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o sedition againf the Constitution-If any body of men are justified.
in thinking that the Irinh constitution is incompatible with the “ British empire, perish the empire ! Live the constitution !" It was on this, and other occasions when fimilar sentiments were expressed by Mr. Grattan, that the loudest bursts of applause were heard in the gallery of the Irish House of Commons. a. The present fpirit of Ireland then, we may lately conclude, is not
to be managed by the cold calculations of commercial regulations and the distant prospect of the rewards of protected industry: nor as it likely to subiide through length of time, without some eruption that may discharge that inflammable matter with which it is prego nant. ' For ambition inflamed by refentment is not to be fatisfied and soothed by any concessions that a great and independent nation ought to make : and a thousand occasions of quarrel will easily be found between parties so much connected as Great-Britain and Ireland, when there is a disposition to discover them. The abdication of the proposed commercial treaty has left the agitation of Ireland, for a time, without an object. An object of animosity and disturbe ance, however, will not long be wanting. Paflion, which in indi „viduals, finds fewel for itself, will also find matter of gratification when it is heightened by the sympathy of thousands, and swelled into the enthusiasm of a whole nation. The genius of Ireland, folicitous, at the present moment, to find out a proper subject of contention with England, adopts the motto prefixed to some of the writings of Lord Bacon, inveniam viam aut facian.
Such are the political consequences of internal divisions, relaxa; tion of government, and fullied reputation. The dismemberment of America from the British empire, was, of neceffity, to be followed by revolt in other parts of it, and the trumpet of ledition, as might have been expected, was firit heard in Ireland. The people of that island, with arms in their hands demanded and obtained new privi: leges and rights of commerce, as well as an independent Parliament. They desired to have a reformation in the constitution of Parliament; but received a check from that body which wisely rejected the tampering of rude and unskilful empirics. The national ferment now wanted an object, and fixed, for a second time, on
that of.cominerce; an object which was indeed pointed out, and pressed upon their notice by the busy, and restless genius of Mr. Pite. A scheme was formed, under the veil of commercial regulation, for Jestoring the virtual subordination of Ireland to England. Ireland penetrates this plan and rejects it with disdain. But the still reits as it were upon her arms, and England watches the movements of
this hostile neighbour, without making any preparations for encountering or counteracting them.
It is a pleasant, and not an unimportant speculation, to observe, how readily felf-love pafles into felf-congratulation, and converts seal misfortunes into ideal advantages. The writers who expatiate on the advantage to Great Britain of the independency of her North American Colonies, would bave formed po inconfiderable · military force for retaining them in a ftate of subordination. These writers compare nations to encamped armies, who ought to prefent
as few points of attack as possible; and compact, though very limited nations, to well constructed fortresses whole garrison is enabled to repel a more numerous army of affailants; whereas empires confifto ing of extended and scattered dominions, they compare to fortifications on too large a fcale, whose extensive works cannot be defended with effect against all the affaults of a powerful and enterprising enemy. They calculate the commercial, the literary, the political, and the warlike advantages that arise from the same number of people living together on a narrow, rather than in a wide country ;-a greater excitement of thought, a quicker intercourse takes place, in such a state of society; and the result of the whole fituation, is, an higher degree of industry, and consequently of NATIONAL WEALTH. For increase of WEALTH is the great object, in the present times, with the more refined nations of Europe, as avarice is the passion of oldi age. ' And this characteristic of old age, with these allö of excessive caution and timidity distinguish the present state of the British go. vernnient. The exhausted state of our finances, our unsuccessful war in America, the difficulty of contending with domestic faction, deter men of contracted capacities from venturing on any bold and arduous undertaking; and they fhielter the narrowness, and indeed the littleness of their conduct under the fashionable doctrines cono cerning compactness of territory, the expence of war, the encouragement of industry, and the neceility of economy. On these principles they yield, without any apparent reluctance, to the absolute independence of the Irish protestants, English colonies, nursed up by the parent state, upon eftates wreated by violence from the Roman catholics thcir ancient pofleffors.
