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war to the utmost of our ability; suppose your sacre and devastation to their true authors, supLordships should grant a fleet one day, an army posed that, as soldiers and Englishmen, those another; all these, I do affirm, will avail nothing, cruel excesses could not have originated with unless you accompany it with advice. Minis. the general, nor were consonant to the brave ters have been in error; experience has proved and humane spirit of a British soldier, if not com. it; and, wbat is worse, they continue it. They pelled to it as an act of duty. They traced the told you, in the beginning, that 15,000 men would first cause of those diabolic orders to their true traverse all America, without scarcely an ap source; and, by that wise and generous interpretpearance of interruption. Two campaigns have ation, granted their professed destroyers terms passed since they gave us this assurance. Tre- of capitulation which they could be only entitled ble that number have been employed; and one to as the makers of fair and honorable war. of your armies, which composed two thirds of My Lords, I should not have presumed to the force by which America was to be subdued, trouble you, if the tremendous state of this nation has been totally destroyed, and is now led cap- did not, in my opinion, make it necessary. Such tive through those provinces you call rebellious. as I have this day described it to be, I do mainThose men whom you called cowards, poltroons, tain it is. The same measures are still persistrunaways, and knaves, are become victorious ed in; and ministers, because your Lordships over your veteran troops; and, in the midst of have been deluded, deceived, and misled, previctory, and the flush of conquest, have set min. sume that, whenever the worst comes, they will isters an example of moderation and magnanim- be enabled to shelter themselves behind Parliaity well worthy of imitation.
ment. This, my Lords, can not be the case. My Lords, no time should be lost which may | They have committed themselves and their promise to improve this disposition in America, measures to the fate of war, and they must abide unless, by an obstinacy founded in madness, we the issue. I tremble for this country. I am alwish to stifle those embers of affection which, most led to despair that we shall ever be able to after all our savage treatment, do not seem, as extricate ourselves. At any rate, the day of ret. yet, to have been entirely extinguished. While ribution is at hand, when the vengeance of a on one side we must lament the unhappy fate of much-injured and afflicted people will, I trust, that spirited officer, Mr. Burgoyne, and the gal- fall heavily on the authors of their ruin; and I lant troops under his command, who were sacri- am strongly inclined to believe, that before the ficed to the wanton temerity and ignorance of day to which the proposed adjournment shall arministers, we are as strongly compelled, on the rive, the noble earl who moved it will have just other, to admire and applaud the generous, mag. cause to repent of his motion. nanimous conduct, the noble friendship, brotherly affection, and humanity of the victors, who, con This appeal was unavailing. The motion to descending to impute the horrid orders of mas- adjourn was carried by a vote of 47 to 18.
OF LORD CHATHAM, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS, APRIL 7, 1778.
INTRODUCTION. AFTER the delivery of the preceding speech, Lord Chatham continued to decline in health, and would probably never have appeared again in the House of Lords, had not a measure been proposed, against which he felt bound to enter a public remonstrance, even at the hazard of his life. Ignorant of the real state of feeling in America, he thought the colonies might be still brought back to their former allegiance and affection, if their wrongs were redressed. He learned, therefore, “with unspeakable concern,” that his friend the Duke of Richmond was about to move an address to the King, advising his Majesty to make a peace involving American independence, which Lord Chatham thought would be the ruin of his country. On the 7th of April, 1778, therefore, the day appointed for the Duke of Richmond's motion, ho came to Westminster, and refreshed himself for a time in the room of the Lord Chancellor, until he learned that business was about to commence. “He was then led into the House of Peers," says his biographer, “by his son, the Honorable William Pitt, and his son-in-law, Lord Mahon. He was dressed in a rich suit of black velvet, and covered up to the knees in flannel. Within his large wig, little more of his countenance was seen than his aquiline pose, and his penetrating eye, which retained all its native fire. He looked like a dying man, yet never was seen a figure of more dignity. He appeared like a being of a superior species. The Lords stood up and made a lane for him to pass to his seat, while, with a grace. fulness of deportment for wbich he was so eminently distinguished, he bowed to them as be proceeded. Having taken bis seat, he listened with profound attention to the Duke of Richmond's speech."
After Lord Weymouth had replied in behalf of the ministry, Lord Chatham rose with slowness and difficulty from his seat, and delivered the following speech. It is very imperfectly reported, and is interesting chiefly as showing "the master spirit strong in death ;" for he sunk under the effort, and survived only & few days. Supported by his two relations, he lifted his hand from the crutch on which he leaned, raised it up, and, casting his eyes toward heaven, commenced as follows :
SPEECH, &c. I THANK God that I have been enabled to ish Armada, now fall prostrate before the house come here to-day-to perform my duty, and of Bourbon ? Surely, my Lords, this nation is speak on a subject which is so deeply impressed no longer what it was! Shall a people that on my mind. I am old and infirm. I have one seventeen years ago was the terror of the world, foot-more than one foot-in the grave. I have now stoop so low as to tell its ancient inveterate risen from my bed to stand up in the cause of enemy, Take all we have, only give us peace ? my country- perhaps never again to speak in It is impossible! this House.
