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poor provider. It knows neither how to accumulate, nor how to extract.
I charge therefore to this new and unfortunate system the loss not only of peace, of union, and of commerce, but even of revenue, which its friends are contending for. It is morally certain, that we have lost at least a million of free grants since the peace. I think we have lost a great deal more; and that those, who look for a revenue from the provinces, never could have pursued, even in that light, a course more directly repugnant to their purposes.
Now, Sir, I trust I have shown, first on that narrow ground which the honourable gentleman measured, that you are likely to lose nothing by complying with the motion, except what you have lost already. I have shown afterwards, that in time of peace you flourished in commerce, and, when war required it, had sufficient aid from the colonies, while you pursued your ancient policy ; that you threw everything into confusion when you made the stamp act; and that you restored everything to peace and order when you repealed it. I have shown that the revival of the system of taxation has produced the very worst effects; and that the partial repeal has produced, not partial good, but universal evil. Let these considerations, founded on facts, not one of which can be denied, bring us back to our reason by the road of our experience.
I cannot, as I have said, answer for mixed measures : but surely this mixture of lenity would give the whole a better chance of success. When you once regain confidence, the way will be clear before you. Then you may enforce the act of navigation when it ought to be enforced. You will yourselves open it where it ought still further to be opened. Proceed in what you do, whatever you do, from policy, and not from rancour. Let us act like men, let us act like statesmen. Let us hold some sort of consistent conduct. - It is agreed that a revenue is not to be had in America. If we lose the profit, let us get rid of the odium.
On this business of America, I confess I am serious, even to sadness. I have had but one opinion concerning it since I sat, and before I sat, in parliament. The noble lord' will, as usual, probably attribute the part taken by me and my
i Lord North
friends in this business, to a desire of getting his places. Let him enjoy this happy and original idea. If I deprived him of it, I should take away most of his wit, and all his argument. But I had rather bear the brunt of all his wit, and indeed blows much heavier, than stand answerable to God for embracing a system that tends to the destruction of some of the very best and fairest of his works. But I know the map of England, as well as the noble lord,' or as any other person ; and I know that the way I take is not the road to preferment. My excellent and honourable friend under me on the floor 2 has trod that road with great toil for upwards of twenty years together. He is not yet arrived at the noble lord's destination. However, the tracks of my worthy friend are those I have ever wished to follow; because I know they lead to honour. Long may we tread the same road together; whoever may accompany us, or whoever may laugh at us on our journey! I honestly and solemnly declare, I have in all seasons adhered to the system of 1766, for no other reason, than that I think it laid deep in your truest interest-and that, by limiting the exercise, it fixes, on the firmest foundations, a real, consistent, well-grounded authority in parliament. Until you come_back to that system, there will be no peace for England.
| Lord North 2 Mr. Dowdeswell.
MR. BURKE'S ARRIVAL AT BRISTOL,
THE CONCLUSION OF THE POLL.
EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. We believe there is no need of an apology to the public for offering to them any genuine Speeches of Mr. Burke : the two contained in this publication undoubtedly are so. The general approbation they met with (as we hear) from all parties at Bristol, persuades us that a good edition of them will not be unacceptable in London ; which we own to be the inducement, and we hope is a justification, of our offering it.
We do not presume to descant on the merit of these Speeches; but as it is no less new, than honourable, to find a popular candidate, at a popular election, daring to avow his dissent from certain points that have been considered as very popular objects, and maintaining himself on the manly confidence of his own opinion; so, we must say, that it does great credit to the people of England, as it proves to the world, that, to insure their confidence, it is not necessary to flatter them, or to affect a subserviency to their passions or their prejudices.
It may be necessary to premise, that at the opening of the poll the candidates were Lord Clare, Mr. Brickdale, the two last members, and Mr. Cruger, a considerable merchant at Bristol. On the second day of the poll, Lord Clare declined; and a considerable body of gentlemen, who had wished that the city of Bristol should, at this critical season, be represented by some gentleman of tried abilities and known. commercial knowledge, immediately put Mr. Burke in nomination. Some of them set off express for London to apprize that gentleman of this event ; but he was gone to Malton in Yorkshire. The spirit and active zeal of these gentlemen followed him to Malton. They arrived there just after Mr. Burke's election for that place, and invited him to Bristol.
Mr. Burke, as he tells us in his first Speech, acquainted his constituents with the honourable offer that was made him; and, with their consent, he immediately set off for Bristol on the Tuesday at six in the evening; he arrived at Bristol at half-past two in the afternoon on Thursday the 13th of October, being the sixth day of the poll.
He drove directly to the mayor's house, who not being at home, he proceeded to the Guildhall, where he ascended the hustings, and having saluted the electors, the sheriffs, and the two candidates, he reposed himself for a few minutes, and then addressed the electors in a speech which was received with great and universal applause and approbation.
AT HIS ARRIVAL AT BRISTOL.
I am come hither to solicit in person, that favour which my friends have hitherto endeavoured to procure for me, by the most obliging, and to me the most honourable, exertions.
I have so bigh an opinion of the great trust which you have to confer on this occasion; and, by long experience, so just a diffidence in my abilities to fill it in a manner adequate even to my own ideas, that I should never have ventured of myself to intrude into that awful situation. But since I am called upon by the desire of several respectable fellow-subjects, as I have done at other times, I give up my fears to their wishes. Whatever my other deficiencies may be, I do not know what it is to be wanting to my friends.
I am not fond of attempting to raise public expectation by great promises. At this time, there is much cause to consider, and very little to presume. We seem to be approaching to a great crisis in our affairs, which calls for the whole wisdom of the wisest among us, without being able to assure ourselves, that any wisdom can preserve us from many and great inconveniences. You know I speak of our unhappy contest with America. I confess, it is a matter on which I look down as from a precipice. It is difficult in itself, and it is rendered more intricate by a great variety of plans of conduct. I do not mean to enter into them. I will not suspect a want of good intention in framing them. But however pure the intentions of their authors may have been, we all know that the event has been unfortunate. The means of recovering our affairs are not obvious. So many great questions of commerce, of finance, of constitution, and of policy, are involved in this American deliberation, that I dare engage for nothing, but that I shall give it, without any predilection to former opinions, or any sinister bias whatsoever, the most honest and impartial consideration of which I am capable. The public has a full right to it; and this great city, a main pillar in the commercial interest of Great Britain, must totter on its base by the slightest mistake with regard to our American measures.
Thus much, however, I think it not amiss to lay before you; That I am not, I hope, apt to take up or lay down my opinions lightly. I have held, and ever shall maintain, to the best of my power, unimpaired and undiminished, the just, wise, and necessary constitutional superiority of Great Britain. This is necessary for America as well as for us. I never mean to depart from it. Whatever may be lost by it, I avow it. The forfeiture even of your favour, if by such a declaration I could forfeit it, though the first object of my ambition, never will make me disguise my sentiments on this subject.
But, I have ever had a clear opinion, and have ever held a constant correspondent conduct, that this superiority is consistent with all the liberties a sober and spirited American ought to desire. I never mean to put any colonist, or any human creature, in a situation not becoming a free-man. To reconcile British superiority with American liberty shall be