IMPOLICY OF THE PRESENT RAGE FOR COMMERCE. Future ages may, perhaps, laugh at the present rage for commerce, and the propensity in the councils of nations to calculate in all theic measures and movements inercantile loss and gain, as much as we laugh at the extravagance of chivalry, and religious zeal, and reprobate the attempts that were made for the establishinent of univers Tal dominion. For, firit, with regard to the compactness of dominion ;-the strength of kingdoms does not so much resemble that of forts and garrisons, as the vigour of trees which do not derive more nourishment from triking their roots in the adjacent foil, than froin extending their branches, and multiplying and throwing out theit leaves to receive the influence of the heavens. The vital principle of nations which carries them progreffively through the different stages of infancy, youth, manhood, and old age, bears undoubtedly, a greater analogy to the growth of vegetables, than to the stationary nature of camps and fortifications. And, to adhere therefore, to the metaphor of the tree, as the trunk is starved by the lopping off of the branches, such a kingdom suffers diminution and decay throu 'h the loss of her colonies. For this loss impairs her strength by reducing the number of its subjects in which principally her strength consists ;. by throuing open the trade of the Toft colonies to the world; and above all by the loss of reputation, the great bul wark against foreign invasion, and the great cement of internal concor cand tranquillity. So that, although it may argued at leaf
on plausible grounds, chat it is better for nations never to colonize while means of lubfiitence car le found at home, yet the revoir and feparation of colonies once eitab.ifhed, is, in all cales to le contid red as a fevere misfortune: fartner, the lots of provinces, if it should nur be conlidered as any disadvantage in itself; inay yet be. juitly règirded as a Bymptom of disease; as a proof that the elásticity which 1: retched out the empire is relaxed, and that the virtue on which its extent and grandeur was founded has decayed: farther still; as the affairs of nations are of necetlity in continual motion ; if they do noi advance, they must go backwards. One lois is therefore the forerunner of another; dominion is easily retained by the same virtues by which it was acquired. In proportion as that fuils, power declines, and, by a kind of graritation, acquires velocity as it falls.
It was not, as Livy in his celebrated preface to his Roman Hira tory afierts, the iminenfe magnitude and extent of the Roman Empire that proved its ruin, but a miserable decay of private and public virtue. Even if the empire had never been extended beyond the Pe. ninsula of Italy, the ocean and the Alps would not have protected an effeminate people from the incursions of the Barbarians.
Secondly, If under the loss of our provinces our trade should flourish as much as ever it did in its most prosperous period; if the national debt Mould be gradually reduced; and the public revenue should be increased; yet, is the pride of the nation should be broken, if the spring of government should be enfeebled, if the military spirit Mould die away, and the whole nation should become manufacturers and merchants, mercenary arms would not long defend
Danes and Saxons would again start up to lay us under contribution and reduce us again under Navery! or, the mildest fate we could expect, would be to fink à second tiine, under a French invasion.
Thirdly, If the fole spirit of our government be a regard to the protection of trade, and the advancement of wealth; if ministers are to give up the national honour, and to adopt the doctrine of pallive obedience to mutinous subjects, where are they to draw the line of circumvallation, and when are they to maintain the unity of the Empire ? Docs an administration that presses the burthen of debt on an oppressed people with one hand, while it lavishes away the dependencies of the kingdom with the other; which afflicts the loyalists, and grants every thing to rebellion ; which seeks to establish itself by peace on any terms with America and Ireland; and the whole of whose conduct is marked by timidity and artifice: does such an administration expect to support the authority of government; not by force, but by favour, and to reign in the hearts of a willing people? If a confederacy should be formed against government, in the East or in the Weit Indies ; in Canada and Nova Scotia, in Wales, or in Scotland; on what principle could such a confederacy be at tacked by men who are so ready to recognize and confirm the inde. pendency of Ireland ? on no other principle, plainly, than that of robbers, who plunder the weak, and avoid all contests with the powerful.-Close union among themselves, and a correspondence with the enemies of England, might on the principles thrac feem to
actuate our present councils, set the authority of the laws at
Let us suppose, more particularly, that the Scots fhould reason in
“ When we consented to an union with England, and to bçar our share of the burthen of the national debt we consentó “ ed in the belief, and on the condition that we were to participate “ in the gaintul trade with the English colonies. Thefe colonies
are now independent, and their commerce is open to the whole
world, while taxes impo ed on their account, crush the infant “ manufactures, and check the rising trade of Scotland. Instances
are not wanting of infringements on the treaty of union. The 6 circumstances of the times are altered. A treaty violated by one « of the contracting parties, is not obligatory on the other. Let us (6 therefore shake off at once the shackles imposed upon us by our “ connection with England ; let us renew our ancient league with “ France, and in all the vigour of youth, spring forth into rank and
consideration among the nations; and unencumbered by taxes and do other restraints, open our views to unlimited commerce ; regain a “ national character, and run the career of glory. Neither Dutch
nor English jealousy shall curb our well laid enterprizes. The “ Isthmus of Panama, under the Auspices of the house of Bourbon, “ will gladly receive a colony from Scotland, disunited from * England. Ireland, allied to us by blood and fimilarity of fitua
tion, will co-operate with us in asserting an independence that will os secure her own. The towns on our Eastern fhores that have “ mourned THE UNION in dust and ashes shall again lift up
their “ heads and flourish. And the Forth, like the Thames, shall be 66 crowded with the merchandize of the world.”
