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Minorca, are taken care of, consider, my Lords, ment, we hate an internal strength sufficient to what part of this army will remain to defend repel any foreign invasion. With respect to IreIreland and Great Britain? This subject, my land, my Lords, I am not of the same opinion. Lords, leads me to considerations of foreign If a powerful foreign army were landed in that policy and foreign alliance. It is more connect kingdom, with arms ready to be put into the ed with them than your Lordships may at first hands of the Roman Catholics, I declare freely imagine. When I compare the numbers of our to your Lordships that I should heartily wish it people, estimated highly at seven millions, with were possible to collect twenty thousand German the population of France and Spain, usually com- Protestants, whether from Hesse, or Brunswick, puted at twenty-five millions, I see a clear, self- or Wollenbuttle, or even the unpopular Hanoevident impossibility for this country to contend verians, and land them in Ireland. I wish it, my with the united power of the house of Bourbon Lords, because I am convinced that, whenever merely upon the strength of its own resources. the case happens, we shall have no English army They who talk of confining a great war to naval to spare. operations only, speak without knowledge or ex- I have taken a wide circuit, my Lords, and perience. We can no more command the dis- trespassed, I fear, too long upon your Lordships' position than the events of a war. Wherever patience. Yet I can not conclude without enwe are attacked, there we must defend. deavoring to bring home your thoughts to an
I have been much abused, my Lords, for sup- object more immediately interesting to us than porting a war which it has been the fashion to any I have yet considered ; I mean the internal call my German war. But I can affirm with a condition of this country. may
look abroad clear conscience, that that abuse has been thrown for wealth, or triumphs, or luxury; but England, on me by men who were either unacquainted with my Lords, is the main stay, the last resort of the facts, or had an interest in misrepresenting them. whole empire To this point every scheme of I shall speak plainly and frankly to your Lord policy, whether foreign or domestic, should ultiships upon this, as I do upon every occasion. mately refer. Have any measures been taken That I did in Parliament oppose, to the utmost to satisfy or to unite the people? Are the griev. of my power, our engaging in a German war, is ances they have so long complained of removed ? most true; and if the same circumstance were or do they stand not only unredressed, but ag. to recur, I would act the same part, and oppose gravated ? Is the right of free election restored
again. But when I was called upon to take a to the elective body? My Lords, I myself am share in the administration, that measure was one of the people. I esteem that security and already decided. Before I was appointed Sec- independence, which is the original birthright of retary of State, the first treaty with the King of an Englishman, far beyond the privileges, howPrussia was signed, and not only ratified by the ever splendid, which are annexed to the peerCrown, but approved of and confirmed by a reso- age. I myself am by birth an English elector, lution of both houses of Parliament. It was a and join with the freeholders of England as in a weight fastened upon my neck. By that treaty common cause. Believe me, my Lords, we misthe honor of the Crown and the honor of the na- take our real interest as much as our duty when tion were equally engaged. How I could re- we separate ourselves from the mass of the peocede from such an engagement-how I could ple. Can it be expected that Englishmen will advise the Crown to desert a great prince in unite heartily in the desense of a government by the midst of those difficulties in which a reliance which they feel themselves insulted and oppressupon the good faith of this country had contrib- ed ? Restore them to their rights; that is the uted to involve him, are questions I willingly true way to make them unanimous. It is not a submit to your Lordships' candor. That won- ceremonious recommendation from the Throne derful man might, perhaps, have extricated him that can bring back peace and harmony to a self from his difficulties without our assistance. discontented people. That insipid annual opiate He has talents which, in every thing that touches has been administered so long that it has lost its the human capacity, do honor to the human mind. effect. Something substantial, something effectBut how would England have supported that rep- ual must be done. utation of credit and good faith by which we have The public credit of the nation stands next in been distinguished in Europe ? What other for- degree to the rights of the Constitution ; it calls eign power would have sought our friendship? loudly for the interposition of Parliament. There What other foreign power would have accepted is a set of men, my Lords, in the city of London, of an alliance with us?
