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against our brethren ? My Lords, these enor- / and mutual interest that united both countries nuties cry aloud for redress and punishment. This was the established sentiment of all the Unless thoroughly done away, it will be a stain Continent; and still, my Lords, in the great and on the national character. It is a violation of principal part, the sound part of America, this the Constitution. I believe it is against law. wise and affectionate disposition prevails. And It is not the least of our national misfortunes there is a very considerable part of America yet that the strength and character of our army are sound--the middle aud the southern provinces. thus impa red. Infected with the mercenary Some parts may be factious and blind to their spirit of robbery and rapine ; familiarized to the true interests ; but if we express a wise and norrid scenes of savage cruelty, it can no longer benevolent disposition to commuuicate with them noast of the noble and generous principles which those immutable rights of nature and those con. lignily a soldier; no longer sympathize with the stitutional liberties to which they are equally dignity of the royal banner, nor feel the pride, entitled with ourselves, by a conduct so just and pomp, and circumstance of glorious war, " that humane we shall confirm the favorable and con make ambition virtue !" What makes ambition ciliate the adverse. I say, my Lords, the rights virtue ?—the sense of honor. But is the sense and liberties to which they are equally entitled of honor consistent with a spirit of plunder, or with ourselves, but no more. I would partici. the practice of murder ? Can it flow from mer- pate to them every enjoyment and freedom which cenary motives, or can it prompt to cruel deeds ? the colonizing subjects of a free state can posBesides these murderers and plunderers, let me sess, or wish to possess; and I do not see why ask our ministers, What other allies have they they should not enjoy every fundamental right acquired ? What other powers have they asso- in their property, and every original substantial piated to their cause ? Have they entered into liberty, which Devonshire, or Surrey, or the coun alliance with the king of the gipsies ? Nothing, ty I live in, or any other county in England, can my Lords, is too low or too ludicrous to be con- claim; reserving always, as the sacred right of sistent with their counsels.
the mother country, the due constitutional de. The independent views of America have been pendency of the colonies. The inherent supremstated and asserted as the foundation of this ad- acy of the state in regulating and protecting tho dress. My Lords, no man wishes for the due navigation and commerce of all her subjects, is dependence of America on this country more necessary for the mutual benefit and preservathan I do. To preserve it, and not confirm that tion of every part, to constitute and preserve the state of independence into which your measures prosperous arrangement of the whole empire. hitherto have driven them, is the object which The sound parts of America, of which I have we ought to unite in attaining. The Americans, spoken, must be sensible of these great truths contending for their rights against arbitrary ex- and of their real interests. America is not in actions, I love and admire. It is the struggle of that state of desperate and contemptible rebellfree and virtuous patriots. But, contending for ion which this country has been deluded to beindependency and total disconnection from En- lieve. It is not a wild and lawless banditti, who, gland, as an Englishman, I can not wish them having nothing to lose, might hope to snatch success; for in a due constitutional depend something from public convulsions. Many of ency, including the ancient supremacy of this their leaders and great men have a great stake country in regulating their commerce and navi- in this great contest. The gentleman who con. gation, consists the mutual happiness and pros- ducts their armies, I am told, has an estate of perity both of England and America. She de- | four or five thousand pounds a year; and when rived assistance and protection from us; and we consider these things, I can not but lament the reaped from her the most important advantages. inconsiderate violence of our penal acts, our dec. She was, indeed, the fountain of our wealth, the larations of treason and rebellion, with all the nerve of our strength, the nursery and basis of fatal effects of attainder and confiscation. our naval power. It is our duty, therefore, my As to the disposition of foreign powers which Lords, if we wish to save our country, most se- is asserted in the King's speech] to be pacific riously to endeavor the recovery of these most and friendly, let us judge, my Lords, rather by