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ficence, and the observation of his merit, that it sets him not only above the danger, but above the fear of opposition, and secures him a seat in this assembly without contest.
Thus deputed by his country to many successive senates, he has acquired an unrivalled degree of knowledge in the methods of our proceedings, and an eminent dexterity in digesting them with that order and perspicuity by which only the transaction of great affairs can be made expeditious, and the discussion of difficult questions be disentangled from perplexity ; qualities which are now made particularly necessary by the importance of the subjects to be considered in this senate : so that I doubt not but you will unanimously concur with me in desiring that the chair may be filled by a person eminently distinguished by his knowledge, his integrity, his diligence, and his reputation ; and therefore I move, without scruple, that the right honourable Arthur Onslow, esquire, be called to the chair.
Then Mr. CLUTTERBUCK seconded the motion in this manner :-That I am not able to add any thing to the encomium of the right honourable gentleman nominated to the president's chair, gives me no concern, because I am confident, that in the opinion of this assembly, his name alone includes all panegyrick, and that he who recommends Arthur Onslow, esquire, will never be required to give the reason of his choice. I therefore rise now only to continue the common methods of the house, and to second a motion which I do not expect that any will oppose.
[Here the whole assembly cried out, with a general acclamation, Onslow, Onslow.]
Mr. Onslow then rose up and said :—Though I might allege many reasons against this choice, of which the strongest is my inability to discharge the trust conferred upon me in a manner suitable to its importance, yet I have too high an idea of the wisdom of this assembly, to imagine that they form any resolution without just motives ; and therefore shall think it my duty to comply with their determination, however opposite to my own opinion.
Mr. Pelham and Mr. Clutterbuck then led him to the chair, where, before he went up to it, he desired, That the
house would consider how little he was qualified for the office which they were about to confer upon him, and fix their choice upon some other person, who might be capable of discharging so important a trust.
The members calling out, The chair, chair, chair, he ascended the step, and then addressed himself thus to the house :-Gentlemen, since it is your resolution, that I should once more receive the honour of being exalted to this important office, for which it is not necessary to mention how little I am qualified, since I may hope that those defects which have hitherto been excused, will still find the same indulgence; my gratitude for a distinction so little deserved, will always incite me to consult the honour of the house, and enable me to supply, by dùty and diligence, what is wanting in my knowledge and capacity.
DECEMBER 4, 1741. The king came again to the house of lords, and the commons
being sent for, his majesty approved their choice of a president, and made a speech to both houses, in which he represented to them, That their counsel was in a particular manner necessary, as they were engaged in a war with Spain, as the affairs of all Europe were in confusion, by the confederacy of many formidable powers for the destruction of the house of Austria ; that both houses of the preceding session had come to the strongest resolutions in favour of the queen of Hungary, but that the other powers who were equally engaged to support her, had not yet acted according to their stipulations; that he had endeavoured to assist her ever since the death of the emperour Charles, and hoped that a just sense of common danger would induce other nations to unite with him ; but that in this uncertain situation, it was necessary that Britain should be in a condition of supporting itself and its allies, as any exigency might require. He therefore ordered the estimates for the ensuing year to be laid before the commons.—This speech being under the consideration of the house of lords, lord MILTON spoke in the following manner :
My lords, though the present perplexity of our affairs, the contrariety of opinions produced by it, and the warmth with which each opinion will probably be supported, might justly discourage me from proposing any of my sentiments to this great assembly, yet I cannot repress my inclination to offer a motion, in my opinion, regular and seasonable, and which, if it should appear otherwise to your lordships, will, I hope, though it should not be received, at least be forgiven, because I have never before wearied your patience, or interrupted or retarded your consultations.
But I am very far from imagining that by this motion I can give any occasion to debate or opposition, because I shall propose no innovation in the principles, or alteration of the practice of this assembly, nor intend any thing more than to lay before your lordships my opinion of the manner in which it may be proper to address his majesty.
To return him our humble thanks for his most gracious speech from the throne, and, at the same time, to present unto his majesty our sincere and joyful congratulations on bis safe and happy return into this empire.
