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second essay of means, which have been found, | destroy, or very much impair, the trade of disby the essay of many years, unsuccessful. tilling, is certainly supposed by those who de
It has been granted on all sides in this debate, fend it, for they proposed it only for that end : nor was it ever denied on any other occasion, and what better method can they propose, when that the consumption of any commodity is most they are called to deliberate upon a bill for the easily hindered by raising its price, and its price prevention of the excessive use of distilled liqis to be raised by the imposition of a duty. This, uors ? my Lords, which is, I suppose, the opinion of The noble Lord has been pleased kindly to inevery man, of whatever degree of experience or form us that the trade of distilling is very extenunderstanding, appears likewise to have been sive; that it employs great numbers; and that thought of by the authors of the present law; they have arrived at an exquisite skill, and thereand therefore they imagined that they had effect- fore—note well the consequence the trade of ually provided against the increase of drunken- distilling is not to be discouraged. ness, by laying upon that liquor which should be Once more, my Lords, allow me to wonder at retailed in small quantities, a duty which none the different conceptions of different understand. of the inferior classes of drunkards would be able ings. It appears to me that since the spirits to pay.
which the distillers produce are allowed to enThus, my Lords, they conceived that they had feeble the limbs and vitiate the blood, to pervert reformed the common people without infringing the heart and obscure the intellects, that the the pleasures of others; and applauded the hap- number of distillers should be no argument in py contrivance by which spirits were to be made their favor; for I never heard that a law against dear only to the poor, while every man who theft was repealed or delayed because thieves could afford to purchase two gallons was at lib- were numerous. It appears to me, my Lords, erty to riot at his ease, and, over a full flowing that if so formidable a body are confederated bumper, look down with contempt upon his for- against the virtue or the lives of their fellow-citmer companions, now ruthlessly condemned to izens, it is time to put an end to the havoc, and disconsolate sobriety.
to interpose, while it is yet in our power to stop But, my Lords, this intention was frustrated, the destruction. and the project, ingenious as it was, fell to the So little, my lords, am I affected with the ground; for, though they had laid a tax, they merit of the wonderful skill which the distillers unhappily forgot this tax would make no addi- are said to have attained, that it is, in my opintion to the price unless it was paid, and that it ion, no faculty of great use to mankind to pre. would not be paid unless some were empowered pare palatable poison ; nor shall I ever contribto collect it.
ute my interest for the reprieve of a murderer, Here, my Lords, was the difficulty: those who because he has, by long practice, obtained great made the law were inclined to lay a tax from dexterity in his trade. which themselves should be exempt, and there. If their liquors are so delicious that the peofore would not charge the liquor as it issued ple are tempted to their own destruction, let us from the still; and when once it was dispersed at length, my Lords, secure them from these in the hands of petty dealers, it was no longer fatal draughts, by bursting the vials that conto be found without the assistance of informers, tain them. Let us crush at once these artists and informers could not carry on the business of in slaughter, who have reconciled their countryprosecution without the consent of the people. men to sickness and to ruin, and spread over the
It is not necessary to dwell any longer upon pitfalls of debauchery such baits as can not be the law, the repeal of which is proposed, since resisted. it appears already that it failed only from a par- The noble Lord has, indeed, admitted that this tiality not easily defended, and from the omis- bill may not be found sufficiently coercive, but sion of what we now propose—the collecting gives us hopes that it may be improved and enthe duty from the still-head.
forced another year, and persuades us to endeavIf this method be followed, there will be no or a reformation of drunkenness by degrees, and, longer any need of informations or of any rig- above all, to beware at present of hurting the orous or new measures; the same officers that manufacture. collect a smaller duty may levy a greater ; nor I am very far, my Lords, from thinking that can they be easily deceived with regard to the there are, this year, any peculiar reasons for tol. quantities that are made; the deceits, at least, erating murder; nor can I conceive why the that can be used, are in use already; they are manufacture should be held sacred now, if it be frequently detected and suppressed; nor will a to be destroyed hereafter. We are, indeed, delarger duty enable the distillers to elude the vig- sired to try how far this law will operate, that ilance of the officers with more success. we may be more able to proceed with due re
Against this proposal, therefore, the inefficacy gard to this valuable manufacture. of the present law can be no objection. But it With regard to the operation of the law, it apis urged that such duties would destroy the trade pears to me that it will only enrich the governof distilling; and a noble Lord has been pleased ment without reforming the people; and I beto express great tenderness for a manufacture lieve there are not many of a different opinion. so beneficial and extensive.
