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their complaints are regarded, that their inquiries shall be redressed. On that foundation I would take the lead in recommending peace and harmony to the people. On any other, I would never wish to see them united again. If the breach in the constitution be effectually repaired, the people will of themselves return to a state of tranquillity-If not-MAY DISCORD PREVAIL FOR EVER. I know to what point this doctrine and this language will appear directed. But I feel the principles of an Englishman, and I utter them without apprehension or reserve. The crisis is indeed alarming; so much the more does it require a prudent relaxation on the part of government. If the king's servants will not permit a constitutional question to be decided on, according to the forms, and on the principles of the constitution, it must then be decided in some other manner; and rather than it should be given up, rather than the nation should surrender their birth-right to a despotic minister, I hope, my lords, old as I am, I shall see the question brought to issue, and fairly tried between the people and the government. My lord, this is not the language of faction ; let it be tried by that criterion, by which alone we can distinguish what is factious, from what is notby the principles of the English constitution. I have been bred up in these principles; and know, that when the liberty of the subject-is invaded, and all redress denied him, resistance is justified. If I had a doubt upon the matter, I should follow the example set us by the most reverend bench, with whom I believe it is a maxim, when any doubt in point of faith arises, or any question of controversy is started, to appeal at once to the greatest source and evidence of our religion- I mean the Holy Bible: the constitution has its political Bible, by which, if it be fairly consulted, every political question may, and ought to be determined. Magna Charta, the Petition of Rights, and the Bill of Rights, form that code which I call the Bible of the English Constitution. Had some of his majesty's unhappy predecessors trusted less to the comments of their ministers, had they been better read in the text itself, the glorious revolution would have remained only possible in theory, and would not now have existed upon record, a formidable example to their successors.
One passage more, and we have done. It is the tion of a speech on the subject of America, and is of a less austere character than any of the specimens we have already given. Though the whole speech has been a good deal mutilated, this extract has a great appearance of genuineness. To us, it seems very beautiful.
“« This, my lords, though no new doctrine, has always been my received and unalterable opinion, and I will carry it to my grave, that this country had no right under heaven to tax America. It is contrary to all the principles of justice and civil policy, which neither the exigencies of the state, nor even an acquiescence in the taxes, could justify upon any occasion whatever. Such proceedings will never meet their wished-for success; and, instead of adding to their miseries, as the bill. now before you most undoubtedly does, adopt some lenient measures, which may lure them to their duty; proceed like a kind and affectionate parent over a child whom he tenderly loves; and, instead of those harsh and severe proceedings, pass an amnesty on all their youthful errors; clasp them once more in your fond and affectionate arms; and I will venture to affirm you will find them children worthy of their sire. But should their turbulence exist after your proffered terms of forgiveness, which I hope and expect this house will immediately adopt, I will be among the foremost of your lordships to move for such measures as will effectually prevent a future relapse, and make them feel what it is to provoke a fond and forgiving parent! a parent, my lords, whose welfare has ever been my greatest and most pleasing consolation. This declaration may seem unnecessary; but I will venture to assert, the period is not far distant, when she will want the assistance of her most distant friends : but should the all-disposing hand of providence prevent me from affording her my poor assistance, my prayers shall be ever for her welfare.---Length of days be in her right hand, and in her left riches and honour ; may her ways be the ways of pleasantness, and all her paths be peace!"
We have suggested, in the course of this article, some reasons which we thought likely to inspire a seasonable distrust of the doubts that had been cast upon Lord Chatham's patriotism. But the speeches from which we have now been quoting suggest another reason quite as powerful as any of those already stated. Nobody can fail to perceive how strongly he spoke upon any measure which he disapproved, and with
little qualification his censures were delivered. That he would necessarily excite the bitterest animosity in the minds of those to whom he stood politically opposed, by the manner and the success with which he held up their conduct to public reprobation, cannot be doubted for a single moment; and we have already adduced some reasons for believing, that the austerity of his character must have inspired his own adherents with occasional disgust. Such, then, being the case, we beg to ask, what is the inevitable inference from the proceedings which took place in parliament immediately after his death, and which are narrated in the following quotation ?
“ Intelligence of his death being sent to London, Colonel Barre (a principal member of Opposition), the moment he heard it, hastened to the House of Commons, who were then sitting, and communicated the melancholy information. Although it was an event, that had, in some measure, been expected for several days, yet the house were affected with the deepest sensibility. Even the adherents of the court joined in the general sorrow, which was apparent in every countenance. The old members indulged a fond remembrance of the energy and melody of his voice; his commanding eye, his graceful action. The new members lamented, they should hear no more the precepts of his experience, nor feel the powers of his eloquence. A deep grief pre
vailed. The public loss was acknowledged on all sides. Every one bore testimony to the abilities and virtues of the deceased. On this occasion, all appearance of party was extinguished. There was but one sense throughout the house.
“ Colonel Barre moved, “That an humble address be presented to his majesty, requesting that his majesty will be graciously pleased to give directions that the remains of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, be interred at the public expense; and that a monument be erected in the collegiate church of St. Peter, Westminster, to the memory of that great and excellent statesman, and an inscription expressive of the sentiments of the people on so great and irreparable a loss; and to assure his majesty that this house would make good the expense attending the same.
“ While this motion was reading, Lord North (then prime minister) came into the house, and as soon as he was informed of the business, he gave it his most hearty concurrence; lamenting that he had not come in sooner, that he might have had the honour to have made the motion himself.
“ The motion was agreed to UNANIMOUSLY.
