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ful abandonment of their present measures and happiness; for that is your true dignity, to act principles, which they avow, but can not defend; with prudence and justice. That you should measures which they presume to attempt, but first concede is obvious, from sound and rational can not hope to effectuate. They can not, my policy. Concession comes with better grace and Lords, they can not stir a step; they have not a more salutary effect from superior power. It move left; they are check-mated!
reconciles superiority of power with the feelings But it is not repealing this act of Parliament, of men, and establishes solid confidence on the it is not repealing a piece of parchment, that foundations of affection and gratitude. can restore America to our bosom. You must So thought a wise poet and a wise man in repeal her fears and her resentments, and you political sagacity-the friend of Mecanas, and may iben hope for her love and gratitude. But the eulogist of Augustus. To him, the adopted now, insulted with an armed force posted at son and successor of the first Cesar—to him, the Boston, irritated with a hostile array before her master of the world, he wisely urged this coneves, her concessions, if you could force them, | duct of prudence and dignity : “Tuque prior, tu would be suspicious and insecure; they will be parce; projice tela manu."9 * irato animo' (with an angry spirit]; they will Every motive, therefore, of justice and of pol. not be the sound, honorable passions of freemen; icy, of dignity and of prudence, urges you to althey will be the dictates of fear and extortions | lay the ferment in America by a removal of of force. But it is more than evident that you your troops from Boston, by a repeal of your can not force them, united as they are, to your acts of Parliament, and by demonstration of am. unworthy terms of submission. It is impossible. icable dispositions toward your colonies. On And when I hear General Gage censured for in the other hand, every danger and every hazard activity, I must retort with indignation on those impend to deter you from perseverance in your whose intemperate measures and improvident If Lord Chatham's memory had not failed him counsels have betrayed him into his present situ-in respect to these words, his taste and genius ation. His situation reminds me, my Lords, of would bave suggested a still finer turn. They were the answer of a French general in the civil wars addressed, not by Virgil to Augustus Cesar, but to of France-Monsieur Condé opposed to Mon- a parent advancing in arms against a child; and sieur Turenne. He was asked how it happened would, therefore, have been applied with double that he did not take his adversary prisoner, as
force and beauty to the contest of England against he was often very near him. “J'ai peur,” re-i
America. The words are taken from that splendid
passage at the close of the sixth book of Virgil's plied Condé, very honestly, "j'ai peur qu'il ne
Æneid, where Anchises is showing to Æneas, in me prenne;"' I'm afraid he'll take me.
the world of spirits, the souls of those who were When your Lordships look at the papers destined to pass within "the gates of life," and to transmitted us from America—when you con swell, as his descendants, the long line of Roman sider their decency, firmness, and wisdom, you greatness. After pointing out the Decii and Drusii, can Dot but respect their cause, and wish to make Torquatus with his bloody ax, and Camillus with it your own. For myself, I must declare and his standards of glory, he comes at last to Julius Cearow, that in all my reading and observation
sar, and Pompey, his son-in-law, preparing for the
battle of Pharsalia. As if the conflict might yet be and it has been my favorite study-I have read
averted, he addresses his future children, and enThucydides, and have studied and admired the
treats them not to turn their arms against their master-states of the world that for solidity of country's vitals. He appeals especially to Cesar reasoning, force of sagacity, and wisdom of con- as "descended from Olympian Jove," and exhorts clusion, under such a complication of dillicult him “Tuque prior, tu parce; projice tela manu." circumstances, no nation or body of men can Illæ autem, paribus quas fulgere cernis in armis, stand in preference to the general Congress at Concordes animæ nunc et dum nocte prementur, Philadelphia. I trust it is obvious to your Lord Heu! quantum inter se bellum, si limina vitæ ships that all attempts to impose servitude upon Attingerint, quantas acies stragemque ciebunt, such men, to establish despotism over such a | Aggeribus socer Alpinis atque arce Monaci mighty continental nation, must be vain, must be
Descendens, gener adversis instructus Eois ! fatal. We shall be forced ultimately to retract;
Ne, pueri, ne tanta animis assuecite bella;
Neu patriæ validas in viscera vertite vires ! let us retract while we can, not when we must.
Tuque prior, tu parce, genus qui ducis Olympo; xe must nec
Projice tela manu, sanguis meus !-826-835. oppressive acts. They must be repealed. You
| Those forms which now thou seest in equal arins will repeal them. I pledge myself for it, that shining afar-united souls wbile here you will, in the end, repeal them. I stake my | Beneath the realm of night-what fields of blood reputation on it. I will consent to be taken for And mutual slaughter shall mark out their course, an idiot if they are not finally repealed.8 Avoid, | If once they pass within the Gates of Life! then, this humiliating, disgraceful necessity. See, from the Alpine heights the father comes With a dignity becoming your exalted situation. / Down by Monaco's tower, to meet the son make the first advances to concord, to peace, and
Equipped with hostile legions from the East.
