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      In the House of Commons, on the same evening (the 30th of June), Sir Robert Peel moved an answer to the Address to the same effect. Lord Althorp, acting in concert with Lord Grey, moved the adjournment of the House for twenty-four hours to allow time for consideration. The discussion in the Commons, however, was not without interest, as it touched upon constitutional questions of vital importance. Mr. Brougham did his part with admirable tact. He dwelt upon the danger of allowing the people to learn that Government could go on, and every exigency of the common weal be provided for, without a king. The Act which had appointed the late Prince Regent had been passed without the Royal sanction, the king being insane, and no provision having been made to meet the calamity that occurred. The Act of Parliament was called a law, but it was no law; it had not even the semblance of a law; and the power which it conveyed was in those days called the phantom of royal authority. The fact, indeed, was that the tendency of that Act of Parliament, more than any other Act that had ever been passed by the legislature, was to inflict a blow on the royal authority; to diminish its influence and weight; to bring it into disrepute with, and to lessen it in the estimation of, the people at large; and that fact was in itself a sufficient comment upon the propriety of doing an act of legislation without having the Crown to sanction it. That, he said, was his first great and principal reason for proceeding with this question at once. He showed that one of the greatest advantages connected with the monarchical form of government was the certainty of the succession, and the facile[314] and quiet transmission of power from one hand to another, thus avoiding the inconveniences and dangers of an interregnum. The question was rendered more difficult and delicate by the fact that the Duke of Cumberland, the most unpopular man in the country, was the eldest of the remaining brothers of the king, in the event of whose death he would be Heir Apparent to the Throne of Great Britain, and King of Hanover. In the case supposed, the question would arise whether the next heir to the Throne was of right regent, should the Sovereign be incompetent, from infancy, insanity, or any other cause. If that right were established, then the regent, during the minority of the Princess Victoria, would be a foreign monarch, and one who was utterly detested by the mass of the people of Britain. Such a question, arising at a moment when the spirit of revolution was abroad, might agitate the public mind to a degree that would be perilous to the Constitution. The contingencies were sufficiently serious, therefore, to justify the efforts of Lord Grey and Mr. Brougham to have the regency question settled before the dissolution. They may not have been sorry to have a good popular case against the Government, but their conduct was not fairly liable to the imputation of faction or mere personal ambition. "Can we," asked Mr. Brougham, "promise ourselves a calm discussion of the subject when there should be an actual accession of the Duke of Cumberland to the Throne of Hanover, and Parliament is suddenly called upon to decide upon his election to the regency, to the supreme rule in this country, to which, according to the principle of Mr. Pitt, he has a paramount claim, although he has not a strict legal right?" The motion for adjournment was lost by a majority of 46the numbers being, for it, 139; against it, 185. After this debate, on the motion for adjournment, Lord Althorp moved the amendment to the Address, almost in the words of Lord Grey in the other House. Sir Robert Peel stated that he meant no disrespect by abstaining from further discussion, which would be wasting the time of the House, by repeating the arguments he had already employed. Mr. Brougham, however, took the opportunity of launching out against the Ministry in a strain of bitter invective, of sarcasm vehement even to fierceness.


