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necessarily be provided for accord- upon the history which he had ing to the new system. He withed, given, of the rise and progress of that some person would undertake fortifications in this island, taking it to compute the stationary defence for granted, as a matter of course, necessary for such places, in addi- that what was not new must be contion to the twenty two thousand stitutional. Mr. Sheridan faith, that men demanded for Portsmouth and the true scope of this history was to Plynouch; to allow for any moving prove, that the nation had been inforce in the county ; and then to variably deluded and defrauded upon decide upon the chance, that this this unprincipled plea of fortificaprolific system would terminate in a tions; that much had been done reduction of the standing army. and undone; that schemes had been
With respect to the probability tried, that projectors had been emof our being able to furnish men ployed, that millions had been spent, for the constant maintenance of and the object was avowedly as di. these garrisons, he felt it requisite ftant as ever. So that repeated to obferve, that the argument had proofs of past deception were the been not a reference to our gresent arguments which 'were urged for peace eltablishment, but to the ex- present confidence; and it was motent of the service during the most deftly expected that they would be extravagant periods of the last war. lieve, because a point' had been This was in other words to hold constantly attempted without fuc. put a notion, that we might speedo cess, that it was now certain of bee ily again look to a time, when we ing wisely accomplished. thould become able for the purpofe, Mr. Pitt had thrown out a cene, of war to expend, fifteen millions sure upon the coalition adininitraof money in the course of a fingle tion, as having supported the meayear. Was it: recollected, that at sure when in office, which they now this very moment Mr. Pitt was endeavoured to defeat when in opholding out the reduction of a few position. Mr. Sheridan faid, that hundred pounds of debt as the tri- whether the minister, as he had umph of his administration, and been described by Mr. Luttrel, were the corner itone of that pillar upon that glorious orb whose influence which his fame was to be enbla- was to compensate to the nation for zoned. He had reasoned however the loss of a hemisphere, or whein a fallacious manner from his own ther his lustre were more glittering premises ; for, when he stated the than substantial; whether he merit. numerous armies which we had had ed the less complimentary language upon the continent of Ameri( a, as of colonel Barré, who had repreresources for the increase of our sented his conscience as having been home defence, he ought to have surprised in this business, or whetaken into his account the enor- ther he had capitulared upon regu. mous floating establishment, which lar approaches; whether he had been attended those armies, and which, successful in repelling the insinubeing converted into an efficient na. alion of Mr. Walwyn, that he was ? val defence at home, would make not in earnest in the cause, by the. both his fortifications and his gar- vehemence of his manner, or hadi rifons unnecessary.
confirmed it by the weakness of his Mr. Sheridan remarked upon the argument; these questions he would great stress which Mr. Pite had laid not embarrass himself to determine..
He would only observe, that one graceful conceffion. With respect part of his conduct had most alto. to the persons with whom Mr. nilingly escaped the panegyric of Sheridan acted, they had no occahis friends ; he meant the spirit fion to resort to the justification of and enterprize, with which, taking having changed their minds, for his hint probably from the subject they had never, even in the flightest in debate, he had endeavoured to degree, committed themselves in any carry the war into the enemies coun- opinion or approbation of the pretry, and pursue measures of offence fent plan. and attack, while every pass at Mr. Sheridan recurred to the home was left unfortified and de. pledge he had made in an earlier fenceless.
