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trade for bullion rendered free, secure, and permanent, by the act for opening certain ports in Dominica and Jamaica.
That administration was the first which proposed and encouraged publick meetings and free consultations of merchants from all parts of the kingdom ; by which means the truest lights have been received ; great benefits have been already derived to manufactures and commerce ; and the most extensive prospects are opened for further improvement.
Under them, the interests of our northern and southern colonies, before that time jarring and dissonant, were understood, compared, adjusted, and perfectly reconciled. The passions and animosities of the colonies, by judicious and lenient measures, were allayed and composed, and the foundation laid for a lasting agreement amongst them.
Whilst that administration provided for the liberty and commerce of their country, as the true basis of its power, they consulted its interests, they asserted its honour abroad, with temper and with firmness ; by making an advantageous treaty of commerce with Russia ; by obtaining a liquidation of the Canada bills, to the satisfaction of the proprietors; by reviving and raising from its ashes the negociation for the Manilla ransom, which had been extinguished and abandoned by their predecessors.
They treated their sovereign with decency; with reverence. They discountenanced, and, it is hoped, forever abolished, the dangerous and unconstitutional practice of removing military officers for their votes in parliament. They firmly adhered to those friends of liberty, who had run all hazards in its cause, and provided for them in preference to every other claim.
With the Earl of Bute they had no personal connection ; no correspondence of councils. They neither courted him nor persecuted him. They practised no corruption; nor were they even suspected of it. They sold no offices. They obtained no reversions or pensions, either coming in or going out, for themselves, their families, or their dependents.
In the prosecution of their measures they were traversed
by an opposition of a new and singular character, an opposition of place-men and pensioners. They were supported by the confidence of the nation. And having held their offices under many difficulties and discouragements, they left them at the express command, as they had accepted them at the earnest request, of their royal master.
These are plain facts; of a clear and publick nature ; neither extended by elaborate reasoning, nor heightened by the colouring of eloquence. They are the services of a single year.
The removal of that administration from power, is not to them premature; since they were in office long enough to accomplish many plans of public utility ; and, by their perseverance and resolution, rendered the way smooth and easy to their successors; having left their king and their country in a much better condition than they found them. By the temper they manifest, they seem to have now no other wish, than that their successors may do the publick as real and as faithful service as they have done.
ON A LATE PUBLICATION, INTITULED, “ THE PRESENT
STATE OF THE NATION.”
“ O Tite, si quid ego adjuvero curamve levasso,
Arty divisions, whether on the whole operating for good or evil, are things inseparable from free government. This is a truth which, I believe, admits little dispute, having been established by the uniform experience of all ages. The part a good citizen ought to take in these divisions, has been a matter of much deeper controversy. But God forbid, that any controversy relating to our essential morals should admit of no decision. It appears to me, that this question, like most of the others which regard our duties in life, is to be determined by our station in it. Private men may be wholly neutral, and entirely innocent; but they who are legally invested with publick trust, or stand on the high ground of rank and dignity, which is trust implied, can hardly in any case remain indifferent, without the certainty of sinking into insignificance ; and thereby in effect deserting that post in which, with the fullest authority, and for the wisest purposes, the laws and institutions of their country have fixed them. However, if it be the office of those who are thus circumstanced, to take a decided part, it is no less their duty that it should be a sober one. It ought to be circumscribed by the same laws of decorum, and balanced by the same temper, which bound and regulate all the virtues. In a word, we ought to act in party with all the moderation which does not absolutely enervate that vigour, and
quench that fervency of spirit, without which the best wishes for the publick good must evaporate in empty speculation.
It is probably from some such motives that the friends of a very respectable party in this kingdom have been hitherto silent.
For these two years past, from one and the same quarter of politicks, a continual fire has been kept upon them; sometimes from the unwieldy column of quartos and octavos ; sometimes from the light squadrons of occasional pamphlets and flying sheets. Every month has brought on its periodical calumny. The abuse has taken every shape which the ability of the writers could give it; plain invective, clumsy raillery, misrepresented anecdote.* No method of vilifying the measures, the abilities, the intentions, or the persons which compose that body, has been omitted.
On their part nothing was opposed but patience and character. It was a matter of the most serious and indignant affliction to persons, who thought themselves in conscience bound to oppose a ministry, dangerous from its very constitution, as well as its measures, to find themselves, whenever they faced their adversaries, continually attacked on the rear by a set of men who pretended to be actuated by motives similar to theirs. They saw that the plan long pursued with but too fatal a success, was to break the strength of this kingdom ; by frittering down the bodies which compose it ; by fomenting bitter and sanguinary animosities, and by dissolving every tie of social affection and publick trust. These virtuous men, such I am warranted by public opinion to call them, were resolved rather to endure every thing, than co-operate in that design. A diversity of opinion upon almost every principle of politicks had indeed drawn a strong line of separation between them and some others. However, they were desirous not to extend the misfortune by unnecessary bitterness; they wished to prevent a difference of opinion on the commonwealth from festering into rancorous and incurable hostility. Accordingly they endeavoured that all
* History of the Minority. History of the Repeal of the Stamp-Act. Considerations on Trade and Finance. Political Register, &c. &c.
past controversies should be forgotten ; and that enough for the day should be the evil thereof. There is however a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. tolerate injuries, whilst they are only personal to themselves. But it is not the first of virtues to bear with moderation the indignities that are offered to our country. A piece has at length appeared, from the quarter of all the former attacks, which upon every publick consideration demands an answer. Whilst persons more equal to this business may be engaged in affairs of greater moment, I hope I shall be excused, if,
I in a few hours of a time not very important, and from such materials as I have by me (more than enough however for this purpose), I undertake to set the facts and arguments of this wonderful performance in a proper light. I will endeavour to state what this piece is; the purpose for which I take it to have been written ; and the effects (supposing it should have any effect at all) it must necessarily produce. .
This piece is called, The present State of the Nation. It may be considered as a sort of digest of the avowed maxims of a certain political school, the effects of whose doctrines and practices this country will feel long and severely. It is made up of a farrago of almost every topick which has been agitated in parliamentary debate, or private conversation, on national affairs for these last seven years.
The oldest controversies are hauled out of the dust with which time and neglect had covered them. Arguments ten times repeated, a thousand times answered before, are here repeated again. Publick accounts formerly printed and re-printed revolve once more,
and find their old station in this sober meridian. All the common-place lamentations upon the decay of trade, the increase of taxes, and the high price of labour and provisions, are here retailed again and again in the same tone with which they have drawled through columns of Gazetteers and Advertisers for a century together. Paradoxes which affront common sense, and uninteresting barren truths which generate no conclusion, are thrown in to augment unwieldly bulk, without adding any thing to weight. Because two accusations are better than one, contradictions are set staring one another in the face, without even an attempt to recona