beneficial subjects; and in this perilous crisis, their actions and the nature of things than by perhaps the present moment may be the only interested assertions. The uniform assistance one in which we can hope for success. For in supplied to America by France, suggests a diftheir negotiations with France, they have, or ferent conclusion. The most important interests think they have, reason to complain; though it of France in aggrandizing and enriching herself be notorious that they have received from that with what she most wants, supplies of every power important supplies and assistance of va- naval store from America, must inspire her with rious kinds, yet it is certain they expected it in different sentiments. The extraordinary prepa more decisive and immediate degree. Amer- arations of the house of Bourbon, by land and by ica is in ill humor with France; on some points sea, from Dunkirk te the Straits, equally ready they have not entirely answered her expecta- and willing to overwhelm these defenseless isl. tions. Let us wisely take advantage of every ands, should rouse us to a sense of their real dispossible moment of reconciliation. Besides, the position and our own danger. Not five thou. natural disposition of America herself still leans sand troops in England ! hardly three thonsand Loward England; to the old habits of connection in Ireland! What can we oppose to the con:
Lined force of our enemies? Scarcely twenty | final ruin. We madly rush into multipåed mis. ships of the line so fully or sufficiently manned, eries, and “confusion worse confounded.” that any admiral's reputation would permit him Is it possible, can it be believed, that minis. to take the command of. The river of Lisbon in ters are yet blind to this impending destruction ? the possession of our enemies ! The seas swept I did hope, that instead of this false and empty by American privateers ! Our Channel trade torn vanity, this overweening pride, engendering high to pieces by them! In this complicated crisis conceits and presumptuous imaginations, minisof danger, weakness at home, and calamity ters would have humbled themselves in their abroad, terrified and insulted by the neighboring errors, would have confessed and retracted them, powers, unable to act in America, or acting only and by an active, though a late repentance. have to be destroyed, where is the man with the fore- endeavored to redeem them. But, my Lords, head to promise or hope for success in such a since they had neither sagacity to foresee, nor situation, or from perseverance in the measures justice nor humanity to shun these oppressive that have driven us to it ? Who has the fore calamities— since not even severe experience head to do so? Where is that man? I should can make them feel, nor the imminent ruin of be glad to see his face.
their country awaken them from their stupefacYou can not conciliate America by your pres. tion, the guardian care of Parliament must inter
You can not subdue her by your pose. I shall therefore, my Lords, propose to present or by any measures. What, then, can you an amendment of the address to his Majesty, you do? You can not conquer; you can not to be inserted immediately after the two first gain; but you can address ; you can lull the paragraphs of congratulation on the birth of a fears and anxieties of the moment into an igno- princess, to recommend an immediate cessation rance of the danger that should produce them. of hostilities, and the commencement of a treaty But, my Lords, the time demands the language to restore peace and liberty to America, strength of truth. We must not now apply the flattering and happiness to England, security and permaunction of servile compliance or blind complais- nent prosperity to both countries. This, my ance. In a just and necessary war, to maintain Lords, is yet in our power; and let not the wis. the rights or honor of my country, I would strip dom and justice of your Lordships neglect the the shirt from my back to support it. But in happy, and, perhaps the only opportunity. By such a war as this, unjust in its principle, im- the establishment of irrevocable law, founded on practicable in its means, and ruinous in its con- mutual rights, and ascertained by treaty, these sequences, I would not contribute a single effort glorious enjoyments may be firmly perpetuated. nor a single shilling. I do not call for venge. And let me repeat to your Lordships, that the ance on the heads of those who have been guilty; strong bias of America, at least of the wise and I only recommend to them to make their retreat. sounder parts of it, naturally inclines to this hapLet them walk off; and let them make haste, or py and constitutional reconnection with you. they may be assured that speedy and condign Notwithstanding the temporary intrigues with punishment will overtake them.
