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would, without doubt, arise in the nation; and in such a case, I am persuaded, that none, or very few, even of such electors, could be induced to vote for a court candidate; no, not for ten times the fum.
There may, Sir, be fome bribery and corruption in the nation; I am afraid there will always be fome; but it is no proof of it, that strangers are sometimes chosen ; for a gentleman may have so much natural influence over a borough in his neighbourhood, as to be able to prevail with them to choose any person he pleases to recommend; and if upon fuch recommendation they choose one or two of his friends, who are perhaps strangers to them, it is not thence to be inferred that the two strangers were chosen their representatives by the means of bribery and corruption.
To infinuate, Sir, that inoney may be issued from the public treasury for bribing elections, is really something very extraordinary, especially in those gentlemen who know how many
checks are upon every shilling that can be iflued from thence; and how regularly the money granted in one year for the public service of ihe nation must always be accounted for, the very next session, in this House, and likewise in the other, if they have a mind to call for any such account. And as to the gentlemen in offices, if they have any advantageover country gentlemen, in having something else to depend on befides their own private fortunes, they have likewise many disadvantages; they are obliged to live at London with their families, by which they are put to a much greater expense, than gentlemen of equal fortunes, who live in the country : this lays them under a very great disadvantage with respect to the su sporting their interest in the country. The country gentleman, by living among the electors, and purchasing the necessaries for his family from them, keeps up an acquaintance and correspondence with them, without putting himself to any extraordinary
charge; whereas a gentleman who lives in London, has no other way of keeping up an acquaintance or correspondence among
his friends in the country, but by going down once or twice a year at a very extraordinary charge, and often without
other business; so that we may conclude, a gentleman in office cannot, even in seven years, fave much for diftributing in ready money at the time of an election; and I really believe, if the fact were narrowly inquired into, it would appear, that the gentlemen in office are as little guilty of bribing their electors with ready money, as any orher set of gentlemen in the kingdom.
That there are ferments often raising among the people without any just cause, is what I am surprised to hear con. troverted, since very late experience may convince us of the contrary. Do not we know what a ferment was raised in the nation towards the latter end of the late Queen's reign? And it is well known, what a fatal change in the affairs of this nation was introduced, or at least confirmed, by an election's coming on while the nation was in that ferment. Do not we know what a ferment was raised in the nation, foon after his late Majesty's accession? And if an election had then been allowed to come on, while the nation was in that ferment, it might perhaps have had as fatal effects as the former; but, thank God, this was wisely provided against by the very law which is now wanted to be re. pealed.
As such ferments may hereafter often happen, I must think that frequent elections will always be dangerous; for which reafun, as far as I can see at present, I Mall, I believe, at all times think it a very dangerous experiment to repeal the feptennial bille
CHAP. XỈ. LORD LYTTLETON'S SPEECH ON THE RE
PEAL OF THE ACT CALLED THE JEW BILL, IN THE YEAR 1753.
MR. SPEAKER, I
see no occasion to enter at present into the merits of the bill we passed the last fefiion for the naturalization of Jews; because I am convinced, that in the present temper of the nation, not a single foreign Jew will think it expedient to take any benerit of that act; and therefore, the rep ing of it is giving up nothing. I allented to it last year in hopes it might induce some wealthy Jews to come and fete tle amung us: in that light I saw enough of utility in it, 10 make ine incline rather to approve than dilike it; bai, that any man alive could be zealous either for or against it, I confess I had no idea. What affects our religivil, is indeed of the highest and most serious importance. Gou forbid we should be ever indifferent about that! but í thought this had no more to do with religion than any turtipike act we passed in that session; and after all the divinity that has been preached on the fubject, I think fo fill
RESOLUTION and steadiness are excellent qualities; but iz is the application of them up in which their value depends, A wise government, Mr. Speaker, will know where to yield, as well as where to rellt; and there is no surer mark of littleness of mind in an adminiftration, than obstinacy in tristes. Public wisdom on foine occasions must condescenil to give way to popular folly, especially in a flee country, where the humour of the people must be confidered as aitentively as the humour of a king in an absolute monarchy. Under both forms of government, a prudent and honest ministry will indulge a finall folly, and will refitt a great one. Not to vouchsafe now and then a kind indulgence to I 3
the former would discover an ignorance of human nature ; not to reüit the latter at all times, would be meanness an. fervility.
Sir, I look on the bill we are at present debating, not as a sacrifice made to popularity (for it facrifices no. thing), but as a prudent regard to some confequences aris. ing from the nature of the clamour raised against the late aćt for naturalizing Jews, which seem to require a particular confideration.
It has been hitherto the rare and envied felicity of his Majesty's reign, that his subjects have enjoyed such a settled tranquillity, such a freedom from angry, religious disputes, as is rot to be parallelled in any former times. The true Christian spirit of moderation, of charity, of universal benevolence, has prevailed in the people, has prevailed in the clergy of all ranks and degrees, instead of those narrow principles, those bigotted prejudices, that furious, that implacable, that ignorant zeal, which had often done so much hurt buth to the church and the state. But from the ill-underfood, insignificant act of parliament you are now moved to repeal, occasion has been taken to deprive us of this inestimable advantage. It is a pretence to disturb the peace of the church, to infufa idle fears into the minds of the people, and make religion itself an engine of fedition. It beheves the piety, as well as the wisdom of parliament, to disappoint those endeavours. Sir, the very worst mifchief that can be done to religion, is to pervert it to the purposes of faction. Heaven and Hellare not more diftant than the benevolent spirit of the Gospel and the malignant spirit of party. The molt impious wars ever made were those called Holy Wars. He who hates another man for not being a Chriftian, is himself not a Chriftian. Christianity, Sir, breathes love and peace and good will to man. conformable to the dictates of that holy religioa has lately diftinguished this nation; and a glorious diftinction it was!
But there is latent, at all times, in the mind of the vulgar, a fpark of enthusiasm; which, if blown by the breath of a party, may, even when it seems quite extinguished, be fuddenly revived and raised to a flame. The act of latt fellion for naturalizing Jews has very unexpectedly administered fuel to feed that flame. To what a height it may rise if it should continue much longer, one cannot easily tell; but take away the fuel, and it will die of itself.
It is the misfortune of all the Roman Catholic countries, that there the church and the state, the civil power and the hierarchy, Have feparate intereits, and are continually at variance one with the other. It is our happinei, that here they form but one fyftem. While this harmony lafts, whatever hurts the church, hurts the ite; whatever weakens the credit of the governors of the church, takes away from the civil power a part of its strength, and Thakes the whole conftitution,
Sir, I trust and believe, that, by speedily paling this bill, we shall filence that obloquy, which has founjuftly bien caft upon our reverend prelates (some of the inoit respectable that ever adorned our church) for the part they took in the alt which this repeals. And it greatly concerns the whole community that they should not lose that respeit which is so juftly due to them, by popular clamour, kept up in opposition to a matter of no importance in itself. But if the departing from that measure should not remove the preju cice so maliciously raised, I am certain that no further itep you can take will be able to remove it; and therefore i hope you will stop here. This appears to be a reasonable and safe condescenfion, by which nobody will be hurt; but all beyond this would be dangerous weakness in government. It might open a door to the wikest enthusiasm, and to the most mischievous attacks of political disaffection working upon that enthusiasm. If you encourage and au. thorize it to fall on the synagogue, it will go thence