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MR. HUME has somewhere remarked, that "he who would teach eloquence must do it chiefly by examples.The author of this volume was forcibly struck with this remark in early life ; and in entering on the office of Professor of Rhetoric in Yale College, more than thirty years ago, besides the ordinary instructions in that department, he took Demosthenes' Oration for the Crown as a text-book in the Senior Class, making it the basis of a course of informal lectures on the principles of oratory. Modern eloquence came next, and he endeavored, in a distinct course, to show the leading characteristics of the great orators of our own language, and the best mode of study. ing them to advantage. His object in both courses was, not only to awaken in the minds of the class that love of genuine eloquence which is the surest pledge of success, but to aid them in catching the spirit of the authors read, and, by analyzing passages selected for the purpose, to initiate the pupil in those higher principles which (whether they were conscious of it or not) have always guided the great masters of the art, till he should learn the unwritten rules of oratory, which operate by a kind of instinct upon the mind, and are far more important than any that are found in the books.

Such is the origin of this volume, which contains the matter of the second course of lectures mentioned above, cast into another form, in connection with the speeches of the great British orators of the first and second class. A distinct volume would be necessary for American eloquence, if the lectures on that subject should ever be published.

The speeches selected are those which, by the general suffrage of the En. glish public, are regarded as the master-pieces of their respective authors. They are in almost every instance given entire, because the object is to have each of them studied as a complete system of thought. Detached passages of extraordinary force and beauty may be useful as exercises in elocution; but, if dwelt upon exclusively as models of style, they are sure to vitiate the taste. It is like taking all one's nutriment from highly-seasoned food and stimulating drinks.

As to the orators chosen, CHATHAM, BURKE, Fox, and Prrt stand, by universal consent, at the head of our eloquence, and to these Erskine may be added as the greatest of our forensic orators. Every thing, however imperfect, from a man like CHATHAM is of interest to the student in oratory, and therefore all his speeches are here inserted, including eight never before published in this country. All of Burke's speeches which he prepared for the press have also found a place, except that on Economical Reform, which, relating to mere matters of English finance, has less interest for an American. In room of this, the reader will find the most striking passages in his works on the French Revolution, so that this volume contains nearly every thing which most persons can have any desire to study in the pages of Mr. Burke. Six of Fox's great speeches are next given, and three of Pitt's, with copious extracts from the early efforts of the latter; together with nine of ERSKINE'S ablest arguments, being those on which his reputation mainly rests. Among the orators of the second class, the reader will find in this volume four speeches of Lord MANSFIELD; two of Mr. GRATTAN's, with his invectives against Flood and Corry; Mr. SHERIDAN's celebrated speech against Hast

ings; three of Mr. CURRAN's; Sir James MACKINTOSH s famous speech for Peltier; four of Mr. Canning's; and five of Lord BROUGHAM's, including his instructive discourse on the study of eloquence in the Greek orators. Some of the most finished letters of JUNIUS are given in their proper place, with remarks on his style as an admirable model of condensation, elegance, and force. In the first fifty pages will be found nearly all the celebrated speeches before the days of Lord Chatham, from Sir ROBERT WALPOLE, Lord CHESTERFIELD, Mr. PULTENEY, Lord BELHAVEN, Sir JOHN DIGBY, the Earl of STRAFFORD, and Sir John Eliot. The selections in this volume extend through a period of two hundred years, and embrace a very large proportion of the most powerful eloquence of Great Britain.

The following are the aids afforded for the study of these speeches :

(1.) A memoir of each orator, designed to show his early training in eloquence, the leading events of his public life, the peculiar cast of his genius, and the distinctive characteristics of his oratory. It ought to be said, in justice to the author, that these sketches were completed in every essential particular, long before the publication of Lord Brougham's work upon British Statesmen.

(2.) A historical introduction to each of the speeches, explaining minutely the circumstances of the case, the state of parties, and the exact point at issue, being intended to place the reader in the midst of the scene as an actual spectator of the contest. These introductions, with the memoirs just mentioned, form a slight but continuous thread of political history, embracing the most important topics discussed in the British Parliament for more than a century.

(3.) An analysis of the longer speeches in side-notes, giving the divisions and subdivisions of thought, and thus enabling the reader to perceive at once the connection and bearing of the several parts.

