Images de page

and Duchess Dowager of Hanover, to the crown and dignity of this kingdom)" by the agency of Walpole, " that(meaning the said species of government) can be described by no other name than a despotic legislation. Though the parts may embarrass each other, the whole has no bounds ; and the only right it acknowledges out of itself is the right of petitioning. Where then is the constitution either that gives or that restrains power? It is not because

a part of the government(meaning the government of this kingdom) " is elective, that makes it « less a despotism, if the persons so elected possess los

afterwards, as a Parliament, unlimited powers ; election in this case becomes separated from representation, and the candidates are candidates for despotism." And in another part thereof, according to the tenour and effect following; (that is to say,) The attention of the government of England (for I rather choose to call it by this name than the English Government) appears, since its political " connexion with Germany, to have been so completely engrossed and absorbed by foreign affairs, and the means of raising taxes, that it seems to exist for no other purposes. Domestic concerns

are neglected ; and with respect to regular law, there is scarcely such a thing." And in another part thereof, according to the tenour and effect fóllowing ; (that is to say,) " With respect to the two Houses of which the English Parliament" (meaning the Parliament of this kingdom) " is composed,

[ocr errors]


they appear to be effectually influenced into one;

and, as a legislature, to have no temper of its own, The minister(meaning the minister employed by the King of this realm in the administration of the government thereof), whoever he at any time

may be, touches it(meaning the two Houses of Parliament of this kingdom) “as with an opium wand; and it(meaning the two Houses of Par, liament of this kingdom) “ sleeps obedience. But

if we look at the distinct abilities of the two Houses" (meaning the two Houses of Parliament of this kingdom), the difference will appear so great, as to show the inconsistency of placing power where there can be no certainty of the judgment to use it. « Wretched as the state of representation is in England(meaning the state of representation of the Commons of this kingdom), “ it is manhood compared with what is called the House of Lords" (meaning the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled); "and so little is this nicknamed « House(meaning the House of Lords) “ regarded, that the people scarcely inquire at any time what it is doing. It(meaning the said House of Lords) “ appears also to be most under influence, and " the furthest removed from the general interest of the nation.And in another part thereof, according to the tenour and effect following, viz.Hav« ing thus glanced at some of the defects of the two Houses of Parliament(meaning the Parliament of this kingdom),

I proceed to what is called the


Crown(meaning the crown of this kingdom),

upon which I shall be very concise. It(meaning the crown of this kingdom) “ signifies a nominal office of a million sterling a year, the business of which consists in receiving the money. Whether the

person” (meaning the King of this realm) wise or foolish, sane or insane, a native or a foreigner, matters not. Every ministry(meaning the ministry employed by the King of this realm in the administration of the government thereof) " acts upon the same idea that Mr. Burke writes;

namely, that the people(meaning the subjects of this kingdom)“ must be hoodwinked and held in superstitious ignorance by some bugbear or other; and what is called the Crown” (meaning the crown of this kingdom)“ answers this purpose, and therefore it answers all the purposes to be expected from it.

This is more than can be said of the other two branches. The hazard to which this office(meaning, amongst others, the office of King of this realm) is exposed in all countries(meaning, amongst others, this kingdom), “ is not from any thing that can happen to the man” (meaning the King), “ but

from what may happen to the nation” (meaning, amongst others, this kingdom); “ the danger of its coming to its senses.". And in another part thereof, according to the tenour and effect following; (that is to say,) I happened to be in England at the celebration of the centenary of the

Revolution of 1688. The characters of William

and Mary” (meaning the said late King William and Queen Mary) have always appeared to me des " testable; the one(meaning the said King Wils liam) “ seeking to destroy his uncle, and the other" (meaning the said Queen Mary) her father, to get possession of power themselves; yet as the nation

was disposed to think something of that event, I felt hurt at seeing it ascribe the whole reputation of it to a man” (meaning the said late King William the Third)

66 who had undertaken it as a job, " and who, besides what he otherwise got, charged " six hundred thousand pounds for the expense of the little fleet that brought him from Holland. George the First(meaning George the First, late King of Great Britain, &c.) “ acted the same close-fisted

part as William(meaning the said King William the Third) had done, and bought the Duchy of Bremen with the money he got from

England, two hundred and fifty thousand pounds over and above his pay as King; and having thus "purchased it at the expense of England, added it " to his Hanoverian dominions for his own private

profit.- In fact, every nation that does not govern " itself is governed as a job: England has been the « prey of jobs ever since the Revolution.” And in another part thereof, according to the tenpur and effect following ; (that is to say,) The fraud, hypocrisy; , "and imposition of governments” (meaning, amongst others, the government of this kingdom), "now' beginning to be too well understood to promise


#them any long career. The farce of monarchy and " aristocracy in all countries is following that of chi

valry, and Mr. Burke is dressing for the funeral. Let it then pass quietly to the tomb of all other " follies, and the mourners be comforted. The time " is not very distant when England will laugh at it

self for sending to Holland, Hanover, Zell, or Brunswick, for men” (meaning the Kings of these réalms, born out of the same, who have acceded to the crown thereof at and since the Revolution), " at the expense of a million a year, who understood neither her laws, her language, nor her interest; and whose capacities would scarcely have fitted them for the office of a parish constable. If go"vernment could be trusted to such hands, it must be

some easy and simple thing indeed; and materials fit for all the purposes may be found in every town and village in England." In contempt of our said Lord the King and his laws, to the evil example of all others in the like case offending, and against the peace of our said Lord the King, his crown and dignity. And the said Attorney General of our said Lord the King, for our said Lord the King further gives the Court here to understand and be informed, that the said Thomas Paine, being a wicked, seditious, and ill-disposed person, and wickedly, sedi. tiously, and maliciously intending to scandalize, traduce, and vilify the character of the said late Sovereign Lord, King William the Third, and the said late happy Revolution, and the Parliament of Eng

« PrécédentContinuer »