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and the means; to which I shall home and abroad, which requires only say, though they were a majori- the continuation of the present pare, ty considerable enough, they made liament, and this, enforced under, no attempt of this nature, which pere several pretences, which may be rchaps they might have as easily car- duced to these four heads.
4 ried as it may be hereafter; but they 1. That otherwise this house of (amidst all the load of guilt they are Commous will not have sufficient charged with) had. more regard to time to go through the mismanagethe liberties of the subject; though ment and mal-administration of the it may be remembered, this was an last years of the Queen, so loudly imputation of the highest nature on complained of and bțing the pere them, that they designed it, made, sons concerned to justice.. . perhaps, before the project was judg. 2. That we shall not be able to ed an immediate expedient for us, make such treaties as are necessary.
The people, by the laws of the with foreign princes, unless we can, land, have a legal right to chuse by continuance of this parliament, their representatives at every elec- engage them to rely on the present tion, by whom they agree to those turn of politics and designs. laws which are found requisite for 3. That the elections at the usual the public; and by the Triennial Act, tiine, might be dangerous from the that power of chusing, their repre- present infatuation of the common sentatives devolves upon them once people, and the false suggestions and in three years at least, whereby they insinuations of the adversaries to the are at liberty to elect different per-, present establishment. sons, if they find those chosen before 4. Thạt the Triennial Act has not have not had the public interest at lead the good effects expected from heart, as much as was expected from it, but has been an occasion of them; or pursued such measures as keeping up feuds and party divisions, were disagreeable to the inclinations gentlemen spending their estates, and and intentions of their electors : corrupting the country in general. Now to deprive their electors of this To the first:-- If there have been their right, from the laws in being, such mismanagements, and such a by virtue of the power vested in them mal-administration, as some people by those electors, is, certainly, a very would persuade us, there must be unexpected return for that conti- evidences thereof, and it is in the dence and trust reposed in them.. power of a parliament and ministry,
By what is said, I hope it in some who want not inclination, to make it measure appears, that the Triennial fully appear, there is yet time sufAct was a law, made for securing ficient to come, according to our the liberties of the people by the fre- legal constitution, to effect any thing quent calling of parliaments chosen of that pature;' but granting that by them, and is now a FUNDAMEN- the particular actions of a number TAL PART OF THE CONSTITUTION, of men, or a series of perplext afnot to be violated on slight pretences. fairs may not, nor cannot be entirca
Under the second head I shall en- ly gone through, examined, and pu-i deavour to show, that the many nished by this present parliament, is plausible arguments insinuated for the nation then so barren of men of repealing this act, are fallacious and worth and character, zealous for inconclusive, and the consequence the good and hunour of their counthereof may be fatal to the public, try, that, should this house of Com
The advocates for repealing the mons ever have an end, there would Triennial Act, insist on the unavoid- not be found men of principle and oble necessity of affairs at this tiine at integrity to do us justice on those.
who have been really concerned in suaded will not be avowed, it is not any mal-administration, or betray- easy to conceive that so great an ing the public.
infringement of our constitution can A bouse of Commons is, or ought be made necessary on this head. to be, a body of men met together We come to the second argument, to consult and effect what is for the that otherwise we cannot effect such good of the kingdom; to enquire into treaties with foreign princes as are and redress grievances; to prevent necessary. On this it may be obo or prosecute any mal-administra. served, that all treaties or alliances tion; and being a body politic, their between states, are made with regard power is the same, and their end the to the interest of one or other of same, though the same particular these states, or with regard to their men do not compose its therefore if mutual interest; this is the tye which there has been any real evil that binds the alliance, and causes the ought to be enquired into and pu-' execution of the articles of treaties, nished, there is no question to be It is very certain, this kingdom, has made (especially if it be of great con- on many occasions made alliances cern to the public) but that a future and treaties with foreign princes, house of Commons would take ef. leagues offensive and defensive, treafectual measures for enquiring into' ties of peace and commerce; and it' and punishing or redressing it, if is as evident they have not all been those before them should omit, or for the interest of the kingdom. A not be able to go through with it for ministry may advise à prince to want of time and leisure. But ground- make such trcaties as may be prejuless clamours and complaints may dicial to the nation, as we are told be raised by designing men of a par- the late treaties of peace and comty, to fix an odium on their compe- merce were s but it is the parliament titors in the good will of the people, must give them their force, and we or favour of the prince; and if they may find by a late experience, what are able to influence the undiscern- may be judged at one time for the ing men in their interest, and to interest of the kingdom, may at anomake them believe any aspersion that ther be thought prejudicial to it. is giren out to multiply fears and It has been sometimes thought the apprehensions, and press for real se increase of our trade and navigacurities against imaginury evils, it tion was our best security, and our will be then the interest of such men concern was not to intcrwcate our to subject the enquiry of their own politics