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itself, to exercise this high power. The first consideration then was, the competency or incompetency of the House to do such an act; for. if it was not competent, t'ie beneficence of the intention, or the goodness of the constitution they were about to give, would avail nothing. A body of rights, commonly called the rights of man, imported from a neighbouring country, was lately set up by some persons in this, as paramount to all other rights. This new code was— "That all men are by nature free, equal in respect of rights, "and continue so in society" Jf this code were admitted, then the power of the House could extend no farther than to pall together all the inhabitants of Canada, and recommend to then) the free choice of a constitution for themselves.— On what then was this House to found its competence? There was another code on which men in all ages had acted, viz.. the Law of Nations, and on this code he thought the competence cf the House must rest. This country had acquired the power of legislating for Canada by right of conquest; and in virtue of that right, all the rights and duties of the old Government had devolved on us. In the second p!.ice, came the right by the celrion of the old Government; find in the third, the right of poflelsion, which we had held for about thirty years. All these, according to the law of pations, enabled us to legislate for the people of Canada, bound us to afford them an equitable government, and them to allegiance. Setting aside then the doctrine of the lights of men, which was never preached any where without milchief, thp House was bound to give to the people of Canada the best government that their local situation and their connection with this country would admit. How was this to be done? He could not refer to the experience of old governments, for that was exploded by the academies of Paris and the clubs of London, who saw too much by the light of their new lantern to have recourse to any other. The gteat examples to he considered, were the constitutions of America, of France, and of Great Britain. To th t of America great attention, no doubt, was due, because it was of importance that the people of Canada should have nothing to envy in the constitution of a country so near to their own. Situation and circumstances were first to be considered—Noh mihi res fed rebus n.e fubmitlere conor. They were not to imitate the examples of countries that had disregarded circumstances, toin asunder the bonds of society, and even the ties of nature. In the local situation, was there any tiling to give a preference to the American constitution, or in the habits of the people? Part of the province was inhabited chiefly by persons who had migrated from the United states. These men had fled from the blessings of American government, and there

was was no danger of their going back. There might be many causes of emigration not connected with Government, such at a more fertile soil, or more genial climate; but they had forsaken al! tiie advantages of a more fertile foil, and more southern latitude, for the blea'k and barren regions of Canada. There was no danger of their being so much (hocked by the introduction of the British constitution, as to return. The people of America had, he believed, formed a constitution as well adapted to their circumstances as they could. But, compared with the French, they had a ceitain quantity of phlegm of old Lnglish good nature, that fitted them better for a republican Government. They had also a republican eduction: their former internal Government was republican, and tue principles and vices of it were restrained by the beneficence of an over-ruling Monarchy in this country. The formation of their constitution was preceded by a long war, in the course of which, by military discipline, they learned order, submission to command, and a regard for great man. They leaned what, if it was allowable in so enlightened an age as the prelent to allude to antiquity, a King of Sparta had said was tiægre.-it wisdom to be learned in liis country — "to command and to obey. They were trained to government by war, not by plots, murders, and assassinations. In the next place, they had not the materials of monarchy or aristocracy among them. They did not, however, set up the abs urdity that the nation fliould govern the nation; that Prince Prettyman stiould govern Prince Prettyman; but formed their government, as near as they could, according to the model of the British constitution. Ytt he did not say, give this constitution to a Britisti colony, because if the i nitation of the British constitution was so good, why not give them the thing itself; as he who professed to sing like a nightingale, was told by the person to whom he offered his talents, that he could hear the nightingale herself. Hence he thought the greater number of inhah tants of that description, would have no objection to the British constitution; and the British inhabitants were probably not so much corrupted by the clubs of London, and the academies of Paris, as to think any form of government preferable to an old one. The ancient Canadians were next to be considered, and being the most numerous, they were entitled to the greatest attention. Were we to give them the French constitution—a constitution founded on principles diametrically opposite to to ours, that could not assimilate with it in a single point; as different from it as wisdom from folly, as vice from virtue, as the most opposite extremes in nature—a constitution founded on what was called the rights of man? But let this constitution be examined by its practical effects in the Frenc,b

West

West-India colonies. These, notwithstanding three disastrous wars, were most happy and flourishing till they heard of the rights of men. As soon as this system arrived among them, Pandora's box, replete with every mortal evil, seemed to fly open; hell itself to yawn, and every dæmon of mischief to overspread the face of the earth. Blacks rose against whites, whites against blacks, and each against one another in murderous hostility; subordination was destroyed, the bonds of society torn asunder, and each man seemed to thirst for the blood of his neighbour;

"Black spirits and white,

"Blue spirits and gray,

"Mingle, mingle, mingle."