who are known to live in riot and luxury upon But, my Lords, though I wholly condemn our the plunder of the ignorant, the innocent, the entering into any engagements which tend to in- helpless—upon that part of the community which volve us in a continental war, I do not admit that stands most in need of, and best deserves the care alliances with some of the German princes are and protection of the Legislature. To me, my either detrimental or useless. They may be, my Lords, whether they be miserable jobbers of Lords, not only useful, but necessary. I hope, 'Change Alley, or the lofty Asiatic plunderers of indeed, I never shall see an army of foreign aux. Leadenhall Street, they are all equally detestailiaries in Great Britain ; we do not want it. If ble. I care but little whether a man walks on our people are united_if they are attached to foot, or is drawn by eight horses or six horses; the King, and place confidence in his govern- if his luxury is supported by the plunder of his country, I despise and detest him. My Lords, When I speak of an administration, such as while I had the honor of serving his Majesty, I the necessity of the season calls for, my views never ventured to look at the treasury but at a are large and comprehensive. It must be popudistance; it is a business I am unfit for, and to lar, that it may begin with reputation. It must which I never could have submitted. The little be strong within itself, that it may proceed with I know of it has not served to raise my opinion vigor and decision. An administration, formed of what is vulgarly called the moneyed interest ; upon an exclusive system of family connections I mean that blood-sucker, that muck-worm, which or private friendships, can not, I am convinced, calls itself the friend of government—that pre- be long supported in this country. Yet, my tends to serve this or that administration, and Lords, no man respects or values more than I do may be purchased, on the same terms, by any that honorable connection, which arises from a administration—that advances money to govern- disinterested concurrence in opinion upon public ment, and takes special care of its own emolu- measures, or from the sacred bond of pritate ments. Under this description I include the whole friendship and esteem. What I mean is, that no race of commissaries, jobbers, contractors, cloth- single man's private friendships or connections, iers, and remitters. Yet I do not deny that, however extensive, are sufficient of themselves even with these creatures, some management either to form or overturn an administration. may be necessary. I hope, my Lords, that noth. With respect to the ministry, I believe they have ing that I have said will be understood to extend sewer rivals than they imagine. No prudent to the honest and industrious tradesman, who man will covet a situation so beset with diffi. holds the middle rank, and has given repeated culty and danger. proofs that he prefers law and liberty to gold. I I shall trouble your Lordships with but a few love that class of men. Much less would I be words more. His Majesty tells us in his speech thought to reflect upon the fair merchant, whose that he will call upon us for our advice, if it liberal commerce is the prime source of national should be necessary in the farther progress of wealth. I esteem his occupation and respect this affair. It is not easy to say whether or no his character.
the ministry are serious in this declaration, nor My Lords, if the general representation, which what is meant by the progress of an affair which I have had the honor to lay before you, of the rests upon one fixed point. Hitherto we have situation of public affairs, has in any measure not been called upon. But, though we are not engaged your attention, your Lordships, I am consulted, it is our right and duty, as the King's sure, will agree with me, that the season calls great hereditary council, to offer him our advice. for more than common prudence and vigor in the The papers mentioned in the noble Duke's modirection of our councils. The difficulty of the tion will enable us to form a just and accurate crisis demands a wise, a firm, and a popular ad- opinion of the conduct of his Majesty's servants, ministration. The dishonorable traffic of places though not of the actual state of their honorable has engaged us too long. Upon this subject, my negotiations. The ministry, too, seem to want Lords, I speak without interest or enmity. I advice upon some points in which their own safehave no personal objection to any of the King's ty is immediately concerned. They are now servants. I shall never be minister ; certainly balancing between a war which they ought to not without full power to cut away all the rotten have foreseen, but for which they have made no branches of government. Yet, unconcerned as I provision, and an ignominious compromise. Let truly am for myself, I can not avoid seeing some me warn them of their danger. If they are capital errors in the distribution of the royal fa- forced into a war, they stand it at the hazard of vor. There are men, my Lords, who, if their their heads. If by an ignominious compromise own services were forgotten, ought to have an they should stain the honor of the Crown, or sachereditary merit with the house of Hanover ; rifice the rights of the people, let them look to whose ancestors stood forth in the day of trouble, the consequences, and consider whether they will opposed their persons and fortunes to treachery be able to walk the streets in safety. and rebellion, and secured to his Majesty's fam. ily this splendid power of rewarding.There
The Duke of Richmond's motion was negaare other men, my Lords [looking sternly at Lord tived by a vote of 65 to 21. The ministry, howMansfield), who, to speak tenderly of them, were ever, took from this time more decided ground, not quite so forward in the demonstrations of and demanded a restoration of the islands, and a their zeal to the reigning family. There was an- disavowal of their seizure, as the only course on other cause, my Lords, and a partiality to it, the part of Spain which could prevent immediate which some persons had not at all times discre- war. It is now known that the Spanish court, tion enough to conceal. I know I shall be ac- in adopting these measures, had acted in concert cused of attempting to revive distinctions. My with the court of France, and had reason to exLords, if it were possible, I would abolish all dis- pect her support, whatever might be the consetinctions. I would not wish the favors of the quences. Had this support been afforded, the Crown to flow invariably in one channel. But war predicted by Lord Chatham would inevitathere are some distinctions which are inherent bly have taken place. But the King of France in the nature of things. There is a distinction found himself involved in great pecuniary diffibetween right and wrong—between Wuig and culties, and could not be induced to enter into Tory.