France, we may still be assured of their ancient My Lords, I have submitted to you, with the and confirmed partiality to us. America and freedom and truth which I think my duty, my France can not be congenial. There is somesentiments on your present awful situation. I thing decisive and confirmed in the honest Amerhave laid before you the ruin of your power, the ican, that will not assimilate to the futility and disgrace of your reputation, the pollution of your levity of Frenchmen. discipline, the contamination of your morals, the My Lords, to encourage and confirm that in. complication of calamities, foreign and domestic, nate inclination to this country, founded on every that overwhelm your sinking country. Your principle of affection, as well as consideration of dearest interests, your own liberties, the Consti- interest ; to restore that favorable disposition tition itself, totters to the foundation. All this into a permanent and powerful reunion with this disgraceful danger, this multitude of misery, is country; to revive the mutual strength of the the monstrous offspring of this unnatural war. empire; again to awe the house of Bourbon, inWe have been deceived and deluded too long. stead of meanly truckling, as our present calamLet us now stop short. This is the crisis--the ities compel us, to every insult of French caprice only crisist of time and situation, to give us a and Spanish punctilio; to re-establish our compossibility of escape from the fatal effects of our merce; to reassert our rights and our honor ; to delusions. But if, in an obstinate and infatuated confirm our interests, and renew our glories for. perseverance in folly, we slavishly echo the per- ever-a consummation most devoutly to be enemptory words this day presented to us, nothing deavored ! and which, I trust, may yet arise from can save this devoted country from complete and reconciliation with America—I have the honor
of submitting to you the following amendment, • It can not have escaped observation, says Chap which I move to be inserted after the two first man, with what urgent anxiety the noble speaker paragraphs of the address : has pressed this point throughout his speech; the
“And that this House does most humbly adcritical necessity of instantly treating with America. But the warning voice was beard in vain; the advise and supplicate his Majesty to be pleased to dress triumphed; Parliament adjourned ; ministers cause the most speedy and effectual measures to enjoyed the festive recess of a long Christmas ; and be taken for restoring peace in America; and Anerica ratified her alliance with France. that no time may be lost in proposing an imme.
diate cessation of hostilities there, in order to the of their lawn; upon the learned Judgos, to in opening of a treaty for the final settlement of terpose the purity of their ermine, to save u: the tranquillity of these invaluable provinces, by from this pollution. call upon the honor of a removal of the unhappy causes of this ruinous your Lordships, to reverence the dignity of youı civil war, and by a just and adequate security ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call against the return of the like calamities in times upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to
And this House desire to offer the vindicate the national character. I invoke the most dutiful assurances to his Majesty, that they genius of the Constitution. From the tapestry will, in due time, cheerfully co-operate with the that adorns these walls, the immortal ancestor magnanimity and tender goodness of his Majes of this noble Lord frowns with indignation at the :y for the preservation of his people, by such disgrace of his country. In vain he led your explicit and most solemn declarations, and pro- victorious fleets against the boasted Armada of visions of fundamental and irrevocable laws, as Spain; in vain he defended and established tho may be judged necessary for the ascertaining honor, the liberties, the religion—the Protestant and fixing forever the respective rights of Great religion of this country, against the arbitrary Britain and her colonies."
cruelties of popery and the Inquisition, if these [In the course of this debate, Lord Suffolk, more than popish cruelties and inquisitorial prac. secretary for the northern department, under- tices are let loose among us—to turn forth into took to defend the employment of the Indians in our settlements, among our ancient connections, the war. His Lordship contended that, besides friends, and relations, the merciless cannibal, its policy and necessity, the measure was also al. thirsting for the blood of man, woman, and child ! lowable on principle ; for that “it was perfectly to send forth the infidel savage-against whom ? justifiable to use all the means that God and na. against your Protestant brethren; to lay waste ture put into our hands !']
their country, to desolate their dwellings, and I am astonished ! (exclaimed Lord Chatham, extirpate their race and name with these horri. as he rose), shocked! to hear such principles ble hell-hounds of savage war - hell-hounds, I confessed—to hear them avowed in this House, say, of savage war! Spain armed herself with or in this country; principles equally unconsti- blood-hounds to extirpate the wretched natives tutional, inhuman, and unchristian !
