ページの画像
PDF
ePub

jurisprudence. It should seein, to my way of con, Will it not teach them that the government, against ceiving such matters, that there is a very wide which a claim of liberty is tantamount to high difference in reason and policy, between the mode of treason, is a government to which submission is proceeding on the irregular conduct of scattered equivalent to slavery? It may not always be quite individuals, or even of bands of men, who disturb convenient 10 impress dependent comnunities with order within the state, and the civil dissentions such an idea. which may, from time to tine, on great questions,

We are, indeed, in all dispuies with the colo. agitate the several coinmunities which compose a nies, by the necessity of things, the judge. It is great empire. It locks to me to be narrow and true, sir. But I confess thaithe character of jurge pedantic, to apply the ordinary ideas of criminal in my own cause, is a thing that frightens me... justice to this great public contest. I do not know Insiend of filling me with price, I am exceedingly the method of drawing up an indictment against humbled by it. I cannot proceed with a stern, a whole people. I cannot insult and ridicuie the assured, judicial character. I must have these feelings of millions of my fellow creatures, as sir hesitations as long as am compelled to recollect, Edward Coke insulted one escellent individual that, in my little reading upon such contests as (sir Walter Rawleigh) at the bar. I am not ripelihese, the yer.se of ma"kind hus, at least, as oficn to pass sentence on the gravest public bodies, decided against the siinerior as lie subordinate entrusted with magistracies of great authori'y and power. Sir, let me add too, that the opinion of dignity, and charged with the safety of their fel. my having some absiract right in my favor, would low-citizens, upon the very same title that I ain. 1 not put me much at my ease in passing sentence, really think that, fur wise men, this is not judicious; unless I could be sure that there were no rights for sober men, not decent; fur minds tinctured with which, in their exercises under certain circumhumanity, not mild and merciful.

stances, were not the most odious of all wrongs,

and the most vexatious of all injustice. Sir, these Perhaps, sir, I am mistaken in my idea of an em. considerations have great wcight with me, when I pire, as distinguished from a single state or king. find things so circunstanced, that I see the same dom. But my idea of it is this, that an empire is party, at once a civil litigant against me in a point the aggregate of many states under one common of right, and a culprit before me, while I sit as a head; whether this head be a monarch or a.presid. criminal judge, on acts of his whose moral quality ing republic. It does, in such constitutions, felis 10 be decided upon the merits of that very quently happen (and nothing but the dismal, cold, litigation. Men are every now and then put, by dead uniformity of servitude can prevent its bap the complexity of human affairs, into strange situa. pening) that the subordinate parts have many local tions; but justice is the same, let the judge be in privileges and immunizies. Petween these pri- wliat situation he will. vileges, and the supreme common authority, the

There is, sir, also a circumstance which conline may be extremely nice. Of course disputes, vinces me that this mole of criminal proceeding often too, very bitter dispuies, and much ill.bloou, is not (xt least in the present stage of our contest) will arise. But though every privilege is an

altogether expedient; which is nothing less than exemption (in the case) from the ordinary exer- the conduct of thase very persons who liave seemed cise of the supreme authority, it is no denial of it. Ito adopt that mode, by lately declaring a rebellion The claim of privilege seems rather, ex vi termini, in Massachusetts’ Bay, as they had formerly ad. to imply a superior power. For to talk of the pri dressed to bave traitors brought hither under an vileges of a state, or of a person, wlio has no su- act of Henry the eighth for trial. For though pcrior, is hardly any better than speaking nonsense. rebellion is declared, it is not proceeded against Now, in such unfortanate quarrels, among the las such; nor have any steps been taken towards component parts of a great political union of com m- the apprehension or conviction of any individual munities, I can scarcely conceive any thing more offender, either on our late or our former address; completely imprudent, than for the head of the em. but modes of public coercion have been adopled, pire to insist, that if any privilege is pleaded and such as have much more resemblance to a against his will, or his acts, that his whole au sort of qualified hostility towards an independent thority is denied, instantly to proclaim rebellion; power than the punishment of rebellious subjecis, to beat to arms, and to put the offending provinces All this seems rather inconsistent, but it shews under the ban. Will not this, sir, very soon teach how difficult it is to apply these juridical ideas to the provinces to make no distinctions on their part?lour present cuse.