The Spaniards were therefore
pelled to yield. They disavowed the seizure' were abandoned by the English ; and it is now and restored the islands, on condition that this understood that Lord North secretly agreed to restoration should not affect any claim of right do this, when the arrangement was made for the on the part of Spain. Three years after, they restoration of the islands by the Spanish.
SPEECH OF LORD CHATHAM ON THE BILL AUTHORIZING THE QUARTERING OF BRITISH SOLDIERS ON
THE INHABITANTS OF BOSTON, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS. MAY 27, 1774,
INTRODUCTION. The health of Lord Chatham had for some time prevented him from taking any active part in public affairs. During two years he had rarely made his appearance in the House of Lords, and nothing bat the rash and headlong measures of Lord North in regard to America, could have drawn him again from his retirement. In speaking of those measures, it may be proper briefly to remind the reader of some of the preceding
When Charles Townsend was left at the head of affairs, by Lord Chatham's unfortunate illness during the winter of 1766–7, he was continually goaded by Mr. Grenville on the subject of American tax. ation." You are cowards! You are afraid of the Americans. You dare not tax America !" The rash spirit of Townsend was roused by these attacks. "Fear?" said he.“ Cowards ? Dare not tax America? I dare tax America !” Grenville stood silent for a moment, and then said, “Dare you tax America ? I wish to God you would do it.” Townsend replied, “I will, I will." This hasty declaration could not be evaded or withdrawn, and in June, 1767, Townsend brought in a bill imposing duties on glass, paper, pasteboard, white and red lead, painters' colors, and tea, imported into the colonies. The preamble declared that it was “expedient to raise a revenue in America." A spirit of decided resistance to these taxes was at once manifested throughout all the colonies, and Lord North, on coming into power about two years after, introduced a bill repealing all the duties imposed by the act of 1767, except that on tea. But this was unsatisfactory, for it put the repeal on "commercial grounds” alone, and expressly reserved the right of taxation. At the close of 1773, the East India Company, encouraged by the ministry, sent large quantities of tea to Boston and some other American ports. The people resolved that the tea should not be landed, but should be sent back to England in the ships that brought it. As this was forbidden by the Custom-house, all the tea on board the ships lying in Boston barbor was thrown into the water by men disguised as Indians. on the evening of December 18th, 1773. This daring act awakened the keenest resentment of the British ministry. In March, 1774, laws were passed depriving Massachusetts of her charter, closing the port of Boston, and allowing persons charged with capital offenses to be carried to England for trial. As a means of farther enforcement, a bill was introduced in the month of May, 1774, for quartering troops on the inhabitants of the town of Boston, and other parts of the American colonies. This state of things gave rise to a number of Lord Chatham's most celebrated speeches, of which the fol. lowing was the first in order.
SPEECH, &c. My LORDS,—The unfavorable state of health my Lords, if the descendants of such illustrious under which I have long labored, could not pre- characters spurn with contempt the hand of unvent me from laying before your Lordships my constitutional power, that would snatch from thoughts on the bill now upon the table, and on them such dear-bought privileges as they now the American affairs in general.
contend for? Had the British colonies been If we take a transient view of those motives planted by any other kingdom than our own, the which induced the ancestors of our fellow-sub. inhabitants would have carried with them the jects in America to leave their native country, chains of slavery and spirit of despotism ; but to encounter the innumerable difficulties of the as they are, they ought to be remembered as unexplored regions of the Western World, our great instances to instruct the world what great astonishment at the present conduct of their de exertions mankind will naturally make, when scendants will naturally subside. There was no they are left to the free exercise of their own corner of the world into which men of their free powers. And, my Lords, notwithstanding my and enterprising spirit would not fly with alac- intention to give my hearty negative to the quesrity, rather than submit to the slavish and tyran- tion now before you, I can not help condemning nical principles which prevailed at that period in the severest manner the late turbulent and unin their native country. And shall we wonder, warrantable conduct of the Americans in some
instances, particularly in the late riots of Boston. i See Burke's admirable sketches of Grenville. But, my Lords, the mode which has been purTownsend, and Lord Chatham's third ministry, in sued to bring them back to a sense of their duty ois Speech on American Taxation.