with the perplext and jarring insinuations only to themselves; and interests of the continent, any further it is not so difficult to pass upon the chan for the preservation or enlargepeople plausible and specious pre- ment of that : That we wanted no tences for truth, at least we are told acquisition of dominions, but a free the Tories have that art, and it and open trade would be to us the would be lessening the merit of the greatest strengths and riches. Now Whigs to believe them inferior in difierent circumstances and changes this respect. Should this' be the case, have made it necessary for us to be then perhaps a set of honest gentle more concerned in the interests of men, unprejudiced, and designing other princes; and, as it is to be only the good of their country, might supposed there is an interest of our see through and neglect all such are own in all treaties with them, that tifices, and pursue the interest of interest will at all times engage par the nation, without regard to the liaments to make good the faith of prejudices or party quarrels of par- such treaties; but should it be our ticular men; but as this I am por misfortune, which it has sometimes
been, that our princes should be ad- those imputations insinuated against vised to conclude treaties with fo- them. reign powers pernicious to the king. The Jacobites, we all know have domn, (though I hope it is not likely been a very sanguine people, always to be our case again) it is then fit full of hopes and expectations of and necessary the authority of par. what there was not the least ap. liaments should interpose and pre- pearance of: In the last years of her vent the ill consequences of suck late Majesty, the Whigs, to cast aa treaties, and punish the advisers.; odium on the ministry, endeavoured but this house of Commons, or the to insinuate, that all their actions next, or any future house, cannot were calculated with a design to be supposed to invalidate or destroy bring in the Pretender, and set aside treaties made for the public good, on the protestant succession; many sad the contrary, would strengthen them prospects and side glances were reif oecasion. I
presented in that light, which the Therefore there is very little weight Jacobites took all for truth, and in these sort of arguments, unless looking upon public affairs with that we could believe so general a cor- view and hope, did imagine and ruption, that this house of Commons Dainly, persuade themselves of the are the only men of viciue, integrity, reality of these assertions; this filled and public spirit among us, and them with a confidence they before their dissolution would be the anniwere afraid to show, and made them hilation of the government: which apprar mure terrible and numerous consideration brings me to the third than they really were; they formargument on which the sticklers for ed cabals among themselves, and repealing the Triennial Act seem to thought of nothing more than every ground the necessity and reasonable man to make his fortune.. ness of it, viz. That the elections On the demise of her Majesty, the at the usual time might be dange- same ministry and parliament then in rous from the infatuation of the com- being, on whom the Jacobites had mon people, and the false sugges- placed their hopes, unanimously con tions and insinuations of the adver- cur in proclaiming his Majesty, and saries to the present establishment. what was necessary to be done, ac
Let us mean by the present establish. cording to the acts, made for securing ment, the limitation of the succession the protestant succession. The Jacoto the protestant line, as derived to bites were nevertheless so sanguine us from the Revolution, by the laws to believe their scheme still in view, made for that purpose, and then it and that it would take effect in due will be readily granted, we ought to time. take all prudent and necessary mea. There were very few, I believe, sures for securing the same, and who will not own, that in the laitet were it in danger, some steps might, part of the Queen's reign, the people perhaps, be made necessary, which, in general, were disposed, after her without that danger, would be infring. Majesty's decease, to the protestant ing on the liberties of the subject. . succession ; and it has been agreed
It must be owned, that some in. by all sides, that his present Majes. cidents have happened, whence a sct ty, on his accession to the throne, of men have taken great occasion to was recewed by the people with one misrepresent the affections of the heart and with one voice. When his people in general, the better to carry Majesty was pleased to call a para on their own schemes, I shall there. liament, the people, well-affected to fore set those affairs in a true light, his Majesty, chose those persons who and doubt not to clear the people froin bad been represented to them as most zealous for the protestant: succes- execution of it, showed the persons sion, and perhaps declined several concerned to have neither conduct, honest gentlemen only from a mali- "foresight, nor courage; nor even cious, insinuation of their adver- that desperation such a cause genesaries, of their not being so zealous rally carries along with it; their litas themselves.
tle force was taken; their chiefs - Thus it is plain, at the last elec- some executed, others now in prison tions the people were entirely affected subject to the law, and at the King's
to his Majesty, and to the present mercy, and their followers to be .. settlement of the crown; his Majes- disposed of as his Majesty shall
ty is still the same gracious prince, think fit. . .' the protestant religion and our civil .In Scotland, the King's forces have liberties are still as dear to us as entirely reduced the rebels, taken then; the Pretender is the same at the leaders, and disarmed the countainted person we have always so try, and the Pretender was glad to much contemned and abhorred; po- escape himself, finding no hopes of pery' and arbitrary power, are as odi. "success, whatsoever his partizans ous and detestable as ever, and as might have persuaded him when on dreadful to our apprehensions; and the other side the water; he has no I believe the Whigs will not say, refuge to go to but the pope, who is that at the last choice, the people were unable to give us any disturbance. under an infatuation.
