Page:Lord Chatham as an Orator.djvu/21

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16
Lord Chatham as an Orator

Is it only ignorance of the annals of Parliament which leads me to doubt whether language of this order, so lordly, so imperious, so patronizing, had ever before or has ever since been heard in either House of the British Parliament, from either side of the table? It was then a 'new style'. To-day it might seem to be either antiquated or premature.

Soon the ex-invalid becomes more serious, and, as the vision of his own great days rises before him, even provocative. Quebec, Wolfe, seem again in view, Amherst, Anson, Clive, Hawke, Rodney, above all, his life-long pride and boast, the reclaimed and enlisted Highlanders.

'I have no local attachments,' he cries. '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 who looked for it and found it in the mountains of the North. I called it 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 overturn the State in the war before the last. These men, in the last war,'—that is in the Canadian War, of which Quebec was the most enduring monument—'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'—that was in the too well remembered 1761—'it was not the country of the man by which I was moved'—it was not the Scotland of Lord Bute whose influence with the young King had