itage of the business, and again For what was the ground of this aflerted, that he would rest contented strenuous charge? The late admi- to abide by the decision of the board nistration it should seem had sub- of officers, if it could be fairly mitted a part of this very plan to shown, that, upon a full investigathe judgment of parliament, but tion of the whole of the subject ät the defire of the house had with- proposed last year in parliament to drawn it for confideration. Now be submitted to their enquiry, and then, if, upon reconfideration, they being left to their own free and had in any respect altered their opi. unfettered judgment in forming the nion, it was the greffest inconfift- decision, they had reported as their ency of conduct and dereliction of decided and unqualified opinion, principle. This was an extraore that the plan proposed by the duke dinary charge, and particularly of Richmond, was a measure which from the perfon by whom it was it became the wisdom and prudence urged. He had reconfidered many of parliament to adopt, He could subjects without aspiring to the me. not however refuse to allow himself rit of an obstinate adherence to his in a few preliminary observations firft opinion. He had reconsidered refpeéting the copitruction of the his Ainerican intercourse bill, and board. Powerful, perhaps unan. had publicly avowed his disappro. swerable objections, had been made bation of every idca which he once to the appointment of the duke of entertained upon the subject. He Richmond to the office of prefident. had reconsidered his India bill, and, Particular circumsances had been before it was engrossed, had scarcely, alluded to in the duke's personal fuffered one word to remain, of characier, and he was described as which it was originally composed. a man who had never been known He had reconsidered his Irifti refo- to give up a point. Whether this lutions in every part, provision and were the cale, or whether there principle. Having firit offered them were some principles of public proto Ireland as a bounty, he had re• feslion, to which he had not very confidered the boon, and annexed rigorously adhered, Mr. Sheridan a price to it; and then reconfidered would not undertake to decide, as his own recontideration, and aban- he might be suspected of speaking doned the conditions which he from party prejudices. There was had at first reprctented as indispen- however one characteristic of the fible. In a word, his whole go. mind of the duke, which he thought vernment had been one continued might fairly be mentioned, as it Series of raih propofition, and un- had publicly been brought forward
by high authority in that house. mode of defence upon paper was If he were to represent the mater- open to the same objection, which general, as of a temper cager to had been urged against his other extravagance and vehement in the fortifications; and chat, if his adverextreme, if he were to describe him fary got poffeífion of one of his as a person, who, having taken up a poits, it might be turned against juit principle, was capable of dc- him, and employed as the means of feating all its falutary effects by subduing his whole line of argue connecting it with the most fighty ment. and prepoiterous conclusions, Mr. The points, which Mr. Sheridan Pitt would become the authority conceived might be distinctly eltafor his assertion. The house could blished from the document before not fail to recollect the manner, in the house, were, first, that not one which, during a former fellion, he word, hint, or suggestion on the had difcuffed the duke's principles part of the naval officers, tending of a parliamentary reform, and the to give any approbation, either die terms of indignant ridicule, with rectly or by implication, to the which he had cautioned them against scheme of fortification, was to be the schemes of fo visionary a pro- found in that paper; but that on jector. If therefore Mr. Sheridan the contrary, the minutes which were arraigned for examining any had been withheld contained their plan of the duke of Richmond with condemnation of the plan. He did a peculiar degree of jealousy, he not expect to hear it urged, that the Thould leave his justification in the result of those minutes could not be abler hands of the minister. communicated, because they were
The duke however deserved the mixed with dangerous matters of warmelt panegyrics for the striking intelligence. A fufficient degree of proofs he had given of his genius ingenuity had been thown, iu exa as an engineer, in the planning and tracting from the report whatever constructing the report in queition. might be thought favourable to the. The profeflional ability of the malo proposed systein. It would be inter-general thone as conspicuously deed extraordinary, if, wherever the there, as it could do upon our coasts. judgment was unfavourable, it He had made it an argument of Ihould have been fo blended and posts, and had conducted his rea- complicated with matter of detail Toning upon principles of trigono- and dangerous difcution, that no metry as well as logic. There were chemical proces in the ordnance certain detached data, like advanced elaboratory could possibly separate works, to keep the enemy at a di. them; while on the contrary every stance from the main object in de approving opinion, like a light, bate. Strong provisions covered subtle, oily fluid, toated at the top the flanks of his asertions; his very at once, and the cluindicit clerk was queries were in calements; no im- capable of prefenting it to the prellion therefore was to be made houle, pure and untinged by a upon this fortress of fophiftry by fingle particic of the arguinent or defultory observations, and it was in tormation upon which it was neceflary to affuil it by regular ap- found-d. proaches. It was fortunate however, In the fecond place Mr. Sheri. That, notwithitanding all the ikill dan maintained, that the opinion sbat had been employed, the duke's given by the land officers in favour 3736.
