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the relief to Scotch Catholics. Not the common people alone, but many of the gentry and clergy, and of the latter not the ignorant enthusiastic only, but some of the liberal and learned, considered the proposed relief as an introduction to popery. The press teemed with publications describing the errors of popery, and imputing to that mode of faith, even at that time, all the hurtful principles which sprang from it in the days of ignorance. Associations were formed to oppose popery, by mechanics and manufacturers, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and other towns; the weavers of Renfrew and Paisley displaying a peculiar zeal against the doctrines of Antichrist. The puritanical papaphobia was again becoming epidemical. The populace was inflamed, and rose to tumult and riot in various places. At Edinburgh, a party of those enlightened theologians, the Leith sailors, took the lead in stirring up vengeance against the enemies. of that religion, for the knowledge and practice of which they were themselves so eminently distinguished. Assisted by many
other divines, they set fire to chapels, and houses of the Papists. The Roman Catholic sufferers applied to Burke to present a petition to Parliament, praying for a compensation on account of the losses they had sustained. Some of the Scotch had been absurd enough to approve of the fanatical outrages, on the ground that it was proper for the people spiritedly to manifest their hatred of Popery. That Burke ridiculed with great humour, considering so despicable reasoning as unworthy of a serious refutation. He also attacked very strongly the supineness of Government, to which he imputed the mad violence of the populace.
It happened, at that tiine, that the Prime Minister was indulging himself 'in a profound
nap. • I hope,' said Burke, .. Government is not dead but asleep: pointing to Lord North, · Brother Lazarus is not dead, only sleepeth.' The laugh upon this occasion was not more loud on one side of the house, than it appeared to be relished on the other. Even the noble Lord, alluded to on the 'oc
casion, seemed to enjoy the allusion as heartily as the rest of the house, as soon as he was sufficiently awake to conceive the cause of the universal joke.
Fox took the lead, ably supported by Burke, in a motion made for the removal of Lord Sandwich. Great dissensions had taken place in the
of the resignation of Lord Howe and Admiral Keppel, both of which were imputed to the want of capacity, negligence, or improper partiality of the first Lord of the Admiralty. He, it was said, had neglected to reinforce the fleet of Lord Howe, when the fate of our navy and army in America depended on the command of the seas. He had furnished Keppel with an inadequate force for the object of his cruise. After the Admiral had distinguished himself by his conduct in the engagement with the French, he had patronized and supported the Vice-Admiral in his attack; an attack that was declared by a court-inartial false, slanderous, and malicious. Fox assuming these grounds of
partiality, negligence, and misconduct, drew a conclusion very fair, if he had established bis premises, that he ought to be removed from his office.' Burke pointed, with all the
powers of ridicule and ingenuity, what he contended to be error, incapacity, negligence, and treachery in Lord Sandwich, but did not adduce proofs. When men of so astonishing force of reasoning as Burke and Fox proceed upon assumptions, a reader fairly concludes that it is from their wishes,
their conviction, that they speak. During no period had Britain so many dif-, ficulties to encounter as under the Administration of Lord Sandwich, yet did her fleets maintain the dominion of the sea against a combination of force unprecedented in history. He could not be a bad First Lord of the Admiralty, who had fleets ready to withstand the combined power of America, Holland, Spain, and France, and to vanquish the two most powerful of these nations. It was not proved that the little impression made on the enemy in the commencement of the war was owing to a deficiency in
force. The reasoning, therefore, of Burke and Fox was inconclusive. It afterwards appeared, that the opinion they professed to entertain respecting Lord Sandwich's ability and skill was wrong. In fact, it was manifest that he was able, skilful, and attentive enough in the management of our navy, to enable us to make extraordinary efforts.
The violent speeches of Burke tended to inflame instead of allaying the dissensions in the navy: a very dangerous tendency at any time, especially when we were engaged in so formidable a war.
The conduct of the Howes next came to be a subject of parliamentary inquiry. It was publicly alledged by the friends of Ministry, that much more might have been done towards the subjugation of America. It was even confidently asserted that General Howe might have repeatedly ended the war, had he followed up his successes at Long Island, White Plains, the Brandy Wine, and Gerinan Town. He had complained of want of confidence and support from Ad