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“ As to faction and sedition, Sir, I will grant that in monarchical and aristrocatical governments it generally arises from violence, and oppression : but in democrati, cal governments it always arises from the people's having too great a share in the government: for in all countries, and in all governments, there will always be many factious and unquiet spirits, who can never be at rest either in power, or out of power : when in power they are never easy, unless every man submits entirely to their direction: and when out of power, they are always working and intriguing against those that are in, without any regard to justice, or the interests of their country: in popu. lar governments such men have too much game; they have too many opportunities for working upon, and corrupting the minds of the people: in order to give them bad impression of, and to raise discontents against those that have the management of the public affairs for the time: and these discontents often break out into seditions, and insurrections.
“ This, Sir, in my opinion, would be our misfortune, if our Parliaments were either annual or triennial : by such frequent elections there would be so much power thrown into the hands of the people : as would destroy that equal mixture which is the beauty of our constitution : in short our government would really become a democratical government, and might thence very probably di verge into a tyrannical. Therefore, in order to preserve our constitution, in order to prevent our falling into ty. ranny, and arbitrary power, we ought to preserve that law, which, I really think, has brought our constitution to a more equal mixture, and consequently to greater perfec, țion than it was ever in, before that law took place.
“ As to bribery, and corruption, Sir, if it was possible to influence by such base means the majority of the electors of Great Britain, to choose such men as would probably give up their liberties : if it were possible to influence by such means a majority of the members of this House to consent to the establishment of arbitrary power, I would readily allow that the calculations made by the gentlemen of the other side were just : and their influence true : but I am persuaded that neither of these is possible. As the members of this House generally are, and must always be gentlemen of fortune and figure in their country, is it possible to suppose that any of them could by a pension, or a post, be influenced to consent to the overthrow of our constitution, by which the enjoyment not only of what he got, but of what he before had, would be rendered altogether precarious ? I will allow, Sir, that, with respect to bribery, the price must be higher, or lower generally in proportion to the virtue of the man who is to be bribed ; but it must likewise be granted, that the humor he happens to be in at the time, the spirit he happens to be endowed with, adds a great deal to his virtue. When no encroachments are made upon the rights of the people, when the people do not think themselves in any danger, there may be many of the electors who by a bribe of ten guineas might be induced to vote for one candidate rather than another; but if the court were making any encroachments upon the rights of the people, a proper spirit would without doubt arise in the nation, and in such a case I am persuaded, that none, or very few even of such electors, could be induced to vote, for a court candidate, no, not for ten times the sum.
“ There may, Sir, be some bribery, and corruption in the nation : I am afraid there always will be some;
but it is no proof of it that strangers are sometimes chosen : for a gentleman may have so much natural influence over a borough in his neighbourhood, as to be able to prevail
with them to choose any person he pleases to recommend; and if, upon such recommendation, they choose one or two of his friends who are perhaps strangers to them, it is not thence to be inferred that the two strangers were chosen their representatives by the means of bribery and corruption.
• To insinuate, Sir, that money may be issued from the public treasury for bribing elections, is really something very extraordinary, especially in those gentlemen who know how many checks are upon every shilling that can be issued from thence: and how regularly the money granted in one year for the public service of the nation must always be accounted for the very next session in this House, and likewise in the other, if they have a mind to call for
such account. And as to the gentlemen in offices, if they have any advantage over country gentlemen in having something else to depend upon besides their own private fortunes, they have likewise many dis- . advantages : they are obliged to live at London with their families, by which they are put to a much greater expense than gentlemen of equal fortune who live in the country-this lays them under a very great disadvantage with respect to the supporting their interest in the country. The country gentleman, by living among the electors, and purchasing the necessaries for his family from them, keeps up an acquaintance, and correspondence with them, without putting himself to any extraordinary charge, whereas a gentleman who lives in London, has no other way of keeping up an acquaintance or correspondence among his friends in the country, but by going down once or twice a year at a very extraordinary charge, and often without any other business; so that we may conclude a gentleman in office, cannot, even in seven years, save much for distributing in ready money at the time of an
election; and I really believe, if the fact were narrowly inquired into, it would appear that the gentlemen in office are as little guilty of bribing their electors with ready money, as any other set of gentlemen in the kingdom.
« That there are ferments often raising among the people without any just cause, is what I am surprised to hear controverted, since very late experience may convince us of the contrary. Do not we know what a ferment was raised in the nation towards the latter end of the late Queen's reign ? And it is well known what a fatal change in the affairs of this nation was introduced, or at least confirmed by an election's coming on while the nation was in that ferment? Do not we know what a ferment was raised in the nation soon after his late Majesty's accesa sion ? And if an election had then been allowed to come on, while the nation was in that ferment, it might perhaps have had as fatal effects as the former: but, thank God, this was wisely provided against by the very law which is now wanted to be repealed. As such ferments may hereafter often happen, I must think that frequent elections will always be dangerous; for which reason, as far as I can see at present, I shall, I believe, at all times think it a very dangerous experiment to repeal the septennial bill.
The question being then put upon Mr. BROMLEY's motion, it passed in the negative by 247 to 184.
Towards the close of the year 1744, the resignation of Lord CARTERET led to a coalition between the PeLHAMS and the popular leaders in both houses; at which some of the old adherents of the latter were much offended; and one of them, Mr. Carew, took an early opportunity, in January 1745, to put to the test, as he called it, the patriotism of the new ministers, by bringing forward a
measure for which they had before expressed the greatest zeal—He introduced his motion with a speech nearly to the following purport:
“ From the compromise that happened about the beginning of this session, and the great things that were said to be stipulated, by those who were then come into power, it might have been expected, that the motion I am to conclude with would have come from another quarter, and that a bill for that purpose would have, long before
now, been passed into a law. Whether our new ministers and quondam patriots did really stipulate any thing in favor of their country, or in favor of that cause they seemed to glory in espousing, I do not know; but, from what has hitherto appeared, they seem to have stipulated nothing, but places for themselves. Whatever may be in this, I am resolved to put them to the trial: and from the fate of the question I am to propose, I shall determine, whether our present new ministers deserve all the hard names they have themselves so liberally bestowed upon those they have now supplanted, as well as the hard names they formerly lavished upon those they have now joined with. These hard names they must not expect to evade, by giving a simple vote for this question, or any question of the like nature: the world is now too clear-sighted to be imposed on by such gross dissimulation : the question must be carried, and effectually carried, or otherwise, they ought to throw up the places they have so rashly accepted, and declare against those, with whom they lately so rashly united. I say rashly, Sir, for if they are not resolved to desert the cause of liberty, I must say it was rash in them to unite with those who have for so many years declared against it, without some very particular and express stipulations in favor of the liberties of their country. What may now be the way of thinking with some gentlemen amongst us, about the