of the plan, was hypothetical and that the business had worn folittlette conditional, and that they had appcarance of party. He had proved unanimously and in ariably through himself ready and anxious, as the the whole bufinels refuted to lend persons alluded to well knew, to re. their authority to the data or suppo- sign the business into the hands of fitions, upon which that opinion was the respectable gentleman who had to be maintained. Lastly, he con- so ably brought it forward. Mr. ceived himself to be unanswerably Bastard had been wished to take the justified in concluding, that the data lead, because that appeared to be themselves were founded upon the one of the most effectual means of supposition of events, fo improbable warding off an injury from the and desperate, as to carry with them country; otherwise, to be enliiting not only the imminent danger of under leaders for the day, and courtPortsmouth and Plymouth, but of ing the temporary assistance of any the actual conquest of the island. defcription of persons in that house, They supposed the British fieet to would, in his opinion, prove a cons be abfent for the space of three duet equally undignified and impomonths, an army of thirty or forty litic. He was confident however, thousand men to be ready on the that the country gentlemen were enemy's coit to invade this coun- too liberal to fet a less value upon try, and no force in Great Britain, the support of his friends, because to be capable of being collected in it was unaccompanied by adulation, less than two months, to oppose and an endeavour to
canvas for them. The utility of the fortifi- their future connection. “ Let us,' cations in this case, depended upon added Mr. Sheridan, “ upon this the enemies directing their attack night be firmly embodied in a cause only against Portsmouth and Ply, we equally approve: let us do this mouth, and assailing these places great service to our country, then in the very point where we were feparare and seek opposing camps. prepared to meet them. Taking Let them return with the double this for granted, the defence was triumph, if they will, of having stated in the report to be calculated conferred an important benefit on only against the force, and for the their conftituents and the nation, time expressed in the data, so that and a real obligation on the governit was necessary that our fleet Mould ment. Let them have riz credio defeat the superior fleet of the ene- with the public of havin defeatmy, and return in safety, other ed the minister's me:fire, ind with wise it would obviously be in the his friends of having rescued him power of the enemy to recruit bis frein i perilous fituation. Leave. army, and to prolong the period of his only the filent fatisaction, that, the attack. Thus we should leave without envying the reputation of prepared a frong hold for our foe, those whoin we were contented to which under the circumstances that follow, without being piqued by were supposed he would be enabled infinuations against our motives, permanently to retain.
and without debating whether the Mr. Sheridan took notice of the minister might not be served by our infinuation of Mr. Ballard, in the success, we gave an earnest and claim he had advanced to an unbi- zcelous affittarcr in defeating a assed and independent mode of con- measure, which, under the specious duct. For himself, he was happy pretence of securing our coaits,
Arikes at the font of our great na- the borough of Queenborroughi tional defence, and at the heart of and prodigality of the public mothe constitution itself."
ney for the purpofes of an election, The decision of this important This Mr. Sawbridge deemed to be the queition was scarcely less memor- more criminal in the duke of Richable, than the measure itself, upon mond, as that nobleman was known the execution of which the house of te be the determined advocate of commons was now to decide. The the most extentive principles of lia numbers upon the division were berty, and the pureil republicanequal ; both the ayes and the noes ism. Captain Luttrel and Mra amounting to 109. In this cori- Steele replied to the attack of Mr. jun&ure it of course belonged to Sawbridge. the speaker to deliver his caiting The question of the fortifications voice; and he acquired much ap- was once more revived on the le. plause from the country gentlemen, venteenth of the following May. and from the enemies of the mea. Upon this occasion it was moved fure in general, by declaring for by Mr. Pitt, “ that an estimate of the rejection of the lyttem which the expence of such part of the had been formed by the duke of plan of fortifications recommended Richmond.
in the late report as might appear In the course of the ensuing moft necessary to be carried into week the eitimates of the ordnance immediate execution, be referred were moved in the bouse of com- to a committee of supply." The mons by the surveyor-general, cap- fums which he proposed employing tain James Luttrel. The amount at Portsmouth and Plymouth for of these estimates was 380,000l., the current year, amounted to and there was included a fun of 61,00cl. exclusively of the sum of 13,000l. for carrying on some of 25,00cl. for the purchale of the those works which were deemed nc. land upon which the fortifica'ions ceflary in the neighbourhood of were to be crected. The whola Portsmouth. Mr. Fox declared money which he stated as neceffary himself satisfied with this reduced for completing the inoderate plan proposal; but the country gentle. which he now offered to the houte, men were not equally complailant; was 400,00cl. and Mr. Powys and others fuggested The motion of Min Pitt was rethe impropriety of voting any mo. ceived with the language of severe ney for these purposes, till a new ccnfure by those persons, by i hoin and definite plan should be subili- the entire fyftem bad larely been tuted in the room of that which opposed. It was laid to be an inhad been rejected. In consequence decent and unconfiitutional of this suggestion, Mr. Pitt con- croachment upon the privileges of sented for the present to withdraw that house, for any part of a plan, from the estimates the disputed. upon which they had pronounced sum. In the course of the debate their reprobation, to be brough of this day, as it had become a kind forward again in a direct manner. of fathion to attack the principles Mr. Bastard obferred, that the miand conduct of the matter-general niller liad been treated with moderof ţhe ordnance, Mr. aiderman ation when the question was fore Sawbridge brought forward acharge merly agitated, but the moderation, against him of corrupt influence in which the house had thought pro