of America, and we improve on the inhuman exMy Lords, I did not intend to have encroach- ample even of Spanish cruelty; we turn loose ed again upon your attention, but I can not re- these savage hell-hounds against our brethren press my indignation. I feel myself impelled by and countrymen in America, of the same lanevery duty. My Lords, we are called upon as guage, laws, liberties, and religion, endeared to members of this House, as men, as Christian us by every tie that should sanctify humanity. men, to protest against such notions standing My Lords, this awful subject, so important to near the Throne, polluting the ear of Majesty: our honor, our Constitution, and our religion, " That God and nature put into our hands !" I demands the most solemn and effectual inquiry. know not what ideas that Lord may entertain of And I again call upon your Lordships, and the God and nature, but I know that such abom- united powers of the state, to examine it thorinable principles are equally abhorrent to relig. oughly and decisively, and to stamp upon it an ion and humanity. What! to attribute the sa- indelible stigma of the public abhorrence And cred sanction of God and nature to the massa- I again implore those holy prelates of our relig. cres of the Indian scalping-knise-to the canni-ion to do away these iniquities from among us. bal savage torturing, murdering, roasting, and Let them perform a lustration ; let them purify eating—literally, my Lords, eating the mangled this House, and this country, from this sin. victims of his barbarous battles! Such horrible My Lords, I am old and weak, and at present notions shock every precept of religion, divine or unable to say more; but my feelings and indig. natural, and every generous feeling of humanity. nation were too strong to have said less. ] And, my Lords, they shock every sentiment of could not have slept this night in my bed, nor honor ; they shock me as a lover of honorable reposed my head on my pillow, without giving war, and a detester of murderous barbarity. this vent to my eternal abhorrence of such pre These abominable principles, and this mor
hore posterous and enormous principles. abominable avowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation. I call upon that right reverend bench, those holy ministers of the Gospel, This speech had no effect. The amendment and pious pastors of our Church–I conjure them was rejected by a vote of 97 to 24. to join in the holy work, and vindicate the relig. ion of their God. I appeal to the wisdom and
5 The tapestry of the House of Lords represented the law of this learned bench, to defend and sup- the English fleet led by the ship of the lord admi port the justice of their country. I call upon ral, Effingham Howard (ancestor of Buffolk, to er the Bishoqıs, to interpose the unsullied sanctity / gage the Spanish Armada.
OF LORD CHATHAM AGAINST A MOTION FOR ADJOURNING PARLIAMENT, DELIVERED IN THB
HOUSE OF LORDS, DECEMBER 11, 1777.
INTRODUCTION. One of the ministry having moved that the Parliament do adjourn for the space of six weeks, Lorc Chatham opposed the motion in the following speech, in which he dwelt on the dangerous condition of the country, as demanding the immediate attention of Parliament.