      [77] Vaudreuil et Beauharnois au Ministre, 17 Novembre, 1704.Some courts promise impunity to an accomplice in a serious crime who will expose his companions, an expedient that has its drawbacks as well as its advantages. Among the former must be counted the national authorisation of treachery, a practice which even criminals detest; for crimes of courage are less pernicious to a people than crimes of cowardice, courage being no ordinary quality, and needing only a beneficent directing force to make it conduce to the public welfare, whilst cowardice is more common and contagious, and always more self-concentrated than the other. Besides, a tribunal which calls for the aid of the law-breaker proclaims its own uncertainty and the weakness of the laws themselves. On the other hand, the advantages of the practice are, the prevention[164] of crimes and the intimidation of the people, owing to the fact that the results are visible whilst the authors remain hidden; moreover, it helps to show that a man who breaks his faith to the laws, that is, to the public, is likely also to break it in private life. I think that a general law promising impunity to an accomplice who exposes a crime would be preferable to a special declaration in a particular case, because in this way the mutual fear which each accomplice would have of his own risk would tend to prevent their association; the tribunal would not make criminals audacious by showing that their aid was called for in a particular case. Such a law, however, should accompany impunity with the banishment of the informer. But to no purpose do I torment myself to dissipate the remorse I feel in authorising the inviolable laws, the monument of public confidence, the basis of human morality, to resort to treachery and dissimulation. What an example to the nation it would be, were the promised impunity not observed, and were the man who had responded to the invitation of the laws dragged by learned quibbles to punishment, in spite of the public troth pledged to him! Such examples are not rare in different countries; neither, therefore, is the number small, of those who consider a nation in no other light than in that of a complicated machine, whose springs the cleverest and the strongest move at their will. Cold and insensible to all that forms the delight of[165] tender and sensitive minds, they arouse, with imperturbable sagacity, either the softest feelings or the strongest passions, as soon as they see them of service to the object they have in view, handling mens minds just as musicians do their instruments.

      While to these northern provinces Canada was an old and pestilent enemy, those towards the south scarcely knew her by name; and the idea of French aggression on their borders was so novel and strange that they admitted it with difficulty. Mind and heart were engrossed in strife with their governors: the universal struggle for virtual self-rule. But the war was often waged with a passionate stupidity. The colonist was not then an American; he was simply a provincial, and a narrow one. The time was yet distant when these dissevered and jealous communities should weld themselves into one broad nationality, capable, at need, of the mightiest efforts to purge 170Finally, a man who, when examined, persists in an obstinate refusal to answer, deserves a punishment[146] fixed by the laws, and one of the heaviest they can inflict, that men may not in this way escape the necessary example they owe to the public. But this punishment is not necessary when it is beyond all doubt that such a person has committed such a crime, questions being useless, in the same way that confession is, when other proofs sufficiently demonstrate guilt And this last case is the most usual, for experience proves that in the majority of trials the accused are wont to plead Not guilty.


      I never told you about examinations. I passed everything with theIn the morning all the red blankets had disappeared, and a white flag was waving over the hostile camp. The great Outagamie chief, Pemoussa, presently came out, carrying a smaller white flag and followed by two Indian slaves. Dubuisson sent his interpreter to protect him from insult and conduct him to the parade, where all the allied chiefs presently met to hear him.

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      true Pendleton, but he isn't in the least. He is just as simple[95] Cornwallis to the Bishop of Quebec, 1 Dec. 1749.

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      The court-house on the day of nomination presented a striking scene. On the left hand of the sheriff stood a Cabinet Minister, attended by the whole body of the aristocracy and gentry, Protestant and Catholic, of the county Clare. On the right stood Mr. O'Connell, with scarcely a single gentleman by his side. But he was "the man of the people" and of the priests, and so he was master of the situation. Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald was proposed by Sir Edward O'Brien, and seconded by Sir A. Fitzgerald. The Ministerial candidate first addressed the freeholders. He was an accomplished gentleman and an excellent speaker. Mr. Sheil, who was present, remarked that he delivered one of the most effective and dexterous speeches it had ever been his fortune to hear. His venerable father, who had voted against the union in the Irish Parliament, was now on his death-bed, and the knowledge of the[274] contest had been kept from him, lest the excitement should hasten his departure. In alluding to him, and to his own services to the county, Mr. Fitzgerald's eyes filled with tears, and there were few amongst his opponents, excited as they were against him, who did not give the same evidence of emotion; and when he sat down, although the great majority of the audience were strongly opposed to him, and were enthusiasts in favour of the rival candidate, a loud and unanimous burst of acclamation shook the court-house.


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