« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
He will not be deterred, by a dread of the trouble and risk of a contest with Opposition, nor even by the apprehension of general unpopularity, from bringing forward any propofal which he deems, on a serious and impartial review of all the circumstances of the case, conducive to the public intereft. He will never decline to interweave into his plans an improvement suggested by his enemies, from a fear left they should arrogate to themselves the merit of the whole ; nor will he reject or difcountenance useful Bills introduced by them, from an unwillingness that the success of the measure should raise the proposers of it in general esteem. He will never support the unwise or iniquitous project of a colleague in office; nor be led, on principles of honour, todefend it, notwithstanding his conviction of its demerit, after it has been carried into effect. Ministers have been known publicly and in unqualified terms to applaud those
measures of a co-adjutor, which they have freely condemned: in private; and to applaud them with warmth increasing, as it should seem, in proportion to their consciousness of the weakness of the defence. An upright Minister will not
improperly submit to the popular cry and ferment of the day; nor ever give his sanction to that is radically immoral and unjust, however loudly it may be demanded by the voice of the Nation. If a sudden emergence requires him, in conformity to the discretion afforded him in certain cases by the spirit of the British Constitution, which deems particular laws subordinate to the general fafety, to transgress the letter of existing statutes; either in advising the issuing of royal proclamations; in the application of public money, or in any other instance; he will at once state the
proceeding to Parliament, and ask for indemnity. He will not wait to be dragged before the tribunal of the public, and disgracefully compelled to accept from his enemies, as a boon, what he might have claimed as a debt from national gratitude. In proposing taxes, rules of internal police, financial or commercial regulations, those especially which involve a multiplicity of oaths, he will not be more attentive to the prospect of revenue, than to the liberty, the comfort, the manners, and the morals of the people. He will not impede the reform of Public Institutions and Establishments, nor of Parliament itself, from an ap
prehension prehension lest his ministerial patronage and influence should thus be reduced. He will maintain and act on the principles which he has formerly maintained, as long as he continues persuaded of their folidity ; but if he should cease to believe them true, he will manfully avow the change in his sentiments, and the train of reasoning by which it has been effected. He will never suffer false shame, or a mistaken point of honour, to detain him in a wrong path, even though by abandoning it he should incur the charge of inconsistency.
For the sake of his own character, as well as on principles of general utility, he will be desirous, on every seasonable occasion, to draw aside that mysterious veil which commonly envelops the Statesman, and by the promise of concealment encourages him to criminality. He will studiously set an example of that system of publicity, which Ministers ought to be universally anxious to adopt; and which his successor in office may find means of avoiding, unless constrained to observe it by the authority of precedent. He will not involve his country in danger by unseasonable disclosures to Parliament, from the dread of subjecting
himself to the misrepresentations of his enemies. But he will be prompt to communicate to either House, without solicitation or delay, whatever he conceives may safely be laid before it; and whatever he deems himself for a time obliged in prudence to withhold, he will afterwards spontaneously and explicitly reveal. He will never refuse information through party spirit, through jealousy, through pride, through pique, or through resentment. Far froin regarding the superintendence of Parliament as burthensome, or wishing to obstruct by open resistance, or to elude by subterfuges and evasions, the exercise of its inquisitorial control; he will rejoice that its vigilant solicitude, however occasionally attended with symptoms of unnecessary distrust and apprehension, is employed in confirming him against temptations to misconduct, and in correcting the errors of his judgement. At all times, and under every circumstance, he will acknowledge and fincerely rejoice in his responsibility.
The fame principles of integrity and candour which guide his conduct in his parliamentary capacity, will not be laid aside in private. He will entertain no animosity
against a friend who has occasionally withheld, or has altogether withdrawn his support; nor will he ascribe to indirect views what may fairly be attributed to conscientious conviction. He will uniformly discourage in his adherents the disposition, too often found in servile and little minds, to blacken the private characters of their political antagonists, and of neutrals held in still greater abomination; and will embrace every occasion of doing justice to their worth. He will beware of exciting suspicion by ill-timed and inconsiderate expressions, or by any inftance of active conduct, that his professions of patriotism, of zeal for liberty, of disinterested solicitude for the public good, are merely his exterior garb; a sort of robe of of. fice; a dress to be worn in Parliament, which, while it dazzles the beholders with its glaring brilliancy, conceals the real form and lineaments of the wearer.
7. In all his transactions on behalf of Great Britain with foreign nations, he will scrupulously regard the rules of strict and equal jufrice; and, so far as the prior claim of his own country will admit, his benevolence and liberality will seek for a field of operation in every