Page:American History Told by Contemporaries, v2.djvu/407

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No. 132]
Wilke's North Briton

must by this time be ashamed of; for he has been brought to confess the total want of that knowledge, accuracy and precision, by which such immense advantages, both of trade and territory, were sacrificed to our inveterate enemies. These gross blunders, are, indeed, in some measure set right by the Definitive Treaty ; yet the most important articles, relative to cession, commerce, and the Fishery, remain as they were, with respect to the French. The proud and feeble Spaniard too does not renounce, but only desists from all pretensions, which he may have formed, to the right of fishing—where? Only about the island of Newfoundland—till a favourable opportunity arises of insisting on it, there, as well as elsewhere.

The minister cannot forbear, even in the King's Speech, insulting us with a dull repetition of the word œconomy. I did not expect so soon to hear that word again, after it had been so lately exploded, and more than once by a most numerous audience, hissed off the stage of our English theatres. It is held in derision by the voice of the people, and every tongue loudly proclaims the universal contempt, in which these empty professions are held by this nation. Let the public be informed of a single instance of œconomy, except indeed in the houshold. . . . Lord Ligonier is now no longer at the head of the army ; but lord Bute in effect is ; I mean that every preferment given by the crown will be found still to be obtained by his enormous influence, and to be bestowed only on the creatures of the Scottish faction. The nation is still in the same deplorable state, while he governs, and can make the tools of his power pursue the same odious measures. Such a retreat, as he intends, can only mean the personal indemnity, which, I hope, guilt will never find from an injured nation. The negociations of the late inglorious peace and the excise, will haunt him wherever he goes, and the terrors of the just resentment which he must be sure to meet from a brave and insulted people, and which must finally crush him, will be for ever before his eyes.

In vain will such a minister, or the foul dregs of his power, the tools of corruption and despotism, preach up in the speech that spirit of concord, and that obedience to the laws, which is essential to good order. They have sent the spirit of discord through the land, and I will prophecy, that it will never be extinguished, but by the extinction of their power. Is the spirit of concord to go hand in hand with the peace and excise, through this nation? Is it to be expected between an insolent Exciseman, and a peer, gentleman, freeholder, or farmer, whose private