Nay! nay, my children! Train not thus your minds · The Boston Port Bill, and the act taking away | To scenes of blood! Turn not those arms of strength the charter of Massachusetts.
Against your country's vitals ! * This prediction was verified. After a war of Thou ! thou, descended from Olympian Jove! three years, a repeal of these acts was sent out to Be first to spare! Son of my blood! cast down propitiate the Americans, but it was too late. | Those weapons from thy hand !
present ruinous measures. Foreign war hang- | King, I will not say that they can alienate the ing over your heads by a slight and brittle affections of his subjects from his crown, but I thread; France and Spain watching your con- will affirm that they will make the crown not duct, and waiting for the maturity of your er worth his wearing. I will not say that the King rors, with a vigilant eye to America and the is betrayed, but I will pronounce that the kingtemper of your colonies, more than to their own dom is undone. concerns, be they what they may.
To conclude, my Lords, if the ministers thus The motion, after a long debate, was lost by persevere in misadvising and misleading the a vote of 68 to 18.
OF LORD CHATHAM ON A MOTION FOR AN ADDRESS TO THE CROWN, TO PUT A STOP TO HOS.
TILITIES IN AMERICA, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS, MAY 30, 1777.
INTRODUCTION. LORD Chatham had now been prevented by his infirmities from taking bis place in the House of Lords for more than two years. Anxious to make one effort more for ending the contest with America, he made his appearance in the House on the 30th of May, 1777, wrapped in flannels, and supported on cratches, and moved an address to the King, recommending that speedy and effectual measures be taken to put an end to the war between the colonies and the mother country. He spoke as follows:
SPEECH, &c. My Lords, this is a flying moment; perhaps among them to annihilate the Congress, and of but six weeks left to arrest the dangers that sur- | your powersul forces to disperse their army. I round us. The gathering storm may break; it might as well talk of driving them before me with has already opened, and in part burst. It is this crutch! But what would you conquer — difficult for government, after all that has pass. the map of America ? I am ready to meet any ed, to shake hands with defiers of the King, de- general officer on the subject [looking at Lord fiers of the Parliament, defiers of the people. I Amherst.) What will you do out of the proam a defier of nobody; but if an end is not put tection of your fleet? In the winter, if togethto this war, there is an end to this country. Ier, they are starved; and if dispersed, they are do not trust my judgment in my present state of taken off in detail. I am experienced in spring health ; this is the judgment of my better days hopes and vernal promises; I know what minis. -the result of forty years' attention to America. ters throw out; but at last will come your equiThey are rebels; but for what? Surely not for noctial disappointment. You have got nothing defending their unquestionable rights! What in America but stations. You have been three have these rebels done heretofore? I remem- years teaching them the art of war; they are ber when they raised four regiments on their apt scholars; and I will venture to tell your own bottom, and took Louisbourg from the vet. Lordships that the American gentry will make eran troops of France. But their excesses have officers enough, fit to command the troops of all been great: I do not mean their panegyric; but the European powers. What you have sent must observe, in extenuation, the erroneous and there are too many to make peace—too few to infatuated counsels which have prevailed; the make war. If you conquer them, what then ? door to mercy and justice has been shut against | You can not make them respect you; you can them; but they may still be taken up upon the not make them wear your cloth; you will plant grounds of their former submission. [Referring an invincible hatred in their breasts against you. to their petition.]
