Imatges de pÓgina

little qualified I am to entertain, but I speak from principle and genuine opinion. The honourable gentleman pofseffes, in a superior degree, the faculties necessary to afford entertainment; and though I am seldom convinced, I am pleased by his orations, which are always lively and diverting. I oppose the motion of thanks for the reasons I have before stated; and more particularly because I think General Prevoft, Admiral Barrington, and others, equally entitled to them for their military conduct. You will cast a ftigma po those officers, if the thanks of this House be not given to them ; perhaps at this late hour it were better to give none, and therefore I hope the honourable gentleman will withdraw

his motion. Mr. Rigby.

Mr. Rigby thanked the Speaker for the polite manner in which he had conveyed his censure. Henceforward, he said, there will be no such thing to be heard of as dullness in the House of Commons. Dullness had taken her flight for ever from the House, and on a very singular occafion. He was going on in this strain, when Sir Joseph Mawhey seemed inclined to rise again to speak. But. I am afraid, said Mr. Rigby, that I am growing dull, I will therefore fit down,

until the House resumes its brilliancy. Mr. Sberi. Mr. Sheridan observed, that Mr. Coke had expressed an dan.

earnest desire that this motion might pass unanimously, though
he knew that there were in that House different defcriptions
of men, who could not affent to a vote that seemed to imply
a recognition or approbation of the American war. If to
many were to be included in this vote of thanks, why exclude
any who had an equal title to the applause of the House, with
those particularized in the motion? Why not thank General
Prevost, for example, for his victory over the enemy at sa-
vannah? A victory that had laid the foundation of 'the fuc-
cess at Charles-Town, which led the way to that at Cam-
He hoped that a motion would not be objected to, to thank

General Prevoft, that the victory gained by him was a victo-
ry only over the French. Mr. Sheridan asked farther, why
the thanks of the House had not been voted to Sir Henry
Clinton, immediately on the arrival of the fuccefs at Charles-
Town And what moft be the feelings of that general officer,
when he reflected that the thanks of the House were voted to
him only in consequence of a resolution to thank Eari Corn-
wallis ?


Mr. Sheridan apologized to Mr. Rigby for not answering some things that had fallen from him, in the same ludicrous Atraia, in which he chose to view every thing, except what related immediately to his own intereft. In his own opinion there were foune things too serious for ridicule, and the queltion before them, if ever any question did, merited a ferious and grave discussion. He acknowledged the honourable gentleman had a fund of drollery and humour, but he liked his ingenuity, his humour, and his counsels, better than his political arguments.

Mr. Courtenay thought that gentlemen on the other side of Mr. Courte the House might vote thanks to the gallant officers proposed nay. as objects of their gratitude and praise, without any feruple arising from any opinion concerning the juftness or expedience of the American war, when they considered that it was of importance to this country to maintain and even promote the honour of the British name.

When they considered that Lord Cornwallis had saved the lives of a whole army, ready to be swallowed up by so numerous a fos, by the wisdom of his dispositions, as well as the generous ardour which his noble example inspired into the troops : if among the Romans, he was rewarded with a civic crown who saved the life of a single citizen, how much more does he deserve a tribute of praise who saves the lives of thousands ! Besides, the Americans were the allies of France, and every wound that was given to America affected the House of Bourbon.

He had not now respect to the origin of the war, but to the present state of it. He confidered not what had been,

. but what in reality was, and wbat was likely to be. He pared those politicians, who were perpetually murmuring about the beginning of the war, to the ideot who, accustomed to hear at certain hours a village clock, through the mere force of habit and the association of ideas, continued to count the hours, at the proper periodical times, after the clock had gone to decay or was broken in pieces. He touched on the subject of the personal altercation between Mr. Righy and Sir Joseph Mawbey in this manoer: dallness, with the beft intentions to be brilliant, is often unavoidable. A pig, it is faid, never attempts to swim, which is the next thing to soaring, without cutting its throat. Again, it is said, that an eel swims faster in mud, though it has no fins, than fishes that have. He applied to something that a chemist told him,



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Mr. Fox.

concerning a preparation of lead, which though cold, heavy,
and soporific, had a poisonous and malignant quality.
· Mr. Fox said, that it had been very well observed by his
honourable friend [Mr. Sheridan] that there were some things
too serious for buffoonry, and the subject before them he
conceived to be of this kind, and had expected that it would
have been seriously treated even by those who seldom treated
with seriousness any thing else. With regard to the merit of
Lord Cornwallis, minifters, after all their encomiums, had
greatly under-rated it : for the only fruit of the taking of
Charles-Town was to throw that able officer and the troops
under his command into a situation of great peril, from
which he had extricated them with amazing ability and

On this point he dwelt with great ingenuity, placing it in a variety of lights. He asked what were to be the advantages to be derived from the reduction of Charles-Town, and the victory at Camden ? And whether the tlìanks of the House would have been refused had they been proposed to Sir William Howe, after the victory on Long Inand, Bunker'sHill, Brandywine, or on his taking New-York or Philadelphia? Or would they have been refused to another general, on his taking Ticonderoga ? Such, he presumed, would be the victories for which the House was to offer thanks. He allowed the merits of the officers now in question, but he made a distinction between thanks and praise. He might admire their valour, but he could not separate the intention from the action; they were united in his mind; there they formed one whole, and he would not attempt to divide them. He would not vote the thanks of the House to any admiral, while the navy of England was in such bad hands. He alledged that ministry, dissatisfied and chagrined with the thanks that had been given to Sir Fletcher Norton, had taken this method of depreciating their value. He asked where they were to stop, and why thanks were not voted to the whole navy and army?