(4.) A large body of explanatory notes, bringing out minuter facts or relations of the parties, without a knowledge of which many passages lose all their force and application.

(5.) Critical notes, as specimens of the kind of analysis which the author has been accustomed to apply to the several parts of an oration, and which every student in oratory should be continually making out for himself.

(6.) Translations of the passages quoted from the ancient and foreign languages, with the poetry rendered into English verse. The passages are usually traced to their sources, and the train of thought given as it appears in the original, without a knowledge of which most quotations have but little force or beauty For the same reason, the classical and other allusions are traced out and explained.

(7.) A concluding statement of the way in which the question was decided, with occasional remarks upon its merits, or the results produced by the decision.

Great compression has been used in preparing this volume, that all who are interested in the study of eloquence may be able to possess it. Each page contains the matter of three ordinary octavo pages in Pica type ; and the whole work has in it one sixth more than Chapman's Select Speeches, or Willison's American Eloquence, in five octavo volumes each.

In conclusion, the author may be permitted to say, that while he has aimed to produce a volume worthy of lying at all times on the table of eyery one engaged in speaking or writing for the public, he has hoped it might prove peculiarly useful to men of his own profession ; since nothing is more desirable, at the present day, than a larger infusion into our sacred eloquence of the freedom, boldness, and strength which distinguish our secular oratory.

Sept. 1st, 1852.




Page 1

Walpole, ib.; deprived of his commission, ib.; becomes

His early life, 1; elected to the House at the opening of leader of the Opposition, 54-5; comparison between
the contest with Charles I., ib.; imprisoned by the

him and Lord Mansfield, 55; gains a complete ascend.
King, ib.; again elected while in jail, ib.; Petition of

ancy in the House, 56; unites with Mr. Pelham, and is
Right. 2; Charles tries to erade it, ib. ; Eliot's speech,

made Paymaster of the Forces, ib.; exhibition of dig.
.; characteristics of his eloquence, ib.; imprisoned,

interestedness, 56-7; on the death of Pelham comes out

dies the first martyr to liberty, 6.

against Newcastle, his successor, 58; attack on Mans-

field, “Felix trembles," ib.; attack on Fox, "conflux of

SPEECH on the Petition of Right.


the Rhone and Soane," 59; drives Mansfield out of the


House, ib. ; is made Prime Minister on Newcastle's res-


ignation, 60; dismissed soon after, and all England in

His birth and education, 7; early traits, ib.; ill-treated by commotion, ib.; restored, his influence over all con.

Buckingham, i. ; assumes the character of a patriot, nected with him in government, ib. ; power of his elo-

ib.; defends the Petition of Right, 8; bought off by the quence, " Is there an Austrian among you " Ut videre

court, ib.; becomes favorite of Charles I., ib.; his ex- virum," 61; Opposition extinguished, 62; triumphs of

actions and cruelties, ib.; impeached by the Commons, his policy and arms in all quarters of the globe, ib. ;

9; description of the trial, ib.

France sues for peace, 63 ; Spain joins her, ib., he pro-

SPEECH when Impeached of High Treason......... 11 poses war against her, but overruled by Lord Bute, ib.;

resigns, ib. ; makes his "Sitting Speech" against Lord


15 Bute's peace, 64 ; attack on Mr. Grenville, “Gentle Shep-

herd," 65; opposes the King respecting John Wilkes and

His early life, 15: enters the House as an opponent of the

American taxation, ib.; contemptuous retort on Justice
government, ib.; employed against Buckingham, ib.;

Moreton, 66; withholds his support from the Rocking;
appointed one of the managers for the impeachment of ham administration, ib.; forms his third ministry, and
Strafford, ib.; changes sides and comes out against the
bill of attainder, ib.; his eloquence characterized, ib.

is raised into the House of Lords, 67 ; his loss of health

and inability to administer the government, 68; resigns
SPEECH against the Attainder of Strafford........... 16 and retires, ib.; comes out at the end of three years

against the Graston ministry, 69; it falls before him, ib.;


19 support of America, 70; declines in health, ib.; his

His extraction and character, 19; evils resulting from a

death, 71 ; characteristics of his eloquence, 71-5.

union of the crowns of Scotland and England, and their

SPEECH on a Motion for an Address on the Marriage of

separation in all other respects, ib.; jealousy of the En.

the Prince of Wales...

