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Archibald Edmondstone, baronet," (the fitting member): this too paffed in the negative.
It ought, however, to be obferved, on this cafe, That Mr. Seton did not produce any authority from captain Elphinftone, to appear as his agent, or to make an application for longer time in his name: that it was on this ground, that the motion for examining him, was rejected that the question produced a divifion: and that, after all, many of captain Elphinftone's friends, in the house, thought that he might ftill apply, himself, for leave to petition, on his return to England, and that the houfe would grant it. In fact, although he returned foon afterwards, he never made any fuch appli cation.
• II. When a new petition is prefented, complaining of an élection already petitioned againft in the former feffion, the new petition must be the same in substance with the former; that is, it must not contain any new allegations. If it does, it will not be received. On a moment's reflection it will be evident, that this rule is neceffary, in order to give to perfons in poffeffion of feats in parliament, the full advantages intended by the order for the limitation of the time of petitioning against them; and, though, I believe, there is no general refolution or order for it, it is understood to be the established law of parliament, and has been fo for at leaft near a century. See the Cafes of St. Ives. (14th December, 1694,) Reading, (15th of the fame month,) Wigan, (31ft January, 1699-1700,) and Mitchel (5th and 6th March, 1699-1700 ;) in which the committees of privileges and elections were discharged from proceeding on renewed petitions, because they were not the fame in fubftance with those originally prefented. The reader will recollect, that, after the cause concerning the validity of the return for the borough of Morpeth had been decided last year, leave was given to Mr. Eyre, and the electors, to petition, within a fortnight from the time of the decifion, on the merits of the election: and that, accordingly, Mr. Eyre did prefent a petition on the merits. The day fixed for taking his petition into confideration, was the 12th of July, 1775. Before that time, the parliament rofe. He therefore had liberty to re-petition at the beginning of the last session, and actually did fo, on the 31st of October, 1775; when an order was made for taking his new petition into confideration on the 26th of January following. On comparing this petition with that of the former feffion, it was thought to contain certain new allegations. Upon this, it was moved in the house, on the 23d of November, 1775, that a committee fhould be appointed to examine, whether the two petiN 4
tions of Mr. Eyre, were the fame in fubftance; and, after fome debate on the subject, a committee was appointed. One of the objections urged against the appointment of this committee was, that the matter was taken up too late; that the difference (if there really was a fubftantial difference) between the two petitions, fhould have been obferved when the laft was prefented; that now, a day, for chufing a committee to try the cause, having been fixed, the house could no longer take any original cognifance of the matter; but that it fhould be left to the committee to be chofen under Mr. Grenville's act, to discover the fuppofed variance, and report it to the houfe. This objection was over-ruled; and, as it should feem, with reason, because it is as juft, that the house, after a new petition has been received, and a day named for taking it into confideration, fhould be able, on the suggestion of an effential variation from the former, to take the proper measures for enquiring into that point, and, if neceffary, for difcharging entirely the order appointing a day for taking it into confider. ation, as that, after fuch order, they fhould have it in their power to put an end to the cause, by giving leave to the party to withdraw his petition.The very day after the committee of enquiry was appointed in the prefent cafe, Mr. Eyre applied for, and obtained, leave to withdraw bis; upon which, the order appointing the committee of enquiry was dif charged.
III. The last rule I fhall mention is with regard to cafes where, the fame perfon being returned for two places, there is a petition againft his election for one of them. Such perfon cannot choose which he will ferve for, till the merits of the election complained of are decided; because, till then, it cannot be ascertained, that he was legally chofen for both places. It is improper that a perfon who has been thus double-returned should, in any inftance, make his option before the fortnight for petitioning is expired, becaufe till then either of his elections may be complained of; and if, on a complaint concerning one of them, it should be decided, that fuch election was void, hẹ would be under a neceflity of reprefenting the other place. But the matter is carried ftill farther. If a petition has been prefented in a former feffion, against a perfon double-returned; and there has been no trial during that feffion, the petitioners have a fortnight at the beginning of the next to renew their complaint now, in fuch a cafe, although the member should make his election to ferve for the place where his right is not difputed, yet the house will not order a warrant for a new writ to fill the feat he may have declined, till the expiration of the fortnight; unless, perhaps, the former petitioners were them
felves to inform the house that they wave their right, and do not intend to renew their petition.-In the first feffion of this parliament, several freeholders of the county of Westmoreland petitioned the house, complaining of the election of fir James Lowther, bart. for that county. There was no trial of this caufe before the end of the feffion. On the 11th day of the fortnight, in the last feffion, "The speaker acquainted the houfe, that he had received a letter from fir James Lowther, who was prevented by, illness from attending his duty in the houfe, to inform him, that (having received information from the feveral perfons who were the petitioners from the county of Westmoreland in the last feffion of parliament, that they will not renew their petition) he, being chofen a knight of the fhire to serve in this prefent parliament for the county of Cumberland, and alfo a knight of the fhire for the county of Westmoreland, made his election to serve for the faid county of Cumberland.
