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mark, without your seeing its course through the air.” Perhaps a bomb-shell would have furnished even a better illustration. It explodes when it strikes, and thus becomes the most powerful of arguments.
Fourthly, this ardor of feeling, in connection with his keen penetration of mind, made him often indulge in political prophecy. His predictions were, in many instances, surprisingly verified. We have already seen it in the case of Admiral Hawke's victory, and in his quick foresight of a war with Spain in 1762. Eight years after, in the midst of a profound peace, he declared to the House of Lords that the inveterate enemies of England were, at the moment he spoke, striking
a blow of hostility” at her possessions in some quarter of the globe. News arrived at the end of four months that the Spanish governor of Buenos Ayres was, at that very time, in the act of seizing the Falkland Islands, and expelling the English. When this prediction was afterward referred to in Parliament, he remarked, “I will tell these young ministers the true secret of intelligence. It is sagacity—sagacity to compare causes and effects; to judge of the present state of things, and discern the future by a careful review of the past. Oliver Cromwell, who astonished mankind by his intelligence, did not derive it from spies in the cabinet of every prince in Europe ; he drew it from the cabinet of his own sagacious mind.” As he advanced in years, his tone of admonition, especially on American affairs, became more and more lofty and oracular. He spoke as no other man ever spoke in a great deliberative assembly—as one who felt that the time of his departure was at hand ; who, with. drawn from the ordinary concerns of life, in the words of his great eulogist, "came occasionally into our system to counsel and decide,”
Fifthly, his great preponderance of feeling made him, in the strictest sense of the term, an extemporaneous speaker. His mind was, indeed, richly furnished with thought upon every subject which came up for debate, and the matter he brought forward was always thoroughly matured and strikingly appropriate ; but he seems never to have studied its arrangement, much less to have bestowed any care on the language, imagery, or illustrations. Every thing fell into its place at the moment He poured out his thoughts and feelings just as they arose in his mind; and hence, on one occasion, when dispatches had been received which could not safely be made public, he said to one of his colleagues, “I must not speak to day; I shall let out the secret.” It is also worthy of remark, that nearly all these great passages, which came with such startling power upon the House, arose out of some unexpected turn of the debate, some incident or expression which called forth, at the moment, these sudden bursts of eloquence. In his attack on Lord Suffolk, he caught a single glance at "the tapestry which adorned the walls” around him, and one flash of his genius gave us the most magnificent passage in our eloquence. His highest power lay in these sudden bursts of passion. To call them hits, with Lord Brougham, is beneath their dignity and force. “They form," as his Lordship justly observes, "the grand charm of Lord Chatham's oratory; they were the distinguishing excellence of his great predecessor, and gave him at will to wield the fierce democratie of Athens and to fulmine over Greece."
To this intense emotion, thus actuating all his powers, Lord Chatham united a vigorous and lofty imagination, which formed his crowning excellence as an orator. It is this faculty which exalts force into the truest and most sublime eloquence. In this respect he approached more nearly than any speaker of modern times, to the great master of Athenian art. It was here, chiefly, that he surpassed Mr. Fox, who was not at all his inferior in ardor of feeling or robust vigor of intellect. Mr. Burke had even more imagination, but it was wild and irregular. It was too often on the wing, circling around the subject, as if to display the grace of its movement: or the beauty of its plumage. The imagination of Lord Chatham struck directly at its object. It " flew an eagle flight, forth and right on.” It never became his master. Nor do we ever find it degenerating into fancy, in the limited sense of that term : it was never fanciful. It was, in fact, so perfectly blended with the other powers of his mind-so simple, so true to nature even in its loftiest flights—that we rarely think of it as imagination at all.
The style and language of Lord Chatham are not to be judged of by the early speeches in this volume, down to 1743. Reporters at that day made little or no attempt to give the exact words of a speaker. They sought only to convey his sentiments, though they might occasionally be led, in writing out his speeches, to catch some of his marked peculiarities of thought or expression. In 1766, his speech against the American Stamp Act was reported, with a considerable degree of verbal accuracy, by Sir Robert Dean, aided by Lord Charlemont. Much, however, was obviously omitted ; and passages having an admirable felicity of expression were strangely intermingled with tame and broken sentences, showing how imperfectly they had succeeded in giving the precise language of the speaker. Five speeches (to be mentioned hereafter) were written out, from notes taken on the spot by Sir Philip Francis and Mr. Hugh Boyd. One of them is said to have been revised by Lord Chatham himself. These are the best specimens we possess of his style and diction; and it would be difficult, in the whole range of our literature, to find more perfect models for the study and imitation of the young orator. The words are admirably chosen. The sentences are not rounded or balanced periods, but are made up of short clauses, which flash themselves upon the mind with all the vividness of distinct ideas, and yet are closely connected together as tending to the same point, and uniting to form larger masses of thought. Nothing can be more easy, varied, and natural than the style of these speeches. There is no mannerism about them. They contain some of the most vehement passages in English oratory; and yet there is no appearance of effort, no straining after effect. They have this infallible mark of genius—they make every one feel, that if placed in like circumstances, he would have said exactly the same things in the same manner. “Upon the whole,” in the words of Mr. Grattan, “ there was in this man something that could create, subvert, or reform; an understanding, a spirit, and an eloquence to summon mankind to society, or to break the bonds of slavery asunder, and rule the wildness of free minds with unbounded authority; something that could establish or overwhelm empire, and strike a blow in the world that should resound through its history."
