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country; and surely we all know, that the machine of a free constitution is no simple thing ; but as intricate and as delicate, as it is valuable. We are members in a great and antient monarchy; and we must preserve religiously the true legal rights of the sovereign, which form the key-stone that binds together the noble and well-constructed arch of our empire and our constitution. A constitution made up of balanced powers must ever be a critical thing. As such I mean to touch that part of it which comes within my reach.
EAST INDIAN POSSESSIONS.
The territorial possessions in the East Indies, never have been declared, by any public judgment, act, or instrument, or any resolution of parliament whatsoever, to be the subject matter of his majesty's prerogative; nor have they ever been understood as belonging to his ordinary administration, or to be annexed or united to his crown; but that they are acquisitions of a new and peculiar description, unknown to the ancient executive constitution of this country.
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I am certain that every means, effectual to
preserve India from oppression, is a guard to preserve the British constitution from its worst corruption.
MERE parsimony is not economy. It is separable in theory from it; and in fact it may, or it may not, be a part of economy, according to circumstances. Expence, and great expence, may be an essential part in true economy. If parsimony were to be considered as one of the kinds of that virtue, there is however another and an higher economy. Economy is a distributive virtue, and consists not in saving, but in selection. Parsimony requires no providence, no sagacity, no powers of combination, no comparison, no judgment. Mere instinct, and that not an instinct of the noblest kind, may produce this false economy in perfection. The other economy has larger views. It demands a discriminating judgment, and a firm sagacious mind. It shuts one door to impudent importunity, only to open another, and a wider, to unpresuming merit. If none but meritorious service or real talent were to be rewarded, this nation has not wanted, and this nation will not want, the means of rewarding all the service it ever will receive, and encouraging all the merit it ever will produce. No state, since the foundation of society, has been impoverished by that species of profusion.
Those who are bountiful to crimes, will be rigid to merit, and penurious to service. Their penury is even held out as a blind and cover to their prodigality. The economy of injustice is, to furnish resources for the fund of corruption. Then they pay off their protection to great crimes and great criminals, by being inexorable to the paltry frailties of little men ; and these modern flagellants are sure, with a rigid fidelity, to whip their own enormities on the vicarious back of every small offender.
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War and economy are things not easily reconciled; and the attempt of leaning towards parsimony in such a state may be the worst management, and in the end the worst economy in the world, hazarding the total loss of all the charge incurred, and of every thing along with it.
Of all the public services, that of the navy is the one in which tampering may be of the greatest danger, which can worst be supplied upon an emergency, and of which any failure draws after it the longest and heaviest train of consequences. I am far from saying, that this or any service ought not to be conducted with economy. But will never suffer the sacred name of economy to be bestowed upon arbitrary defalcation of charge.
EDUCATION. I HAVE ever thought the prohibition of the means of improving our rational nature, to be the worst species of tyranny that the insolence and perverseness of mankind ever dared to exercise. This goes to all men, in all situations, to whom education can be denied.
EMBASSIES FROM INDIVIDUALS TO FOREIGN
The legitimate and sure mode of communication between this nation and foreign powers, is rendered uncertain, precarious, and treacherous, by being divided into two channels, one with the government, one with the head of a party in opposition to that government; by which means the foreign powers can never be assured of the real authority or validity of any public transaction whatsoever.
On the other hand, the advantage taken of the discontent which at that time prevailed in parliament and in the nation, to give to an individual an influence directly against the government of his country, in a foreign court, has made a highway into England for the intrigues of foreign courts in our affairs. This is a sore evil; an evil from which, before this time, England was more freethan any other nation. Nothing can preserve us from that evil-which connects cabinet factions abroad with popular factions here, but the keeping sacred the crown, as the only channel of communication with every other nation.
ENGLAND, FRANCE. THE EMPEROR. THE EMPIRE. But the great resource of Europe was in England: not in a sort of England detached from the rest of the world, and amusing herself with the puppet-shew of a naval power, (it can be no better, whilst all the sources of that power, and of every sort of power, are precarious,) but in that sort of England, who considered herself as embodied with Europe ; but in that sort of England, who, sympathetic with the adversity or the happiness of mankind, felt that nothing in human affairs was foreign to her. We may consider it as a sure axiom that, as on the one hand no confederacy of the least effect or duration can exist against France, of which England is not only a part, but the head, so neither can England pretend to cope with France but as connected with the body of Christendom.
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England, except during the eccentric aberration of Charles the Second, has always considered it as her duty and interest, to take her place in such a confederacy. Her chief disputes must ever be with France, and if England shews herself indifferent and unconcerned when these powers are combined against the enterprizes of France, she is to look with certainty for the same indifference on the part of these powers, when she may be at war with that nation. This will tend totally to disconnect this kingdom from the system of Europe, in which, if she ought not rashly to meddle, she ought never wholly to withdraw herself from it.
I wind up all in a full conviction within my own breast, and the substance of which I must repeat over and over again, that the state of France is the first consideration in the politics of Europe, and of each state, externally as well as internally considered.
This general balance was regarded in four principal points of views :the GREAT MIDDLE BALANCE, which comprehend Great Britain, France, and Spain; the BALANCE OF THE NORTH ; the BALANCE, external and internal, of GERMANY ; and the BALANCE OF ITALY. In all those systems of balance, England was the power to whose custody it was thought it might be most safely committed.
France, as she happened to stand, secured the balance, or endangered it. Without question she had been long the security for the balance of Germany, and under her auspices the system, if not formed, had been at least perfected. She was so in some measure with regard to Italy, more than occasionally. She had a clear interest in the balance of the North, and had endeavoured to preserve it.
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It is always the interest of Great Britain that the power of France should be kept within the bounds of moderation. It is not her interest that that power should be wholly annihilated in the system of Europe.
I do not conceive that the total annihilation of France (if that could be effected) is a desirable thing