analogy, necessity must limit,” was true, why was defy him to produce a single instance in there no limitation to those restrictions the history of any country, where the which the Resolution went to impose ? established legal powers of executive go. He contended, that the spirit of the convernment were mutilated and restrained, stitution was hostile to the principle ; for, without producing inefficiency, counter- it was much less solicitous concerning the. action, and disgrace.He was very far qualities and abilities of the person who