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« nothing should ever compel him particular occasions that the mo. “ to disclose the secret:-A decla- narch may be called on to give his “ ration," said Mr. Wilberforce, legislative sanction to such new laws “ which shows the very INFATUA as the people may deem advantageous * TION OF GUILT!"-I remain, to the future government of the coun
Your Wellwisher, try, but as the first general and the London, Feb. 10. Civis. first judge in the state, his duty is
incessant. I use the term judge, in
stead of minister of justice, in comOF THE KINGLY OFFICE.
pliance with common usage, the real
judges being or at least ought to be MR. EDITOR,
the jurymen. The kingly office there· The late proceedings in parliament fore is judicial as well as military; it respecting the king's incapacity, and is established to enforce the laws, as the consequent appointment of a re- well as to defend the kingdom, obpresentative of Majesty during its jects of the last importance, and ree continuance, present to the mind re- quiring extraordinary powers and flections which deserve something abilities; the management and dimore than a transient regard. rection of all foreign concerns is like
One party, inheriting the senti- wise confided to the King, who, as. ments and following the traces of the head of the government, mainMr. Pitt, seem to have thought the tains such relations and connections king cvery thing and the kingdom between the kingdom and foreign nothing : the other party, pursuing powers as he judges expedient: all a very different course chalked out these objects involve in their conse. by Mr. Fox, admitted that the sove- quences the lives and fortunes, the reign power was a trust vested in the happiness or the misery, of the whole chief magistrate for the benefit of the einpire. Such is the nature of the people.
kingly office; and one would think It is no wonder that the Pittites that its vital importance, with reviolated the constitution, since they spect to the interests of the country, seem entirely to have lost sight of ought not to have permitted any dethe office, and to have attended only scription of men, particularly minis to the man. The reason for this ters paid by the people, or parliaanticonstitutional preference is not mentary delegates representing them, difficult to discover; the office was to throw it so completely in the back only necessary for the nation; but ground, as to escape notice, whilst the man was indispensably requisite all the attention of the public was to answer the end of the party. sedulously excited to the personal
The constitution has vested in the misfortunes of the individual, renSovereign both an executive and a dered by an act of God totally un. legislative authority. The first of able to discharge those great duties, these, the executive, must be in a These persons seem to have consi. state of constant activity; because dered the kingdom as made for the
the peace of the kingdom at home, king, and not the king for the king, • and its security against danger from dom, and therefore were only anxious
abroad, comprehend all the objects to preserve an object, which they for which that executive power was thought contributed to bis Majesty's vested in the hands of the chief ma- gratification or amusement, ready gistrate; and these objects cannot for him, and at hand, whenever he be secured without an unremitted might feel himself able again to wield attention to the judicial and military the sceptre, however unsteadily he affairs of the nation. It is only on might wield it, or however incapable he might be of that regular intellec- ters respecting a case of insanity of qual exertion so necessary for the far greater consequence than that of occasion; as if that sceptre was a either a judge or a general; of a plaything that might be taken up person by whose approbation both and laid down again, when the party generals and judges act, one on whose was tired of it, or when any great discretion depends life and death, mischief was likely to happen, or peace and war, the happiness or the had actally occurred from this ca- misery of millions? What has been pricious and uncertain way of bear these mens conduct, let me askhave ing it.
they regarded the people, or the due Suppose a judge upon the bench exercise of the office, instituted for should, in the midst of his harangue the benefit of the people, or even the to the jury, be seized with a sudden suspension of its most important funcalienation of mind, and instead of ex- tions ? What have we heard of but plaining to them the law of the case, regard to his Majesty's personal scelshould enter into a grievous lamenta ings, that he might find himself in tion for the fate of London, in conse- the same state, and surrounded by quence of his taking it into his head the same attendants whenever a lucid that it had been under water for a fort interval enabled hiin to recognise night,* or suppose a general at the himself? That the office might await head of an army seized with a simi- the bearer thereof, and the crown bz lar alienation should mistake water found upon the royal pillow, when for dry land, and drown his men, or the royal sleeper awaked from bis at least attempt to drown them, by trance; that it might be the first thing ordering them to march into the sea, he saw, cre his eyes were well open, would not the world say that these and ready for him to put on his head, persons, however worthy they might as one may say, between sleeping be in other respects, I mean with and waking. Thus different in all regard to their private virtues, were respects is the practice and the theory yet unworthy and unfit to fill those of our government and constitution ; offices which they then exercised? different in the palace, different in Would any one think of giving as a the senate, different even in every reason for their continuance in func- little burough town in the kingdom. tions in which so much mischief Courtiers are an obsequious race of might be done by these interruptions men in all countries, but it might of intellectual sanity, that they were surely be expected that they would good busbands and fathers, or mild be more independent under a free masters, or devoutchristians? Would government, than under a despotic any man say that the cause should one; it might surely be supposed that be suspended till the judge had a a French courtier would not be surlucid interval, and was thereby ena- passed by an English one in these bled to resume his seat upon the mean and abject arts, yet this we bench, or that the army should halt are told was the case in the time of till the return of the general's senses Lord Bolingbroke, and it will not enabled him to distinguish dry land I presume be said by any man, that from water. I think, Mr. Editor, no we have changed for the better since man would say this, --no man at the his time. His lordship was well least who was not to the full as mad qualified to judge in this matter; he as either judge or general; but what lived in both countries, and he asI pray has been the conduct of minis- sures us that he had seen more ab
ject servility at St. James's, than * See the account in a former Political ever he beheld at Versailles, or, adds Review, Vol. VIII. p. 319.