SPEECH, &c. It is not with less grief than astonishment I may, by this time, be no more. This very nation near the motion now made by the noble Earl, at remains no longer safe than its enemies think a time when the affairs of this country present proper to permit. I do not augur ill. Events on every side prospects full of awe, terror, and of a most critical nature may take place before impending danger; when, I will be bold to say, our next meeting. Will your Lordships, then, events of a most alarming tendency, little ex- in such a state of things, trust to the guidance pected or foreseen, will shortly happen; when of men who in every step of this cruel, wicked a cloud that may crush this nation, and bury it war, from the very beginning, have proved themin destruction forever, is ready to burst and over-selves weak, ignorant, and mistaken? I will not whelm us in ruin. At so tremendous a season, say, my Lords, nor do I mean any thing personit does not become your Lordships, the great al, or that they have brought premeditated ruin hereditary council of the nation, to neglect your on this country. I will not suppose that they duty, to retire to your country seats for six foresaw what has since happened, but I do conweeks, in quest of joy and merriment, while the tend, my Lords, that their want of wisdom, their real state of public affairs calls for grief, mourn- incapacity, their temerity in depending on their ing, and lamentation—at least, for the fullest ex- own judgment, or their base compliances with ertions of your wisdom. It is your duty, my the orders and dictates of others, perhaps caused Lords, as the grand hereditary council of the na- by the influence of one or two individuals, have tion, to advise your sovereign, to be the protect- rendered them totally unworthy of your Lordors of your country, to feel your own weight and ships' confidence, of the confidence of Parlia. authority. As hereditary counselors, as mem- ment, and those whose rights they are the con. bers of this House, you stand between the Crown stitutional guardians of, the people at large. A and the people. You are nearer the Throne remonstrance, my Lords, should be carried to the than the other branch of the Legislature ; it is Throne. The King has been deluded by his min your duty to surround and protect, to counsel isters. They have been imposed on by false inand supplicate it. You hold the balance. Your formation, or have, from motives best known to duty is to see that the weights are properly themselves, given apparent credit to what they poised, that the balance remains even, that nei. have been convinced in their hearts was untrue. ther may encroach on the other, and that the The nation has been betrayed into the ruinous executive power may be prevented, by an un- measure of an American war by the arts of imconstitutional exertion of even constitutional au- position, by their own credulity, through the thority, from bringing the nation to destruction. means of false hopes, false pride, and promised
My Lords, I fear we are arrived at the very advantages, of the most romantic and improbabrink of that state, and I am persuaded that ble nature. nothing short of a spirited interposition on your My Lords, I do not wish to call your attention part, in giving speedy and wholesome advice to entirely to that point. I would fairly appeal to your sovereign, can prevent the people from feel your own sentiments whether I can be justly ing beyond remedy the full effects of that ruin charged with arrogance or presumption if I say, which ministers have brought upon us. These great and able as ministers think themselves, that calamitous circumstances ministers have been all the wisdom of the nation is not confined to the the cause of; and shall we, in such a state of narrow circle of their petty cabinet. I might, I things, when every moment teems with events think, without presumption, say, that your Lordproductive of the most fatal narratives, shall we ships, as one of the branches of the Legislature, trust, during an adjournment of six weeks, to may be supposed as capable of advising your sove those men who have brought those calamities ereign, in the moment of difficulty and danger, upon us, when, perhaps, our utter overthrow is as any lesser council, composed of a fewer num. plotting, nay, ripe for execution, without almost ber, and who, being already so fatally tristed, a possibility of prevention ? Ten thousand brave have betrayed a want of honesty or a want of men have fallen victims to ignorance and rash- talents. Is it, my Lords, within the utmost ness. The only army you have in America stretch of the most sanguine expectation, that the
· Tl.is refers to the surrender of Bargoyne's army, same men who have plunged you into your pres. which took place October 176h, 1777.
