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by sir Henry Clinton. It would have a bad effect to vote the thanks of the House to one of those gentlemen, and not the other. The thanks of the House were deserved by both; but while gentlemen allowed the great qualities and virtues of those officers, some disapproved the cause in which they were exerted. An hor gentleman, whom he did not see in his place, had avowed mixed sentiments of this kind; but that hon. gentleman, of approved courage himself, knew how to value that noble virtue in others, and he still hoped that he would not, if present, oppose his motion. For his own part, he had been one of those who lamented the commencement of the American war, and disapproved many of the measures adopted in its prosecution. But the origin of the war he kept entirely out of view in the present question. America was now the ally of France; the confederate of the House of Bourbon. He did not say that the war against America was not big with many calamities to Great Britain; he apprehended that it would even be the ruin of this country; that is, that it would impoverish this country extremely: but still he saw no medium between unconditional submission to the enemy, and the most spirited exertions.-If the motion he was now to make should be the object of debate and altercation, he did not much care whether it should be carried or not. He then moved, "That the thanks of this House be given to sir Henry Clinton, knight of the Bath, and commander in chief of his Majesty's forces in North America, and to the right hon. lieut. gen. Charles earl Cornwallis, for the eminent and very important services performed by them to his Majesty and this country, particularly by the reduction of Charles Town by the army under the command of sir Henry Clinton, and by the late most glorious victory obtained by lord Cornwallis at Cambden."

Lord Lewisham embraced with joy an opportunity of expressing his high regard to the characters of the two general officers, whose names had been mentioned. Although we were not yet blessed with that unanimity which was necessary so to swell the sails of the vessel of state, as to waft us safely over that tempestuous ocean of troubles in which we were at presnt involved, yet he saw with joy the dawnings of an unanimity; he saw a species of unanimity, which was no small source of consolation. Every body seemed satisfied

that there was a necessity of humbling the power of France and Spain. Although he was unwilling to place any reliance on the contingencies of fortune, and would not be so confident as to say, that there were in the womb of time events favourable to Great Britain, yet he contended, that it was not being too sanguine to hope, that the jealousies which had already be gun to take place between the Americans and their allies on Rhode Island, would every day increase. Though there was not an immediate prospect of detaching any of the powers from the confederacy against us, he did not despair of its being effected in time. In the mean time, it behoved us to act with alacrity and vigour. The marine of France must be destroyed if we hoped for a safe, a lasting, and an honourable peace. No promises, no conventions with that nation could be relied on, while their navy was entire. France had become formidable to her neighbours, through treacherously seizing advantages over the unsuspicious, and therefore unprepared, nations around her. Great Britain had ever proceeded on the broad basis of public faith and national credit, and on that foundation he trusted she would still stand. He said there would be great cruelty and impolicy in abandoning our friends in America to the mercy of their enemies; our friends in that case would become our bitterest enemies, and the Americans united as the subjects of one mighty empire, and pouring forth their ships of war from a thousand ports, would cut up our trade by the roots, and stripping us of all our foreign dependencies, finally reduce us to this spot of the globe, the island within which we were confined by nature, if we dared not with freedom to traverse the ocean. The constitutional dependence of America on Great Britain he thought necessary to the happiness, safety, and prosperity of both countries. He returned to the necessity of ruining the marine of France. If you wish to maintain the glory and independency of England, destroy the marine of France. If you wish to preserve the balance of political power in Europe, destroy the marine of France. If you wish to preserve the liberties and rights of mankind, destroy the marine of France. Let this language be re-echoed from one corner of Great Britain to another, until all hearts and hands should be united against the common enemy. As the Americans were now to be considered as the allies of

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"The eminent and very important services to his Majesty and this country," mentioned in the motion, I entirely disapprove, and consequently shall withhold the poor pittance of my thanks and gratitude, where I do not think them merited, in a war of glaring injustice and wretched policy. I do not mean, Sir, to derogate from the high heroic courage, and superior military virtues, of lord Cornwallis. I admire the splendor and brilliancy of those qualities, which dazzle in my countryman as they did in Julius Cæsar, and I equally lament that they are called forth to action in the same bad and mischievous cause; the attempt to overturn the liberties of his country. The Roman too possessed, as the hon. gentleman says of lord Cornwallis, "nice and delicate sentiments of honour and valour." He was certainly an accomplished gentleman, perhaps the most accomplished of any in the history of mankind; but he carried on a wicked war against the constitution of the free country in which he was born, and therefore under the strongest obligation to support. In the same light I consider the war now carrying on against our brethren in North America; and if an arbitrary, but incapable, administration had succeeded in the plan of dragooning the colonists into unconditional submission, I believe that the liberties of England would not long have survived those of America, and the vital principle of freedom, which now pervades and animates this island, except perhaps a few clans very far north, must have been extinguished. Every friend of the con stitution saw early in the support of the American cause a vindication of the rights of Englishmen against an old exploded usurpation of the Stuarts, revived under the third prince of the House of Brunswick.

