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BOOK America determined to maintain her indepen XVIII. dency, he must doubtless have discovered, and 1778, could not but have submitted to, the necessity of recognizing it. It is exceedingly to be lamented, that personal and party considerations prevented that firm and cordial coalescence amongst the whigs in opposition to the court, which was so necessary to give efficacy to their exertio ns. The dislike of lord Chatham to the Newcastle or Rockingham party was invincible; and the divisions and animosities which originated in that dislike, and which his death was far from extinguishing, have at length terminated in what may be considered as the almost total ruin of the whig interest, and the final and complete triumph of the tories; at least till the calamities, which have never yet failed to result from a tory system of government in this country, shall again awaken the dormant spirit of whiggism in the nation, and consign the absurd, pernicious, and detestable maxims of tory government to public contempt and execration. But when a just allowance is made, and just allowance must be made for those imperfections from which no human character is exempt, lord Chatham will unquestionably rank as one of the greatest, most enlightened, and beneficent statesmen that ever adorned the annals of any age or country.

The distresses in which the kingdom of Ireland



was involved in consequence of the war, and the BOOK general and loud complaints of the bulk of its inhabitants, made it absolutely necessary to attempt something farther for its relief; and in a committee of the whole house it was resolved,

I. That the Irish might be permitted to export directly to the British plantations or settlements all goods, wares, and merchandize, being the produce of that kingdom, or of Great Britain, wool and woollen manufactures only excepted; as also foreign certificate goods legally imported.

II. That a direct importation be allowed of all goods, wares, and merchandize, being the produce of the British plantations, tobacco only excepted.

III. That the direct exportation of glass manu factured in Ireland be permitted to all places except Great Britain.

IV. That the importation of cotton yarn, the manufacture of Ireland, be allowed, duty free, into Great Britain; as also,

V. The importation of sail-cloth and cordage. These resolutions excited a very great and general alarm amongst the commercial part of the British nation, who seemed to consider the admission of Ireland to any participation in trade as equally destructive to their property, and subversive of their rights."



BOOK After the recess, very many instructions and petitions were presented to the house in opposition to them: and it deserves mention, as a striking instance of commercial folly and preju dice, that, in several of the petitions, the importation of Irish sail-cloth and of wrought iron is particularly specified as ruinous to the same. manufactures in England; though it was by this time discovered, that, by a positive law of long standing, Ireland was in actual possession of those very privileges, although the Irish were so far from being able to prosecute these manufac tures to any purpose of competition with the British, that great quantities of both were annually exported to that country from England. An almost equally great and equally groundless alarm had been taken at the bill, passed a few years since for the free importation of woollen. yarn into England; which was by experience found and acknowledged to be not merely innocuous, but beneficial; yet such influence had the apprehensions of the public upon the dispo sition of the house, that the bills founded on the resolutions actually passed were ultimately dismissed, and some trivial points only conceded, not meriting a distinct specification.

Late in the session, sir George Saville moved for leave' to bring in a bill for the repeal of cer tain penalties imposed by an act passed in the



10th of king WILLIAM, entitled An Act for BOOK preventing the farther Growth of Popery; which penalties the mover stated to be, the punishment 1778. of popish priests, or jesuits, as guilty of felony, who should be found to officiate in the services of their church; the forfeiture of estate to the next protestant heir, in case of the education of the romish possessor abroad; the power given to the son, or other nearest relation, being a protestant, to take possession of the father's estate during the life-time of the proprietor; and the depriving papists of the power of acquiring any legal property by purchase. In proposing the repeal of these penalties, sir George Saville said,


that he meant to vindicate the honor and assert the principles of the protestant religion, to which all persecution was foreign and adThe penalties in question were disgraceful, not only to religion, but to humanity. They were calculated to loosen all the bands of society, to dissolve all social, moral, and religious obligations and duties; to poison the sources of domestic felicity, and to annihilate every principle of honor." The motion was received, to the infinite credit of the house, with such high and marked approbation, that the bill founded upon it passed without a single negative, and soon afterwards acquired, by the cordial con


BOOK currence of the peers and the monarch, the force of a law,


About this time general Burgoyne returned to England, being released on his parole by congress; but he met, probably to his surprise, with a very cold and indifferent reception from the ministers, and, in a manner which clearly indicated his disgrace, was refused admission to the royal presence. The general, highly resenting this treatment, avenged himself by loud complaints in the house of commons of the misconduct of ministers, describing them as totally incompetent to sustain the weight of public affairs in the present critical and dangerous emergency. This mode of retaliation, however, contributed little to raise his character in the estimation of the public, who clearly discerned the real causes of his defection from the court, who were not ignorant that the plan of the Canada expedition had his entire previous approbation, and that, in the execution of it, his zeal was much more conspicuous than his judgment or discretion, In the sequel, he was ordered to re-join his troops in Am rica, whom, on various frivolous pretences, the congress refused to release till the convention of Saratoga was formally ratified by the court of Great Britain. With this injunction, though coming from the highest

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