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misery his justest condemnation. The following passage was written before Mr. Pitt was in being; I quote it because it so happens, that Junius has furnished the text, and Mr. Pitt the illustration :
“With regard 10 any influence of the constituent over the conduct of the representative, there is little difference between a seat in purliament for seven years, and a seat for life. The prospect of your resentment is too remote ; and although the last ses. sion of a septennial parliament be usually employed in courting the favour of the people, consider that, at this rate, your representatives have six years for offence, and but one for atonement. A death-bed repentance seldom reaches to restitution. If you reflect, that, in the changes of administration which have marked and disgraced the present reign, although your warmest patriots have, in their turn, been invested with the lawful and unlawful authority of the Crown, and though other reliefs or improvements have been held forth to the people, yet, that no one man in office has ever promoted or encouraged a bill for shortening the duration of parliaments, but that whoever was minister) the opposition to this measure, ever since the septennial act passed, has been constant and uniform on the part of Government. You cannot but conclude, without the possibility of a doubt, that long parliaments are the foundation of the undue influence of the Crown. This influence answers every purpose of arbitrary power to the Crown, with an expense and oppression to the peoa ple, which would be unnecessary in an arbitrary government. The best of our Ministers find it the easiest and most compendious mode of conducting the King's affairs ; and all Ministers have a general interest in adhering to a system, which, of itself, is suffi. eient to support them in office, without any assistance from personal virtue, popularity, labour, abilities, or experience. It promises every gratification to acarice and ambition, and secures impunity."
A Reform in Parliament therefore is among the desiderata which no thinking man can expect to see realized. This is a measure on the postponement of which all Ministers agree, however they may differ from their predecessors on other points; nevertheless they pronounce it excellent for all times but the present time ; and for all administrations, except their own. I am led to conclude parliamentary reform hopeless, because it is certain that it caonot be effected without ministerial influence; and as certain that ministerial influence will always be employed against it. The splendid abilities of Mr. Canning were but too successfully employed, on a very recent occasion, to show how little the mere merits of an: question in a certain Council availed ; and he proved his point in a manner that reflected more credit on the speaker than on his audience; by adducing as an instance, the abolition of the Slave Trade. By the vast majority with which that question was ultimately carried, it fully appeared that there was a time when the little finger of a minister produced a greater impression, within the walls of St. Stephen, than all the eloquence of Britain and all the miseries of Africa!
“Nike,” says Walpole, “ those Reformations that prevent Revolutions, by keeping pace with the gradual progress of reason and knowledge.” I have heard that Mr. Fox, on his last visit to Paris, fully discovered that it was the decided opinion of the French Cabinet, that our most vulnerable point was Ireland; and that it would be the height of madness to make
any attack upon England, until Ireland was wrested from her. If this be true, it furnishes another argument for the immediate removal of the civil disabilities of the Catholics ; the present cause of so much disunion in those who govern, and of so much discontent in those who obev; but the ground of hope and confidence to all those “ Who love not England's cause, nur England's weal.”
Page 95.-"And make Napoleon play both Knave and fool."
The Game must be desperate when Talleyrand throws down his Cards; and foul must be the play in which he blushes to Co-Operate. It is probable that the annals of Louis the XII. furnished Buonaparte with the model of his Spanish expedie tion. That indeed succeeded, but let him remember that Vil. lany does not always prosper. Spain may teach Europe what it is that will satisfy the common oppressor; Not all the military and naval resources of a nation-not all its populationnot all its treasure. These be fully enjoyed, at the moment he was meditating the complete destruction of a sincere and generous ally.
