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That he alone should revel in the charms
War. 'Tis false! |
You knew it all, and meanly took occasion, |
Which your king dom could not purchase. |
Ed. How know you that? | but be it as it may', |
To choose the partner of my throne: |
War. Prerogative! | what's that? | the boast of ty rants,
A borrow'd jewel, glittering in the crown
Ed. And therefore do I prize it: I would guard
Ed. Is it so, my lord? |
Then mark my words.: I've been your slave too long, 1
And you have ruled me with a rod of iron;|
But henceforth know, proud peer, I am thy mas`ter, And will be so: the king who delegates
His power to others' hands, but ill deserves
War. Look well then to your own: |
It sits but loosely on your head; | for, know`, |
Ed. Nor he who threaten'd Edward |
You may repent it, Sir- my guards' there | seize
SPEECH ON THE SUBJECT OF EMPLOYING THE INDIANS
TO FIGHT AGAINST THE AMERICANS. Nov. 18, 1777.*
I can not, 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 adula'tion: 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 its support to measures thus obtruded, and forced upon it? | measures, my lords, | which have reduced this late flourishing empire to scorn, and contempt. But yesterday, and England might have stood against the world; | now, none so poor as to do her reverence! |
* Mr. P.tt delivered this speech in opposition to Lord Suffolk, who proposed in Parliament to employ the Indians against the Americans; and who had said, in the course of the debate, that they had a right to use all the means, that God and Nature had put into their hands, to conquer America.
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', their interest consulted, and their anibassadors 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 hon'ors the English troops than I do: I know their virtues, and their valor; I know they can achieve any thing but impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of English America, is an impossibility: you cannot, my lords, you cannot, conquer America. |
What is your present situa'tion 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, accumulate every assis'tance, and extend your traffic to the shambles of every German despot, yet your attempts will be for ever vain and im potent; doubly so indeed from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your adversaries, to overrun 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 authorize, 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 his 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 per| fectly allowable," | says Lord Suffolk," to use all the means that 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', I 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 barbarityThat 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. I
What! to attribute the sacred sanction of God, and nature, to the massacres of the Indian scal'ping-knife! | to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, and devouring his unhappy vic'tims! Such notions shock every precept of morality, every feeling of humanity, | every sentiment of honor. These abominable principles, and this more abominable avowal of them, | demand the most decisive indignation. |
I call upon that right reverend, | and this most learn'ed 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 er mine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honor of your 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 British Constitution. |
To send forth the merciless Indian, thirsting for
blood! against whom? | your protestant brethren! To lay waste their country, to desolate their dwel lings, and extirpate their race, and name', by the aid, and instrumentality of these ungovernable savages. | Spain can no longer boast pre-eminence in barbarity. | She armed herself with blood-hounds to extirpate the wretched natives of Mexico; we, more ruthless, loose these dogs of war against our countrymen in Amer ica, endeared to us by every tie that can sanctify humanity. !
I solemnly call upon your lordships, and upon every order of men in the state', to stamp upon this infamous procedure, the indelible stigma of the public abhorrence. More particularly, I call upon the venerable prelates of our religion, to do away this iniquity: let them perform a lustration to purify the country | from this deep, and deadly sin. |
APOSTROPHE TO LIGHT.
Hail! holy Light, | offspring of Heaven, first born', |
May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,!