Page:Lord Chatham as an Orator.djvu/45

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
40
Lord Chatham as an Orator

genuine Patriot of whom his country is still justly proud. That voice is a nation's possession, 'a possession for ever'. In every free country true eloquence, like true poetry, can never die. It is one of the things which 'cannot be shaken but remain' through all the changes and chances of time, of fashion, of standard, of taste. Young men, who would be patriots, will never in their hearts despise it, though they may often make it a target for light convivial banter.

England expects it, and, for a great while to come, will continue to expect it, from the most gifted and the most cultured of her youth. And when, Sir, I recall, as I do reverently recall on this day and in this historic Theatre, the names of Carteret and Chatham and Fox and Wellesley and Windham and Grenville and Canning and Peel and Stanley and Ashley and Gladstone and Wilberforce and Palmer and Sidney Herbert and Cardwell and Cecil and Gathorne-Hardy and Churchill and Goschen, and others to whose living voices she still respectfully listens, I feel assured, Sir—and it shall be my last word—that when in the years to come she again looks for that high-toned oratory which flows from the happy confluence of heart, of intellect, and of character, she will turn her eyes, and not in vain, not only to many fresh springs of inspiration throughout the Three Kingdoms undreamed of in the days of Chatham and Canning, but also with unabated and unfaltering confidence to her oldest home of learning and chivalry, the venerable and ever-fruitful mother of youthful patriotism, her great University of Oxford.





Oxford: Horace Hart, M.A., Printer to the University