to their parent state, has been so diametrically
opposite to the fundamental principles of sound ble Lords who are now in office; and, consepolicy, that individuals possessed of common un- quently, they will have a watchful eye over their derstanding must be astonished at such proceed- liberties, to prevent the least encroachment on ings. By blocking up the harbor of Boston, you their hereditary rights. have involved the innocent trader in the same This observation is so recently exemplified in punishment with the guilty profligates who de- an excellent pamphlet, which comes from the stroyed your merchandise; and instead of mak- pen of an American gentleman, that I shall take ing a well-concerted effort to secure the real the liberty of reading to your Lordships his offenders, you clap a naval and military extin- thoughts on the competency of the British Parguisher over their harbor, and visit the crime of liament to tax America, which, in my opinion, a few lawless depredators and their abettors upon puts this interesting matter in the clearest view. the whole body of the inhabitants.
“ The high court of Parliament,” says he, "is My Lords, this country is little obliged to the the supreme legislative power over the whole framers and promoters of this tea tax. The empire ; in all free states the Constitution is Americans had almost forgot, in their excess of fixed; and as the supreme Legislature derives gratitude for the repeal of the Stamp Act, any its power and authority from the Constitution, it interest but that of the mother country; there can not overleap the bounds of it without deseemed an emulation among the different prov- stroying its own foundation. The Constitution inces who should be most dutiful and forward in ascertains and limits both sovereignty and alletheir expressions of loyalty to their real bene- giance; and therefore his Majesty's American factor, as you will readily perceive by the fol- subjects, who acknowledged themselves bound lowing letter from Governor Bernard to a noble by the ties of allegiance, have an equitable claim Lord then in office.
to the full enjoyment of the fundamental rules of “ The House of Representatives,” says he, the English Constitution; and that it is an es" from the time of opening the session to this sential, unalterable right in nature, ingrafted into day, has shown a disposition to avoid all dispute the British Constitution as a fundamental law, with me, every thing having passed with as and ever held sacred and irrevocable by the submuch good humor as I could desire. They have jects within this realm, that what a man has acted in all things with temper and moderation; honestly acquired is absolutely his own; which they have avoided some subjects of dispute, and he may freely give, but which can not be taken have laid a foundation for removing some causes from him without his consent.” of former altercation."
This, my Lords, though no new doctrine, has This, my Lords, was the temper of the Amer- always been my received and unalterable opinicans, and would have continued so, had it not ion, and I will carry it to my grave, that this been interrupted by your fruitless endeavors to country had no right under heaven to tax Amertax them without their consent. But the mo- ica. It is contrary to all the principles of jusment they perceived your intention was renewed tice and civil polity, which neither the exigento tax them, under a pretense of serving the cies of the state, nor even an acquiescence in the East India Company, their resentment got the taxes, could justify upon any occasion whatever. ascendant of their moderation, and hurried them Such proceedings will never meet their wishedinto actions contrary to law, which, in their cool- for success. Instead of adding to their miseries, er hours, they would have thought on with hor- as the bill now before you most undoubtedly ror; for I sincerely believe the destroying of the does, adopt some lenient measures, which may tea was the effect of despair.
lure them to their duty. Proceed like a kind and But, my Lords, from the complexion of the affectionate parent over a child whom he tenwhole of the proceedings, I think that adminis- derly loves, and, instead of those harsh and setration has purposely irritated them into those vere proceedings, pass an amnesty on all their late violent acts, for which they now so severely youthful errors, clasp them once more in your smart, purposely to be revenged on them for the fond and affectionate arms, and I will venture to victory they gained by the repeal of the Stamp affirm you will find them children worthy of Act; a measure in which they seemingly acqui- their sire. But, should their turbulence exist eseed, but at the bottom they were its real ene- after your proffered terms of forgiveness, which mies. For what other motive could induce them I hope and expect this House will immediately to dress taxation, that father of American sedi- adopt, I will be among the foremost of your tion, in the robes of an East India director, but Lordships to move for such measures as will efto break in upon that mutual peace and harmony fectually prevent a future relapse, and make which then so happily subsisted between them them feel what it is to provoke a fond and forand the mother country ?
