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tion, are not wanted : he must appeal to the sympathies of human , nature, and whatever is not founded in these, is foreign to his purpose. He does not create, he can only imitate or echo back the public sentiment. His object is to call up the feelings of the human breast ; but he cannot call up what is not already there, The first duty of an orator is to be understood by every one ; but it is evident that what all can understand, is not in itself difficult of comprehension. He cannot add any thing to the materials afforded him by the knowledge and experience of others.
Lord Chatham, in his speeches, was neither philosopher nor poet. As to the latter, the difference between poetry and eloquence I take to be this : that the object of the one is to delight the imagination, that of the other to impel the will. The one ought to enrich and feed the mind itself with tenderness and beauty, the other furnishes it with motives of action. The one seeks to give immediate pleasure, to make the mind dwell with rapture on its own workings—it is to itself « both end and use :" the other endeavours to call up such images as will produce the strongest effect upon the mind, and makes use of the passions only as instruments to attain a particular purpose. The poet lulls and soothes the mind into a forgetfulness of itself, and Japs it in Elysium :" the orator strives to awaken it to a sense of its real interests, and to make It feel the necessity of taking the most effectual means for securing them. The one dwells in an ideal world ; the other is only conversant about realities. Hence poetry must be more ornamented, must be richer and fuller and more delicate, because it is at liberty to select whatever images are naturally most beautiful, and likely to give most pleasure ; whereas the orator is confined to particular facts, which he may adorn as well as he can, and make the most of, but which he cannot strain beyond a certain point without running into extravagance and affectation, and losing his end. However, from the very nature of the case, the orator is allowed a greater latitude, and is compelled to make use of harsher and more abrupt combinations in the decoration of his subject ; for his art is an attempt to recancile beauty and deformi. ty together : on the contrary, the materials of poetry, which are chosen at pleasure, are in themselves beautiful, and naturally combine with whatever else is beautiful. Grace and harmony are therefore essential to poetry, because they naturally arise out of the subject; but whatever adds to the effect, whatever tends to strengthen the idea or give energy to the mind, is of the nature of eloquence. The orator is only concerned to give a tone of masculine firmness to the will, to brace the sinews and muscles of the mind; not to delight our nervous sensibilities, or soften the mind into voluptuous indolence. The flowery and sentimental style is of all others the most intolerable in a speaker. I shall only add on this subject, that modesty, impartiality and candour, are not the virtues of a public speaker. He must be confident, inflexible,
uncontrolable, overcoming all opposition by his ardour and impetuosity. We do not command others by sympathy with them, but by power, by passion, by will. Calm inquiry, sober truth, and speculative indifference, will never carry any point. The passions are contagious ; and we cannot contend against opposite passions with nothing but naked reason. Concessions to an enemy are clear loss : he will take advantage of them, but make us none in return. He will magnify the weak sides of our argument, but will be blind to whatever makes against himself. The multitude will always be inclined to side with that party, whose passions are the most inflamed, and whose prejudices are the most inveterate. Passion should therefore never be sacrificed to truth. It should indeed be governed by prudence, but it should yield nothing to reason, or principle. Fox was a reasoner, lord Chatham was an orator. Burke was both a reasoner, and a poet; and was therefore still farther removed from that conformity with the vulgar notions and mechanical feelings of makind, which will always be necessary to give a man the chief sway in a popular assembly
Mr. Pitt's Speech on the American Stamp Act.
MR. Pitt at beginning was rather low, and as every one was in agitation at his first rising, his introduction was not heard, till he said, I came to town but to-day; I was a stranger to the tenor of his majesty's speech, and the proposed address, till I heard them read in this house. Unconnected and unconsulted, I have not the means of information ; I am fearful of offending through mistake, and therefore beg to be indulged with a second reading of the proposed address.
The address being read, Mr. Pitt went on ; he commended the king's speech, approved of the address in answer, as it decided nothing, every gentleman being left at perfect liberty to take such a part concerning America, as he might afterwards see fit. One word only he could not approve of; “early” is a word that does not belong to the notice the ministry have given to parliament of the troubles in America. In a matter of such importance, the communication ought to have been immediate : I speak not with respect to parties, I stand
up in this place singly and unconnected. As to the late ministry, (turning himself to Mr. Grenville,) every capital measure they have taken, has been entirely wrong. As to the present gentlemen, to those at least whom I have in my eye, (looking at the bench where Mr. Conway sat, with the lords of the treasury,) I have no objection; I have never been made a sacrifice by any of them. Their characters are fair ; and I am always glad when men of fair character engage in his majesty's service. Some of thern have done me the honour to ask my poor opinion, before they would engage. These will do me the justice to own, I advised them to engage ; but notwithstanding I love to be explicit, I cannot give them my confidence. Pardon me, gentlemen, (bowing to the ministry) confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom: youth is the season of credulity : by comparing events with each other, reasoning froin effects to causes, methinks I plainly discover the traces of an over-ruling influence.