If any diminution of the sale of spirits be expectThat a large duty, levied at the still, would led from it, it is to be considered that this dimi
nution will, or will not, be such as is desired for this fund is mortgaged to the public creditors, the reformation of the people. If it be sufficient, they can prevail upon the Commons to change the manufacture is at an end, and all the reasons the security. They may continue the bill in force against a higher duty are of equal force against for the reasons, whatever they are, for which this; but if it is not sufficient, we have, at least, they have passed it; and the good intentions of omitted part of our duty, and have neglected the our ministers, however sincere, may be defeathealth and virtue of the people.
ed, and drunkenness, legal drunkenness, estabI can not, my Lords, yet discover why a re- lished in the nation. prieve is desired for this manufacture—why the This, my Lords, is very reasonable, and therepresent year is not equally propitious to the ref- fore we ought to exert ourselves for the safety of ormation of mankind as any will be that may suc- the nation while the power is yet in our own ceed it. It is true we are at war with two na- hands, and, without regard to the opinion or protions, and perhaps with more; but war may be ceedings of the other House, show that we are better prosecuted without money than without yet the chief guardians of the people. men. And we but little consult the military The ready compliance of the Commons with glory of our country if we raise supplies for the measures proposed in this bill has been menpaying our armies by the destruction of those tioned here, with a view, I suppose, of influencarmies that we are contriving to pay.
ing us, but surely by those who had forgotten We have heard the necessity of reforming the our independence, or resigned their own. It is nation by degrees urged as an argument for im- not only the right, but the duty of either House, posing first a lighter duty, and afterward a heav- to deliberate, without regard to the determinaier. This complaisance for wickedness, my Lords, tions of the other; for how should the nation reis not so defensible as that it should be battered ceive any benefit from the distinct powers that by arguments in form, and therefore I shall only compose the Legislature, unless the determinarelate a reply made by Webb, the noted walker, tions are without influence upon each other? If upon a parallel occasion.
either the example or authority of the Commons This man, who must be remembered by many can divert us from following our own convicof your Lordships, was remarkable for vigor, tions, we are no longer part of the Legislature ; both of mind and body, and lived wholly upon we have given up our honors and our privileges, water for his drink, and chiefly upon vegetables and what then is our concurrence but slavery, for his other sustenance. He was one day rec- or our suffrage bat an echo? ommending his regimen to one of his friends who The only argument, therefore, that now reloved wine, and who perhaps might somewhat mains, is the expediency of gratifying those, by contribute to the prosperity of this spirituous whose ready subscription the exigencies our new manufacture, and urged him, with great earn- statesmen have brought upon us have been supestness, to quit a course of luxury by which ported, and of continuing the security by which his health and his intellects would equally be de- they have been encouraged to such liberal constroyed. The gentleman appeared convinced, tributions. and told him "that he would conform to his Public credit, my Lords, is indeed of very counsel, and thought he could not change his great importance; but public credit can never course of life at once, but would leave off strong be long supported without public virtue ; nor inliquors by degrees." * By degrees !" says the deed, if the government could mortgage the other, with indignation. "If you should unhap- morals and health of the people, would it be just pily fall into the fire, would you caution your and rational to confirm the bargain. If the minservants not to pull you out but by degrees ?" istry can raise money only by the destruction
This answer, my Lords, is applicable to the of their fellow-subjects, they ought to abandon present case. The nation is sunk into the low- those schemes for which the money is necessary; est state of corruption; the people are not only for what calamity can be equal to unbounded vicious, but insolent beyond example. They not wickedness? only break the laws, but defy them; and yet som But, my Lords, there is no necessity for a of your Lordships are for reforming them by de- choice which may cost our ministers so much regrees !
