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rejoicing that have been wont to justify our exultations upon former occasions? I own, Sir, they strike me in a direct contrary point of view, and when I am called on to rejoice, before I put on my wedding suit, I shall first enquire, whether I am called to celebrate a marriage or a funeral. When I am desired to illuminate, I shall first endeavour to learn whether it is to light me to a feast or a sepulchre. For, Sir, if the solemnity of a death-bed declaration has any claims to veracity or sincerity, I should have no hesitation, were I to make it at this moment, to assert my firm persuasion and belief, that my Honourable Friends, in signing this peace, have put their signatures to the death-warrant of their country. I know, Sir, the inconstancy of human affairs, and I am not profane enough to set bounds to the dispensations of Providence neither can I pretend precisely to foresee what different changes may be wrought in the dispositions of the people of England by intrigues from without, or convulsions from within. But upon no rational view that I can take of this subject, nor any prospect to which my discernment enables me to look, can I see my way out of the evils it will entail upon my country. The only one thing which France wanted ⚫ to permit her to divide with you the empire of the seas was a participation of your commerce, to enable her to extend her navy. This participation she will have effectually secured by this peace, while, by the surrender of your conquests, you will have thrown out of your hands the only means to prevent this

aggrandisement, the extension of your colonial system. What the motives were that induced His Majesty's ministers to conclude these Preliminaries under existing circumstances in Europe, I know not precisely. Some of those motives I have heard. But they do not convince me ; on the contrary, they appear wholly insufficient.

This is all that is necessary for me to say at present; but if those who have concluded this peace will shew me it is a safe one for England, I shall ask them no farther reasons; but if we were really driven to this Peace by any fatal necessity, if His Majesty's ministers have been forced to accept it through any inability of resorting to alternatives, their conduct is the more excuseable, and we have to thank them, not for what they have acquired, but for what they have saved for their country. If they have yielded to necessity, instead of censure they may deserve thanks. Instead of censure for what they have given up, they may be entitled to gratitude for what they have preserved. If they can shew that they have, by ceding foreign colonies, saved objects nearer and dearer to us; if they have saved Portsmouth, and Plymouth, and Ireland; if they have preserved the soil of England from ravage and devastation, they will establish, not an apology, but a claim to thanks. Such a plea, however, I do not recognize. How far they were actuated by such necessity, will be a matter for future discussion: for the present I shall not feel it necessary to trespass longer on the attention of the house.

Mr.Addington (Chancellor of the Exchequer) shortly defended the grounds on which the Peace had been concluded, but declined discussing the Preliminaries till a future day. future day. Mr. Sheridan said he should vote for the Address, and described the Peace to be one which every man was glad of, but no man could be proud of.

The motion for the Address was put and carried without a division.


Strahan and Preston, Printers-Street, London.


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