he, “ than I believe was ever known " there, since the time of thatGascon, of a law maker, giving his assent to “ who being turned out at the doorseveral acts of parliament, in c011 "jumped in again at the window.” sequence of one full third part of the ,
It is easy to trace this obsequious. legislative authority, being vested ness in many things respecting the in him by the constitution, Will King's malady: :hough all men not the world read with astonishknew what that malady was, no ment, that when his Majesty exerone, not even the physicians them- cised so large a portion of the legis. selves could find a proper name for lative authority, and the totality of it: it was (said one of them) some thatexecutive power which controuls thing between insanity and delirium, the British empire, he was himself but more approaching delirium than finder the controul of others, and that any thing else, for it never rose so when these men, these keepers from high as insanity: others talked of St. Luke's, who had at that time the " the integrity of the royal mind," custody of his royal person, were and of there being " no failure of withdiawn, in order that the Chan“ his Majesty's faculties:" it was ad cellor might take his orders unremitted however, that he entertained strained, it was deemed not perfectcertain “ erroneous views of things,” ly safe for his lordship to be left a modern phrase to express raving! alone with him. Let us hear what and that the disorder was similar to that Chancellor himself says, or at that of 1789, when, as you have in- least is reported to say, in the formed us, his Majesty firmly be- Morning Chronicle of the 29th of lieved that London had been under last month, given as part of his water for å fortnight. The same speech in the house of Lords the means of coercion too, that had been preceding day: he said, that “ he practiced on former occasions, were “remembered a great man, now no also resorted to on this, but it may“ more, Mr. Pitt, had expressed be questioned notwithstanding all “his astonishment, when he found these circumstances (far more than “that he had never seen his Majessufficient truly, to decide the case "ty except in the absence of those of a common man, and transfer his " who had been in the habit of conproperty tobis next of kin) whether " trouling him. He knew the danour ministers would not have con- "gers of this proceeding, but he had sidered his Majesty qualified to reign o determined to see his Sovercign. over us, if he could but have used "and judge of his complaint when bis two fore fingers and thumb; for 6 he was free from restraint,” &c. it seems that in the year 1804, So then his Majesty governed this when he was afflicted with the same country when he was thought so disorder, was attended by some of unable to govern himself, that his the same physicians, and under the own ministers, persons the best accocrcion and controul of Doctor quainted with the state he was in, Simmons and his keepers from St. thought their persons in danger when Luke's, -it appears, that during all they came within his grasp: this that time, there was no interruption was the state in which he exercised of the royal authority; military a third portion of the legislative auoperations were carried on by land thority, as much as falls to the share and by sca; criminals were execu- of either the house of Lords or Comted, reprieved, and pardoned; as- mons, and the whole of the execu. signments were made of the crown tive. And this, according to the lands; places and pensions granted, Lord Chancellor, is government acand what is more than all the rest, cording to the law of England, for his Majesty exercised the functions said this great law oracle on a for
mer occasion, “ the King's political the brute creation. This is the Pit" capacity continues the same in tite doctrine of monarchy, and I " infancy, infirmity, age, and des suppose they will say too, that it is, "crepitude."--Once a man and twice the doctrine of the constitution ; for a child, is a sage remark, pointing Piit and the constitution are syno; out the course of nature, but no in- nymous with these people; every firmities, natural or adventitious, opposition to their measures they can, according to the Chancellor's conceive to he sufficiently answered doctrine, affect the political cupacity by- Mr. Pitt said so, or did so, or of a crowned head, which conse- this is the precedent left, us hy the quently, I suppose, must be con- great statesman now no more! as if structed after a fashion different from that man had been the founder of other heads: puling intancy, in its our government, a greater lawgiver cradle, or superannuated and drivel- than the Great Alfred himself. The ling dotage, can afford, it should true constitutional doctrina is, howseem, according to this maxim, suf- ever, the doctrine of Mr. Fox, that ficient capacity for government in Monarchy is an office, a trust, deletbis free country: in America it is gated by the people, for their own somewhat different; but then they benefit, and not for the personal saare deprived in that country of all tisfaction, or ambition, or glory of the benefits resulting from the splen- him who holds it. This is an axiom dour of a throne! We have how- of the very highest importance, and ever, had nothing to do with Ame- it must afford great satisfaction to rica, for many years hack; that sub- the people to find it subscribed to ject is foreign to my purpose, which by the Prince of Wales. It is an adis to mark the difference between the vantage derived from honest old En
