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Admiralty had not been deficient in official service, and that the attacks of Fox and Burke proceeded from the spirit of party, and did not arise from that enlarged patriotism which both these personages frequently displayed. The misfortunes of Britain by no means excited that dissatisfaction which Opposition seemed to expect. Now that the nation was engaged in a war with her ancient enemies, many even of those who had disapproved of coercive measures respecting America, no longer regarded the Provincials as oppressed fellow subjects, but as the allies of foes. In Britain, therefore, there were fewer out of Parliament in

opposition to Government than during the first years of the contest. The commerce and manufactures of this country had not suffered so much as had been anticipated : besides, the war found employment for a great multitude of people. The fortunes which certain

persons obtained by it, together with the advantages that were held out to moneyed men, in subscribing to the public loans, occasioned a facility in raising supa,

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plies, which was extremely favourable to the measures of Government, and lessened the general discernment of the calamities and dangers of the nation. But though either private interest, national animosity, or genuine patriotism made the greater number of the British satisfied with the measures of Government, very great discontents prevailed in Ireland, because the grievances under which they laboured, and to redress which Burke had endeavoured with such ability, had continued unremoved. At last it appeared that the Minister had determined to attend to the complaints of the sister kingdom. In his Majesty's speech Ireland was recommended to the particular attention of Parliament, to consider what benefits and advantages might be extended to that kingdom

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Burke's attention was this session directed principally to the affairs of Ireland, and to public economy.

He censured Ministers for not having taken effectual steps to give




satisfaction to the Irish nation, in conformity to the address of Parliament. The discontents in that kingdom he imputed to Ministry, and considered as more dangerous than they really were, and eventually proved. Whatever subject occupied the attention of Burke made a very deep impression on his mind. In viewing it in the various lights which his versatile genius could apply to it, it often so worked upon his imagination as to transport him far beyond the bounds which much less than his extraordinary judgment might see to be prudent. . In enumerating the discontents and disorders of Ireland, which he imputed to the misconduct of Ministry, his vivid and fertile imagination magnified them so much, that one who estimated the condition of that country by his speech, might have supposed it to be in a state of insurrection. He contended that Ministry were restrained by fear only from pursuing the same measures respecting Ireland as they had done concerning America.


The greatest admirers of Burke must acknowledge this was not the way to cement matters. Why,' says he, have not the Ministry adopted the same measures respecting Ireland as they did respecting America ? Why have they not treated Dublin as they treated Boston? Why have they not shut up the port of Dublin, burnt Cork, reduced Waterford to ashes? Why have they not prohibited all popular meetings in that kingdom, and destroyed all popular elections ? Why have they not altered the usual mode of striking juries as was done by the Massachuset's Bay charter bill? Why were not the Dublin rioters brought over to this country to be tried by an English jury? Why were not the principal leaders of the Irish armed associations

proscribed, and the whole kingdom declared to be in rebellion? The answer was plain and direct; the Ministry dare not. This passage (extracted from the Annual Register of 1780, p. 26) is a striking instance of what I have had repeatedly occasion, from the impartiality due to narration, to mention,

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that when Burke attacked Ministers, he often acted the part of a violent partizan. Here, his zeal to criminate them led him to the most inflammatory eloquence. If the Irish were, as in another part of the speech he asserts, disposed to insurrection, the persuasion, which it was the object of his speech to give them, that the British Government was inclined to employ coercive measures, but restrained by fear, was not a likely mode to prevent insurrection. This much less wisdom than Burke's could have şeen, if his heat at the time had not prevented reflection. In speaking of the general incapacity of Ministers, and its effects in reducing the power and glory of Britain, and imputing the employment of these Ministers to the influence of secret advisers, he compared them to the mistresses of Lewis XIV. The counsellors of Lewis finding they could not totally conquer the King's passion for the fair sex, selected the oldest and plainest women they could find, in order to correct, if not totally subdue, the lusts of the flesh. This, he said, as a po

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