There is a clause in the act of settlement, to oblige every minister to sign his name to the advice which he gives to his sovereign. Would it were observed ! I have had the honour to serve the crown, and if I could have submitted to influence, I might have still continued to serve ; but I would not be responsible for others. I have no local attachments : it is indifferent to me, whether a man was rocked in his cradle on this or that side of the Tweed. I sought for merit wherever it was to be found. It is my boast, that I was the first minister that looked for it, and I found it, in the mountains of the North. I called forth, and drew into your service, a hardy and intrepid race of men ! men, who, when left by your jealousy, became a prey to the artifices of your enemies, and had gone nigh to have overturned the state, in the war before the last. These men, in the last war, were brought to combat on your side : they served with fidelity, as they fought with valour, and conquered for you in every part of the world : detested be the national reflections against them ! they are unjust,
groundless, illiberal, unmanly. When I ceased to serve his majesty as a minister, it was not the country of the man by which I was moved, but the man of that coun. try wanted wisdom, and held principles incompatible with freedom,
It is a long time, Mr. Speaker, since I have attended in parliament. When the resolution was taken in the house to tax America, I was ill in bed. If I could have endured to have been carried in my bed, so great was the agitation of my mind for the consequence, I would have solicited some kind hand, to have laid me down on this floor, to have born my testimony against it. It is now an act that has passed : I would speak with decency of every act of this house, but I must beg the indulgence of the house to speak of it with free. dom.
I hope a day may soon be appointed to consider the state of the nation with respect to America. I hope gentlemen will come to this debate with all the temper and impartiality that his majesty recommends, and the importance of the subject requires : a subject of greater importance than ever engaged the attention of this house, that subject only excepted, when, near a century ago, it was the question, whether you yourselves were to be bound or free.
In the mean time, as I cannot depend upon health for any future day, such is the nature of my infirmities, I will beg to say a few words at present, leaving the justice, the equity, the policy, the expediency of the act, to another time. I will only speak to one point, a point which seems not to have been generally understood I mean the right. Some gentlemen (alluding to Mr. Nugent) seem to have considered it as a point of honour. If gentlemen consider it in that light, they leave all measures of right and wrong, to follow a delusion that may lead to destruction. It is my opinion that this kingdom has no right to lay a tax upon the colonies, to be sovereign and supreme in every circumstance of VOL. II.
government and legislation whatsoever They are the subjects of this kingdom, equally entitled with yourselves to all the natural rights of mankind, and the peculiar privileges of Englishmen,
Equally bound by its laws, and equally participating of the constitution of this free country, the Americans are the sons, not the bastards of England Taxation is no part of the governing or legislative power. The taxes are a voluntary gift and grant of the commons alone. In legislation the three estates of the realm are alike concerned; but the concurrency of the peers and the crown to a tax, is only necessary to close with the form of a law.
The gift and grant is of the commons alone. In ancient days, the crown, the barons, and the clergy, possessed the lands. In those days, the barons and the clergy gave and granted to the crown. They gave and granted what was their own. At present, since the discovery of America, and other circumstances permitting, the commons are become the proprietors of the land, The crown has divested itself of its great estates. The church (God bless it) has but a pittance. The property of the lords, compared with that of the commons, is as a drop of water in the ocean ; and this house represents these commons, the proprietors of the lands; and those proprietors virtually represent the rest of the inhabitants.
When, therefore, in this house we give and grant, we give and grant what is our own. But in an American tax, what do we do? We, your majesty's commons of Great Britain, give and grant to your majesty, what? our own property ? -No, we give and grant to your majesty the property of the commons of America. It is an absurdity in terms.
The distinction between legislation and taxation is essentially necessary to liberty. The crown, the peers, are equally legislative powers with the commons. If taxation be a part of simple legislation, the crown, the peers,