Coming from the stock they do, they can never I state to you the importance of America: it respect you. If ministers are founded in saying is a double market--the market of consumption, there is no sort of treaty with France, there is and the market of supply. This double market still a moment left; the point of honor is still for millions, with naval stores, you are giving to safe. France must be as self-destroying as Enyour hereditary rival. America has carried you | gland, to make a treaty while you are giving her through four wars, and will now carry you to America, at the expense of twelve millions a your death, if you don't take things in time. In year. The intercourse has produced every thing the sportsman's phrase, when you have found to France; and England, Old England, must yourselves at fault, you must try back. You pay for all. I have, at different times, made difhave ransacked every corner of Lower Saxony ; ferent propositions, adapted to the circumstances but forty thousand German boors never can con- in which they were offered. The plan containquer ten times the number of British freemen. ed in the former bill is now impracticable; the You may ravage-you can not conquer; it is present motion will tell you where you are, and impossible; you can not conquer the Americans. what you have now to depend upon. It may You talk, my Lords, of your numerous friends produce a respectable division in America, and unanimity at home; it will give America an op- This was the only moment left before the fate tion; she has yet had no option. You have of this country was decided. The French court, said, Lay down your arms; and she has given he observed, was too wise to lose the opportunity you the Spartan answer, "Come, take.” (Here of effectually separating America from the dohe read his motion.) “That an humble address minions of this kingdom. War between France be presented to his Majesty, most dutifully rep- and Great Britain, he said, was not less probable resenting to his royal wisdom that this House is because it had not yet been declared. It would deeply penetrated with the view of impending be folly in France to declare it now, while Amerruin to the kingdom, from the continuation of an ica gave full employment to our arms, and was unnatural war against the British colonies in pouring into her lap her wealth and produce, America; and most humbly to advise his Maj- the benefit of which she was enjoying in peace. esty to take the most speedy and effectual meas He enlarged much on the importance of Amerares for putting a stop to such fatal hostilities, ica to this country, which, in peace and in war, upon the only just and solid foundation, namely, he observed, he ever considered as the great the removal of accumulated grievances; and to source of all our wealth and power. He then assure his Majesty that this House will enter added (raising his voice), Your trade languishes, upon this great and necessary work with cheer- your taxes increase, your revenues diminish. fulness and dispatch, in order to open to his Maj France at this moment is securing and drawing esty the only means of regaining the affections to herself that commerce which created your of the British colonies, and of securing to Great seamen, fed your islands, &c. He reprobated Britain the commercial advantages of these val. the measures which produced, and which had uable possessions ; fully persuaded that to heal been pursued in the conduct of the civil war, in and to redress will be more congenial to the the severest language; infatuated measures givgoodness and magnanimity of his Majesty, and ing rise to, and still continuing a cruel, unnatural, more prevalent over the hearts of generous and self-destroying war. Success, it is said, is hoped free-born subjects, than the rigors of chastisement for in this campaign. Why? Because our army and the horrors of a civil war, which hitherto will be as strong this year as it was last, when have served only to sharpen resentments and it was not strong enough. The notion of conconsolidate union, and, if continued, must end in quering America he treated with the greatest finally dissolving all ties between Great Britain contempt. and the colonies."
After an animated debate, in which the mo(His Lordship rose again. The proposal, hetion was opposed by Lords Gower, Lyttelton, said, is specific. I thought this so clear, that I Mansfield, and Weymonth, and the Archbishop did not enlarge upon it. I mean the redress of of York, and supported by the Dukes of Grafton all their grievances, and the right of disposing and Manchester, Lord Camden and Shelburne, of their own money. This is to be done instan- and the Bishop of Peterborough, taneously. I will get out of my bed to move it The Earl of Chatham again rose, and in reply on Monday. This will be the herald of peace; to what had fallen from Lord Weymouth, said :) this will open the way for treaty; this will show My Lords, I perceive the noble Lord neither apParliament sincerely disposed. Yet still much prehends my meaning, nor the explanation given must be left to treaty. Should you conquer this by me to the noble Earl (Earl Gower) in the blue people, you conquer under the cannon of France ribbon, who spoke early in the debate. I will, -under a masked battery then ready to open. therefore, with your Lordships' permission, state The moment a treaty with France appears, you shortly what I meant. My Lords, my motion must declare war, though you had only five ships was stated generally, that I might leave the quesof the line in England; but France will deser a tion at large to be amended by your Lordships. treaty as long as possible. You are now at the I did not dare to point out the specific means. mercy of every little German chancery; and the I drew the motion up to the best of my poor pretensions of France will increase daily, so as abilities; but I intended it only as the herald of to become an avowed party in either peace or conciliation, as the harbinger of peace to our af. war. We have tried for unconditional submis. flicted colonies. But as the noble Lord seems sion; try what can be gained by unconditional to wish for something more specific on the subredress. Less dignity will be lost in the repeal, ject, and through that medium seeks my particthan in submitting to the demands of German ular sentiments, I will tell your Lordships very chanceries. We are the aggressors. We have fairly what I wish for. I wish for a repeal of invaded them. We have invaded them as much every oppressive act which your Lordships have as the Spanish Armada invaded England. Mer- passed since 1763. I would put our brethren cy can not do harm; it will seat the King where in America precisely on the same footing they be ought to be, throned on the hearts of his peo- stood at that period. I would expect, that, being ple; and millions at home and abroad, now em left at liberty to tax themselves, and dispose of ployed in obloquy or revolt, would pray for him. their own property, they would, in return, contrib