OF LORD CHATHAM ON A MOTION FOR AN ADDRESS ON THE MARRIAGE OF THE PRINCE OF
WALES, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, APRIL, 29, 1736.
INTRODUCTION. This was Mr. Pitt's maiden speech; and, literally understood, it is a mere string of courtly compliments, expressed in elegant diction. But it seems plainly to have had a deeper meaning. The King, who was extremely irritable, had quarreled with the Prince of Wales, and treated him with great severity. There was an open breach between them. They could not even speak to each other; and although the King desired the marriage, he would not allow the usual Address of Congratulation to be brought in by his ministers. In view of this extraordinary departure from established usage, and the feelings which it indicated on the King's part, Mr. Pitt's emphatic commendations of the young prince have a peculiar significance ; while the manner in which he speaks of the tender, paternal delight” which the King must feel in yielding to the most dutiful application" of his son, has an air of the keenest irony. Viewed in this light, the speech shows great tact and talent in asserting the cause of the Prince, and goading the feelings of the King, in language of the highest respect-the very language which could alone be ap. propriate to such an occasion.
SPEECH, &c. I am unable, sir, to offer any thing suitable to personage through his hours of retirement, to the dignity and importance of the subject, which view him in the milder light of domestic life, we has not already been said by my honorable friend should find him engaged in the noblest exercise who made the motion. But I am so affected of humanity, benevolence, and every social vir. with the prospect of the blessings to be derived tue. But, sir, however pleasing, however captiby my country from this most desirable, this long- vating such a scene may be, yet, as it is a pridesired measure--the marriage of his Royal vate one, I sear I should offend the delicacy of Highness the Prince of Wales that I can not that virtue to which I so ardently desire to do forbear troubling the House with a few words justice, were I to offer it to the consideration of expressive of my joy. I can not help mingling this House. But, sir, filial duty to his royal pamy offering, inconsiderable as it is, with this ob- rents, a generous love of liberty, and a just rev. lation of thanks and congratulation to His Maj- erence for the British Constitution—these are esty.
public virtues, and can not escape the applause However great, sir, the joy of the public may and benedictions of the public. These are vir be and great undoubtedly it is—in receiving tues, sir, which render his Royal Highness not this benefit from his Majesty, it must yet be in only a noble ornament, but a firm support, is any ferior to that high satisfaction which he himself could possibly be wanting, of that throne so greatenjoys in bestowing it. If I may be allowed to ly filled by his royal father. suppose that any thing in a royal mind can trans- I have been led to say thus much of his Royal cend the pleasure of gratifying the earnest wishes Highness's character, because it is the considerof a loyal people, it can only be the tender, pa- ation of that character which, above all things, ternal delight of indulging the most dutiful ap- enforces the justice and goodness of his Majesplication, the most humble request, of a submis- ty in the measure now before us—a measure sive and obedient son. I mention, sir, his Royal which the nation thought could never be taken Highness's having asked a marriage, because too soon, because it brings with it the promise something is in justice due to him for having of an additional strength to the Protestant sucasked what we are so strongly bound, by all the cession in his Majesty's illustrious and royal ties of duty and gratitude, to return his Majesty house. The spirit of liberty dictated that sucour humble acknowledgments for having grant- cession ; the same spirit now rejoices in the ed.
prospect of its being perpetuated to the latest The marriage of a Prince of Wales, sir, has posterity. It rejoices in the wise and happy at all times been a matter of the highest import choice which his Majesty has been pleased to ance to the public welfare, to present and to fu- make of a princess so amiably distinguished in ture generations. But at no time (if a charac- herself, so illustrious in the merit of her family, ter at once amiable and respectable can embel- the glory of whose great ancestor it is to have lish, and even dignify, the elevated rank of a sacrificed himself in the noblest cause for which Prince of Wales) has it been a more important, a prince can draw a sword—the cause of liberty
dearer consideration than at this day. Were and the Protestant religion. t not a sort of presumption to follow so great a Sucb, sir, is the marriage for which our most humble acknowledgments are due to his Maj- , hope may be as immortal as those liberties and esty. May it afford the comfort of seeing the that constitution which they came to maintain. royal family, numerous as, I thank God, it is, Sir, I am heartily for the motion. still growing and rising up into a third generation! A family, sir, which I most earnestly The motion was unanimously agreed to.
