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EXTRACTS FROM A SPEECH

IN THE

HOUSE OF COMMONS,

ON

THE ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO THE

KING’S SPEECH,

ON

THE OPENING OF THE SESSION,

JANUARY 29th, 1828.

AGAINST one paragraph of this Address I am most anxious to record at once my unqualified dissent; having at the same time the fullest and firmest conviction, that that dissent will be re-echoed from one end of the kingdom to the other. I mean to allude to the manner in which the late glorious, brilliant, decisive, and immortal achievement at Navarino was described, as being a matter to be lamented. This is the first time I ever saw men anxious to come forward and refuse credit where it had been called for, and set at nought the most splendid achievement of their arms. It has been reserved for some of the men of these times

to triumph and be afraid—to conquer and to repine-to fight, as heroes did, the contest of freedom, and still to tremble like slaves—to act gloriously and repine bitterly—to win by brave men the battle of liberty in the east, and in the west to pluck from the valiant brow the laurels which it had so nobly earned, and plant the cypress in their stead, because the conqueror had fought for religion and liberty. I hail as a bad omen the designation of a great naval achievement as an “untoward event."

I have no fear of slavery being introduced into this country by the power of the sword. It will take a stronger, it will demand a more powerful man even than the Duke of Welling: ton to effect such an object. The Noble Duke may take the army, he may take the navy, be may take the mitre, he may take the great seal -I will make the Noble Duke a present of them all. Let him come on with his, whole force, sword in hand, against the constitution, and the energies of the people of this country will not only beat him, but laugh at his efforts. Therefore I am perfectly satisfied there will be no unconstitutional attack on the liberties of the people. These are not the times for such an attempt. There have been periods when the

country heard with dismay that “the soldier was abroad.” That is not the case now. Let the soldier be ever so much abroad in the present age, he can do nothing. There is another person abroad—a less important person—in the eyes of some an insignificant person-whose labours have tended to produce this state of things. The schoolmaster is abroad; and I trust more to the schoolmaster armed with his primer, than I do to the soldier in full military array, for upholding and extending the liberties of my country. I think the appointment of the Duke of Wellington is bad, in a constitutional point of view; but as to violence being, in consequence, directed against the liberties of the country, the fear of such an event I look upon as futile and groundless.

EXTRACTS FROM A SPEECH

IN THE

HOUSE OF COMMONS,

ON MOVING AN

ADDRESS TO THE CROWN

RELATIVE TO

THE STATE OF THE LAW.

FEBRUARY 7th, 1828.

If we view the whole establishments of the country--the Government by the King, and the other Estates of the Realm,--the entire system of Administration, whether civil or military,—the vast establishments of land and of naval force by which the State is defended, our foreign negotiations, intended to preserve peace with the world, -our domestic arrangements, necessary to make the Government respected by the people, or our fiscal regulations, by which the expense of the whole is to be supported, -all shrink into nothing, when compared with the pure, and prompt, and cheap Administration of Justice throughout the community. I will, indeed, make no such com

parison; I will not put in contrast things so inseparably connected; for all the establishments formed by our ancestors, and supported by their descendants, were invented, and are chiefly maintained, in order that justice may be duly administered between man and man. And, in my mind, he was guilty of no error, he was chargeable with no exaggeration,-he was betrayed by his fancy into no metaphor, who once said, that all we see about us, King,Lords, and Commons, the whole machinery of the State, all the apparatus of the system, and its varied workings, end in simply bringing twelve good men into a box. Such-the administration of justice is the cause of the establishment of Government such is the use of Government: it is this purpose which can alone justify restraints on natural liberty—it is this only which can excuse constant interference with the rights and property of men.

The great object of every Government, in selecting the Judges of the land, should be to obtain the most skilful and learned men in their profession, and, at the same time, the men whose character gives the best security for the pure and impartial administration of justice. I almost feel ashamed, Sir, to have troubled

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