(In making his motion for addressing the King, ute to the common burdens according to their Lord Chatham insisted frequently and strongly means and abilities. I will move your Lordships on the absolute necessity of immediately making for a bill of repeal, as the only means left to arpeace with America. Now, he said, was the rest that approaching destruction which threat. crisis, before France was a party to the treaty. ens to overwhelm us. My Lords, I shall no doubt hear it objected, “Why should we submit | dress. We have injured them ; we have enor concede ? Has America done any thing on deavored to enslave and oppress them. Upon her part to induce us to agree to so large a this ground, my Lords, instead of chastisement, ground of concession ?" I will tell you, my they are entitled to redress. A repeal of those Lords, why I think you should. You have been laws, of which they complain, will be the first the aggressors from the beginning. I shall not step to that redress. The people of America trouble your Lordships with the particulars; I look upon Parliament as the authors of their mis. they have been stated and enforced by the noble eries; their affections are estranged from their and learned Lord who spoke last but one (Lord sovereign. Let, then, reparation come from the Camden), in a much more able and distinct man- hands that inflicted the injuries; let conciliation ner than I could pretend to state them. If, then, I succeed chastisement; and I do maintain, that we are the aggressors, it is your Lordships' bu- Parliament will again recover its authority ; thet siness to make the first overture. I say again, his Majesty will be once more enthroned in the this country has been the aggressor. You have hearts of his American subjects; and that your made descents upon their coasts; you have burn- Lordships, as contributing to so great, glorious, ed their towns, plundered their country, made salutary, and benignant a work, will receive the war upon the inhabitants, confiscated their prop- prayers and benedictions of every part of the erty, proscribed and imprisoned their persons. British empire. I do therefore affirm, my Lords, that instead of exacting unconditional submission from the colonies, we should grant them unconditional re- The motion was lost by a vote of 99 to 28.
OF LORD CHATHAM ON A MOTION FOR AN ADDRESS TO THE THRONE, AT THE OPENING OF
PARLIAMENT, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS, NOVEMBER 18, 1777.
INTRODUCTION. This was Lord Chatham's greatest effort. Though sinking under the weight of years and disease, he seems animated by all the fire of youth. It would, indeed, be difficult to find in the whole range of par. liamentary history a more splendid blaze of genius, at once rapid, vigorous, and sublime.
SPEECH, &c.' I rise, my Lords, to declare my sentiments on envelop it, and display, in its full danger and true this most solemn and serious subject. It has colors, the ruin that is brought to our doors. imposed a load upon my mind, which, I fear, This, my Lords, is our duty. It is the proper nothing can remove, but which impels me to en- function of this noble assembly, sitting, as we do, deavor its alleviation, by a free and unreserved upon our honors in this House, the hereditary communication of my sentiments.
council of the Crown. Who is the minister In the first part of the address, I have the where is the minister, that has dared to suggest honor of heartily concurring with the noble Earl to the Throne the contrary, unconstitutional lanwho moved it. No man feels sincerer joy than guage this day delivered from it? The accusI do; none can offer more genuine congratula- tomed language from the Throne has been aptions on every accession of strength to the Prot. plication to Parliament for advice, and a reliance estant succession. I therefore join in every con- on its constitutional advice and assistance. As gratulation on the birth of another princess, and it is the right of Parliament to give, so it is the the happy recovery of her Majesty.
duty of the Crown to ask it. But on this day, But I must stop here. My courtly complai- and in this extreme momentous exigency, no re. sance will carry me no farther. I will not join liance is reposed on our constitutional counsels ! in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. no advice is asked from the sober and enlighten. I can not concur in a blind and servile address, ed care of Parliament! but the Crown, from it. which approves, and endeavors to sanctify the self and by itself, declares an unalterable demonstrous measures which have heaped disgrace termination to pursue measures — and what and misfortune upon us. This, my Lords, is a measures, my Lords? The measures that have perilous and tremendous moment! It is not a produced the imminent perils that threaten us; time for adulation. The smoothness of flattery the measures that have brought ruin to our doors. can not now avail-can not save us in this rug- Can the minister of the day now presume to ged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to in- expect a continuance of support in this ruinons struct the Throne in the language of truth. We infatuation? Can Parliament be so dead to its must dispel the illusion and the darkness which dignity and its duty as to be thus deluded into
- the loss of the one and the violation of the other? This was reported by Hugh Boyd, and is said To give an unlimited credit and support for the to have been corrected by Lord Chatliam himself. I steady perseverance in measures not proposed
for our parliamentary advice, but dictated and to rescue the ear of majesty from the delusions forced upon us—in measures, I say, my Lords, which surround it. The desperate state of our which have reduced this late flourishing empire arms abroad is in part known. No man thinks to ruin and contempt!" But yesterday, and more highly of them than I do. I love and honor England might have stood against the world : the English troops. I know their virtues and now none so poor to do her reverence.'2 I use their valor. I know they can achieve any thing the words of a poet; but, though it be poetry, it except impossibilities; and I know that the conis no fiction. It is a shameful truth, that not quest of English America is an impossibility. only the power and strength of this country are You can not, I venture to say it, you can not conwasting away and expiring, but her well-earned quer America. Your armies last war effected glories, her true honor, and substantial dignity every thing that could be effected; and what are sacrificed.