SPEECH OF LORD CHATHAM ON THE SPANISH CONVENTION, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
MARCH &, 1739.
INTRODUCTION. DIFFICULTIES had arisen between England and Spain, from the measures adopted by the latter to suppress an illicit trade carried on by English adventurers with the coast of South America. The Spanish cruisers searched British merchantmen found in that quarter, and in so doing, either through mistake or design, committed outrages to a considerable extent upon lawful traders. Exaggerated accounts of these catrages were circulated throughout England. The public mind became greatly inflamed on the subject, and many went so far as to contend that the British flag covered her merchant ships and protected them from search under all circumstances.
Walpole opened a negotiation with the Court of Madrid for the redress and removal of these griev. ances. After dae examination, the just claims of the English merchants upon Spain were set down at £200,000. On the other hand, the sum of £60,000 was now adjudged, under the stipulations of a former treaty, to be due from England to Spain, for captures made in 1718 by Admiral Byng. The balance due to England was thus settled at £140,000 ; and Walpole, to avoid the usual delay of the Spaniards in money matters, offered to make an abatement of £45,000 for prompt payment, thus reducing the entire amount to £95,000. To this the Spanish government gave their assent, but on the express condition that this arrangement should be considered as in no way affecting certain claims of Spain on the English Soath Sea Company.
As the result of this negotiation, a Convention was drawn up on the 14th of January, 1739, stipulating for the payment of £95,000 within four months from the exchange of ratifications. It also provided for the removal of all remaining difficulties, by agreeing that commissioners from England and Spain should meet within six weeks, to adjust all questions respecting trade between Europe and the colonies in America ; and also to establish the boundary lines between Florida and the English settlements in Carolina, then embracing Georgia. It further stipulated that, during the sitting of this commission, the erection of for. tifications should be suspended, both in Carolina and Florida. At the moment when this Convention was to be signed, the Spanish government gave notice, that as the South Sea Company was not embraced in this arrangement, the King of Spain held them to be bis debtors to the amount of £68,000, for his share of the profits they had realized under previous engagements; and that, unless payment was made within a specified time, he would deprive them of the Assiento, or contract, which he had granted them for sopplying South America with slaves. Such were the provisions of the famous Spanish Convention, and the circumstances under which it was signed.
The House of Commons appointed March 6th, 1739, for considering this Convention. The public mind was greatly agitated on the subject. There was a general outcry against it, as betraying at once the interests of the merchants and the honor of the country. Such was the excitement and expectation when the day arrived, that four hundred members took their seats in the House at 8 o'clock A.M., five hours before the time appointed for entering upon business. Two days were spent in examining witnesses and hearing bumerous written documents relating to the subject. On the 8th of March, Mr. Horace Walpole, brother to the minister, after a long and able speech, moved in substance that “the House return thanks to his Majesty for communicating the Convention ; for having taken measures to obtain speedy payment for the losses sustained by the merchants; and also for removing similar abuses in future, and preserving a lasting peace.” After a number of members had expressed their views, Mr. Pitt rose and delivered the following speech, which gave him at once, and at the age of thirty, that ascendency as a speaker in the House of Commons which he afterward maintained.
