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other opportunity for restoring peace, go by in silence and stupor. Can all this be chance ? - what! mere chance --that every, every reasonable moment should be lost, and every succeeding epoch for restoring the country to peace, should bring with it new and augmented disadvantages, growing in exact proportion to the duration of the war! You refused peace at Paris, at Lisle, and twice in 1800. Then give us better terms now, or answer to your country for throwing those away which you might have then had. Is the loss, for ever, of all these opportunities, nothing but mistakes-mere venial errors? Sir, they are high crimes against the well-being of this country ; and we state them as such. We state them not upon assertion, but fact ; grant us the inquiry this motion asks for, and we shall prove them.
them. All his dex. terity is employed to show this house that it will be giving itself, as it were, a slap on the face, if it adopt this motion ; and he makes to his friends a most pathetic appeal, upon grounds purely personal. Conscious that in. quiry will ruin him, he urges the pride, the consistency, the feeling of the house, to reject my honourable friend's motion ; and he warns his noble relation (Lord Temple) to spare his compliments, if he withhold his vote -Inquiring into his conduct, he avows, is the worst service his friends can render him. Sir, undoubtedly this is, so far, the truth, that a fair and honest inquisition would be his overthrow; and his conduct this night is a perfect comment upon his life. But is it thus with men who dread not investigation ?*
* This speech, of which a part only is here given, contains un. doubtedly some of the finest and keenest ridicule that ever was ultered.
EARL OF FIFE.
On Lord Darnley's Motion for an Inquiry into the
Stute of the Nation,
He thought the only way to judge of the conduct of
he joins with a neighbour in the same situation for ploughing their small farm. They charged this man six shillings for his horse, four for his dog, and half-a. erown for his house. He has nothing but his wife and children untaxed. Judge from this what many feel! Long and eloquent speeches have done much mischief. If they could have guarded our shores, and manned our fleets, England would never flourish more than now !*
MR. HORNE TOOKE:
I shall only say of the following speech, that it is worthy of the
celebrated man by whom it was delivered.
On Earl Temple's Motion for an Enquiry into the Eligi
bility of John Horne Tooke, Esq. ( being a person in holy orders) to a Seat in the House of Commons.
As no other person, sir, seems inclined to address you, I shall take upon me to trouble the house for a few minutes; yet I rise on this occasion with the greatest reluctance. In the course of a long and not an idle life, I have been engaged in many important struggles; but scarcely ever was I individually concerned. I fought with the enemies of law, of liberty, and of truth. It was of importance for me to succeed, but my fail. ure was not of more consequence to myself than to the rest of mankind. The subjects in dispute were common as the elements of air and water. Now I am engaged in a personal struggle. This, however, is not exactly the first time that I have been in this unpleasant predicament. I have had to do before with persons of a
* This speech is of a century and a half ago.
similar disposition, and the same things have happened to me. Having studied the appointed number of years at the university, and performed the appointed exercises, I aspired to the honour of the degree of master of arts. I believe, sir, that this is an honour that never before was disputed to any one who solicited it. Indeed, sir, I have no doubt that it would to-morrow be conferred upon a great dog, if he could pay the fees, and call outPro Domino Rege-yet this was denied to me.
For this favour I was indebted to a forerunner of the noble lord's, (lord Mountford) of whom I shall not now say any thing-De mortuis nihil—sir, I can go no farther. The next struggle of this kind I had, was when I offered myself as candidate to be called to the bar. I then followed the advice of the first lawyer, perhaps, that this country ever produced-I mean the late lord Ashburton. I was not foolish enough to give up a situation which I then held, the profits of which were sufficient for my moderate desires. I had been a member of an inn of court from the year fifty-six, and I thought myself not unqualificd to exercise the profession of the law. I might thus have bettered my situation ; but I would not, upon speculation, give up what I securely enjoyed. It was well that I did not. A noble marquis, whose name I shall not mention, but who is now a member of this house, interfered, and his influence being great, my application was rejected However,
[Mr. Simeon here rose to speak to order ; but there was a loud cry from every corner of the house, of No, no, no! Go on, go on, go on! Mr. S. sitting down,,
Mr. Speaker said, that he did not exactly see how this was pertinent, but it was yet impossible to say that it might not be made to bear upon the question.
Mr. Simeon assured the house, that his only motive for rising was, that he was afraid the honourable gentle man was about to cast a discredit upon a respectable profession, to which he had the honour to belong:]
Mr. Horne Tooke then continued.--I hope the
house, sir, will yet be satisfied that what I have been saying is not irrelevant to the question now before you, Why was I thus refused ? Was there any law against me ? None ! Some precedent, then ? None ! Some ar. guments were offered to prove my incapacity ? Not one! I was rejected, and the first that was ever rejected on similar grounds. To shew that I am not altogether impertinent, the benches, having on their side no law, no precedent, no reason, were so doubtful as to the propriety of their conduct, that they sent messengers to con. sult with the heads of the other inns of court.
This learned body, therefore, were not certain that, though in orders, I was ineligible, or that, though in orders, I might not have laid them aside. I am sorry that the late chancellor of the exchequer is not in his place. He is well acquainted with these proceedings; and I am mistaken if they have not made a pretty deep impression upon him." What I have said, sir, likewise shews how I have been treated in former times, and tends, in some measure, to account for the laudable zcal manifested by the noble lord on the present occa. sion. I would beg the house to recollect, sir, how I have been used in this business. Positively, a stranger would imagine that I had been guilty of felony, or some infamous crime. I have been told to stand up and shew myself. My eyes, indeed, sir, are now very weak ; but I am very much mistaken if the noble lord is such a terrible looking man that I should have been afraid to look him in the face without this admonition. Have I ever shewed any symptoms of cowardice ? No, sir, I have ever remained intrepid in every station, and the noble lord might have saved himself this trouble. I was next order. ed to attend in my seat-when the day of my trial came on, it was meant, no doubt. Suppose I am in priest's orders, sir, is this a public delinquincy ? Ought I on this account to be declared infamous ? I should rather think, sir, that being in orders argued some degree of learning, religion, and good character. Sir, were it not