ページの画像
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

BOOK the union depended; and the strongest proof of

his talents and address is the support which he
derived from a hostile party, recently supplanted
in power, who detested him and were impatient

1706.

suspense.

to supplant him in return 55. Public ap- While the articles were industriously concealed, prehensions and the nation remained in a state of silen't expecta

tion; not averse from a federal union, yet suspi.
cious of a treaty which the commissioners were
afraid or were ashamed to divulge. The Jacobites
alone were alarmed at the settlement of the crown.
It is not sufficient to affirm that their measures
had miscarried; as every measure which they
adopted, had contributed, by a strange fatality, to
counteract their designs. The outcry excited at
the loss of Darien had terminated in the act of
security, which rendered an union equally neces-
sary and acceptable to England. The settlement
of the crown under every limitation, was deferred
till a commereial treaty should be obtained with
England; and thus they were themselves accessary
to the introduction of a treaty productive of an
union, and of the protestant succession which it
was meant to retard. In the present extremity
they implored the aid of the French court; but
its finances were reduced so low by the recent
victories of the allies at Ramillies and Turin, that
no supplies could be spared to support an incon-
siderable party in Scotland 56.

ss Sir J. Clerk's Hist. MS.; Notes on Lockhart.
s6 Sir J Clerk's Notes on Lockhart. 297.

XI.

1706.

Such were the apprehensions and the suspense BOOK of the nation, when, in October, the concluding session of its last parliament was held.

was nice. She alla October 13.

The ad-o vantages of an entire union were recommended Session of

parliament. by the queen, whose letter was enforced, as usual, by the commissioner's speech. When the treaty was produced and read, the parliament adjourned for a few days till the articles were printed. But the treaty was no sooner published, than the passions and apprehensions of the people, soothed and retained so long in a state of painful suspense, burst into an universal outcry against the union, Alarm at

the union. which excited nothing but disapprobation and undisguised disgust. Innumerable pamphlets and letters of exhortation diffused the agitation of the capital to the remotest corners; but it is in vain to ascribe to these treatises, or to the arts of a cla. morous faction, the universal indignation which the union produced. The presbyterians trembled for the safety of their church, from the influence of prelates in the English parliament; the episcopal party despaired of restoring theirs, if the presbyterian church were confirmed by an union: the poor were apprehensive of an excise on the necessaries of life; and the merchants, of English imposts equivalent to a prohibition of their present trade. All ranks and distinctions were alarmed at the surrender of the independence and the sovereignty of an ancient kingdom ; and in the most opposite parties and descriptions of men, Vol. IV.

Z

XI.

· BOOK national pride and patriotism, the passions that

cling to the heart, and attach us most closely to 1706. the poorest countries, were roused and agitated

by those shadowy rights. So strong and irresistible were these passions, that if a few, wearied with the vicissitudes of faction, or allured by the prospect of repose and prosperity, escaped their influence, a vast majority of the people was visibly adverse to an incorporating union, which multitudes rushed to the capital to oppose: others, too remote, or unable to attend, prepared addresses against an union; nor was a measure the most beneficial to Scotland, expected to succeed, in opposition to the united voice and sense of the

people 57. Articles of Notwithstanding the unpopular reception of amined. the treaty, the articles were again read, and de

liberately considered, when the parliament was resumed. A short delay was proposed by the opposition, to consult their constituents, without whose consent, they affirmed that the parliament had no authority to innovate, much less to overturn, or, like their private, patrimonial fortunes, to dispose of a constitution which they were cre

57 De Foe, 219. Sir J. Clerk's Hist. MS. Notes on Lockhart, 215. De Foe was employed in Scotland by Godolphin or Harley, as a spy upon the ministry during the union. It was usual, it seems, for the English ministers to employ a spy upon the conduct of the Scottish statesmen in parliament Tindal, iii. 49.

XI.

[ocr errors]

ated to preserve. A new parliament, summoned BOOK for the purpose, was the constitutional and proper

* 1706. test of the public opinion; not a parliament which had subsisted so long, and whose members, chosen originally with no view towards an union, had become obnoxious to suspicion, from the distribu. tion of places, pensions, preferments, and bribes. If a new parliament could not be obtained, they affirmed that the approbation of their constituents should at least be consulted, to render the union acceptable to the nation, or honourable to them. selves. But in representative assemblies, the responsibility, or obligation of the members to observe the instructions of their constituents, is an odious doctrine. It was sufficient to assert the supreme authority of a parliament summoned originally to promote an union; and on a division, the opposition were deserted by their own friends. A majority of sixty-four determined to proceed, without delay, to the consideration of the treaty; but without voting upon the subject till the articles were separately examined and discussed. The impatient multitudes by whom the house was besieged, and the streets and adjacent buildings filled and crowded, conceived that the first article was rejected because the vote was deferred, and their acclamations expressed the most lively and immoderate joy. When their mistake was dis- Tumults. covered, they insulted the commissioner with execrations and threats, on his return to the pa

[ocr errors]

XI.

1706.

BOOK lace; and conducted the popular orators, nightly, i n . in triumph to their homes ; till at lerigth, exas

perated at their late provost, one of the commis-
sioners for the treaty, they attacked his house
with all the fury which his supposed treachery had
inspired. His escape disappointed their vengeance.
Their rage and numbers increased as they ranged
the streets in quest of the treaters, and nothing
was wanting but a resolute leader, or sufficient
concert, to overturn the parliament, together with
the union. The opportunity to introduce the
army into the city, in order to prevent the insults :
of an enraged populace, was not overlooked ; and
the country party protested in vain that the
estates were surrounded with guards, and over. .
awed by the presence of a military force 58.

When the capital became outrageous, the commissioner and the chancellor were inclined to adjourn the parliament, from the lowering discontent of the whole kingdom; and the union would have been lost had it depended upon them. But the men by whom they were chiefly instigated, were not to be deterred from a great, though unpopular design. Lord Stair exhorted them not to adjourn. Godolphin urged them to persevere in an union: he assured them of troops to their assistance from England, Ireland, or from Flanders if necessary 59; and from the determined violence

58 Sir J. Clerk's Hist. MS. 59 Burnet, v. 323. Cunningham, ii. 57. .

« 前へ次へ »