If Scotland should be so frantic as to entertain such sentiments as these, and
prepare carry them into execution, a council would be called in England, in which, after many observations on the expensiveness of war, the advantages of compact and undivided dominions, and the possibility of carrying on manufactures and cons merce without Scotland, as well as with it, it would be resolved to part with the Scots, if pollible on terms of friendship, and to formi a treaty of commerce with them. In the mean time, the Duke ot Richmond would infist upon the necessity of rebuilding the wall of Severus,* as a barrier against the inroads of the Scots. Mr. Dundas would give broad hints, that by a prudent disposition of the public money, the combinations of the Scots might be diffolved; or at least that by this means the Southern parts of Scotland, might, as
* Built by the Emperor for the protection of the Britons against Scots and Piets. It is commonly called the Piets wall. Its eastern extremity is at Tinmouth, from whence it runs across Northumberland and Cumberland to the Solway Firth, being about eighty miles in length. This wall which at first consisted only of stakes and turf with a ditch, was afterwards strengthened by Severus with stone forts, and turrets, at proper distances ; so that each might have a speedy communication with the other, and it was attended all along by a deep ditch or vallum to the north, and a military highway to the south.
heretofore be still preserved in connection with England; and that, in this case the barrier against the ancient Scots would be Agricola's Wall, or Graham's Iyke, which might be rebuilt at a much less, expence than the wall of Severus, as the space between the Clyde and the Forth does not exceed twenty English miles. This would appear not wholly unfeasible to Mr. Pitt, but he would startle at the expence of it. The Chancellor would reprobate in the most unequivocal terms, such a damned mixture of cowardice and nonsense and explain that all these embarrassments were the natural effects of that submissive spirit which so miserably crouched to Ireland. The Secretaries of State seeing Mr. Pitt cold, and Lord Thurlow resolute to oppose these measures, would no longer hesitate to declare for the Prime Minister : and would probably shelter their opposition to every thing that might wear the aspect of hoftility towards Scotland under some such proverb, as, that" it is better to flatter fools than to fight them.” Scotland, as well as Ireland being abandoned, Dean Tucker would congratulate his country on the happy arrondissement of the empire and tell his countrymen to take no care for to morrow, but to mind their proper business, and never to doubt that superior kill and capital would always command a market for our manufactures. A tribe of writers would catch this tone from the Dean, and a thousand advantages would be predicted from the emancipation of old England from all foreign connections.
That such a case as we have here supposed will ever be realized is not to be dreaded, when we reflect on the peaceable disposition of the Scotch nation, and on their want of a leader among the nobility, if they had even real cause of disfatisfaction, and were disposed to fedition and insurrection. But, if it did exist, the English government, could not, conhstently with their present principles, adopt any other measures than those of acquiescence in fate, and the humour of the times : for if ever there could be a point at which our concessions ought to stop, if ever a conjuncture in which boldness is political wisdom; that point, this conjuncture is presented to our view, in the present situation of the sister kingdom.
To be continued. TO CORRESPONDEN T S. T. B's article is too long. It is, however, under consideration; and shall be inserted abridged; provided it is approved of. The performance itself ought to have been sent along with the article.
Timothy Twisting, Esquire, should have told us in what number of our journal the strictures appear which give so much offence'; for we have not been able to find them. The 'English Review set out upon the principle of impartiality. And to prove that we have not imposed upon the public with promises alone, we are satisfied 10 submit 10 a fair comparison betwixt our selves and brother journalists for the period of our duration=we affect not to be perfect. But we should depart from that justice which every individual in such circumstances owes to himself if we did not confidently assert that the comparison would be found to be favour. able to us. And Mr. Twistings, article would have been attended to bad he pointed it properly out to us.