From every thing I can collect from the remarks and obsere vations of those French Officers who last arrived in this town, as Prisoners of War, I will undertake to say that Buonaparte's most unprincipled attack on Spain is a death blow to his larity. The sad experience of battle after battle, and campaign after campaign, has now convinced his firmest veterans that they are doomed to serve a military Despot, whose lust of empire hath no bounds. These men now perceive that the life of a Soldier, under such a Commander, presents nothing but a barren and a gloomy prospect of perils and privations, to be terminated only by death. “Have we not seen,” they exclaim, "our bravest companions sacrificed to the ambition of him who is as greedy of dominion, as he is prodigal of blood ? Have we not beheld army after army coolly abandoned to inevitable destrurtiou ? Witness the parching sands of Egypt, the snows of Poland, the pestilent morasses of Domingo, and the dear-won fortresses of Spain! And for what are we covered with scars and polluted with blood ? To render the name of a Frenchman eserrable throughout the world; to aggrandize an ungrateful ta-k-master, to forge his fetters, and to increase his slaves ! Nor have our children a better prospect at home. They also are daily subject to be dragged away to the armies ;
Page 145.--" Might best confute the first, the last a Ghost.”
An affair still going on in my neighbourhood, and known to the Public by the title of the SAMPFORD GHOST, might puzzle the materialism of Hume, or the immaterialism of Berkley. Here we have an invisible and incomprehensible agent, producing visible and sensible effects. The Newspapers were not quite so accurate as they might have been in their statements on this occasion. First, they informed the Public that the whole affair was discovered; but the real truth is, that the slightest shadow of an explanation has not yet been given, and that there exist no good grounds even for suspecting any one. The Public were next given to understand that the disturbances had ceased; whereas it is well known to all in this neighbour. hood that they coutinue with unabating violence, to this hour. Soon after this, we were told, by way of explanation, that the whele affair was a trick of the tenant, who wished to purchase the house cheap-the stale solution of all haunted houses. But such an idea never entered his thoughts, eveu if the present proprietors were able to sell the House; but it happens to be entailed. And at the very time when this was said, all the neighbourhood koew that Mr. Chave was unremitting in his exertions to procure another habitation in Sampford on any terms. And to confirm this, these disturbances have at length obliged the whole family to make up their minds to quit the premises, at a very great loss and inconvenience, as Mr. Chave has expended a considerable sum in improvements, and could have continued on a reduced rent. When one of the labourers on the Canal was shot, the Newspapers informed us, that this took place at the house of the Mr. Chave above mentioned. The fact is, that this circumstance happened in another part of the village, at the house of another Mr. Chave, neither related nor connected with the Mr. Chave in question,
If these nocturnal and diurnal visitations are the effects of a plot, the agents are marvellously secret and indefatigable. It
has been going on more than three years. And if it be the result of tuman machination, there must be more than sixty persons concerned in it. Now I cannot but think it rather strange that a secret by which no one can possibly get any thing, should be so well kept ; particularly when I inform the public what the Newspapers would not, or could not acquaiot them with ; namely, that a Reward of two hundred and fifty Pounds has been advertized, for any one who can give such information as may lead to a discovery. Nearly two years have elapsed, and no claimant has appeared. I myself, who have been abused as the dupe at one ume, and the promoter of this affair at another, was the first to come forward with one hundred pounds, and the late Mayor of Tiverton has now an instrument in his hands empowering him to call on me for the payment of that sum, to any one who can explain the cause of the phænumena.
An authentic narrative of all the occurrencee at Sampford up to a certain date, was published by me, and may be had at the Publisher's and Booksellers, Many circumstances, if possible still more extraordinary than those I have related, have since occurred, but as they do not afford the least clue that may evable us to discover the cause that produced them, I shall do the public no service by relating them. A gentleman who commanded a company in the Hereford Militia was stationed at Sampford ; his curiosity was much excited, and he sat up in Mr. Chave's house at different times, thirty nights. I dined with him at Ottery Barracks; his brother officers were anxious to know his opinion of that affair. He immediately replied, “ Mr. Colton, who sits oppos te, has engaged to give one bug dred pounds to any person who can discover it. If he will hand me half a guinea across the table, I engage before you all to pay the money instead of hini, whenever he is called upon.” I did not take bis offer. A clear proof that neither of us think a discovery the most probable thing in the world.