Imatges de pÓgina


convinced him, that he had adopted the right opinion, and as Sir Fletcher Norton was then ousted, he was a little furprized to hear any gentleman rise and move, that the thanks of the House be voted to Sir Fletcher Norton. He could not reconcile the vote of the first day, with the propofition

now moved, and therefore he should vote against the latter. Lard Dun. Lord Duncannon declared, that although he had not sat in

the last Parliament, he had heard of that speech, to which allusion had been made by the right honourable gentleman who made the motion, and by the two last speakers. That the speech met with his full approbation; he thought it did great credit to the late speaker, whole conduct on that and other occasions merited the warmest thanks of the House ; he

therefore should vote for the motion. Sir Francis Sir Francis. Baffet said it was impossible for him, as a Bufet.

young member, to be competent to decide on the propriety of the present motion; he could not, therefore, make himself responsible for it, by voting in its support. If Sir Fletcher Norton merited the thanks of that House, he should have iinagined the laft Parliament, who had witnessed Sir Fletcher's conduct, would have voted them. The laft Parliament had not done this, and from the vote of the first day, he could not suspect that the present Parliament had any inclination to adopt such a propofition, as was now before the House. He declared he had the honour to vote with the majority on the first day of the session, because he was inclined, from the argument of that day's debate, to think, it was a wise measure to chuse a new speaker. Not having lat in the former Parliament, it was impossible for him to form an opinion, from his own knowledge, of the late speaker's conduct. Hé understood 170 members of that House were in the same

predicament with himself; they could not be judges of Sir Fletcher Norton's conduct any more than he could, and therefore he thought it would neither be warrantable for them

nor him to vote for the present motion. Ms. Steele. : Mr. Stcele said the obvious reason, why the last Parlia

ment had not come to a vote like that now proposed, was, on account of the sudden dissolution of that Parliament. He declared, that an end' was. put to the existence of the laft Parliament; altogether unexpectedly. That there were gentlemen present, who were in camp with him at the time, who saw the soldiers moving off to their respective feats of freedom, in exercise of the right given them by the act of Parliament, at their own will, to the great irregularity of


military discipline; even their general not having power to restrain them. Having noticed this inconveniency, Mr. Steele faid he did not merely take up the matter, as the hon. baronet who spoke laft did, on the opinion of others'; that although he had not been in the late Parliament, he had heard of the conduct of the late speaker, and it had met with his hearty approbation. The celebrated speech made by Sir Fletcher Norton had been printed by order of the House, and was matter of public notoriety. That speech he approved, and he believed every man, who had the dignity of the Commons of England at heart, approved of it likewise. He concluded with declaring that he should vote for the question.

General Smith supported the motion, and entered into a General defence of the speech made by the late speaker at the bar of Smith, the House of Lords, arguing upon the friet propriety of his admonishing his Majesty to dispose of the large sum the Commons had voted for the fupport of his civil lift, The General alfo, as a just tribute of praise to Sir Fletcher Norton, ftated to the House the great civility he had, on a former occafion, experienced at his hands, in the course of a transaction which had given them no small trouble.

Mr. Courtenaye opposed the motion, and said he must first Mr. Courtetake notice of the little share of argument produced in its naye. support, which could, or ought to weigh with him and the other young members. The right honourable gentleinan who moved it, he observed, had drawn up the motion in general terms; he had nevertheless exprefsly declared, that he did not reft it on the speech at the bar of another House, which had so frequently been adverted to in the course of the debate. He, for one, was free to say, that he was very far from approving of that speech; how then was he to reconcile himself to a motion, of a general tendency, which of course comprehended that part of the last speaker's conduct, as well as every other? There was no exception in the words of the motion, though the right honourable mover had taken such pains to except to it in his introductory argument. In his opinion there was in Sir Fletcher Norton's speech to the throne, something altogether unwarrantable. He knew not where to look for an example, unless he referred to city politics. In the records of London, it was to be found that à Lord Mayor, taking advantage of his official capacity, which brought him into the presence of his Sovereign, had dared, with all the infolent gravity of magistracy, to address


The Specs

his Sovereign with an extempore speech. The House well knew how that speech had been received in the city, and how the author of it had been thanked. A ftatue had been put up in Guildhall to his memory, with his figure standing in a position of oratory, and this speech in his hand.