gret; for the same subscriptions may be proI am not so easily persuaded, my Lords, that cured by an offer of the same advantages io a our ministers really intend to supply the defects fund of any other kind, and the sinking fund will that may hereafter be discovered in this bill. It easily supply any deficiency that might be suswill doubtless produce money, perhaps much pected in another scheme. more than they appear to expect from it. I To confess the truth, I should feel very little doubt not but the licensed retailers will be more pain from an account that the nation was for than fifty thousand, and the quantity retailed some time determined to be less liberal of their must increase with the number of retailers. As contributions; and that money was withheld till the bill will, therefore, answer all the ends in- it was known in what expeditions it was to be tended by it, I do not expect to see it altered; employed, to what princes subsidies were to be for I have never observed ministers desirous of paid, and what advantages were to be purchased amending their own errors, unless they are such by it for our country. I should rejoice, my Lords, as have caused a deficiency in the revenue. to hear that the lottery by which the deficiencies
Besides it is not certain that, when / of this duty are to be supplied was not filled,
and that the people were grown at last wise only to thin the ranks of mankind, and to disburenough to discern the fraud and to prefer hon- den the world of the multitudes that inbabit it; est commerce, by which all may be gainers, to and is perhaps the strongest proof of political a game by which the greatest number must cer- sagacity that our new ministers have yet exhibtainly be losers.
ited. They well know, my lords, that they are The lotteries, my Lords, which former minis- universally detested, and that, whenever a Briton ters have proposed, have always been censured is destroyed, they are freed from an enemy; they by those who saw their nature and their tend- have therefore opened the flood-gates of gin upon ency. They have been considered as legal the nation, that, when it is less numerous, it may cheats, by which the ignorant and the rash are be more easily governed. defrauded, and the subtle and avaricious often Other ministers, my Lords, who had not atenriched; they have been allowed to divert the tained to so great a knowledge in the art of makpeople from trade, and to alienate them from ing war upon their country, when they found useful industry. A man who is uneasy in his their enemies clamorous and bold, used to awe circumstances and idle in his disposition, collects them with prosecutions and penalties, or destroy the remains of his fortune and buys tickets in a them like burglars, with prisons and with gibbets. lottery, retires from business, indulges himself in But every age, my Lords, produces some imlaziness, and waits, in some obscure place, the provement; and every nation, however degenevent of his adventure. Another, instead of em- erate, gives birth, at some happy period of time, ploying his stock in trade, rents a garret, and to men of great and enterprising genius. It is makes it his business, by false intelligence and our fortune to be witnesses of a new discovery chimerical alarms, to raise and sink the price of in politics. We may congratulate ourselves tickets alternately, and takes advantage of the upon being contemporaries with those men, who lies which he has himself invented.
have shown that hangmen and halters are unnecSach, my Lords, is the traffic that is produced essary in a state; and that ministers may escape by this scheme of getting money; nor were the reproach of destroying their enemies by inthese inconveniences unknown to the present citing them to destroy themselves. ministers in the time of their predecessors, whom This new method may, indeed, have upon difthey never ceased to pursue with the loudest ferent constitutions a different operation; it may clamors whenever the exigencies of the govern- destroy the lives of some and the senses of othment reduced them to a lottery.