Sir, I hope to be forgiven, if I repeat at the beginning of this new parliament the sentiments, which I more than once submitted to the last, and even in the first session of 1774. I am still convinced that the war with America originated in tyranny and usurpation, in the unjust attempt of taking money from the subject of the colonies without his concurrence, in levying taxes on the people there against their consent. This has ever been the favourite maxim of despotism. In opposition to this illegal claim the immortal Hampden shed his blood. Such an attempt against the fundamental rights of the people fully warranted our virtuous and free ancestors to begin the civil war, which brought the

France, and the one could not be separated from the other, every victory gained over either of these powers was matter of joy, and an advantage to this country; therefore he seconded the motion now before the House.

Mr. T. Townshend expatiated on the merits of earl Cornwallis, of which he was proud to say, he was not indeed an impartial judge. But officers, both French and English, had spoke to him and written to him, with rapture, concerning the singular merit of that noble commander. His good conduct and great bravery, certainly merited every mark of attention and respect. On that footing, he would give the motion his hearty concurrence; provided always, that it should not be understood, that he, by this support, gave any countenance to the American war. The hon. mover had earnestly wished that it might be carried with unanimity. There were a few phrases in it, that might tend, he was apprehensive, to frustrate his wishes. They would occur to the hon. gentleman himself, and his end would be better served, by altering them himself, than that they should be struck out by way of amendment.

Lord North applauded the excellent conduct and great bravery both of sir Henry Clinton and lord Cornwallis, whose services, he said, were meritorious in the highest degree, and important to this country. Nevertheless, as he would not on this occasion bring into view either the origin or the object of the American war, he was willing for his part that any words that might seem to have an ambiguous meaning, should be left out of the motion.

Mr. Wilkes. I rise to express my hope, that the hon. gentleman, who made this motion, will consent to its being withdrawn, because I think it is impossible that the united efforts of the noble lord in the blue ribbon, and the several gentlemen, who have attempted it, should succeed to render it palatable to both sides of the House, and he has declared, that he had rather it should be withdrawn, than meet a single negative. I think it, Sir, my duty to oppose this motion, as originally intended, of which the notice was given, respecting only lord Cornwallis, and all the subsequent amendments, because in my idea every part of it conveys an approbation of the American war; a war unfounded in prin. ciple, and fatal in its consequences to this country. I condemned it at the beginning, and have regularly opposed its progress in every stage, both in and out of parliament.

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tyrant Charles to the scaffold. The American cause, therefore, I mean the primary cause of this destructive civil war, is the cause of every Englishman, who values our excellent constitution; a constitution for several years in a decline, which has of late received many stabs in its vital parts. This right of the people, to withhold or grant their own money, this power of the purse, which includes that of the sword, alone secures the existence of parliament, our annual mecting within these walls. This marks the difference between the limited monarch of our island, in a mixed government, and the eastern despot, or the arbitrary sovereigns of France and Spain. We then in a particular manner, with a singular propriety, ought to stand forth the guardians of this right to all the subjects of this state.

The sentiments, Sir, on the rights of our brethren in the colonies, which I have now the honour of delivering here, I imbibed from lord Cornwallis, who enforced them with great energy a few years ago in another House of Parliament. His lordship, in a solemn argument in the House of Peers, in conjunction with four other respectable characters [The earls Tankerville, Cornwallis, and Shelburne, viscount Torrington, and lord Camden,] strenuously denied any right we had to tax the Americans, while they continued unrepresented in the British senate. It was in the debate on the motion for the commitment of the Declaratory Act. His lordship's opinion likewise of the wisdom of the measure, after condemning the theory, may be gathered from his words in his examination before this House in May 1779: "I never saw a stronger country, or one better calculated for the defensive." Mr. Pitt, in this House, with a boldness of imagery, and glow of colouring, which his eloquence always gave, did justice to the distinguished patriotism of the band of the five illustrious heroes, as he named the small number of peers who on occasion of the opposition to the Declaratory Act approved themselves the friends of freedom. He did not foresee the slaughter of his fellow-subjects in the same cause by one of that band of illus-tifiable cause, and honourably preferred trious heroes at the glorious victory at the line of duty to his country and its conCamden. If there is any change of senti- stitution, to the fame and renown of military ment on this important question in his lord- achievments, which his natural ardour ship's mind, we have no parliamentary panted after. Lord Cornwallis, sir Henry evidence, on which it can be founded. It Clinton, and admiral Arbuthnot, I will not can only be surmised from his lordship's consent to thank, for I consider them as eagerly soliciting a command against the having drawn their swords against their Americans at the first breaking out of a innocent American felllow-subjects, and