This live-long speech e'en Balaam's ass might own,

Fit for eternal record, cut in city stone. Were that House prepared to follow the example? Would they, the great representatives of the British nation, go look for precedents on the other side Temple-Bar? Would they build up the fame of a displaced speaker, because, like a city

mayor, he had insulted his SovereignMr. Town- Mr. Townshend rose to call the honourable gentleman to orfound. der. He said, as a young member, he was excusable, because,

it was not to be supposed, that he was acquainted with the rules of the House, but that he could not sit silent and hear the King's name used to influence debate within those walls. This error had been fallen into, on the first day of the session, and he lamented, that he had not then risen to call the right honourable gentleman who was disorderly, to order,

The Speaker from the chair told the honourable gentleman, who had used the name of the Sovereign, that it was the first, the moft important and most sacred of all the orders of that House, never to use the name of the King in the course of argument, with a view to influence the freedom of debate, and begged him in future to attend punctiliously to this order, as it was his duty to enforce it strictly upon all occasions,

Mr. Courtenaye apologized for mentioning the Sovereign; and then called upon all who were like himself, young members, to recollect what had passed on the first day of the session, when the scene was the most striking that perhaps ever was exhibited within those walls, and when the principal actor in that scene, the late speaker, had given an example of heroic fortitude equal to any that ever had been displayed by a Roman matron. He wished for the pencil of a West, or a Copley to do it full justice. Being but a bad painter, he must have recourse to poetry, and recall the idea of that scene to the minds of the House, by stating, that it ftruck him as a strong resemblance of the scene which passed between Paulo Purganti and his wife. The late speaker on the first day, fat and heard the noble Lord who had moved the question of that day, and the right honourable seconder anxious for his health, expressive of their care for his conftitution, and thence desirous of removing the burthen of busi



Mr. Courtenaye.



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ness off his shoulders. The House heard the right honourable gentleman, the late 1peaker, confefs, that his conftitution was impaired, that his faculties were injured, that he

was much the worse for having fat so long in that chair, 5, and yet afterwards when the right honourable gentleman's

friends had expressed a desire of that gentleman's return to the chair, the right honourable gentleman had stood up, and like a Roman matron, despising the thorns with which the seat was filled; despising all fear of restless days, neepless nights, and dull debates, declared hiinself again willing to undergo the punishment of fitting there. Thus the doctor in the tale, like the noble Lord, was laborious in recommend. ing patience to his wife, in giving her recipes for her health,

but she, with Roman firmness, in spite of all advice, still : urged her wishes and her resolution, till at length the doctor cried,

I'll do it-but I give you warning :

You'll die before to-morrow morning:And then, like the right honourable gentleman on the first day of the session, Paulo Purganti's wife, in defiance of the threatened danger; replied,

Let wanton wives by death be scar'd:

But, to my comfort, I'm prepar’d. Having raised a laugh by this allusion, he observed that what the right honourable gentleman had said, respecting Mr. Grenville's bill, and the conversation that had been held that day with regard to the Coventry election, was but an ill compliment to the House ; for it was pretty plainly telling them, that were they not restrained by a positive act of Parliament, they would have proceeded immediately to have declared Mr. Yoe and Mr. Holroyd duly elected members for Coventry. After urging this, he called upon the young members to recollect, that all who had voted with the majority on the first day of the fesfion, were bound in honour to vote against the present question, an obligation which he declared he felt, and should certainly comply with.

Lord Mahon defended the motion froin the various attacks Lord Mabona that had been made upon it, and said he did not, like other young members, approve of Sir Fletcher Norton's conduct upon hear-fay; he drew his approbation of it from the records of the House, and froin what appeared upon the Journals. That the Votes and Journals conveyed to those out of Parliament, authentic proof of what passed within those walls; that therefore it was neither presumptuous nor unfair for him, or VOL. XVIII,



others, who, like himself, had not been in the last Parlia. ment, to form an opinion on the conduct of the late speaker. His Lordship reprobated, in the strongest language, what had fallen from colonel Onflow respecting the King's civil lift, and said he never would fit filent in that House, when he heard any honourable gentleman compare the grants of Parliament to the crown, for any purpose whatever, with the private fortune of a private gentleman. He contended, that the Houfe had itself come to a decided opinion upon the subject, and that a formal resolution stood upon the Journals, by which it was expressly declared, that the House had at all times an indifputable right to controul the expenditure of the King's civil lift, as freely and as fully as the House had a a right to controul any other part of the expenditure of the public revenue. This right, he asserted, was inherent in the conftitution of Parliament, and of the utmost importance to the subject ; it was essential to the rights and privileges of that House, and essential to the freedom of the people at large. His Lordship reprobated the idea of calling the House of Commons a great gentleman; no comparison of that kind, he said, would hold, and such comparisons ought never to pass unnoticed. After very warmly opposing the opinions of those gentlemen who had objected to the motion, his Lordfhip concluded with declaring he should vote for the question.

Sir George Savile complimented Lord Mahon on the sentiments he had just expressed, and humoroufly declaring he rose as a young member, faid, he could not but take notice of what his right honourable friend who made the motion, had alledged, of his having fhcwn it in one form to one perfon, in another form to another, and in a third form to a third person; but that this, that, and the other mode of dreffing it up would not do. He declared this description of dressing it up one way, and dressing it up another, made him for a moment look upon his right honourable friend as either a mantua-inaker, a taylor, or a botcher, who having found it so extremely difficult to dress his child to the tafte of some macaronies, fops, or capricios, had at laft brought the babe before the House quite naked. The motion, he declared, ftruck him to be the most naked of the kind that ever was exhibited, he begged therefore to know, and he called upon his right honourable friend to lay, who it was that this would not please, that would not please, nor the other would not please ?


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