If therefore in the late commoSome measures may, perhaps, have tions which were an ordeal trial of been taken which were not altogether the affections of the people, they ad80 popular as could be wished (what hered to his Majesty, and the sense those were, or how managed is not they have of the rebellion exprest in my business to inquire into here) the many addresses presented from which might abate the pleasing ex• every corner of the kingdom, is anopectations of the people; and disaf- ther sull testimony thereof, it is not fected persons may have aggravated easily to be conceived how they can every little story, and invented o- be represented as under an infatuathers, to increase or foment a divi- tion; it will not be denied, but many sion among us; and the Jacobites gentlemen of different opinions as to forward enough to believe their party, acted equally for the service game sure, with some piqued, and of the government in the time of disgraced courtiers, and other per- danger, and more would have done sons of desparate fortunes, abet- so had they had the honour of being ted by a few of the Roman Catholics intrusted, or not prevented by a among us, were mad enough to groundless suspicion.' imagine they had the people at their The suspensiou of the Habeas beck, and were encouraged from · Corpus Act, at another time would the quiet posture of the government, have caused discontent; but upon to raise little tumults at first among this juneture, the reasonableness of the mob, and afterwards to break it (as it was not known how strong out into an open rebellion; but how the infection might be) being ap. much they were mistaken in their parent, was easily complied with opinion, the success has shown.. though necessarily injurious to the
The people continued in their obe- liberties of some particular men, who dience to his Majesty (except some from precaution have been taken insignificant numbers, most papists up, though afterwards on examina. or persons, deluded by them) and tion acquitted. how easily these were quelled, is That there a levays have been some fully known; as it was rash, so the favourers of the Pretender, and aro now, is allowed; but I believe every cessity so much insssted on : I have reasonable man must think that therefore shown the contrary, from number is now less than ever, and the former, the late, and their present has less hopes; but it is the interest behaviour; from whence the future of some men to magnify this num- (especially since it is their interest) ber, and to make them appear for ought to be judged correspondent to midable in the eye of others to ag- it, which destroys that necessity for grandize themselves; it is these, there repealing the Triennial Act on this fore who would persuade , us, what their main argument. a few Jacobites mutter in a corner, To the fourth and last part :-As the bulk of the people declare open to the objection they now make to ly; and from their own crafty argu- the Triennial Act, as keeping up ments magnify a necessity of their feuds and party divisions, gentlemen own creating, to make way for a se- spending their estates, and corrupcurity of their own devising. . ting the country in general : I shall
It may be proper here to observe, only say, when we design to abrothat pursuant to the late act, almost gate what is not for our purpose, all the people in general have shown inconveniencies are easily found or their adherence and inclination to contrived. the government, by readily taking These arguments are made in jest, the oaths therein required, and it and hardly want an answer: Howmay be reasonably supposed among ever it may not be improper to ob· those few who are returned as re- 'serve, that in all places where there
fusing to take those oaths, many were is liberty there are different opinions, rather swayed by some tenderness of and different parties, and some have "Conscience in the doubtful meaning reasoned it necessary for the preser. of some expressions therein than by vation of the whole it should be so, any disaffection to the government and when they recommend themselves
For my part I am sincerely pera to the people by the emulation of their suaded, that the people in general services to the public, the contest is are well affected to his Majesty and far from being hurtful. As to gento the protestant succession, and if tlemen spending their estates, that there is any little dissatisfactions is no obligation upon them, and taken at some measures, they are not which they are at liberty, as in all *such as any ways alienate the minds other things, to do as they please.
of the people from his Majesty, or The corruption introduced into the * would influence them to chuse at counties, is doubtless very great; but another election persons Jisaffected I believe no party will clear themto our present establishment, but on selves entirely of it, and this is cer" the contrary, would quicken them to tain, they use most bribery who have the choice of such only who would the least interest in the people's afendeavour to render his Majesty the foetions; and it is to be feared, that delight of his people, as glorious, as as such large sums have been given great, and as beloved a prince as ever to sit in a Triennial parliament, much filled the English throne.
larger would be reckoned well laid I hope I have in some measure out to come into a Septennial, which cleared the people from the asper- would have a greater power, and a sions of that infatuation said to be so much longer continuance. among them, and the disaffection. Upon the whole matter, as the they are charged with, and have Trienniul Bill appears to be so essen. been the more full upon this part, tial a part of our constitution, where. because it seems to be the centre of by the liberties of the people were all their arguinents, and of that ne, secured, and the pcople at this time, VOL. I.S.