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resolution to leave his throne and the country, after the voterespecting the Dutch Guards, is too interesting to omit. W of Dec. 29, 1698.-My lord; Your grace did extreme rightly judge where the difficulty would lie upon our friends, that is, in the point of the army. Their success in the Speaker gave occasion to some to say, every thing was possible, which they would attempt in good earnest. And the same persons are hearkened to, when they say, that their conduct, upon the debate in the House of Commons, was so far from aiming at what the king desired, that it was a downright delivering him up.
This has put the king upon great extremities in his purposes, as I doubt not your grace may have heard before this time. I have not acquainted you with his resolution sooner, because I thought it could not be taken up in good earnest. But I have had, this morning, such a sort of confirmation of it, that I cannot think it possible to have it carried on so far, if it be meant but as an appearance only, and to provoke us to exert ourselves.
“His resolution is, when the next Wednesday's business is over, to come to the parliament, and tell them, that he came over to rescue the nation from the ruin impending over them, in which he succeeded, and had brought them to the end of a dangerous war, without any great misfortune; that now they had peace, and might provide for their own safety; that he saw they were entertaining distrusts and jealousies of him, so as not to do what was necessary for themselves; that he was, therefore, determined to leave England, but, before he went, would consent to any law they should offer, for appointing commissioners of both Houses, to administer the government, and, then they would not be jealous of themselves.
"When he first mentioned this to me, I treated the notion as the most extravagant and absurd, that ever was entertained, and begged him to speak of it to nobody, for his own honour. He heard me patiently talk against it, for two hours, but concluded at last, as of a notion he still retained.
"He has spoken of it to my lord Marlborough (which one would wonder at, almost as much as at the thing itself), Mr. Montague, and to my lord Orford, and, I believe, to divers others. The last time I saw him, he would not suffer me to argue with him, telling me plainly, he saw we should never agree, and he was resolved. I told him, I hoped he would take the seal from me, before he did it; that I had it from him, when he was king, and desired he would receive it from me, while he was so.
"I should tell your grace, that, upon a meeting with Mr. Secretary, lord Coningsby, and divers others of the House of Commons, we all agreed in an opinion, that this business of the army could not be carried higher than 10,000, and that with the utmost difficulty, and not unless the country gentlemen would enter into the debate, which they would never do, unless it might be said to them, that it would be an acceptable service to the king, and that he would make the best of that number.
Correspondence of the Duke Shrewsbury.
3:07 3 weit voɔ att bas sponds and "When this was told him, he was very much dissatisfied, and said, he could not say a thing, which was but to deceive us, that he would leave all to Providence, having taken his resolution, and would go to Windsor, and stay till Saturday.
"What fruit the king is made to believe he may expect from such a proceeding, I know not, nor who are the movers to it. I think it infinitely prejudicial to him, and ruinous to the whole. I think, also, there is an an extreme difficulty upon all our friends, who will, in the conclusion, fall under censure, however they act in this matter.
"I never wished for a thing, so passionately, in my life, as to have half an hour's discourse with your grace, upon the subject. Is it not possible that I might receive a line or two of your's, before this critical business is to come on? This is so considerable an incident, that I do not, at present, enter into the giving you my particular thanks, for the good advice in the last letter, which I had the honour to receive from your grace. I am sensible of it, as I ought to be, and will endeavour to make the best use of it, if the king's purpose does not put me upon the necessity of being in no capacity of making any use of advice of such a nature.
"I do not know what Monsieur Tallard has said to the king, upon the news from Spain. He had an audience on Friday last. But I am told, from a very good hand, that at the court of France it is said, this resolution of the catholic king's will make void the late treaty, What soever the french king may have in his purpose, I take for granted, will not appear till after the winter is over. I am with all possible sincerity and respect.' &c.
"The following is a copy of the speech, which king William intended to make to the parliament, inclosed in the preceding letter from lord Somers:
"I came into this kingdom, at the desire of the nation, to save it from ruin, and to preserve your religion, your laws, and liberties. And, for that end, I have been obliged to maintain a long and burthensome war, for this kingdom, which, by the grace of God, and the bravery of this nation, is at present ended in a good peace, under which you may live happily and in quiet, provided you will contribute towards your own security, in the manner I had recommended to you, at the opening of the sessions. But seeing to the contrary, that you have so little regard to my advice, that you take no manner of care of your own security, and that you expose youselves to evident ruin, by divesting yourselves of the only means for your defence, it would not be just or reasonable, that I should be witness of your ruin, not being able to do any thing of myself to prevent it, it not being in my power to defend and to protect you, which was the only view I had in coming into this country. Therefore, I am obliged to recommend to you, to choose, and name to me, such persons as you shall judge most proper, to whom I may leave the administration of the government, in my ab sence, assuring you, that though I am at present forced to withdraw myself out of the kingdom, I shall always preserve the same inclination for its advantage and prosperity; and when I can judge that my presence will be necessary for your defence, I shall be ready to return,
and hazard my life for your security, as I have formerly done, beseeching the great God to bless your deliberations, and to inspire you with all that is necessary for the good and security of the kingdom.'