I wage war with no man or set of men. I (“The reverence, the attention, the stillness wish for none of their employments; nor would of the House,” said an eye-witness, “ were here I co-operate with men who still persist in unre. most affecting: had any one dropped a handker-tracted error, or who, instead of acting on a firm, chief, the noise would have been heard.” decisive line of conduct, halt between two opin
As he proceeded, Lord Chatham spoke at first ions, where there is no middle path. In God's in a low tone, with all the weakness of one who name, if it is absolutely necessary to declare eiis laboring under severe indisposition. Gradu-ther for peace or war, and the former can not be ally, however, as he warmed with the subject, preserved with honor, why is not the latter comhis voice became louder and more distinct, his menced without delay? I am not, I confess, well intonations grew more commanding, and his informed as to the resources of this kingdom, but whole manner was solemn and impressive in I trust it has still sufficient to maintain its just the highest degree. He went over the events rights, though I know them not. But, my Lords, of the American war with that luminous and any state is better than despair. Let us at least comprehensive survey for which he was so much make one effort, and, if we must fall, let us fall distinguished in his best days. He pointed out like men ! the measures he had condemned, and the results he had predicted, adding at each stage, When Lord Chatham had taken his seat, Lord as he advanced, " And so it proved! And so it | Temple remarked to him, “You have forgotten proved !” Adverting, in one part of his speech, to mention what we have been talking about. to the fears entertained of a foreign invasion, he Shall I get up?" "No," replied Lord Chatham, recurred to the history of the past : “A Spanish " I will do it by-and-by." invasion, a French invasion, a Dutch invasion, Lord Richmond replied to Lord Chatham, many noble Lords must have read of in history; telling him that the country was in no condition and some Lords” (looking keenly at one who sat to continue the war; and that, even if he himnear him, with a last reviving flash of his sar- self were now (as formerly) at the head of af. castic spirit), "some Lords may remember a fairs, his name, great as it was, could not repair Scotch invasion ! He could not forget Lord the shattered fortunes of the country. Lord ChatMansfield's defense of American taxation, and ham listened with attention, but gave indications, the measures of Lord Bute, which had brought at times, both by his countenance and his gesdown the country to its present degraded state, tures, that he felt agitated or displeased. from the exalted position to which he had raised When the Duke of Richmond had ended his it during his brief but splendid administration. speech, Lord Chatham made a sudden and strenHe then proceeded in the following terms :) My vous attempt to rise, as if laboring under the Lords, I rejoice that the grave has not closed pressure of painful emotions. He seemed eager upon me; that I am still alive, to lift up my to speak; but, after repeated efforts, he suddenly voice against the dismemberment of this ancient pressed his hand on his heart, and sunk down in and most noble monarchy! Pressed down as I convulsions. Those who sat near him caught am by the hand of infirmity, I am little able to him in their arms. His son William Pitt, then assist my country in this most perilous conjunc- a youth of seventeen, who was standing without ture; but, my Lords, while I have sense and the bar, sprang forward to support him. It is memory, I will never consent to deprive the off- this moment which Copley has chosen for his spring of the roval house of Brunswick, the heirs picture of the death of Lord Chatham. “His. of the Princess Sophia, of their fairest inherit-tory,' says an able writer, "has no nobler scene ance. I will first see the Prince of Wales, the to show than that which now occupied the House Bishop of Osnaburgh, and the other rising hopes of Lords. The unswerving patriot, whose long of the royal family, brought down to this com-life had been devoted to his country, had striven mittee, and assent 10 such an alienation. Where to the last. The aristocracy of the land stood is the man who will dare to advise it ? My Lords, around, and even the brother of the sovereign his Majesty succeeded to an empire as great in thought bimsell honored in being one of his supextent as its reputation was unsullied. Shall porters; party enmities were remembered no we tarnish the luster of this nation by an igno. more; every other feeling was lost in admiraminious surrender of its rights and fairest pos- tion of the great spirit which seemed to be passsessions ? Shall this great nation, that has sur ing away from among them.” He was removed vived, whole and entire, the Danish depredations, in a state of insensibility from the House, and carthe Scottish inroads, the Norman conquest—that ried to Hayes, where he lingered a few days, and has stood the threatened invasion of the Span- I died on the 11th of May, 1778, aged seventy.
