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SCENE in PART FIRST ,, V'
Engaging to raise men for the common weal, • , : It sets a harmful and unequal tax '• .-
Capriciously on our communities.— The annals of a century fail to show More flagrant cases of oppressiveness Than those this statute works to perpetrate, Which (like all Bills this favoured statesman frames, And clothes with tapestries of rhetoric Disguising their real web of commonplace) Though held as shaped for English bulwarking, Breathes in its heart perversities of party, And instincts toward oligarchic power, Gall«ig^the many to relieve the few! (Cheers.)
"Whatever breadth and sense of equity Infofni/the methods of this minister, Those mitigants nearly always trace their root To measures that his predecessors wrought. And ere his Government can dare assert Superior claims to England's confidence, They owe it to their honour and good name To furnish better proof of such a claim Than is revealed by the abortiveness Of this thing called an Act for our Defence.
To the great gifts of its artificer No member of this House is more disposed To yield full recognition than am I. No man has found more reason so to do Through the long roll of disputatious years Wherein we have stood opposed. ... But if one single fact could counsel me To entertain a doubt of those great gifts, And cancel faith in his capacity, That fact would be the vast imprudence shown In staking recklessly repute like his On such an Act as he has offered us— So false in principle, so poor in fruit. Sir, the achievements and effects thereof Have furnished not one fragile argument Which all the partiality of friendship