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What honest man but would with joy submit
Steadfast and true to virtue's sacred laws,
and soon after he was presented with addresses from several cities and towns, thanking him for his important services and lamenting the cause of his resignation.
All doubts respecting the propriety of his conduct were dispelled by the declaration of war against Spain, which his successors found themselves under the necessity of issuing on the 2d of January, 1762, though they postponed that important measure until the insults of the court of Spain became so notorious that even Lord Bute confessed they could be no longer concealed.
Thus came by constraint, without dignity, and above three months after an opportunity for essentially crippling the enemy had elapsed, that declaration of war which would have been issued with eclat by Mr. Pitt in September.
Mr. Pitt, in July 1766, irrecoverably forfeited his popular ity by his coalition with the very men against whom he had hitherto directed all the vast powers of his commanding eloquence. He was created Earl of Chatham, and, with the office of Lord Privy Seal, took the general control over the measures of government. Mr. Townshend and General Conway were his managers in the House of Commons. His noble brother-in-law, Lord Temple, and his intimate friend, Lord Rockingham, not only refused to hold any situation under him, but peremptorily declined any interview or personal intercourse with him. He sensibly felt the loss of Lord Terpie, whose gracious affability procured him the esteem of all ranks of people, while the splendour of his own talents commanded their admiration. This preyed upon his mind while his body was a victim to the gout, and the conduct of his new associates in office did not contribute to alleviate his uneasiness. In 1768 he resigned, was reconciled to Lord Temple, and retired to Hayes. He now confined his politica! exertions to a punctual attendance in the House of Lords,
Let the World talk, my Friend ; that World, we
but, notwithstanding his animated opposition, until his death in 1778, to most of the measures of government, and particularly to the American war, he could never regain the confidence of the people.
The Ear) of Chathamn affords one of the very few cases of a really illustrious man having a still more illustrious son. Two or three other instances only occur to us in the whole range of ancient and modern history, Miltiades, and Cimon, Philip, and Alexander of Macedon, and perhaps Maximilian, and Charles the Fifth. The nearest parallel with the Pitts were the heroes of Marathon and Salamis, in their civil administrations.
“O noblest, happiest age,
When Aristides ruled, and Cimon fought;
AKENSIDE. We are aware that there is nothing new in the position we have advanced, and which was entertained ages ago by the Greeks, whose oracular expression of it still applies in full force:
Ήρωωυ παιδες λωβοι."
The sons of heroes are loobies.
Large, or long eared, i. e. donkeys, boobies.
THE PROPHECY OF FAMINE.
A SCOTS PASTORAL,
INSCRIBED TO JOHN WILKES, ESQ.
Mr. Wilkes pronounced of this poem before its appearance in January, 1763, “ that he was sure it would take, as it was at once personal, poetical, and political:” his prediction was accomplished. The Prophecy of Famine almost exceeded the Rosciad in popularity, and in extent of circulation; but, like that poem, excited a nu nber of inferior writers to draw their pens in praise, censure, or imitation of our powerful bard. The titles of these productions are preserved in the periodical publications of the day, but the works themselves sleep with their fathers. Of such productions and their authors, Churchill, might, with propriety have said with Lord Shaftesbury, " that he would never reply unless he should hear of them or their works in any good company a twelvemonth after."
In a letter to Wilkes, previous to the publication of this poem, Churchill writes: "Think not that the Scottish Eclogue totally stands still, or that I can ever be unmindful of any thing which I think will give Wilkes pleasure, and which I am certain will do me honour in having his name prefised. The present state of it, however, stands thus:-it is split into two poems—the Scottish Eclogue, which will be inscribed to you in the pastoral way—and another poem, which I think will be a strong one, immediately addressed by way of Epistle to you—this way they will be both of a piece, otherwise it would have been
Delphinum sylvis appingit, fluctibus aprum. The Pastoral begins thus, and I believe will be out soon
but nothing comes out till I begin to be pleased with it my. self:
“ When Cupid first instructs,” &c. The other runs thus:
“ From solemn thought,” &c. “ Can Wilkes ?-I know thou canst-retreat awhile, Learn pity's lesson, and disdain to smile.”
“ Oft have I heard thee,”' &c. This plan our author altered, and consolidated the two intended poems in the following acrimonious satire, which unites in itself more excellencies of severe political invective than any poem that has ever been produced in the English language since the publication of Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel.
This must be considered as our author's first political poem. Before he was concerned in the North Briton, he paid very little attention to the management of the political machine, but once engaged in what he considered the sacred cause of liberty, he was sincere and strenuous. He was actuated by that ardour and enthusiasm which men of genius generally experience when inspired with the love of liberty.
Churchill omitted no opportunity of displaying his inveterate animosity against the whole Scottish nation; and highly pleased with the extraordinary success of this poem, he dressed his younger son in a Scotch plaid, like a little Highlander, and carried him everywhere in that garb: the boy being once asked by a gentleman, why he was clothed in such a manner, answered with great vivacity—“Sir, my father hates the Scotch, and does it to plague them.”
We have, in illustration and elucidation of the poet's virulent attack on our northern brethern, quoted from earlier and contemporary writers, similar demonstrations of national spleen, if not jealousy, and have so done without any ap. prehension of being considered as either entertaining or en deavouring to revive those now happily obsolete and exploded prejudices. The union of the two crowns in 1603, and par. ticularly that of the legislatures in 1707, was very unaccepta
ble to the bulk of the Scottish people, as affecting their nominal independence, and gave added inveteracy to the rebellions of 1715, and 1745. The bad feeling thus mutually engendered, was unbappily aggravated by the indiscreet preference evinced towards his countrymen and adherents by Lord Bute in 1762; and a renewed but bloodless civil war of reciprocal reproach and vituperation raged with gradually abating warmth until towards the close of last century.
The beneficial results of the union of the two countries, if they may be now so designated, have only since the commencement of this century received their full development in that entire identity of national feeling and interest, which however desirable, it required nearly two centuries to effect; and the bygone bickerings of petty pride and a spirit of unworthy detraction are all merged in a generous emulation for superior distinction in the same legitimate career of legal, medical, naval, military, literary, and commercial competition; in each of which, Scotland has acquired laurels far exceeding in amount any claim which her mere comparative amount of population would warrant.
The best defence of Scotland that the Prophecy of Famine called forth, was a poem entitled “ Genius and Valour, a Scots pastoral,” with this motto, “Nec tam aversus equos Tyriâ sol jungit ab urbe.” The following apostrophe, towards the commencement of the poem, is not deficient in spirit:
“Yet still some pleasing monuments remain,
Some marks of genius in each later reign,