To observe with the utmost thankfulness the great concern which his majesty has been pleased to express for carrying on the just and necessary war against Spain, which we hope, by the divine blessing upon his majesty's arms, will be attended with success equal to the justice of his cause, and the ardent wishes of his people. That,
His majesty has so truly represented the impending dangers to which Europe is exposed, in the present critical conjuncture, as must awaken, in every one, an attention suitable to the occasion: and we cannot but be fully sensible of the evil consequences arising from the designs and enterprises, formed and carrying on for the subversion or reduction of the house of Austria, which threaten such apparent mischiefs to the common cause.
To acknowledge his imperial goodness in expressing so earnest a desire to receive, and so high a regard for, the advice of his parliament: his majesty, secure of the loyalty and affections of his people, may rely upon that, with the best-grounded confidence; and to assure his majesty, that
we will not fail to take the important points, which he has been pleased to mention to us, into our most serious consideration; and, in the most dutiful manner, to offer to his majesty such advice as shall appear to us to be most conducive to the honour and true interest of his crown and kingdoms. To assure bis majesty that we have a due sense, how much the present posture of affairs calls upon us for that unanimity, vigour, and despatch, which his majesty has so wisely recommended to us; and to give his majesty the strongest assurances, that we will vigorously and heartily concur in all just and necessary measures for the defence and support of his majesty, the maintenance of the balance and liberties of Europe, and the assistance of our allies.
That as duty and affection to his majesty are, in us, fixed and unalterable principles, so we feel the impressions of them, at this time, so strong and lively in our breasts, that we cannot omit to lay hold on this opportunity of approaching his imperial presence, to renew the most sincere professions of our constant and inviolable fidelity: and to promise his majesty, that we will, at the hazard of all that is dear to us, exert ourselves for the defence and preservation of his sacred person and government, and the maintenance of the protestant succession in his imperial house, on which the continuance of the protestant religion, and the liberties of Britain, do, under God, depend.
My lords, as this address will not obstruct any future inquiries, by any approbation of past measures, either positive or implied, I doubt not but your lordships will readily concur in it, and am persuaded, that it will confirm his majesty's regard for our councils, and confidence in our loyalty.
Lord Lovel spoke next, to this effect:-My lords, the dangers which have been justly represented by his majesty, ought to remind us of the importance of unusual circumspection in our conduct, and deter us from any innovations, of which we may not foresee the consequences, at a time when there may be no opportunity of repairing any miscarriage, or correcting any mistake.
There appears, my lords, not to be at this time any particular reason for changing the form of our addresses, no privileges of our house have been invaded, nor any designs formed against the publick. His majesty has evidently not deviated from the practice of the wisest and most beloved of our British monarchs ; he has, upon this emergence of unexpected difficulties, summoned the senate to counsel and assist him; and surely it will not be consistent with the wisdom of this house to increase the present perplexity of our affairs, by new embarrassments, which may be easily imagined likely to arise from an address different from those which custom has established.
The prospect which now lies before us, a prospect which presents us only with dangers, distraction, invasions, and revolutions, ought to engage our attentions, without leaving us at leisure for disputations upon ceremonies or forms. It ought to be the care of every lord in this house, not how to address, but how to advise his majesty; how to assist the councils of the publick, and contribute to such determinations, as may avert the calamities that impend over mankind, and stop the wild excursions of power and ambition.
We ought to reflect, my lords, that the expectations of all Europe are raised by the convocation of this assembly; and that from our resolutions, whole nations are waiting for their sentence. And how will mankind be disappointed when they shall hear, that instead of declaring war upon usurpers, or imposing peace on the disturbers of mankind, instead of equipping navies to direct the course of commerce, or raising armies to regulate the state of the continent, we met here in a full assembly, and disagreed upon the form of an address.
Let us, therefore, my lords, lay aside, at least for this time, all petty debates and minute inquiries, and engage all in the great attempt of reestablishing quiet in the world, and settling the limits of the kingdoms of Europe.
Then lord CARTERET spoke, in substance as follows :My lords, there is, I find, at least one point upon which it is probable that those will now agree whose sentiments