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Speaker, the land in whose representative chair you sit; figure to yourself the form and fashion of your sweet and cheerful country from Thames to Trent, north and south, and from the Irish to the German sea, east and west, emptied and embowelled (may God avert the omen of our crimes !) by so accomplished a desolation. Extend your imagination a little further, and then suppose your ministers taking a survey of this scene of waste and desolation; what would be your thoughts if you should be informed, that they were computing how much had been the amount of the excises, how much the customs, how much the land and malt-tax, in order that they should charge upon the relics of the satiated vengeance of relentless enemies, the whole of what England had yielded in the most exuberant seasons of peace and abundance? What would you call it? To call it tyranny, sublimed into madness, would be too faint an image ; yet this very madness is the principle upon which the ministers at your right hand have proceeded in their estimate of the revenues of the Carnatic, when they were providing, not supply for the establishments of its protection, but rewards for the authors of its ruin.
PERSONAL ALTERCATION BETWEEN MR, FLOOD
AND MR. GRATTAN. 1785.
Mr. Flood in reply to Mr. Grattan. To the invective of Mr. Grattan, it was replied by his antagonist, that every member of the house could bear witness to the infirmity he had mentioned, and that it showed little candour to make a nocturnal attack upon that infirmity. But he was not afraid to meet the right honourable member at any time, or upon any ground. He would stand poorly in his own estimation, and in his country's opinion, if he did not stand far above him. He did not come there dressed in a rich wardrobe of words to delude the people. He was not one who had promised to bring in a bill of rights, yet neither brought in the bill, nor permitted any other person to do it. He was not one who had threateneil to impeach the chief justice of the king's bench for acting under an English law, and afterwards shrunk from that business. He was not the author of the simple repeal. He had not come at midnight, and attempted, by a vote of that house, to arrest the progress of reason, and stifle the voice of the people, He was not the mendicant patriot, who was bought by his country for a sum of money, and then sold his country for prompt payment. A man of warm imagination and a brilliant fancy might sometimes be dazzled with his own ideas, and for a moment fall into errour; but a man of a sound head could not have made so egregious a mistake, and a man of an honest heart would not have persisted in it after it was discovered. For himself, the whole force of what had been said against him rested upon this, that he once accepted an office. But was a man the less a patriot for being an honest servant to the crown? He had taken as great a part, with the first office of the state at his back, as ever the right honourable gentleman did with mendicancy behind him. .
Mr. Grattan Replied particularly to several of the charges made upon him by Mr. Flood. But it was not the slander of the bad tongue of a bad character that could defame him. He maintained his reputation in public and in private life. No man, who was not himself dishonoured, could say he ever deceived him; no country had ever called him a cheat. But he could suppose a man of different character, a man, not now in that house, but who formerly might bave been there. He would suppose it his constant practice to abuse every man who differed from him, and te betray every man who trusted him. He would suppose him active, and he would divide his life into three stages. In the first he was intemperate, in the second corrupt, and in the third seditious. Suppose him a great egotist, his honour equal to his oath, and he would stop him, and say, 'Sir, your talents are not so great as your life is infamous. You were silent for years, and you were silent for money. When affairs of consequence to the nation were debating, you might be seen passing by these doors, like a guilty spirit, just waiting for the moment of putting the question, that you might drop in and give your venal vote. Or you might be seen hovering over the dome, like an ill-omened bird of night, with sepulchral notes, a cadaverous aspect, and a broken beak, ready to stoop and pounce upon your prey. You can be trusted by no man. The people cannot trust you; the ministers cannot trust you. You deal out the most impartial treachery to both. You tell the nation it is ruined by other men, while it is sold by you. You fled from the embargo; you fled from the sugar bill; you fled from the mutiny bill. I therefore tell you, in the face of your country, before all the world, and to your beard, you are not an honest man.'
PERSONAL INVECTIVE OF MR. PITT AND MR.
FOX, IN THE DEBATE ON THE IRISH PROPOSI-
Mr. Pitt REPLIED to Mr. Sheridan in a style considerably marked with invective. He charged that gentleman with inconsistency, and with having for many weeks concealed his intentions so effectually, as to leave it a doubt whether he were friendly or inimical to the proposed arrangement. But the conduct of Mr. Sheridan was not to be wondered at, when it was remembered bow inconsistent all the measures of the party, of which he was the mouth, were in themselves, and how inconsistent the persons who composed that party were with each other. Still their pursuits, however various and contradictory, had one uniform tendency. Whether they reprobated on this day what they had approved on the preceding, or whether one individual differed from or coincided with the rest of his associates, still the effects of all their efforts, of the artful silence of one man, and the prolix declamations of another, were to be the same; to embarrass and confound the measures of administration, to embroil and disunite the
affections of their fellow-subjects; to excite groundless alarms, and foment the most dangerous discontents. Mr. Pitt enlarged with some humour on the pains which gentlemen had taken to deprecate in their speeches any imputation of inflammatory or dangerous intentions. It was not for him to determine whether their intentions were really so bad as they seemed apprehensive they should appear. On the present occasion, however, he predicted they would have no occasion to exult. The proposition, which so much pains had been taken to wrest, instead of being in. sidious with respect to Ireland, was a virtual recognition of her complete emancipation. With respect to the light in which the system would be regarded in that country, he would answer with the boldness which became him, and he would not scruple to say, that as far as probability would go on such an occasion, it certainly would be received with gratitude and joy. An enlightened and liberal nation would not suffer itself to become a dupe to the designs of a set of men, who having exerted all their industry for the space of five months in alarming every interest in this country against the original propositions, were now, with equal diligence, employing the same violent methods for creating a similar opposition in Ireland, against the modification applied by the British house of commons. Their conduct was not in reality dictated by a friendship to one country or to the other; but by a desire to embroil the legislatures of both, and to defeat a measure which was necessary to the public tranquillity and permanent welfare of the empire. To