war, which originated from the unworthy purposes of passion and party, and since endeavouring by fire and sword to enforce a taxation on the colonies, although as a member of the legislative body he formerly did not hesitate to pronounce it equally impolitic and iniquitous. If arguments of great and irresistible weight have been urged for so total and wonderful a change, they are carefully concealed. The motives of conviction, or rather of this miraculous conversion, are easier guessed than with delicacy explained. As a peer, his lordship supports American freedom, and votes against an ignominious badge of bondage on the colonists; as an officer, the same earl solicits a command in America to enforce that injustice of which he complains, and is active to rivet the chains of slavery on the free-born inhabitants of the new world, and the descendants of Englishmen. In such a cause I will not give thanks to genius and courage united, but ill-directed, productive of no good, but infinite mischief. I will never fail, Sir, to express my concern and anguish, when I see great military talents thus triumph over the superior civil virtues of the citizen, when I observe mere lawless force and violence receive the aid of valour and distinguished ability to overturn a fabric of freedom and justice, cemented by the best blood of our ancestors. Such military glory is purchased too dear. It is a kind of wretched anti-civic crown, which must disgrace the sanguinary brow of every unfeeling, unprincipled conqueror. A good man will indignant turn his eyes from laurels and palms of victory stained with the blood of deserving fellow subjects sacrificed to sordid views, to the lust of power, to the rage of a tyrannical administration. The palm of consistency, at least, the hon. gentleman who made the motion will at all events scarcely think of offering to lord Cornwallis. That will be worn, and I hope long, with the applause of his grateful country, by another noble earl [of Effingham] who rose superior to the false glory to be acquired from his profession, when called upon in an unjus

without provocation bathed them in their blood.

The noble lord who spoke last, says, that our thanks would come with great propriety to lord Cornwallis, and the other two officers, because the thanks of this House were voted on the taking of Quebec, and the late success of the gallant Rodney. Does not the noble lord observe a striking difference in the three cases? The surrender of Quebec was, perhaps, the most important and brilliant triumph over France of all the splendid victories of the last glorious war. It was the conquest of the capital of the perfidious Gaul in the new world. Sir George Rodney's late defeat and capture of the Spanish men of war at that critical moment merited the warmest thanks, and most esteemed rewards of this country. In both cases we were destroying the overgrown power of the House of Bourbon, the inveterate, avowed enemy of this nation. I think with Hannibal, hostem qui feriet mihi erit Carthaginiensis. I hold that man to be the best Englishman whose efforts shall be the boldest, the most spirited and successful against France and Spain, especially against their naval power, which by the criminal negligence of our ministers has risen to such an alarming greatness. I will from my heart thank that man. will vote to decree him every honour of the senate and people. On the House of Bourbon should we call down all the thunder of the war. We ought, Sir, to blush at the cruel ravishing and desolation of the country, and the merciless slaughter of the inhabitants of our colonies, in a foolish, angry quarrel, carefully fomented at last to a bloody war, raised on a "baseless fabric," which perhaps in the end may scarcely "leave a wreck behind." Our generals and admirals have already totally ruined some of the most flourishing parts of this convulsed empire, and destroyed numberless industrious brave fellow-subjects, equally entitled with themselves to the protection of the laws, and executive power. Are these, Sir, the eminent and very important services to his Majesty and this country, for which the hon. gentleman flattered himself with obtaining for our commanders the unanimous thanks of this House, of the representatives of the people of England ?


France and Spain against this country. I do not doubt the existence of a triple league between America, Spain and France, but I know the provocation, and I have good reason to believe the alliance is only defensive and temporary. I do not allude to commercial treaties. France and Spain now appear to the world as auxiliaries to the United States of North America. The first alliance with France was made with great reluctance by America on the spur of the present necessity. It was not thought of until in our domestic quarrel we called in foreign forces to cut their throats, until the mercenary German, or rather Cappadocian, princes, sold their subjects, like cattle, to an administration expert in every species of bribery and ruinous contract, until long after our negociation for Russian troops to be sent to North America had been rejected in terms of contempt and horror. The late union between America and France is so unnatural, that I am satisfied, whenever you offer, with sincerity and cordiality, honourable terms, accompanied with the security America will expect, it will be dissolved. Your conduct hitherto has drawn closer every tie between them. If you improve the late most glorious victory at Camden, to bring about this necessary peace with America, then will be the moment to rejoice, to join in thanksgiving for the salvation of Great Britain as well as America.