was it? It cost a numerous army, under the France, my Lords, has insulted you; she has command of a most able general (Lord Amherst], encouraged and sustained America; and, wheth now a noble Lord in this House, a long and laer America be wrong or right, the dignity of this borious campaign, to expel five thousand Frenchcountry ought to spurn at the officious insult of men from French America. My Lords, you can French interference. The ministers and embas- not conquer America. What is your present sadors of those who are called rebels and enemies situation there? We do not know the worst; are in Paris; in Paris they transact the recip- but we know that in three campaigns we have rocal interests of America and France. Can done nothing and suffered much. Besides the there be a more mortifying insult? Can even sufferings, perhaps total loss of the Northern our ministers sustain a more humiliating dis- force, the best appointed army that ever took grace? Do they dare to resent it? Do they the field, commanded by Sir William Howe, has presume even to hint a vindication of their hon-retired from the American lines. He was obliged or, and the dignity of the state, by requiring the to relinquish his attempt, and with great delay dismission of the plenipotentiaries of America ? and danger to adopt a new and distant plan of Such is the degradation to which they have re-operations. We shall soon know, and in any duced the glories of England! The people event have reason to lament, what may have whom they affect to call contemptible rebels, happened since. As to conquest, therefore, my but whose growing power has at last obtained Lords, I repeat, it is impossible. You may swell the name of enemies; the people with whom every expense and every effort still more exthey have engaged this country in war, and travagantly; pile and accumulate every assistagainst whom they now command our implicitance you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter support in every measure of desperate hostility- with every little pitiful German prince that sells this people, despised as rebels, or acknowledged and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foras enemies, are abetted against you, supplied eign prince; your efforts are forever vain and with every military store, their interests consult- impotent-doubly so from this mercenary aid on ed, and their embassadors entertained, by your which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurainveterate enemy! and our ministers dare not ble resentment, the minds of your enemies, to interpose with dignity or effect. Is this the overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine honor of a great kingdom? Is this the indig- and plunder, devoting them and their possessions nant spirit of England, who “but yesterday” to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were gave law to the house of Bourbon ? My Lords, an American, as I am an Englishman, while a the dignity of nations demands a decisive con- foreign troop was landed in my country, I never duct in a situation like this. Even when the would lay down my arms-never-never-never. greatest prince that perhaps this country ever Your own army is infected with the contagio saw, filled our throne, the requisition of a Span- of these illiberal allies. The spirit of plunder ish general, on a similar subject, was attended to, and of rapine is gone forth among them. I and complied with ; for, on the spirited remon- know it; and, notwithstanding what the noble strance of the Duke of Alva, Elizabeth found | Earl [Lord Percy) who moved the address has herself obliged to deny the Flemish exiles all given as his opinion of the American army, I countenance, support, or even entrance into her know from authentic information, and the most dominions; and the Count Le Marque, with his experienced officers, that our discipline is deeply few desperate followers, were expelled the king. wounded. While this is notoriously our sinking dom. Happening to arrive at the Brille, and situation, America grows and flourishes; while finding it weak in defense, they made themselves our strength and discipline are lowered, hers are masters of the place; and this was the founda- rising and improving. tion of the United Provinces.
But, my Lords, who is the man that, in addi. My Lords, this ruinous and ignominious situ- tion to these disgraces and mischiefs of our army, ation, where we can not act with success, nor has dared to authorize and associate to our arms suffer with honor, calls upon us to remonstrate the tomahawk and scalping-knife of the savage ? in the strongest and loudest language of truth, | to call into civilized alliance the wild and inhu
man savage of the woods; to delegate to the 2 "But yesterday the word of Cesar might Have stood against the world ; now lies he there,
merciless Indian the defense of disputed rights, And none so poor to do him reverence.”
and to wage the horrors of his barbarous war Julius Cesar, Act III., Sc. 6. !
3 General Burgoyne's army.