two systems, as maintained by the glish patriotism counteracting the · followers of two grea: statesmen, infectious servility too prevalent in
both now no more. The Lord Chan- courts, and which promises the most cellor, the mouth-piece of the Pit- happy results. I shall not trouble tites, says, the King's political ca. you with a string of quotations to pacity exists in spite of infancy, in- prove it to be a genuine, fundamental, firmity, or decrepitude, which I and I may indeed add, a necessary think must mean that he is able to and indispensable part of our free govern us before reason is formed in government, as it has in fact been of the mind, and after it has deserted every other government pretending it, and even during the time it may to freedom, ancient or modern. This be suspended ; that whether royalty is proved indeed, by the universality appears in a slabbering bib, or in a of a custom which has prşvailed in straight waistcoat, or in a senseless all free governments, of exacting trunk from which memory itself is from the Monarch a solemn pledge, departed, still it is royalty, and we or promise, that he will do certain are bound implicitly to obey it. Ac- things, in the exercise of his kingly cording to the great and learned office, deemed requisite and necesLord Eldon, there is a something sary for the good of his people, and that adheres to the sacred person which, by an appeal to heaven, he during its whole course of existence; promises to perform when invested in the childhood that precedes man with the sovereign authority: this is hood, as well as that which suc- the original contract alluded to in ceeds it, and when even manbood the vote of abdication in 1688, and itself may be said to be suspended, not that tacit convention, supposed by the interruption of that reason, by some philosophers, to have been which alone distinguishes us from coeval with the first existerice of $0
ciety: it is a reality, not a hypothesis, the office, or to continue to hold it; and properly called original, because as, if the king should turn catholic, it “ exceeds the memory of any be- or marry a catholic, or get a pre“ ginning." Agreeable then to this tended absolution from the pope, to primitive contract, the office or trust dispense him with keeping the vath, of King is to be discharged, and not as some kings have done; or if the otherwise; and if we consult the Prince, heir to the crown should compact, vulgarly called the coro- turn quaker, and refuse to take the nation oath, we shall find that though oath, or if the King should deny the it has been changed in form several christian faith, and renounce the times, according to the exigency of communion of she church of Encircumstances, yet it has always gland, or make war upon his peoaimed at the same object, the pre- ple by the aid of foreigners, as King servation of our ancient laws, fran- John did, with many other acts chises, and free customs. The last de- which might be mentioned in violaclaration of these fundamental laws tion of the compact between Prince and customs were what is called and people; in all which cases the the Bill of Rights, on which founda- office would be either entirely fortion the House of Brunswick were feited from offence, or suspended admitted to the throne, and vested from unfitness or disqualification, with the regal office, hereditarily, and consequently the throne in ei. on condition of preserving to us these ther case vacated. These are conseprivileges. The object in this whole quences naturally resulting-from the transaction was of an official nature, proposition that the Monarchy is an not a personal one: the family were office stipulated and contracted to quite strangers to us; his present be filled, or executed, in a certain Majesty is the very first of them way; but this the Pitrites deny; and who by birth could claim the name this denial goes to the very subverof an Englishman; and surely, these sion of a free or limited Monarchy: are circumstances, which, duly con- if they are consistent, it must lead sidered, make the Lord Chancellor's them to downright despotism, to a doctrine appear still more ridiculous. government, in fact, without check or The Prince, therefore, who holds constitution. He who is governed the British sceptre, must hold it by a King without such a check, conditionally, and officially, and no says one of the ancients, is governed otherwise. The first condition cer- by a man and a beast; and indeed I tainly is, that he must be compos do not see how it is possible that mentis ; for as he is to govern agree- such a government as that described able to certain fundamental laws by the principles promulgated by and free customs, a person who is the Lord Chancellor,could long connot of sound mind, is absolutely in. tinue, without degenerating into a competent to perform the office, and state very unworthy a society of ra. so it should seem too, would one be, tional beings, from the mere consethat was either in infancy or dotage. quences of those frailties and infirmi. There must be a rational state of ties which are the common lot of mind, such as is competent to take humanity.- -I intended when I sat an oath, understand it, and keep it, down to write, to offer some remarks for that is the pledge given in return on an unconstitutional doctrine very for the trust confided : there are dogmatically asserted by Lord Gren. many other conditions also requisite, ville, respecting the three estates of the failure in any of which is a the parliament, and also some reflecfailure of competency to undertake tions suggested by a facetious speech