LORD MANSFIELD. WILLIAM MURRAY, first Earl of Mansfield, was born at Scone Castle, near Perth, in Scotland, on the 2d of March, 1705. He was the fourth son of Lord Stormont, head of an ancient but decayed family, which had been reduced to comparative poverty by a long course of extravagance. The title having been conferred by James I., Lord Stormont, like his predecessors, remained true to the cause of the Stuarts. His second son, Lord Dunbar, was private secretary to the Pretender.
William was sent to London for his education at a very early age; and hence Johnson used sportively to maintain, that his success in after life ought not to be put to the credit of his country, since it was well known that “much might be made of a Scotchman if he was caught young." Not a little, however, had been done for William before he left the grammar-school of Perth. Though but fourteen years old, he could read quite freely in the Latin classics; he knew a large part of Sallust and Horace by heart; and was able not only to write Latin correctly, but to speak it with accuracy and ease. It is not surprising, therefore, considering his native quickness of mind, that within a year after he joined Westminster school, he gained its highest distinction, that of being chosen one of the King's scholars. He soon stood as “ dux," or leader of the school ; and, at the end of four years, after a rigorous examination, was put first on the list of those who were to be sent to Oxford, on the foundation at Christ Church. His choice had for some time been firmly fixed upon the law as a profession; and nothing could so gratify his feelings or advance his interests as to enter the University. But the straitened circumstances of his father seemed to forbid the thought; and he was on the point of giving up his most ardent wishes in despair, when a casual conversation with a young friend opened the way for his being sent to Oxford, with an honorable provision for his support. Lord Foley, father of the friend referred to, having heard of his superior abilities, and his strong attachment to the law, generously offered to assist him with the requisite means, to be repaid only in the event of his succeeding in after life.
During his residence at Oxford, he gave himself to study with that fervor and diligence for which he was always distinguished, quickened by a sense of the responsibilities he had incurred, and by a fixed resolve to place himself at the head of his profession. He made every thing subservient to a preparation for the bar; and while, in the spirit of that university, he studied Aristotle with delight as the great master of reasoning and thought, he devoted his most earnest efforts to improvement in oratory. He read every thing that had been written on the principles of the art ; he made himself familiar with all the great masters of eloquence in Greece and Rome, and spent much of his time in translating their finest productions as the best means of improving his style. Cicero was his favorite author; and he declared, in after life, that there was not one of his orations which he had not, while at Oxford, translated into English, and, after an interval, according to the best of his ability, re-translated into Latin.
Having taken his degree at the age of twenty-two, he entered on the study of the law at Lincoln's Inn in 1737. His labors were now conducted on the broadest scale. While law had the precedence, he carried on the practice of oratory with the utmost zeal. To aid him in extemporaneous speaking, he joined a debating society, where the most abstruse legal points were fully discussed. For these exercises, he prepared himself beforehand with such copiousness and accuracy, that the notes he used proved highly valuable in after life, both at the bar and on the bench. He found time, also, to pursue his historical studies to such an extent, that Lord Campbell speaks of his fa
miliarity with modern history as “ astounding and even appalling, for it produces a painful consciousness of inferiority, and creates remorse for time misspent.” When called to the bar in 1730, "he had made himself acquainted not only with international law, but with the codes of all the most civilized nations, ancient and modern; he was an elegant classical scholar; he was thoroughly imbued with the literature of his own country ; he had profoundly studied our mixed constitution ; he had a sincere desire to be of service to his country; and he was animated by a noble aspiration after honorable fame.”
When he first came to London as a boy in Westminster school, he was introduced by his countryman, Lord Marchmont, to Mr. Pope, then at the height of his unrivaled popularity. The poet took a lively interest in the young Scotchman, attracted not only by the quickness of his parts and the fineness of his manners and person, but by “the silvery tones of his voice," for which he continued to be distinguished to the end of life. Mr. Pope entered with the warmest concern into all his employments, and as sisted especially in his rhetorical studies during his preparation for the bar. One day. says his biographer, he was surprised by a friend, who suddenly entered the room, in “the act of practicing before a glass, while Pope sat by to aid him in the character of an instructor!" Their friendship continued throughout life; and in a new edition of the Dunciad Mr. Pope introduced his name, with that of other distinguished men, complaining that law and politics should have drawn them off from the more congenial pursuits of literature.