“ Lord John Cavendish said, that he hoped the public gratitude would not stop here. As that invaluable man had, whilst in the nation's service, neglected his own affairs, and though he had the greatest opportunity of enriching himself, had never made any provision for his family, he hoped an ample provision would be made for the descendants of so honest and able a minister.
Lord North coincided warmly in the noble lord's wish; and Lord Nugent, Mr. Fox, Mr. Montagu, Mr. Byng, and several other gentlemen, expressed the most sincere affection for the deceased peer, and pronounced the highest eulogiums on his virtue and talents; adding, that he had neglected his private interests by directing his whole attention to national objects. Mr. T. Townshend, now Lord Sydney, moved, That an humble address be presented to the king, expressing the wishes of the house, that his majesty would confer some signal and lasting mark of his royal favour on the family of the deceased earl, and that whatever bounty he should think proper to bestow, the house would cheerfully make good the same. The motion was agreed to UNANIMOUSLY.” *
In concluding this article, we cannot but express our regret, that the life of Lord Chatham has never yet been written by any man qualified to do him justice. The author, of whose volumes we have been speaking, is anonymous; and though his work is creditable to the writer, with the limited means of information which he describes in his preface, it is
As far as we know, a similar tribute of respect has never been paid to any other statesman. A motion to the same effect was made on the death of Mr. W. Pitt in 1806; but the house was by no means unanimous, and a division actually took place.
altogether unworthy of the great subject of his biography. We do sincerely wish that some one who could appreciate Lord Chatham's virtues and talents, and who could, at the same time, dispel the clouds which rest upon the history of his earlier days, would undertake the task of representing this great man in his proper colours to posterity. It would be an honourable, and, we think, a patriotic undertaking. It would be discharging a debt that has been long due ; while it held out a brilliant example to stimulate the honest independence and active patriotism of distant generations.
Englishmen owe it to themselves and their children to cherish the memory of such a statesman. It is matter of national importance that his fame should be preserved unsullied. Calumny, whether contemporary or posthumous, should be indignantly discountenanced. It is upon this principle, and because we desire that our readers should examine Lord Chatham's life for themselves, that we have made these few obser. vations, and made them so perfectly general. We presume not to write the panegyric of such a man: it was never our intention to do so. We knew well enough, that that task had been executed already, in a manner so full as to leave nothing deficient,-so perfect, as to outstrip all competition. But we did feel a wish to deposit our humble wreath upon this altar: and we beg that the ardour of our devotion may not be measured by the value of the offering,
“ Recorded honours (said Junius, long ago) shall gather round his monument, and thicken over him. It is a solid fabric, and will support the laurels that adorn it."
Art. X.--The Poetical Works of William Shakespeare; con
taining his Venus and Adonis, Rape of Lucrece, Sonnets, Passionate Pilgrim, and Lover's Complaint. 12mo. 1774.
In criticism, where we cater for a national taste, something more than the ordinary caution is desirable.
If an author shine in one vein, it is odds but he will be coarse or dull in another, and the critic's acumen is sharpened by this foreknowledge of a probable infirmity, and sometimes (not unfrequently) rewarded. The writer of criticism, therefore, goes to his task with a somewhat objective spirit. However he may wish to be good-natured he must not be blind; nor is it well, either for his own sake, or for that of the author reviewed, that he should smear his page all over with base and unrelieved adulation.- We ourselves are, from our station, necessarily exempt from some of the impulses of modern criticism. We have no personal feeling to satisfy, no friend to help, no foe to vanquish. There can be no enmity between us and the grave.
Oblivion and the dust of coffins neutralize all critical acidity. It is not in our nature to fight with shadows, nor to spurn at a forgotten renown. In truth, our confessed object is to rescue the wise (but not the dull) from neglect, and to show the beauties, while we glance at the defects, of the worthiest of our elder writers. To this fair and gentle dealing, the poets and writers of all times must consent to be amenable. Our sway is indisputable, universal, through the wide regions of learning, and over its motley population, from Settle to Milton,-with one great and solitary exception.
When we turn to SHAKESPEARE,—we scarcely know why it is, but-we seem to lay aside a portion of our critical spirit. We survey his rising, his falling, his eclipse, his brightness, and his impetuous power, with the wonder which belongs to inferior natures. We no more oppose ourselves to his genius, than we strive to beat back the great surges of the sea.
We speak of the aberrations of smaller wits, and cut down, with a remorseless hand, their flourishing absurdities,-we analyze, we except against, we praise coldly, like patrons. But before the boundless wealth of our supreme poet we bow, as to a golden idol. We receive bis great gifts and think it sufficient to be grateful,--taking the bad and the good together, with little scrutiny and no objection. We seem to feel, by some extraordinary intuition, the power and splendid grace of the creature before us, and without any of the old suspicion (timeo Danaos et dona ferentes) we cast ourselves into the arms of the great master of all the passions, and revel in his absolute abundance.
It is the fashion to admire Shakespeare before every other writer of our country :—and the fashion is good. He was beyond doubt the rarest spirit that ever spoke, uninspired, to
The scholar and the antiquarian,--the Greek, the Roman, and the Italian, may contend for the high excellence of others. They may laud the originality and majesty of Homer, the grace of Virgil, and the terrible strength of Dante. We admit them all. Those great authors may (or may not) be more original than our own poet. They certainly possessed the doubtful advantage of having lived (and died) before him. But that the one is more original where he claims originality, or that the others surpassed him in occasional grace, or could compete with him in general power, we utterly deny.