Page 76

glish as to the trade of Scotland, ib.; retaliatory meas-

SPEECH on the Spanish Convention..

ures of the Scotch, ib. ; plan of a Legislative Union, 20 ;

SPEECH on the Impressment of Seamen.


violent hostility against it in Scotland, ib.; circumstan- SPEECH in reply to Horatio Walpole.


ces of Lord Belhaven's speech against it, ib.

SPEECH in favor of Inquiring into the conduct of Sir

SPEECH against the Legislative Union of England and Robert Walpole...



21 SECOND SPEECH in favor of Inquiring into the conduct

of Sir Robert Walpole....



27 SPEECH on taking the Hanoverian Troops into the pay of

His birth and early education, 27; enters Parliament as a

Great Britain.


Whig. ib.; early traits of character, ib.; made Prime

SPEECH on a Motion for an Address of Thanks after the

Minister, ib.; his extremne jealousy of all who might be.

Battle of Dettingen...


come his competitors, 28:

character of the Opposition Speech in Reply to Lord Mansfield in Relation to the

SPEECH on the Right of Taxing America.


and of Bolingbroke as its leader, ib.; Walpole's system

Case of John Wilkes


of corruption, ib.; falsely accused as to most of his

leading measures, ib.; errors of his ministry, 29; char. SPEECH on a Motion to Inquire into the State of the Na

acter of his eloquence and that of his contemporaries, Speech in Relation to the Seizure of the Falkland Islands


22, 30.

by Spain....


SPEECH on the Septennial Act......


SPEECH against the Quartering of British Soldiers on the

SPEECH on Addressing the King for his Removal..... 35

Inhabitants of Boston..



Speech in favor of an immediate Removal of the British


Troops from Boston.


His early life and study of oratory, 43; gradual develop: SPEECH on a Motion for an Address to put a stop to Hog-

ment of his powers, ib.; becomes one of the ablest of tilities in America..


English debaters, ib.; breaks down the power of Wal- SPEECH on a Motion for an Address to the Throne at the

pole, ib.; fails to succeed him, ib.; created Earl of Bath, Opening of Parliament, November 18th, 1777..... 134

ib.; his general unpopularity, ib.; his death, ib. SPEECH against a Motion for adjourning Parliament, De-

SPEECH on Reducing the Army.

43 cember Îlth, 1777..

LAST SPEECH upon America, with the circumstances of

his Death ..




His birth, 45; early love of polite literature, ib.; elegance LORD MANSFIELD.


of his manners, ib.; his acuteness and wit as a public His birth, 143 ; descended from the Stormont family, which

speaker, ib.; his various public employments, ib.; re.

tires from office and devotes himself to literature, ib.;

adhered to the Stuarts, ib.; sent early to the Westmin-

his unhappiness in old age, ib.; his death, ib.

ster school, ib.; his great proficiency, ib. ; removed to

Oxford, ib.; his studies in rhetoric, ib.; commences the

SPEECH against Licensing Gin-Shops ..


study of the law, ib. ; laborious training in extempora-


neous speaking, ib.; historical studies, 144; practice in


elocution, ib. a favorite of Pope, ib.; extent of his

His birth and early sufferings from the gout, 52; his ed- business as a lawyer, ib.; made Solicitor General, ib. ;

ucation at Eaton, ib.; his conversational powers, ib.; comparison between him and the elder Pitt, ib.; made
removes to Oxford, ib. ; his studies in rhetoric, ib.; Attorney General, 145; appointed Chief Justice with
goes twice through the English dictionary to gain a title of Lord Mansfield, ib. ; speech at taking leave of
command of language, ib.; obtains a commission in the his associates at Lincoln's Inn, 145-6; his qualifications
army, 53 ; joins the Opposition, ib.; enters Parliament, as Chief Justice, 146; testimony of Justice Story, ib.;
ib.; his maiden speech, 54 ; its effect on the King and his political course in the House of Lords, 147; resigns

... 139

as Chief Justice at the age of eighty-three, ib.; his death, Sheridan, 230; writes his Reflections on the Revolu-
ib.; personal appearance and characteristics of his elo- tion in France, 231 ; characteristics of the work, ib.;
quence, ib.

its errors, ib.; its excellences, 231-32; his separation

SPEECH on the right of Taxing America...... Page 148

from Mr. Fox, 232–33; loss of his son, 234-35; pension

REMARKS on the foregoing speech with the American ar.

granted him, 235; his Letter to a Noble Lord' on the

gument (by the editor)..

