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affirming, among other points, that the revenue of the latter country would fall short, by 3,256,ooo pounds, of the sum necessary to discharge her proportion of the expences of the empire; a deficiency which would ultimately produce a state of bankruptcy and ruin. In compliance with his repeated promise, the secre-tary brought forward the matured scheme of compensation. He plausibly supported its principle, as necessary for the demands of justice; and, in the detail, he proposed a grant of 1,260,000 pounds for those who should suffer a loss of patronage, and be deprived of a source of wealth, by the disfranchisement of 84 boroughs—at the rate of 15,000 pounds to each. Mr. Saurin, Mr. Claudius Beresford, and Mr. Dawson, maintained, that the grant of compensation to those who had no right to hold such a species of property would be an insult to the public and an infringement of the constitution: but Mr. Prendergast defended the proposition, alleging, that, though such possessions might have been vicious in their origin, yet, from prescriptive usage, and from having been the subjects of contracts and family settlements, they could not be confiscated without a breach of honor and propriety. In the house of peers, the bill for this extraordinary grant was chiefly opposed by the earl of Farnham; but it soon passed into a law, forming a precedent of corruption which few can justify or approve. Soon after the bill of union had passed through both houses of the parliament of Ireland, Mr. Pitt presented to the British house of commons a bill of the same import. When it had proceeded through the usual stages without exciting any important debate, it was sent on the 24th of June to the upper house. On the 30th, lord Grenville moved for its third reading, declaring that he rose for that purpose with greater pleasure than he had ever felt before in making any proposition to their lordships. The marquis of Downshire merely said, that his opinion of the measure remained unaltered, and that he would therefore give the bill his decided negative. It was immediately sanctioned by the house without a division; and, on the 2d of July, it received from the king a solemn assent and confirmation. When a prorogation of the last separate parliament of Great-Britain was ordered on the 29th of July, his majesty thus addressed the two houses on the subject of the grand work which had so laudably occupied their deliberations. “With peculiar satisfaction I congratulate you on the success of the steps which you have taken for effecting an entire union between my kingdoms. This great measure, on which my wishes have been long earnestly bent, I shall ever consider as the happiest event of my reign.” It was the opinion of one of the Grecian sages, that no man ought to be pronounced happy before his death, or before it could be ascertained whether his happiness would be durable; and, in this point of view, the royal observation may be deemed premature, as the effect of the applauded scheme had not been tried for a moment: but we hope, and have reason to expect, that the remark will be fully verified. - In Ireland, the royal assent was given to the bill of incorporation on the 1st of August, the anniversary of the accession of the Hanoverian family to the British throne. The next day, the lord-lieutenant put an end to the session with an intimation of the king’s ‘warmest acknowlegements for that ardent zeal and unshaken 2 K 3 perseverance’ perseverance’ which the two houses had so conspicuously manifested in the progress of the momentous affair, and a declaration that ‘ the empire, through their exertions, was so completely united, and by union so strengthened,’ as to be able to ‘bid defiance to all the efforts which its enemies could make, either to weaken it by division, or to overturn it by force.” Of the twenty-eight temporal peers of Ireland who first obtained the honor of a seat in the imperial parliament, the majority were such as had promoted the union by votes or by private exertions, without appearing as orators in its defence. From the number were excluded the earls of Bellamont and Farnham, and several other strong opponents of the measure. Among the hundred commoners were Mr. Foster, sir John Parnell, Mr. Ogle, sir Laurence Parsons, Mr. W. B. Ponsonby, Mr. J. C. Beresford, lord Corry, and other leading anti-unionists. Instead of ordering new elections for Great-Britain, the king, following the example of queen Anne, declared it to be expedient that the lords and commons of the parliament which had last assembled should be the members (on the part of England, Wales, and Scotland) of the respective houses of the first legislature of the united realms. A new parliament might properly have been called for the determination of the great question; but it was not necessary when the work was legislatively completed. On the day appointed for carrying the union into effect (the 1st of January, 1801), his majesty presided at a numerous meeting of his privy counsellors, who, on this occasion, were confirmed in that dignity by a new oath. The great seal of Britain was delivered up and defaced ; and a new seal for the empire was
given to the chancellor. The royal arms, the naval and military ensigns, were altered, and adapted to the change of circumstances; and the fleurs de lys, so long retained from idle ostentation, were omitted in the new arrangement. The name of Britannia being pluralised, the king's style in the Latin language was adjusted as follows: “Georgius Tertius, Dei Gratiá, Britanniarum Rex, Fidei Defensor.” His titles in the vernacular tongue were ordered to be thus written: • George the Third, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great-Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith.” A new standard, combining the three orders of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick, was hoisted amidst the roar of artillery in each of the three capitals of England, Scotland, and Ireland; and, in compliment to the memorable day, some titular honors were bestowed, and many promotions in the army and navy were commanded by the sovereign of the empire. The united parliament assembled on the 22d of January ; and various incidents which demand the notice of an historian of the times, rather than of one who is merely a narrator of the affairs of the union, occurred in the progress of its first session. May the arts of peace flourish under its auspices ! May its deliberations be dignified by wisdom, ennobled by humanity, and sanctified by honor and rectitude!
* 2 K 4 CHAP.
CHAP. XIV. Remarks on the general Principle and the particular Articles of Union. o
WHEN two adjacent realms are subject to the government of the same sovereign, they may be ruled without the risque of dangerous discord between them, if the king should, by habit or sufferance, exercise a despotic authority. But, when the prince is merely a limited magistrate (as common sense and the interest and happiness of mankind require that all rulers should be), it is difficult to preserve between such kingdoms a due connexion and concord. Jealousy and rivalry will arise, in proportion as one may be more favored than the other, or as one may, from natural or accidental causes, flourish more than its neighbour. As both may not be equally potent, rich, or respectable, the more considerable state may seek occasions of testifying its superiority, or of manifesting its power, which the weaker kingdom will indignantly brook; and the king, more inclined to gratify the former, may concur in depressing the latter, so as to rouse into complaint the murmurs of impatience. If the stronger realm should enter into a war, the other may be unwilling to engage in it; and this reluctance may so aggravate disgust, and inflame illiberality, that the inferior state may entertain a wish for separation, which may, at no distant period, break forth into action. The identity of the sovereign, in that case, will not operate as an effectual check; and a total dissociation may be the censequence of mutual animosity.