50.

In this si:uation, let us seriously and coolly, on the contrary, a right of taxation is necessarily ponder. What is it we have got by all our menaces, involved in the general principle of legislation, and which have been many and ferocious? What ad. inseparable from the ordinary supreme power?vantage have we derived from the penal laws we These are deep questions, where great dames bave passed, and which, for the time, have been militate against each other; where reason is per. severe and numerous? What advances have we plesed, and an appeal to authorities only thickens made towards our object by the sending of a force the confusion. For higli and reverend authorities which, by land and sea, is no contemptible strength? lift up their heads on both sides, and there is no Has the disorder abated? Nothing less.- When I sure footing in the middle. This point is the see things in this situation, after such confident great Serbonian bog, betwixt Damiata and Mount hopes, bold promises, and active exertions, I can. Cassius old, where armies whole bave sunk. I do noi, for my life, avoid a suspicion that the plan itself not intend to be overwhelmed in that bog, though is not correctly right.

in such respectable company. The question with

me is, not whether you have a right to render your If then the removal of the causes of this spirit

people miserable, but whether it is not your inof American liberiy be, for the greater part, or

terest to make them happy? It is not what a lawrather entirely, impracticable; if the ideas of crimi.

yer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason, nal process be inapplicable, or, if applicable, are

and justice tells me I ought to do. Is a politic in the highest degree inexpedient, what way yet

act the worse for being a generous one? Is no remains? No way is open but the third and last;

concession proper, but that which is made from to comply with the American spirit as necessary,

your want of right to keep what you grani? Or or if you please, to submit to it as a necessary evil.

does it lessen the grace or dignity of relaxing in If we adopt this mode, if we mean to conciliate the exercise of an odious claim, because you have and concede, let us see of what nature the con. your evidence room full of titles, and all those cession ought to be? To ascertain the nature of arms? Of what avail are they, when the reason of our concession, we must look at their complaint. the thing tells me, that the assertion of title is the The colonies complain that they have not the loss of my suit; and that I could do nothing but characteristic mark and seal of British freedom. wound myself by the use of my own weapons? They complain, that they are laxed in a parliament, Such is stedfastly my opinion of the absolute in which they are not represented. If you mean necessity of keeping up the concord of this empire to satisfy them at all, you must satisfy them with by a unity of spirit, though in a diversity of opera- regard to this complaint. If you mean to please tions; that, if I were sure the colonists had, at their any people, you must give them the boon which leaving this country, sealed a regular compact of they ask; not what you may think better for them, servitude; that they had solemnly abjured all the but of a kind totally different. Such an act may rights of citizens; that they had made a vow to be a wise regulation, but it is no concession; where- renounce all ideas of liberty, for them and their as our present theme is the mode of giving satisfac- posterity, to all generations; yet I should hold mytion.

self obliged to conform to the temper I found Sir, I think you must perceive, that I am resolved

universally prevalent in my own day, and to govern this day to have nothing at all to do with the ques

two millions of men, impatient of servitude, on the lion of the right of taxation. Some gentlemen principles of freedom. I am not determining a point startle—but it is true. I put it lotally out of the of law; I am restoring tranquility, and the general question. It is less than nothing in my considera. character and situation of a people must determine tion, ' I do not indeed wonder, nor will you, sir, what sort of government is fitted for them. That that genilemen of profound learning are fond of point nothing else can or ought to determine. displaying it on this profound subject. But my con. My idea, therefore, without considering whether sideration is narrow, confined, and wholly limited we yield as matter of right, or grant as matter of to the policy of the question. I do not examine, favor, is to admit the people of our colon:es in to whether the giving away a man's money be a an interest in the constitution; and, by recording power excepted and reserved out of the general that admission in the journals of parliament, to give trust of government, and how far all mankind, in ebem as strong an assurance as the nature of the all forms of polity, are entitled to an exercise of thing will admit, that we mean forever to adhere to that right by the charter of nature. Or whether, that solemn declaration of systematic indulgence,