SPEECH, &c. Sir,—There certainly has never been in Par- | by the complicated question that is now before liament a matter of more high national concern you. than the Convention referred to the considera- We have here the soft name of an humble adtion of this committee; and, give me leave to dress to the Throne proposed, and for no other say, there can not be a more indirect manner of end than to lead gentlemen into an approbation taking the sense of the committee upon it than of the Convention. Is this that full, deliberate
examination, which we were with defiance called was called, is not, indeed, omitted in the preamupon to give to this Convention ? Is this cursory, ble to the Convention, but it stands there as the blended disquisition of matters of such variety reproach of the whole, as the strongest evidence and extent, all that we owe to ourselves and to of the fatal submission that follows. On the part of our country? When trade is at stake, it is your Spain, a usurpation, an inhuman tyranny, claimlast intrenchment; you must defend it or perish ; ed and exercised over the American seas; on the and whatever is to decide that, deserves the most part of England, an undoubted right by treaties, distinct consideration, and the most direct, undis- and from God and nature declared and asserted guised sense of Parliament. But how are we in the resolutions of Parliament, are referred to now proceeding ? Upon an artificial, ministerial the discussion of plenipotentiaries upon one and question. Here is all the confidence, here is the the same equal footing! Sir, I say this undoubtconscious sense of the greatest service that ever ed right is to be discussed and to be regulated ! was done to this country!' to be complicating And if to regulate be to prescribe rules (as in questions, to be lumping sanction and approba- all construction it is), this right is, by the extion, like a commissary's account ! to be cover-press words of this Convention, to be given up and ing and taking sanctuary in the royal name, in- sacrificed; for it must cease to be any thing from stead of meeting openly, and standing fairly, the the moment it is submitted to limits. direct judgment and sentence of Parliament upon The court of Spain has plainly told you (as the several articles of this Convention.
appears by papers upon the table), that you shall You have been moved to vote an humble ad-steer a due course, that you shall navigate by a dress of thanks to his Majesty for a measure line to and from your plantations in Americawhich (I will appeal to gentlemen's conversation if you draw near to her coast (though, from the in the world) is odious throughout the kingdom. circumstances of the navigation, you are under Such thanks are only due to the fatal influence an unavoidable necessity of doing so), you shall that framed it, as are due for that low, unallied be seized and confiscated. If, then, upon these condition abroad which is now made a plea for terms only she has consented to refer, what bethis Convention.
comes at once of all the security we are flattered To what are gentlemen reduced in support of with in consequence of this reference ? Pleniit? They first try a little to defend it upon its potentiaries are to regulate finally the respective own merits; if that is not tenable, they throw out pretensions of the two crowns with regard to general terrors—the House of Bourbon is united, trade and navigation in America ; but does a who knows the consequence of a war? Sir, man in Spain reason that these pretensions must Spain knows the consequence of a war in Amer- be regulated to the satisfaction and honor of En. ica. Whoever gains, it must prove fatal to her. gland? No, sir, they conclude, and with reason, She knows it, and must therefore avoid it; but from the high spirit of their administration, from she knows that England does not dare to make the superiority with which they have so long it. And what is a delay, which is all this mag- treated you, that this reference must end, as it nified Convention is sometimes called, to pro- has begun, to their honor and advantage. duce? Can it produce such conjunctures as But, gentlemen say, the treaties subsisting are those which you lost while you were giving to be the measure of this regulation. Sir, as to kingdoms to Spain, and all to bring her back treaties, I will take part of the words of Sir Willagain to that great branch of the house of Bourbon iam Temple, quoted by the honorable gentlewhich is now held out to you as an object of so man near me; it is vain to negotiate and to make much terror? If this union be formidable, are treaties, if there is not dignity and vigor sufficient we to delay only till it becomes more formidable, to enforce their observance. Under the misconby being carried farther into execution, and by struction and misrepresentation of these very being more strongly cemented? But be it what treaties subsisting, this intolerable grievance has it will, is this any longer a nation ? Is this any arisen. It has been growing upon you, treaty longer an English Parliament, if, with more ships after treaty, through twenty years of negotiation, in your harbors than in all the navies of Europe ; and even under the discussion of commissaries, with above two millions of people in your Amer- to whom it was reserred. You have heard from ican colonies, you will bear to hear of the expe- Captain Vaughan, at your bar, at what time diency of receiving from Spain an insecure, un- these injuries and indignities were continued. satisfactory, dishonorable Convention ? Sir, I As a kind of explanatory comment upon this call it no more than it has been proved in this Convention which Spain has thought fit to grant debate; it carries fallacy or downright subjec- you, as another insolent protest, under the validtion in almost every line. It has been laid open ity and force of which she has suffered this Conand exposed in so many strong and glaring lights, vention to be proceeded upon, she seems to say, that I can not pretend to add any thing to the “We will treat with you, but we will search and conviction and indignation which it has raised. take your ships; we will sign a Convention, but
Sir, as to the great national objection, the we will keep your subjects prisoners in Old searching of your ships, that favorite word, as it Spain ; the West Indies are remote ; Europe
shall witness in whnt manner we use you.” 1 Allading to the extravagant terms of praise in
Sir, as to the inference of an admission of which Mr. H. Walpole had spoken of the Conven- our right not to be searched, drawn from a reption, and of those who framed it.
aration made for ships unduly seized and confis