All was toil and trouble, discord and blood, fiom the moment that this doctrine was promulgated among them ; and he verily believed, that wherever the rights of men were preached, such ever had been and ever would be the consequences.— France, who had generoufly sent them the precious gift of the rights of men, did not like this image of herself reflected in her child, and sent out a body of troops, well seasoned too with the rights of men, to restore order and obedience. These troops, as soon as they arrived, instructed as they were in the principle of government, felt themselves bound to become parties in the general rebellion, and like most of their brethren at home, began asserting their rights by cutting off the head of their General. Mr. Burke read the late accounts from St. Domingo, delivered to the National Assembly, and added, that by way of equivalent for thin information, M. Barnave announced the return of the Members of the late Colonial Asst-mbly to the true principles of the constitution 1 he Members of an Assembly no longer in existence had bequeathed their return to the principles of the constitution as their last act and deed as a body, and this was an equivalent for all the horrors occasioned by troops joining in a rebellion which they were sent to quell. Ought this example to induce us to fend to Out colonies a cargo of the rights of men? As soon would he lend them a bale of infected cotton from Marseilles. It we had (0 little regard for any of our colonies, as to give them that, for tht- fake of an experiment, which we would not take to ourselves,— if we were for periculum in corpore vilt, let us think how it would operate at home Let us consider the effects of the F rench constitution on France, a constitution on which he looked not with approbation but with horror, as involving every principle to be dttested, and pregnant with every consequence to be dreaded and abominated, and the use which they proposed to make of it. They had told us themselves, Vol. XXIX. T t and

and their partizam in this country, the Revolution and the Unitarian Socities, had told us, that they had erected a great monument for the instruction of mankind. This was certainly done, not without a view to imitation. Let us fee what we were to he called on to imitate; what were the last acts of the contrivers of this glorious form of Government. There were here no doubts of the facts, forthey were related by the authors; and there were cases in which the falsest of men might he believed, namely, when they gave a true character of themselves. When they had got a constitution, moulded according to the newest pattern of the rights of man; when they had got a King, who was every thing in name, and nothing in reality, over whom, as a State prisoner, the Marquis de la Favette, the chief jailer of Paris, mounted guard: he wa< desirous of taking a little fresh air, and a little recreation in the country, a::d they granted him a day rule to go five miles fr^m Paris. But then recollecting, as it is the quality of the rights of men never to be secure, that this temporary release from imprisonment might afford the means of escape, they surrounded his carriage, commanded him to stop, and one of the grenadiers of his faithful and loyal body guard presented his bjyonet to the breast of the fore horse

Mr.Baker Mr. Baker here called Mr. Burke to order. He said he had sat many years in Parliament, and no man entertained a higher opinion ot the integrity and abilities of the right honourable gentleman than he difl. His eloquence was great, and his powers, on many occasions, had been irresistible. His abilities might enable him to involve the House in unnecessarv altercation: this, perhaps, the right honourable gentleman might do unwittingly for others, and not to serve any purpose ot his own; he himself, perl.aps, might be the ■unwilling instrument, and might involve the country itself in a contest with another nation; he could not, therefore, sit any longer, without calling him to order; and he should insist upon evpry person adhering to the question, and that the Chairman stare what {he question before the Committee was. He said he had no objection, on any occasion, when questions of this sort came properly before the House, fairly and fully, openly and explicitly, to state his opinion. He had called the right honourable gentleman to order, merely for the fake of the House, and of the peace of the country; and he had a right to say, that the right honourable gentleman's cofiduct was inconsistent with the order of debate, and the regularity of the proceedings of that House.

The Chairman stated that thequestion before the Committee was, whether the clauses of the Quebec bill should be read paragraph by paragraph.

Mr.

Mr. Fcx now rose and said, that he conceived his right Mr. Fox. honourable friend could hardly be said to be out of orikr. It seemed that this was a day of privilege, when any body inig'it Hand u'>, select his mark, and abuse any govern? inent lie pleased, whether it had any reference or not to the point in qu stion. Although no body had said a word on the subject of the French revolution, his right honourable, friend had gotten up and abused that event. He might have treated the Cientoo government, or that of China, cr the government of Turkey, or the laws of Confucius, precisely in the same manner, and with equal appositeness to the question beiore the House. Every gentleman had a right that day to abuse the government of every country as much as he pleased, and in as gross terms as he thought proper, or any government, either antier.t or modern, with his right . honourable friend.

Mr. Burke replied that, the honourable gentleman's con- Mr. elusion was very ill drawn from his premises. If he was . Burke, disorderly he was sorry for it. His right honourable friend had also accused him of abusing governments in very gross terms. He conceived his right honourable friend meant to abuse him in unqualified terms. He had called him to an account for the decency and propriety of his expressions. Mr. Burke said he had been accuied of creating dissention among nations. He never thought the National Assembly was imitated so well as in the debate then going on. M. Cazales could never utter a single sentence in that Assembly without a roar.

Mr. As. A. Taylor spoke to order. He thought the dis- Mr. M, cussion was carried forward to no good purpose. He said, A. Tayhe revered and respected the character of his friend. They lor. came to argue the question on the Quebec bill; they were not discussing the English constitution, but whether, in fact, they ought to give the British constitution to Canada; and if they ought to give it, whether the present bill gave it. Y^hen he should be permitted to give his opinion, he should endeavour to lhewthat the l?ill did not give our constitution to that country. He said, he must insist on the rule of order. They were then discussing whether it would he right to give Canada our own constitution; and secondly, it it were right to give it, whether that bill had given it.

Mr. Burke submitted to the Committee whether he was Mr. or was not in order. The question was, whether the bill Burke, was then to he read paragraph by paragraph. It was in a fair way in reasoning to see what experiments had been made in other countries. His right honourable feiend had said that no body had the least idea of borrowing any thing of the French revolution in the bill. Mr. Burke atked how his

T t 2 right

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