152 subject of his pension, ib.; his Letters on a Regicide

SPEECH when surrounded by a Mob in the Court of Peace, ib. ; errors of Mr. Burke respecting the war with

King's Bench....

154 France, 235-36; decline of his health, 237 ; his death,

SPEECH in the case of Allan Evang, Esq.

155 ib.; characteristics of his genius and eloquence, 237-40
SPEECH on a Bill depriving Peers of certain Privi. SPEECH on American Taxation

Page 241


160 SPEECH on Conciliation with America


SPEECH previous to the Bristol Election



163 SPEECH on declining the Election at Bristol



His Letters

have taken a permanent place in our elo-SPEECH on the East India Bill of Mr. Fox


quence, 163; the rhetorical skill which they manifest, SPEECH

on the Nabob of Arcot's Debts..


ib.; the result of severe and protracted effort, ib.; labor PERORATION of Speech against Warren Hastings

bestowed on the selection and arrangement of his ideas, EXTRACTS from works on the French Revolution... 363


ib.; logical cast of his mind, 163-4; peculiar benefits to


the young orator from the study of his style, 164; his

MR, BURKE on the Death of his son



extraordinary powers of condensation, ib. ; of insinu- CHARACTER of Sir Joshua Reynolds .


ating ideas without expressing them in form, 164-5;


reasons why indirect attack by insinuation is so pecul-
iarly painful to cultivated minds, 165; Junius' means of HENRY GRATTAN..

secret information, ib.; characteristics of his style, 166- His birth and education in Dublin, 382 ; study of the law
7; the perfection of his imagery, 167; who was Juni. in London, ib. ; study of Lord Chatham as an orator,
us ? 168-9; his political relations, 170; had previously ib. ; settlement in Dublin as an advocate, ib.; election
written under other signatures, ib. ; reasons for his to the Irish Parliament, ib.; moves a Declaration of
now coming out with increased strength and boldness, Irish right, 383 ; unsuccessful, ib.; moves it again at the
ib.; impression made by his first letter, 171; attacked end of two years, 384; prevails, ib. ; opposed by Mr.
by Sir William Draper, and thus made an object of pub- Flood, ib.; invective against him, ib.; opposed to the
lic attention, ib. ; his triumph over Sir William, 171-2; Union, ib. ; chosen to the Imperial Parliament, ib.; de.
the power he gained as a writer, ib.; his efforts second-

voted to the cause of Emancipation, ib. ; his death, ib.;

ed by Lord Chatham, ib.; the King predicts that Junius

will cease writing, ib.; he discontinues his Letters at SPEECH on moving a Declaration of Irish Right ..

personal qualities and character as an orator, 385.

he end of three years, and Sir Philip Francis is sent to


India, ib.

SPEECH on making a second motion for a Declaration of


LETTER to the Printer of the Public Advertiser .....

Irish Right..



LETTER to Sir William Draper.

INVECTIVE against Mr. Flood



LETTER to Sir William Draper..

INVECTIVE against Mr. Corry.


CHARACTER of Lord Chatham..


LETTER to the Duke of Grafton

LETTER to the Duke of Grafton


LETTER to the Duke of Bedford.




REMARKS on the Character of the Duke of Bedford (by His parentage and connection with the stage, 399; early
the Editor)


dramatic productions, ib.; purchase of Drury Lane
LETTER to the King

193 Theater, ib.; election to Parliament, ib.; made Under
LETTER to the Duke of Grafton

200 Secretary of State, 400; keen retort on Pitt, ib. ; speech
REMARKS on the character of the Duke of Grafton (by the against Hastings in the House, ib. ; speech before the

204 House of Lords under the impeachment, 401 ; Lord
ESTIMATE OF JUNIUS by Mr. Burke and Dr. Johnson. 204 Byron's lines thereon, ib.; indolence and effrontery as

a speaker, 402; his wit and humor, ib.; habits of intem.


