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che further consideration of these articles be postponed, till the sentiments of the parliament of England be known respecting them, and till the members of this house be more particularly instructed, by severally consulting their constituents.” To second these views, a great number of addresses were this day presented, the reading of which, and the repetition of all the former arguments that had been used against the treaty, occupied the whole day, and the sederunt was closed by reading the first article, and agreeing that it should be resumed to-morrow. On the succeeding day, the first article of the treaty was again read, and having failed in all their former proposals, the cavaliers now, as the next and surest method of perplexing the house and procuring delay, proposed to begin with the security of the church. Defeated in this also, they lastly insisted upon having all the articles read and agreed upon, before they proceeded to ratify any of them. They particularly enlarged upon the danger of ratifying the first article, till they had agreed upon all the rest, as the parliament might be immediately dissolved, and Scotland would then be united to England without any terms whatever; and this most ridiculous supposition bad like to have gained the ear of the house, till it was obviated by the lord Register, who made a motion “ That the house do proceed to take the first article into consideration, with this proviso, that if all the other articles be not adjusted by the parliament, the agreeing to and approving of the first article shall be of no effect," which, after a keen debate, was at length carried.
The whole subterfuges of the cavaliers being now exhausted, the article itself came of necessity to be debated, and the united strength and talent of the party were brought into action on this occasion. Mr. Seton of Pitmedden, one of the commissioners for the treaty, opened the discussion with a speech of great good sense and moderation, in which he insisted, not so much on the utility of the treaty, though that was not forgotten, as upon its necessity—he went over the different plans that had been laid down for redeeming the country from that degradation into which it had fallen, and showed with great force of reasoning, that except an incorporating union, such as was now before them, not one of these plans would produce any lasting or salutary consequences. For the happy effects attendant on the incorporating of independent states, he appealed to Spain, formerly ten, France, twelve, England, seven, and Scotland herself two kingdoms, all of which had been indisputably benefitted by their coalescence. Confined to argumentation of this kind, the matter would have been very soon set at rest, for, generally speaking, there were no arguments could be brought to Dear against the measure, but such as were founded in ignorance or prejudice—the honour of the nation, the subversion of the constitution, and, above all, the loss of independence, were the magical phrases which awakened the wildest emotions in the bosoms of the orators, and drew tears from the eyes of their transported hearers. “ What!” exclaimed his grace the duke of Hamilton, with an enthusiasm that for the moment entranced even the bitterest of his opponents, “ What! shall we in half an hour yield wbat our forefathers maintained with their lives and
fortunes for so many ages ? Are there here none of the descendants of those worthy patriots who defended the liberty of their country against all invaders—who assisted the great king Robert Bruce to restore the constitution, and avenge the falsehood of England and usurpation of Baliol ? Where are the Douglases and the Campbells ?
Where are the peers ? where are the barons once the bulwark of the nation? Shall we yield up the sovereignty and independency of the nation, when we are commanded by those we represent to preserve the same, and assured of their assistance to support us.'
Fletcher of Salton was nothing behind the duke of Hamilton, either in vehemency of speech or of spirit; but the Demosthenes of the
party lord Belhaven, who melted the house with the most humiliating views, and pathetic details of that ruin which he saw treading on the heels of the treaty:
“ My lord chancellor,” he began, “ when I consider this affair of an union betwixt the two nations, as it is expressed in the several articles thereof, and now the subject of our deliberation at this time, I find my mind crowded with variety of very melancholy thoughts, and I think it my duty to disburden myself of some of them, by laying them before, and exposing them to the serious consideration of this bonourable house.
