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be remembered much to their advantage. The followers of Lord Rockingham remember that his ministry began and ended without obtaining it; the adherents to Grenville would be told, that he could never be taught to understand our claim. The law of nations made little of his knowledge. Let him not, however, be depreciated in his grave. If he was sometimes wrong, he was often right.
Of reimbursement the talk has been more confident, though not more reasonable. The expences of war have been often desired, have been sometimes required, but were never paid; or never, but when resistance was hopeless, and there remained no choice between submission and destruction,
Of our late equipments I know not from whom the charge can be very properly expected. The king of Spain disavows the violence which proyoked us to arm, and for the mischiefs which he did not du, why should he pay? Buccarelli, though he had learned all the arts of an EastIndian governor, could hardly have collected at Buenos Ayres a sum sufficient to satisfy our de. mands. If he be honest, he is hardly rich; and if he be disposed to rob, he has the misfortune of being placed where robbers have been
The king of Spain indeed delayed to comply with our proposals, and our armament was made necessary by unsatisfactory answers and dilatory debates. The delay certainly increased our expences, and it is not unlikely that the increase of our expences put an end to the delay.
But this is the inevitable process of human af. fairs. Negociation requires time. What is not apparent to intuition must be found by inquiry. Claims that have remained doubtful for
ages cannot be settled in a day. Reciprocal complaints are not easily adjusted but by reciprocal compliance. The Spaniards, thinking themselves entitled to the island, and injured by Captain Hunt, in their turn demanded satisfaction, which was refused; and where is the wonder if their concessions were delayed! They may tell us, that an independent nation is to be influenced not by command, but by persuasion; that if we expect our proposals to be received without deliberation, we assume that sovereignty which they do not grant us; and that if we arm while they are deliberating, we must indulge our martial ardour at our own charge.
The English ministry asked all that was reasonable, and enforced all that they asked. Our national honour is advanced, and our interest, if any interest we have, is sufficiently secured. There can be none amongst us to whom this transaction does not seem happily concluded, but those who, having fixed their hopes on publick calamities, sat like vultures waiting for a day of carnage. Having worn out all the arts of domestick sedition, having wearied violence, and exhausted falsehood, they yet flattered themselves with some assistance from the pride or malice of Spain ; and when they could no longer make the people complain of grievances which they did not feel, they had the comfort yet of knowing that real evils
were possible, and their resolution is well known of charging all evil on their governors.
The reconciliation was therefore considered as the loss of their last anchor; and received not only with the fretfulness of disappointment but the rage of desperation. When they found that all were happy in spite of their machinations, and the soft effulgence of peace shone out upon the nation, they felt no motion but that of sullen envy; they could not, like Milton's prince of hell, abstract themselves a moment from their evil; as they have not the wit of Satan, they have not his virtue ; they tried once again what could be done by sophistry without art, and confidence without credit. They represented their sovereign as dishonoured, and their country as betrayed, or, in their fiercer paroxysms of fury, reviled their sovereign as betraying it.
Their pretences I have here endeavoured to expose, by showing that more than has been yielded was not to be expected, that more perhaps was not to be desired, and that if all had been refused, there had scarcely been an adequate reason for a war.
There was perhaps never much danger of war or of refusal, but what danger there was, proceeded from the faction. Foreign nations, unacquainted with the insolence of common councils, and unaccustomed to the howl of plebeian patriotism, when they heard of rabbles and riots, of petitions and remonstrances, of discontent in Surrey, Derbyshire, and Yorkshire, when they saw the chain of subordination broken, and the legislature threat
ened and defied, naturally imagined that such a government had little leisure for Falkland's Island; they supposed that the English, when they returned ejected from Port Egmont, would find Wilkes invested with the protectorate; or see the Mayor of London, what the French have formerly seen their
mayors of the palace, the commander of the army and tutor of the king ; that they would be called to tell their tale before the Common Coun. cil ; and that the world was to expect war or peace
from a vote of the subscribers to the Bill of Rights.
But our enemies have now lost their hopes, and our friends I hope are recovered from their fears. To fancy that our government can be subverted by the rabble, whom its lenity has pampered into impudence, is to fear that a city may be drowned by the overflowing of its kennels. The distemper which cowardice or malice thought either decay of the vitals, or resolution of the nerves, appears at lasi to have been nothing more than a political phthiriasis, a disease too loathsome for a plainer name; but the effect of negligence rather than of weakness, and of which the shame is greater than the danger.
Among the disturbers of our quiet are some animals of greater bulk, whom their power of roaring persuaded us to think formidable, but we now perceive that sound and force do not always go together. The noise of a savage proves nothing but his hunger.
After all our broils, foreign and domestick, we may at last hope to remain a while in quiet, amu
sed with the view of our own success.
We have gained political strength by the increase of our reputation ; we have gained real strength by the reparation of our navy; we have shewn Europe that ten years of war have not yet exhausted us; and we have enforced our settlement on an island on which twenty years ago we durst not venture to look.
These are the gratifications only of honest minds; but there is a time in which hope comes to all. From the present happiness of the Publick, the patriots themselves may derive advantage. To be harmless, though by impotence, obtains some degree of kindness; no man hates a worm as he hates a viper; they were once dreaded enough to be detested, as serpents that could bite; they have now shewn that they can only
and may therefore quietly slink into holes, and change their slough unmolested and forgotten.