Sir, I will not thank for victories, which only tend to protract a destructive war. I should rather have said for some transitory, delusive gleams of success in this unjust, and providentially unfortunate American contest, this bellum sine hoste, as such a state of arms was defined by the ancients. Not a single Frenchman or Spaniard in arms against us fell at this most glorious victory at Camden, but Romanæ miscent acies. Is it probable that this most glorious victory will lead to an honourable peace? If it does not, but is the cause of continuing the war, I shall deem it a public calamity. Peace, peace with America, only can save this sinking state, and give us permanent prosperity. We are already nearly exhausted, yet continue bleeding at every vein. Peace ought to be had on almost any terms; for from the estimates on our table, the ex

It has been said, Sir, by the hon. gen-pence of this war, continued a few years tleman who made this motion, that the longer, will bankrupt this nation; the poAmericans are now actually leagued with pulation, commerce, and navigation of

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which are visibly decreasing. I consider peace as of absolute necessity for ourselves, for the internal state and independence of our own island, in the present crisis of horror, and almost despair. I would subscribe to almost any conditions

The history of this war warrants me, Sir, in the suspicion that all these boasted successes do not tend to any real emolument to our country, to bring nearer the wished-for moment of a re-union, and sincere reconciliation with our alienated bre

Americans would then readily quit an unnatural alliance, into which they have been driven by our more unnatural conduct. Necessity brought forward the new idea, formed, signed, and has hitherto observed that strange treaty. America, detached from her present connections, and in a real union of interests and strength with Great-Britain, is more than a match for the confederate House of Bourbon. In such a situation the family compact would not dare to be avowed. The last war gives us the proof in point. We had then an able and enterprising minister, in full possession of the most active genius and vigour of mind, seconded by the whole strength of the British nation and America. What is our present prospect?jesty's command. America is at this moment thrown into the scale of the House of Bourbon. Must it not then weigh us down? It surely, Sir, becomes ministers to lay aside all passions and prejudices, and endeavour to heal this unhappy breach between two powerful friends, when every concession to America, either as a subject or an ally, may win her to us, restore the balance of power in our favour, and compensate the loss of our other allies.

to obtain it, because I believe the North-thren in the colonies. After the evacuation of Boston, Rhode-island, and Philadelphia, for the acquisition of which no thanks, I believe, were given by this House, a small degree of sagacity might lead any man to suspect that the reduc tion of Charles-town, by the army and navy under the command of sir Henry Clinton and vice-admiral Arbuthnot, and the late most glorious victory obtained by lord Cornwallis at Camden, will in due time be followed by the evacuation of Charles-town, and the two Carolinas. A future Gazette will probably announce it, to screen the generals, in the same terms as with respect to Philadelphia, and with as much cold indifference as any play or farce at either of our theatres, by his Ma

Sir, I can never separate in my mind the rotten foundation on which the whole system of the American war is built, from some specious parts of it, by which the unthinking are at the first view allured and dazzled. As I reprobate the want of principle in its origin, I the more lament all the spirited exertions of valour, and the wisdom of conduct, which in a good cause I should warmly applaud. Thinking as I do, I see more matter of grief than of triumph, of bewailing than thanksgiving, in this civil contest, and the deluge of blood which has overflowed America.

The independence, Sir, of the colonies has been frequently mentioned in this debate, but with a positive declaration that it is a point never to be conceded. Whe-Would to God, Sir, we could leave persecutther it is granted, or not, by a British par-ing, even to death, those of our own blood, liament, de jure, seems to me of little mo- who only desired to be received as friends ment and avail. It is merely an amusing, and fellow-subjects, to share our fortunes, curious theme of speculation among a set to fight our battles, as before, by our side, of idle, listless, loitering, lounging, ill-in- and to enjoy at home peace, liberty, and formed gentlemen at Westminster, who safety. Public thanks from this House mark the disorders of the state, to combat on the present occasion will only widen which they possess not vigour of mind or the breach, and demonstrate how far we virtue. A country, much larger than our are behind other nations in the knowledge European empire, which we still love to of true policy. The wisest and most pocall our colonies, does, and will, possess it lished nations of antiquity drew a thick, de facto, notwithstanding all the present dark veil over the horror of civil commodelusive assurances of ministers within tion and bloodshed. I will admit for a

these walls, notwithstanding the late ex-moment, merely for the argument, that all ploits of a Cornwallis and Clinton, not- which has been urged by the noble lord withstanding all the former repeated vic- in the blue ribbon, and the gentlemen on tories of Gage and the Howes. In this the other side of the House, is well foundisland only are persons found, who doubt ed, that the American war originated in that the present war will end in the ac- justice and policy, and that the colonies knowledging of American independence. have rebelled, still I object to every mo[VOL. XXI.] [3 M]

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