perance, 103 ; unhappy death, ib. ; personal appearance
His birth and delicate constitution, 206 ; educated at a

and character as an orator, ib.
Quaker school in Ballitore, ib.; early training, ib.; re- SPEECH against Warren Hastings when impeached be.
moved to Trinity College, Dublin, ib.; account of his fore the House of Lords

studies, 207 ; early philosophical spirit, ib. ; leaves col-
lege and studies law in London, ib. ; his severe mental CHARLES JAMES FOX

labor, 208; applies unsuccessfully for a professorship in
Glasgow, ib. ; publishes his Vindication of Natural So. His birth and early genius, 437; indulgence of his father,
ciety, ib. ; publishes his Essay on the Sublime and Beau. ib.; produces habits of dissipation, 438; eminence in
tiful, 209; his society courted by the most distinguished

classical literature, ih.; distinction at Eaton and Oxford,
literary men, ib.; his conversational powers, 210; com.

ib.; early extravagance, 439; enters Parliament, ib. ;
mences the Annual Register, ib. ; goes to Ireland as sec-

first a Tory and in office under Lord North, 440; turn.
retary to Single Speech Hamilton, 211; comes into Par. ed out abruptly, ib.; joins the Whigs as a pupil of
liament as a supporter of Lord Rockingham, 212; his

Burke, 441; his labors to form himself as a debater,

maiden speech, highly praised by Lord Chatham, ib. ;

443; becomes head of the Whig party, ib.; is made Sec.

goes out with Lord Rockingham, and becomes leader

retary of State under Lord Rockingham, 444; disap-
of the Whigs in the House, 213; Speech on American

pointed in not becoming Prime Minister on the death
Taxation, its powerful impression, 214; elected mem-

of Rockingham, ib.; forms his Coalition with Lord
ber for Bristol, 215; circumstances leading to his speech

North, 445; drives out the ministry and becomes Sec-
on conciliation with America, ib.; comparison between

retary of State, ib.; his East India Bill, 446; speech in
this and his speech on American Taxation, 215-16;

support of it, 447; carried in the House, ib.; defeated
speech on Economical Reforın, “King's turnspit a

in the Lorda, ib., his speech against secret influence,

member of Parliament," 216; speech at Bristol previ.

448; displaced and Mr. Pitt made Prime Minister, ib. ;

ous to the election, 216-17; declines the polls, and re.

unsuccessful efforts to drive Pitt from power, ib.; West-
turned for Malton, 217; speech against the continuance

minster election, 449; Mr. Fox's speech on the subject,

of the American war, “shearing the wolf," 217–218;

450; decision of the House in his favor, ib. ; derange-

after the fall of Lord North, comes in with Lord Rock-

ment of the King, ib.; Mr. Fox asserts the right of the

ingham as Paymaster of the Forces, 218; carries his Prince of Wales to the Regency, 451; King recovers,

measures for economical reform, 219; originates the

452; Mr. Fox's speech against Mr. Pitt for arming against

East India Bill of Mr. Fos, ib.; his intimate acquaint-

Russia, 453; his Libel bill, ib.; his views of the French
ance with India and its concerns, 220; his speech on

Revolution, 454 ; his speech on Mr. Pitt's rejection of
Fox's East India Bill, 221; speech on the Nabob of Ar-

Bonaparte's overtures for peace, 458 ; comes in under
cot's debts, ib. ; procures the impeachment of Warren Lord Grenville as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 459; his
Hastings, 221-22; draws up the articles of impeach. death, personal appearance, 460; characteristics of his
ment, 223 ; delivers the opening speech against Hast.

oratory, ib.
ings, ib.; delivers his closing speech at the end of nearly SPEECH on the East India Bill.


seven years, 224; reasons for the acquittal of Hastings, SPEECH on Secret Influence


225; King becomes deranged, 226 ; his ground respect. SPEECH on the Westminster Scrutiny


ing a Regency, ib.; his unpopularity and abusive treat- SPEECK on the Russian Armament


ment in the house, ib. ; his early jealousy of the French SPEECH on Parliamentary Reform


Revolution, 227; reasons, 227-28 ; his first collision SPEECH on the Rejection of Bonaparte's Overtures for
with Mr. Fox on the subject, 229; his breach with Mr. Peace


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