ers; but either of these effects will answer the If I, my Lords, might presume to recommend purposes of the ministry, to whom it is indifferto our ministers the most probable method of ent, provided the nation becomes insensible, raising a large sum for the payment of the troops whether pestilence or lunacy prevails among of the Electorate, I should, instead of the tax and them. Either mad or dead the greatest part of lottery now proposed, advise them to establish the people must quickly be, or there is no hope a certain number of licensed wheel-barrows, on of the continuance of the present ministry. which the laudable trade of thimble and button For this purpose, my Lords, what could have might be carried on for the support of the war, been invented more efficacious than an establishand shoe-boys might contribute to the defense of ment of a certain number of shops at which poi. the house of Austria by raffling for apples. son may be vended-poison so prepared as to
Having now, my Lords, examined, with the please the palate, while it wastes the strength, utmost candor, all the reasons which have been and only kills by intoxication? From the first offered in defense of the bill, I can not conceal instant that any of the enemies of the ministry the result of my inquiry. The arguments have shall grow clamorous and turbulent, a crafty had so little effect upon my understanding, that, hireling may lead him to the ministerial slaughas every man judges of others by himself, I can ter-house, and ply him with their wonder-worknot believe that they have any influence even ing liquor till he is no longer able to speak or upon those that offer them, and therefore I am think; and, my Lords, no man can be more convinced that this bill must be the result of agreeable to our ministers than he that can neiconsiderations which have been hitherto conceal-ther speak nor think, except those who speak ed, and is intended to promote designs which are without thinking. never to be discovered by the authors before But, my Lords, the ministers ought to reflect, their execution.
that though all the people of the present age are With regard to these motives and designs, their enemies, yet they have made no trial of the however artfully concealed, every Lord in this temper and inclinations of posterity. Our sucHouse is at liberty to offer his conjectures. cessors may be of opinions very different from
When I consider, my lords, the tendency of ours. They may perhaps approve of wars on this bill, I find it calculated only for the propa- the Continent, while our plantations are insulted gation of diseases, the suppression of industry, and our trade obstructed; they may think the and the destruction of mankind. I find it the support of the house of Austria of more importmost fatal engine that ever was pointed at a peo- ance to us than our own defense; and may perple; an engine by which those who are not kill. haps so far differ from their fathers, as to imaged will be disabled, and those who preserve their ine the treasures of Britain very properly emlimbs will be deprived of their senses.
ployed in supporting the troops, and increasing This bill therefore, appears to be designed the splendor, of a foreign Electorate.
LORD CHATH A M.
The name of Chatham is the representative, in our language, of whatever is bold and commanding in eloquence. Yet his speeches are so imperfectly reported, that it is not so much from them as from the testimony of his contemporaries, that we have gained our conceptions of his transcendent powers as an orator. We measure his greatness, as we do the height of some inaccessible cliff, by the shadow it casts behind. Hence it will be proper to dwell more at large on the events of his political life; and especially to collect the evidence which has come down to us by tradition, of his astonishing sway over the British Senate.
WILLIAM Pitt, first Earl of Chatham, was descended from a family of high respectability in Cornwall, and was born at London, on the 15th of November, 1708. At Eton, where he was placed from boyhood, he was distinguished for the quickness of his parts and for his habits of unwearied application, though liable, much of his time, to severe suffering from a hereditary gout. Here he acquired that love of the classics which he carried with him throughout life, and which operated so powerfully in forming his character as an orator. He also formed at Eton those habits of easy
and animated conversation for which he was celebrated in after life. Cut off by disease from the active sports of the school, he and Lord Lyttleton, who was a greater invalid than himself, found their chief enjoyment during the intervals of study, in the lively interchange of thought. By the keenness of their wit and the brilliancy of their imaginations, they drew off their companions, Fox, Hanbury Williams, Fielding, and others, from the exercises of the play-ground, to gather around them as eager listeners; and gained that quickness of thought, that dexterity of reply, that ready self-possession under a sudden turn of argument or the sharpness of retort, which are indispensable to success in public debate. Almost every great orator has been distinguished for his conversational powers.