“ I think I see a free and independent kingdom, delivering up that which all the world hath been fighting for since the days of Nimrod ; yea, that for which most of all the empires, kingdoms, states, principalities, and dukedoms of Europe, are at this very time engaged in the most bloody and cruel wars that ever were, to wit, a power to manage their own affairs by themselves, without the assistance and counsel of any other. I think I see a national church, founded upon a rock, secured by a claim of right, hedged and fenced about by the strictest and pointedest legal sanction that sovereignty could contrive--voluntarily descending into a plain, upon an equal level with Jews, Papists, Socinians, Arminians, Anabaptists, and other sectaries. I think I see the noble and honourable peerage of Scotland, whose valiant predecessors led armies against their enemies upon their own proper charges and expenses, now divested of their followers and vassalages, and put upon such an equal foot with their vassals, that I think I see a petty English exciseman receive more bomage and respect, than what was paid formerly to their quondam Maccallanmores. I think I see the present peers of Scotland, whose noble ancestors conquered provinces, overran countries, reduced and subjected towns and fortified places, exacted tribute through the greatest part of England, now walking in the court of requests, like so many English attornies ; laying aside their walking swords when in company with the English peers, lest their self-defence should be found murder. I think I see the honourable estate of barons, the bold assertors of the nation's rights and liberties in the worst of times, now setting a watch upon their lips, and a guard upon their tongues, lest they be found guilty of scandalum magnatum. I think I see the royal state of boroughs walking their desolate streets, hanging down their heads under disappointments, wormed out of all the branches of their old trade, uncertain
Lockhart Papers, vol. i. pp. 180, 181.
what hand to turn to, necessitated to become prentices to their unkind neighbours, and yet, after all, finding their trade so fortified by companies, and secured by prescriptions, that they despair of any success therein. I think I see our learned judges laying aside their practiques and decisions, studying the common law of England, gravelled with certioraries nisi priuses, writs of error, verdicts indover, ejectione firme, injunctions, demurs, &c. and frighted with appeals and avocations, because of the new regulations and rectifications they may meet with. I think I see the valiant and gallant soldiery either sent to learn the plantation trade abroad, or at home petitioning for a small subsistence as the reward of their honourable exploits ; while their old corps are broken, the common soldiers left to beg, and the youngest English corps kept standing. I think I see the honest industrious tradesman loaded with new taxes and impositions, disappointed of the equivalents, drinking water in place of ale, eating his saltless pottage, petitioning for encouragement to his manufactories, and answered by counter petitions. In short, I think I see the laborious ploughman with his corn spoiling upon his hands for want of sale, cursing the day of his birth, dreading the expense of his burial, and uncertain whether to marry or do worse. I think I see the incurable difficulties of the landed men, fettered under the golden chain of equivalents, their pretty daughters petitioning for want of husbands, and their sons for want of employments. I think I see our mariners delivering up their ships to their Dutch partners, and what through presses and necessity, earning their bread as underlings in the royal English navy. But above all, my lord, I think I see our ancient mother Caledonia, like Cesar, sitting in the midst of our senate, ruefully looking round about her, covering herself with her royal garment, attending the fatal blow, and breathing out her last with a et tu quoque mi fili
. Are not these, my lord, very afflicting thoughts ? And yet they are but the least part suggested to me by these dishonourable articles. Should not the consideration of these things vivify these dry bones of ours ? Should not the memory of our noble predecessors’ valour and constancy rouse up our drooping spirits? Are our noble predecessors' souls got so far into the English cabbage-stock and colliflowers, that we should show the least inclination in that way? Are our eyes so blinded, are our ears so deafened, are our hearts so hardened, are our tongues so faltered, are our hands so fettered, that in this our day, I say my lord, that in this our day, that we should not mind the things that concern the very being and well-being of our ancient kingdom, before the day be hid from our eyes ? No, my lord, God forbid, man's extremity is God's opportunity. He is a present help in time of need, and a deliverer, and that right early. Some unforeseen providence will fall out, that may cast the balance ; some Moses or other will say, “ Why do ye strive together since ye are brethren ?” None can destroy Scotland, save Scotland's self, hold your hands from the pen, you are secure. Some Judah or other will
say “ Let not our hands be upon the lad, he is our brother. There will be a Jehovah Jireh, and some ram will be caught in the thicket when the bloody knife is at our mother's throat, let us up then, my lord, and let our noble patriots behave themselves like men, and we know not how soon a blessing may come.”
This was only the exordium of his lordship's speech, intended “ to encourage a free and full deliberation, without animosities and heats.” Full of this bappy idea he proceeds, 66 That I may path a way, my lord, to a full and calm reasoning this affair, which is of the last consequence unto this nation, I shall mind this honourable house that we are the successors of our noble predecessors, who founded our monarchy, framed our laws, amended, altered, and corrected them from time to time, as the affairs and circumstances of the nation did require, without the assistance or advice of any foreign power or potentate, and who, during the time of two thousand years, have handed them down to us a free independent nation, with the hazard of their lives and fortunes. Shall not we then argue for that which our progenitors have purchased for us at so dear a rate, and with so much immortal honour and glory? Shall the hazard of a father unbind the ligaments of a dumb son's tongue, and shall we hold our peace when our patria is in danger ?” After much more to the same purpose, he adverts to the divisions which prevailed over the whole island, and to the immense wealth and growing prosperity of the English nation, in consequence of which, he thinks it will be hard to persuade them to a self-denial bill.