ent perilous and calamitous situation are the proper persons to rescue you from it? No, my Lords, the last war, it was thought advisable to levy in such an expectation would be preposterous and dependent companies. They were, when com absurd. I say, my Lords, you are now specially pleted, formed into two battalions, and proved called upon to interpose. It is your duty to fore- of great service. I love the army. I know its go every call of business and pleasure, to give up use. But I must nevertheless own that I was a your whole time to inquire into past misconduct ; great friend to the measure of establishing a na. to provide remedies for the present; to prevent tional militia. I remember, th: last war, that future evils; to rest on your arms, if I may use there were three camps formed of that corps at the expression, to watch for the public safety; once in this kingdom. I saw them myself-ono to defend and support the Throne, and, if Fate at Winchester, another in the west, at Plymouth, should so ordain it, to fall with becoming forti- and a third, if I recollect right, at Chatham. inde, with the rest of your fellow-subjects, in the Whether the militia is at present in such a state general ruin. I fear this last must be the event as to answer the valuable purposes it did then, of this mad, unjust, and cruel war. It is your or is capable of being rendered so, I will not Lordships' duty to do every thing in your power pretend to say; but I see no reason why, in such that it shall not; but, if it must be so, I trust your a critical state of affairs, the experiment should Lordships and the nation will fall gloriously. not be made, and why it may not be put again
My Lords, as the first and most immediate on the former respectable footing. I rememobject of your inquiry, I would recommend to you ber, all circumstances considered, when appearto consider the true state of our home defense. ances were not near so melancholy and alarm. We have heard much from a noble Lord in this ing as they are, that there were more troops in House of the state of our navy. I can not give the county of Kent alone, for the defense of the an implicit belief to all I have heard on that im- kingdom, than there are now in the whole island. portant subject. I still retain my former opinion My Lords, I contend that we have not, nor relative to the number of line of battle ships; but can procure any force sufficient to subdue Amer. as an inquiry into the real state of the navy is ica. It is monstrous to think of it. There are destined to be the subject of future considera- several noble Lords present, well acquainted tion, I do not wish to hear any more about it till with military affairs. I call upon any one of that period arrives. I allow, in argument, that them to rise and pledge himself that the milita. we have thirty-five ships of the line fit for actual ry force now within the kingdom is adequate to service. I doubt much whether such a force its defense, or that any possible force to be prowould give us full command of the Channel. I cured from Germany, Switzerland, or elsewhere, am certain, if it did, every other part of our pos- will be equal to the conquest of America. I am sessions must lie naked and defenseless, in every too perfectly persuaded of their abilities and inquarter of the globe.
tegrity to expect any such assistance from them. I fear our utter destruction is at hand. What, Oh! but if America is not to be conquered, she my Lords, is the state of our military defense ? may be treated with. Conciliation is at length I would not wish to expose our present weak- thought of. Terms are to be offered. Who are ness; but, weak as we are, if this war should be the persons that are to treat on the part of this continued, as the public declaration of persons afflicted and deluded country? The very men in high confidence with their sovereign would who have been the authors of our misfortunes. induce us to suppose, is this nation to be entirely The very men who have endeavored, by the most stripped? And if it should, would every soldier pernicious policy, the highest injustice and opnow in Britain be sufficient to give us an equal pression, the most cruel and devastating war, to ity to the force of America ? I will maintain enslave those people they would conciliate, to they would not. Where, then, will men be pro- gain the confidence and affection of those who cured ? Recruits are not to be had in this have survived the Indian tomahawk and German country. Germany will give no more. I have bayonet.
Can your Lordships entertain the read in the newspapers of this day, and I have most distant prospect of success from such a reason to believe it true, that the head of the treaty and such negotiations ? No, my Lords, Germanic body has remonstrated against it, and the Americans have virtue, and they must detest has taken measures accordingly to prevent it. the principles of such men. They have under. Ministers have, I hear, applied to the Swiss Can. standing, and too much wisdom to trust to the
The idea is preposterous. The Swiss cunning and narrow politics which must cause never permit their troops to go beyond sea. such overtures on the part of their merciless perBut, my Lords, even if men were to be procured secutors. My Lords, I maintain that they would in Germany, how will you march them to the shun, with a mixture of prudence and detesta. water side ? Have not our ministers applied tion, any proposition coming from that quarter. for the port of Embden, and has it not been re- They would receive terms from such men ag fused ? I say, you will not be able to procure snares to allure and betray. They would dread men even for your home defense, if some imme- them as ropes meant to be put about their legs, diate steps be not taken. I remember, during in order to entangle and overthrow them in cer.
2 Here, and in many other parts of his speech, his tain ruin. My. Lords, supposing that our doLordship broadly binted that the house of Bourbon mestic danger, if at all, is far distant; that our was meditating some important and decisive blow enemies will leave us at liberty to prosecule this Dear home,
3 This was afterward done.