"The intrepid and manly remonstrances of the chancellor, induced the king to forego his hasty resolution of withdrawing from England; but no representations could soothe his resentment against the whigs, for suffering their opponents to carry so odious a measure, as the reduction of the army. A deep sense of the royal displeasure, appeared to stimulate their zeal, but, when brought to the trial, they again shrunk from the contest, and suffered the bill to proceed, without a division. An attempt was, indeed, finally made to raise the intended establishment in England to 10,000 men, by proposing, that the number should be reconsidered in the committee: but this effort was feebly supported, and the proposal treated with contempt by the king, who considered so inadequate an addition as totally inefficient. At the last reading of the bill, however, an unexpected revulsion of sentiment appears to have taken place, among the independent members, and the measure encountered greater opposition than in any stage of its progress; but its advocates were still triumphant, for it was carried, on the 19th of January, by a division of 221 against 154." (P. 572-575.) We shut up this entertaining volume with regret. We have from necessity omitted many letters of particular interest, for which the reader must take his revenge by resorting to the work itself. The learned and laborious editor is entitled to our best thanks, as members of the British public; feeling ourselves engaged by ties of gratitude, homage, and affection, to cultivate every opportunity of arriving at a better knowledge of the characters, principles, and course of action and exertion, which accomplished a revolution whereby this country has attained an elevation unequalled in the history of nations, and at which, in these times of reforming mummery and popular delusion, we proudly take our stand.
ARR. X. THE EXISTING DISTRESSES OF THE
The State of the Nation at the Commencement of the Year 1822. Considered under the Four Departments of the Finance-Foreign Relations Home Department-Colonies, Board of Trade, &c. &c. &c. 8N0. Hatchard. London, 1822.
An Address to the Members of the House of Commons, upon the Necessity of Reforming our Financial System, and Establishing an efficient Sinking Fund for the Reduction of the National Debt; with the Outline of a Plan for that Purpose. By One of Themselves. 8vo. Richardson. London, 1822.
Ir is not our intention to occupy much space with the contents of either of these two pamphlets. The latter is employed in
recommending and explaining one of those crude projects of promoting the public welfare by plundering one class of the community for the supposed benefit of another, which do not merit a moment's attention from any thinking man, unless it be to brand. them with that reprobation due to all that tends to familiarize the mind with plans of injustice. One of the proposals of this most sage member of parliament is, to reduce the legal rate of interest to four per cent., with a view to lighten the burden to landholders oppressed by mortgages. Will he deign to consider, what the effect of this well-meant aid would be? Every mortgagee would instantly file his bill of foreclosure; within a year the mort gagers would be foreclosed, unless they chose rather to borrow on annuity at what rate they could; and such a change would take place in the property of the soil, as England has not wit nessed since the Norman conquest.
"The State of the Nation" is merely a vindication of the ministry. To a loose and clumsy, though affected and laborious style, it adds both the confusion arising from want of arrangement, and that which arises from excessive minuteness of divi sion. Its statements of facts are seldom precise or complete; sometimes they are inaccurate, and sometimes inconclusive. The writer everywhere exhibits marks of a very partial and superficial acquaintance with political economy; but occasionally com pensates for this deficiency by his sprightly ridicule of that which he so little comprehends:
"If ministers have not gone the full speculative length of those gentlemen, who in pamphlets and reviews out of parliament, and in speeches and essays within it (very commendable from their length and labour), have recommended the general adoption of all the theories of Smith and Turgot, they must not be denied, in the first instance, the praise of having listened to these speeches with a patience as commendable as the industry of the speakers; and in the next, of having supported, and personally attended, the appointment of the parliamentary committees for which they have asked. If these committees have, in most instances, had no other termination than in the publication of a long report, the cause is, doubtless, to be sought in the difficulty of the subject, and in the wide difference between theory and practice-between diagrams of navigation upon dry land, and practical courses rendered necessary by sea and winds. It is not requisite to inform his Majesty's ministers, that the first and best principles of commerce would be a perfect freedom of trade, and that in almost all cases legislators would act wisely in leaving it to find its own way. The same text-books and common-places were open for them as for their political adversaries. It was as easy for them, upon a petition from Manchester or Birmingham, to give a laborious summary of the three volumes of the Wealth of Nations. It was as easy for them to refer all national principles to the language of the exchange
and the bullion-market. But, having been educated in another school, they have learned that a nation has other interests besides those of money-making. They have learned that the first interest of the empire is in its national defence, and in the maintenance, in their full integrity, of those funds of our maritime greatness and revenue, under which we have attained our actual condition," (P. 63, 64.)
True; and what are those funds of our maritime greatness and revenue, except the national wealth! However contemptible the art of money-making may be, it should have been treated with more respect, from a consideration of its subservience to the great public concern of tax-paying. Since it would have been so easy for ministers "to make a laborious summary of the three volumes of the Wealth of Nations," it is a pity that one of the cabinet did not complete it for the use of their advocate. Their summary would have done him more good, than his defence will do them. So striking a proof of ministerial partiality for, and proficiency in, political economy, would have calmed the irritation naturally felt by every official mind towards a science, which has the disgrace of being better understood by Mr. Ricardo and Mr. Brougham than by the clerks of the treasury.
We shall satisfy ourselves with one specimen of the imperfect representations, by which this author supports his conclusions. To prove our increasing prosperity, he compares the exports and imports of 1821* with those of a preceding period. Here every thing depends on the standard with which the comparison is made and it should obviously have been made with the most seemingly prosperous of former years. Rejecting, however, 1815 and 1816, as times of "intemperate and unparalleled speculation," he takes, as his criterion, sometimes the year 1817 (the year immediately following what he had characterised as a season of extravagant commercial adventure, and which, therefore, would probably be a time of languor and exhaustion); and sometimes, if it suits his purpose better, an average of some of the years of the war. The point, therefore, which he has established is merely, that during the last year we exported and imported more than in some preceding year; and undoubtedly we must have made large strides towards ruin, before that proposition shall cease to be true at every successive stage of decay. What renders the fallacy of his principle still more apparent is, that, between the periods which he compares, a year may be found (1819), which, if admitted into his calculations, would have given results totally different from those which he has presented to us.
When we speak of the exports of 1821, we mean the year ending on 5th January 1821. It is in this sense that it is generally, though not uniformly, taken by the author of The State of the Nation, d