Some years ago the repeal of a revenue act, up-f the advocates of colony tases to a clear admission on its understood principle, might have served to of the futility of the scheme, then, sir, the sleeping shew that we intended an unconditional abatement trade laws revive from their trance; and this, unless of the exercise of a taxing power. Such a mea. taxation is to be kept sacred, not for its own sake, sure was then sufficient to remove all suspicion, but as a counterguard and security of the laws of and to give perfect content. But unfortunate trade. events, since that time, may make something far

Then, sir, you keep up revenue laws which are ther necessary, and not more necessary for the mischievous, in order to preserve trade laws that satisfaction of the colonies than for the dignity and

are useless; such is the wisdom of our plan in both consistency of our own future proceedings.

its members. They are separately given up as of I have taken a very incorrect measure of the dis- no value, and yet one is always to be defended for position of the house, if this proposal in itself the sake of the other. But I cannot agree with would be received with dislike. I think, sir, we the noble lord, nor with the pamphlet from whence have few American financiers. But our misfortune he seems to bave borrowed these ideas, concerning is, we are too acute, we are too exquisite in our the inutility of the trade laws. For without idolizconjeclures of the future, for men oppressed with ing them, I am sure they are still, in many ways, such great and present evils. The more moderate of great use to us; and in former times they have among the opposers of parliamentary concession been of the greatest. They do confine, and they freely confess, that they hope no good from taxation, do greatly narrow, the market for the Americans. but they apprehend the colonists have further views, But my perfect conviction of this does not help me and if this point were conceded, they would instant. in the least to discern how the revenue laws form ly attack the trade laws. These gentlemen are any security whatsoever to the commercial regula. convinced, that this was the intention from the lions; or that these commercial regulations are the beginning, and the quarrel of the Americans with true ground of the quarrel, or that the giving away, taxation was no more than a cloke and a cover 10 in any one instance of authority, is to lose all ibat this design. Such has been the language even of may remain unconceded. a gentleman* of real moderation, and of a natural

One fact is clear and indisputable. The public temper well adjusted to fair and equal govern.

and avowed origin of this quarrel was on taxation. ment. I am, however, sir, not a little surprised at

This quarrel has indeed brought on new disputes, tbis kind of discourse, whenever I hear i'; and i

on new questions; but certainly the least bitter, am more surprised, on account of the arguments

ard the fewest of all, on the trade laws. To judge which I constantly find in company with it, ali

which of the two be the real radical cause of which are often urged from the same mouths, an}

quarrel, we have to see whether the commercial on the same day. For instance, when we allege

dispuie did, in order of time, precede the dispute that it is against reason to tax a people under so

on taxation? There is not a shadow of evidence many restraints to trade as the Americans, the

for it. Next, to enable us to judge whether at this noble lorolf in the blue riband shall tell you, that

moment a dislike to the trade laws be the real the restraints on trade are futile and useless; of

cause of quarrel, it is absolutely necessary to put no advantage to us, and of no burthen to those on the taxes out of the question by a repeal. See how whom they are imposed; that the trade to America the Americans act in this position, and then you is not secured by the acts of navigation, but by the will be able to discern correctly what is the true natural and irresistible advantage of a commericial object of the controversy, or whether any contropreference.

versy at all will remain? Unless you consent to Such is the merit of the trade laws in this posture remove this cause of difference, it is impossible, of the debate. But when strong internal circum- with decency, to assert eliat the dispute is not upstances are urged against the taxes; when the on what it is avowed to be. And I would, sir, re. scheme is dissected; when experience and the na

commend to your serious consideration whether it ture of things are brought to prove, and do prove,

be prudent to form a rule for punishing people, not the utter impossibility of obtaining an effective on their own acts, but on your conjectures. Surely revenue from the colonies; when these things are

it is preposterous at the very best. It is noi justifypressed, or rather press themselves, so as to drive ing your anger by their misconduct, but it is con.

verting your ill.will into their delinquency. *Mr. Rire, Lord Norl!.