“Whate'er the talents and howe'er designed,
How many Martials were in Pulteney lost!" Some years elapsed after Mr. Murray's call to the bar before he had any business of importance; and then, after a few successful cases, it poured in upon him to absolute repletion. “From a few hundred pounds a year,” said he, “ I found myself in the receipt of thousands.” Retainers came in from every quarter; and one of a thousand guineas was sent by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, with that ostentatious munificence which she sometimes affected. Nine hundred and ninety-five guineas were returned by Mr. Murray, with the significant remark that “a retaining fee was never more nor less than five guineas.” He found her a very troublesome client. Not unfrequently she made her appearance at his chambers after midnight, crowding the street with her splendid equipage and her attendants with torches; and on one occasion when he was absent, his clerk, giving an account of her visit the next morning, said, “I could not make out, sir, who she was, for she would not tell me her name ; but she swore so dreadfully that she must have been a lady of quality !”
Soon after the fall of Sir Robert Walpole in 1742, Mr. Murray was appointed Solicitor General, and elected a member of Parliament through the influence of the Duke of Newcastle. His powerful talents were needed for the support of the new administration, which was suffering under the vehement attacks of Mr. Pitt. Here commenced that long series of conflicts which divided for life the two most accomplished orators of the age. It could not be otherwise, for never were two men more completely the antipodes of each other. Pitt was a Whig; Murray was a High Tory. Pitt was ardent, open, and impetuous; Murray was cool, reserved, and circumspect. The intellect of Pitt was bold and commanding ; that of Murray was subtle, penetrating, and refined. Pitt sought power ; Murray, office and emolument. Two such men could not but differ; and differing as they did for life, it was natural that the one should distrust or despise, and the other fear, perhaps hate. In native talent, it would be difficult to say which had the advantage ; but the mind of Murray was more perfectly trained, and his memory enriched with larger stores of knowledge. “In closeness of argument,” says an able writer, “ in happiness of illustration, in copiousness and grace of diction, the oratory of Murray was unsurpassed : and, indeed, in all the qualities which conspire to form an able debater, he is allowed to have been Pitt's superior. When measures were attacked, no one was better capable of defending them ; when reasoning was the weapon employed, none handled it with such effect; but against declamatory invective, his very temperament incapacitated him for contending with so much advantage. He was like an accomplished fencer, invulnerable to the thrusts of a small sword, but not equally able to ward off the downright stroke of a bludgeon.”
In 1754 Mr. Murray was appointed Attorney General, and soon after made leader of the House of Commons under the Duke of Newcastle. “At the beginning of the session,” says Horace Walpole, “ Murray was awed by Pitt; but, finding himself supported by Fox, he surmounted his fears, and convinced the House, and Pitt too, of his superior abilities. Pitt could only attack, Murray only defend. Fox, the boldest and ablest champion, was still more forward to worry; but the keenness of his saber was blunted by the difficulty with which he drew it from the scabbard—I mean, the hesitation and ungracefulness of his delivery took off from the force of his arguments. Murray, the brightest genius of the three, had too much and too little of the lawyer; he refined too much and could wrangle too little for a popular assembly.” We have seen already, in the life of Lord Chatham, what difficulties Murray had to encounter that session in sustaining the ministry of Newcastle, and the crushing force with which he was overwhelmed by his opponent. In 1756 he resolved to endure it no longer, and on the death of Sir Dudley Ryder he demanded the office of Chief Justice of the King's Bench. Newcastle refused, remonstrated, supplicated. “The writ for creating Murray,” he declared, “would be the death-warrant of his own administration.” He resisted for several months, offering the most tempting bribes, including a pension of £6000 a year, if he would only remain in the House until the new session was opened, and the address voted in reply to the King's speech. Murray declared, in the most peremptory terms, that he would not remain “a month or a day even to support the address ;” that “he never again would enter that assembly." Turning with indignation to Newcastle, he exclaimed, “What merit have I, that you should lay on this country, for which so little is done with spirit, the additional burden of £6000 a year;" and concluded with declaring his unalterable determination, if he was not made Chief Justice, to serve no longer as Attorney General. This brought Newcastle to a decision. On the 8th of November, 1756, Murray was sworn in as Chief Justice, and created a peer with the title of Baron Mansfield. At a later period he was raised to the earldom.
In entering on his new career, he was called upon to take public leave of his associates of Lincoln's Inn. On that occasion he was addressed in an elegant speech by the Honorable Charles Yorke. The reader will be interested in Mr. Murray's reply, as showing with what admirable dignity and grace he could receive the compliments bestowed upon him, and turn them aside in favor of another.
"I am too sensible, sir, of my being undeserving of the praises which you have so elegantly bestowed upon me, to suffer commendations so delicate as yours to insinuate themselves into my miod; but I have pleasure in that kind of partiality which is the occasion of them. To deserve such praises is a worthy object of ambition, and from such a tongue flattery itself is pleasing.
"If I have bad, in any measure, success in my profession, it is owing to the great man who has presided in our highest courts of judicature the whole time I attended the bar. It was im
Lord Hardwicke, father of Mr. Yorke.