« AnteriorContinuar »
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
up the soldier ere the morning star; While throng’d the citizens with terror dumb, Or whispering, with white lips—“ The foe! they come!
they come !"
And wild and high the “ Camerons' gathering” rose!
The stirring memory of a thousand years;
And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
Of living valour, rolling on the foe And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low!
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Which her own clay shall cover-heap'd and pent, Rider and horse,-friend, foe,-in one red burial blent!
Oh, then, I see Queen Mab has been with you,
And in this state she gallops, night by night,
Tickling the parson as he lies asleep;
SPEECH OF LORD CHATHAM AGAINST THE AMERICAN WAR,
I cannot, my Lords, I will not, join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. This, my Lords, is a perilous and tremendous moment. It is not a time for adulation: the smoothness of flattery cannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must, if possible, dispel the delusion and darkness which envelope it; and display, in its full danger and genuine colours, the ruin which is brought to our doors. Can ministers still presume to expect support in their infatuation? Can parliament be so dead to its dignity and duty, as to give their support to measures thus obtruded and forced upon them?—measures, my Lords, which have reduced this late flourishing empire to scorn and contempt! “But yesterday, and Britain might have stood against the world: now, none so poor as to do her reverence:* - The people, whom we at first despised as rebels, but whom we now acknowledge as enemies, are abetted against us, supplied with every military store, have their interest consulted, and their ambassadors entertained by our inveterate enemy—and ministers do not, and dare not, interpose with dignity or effect. The desperate state of our army abroad is in part known. No man more highly esteems and honours the British troops than I do; I know their
virtues and their valour; I know they can achieve anything but impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of British America is an impossibility. You cannot, My Lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst: but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing, and suffered much. You may swell every expense,
assistance, and extend your traffic to the shambles of every German despot: your attempts will be for ever vain and impotentdoubly so, indeed, from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your adversaries, to over-run them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms; - Never, never, never!
But, my Lords, who is the man, that, in addition to the disgraces and mischiefs of the war, has dared to authorise and associate to our arms the tomahawk and scalping-knife of the savage?-to call into civilized alliance, the wild and inhuman inhabitant of the woods?-to delegate to the merciless Indian, the defence of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of this barbarous war against our brethren? My Lords, these enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment. But, my Lords, this barbarous measure has been defended, not only on the principles of policy and necessity, but also on those of morality; "for it is perfectly allowable,” says Lord Suffolk,“ to use all the means, which God and nature have put into our hands.” I am astonished, I am shocked, to hear such principles confessed; to hear them avowed in this House, or in this country. My Lords, I did not intend to encroach so much on your attention, but I cannot repress my indignation—I feel myself impelled to speak. My Lords, we are called upon as members of this
House, as men, as Christians, to protest against such horrible barbarity!—“That God and nature have put into our hands!" What ideas of God and nature, that noble Lord may entertain, I know not; but I know, that such detestable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity. What! to attribute the sacred sanction of God and nature to the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife! to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, devouring, drinking the blood of his mangled victims! Such notions shock every precept of morality, every feeling of humanity, every sentiment of honour. These abominable principles, and this more abominable avowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation.
I call upon that Right Reverend, and this most Learned Bench, to vindicate the religion of their God, to support the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops, to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn;-upon the judges, to interpose the purity of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honour of Lordships, to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the national character. I invoke the genius of the constitution. From the tapestry that adorns these walls, the immortal ancestor of this noble lord frowns with indignation at the disgrace of his country. In vain did he defend the liberty, and establish the religion of Britain, against the tyranny of Rome, if these worse than Popish cruelties, and Inquisitorial practices, are endured among us.
To send forth the merciless cannibal, thirsting for blood! against whom?—your Protestant brethren! to lay waste their country, to desolate their dwellings, and extirpate their race and name, by the aid and instrumentality of these horrible hounds of war! Spain can no longer boast pre-eminence in barbarity. She armed herself with bloodhounds, to extirpate the wretched natives of Mexico; we, more ruthless, loose these dogs of war against our country