But the colonies will go farther.-Alas! alas!

When will this speculating against fact and reason, instantly communicated to Ireland; and we are end? What will quiet these panic fears, which we equally sure that almost every successive improve. entertain of the hostile effect of a conciliatory con. ment in constitutional liberty, as fast as it was duci? Is it true that no case can exist, in which made bere, was transmitted thithier. The feudal it is proper for the sovereign to accede to the baronage, and the feudal knighthood, the roots of desires of his discontented subjects? Is there any our primitive constitution, were early transplanted thing peculiar in this case, to make a rule for into that soil, and grew and flourished there.itself? Is all authority of course lost, when it is Magna Charta, if it did not give us originally the not pushed to the extreme? Is it a certain masim, house, gave us at least a house of comnions of that the fewer causes of dissatisfaction that are left weight and consequence. But your ancestors did by government, the more the subject will be inclin. not churlishly sit down alone to the feast of Magna ed to resist and rebel?

Charta. Ireland was made immediately a partaker.

This benefit of English laws and liberties, I conAll these objections, being in fact no more than

fess, was not at first extended to all Ireland. Mark suspicions, conjectures, divinations formed in defi- tbe consequence. English authority, and English ance of fact and experience, did not, sir, discourage liberties bad exactly the same boundaries. Your me from entertaining the idea of a conciliatory standard eould never be advanced an inch before concession, founded on the principles I have just your privileges. Sir John Davis shews, beyond a stated.

doubt, that the refusal of a general communication In forming a plan for this purpose, I endeavored of these rights, was the true cause why Ireland to put myself in that frame of mind, which was the was five hundred years in subduing; and after the most natural, and the most reasonable; and which vain projects of a military government, attempted was certainly the most probable means of securing in the reign of queen Elizabeth, it was soon dis. me from all error. I set out with a perfect distrust covered, that nothing could make that country of my own abilities; a total renunciation of every English, in civility and allegiance, but your laws speculation of my own, and with a profound reve. and your forms of legislature. It was not English rence for the wisdom of our ancestors, who have arms, but the English constitution, that conquered left us the inheritance of so happy a constitution, Ireland. From that time, Ireland bas erer had a and so flourishing an empire, and what is a thousand general parliament as she had before a partial times more valuable, the treasury of the maxims parliament; you changed the people, you altered and principles which formed the one, and obtained the religion, but you never touched the form or the the other.

vital substance of free government. You deposed

xirgs; you restored them; you altered the succes. During the reigns of the kings of Spain of the sion to theirs, as well as to your own crown; but Austrian family, whenever they were at a loss in

you never altered their constitution; the principle the Spanish councils, it was common for their states

of which was respected by usurpation; restored men to say, that they ought to consult the genius with the reatoration of monarchy, and established, of Philip the second. The genius of Philip the

I trust forever, by the glorious revolution. This second might mislead them, and the issue of their las mede Ireland the great and flourishing kingatlairs shewed that they had not chosen the most dom that it is; and from a disgrace and a burthen perfect standard. But, sir, I am sure that I sha]]

intolerable to this nation, has rendered her a princi. not be misled, when, in a case of constitutiona!

pui part of our strength and ornament. This coundilliculty, I consult the genius of the English con

irry cannot be said to have ever formaliy taxed her. stitution. Consulting at that oracle (it was with The irregular things done in the confusiorf of mighty all due humility and piety) I found four capital

Troubles, and on the hinge of great revolutions, examples in a similar case before me, those of Ire

even if all were done that is said to have been done, land, Wales, Chester, and Durham.

form no example. If they have any effect in arguIreland, before the English conquest, though ment, they make an exception to prove the rule. never governed by a despotic power, had no parlia. None of your own liberties could stand a inoment,

How far tbe English parliument was at that if the casual deviations from thiem, al such times, tine modelled, according to the present form, is were suffered to be used as proofs of their nolity. disputed among antiquarians. But we have all Ply the lucrative amount of such casual breaches the reason in the world to be assured that a form in the constitusion, judge what the stated and of parliament, such as England then eojoyed, she red rule of supply has been in that kingdom.

ment.

