Page:Lord Chatham as an Orator.djvu/33

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28
Lord Chatham as an Orator

You will repeal them. I pledge myself for it, that you will in the end repeal them. I stake my reputation on it. I will consent to be taken for an idiot if they are not finally repealed. Avoid, then, this humiliating necessity. With a dignity becoming your exalted situation, make the first advances to concord, to peace, and to happiness; for that is your true dignity, to act with prudence and justice. That you should be the first to concede is obvious....'

And then, as in the House of Commons nine years before he had quoted those two domestic lines of Prior,

Be to her faults a little blind,
Be to her virtues very kind,

so now he ends with the imperial lines from Virgil, perhaps still more familiar than that modern couplet to the Public School senators of that generation,

Tuque prior, tu parce, genus qui ducis Olympo,
Proice tela manu, sanguis meus!

Or, if I may quote the feeling version of my very dear old Oxford friend, Professor Conington,

Nay, children, nay, your hate unlearn,
Nor 'gainst your country's vitals turn
 The valour of her sons:
And thou, do thou the first refrain;
Cast down thy weapons on the plain,
Thou, born of Jove's Olympian strain,
 In whom my life-blood runs.

A special interest of a personal character attaches to this fine speech. Two hearers were present in the gallery, who have given us their impressions, neither of them, it must be owned, quite impartial, but each worth hearing. The first was the young William Pitt, then nearly fifteen and a half, already a venerable Undergraduate at our Pembroke College in his second year.