Page:Lord Chatham as an Orator.djvu/32

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Lord Chatham as an Orator

them once more in your fond and affectionate arms; and, I will venture to affirm, you will find them children worthy of their sire.... The period is not far distant when our country will want the assistance of her most distant friends. But should the all-disposing hand of Providence prevent me from affording her my poor assistance, my prayers shall be ever for her welfare. Length of days be in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour. May her ways be ways of pleasantness, and all her paths be peace!'

This appeal, surely impressive and dignified, received but sixteen votes. The Government measure for sending out troops received fifty-seven.

Seven months afterwards, on January 20, 1775, just two months before Burke's celebrated speech on 'Conciliation with America', a debate arose in the Lords of a much sharper edge. Serious riots, clearly foreseen as the result of the policy which Chatham had condemned, had again broken out. Chatham himself moved 'to withdraw the troops from Boston'. 'I will not', he cried, 'desert for a moment the conduct of this weighty business from the first to the last. Unless nailed to my bed by the extremity of sickness, I will give it unremitted attention. I will knock at the door of this sleeping and confounded Ministry, and will rouse them to a sense of their danger.... I contend not for indulgence but for justice to America. But it is not repealing this or that Act of Parliament, it is not repealing a piece of parchment, that can restore America to our bosom. You must repeal her fears and her resentments, and you may then hope for her love and gratitude.... We shall be forced ultimately to retract. Let us retract while we can, not when we must. I say we must necessarily undo these violent, oppressive Acts. They must be repealed.