Your Irish pensioners would starve, if they had no; use of it! I admit it fully, and pray add like ise other fund to live on than taxes granted by Eng. to these precedents, that all the while Wales eyed lish authority. Turn your eyes to those popular this kingdom like an incubus; that it was'an ungrants from whence all your great supplies are profitable and oppressive burthen; and that an come, and learn to respect that only source of pub- Englishman, travelling in that country, could not lic wealth in the British empire.

go sis yards from the high road without being

murdered. My next example is Wales. This country was said to be reduced by Henry the ibird. It was

The march of the human mind is slow, sir; it said more truly to be so by Edward the first. But was not until after two hundred years discovered, though then conquered, it was not looked upon ashat, by an eternal law, Providence had decreed any part of the realm of England. Its old con vexation to violence and poverty to repine. Your stitution, whatever that might have been, was ancestors did bowever at length open their eyes destroyed, and no good one was substituted in its to the ill hushandry of injustice. They found that place. The care of that tract was put into the the tyranny of a free people could, of all tyrannies, hand of lord Marchersma form of government of he leas! be endured, and that laws made against a very singular kind; a strange heterogeneous a whole nation were not the most effectual methods monster, something between hostility and govern. for securing its obedience. Accordingly, in the ment; perhaps it has a sort of resemblance, accord. weniy-seventh year of Henry VIII. the course was ing to tbe modes of those times, to that of com- entirely altered. With a preamble stating the mander in chief at present, to whom all civil entire and perfect rights of the crown of England, power is granted as secondary. The manners of it gave to the Welch all the rights and privileges the Welch nation followed the genius of the go.

of English subjects. A political order was estabvernment; the people were ferocious, restive, lished; the military power gave way to the civil; savage, and uncultivated; sometimes composed, the marches were turned into counties. Bit that never pacified. Wales within itself was in per. a nation should have a right to English liberties, petual disorder; and it kept the frontier of Eng- and yet no share at all in the fundamental security land in perpetual alarm. Benefits from it to the of these liberties, the grant of their own property, state there were none. Wales was only known to

seemed a thing so incongruous, that eight years England by incursion and invasion.

after, that is, in the thirty-fifth of that reig!, a

complete and not ill proportioned representation Sir, during that state of things, parliament was

hy counties and boroughs was bestowed upon not idle. They attempted to subdue the fierce wales, by act of parliament. From that moment, as spirit of the Welch by all sorts of rigorous laws.

by a charm, the turaults subsided; obedience was They prohibited by statute the sending all sorts of arms into Wales, as you prohibit by proclama. in the rain of liberty:- When the day star of die

resiored, peace, order, and civilization followed tion (with something more of doubt on the legality) English constitution had arisen in their bearts, ill the sending arms to America. They disarmed

was harinony within and without. the Welch by statute as you attempted (but still

Simul alba nautis with more question on the legality) to disarm New

Stella refuisit, England by instruction. They made an act to

Defluit faxis agitatus humcr; drag offenders from Wales into England for trial,

Concidunt venti, fugiuntque nubes; es you have done (but with more hardship) with

Et minax (quod sic voluere) ponto regard to America. By another act, where one

Unc!a recumbit. of the parties was an Englishman, they ordained that his trial should be always by English. They

The very same year the county palaiine of Ches. made acts to restrain trade, as you do, and they and the same remedy to its disorders. Before this

ter received the same relief from its oppressions, presented the Welch from the use of fairs and markets, as you do the Americans from fisheries

time Chester was little less distempered than

Wales. and foreign poris. In short, when the statute book

The inbabitants, without rights them. was not quite so much swelled as it is now, you others; and from thence Richard II. drew the

selves, were the Gittest to destroy the rights of find no less than fifteen acts of penal regulation on the subject of Wales.

standing army of archers, with which for' a time

he oppressed England. The people of Chester ap. Here we rub our hands-A fine body of preplied 10 parliament in a petition, penned as I sha!! cedents for the cushority of parliament, and the read to you:

« 前へ次へ »