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I voted last session, if a particular vote could be distinguished, in unanimity, for an establishment of the church of England conjointly with the establishment which was made some years before by act of parliament, of the Roman Catholic, in the French conquered country of Canada. At the time of making this English ecclesiastical establishment, we did not think it necessary for its safety, to destroy the for. mer Gallican church settlement. In our first act we settled å government altogether monarchical, or nearly 80. In that system, the Canadian Catholics were far from being deprived of the advantages or distinctions, of any kind, which they enjoyed under their former monarchy. It is true, that some people, and amongst them one eminent divine, predicted at that time, that by this step we should lose our dominions in America. He foretold that the pope would send his indulgences hither; that the Canadians would fall in with France; would declare independence, and draw or force our colonies into the same design. The independence happened according to his prediction; but in directly the reverse order. All our English Protestant colonies revolted. They joined themselves to France: and it so happened that Popish Canada was the only place which preserved its fidelity; the only place in which France got no footing; the only peopled colony which now remains to Great Britain. Vain are all the prognostics taken from ideas and passions, which survive the state of things which gave rise to them. When last year we gave a popular representation to the same Canada, jy the choice of the landholders, and an aristocratic representation, at the choice of the crown, neither was the choice of the crown, nor the election of the landholders, limited by a consideration of religion. We had no dread for the Protestant church, which we settled there, because
we permitted the French Catholics, in the utmost latitude of the description, to be free subjects. They are good subjects, I have no doubt; but I wil not allow that any French Canadian Catholics are better men or better citizens than the Irish of the same communion. Passing from the extremity of the west to the extremity almost of the east; I have been many years (now entering into the twelfth) employed in supporting the rights, privileges, laws, and immunities, of a very remote people. I have not as yet been able to finish my
task. I have struggled through much discouragement and much opposition, much obloquy, much calumny, for a people with whom I have no tie, but the common bond of mankind. In this I have not been left alone. We did not fly from our undertaking, because the people are Mahometans or Pagans, and that a great majority of the Christians amongst them are Papists. Some gentlemen in Ireland, I dare say, have good reasons for what they may do, which do not occur to me. I do not presume to condemn them: but thinking and acting as I have done, towards these remote nations, I should not know how to show my face, here or in Ireland, if I should say that all the Pagans, all the Mussulmen, and even all the Papists, (since they must form the highest stage in the climax of evil,) are worthy of a liberal and honourable condition, except those of one of the descriptions, which forms the majority of the inhabitants of the country in which you and I were born. If such the Catholics of Ireland,-ill-natured and unjust people, from our own data, may be inclined not to think better of the Protestants of a soil, which is supposed to infuse into its sects a kind of venom unknown in other places.
You hated the old system as early as I did. Your first juvenile lance was broken against that giant. I think you were even the first who attacked the grim phantom. You have an exceedingly good understanding, very good humour, and the best heart in the world. The dictates of that temper and that heart, as well as the policy pointed out by that understanding, led you to abhor the old code. You abhorred it, as I did, for its vicious perfection. For I must do it justice: it was a complete system, full of coherence and consistency; well digested and well composed in all its parts. It was a machine of wise and elaborate contrivance; and as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment, and degradation of a people, and the debasement, in them, of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.
It is a thing humiliating enough, that we are doubtful of the effect of the medicines we compound. We are sure of our poisons. My opinion ever was, in which I heartily agreed with those that admired the old code,) that it was so constructed, that if there was once a breach in any essential part of it, the ruin of the wholo, or nearly of the
344 A LETTER TO SIR HERCULES LANGBISHE, M. P. whole, was, at some time or other, a certainty. For that reason I honour, and shall for ever honour and love
and those who first caused it to stagger, crack, and gapeOthers may finish; the beginners have the glory; and, take what part you please at this hour, (I think you will take the best,) your first services will never be forgotten by a grateful country. Adieu! Present my best regards to those I know, and as many as I know in our country, I honour. There never was so much ability, nor, I believe, virtue, in it. They have a task worthy of both. I doubt not they will perform it, for the stability of the church and state, and for the union and the separation of the people: for the union of the honest and peaceable of all sects ; for their separation from all thai is ill-intentioned and seditious in any of them.
Beaconsfield, January 3, 1792.
HINTS FOR A MEMORIAL
TO BE DELIVERED TO
MONSIEUR DE M. M.
WRITTEN IN THE EARLY PART OF 1791.
The king, my master, from his sincere desire of keeping up a good correspondence with his most Christian Majesty, and the French nation, has for some time beheld with concern the condition into which that sovereign and nation have fallen.
Notwithstanding the reality and the warmth of those sentiments, his Britannic Majesty has hitherto forborne in any manner to take part in their affairs, in hopes that the common interest of king and subjects would render all parties sensible of the necessity of settling their government, and their freedom, upon principles of moderation; as the only means of securing permanence to both these blessings, as well as internal and external tranquillity, to the kingdom of France, and to all Europe.
His Britannic Majesty finds, to his great regret, that his hopes have not been realized. He finds, that confusions and disorders have rather increased than diminished, and that they now threaten to proceed to dangerous extremities.
In this situation of things, the same regard to a neighbouring sovereign living in friendship with Great Britain, the same spirit of good
will to the kingdom of France, the same regard to the general tranquillity, which have caused him to view, with concern, the growth and continuance of the present disorders, have induced the king of Great Britain to interpose his good offices towards a reconcilement of those unhappy differences. This his Majesty does with the most cordial regard to the good of all descriptions concerned, and with the most periect sincerity, wholly removing from his royal mind all memory of every circumstance which might impede him in the execution of a plan of benevolence which he has so inuch at heart.
His Majesty, having always thought it his greatest glory, that he rules over a people perfectly and solidly, because soberly, rationally, and legally, free, can never be supposed to proceed in offering thus his royal mediation, but with an unaffected desire, and full resolution, to consider the settlement of a free constitution in France, as the very basis of any agreement between the sovereign and those of his subjects who are unhappily at variance with him; to guarantee it to them, if it should be desired, in the most solemn and authentic manner,
and to do all that in him lies to procure the like guarantee from other powers.
His Britannic Majesty, in the same manner, assures the most Christian king, that he knows too well, and values too highly, what is due to the dignity and rights of crowned heads, and to the implied faith of treaties which have always been made with the Crown of France, ever to listen to any proposition by which that monarchy shall be despoiled of all its rights, so essential for the support of the consideration of the prince, and the concord and welfare of the people.
If, unfortunately, a due attention should not be paid to these his Majesty's benevolent and neighbourly offers, or, if any circumstances should prevent the most Christian king from acceding (as his Majesty has no doubt he is well disposed to do) to this healing mediation in favour of himself and all his subjects, his Majesty has commanded me to take. leave of this court, as not conceiving it to be suitable to the dignity of his crown, and to what he owes to his faithful people, any longer to keep a public minister at the court of å sovereign who is not in possession of his own liberty.