The same men, who had fomented the rebellion in 1745, seemed to be at the bottom of the American war. They wished to subdue the liberties of England by first subduing those of America; and the vote of thanks moved for this day is in this spirit, “ You thanked the Duke of Cumberland for conquering us in 1745, now we have an opportunity of retaliating the insult, by thanking Sir Henry Clinton and Lord Cornwallis for conquering you.


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Mr. Adam observed, in answer to Mr. Fox, that in the Mr. Adam. time of the war of the succession, thanks had been voted to the Duke of Marlborough, though the war was unpopular, in which his great talents were exerted. Who would have thought

of confidering the victories at Rosbach by the King of Prussia, and at Minden by Prince Ferdinand, as disadvantages to this country, though the German war was considered by many as ruinous thereto? Was ever fuch language held by any opposition as is held by the present ? Mr. Adam described the courage and firmed constancy of Earl Cornwallis, who never once thought of yielding to the enemy in any situation, however alarming, but stretched out a line of two thousand and fix hundred men, with moft undauoted and magnanimous courage, in opposition to a front of seven thousand.

Sir F. Baflet thought it the duty of an officer, 'who facrificed to his station, part of the liberty of a British subject, to obey, without reserve, the orders of the King. Sir George Savile demanded an explanation of these words, and obtained it. The Solicitor General made a speech in support of the motion, and of the justice and necessity of the American


Mr. Fox complained that the learned gentleman had de- Mr. Fos. clined to enter into a dispute concerning the American war, on a former and proper occasion, and now defended it when he knew he would not be opposed. For his own part, he thought that matter was not before the House at this time; but he threw out the gauntlet to any politician on that subject, confiding not in his own abilities, but in the goodness of his cause.

Sir J. Wrottesly, Mr. Byng, Mr. Martin, Sir George Yonge, Lord Mahon, Thomas Townshend, &c. also spoke.

But at length the question was put, and the notion, with the amendments above stated, was carried without a divifion.

November 28. A motion being made to bring up the report of the committee of supply,

Mr. Hulley rose, and complained of the preference and Mr. Hugey. partiality pewn to one branch of the public service, and that not the most important. He said, the amount of the estimates of the army agreed to by the Committee on Friday, with the amount of the estimate of the ordnance, yet to be

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voted, the vote of credit, and the amount of the extraordinaries of the army, (which the right honourable gentleman would, he fupposed, bring to the House after Christmas, as ufual,) all added together, would come nearly to the amount of ten millions, a fum infinitely too large for that House to vote for the fingle fervice of the army, without hearing fome fatisfactory account how it was to be applied. This country was attacked by the most powerful confederacy that ever yer had taken up arms againft her; and if any thing could give us safety, it must be our having a more powerful davy than our enemies; how was that desirable object attempted by his Majesty's minifters ?-In a letter published last year by a member of that House, it was stated, that the number of feamen employed by us, had encreased from 96,000 to 98,000, but it was at the same time acknowledged, that the number of feamen employed, upon the aggregate, by our enemies, was much greater. Why was this? If this country could only be faved by her navy, and he believed no minifter would be hardy enough to deny this, or to contrariet what had been so well afferted by a noble Lord in his speech the precediog day, viz. " that an honourable peace could only be hoped for, by our destroying the marine of France, it ought to be the first object of ministers, to encrease and strengthen the navy, and not to do it by driblets, not by adding 2000 men, but to add an effectual increase immediately. Mr. Huffey said, he saw this matter in so strong a point of view, that unless he received fatisfaction


that head, he would take the earliest opportunity of moving, that an additional 20,000 men be voted for the navy. Having faid this, he went into a confideration and reply to what had fallen from the secretary at war on the 24th, declaring, that he confidered the present, but as an adjourned debate. He called to the recolletion of the Houfe, the great difficulties which the right honourable gentleman had itated to be in the way of the recruiting service, and which, the right honourable gentleman had assigned as a reason for his plan of economny, in reducing the nuinber of men in the old regiments to 56 per company. The right honourable gentieman had said he could not get recruits

for the old corps, and therefore he reduced their complements. What was this, but confeffing that our resources of men were nearly ased up, and having recourse to a plan of neceffity in the beginning almost of this war, which we had not been driven to adopt till juft upon the close of the last war? This was a 3



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