And a motion being made, and the queftion being propofed, That Mr. Speaker do iffue his warrant to the clerk of the crown, to make out a new writ for the electing of a knight of the shire to ferve in this prefent parliament for the county of Westmoreland, in the room of the faid fir James Lowther,
"The house was moved, That the petition of feveral freeholders of the county of Westmoreland, who have thereunto fubfcribed their names, which was prefented to the house upon the 17th day of December, in the laft feffion of parliament, might be read.
And the fame was read accordingly.
"Then the question being put, That Mr. Speaker do iffue his warrant to the clerk of the crown, to make out a new writ, for the electing of a knight of the fhire to ferve in this prefent parliament for the county of Westmoreland, in the room of the faid fir James Lowther;
"It paffed in the negative."
The method here taken of communicating the intention of the former petitioners to drop their complaint, was not thought fufficient to juftify the houfe in ordering a new writ. There was no immediate information in the name of the petitioners themselves. On the 13th of November, the fortnight being expired, and no renewed petition having been prefented, a new writ was ordered for Weftmoreland.'
These two volumes contain eleven cafes of controverted elections, beginning with that of the borough of Petersfield, in the county of Southampton, and ending with the election for the county of Fife in Scotland. Subjoined are Supplements
ments to the Cafes of Hindon and Shaftesbury; with an Appendix, containing the ftatutes relative to the mode of judicature. The whole forms a valuable compilation on this important fubject, interesting not only to lawyers, and members of parliament, but to every gentleman who would study the constitution of his country.
Letters from Lord Rivers to Sir Charles' Cardigan, and to other
AN accomplished young nobleman, and a young lady, who
had been placed under his protection, are in love with each other. The former conceals his paffion, from a determination not to expose himself to the difdain or the tyranny of beauty. The latter thinks it inconfiftent with female delicacy and decorum to be in love, or to discover her attachment, before the man, who is the object of her peculiar efteem, is infpired with a reciprocal affection, and has avowed his paffion. In this interefting, this critical fituation, these two lovers continue for fome time; till their friends and their own hearts make a full discovery of their mutual inclinations. Their happiness is then completed by their marriage.
It is ufual with fome fplenetic writers to declaim against the depravity of the prefent age, as if it were more corrupt and wicked than any former one. Our author very properly explodes thefe groundless declamations:
Whence have you adopted the idea, that formerly men thought, or acted, better than they do at prefent? You certainly took it not from history. I allow that the oldest writer we know treats his cotemporaries as a degenerate race; and that in every age the prefent progeny are charged with new, and depraved manners; with having loft all the glorious virtue of their ancestors. But read the difmal annals of human nature; they will prefent to you in all times, at least, substantially, the vices which now subfift; the virtues which are now exerted. Different ages have been distinguished by different errors. Our forefathers have fucceffively changed their laws, their customs, their notions, their prejudices, and their modes. But his nature, Charles! can man change his nature? Is it not the last extreme of folly to fuppofe that he can ?
Attached to the age in which I was born, I will not join my voice to the clamours of thofe pretended fages, who decry the prefent times merely from irritability, and impatience of
temper. I anticipate, with pleasure, the encomiums with which pofterity will honour the prefent æra; encomiums which are now denied it, only becaufe it exifts. Our defcendants, I doubt not, will praise our modefty, our difinterestedness, our equity, our intellect, and our wit :-the regularity of our manners;-perhaps the aufterity of our principles and in imitation of their predeceffors, will propofe us as refpectable models of every quality that is good, and of every talent that is great.'
In a subsequent letter the ingenious author pursues the subject, and accounts for men's partial estimate of the manners of the times.
• Sir Maurice hath feen four generations: and he hath seen them grow abominably perverfe, and corrupt.-They fucceffively funk beneath each other in degeneracy. And can you gravely affent to this prejudice? Can you write a serious differtation on this dotage?
Might we not, my friend, more juftly fuppofe a revolution in the ideas of your great uncle, than this extreme depravity in his cotemporaries? Is it not more probable that the tone of his mind is changed, than that all men are pufillanimous, and licentious? If I fee a traveller ftumble, at almost every step, on a road, in which others, and myself walk with out any impediment, fhall I think it rough, and unpaffable?
Believe me, my friend, during the courfe of a long life, our defires, and our paffions are the changeable objects. The world; I mean, mankind, and other external objects, are the fame; but from our predominant difpofition of mind, while we furvey them, they derive a temporary complexion and af pect. We determine their character as they are reflected on our prefent fentiments :-we forget our past affections; and we do not anticipate those that we fhall feel in a lapfe of time.
As we feel before we think, fo we enjoy before we eftimatę. When we first go abroad into the world, we look around with curiofity, and pleafure; and we admire before we examine. The charm of novelty makes every thing enchanting to youth for the folace of that gay feason of life, nature feems to be difplayed, animated, and adorned. Every object tben flatters; every object then interefts our felf-love. The vivacity of the fenfes; the active emotion of the paffions; the powerful attraction of pleafure, multiply our defires, and our enjoyments. One plea fure enjoyed promifes a greater! What an Elyfian world is prefented to our view! What various and transporting delights it yields to its inhabitants!
¿ By degrees, we are not fatisfied with real and immediate pleasure the meteors of imagination lead us aftray from truth;