At the age of eighteen, Mr. Pitt was removed to the University of Oxford. Here, in connection with his other studies, he entered on that severe course of rhetorical training which he often referred to in after life, as forming so large a part of his early discipline. He took up the practice of writing out translations from the ancient orators and historians, on the broadest scale. Demosthenes was his model ; and we are told that he rendered a large part of his orations again and again into English, as the best means of acquiring a forcible and expressive style. The practice was highly recommended by Cicero, from his own experience. It aids the young orator far more effectually in catching the spirit of his model, than any course of mere reading, however fervent or repeated. It is, likewise, the severest test of his command of language. To clothe the thoughts of another in a dress which is at once
" close and easy" (an excellent, though quaint description of a good translation) is a task of extreme difficulty. As a means of acquiring copiousness of diction and an exact choice of words, Mr. Pitt also read and re-read the sermons of Dr. Barrow, till he knew many of them by heart. With the same view, he performed a task to which, perhaps, no other student in oratory has ever submitted. He went twice through the folio Dictionary of Bailey (the best before that of Johnson), examining each word attentively, dwelling on its peculiar import and modes of construction, and thus endeavoring to bring the whole range of our language completely under his control.
At this time, also, he began those exercises in elocution by which he is known to have obtained his extraordinary powers of delivery. Though gifted by nature with a commanding voice and person, he spared no effort to add every thing that art could confer for his improvement as an orator. His success was commensurate with his zeal. Garrick himself was not a greater actor, in that higher sense of the term in which Demosthenes declared action to be the first, and second, and third thing in oratory. The labor which he bestowed on these exercises was surprisingly great. Probably no man of genius since the days of Cicero, has ever submitted to an equal amount of drudgery.
Leaving the University a little before the regular time of graduation, Mr. Pitt traveled on the Continent, particularly in France and Italy. During this tour, he enriched his mind with a great variety of historical and literary information, making every thing subservient, however, to the one great object of preparing for public life. “He thus acquired,” says Lord Chesterfield, “ a vast amount of premature and useful knowledge.” On his return to England, he applied a large part of his slender patrimony to the purchase of a commission in the army, and became a Cornet of the Blues. This made him dependent on Sir Robert Walpole, who was then Prime Minister ; but, with his characteristic boldness and disregard of consequences, he took his stand, about this time, in the ranks of Opposition. Walpole, by his jealousy, had made almost every man of talents in the Whig party his personal enemy. His long continuance in office, against the wishes of the people, was considered a kind of tyranny; and young men like Pitt, Lyttleton, &c., who came fresh from college, with an ardent love of liberty inspired by the study of the classics, were naturally drawn to the standard of Pulteney, Carteret, and the other leading “Patriots," who declaimed so vehemently against a corrupt and oppressive government. The Prince of Wales, in consequence of a quarrel with his father, had now come out as head of the Opposition. A rival court was established at Leicester House, within the very precincts of St. James's Palace, which drew together such an assemblage of wits, scholars, and orators, as had never before met in the British empire. Jacobites, Tories, and Patriots were here united. The insidious, intriguing, but highlygifted Carteret ; the courtly Chesterfield ; the impetuous Argyle ; Pulteney, with a keenness of wit, and a familiarity with the classics which made him as brilliant in conversation as he was powerful in debate ; Sir John Barnard, with his strong sense and penetrating judgment; Sir William Wyndham, with his dignified sentiments and lofty bearing; and “the all-accomplished Bolingbroke, who conversed in language as elegant as that he wrote, and whose lightest table-talk, if transferred to paper, would, in its style and matter, have borne the test of the severest criticism" --these, together with the most distinguished literary men of the age, formed the court of Frederick, and became the intimate associates of Mr. Pitt. On a mind so ardent and aspiring, so well prepared to profit by mingling in such society, so gifted with the talent of transferring to itself the kindred excellence of other minds, the company of such men must have acted with extraordinary power; and it is probable that all his rhetorical studies had less effect in making him the orator that he was, than his intimacy with the great leaders of the Opposition at the court of the Prince of Wales. Mr. Pitt became a member of Parliament in 1735, at the age of
twenty-six. For nearly a year he remained silent, studying the temper of the House, and waiting for a favorable opportunity to come forward. Such an opportunity was presented by the marriage of the Prince of Wales, in April, 1736. It was an event of the highest interest and joy to the nation ; but such was the King's animosity against his son, that he would not suffer the address of congratulation to be moved, as usual, by the ministers of the Crown. The motion was brought forward by Mr. Pulteney; and it