giving parent ! a parent, my Lords, whose wel. My Lords, I am an old man, and would advise fare has ever been my greatest and most pleasthe noble Lords in office to adopt a more gentle ing consolation. This declaration may seem unmode of governing America ; for the day is not necessary; but I will venture to declare, the pefar distant when America may vie with these riod is not far distant when she will want the kingdoms, not only in arms, but in arts also. It assistance of her most distant friends ; but should is an established fact that the principal towns in the all-disposing hand of Providence prevent me America are learned and polite, and understand from asfording her my poor assistance, my praythe Constitution of the empire as well as the no- ers shall be ever for her welfare --- Length of days be in her right hand, and in her left riches Notwithstanding these warnings and remonand honor ; may her ways be the ways of pleas- strances, the bill was passed by a majority of antness, and all her paths be peace !
57 to 16.
OF LORD CHATHAM ON A MOTION FOR AN ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY, TO GIVE IMMEDIATE
When he arose to speak, says one who witnessed the scene, “all was silence and profound attention. Animated, and almost inspired by bis subject, be seemed to feel his own unrivaled superiority. His ven. erable figure, dignified and graceful in decay, his language, his voice, his gesture, were such as might, at this momentous crisis, big with the fate of Britain seem to characterize him as the guardian genius of his country.”
SPEECH, &c.' My Lords-After more than six weeks' pos- | dishonored army, trusting solely to the pickax session of the papers now before you, on a sub- and the spade for security against the just indig. ject so momentous, at a time when the fate of nation of an injured and insulted people. this nation hangs on every hour, the ministry My Lords, I am happy that a relaxation of my have at length condescended to submit to the infirmities permits me to seize this earliest opconsideration of this House, intelligence from portunity of offering my poor advice to save this America with which your Lordships and the unhappy country, at this moment tottering to its public have been long and fully acquainted. ruin. But, as I have not the honor of access to
The measures of last year, my Lords, which his Majesty, I will endeavor to transmit to him, have produced the present alarming state of through the constitutional channel of this House, America, were founded upon misrepresentation. my ideas on American business, to rescue bim They were violent, precipitate, and vindictive. from the misadvice of his present ministers. I The nation was told that it was only a faction in congratulate your Lordships that the business is Boston which opposed all lawful government; at last entered upon by the noble Lord's (Lord that an unwarrantable injury had been done to Dartmouth) laying the papers before you. As private property, for which the justice of Parlia- I suppose your Lordships are too well apprised ment was called upon to order reparation ; that of their contents, I hope I am not premature in the least appearance of firmness would awe the submitting to you my present motion. (The Americans into submission, and upon only pass- motion was read.] ing the Rubicon we should be “sine clade vic- I wish, my Lords, not to lose a day in this ur
gent, pressing crisis. An hour now lost in allayThat the people might choose their repre- ing ferments in America may produce years of sentatives under the influence of those misrep- calamity. For my own part, I will not desert, resentations, the Parliament was precipitately for a moment, the conduct of this weighty busidissolved. Thus the nation was to be rendered ness, from the first to the last. Unless nailed to instrumental in executing the vengeance of ad- my bed by the extremity of sickness, I will give ministration on that injured, unhappy, traduced it unremitted attention. I will knock at the door people.
of this sleeping and confounded ministry, and will But now, my Lords, we find that, instead of rouse them to a sense of their danger. suppressing the opposition of the faction at Bos. When I state the importance of the colonies to ton, these measures have spread it over the this country, and the magnitude of danger hangwhole continent. They have united that whole ing over this country from the present plan of people by the most indissoluble of all bands—in- misadministration practiced against them, I de. tolerable wrongs.
The just retribution is an in- sire not to be understood to argue for a reciproc. discriminate, unmerciful proscription of the inno- ity of indulgence between England and America. cent with the guilty, unheard and untried. The I contend not for indulgence, but justice to Amerbloodless victory is an impotent general with his ca; and i shall ever contend that the Americans
1 This speech was reported by Mr. Hugh Boyd, justly owe obedience to us in a limited degreea man of high literary attainments, and bears very they owe obedience to our ordinances of trade strong marks of accuracy.
and navigation ; but let the line be skillfully 2 Victorious without slaughter.
drawn between the objects of those ordinances