“ It is quite otherwise,” he continues, " with us, my lord, we are an obscure poor people, though formerly of better account, removed to a remote corner of the world, without name, and without alliances, our posts mean and precarious, so that I profess I do not think any one post of the kingdom worth the briguing after, save that of being commissioner to a long session of a factious Scots parliament, with an antedated commission, and that yet renders the rest of the ministers more miserable. What hinders us, then, my lord, to lay aside our divisions, to unite cordially and heartily together in our present circumstances, when our all is at the stake. Hannibal, my lord, is at our gates ! Hannibal is come within our gates! Hannibal is come the length of this table ! he is at the foot of this throne ! he will demolish this throne! If we take not notice, he'll seize upon these regalia, he'll take them as our spolia opima, and whip us out of this house never to return again.”
This, with a great deal more to the same purpose, delivered with all the pomp
of action, for his lordship, in the course of his speech, fell upon his knees and implored, paused, and wept—could not fail to produce a very powerful effect.
Seton of Pitmedden rose to reply, but was prevented by the house, as contrary to the rule, that no member should speak twice in one day upon the same subject. The altercation which this occasioned, necessarily cooled the state of feeling into which the members had been wrought, and the earl of Marchmont, being declared in possession of the floor, by a reply odd and laconic, gave it at once an entirely opposite direction.
« We have heard,” said his lordship, a very long speech, but it requires only a very short answer, Behold he dreamed, but lo! when he awoke, he found it was a dream.” The house was at once convulsed with laughter, and time has completely justified the severity of his lordship's remark. Other speakers, however, succeeded, and the
Defoe's Minutes of the Proceedings of the Scotish Parliament upon the Articles of Union, folio ed. pp. 33–39.
debate was adjourned till Monday, the fourth of November, when the first article was carried by a plurality of thirty-three voices. The duke of Athol entered his protest against this article, “ As contrary to the honour, the interest, and fundamental laws and constitution of this kingdom, the birthright of the peers, the rights and privileges of the barons and boroughs, as contrary to the claim of right, property, and liberty of the subject, and third act of her majesty's parliament, 1703," &c. &c. To this protest, there adhered twenty-one lords, thirty-three barons, and twenty-nine burgesses, in all eighty-three.* It had been previously agreed
To avoid repetition of names, we shall give the following list of the Scotish parliament as they divided on the first Article of the Union, November 4th, 1706, and upon all subsequent divisions the lists were nearly the same. No. I.-Those who voted for the Article. No. II.-Those who voted against it. The duke of Queensberry, being lord commissioner, had no vote, but he requested his name on every decision to be added to the list of approvers.
Earl of Hoptoun.
Earl of Delorain.
Earl of Ilay.
Lord Register. Earl of Haddington. Earl of Glasgow, Sh. Dep. Lord Justice Clerk.
Sir Robert Dicksone of Inverask. William Dalrymple of Glenmuir.
John Hadden of Glenagies.
Sir Thomas Burnet of Leyes.
Alexander Grant, jun. of that ilk.
Sir Kenneth Mackenzie. William Bennet of Grubbet.
Æneas Macleod of Catbol. John Murray of Bowhill.
John Campbell of Mammore. John Pringle of Haining.
Sir James Campbell of Auchinbreck. William Morrison of Preston Grange. James Campbell, jun. of Ardkinglass. George Baillie of Jerviswood.
Sir William Anstruther of that ilk. Sir John Johnstoun of Westerhall. James Halyburton of Piteur. William Douglas of Dornock.
Alexander Abercrombie of Glassoch. William Stewart of Castle Stewart. William Maxwell of Cardross. John Stewart of Sorbie.
James Dunbar, jun. of Hemprigs. Francis Montgomery of Giffan.
John Bruce of Kinross. John Montgoinery of Wrae.
Mr. Robert Stuart of Tillycoultry. Sir Robert Pollock of that ilk.