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you taxable objects, on which you lay your duties here, and gives you, at the same time, a surplus by a foreign sale of her commodities to pay the duties on these objects which you tax at home, she has performed her part to the British revenue. But with regard to her own internal establishments; she may, I doubt not she will, contribute in moderation. I say in moderation; for she ought not to be permitted to exhaust herself. She ought to be reserved to a war; the weight of which, with the enemies that we are most likely to have, must be considerable in her quarter of the globe. There she may serve you and serve you essentially.
For that service, for all service, whether of revenue, trade, or empire, my trust is in her interest in the British constitution. My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties, which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Let the colonies always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government; they will cling and grapple to you; and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it be once understood, that your government may be one thing, and their privileges another; that these two things may exist without any mutual relation; the cement is gone; the cohesion is loosened; and every thing hastens to decay and dissolution. As long as you have the wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith, wherever the chosen race and sons of England worship freedom they will turn their faces towards you. The more they multiply, the more friends you will have. The more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience. Slavery they can have any where. It is a weed that grows in every soil. They may have it from Spain, they may have it from Prussia. But until you become lost to all feeling of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they
This is the commo
can have from none but you. dity of price, of which you have the monopoly. This is the true act of navigation, which binds to you the commerce of the colonies, and through them secures to you the wealth of the world. Deny them this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond, which originally made, and must still preserve, the unity of the empire. Do not entertain so weak an imagination, as that your registers and your bonds, your affidavits and your sufferances, your cockets and your clearances, are what form the great securities of your commerce. Do not dream that your letters of office, and your instructions, and your suspending clauses, are the things that hold together the great contexture of this mysterious whole. These things do not make your government. Dead instruments, passive tools as they are, it is the spirit of the English communion that gives all their life and efficacy to them. It is the spirit of the English constitution, which, infused through the mighty mass, pervades, feeds, unites, invigorates, vivifies, every part of the empire, even down to the minutest member.
Is it not the same virtue which does every thing for us here in England? Do you imagine then, that it is the land tax act which raises your revenue? that it is the annual vote in the committee of supply, which gives you your army? or that it is the mutiny bill which inspires it with bravery and discipline? No! surely no! It is the love of the people; it is their attachment to their government from the sense of the deep stake they have in such a glorious institution, which gives you your army and your navy, and infuses into both that liberal obedience, without which your army would be a base rabble, and your navy nothing but rotten timber.
All this, I know well enough, will sound wild and chimerical to the profane herd of those vulgar and mechanical politicians, who have no place among us; a sort of people who think that nothing exists but what is gross and material; and who therefore, far from being qualified to be directors of the great
movement of empire, are not fit to turn a wheel in the machine. But to men truly initiated and rightly taught, these ruling and master principles, which, in the opinion of such men as I have mentioned, have no substantial existence, are in truth every thing, and all in all. Magnanimity in politicks is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together. If we are conscious of our situation, and glow with zeal to fill our place as becomes our station and ourselves, we ought to auspicate all our publick proceedings on America, with the old warning of the church, Sursum corda! We ought to elevate our minds to the greatness of that trust to which the order of Providence has called us. By adverting to the dignity of this high calling, our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire; and have made the most extensive, and the only honourable conquests; not by destroying, but by promoting, the wealth, the number, the happiness, of the human race. Let us get an American revenue as we have got an American empire. English privileges have made it all that it is; English privileges alone will make it all it can be.
In full confidence of this unalterable truth, I now (quod felix faustumque sit)-lay the first stone of the temple of peace; and I move you,
"That the colonies and plantations of Great Britain in North America, consisting of fourteen separate governments, and containing two millions and upwards of free inhabitants, have not had the liberty and privilege of electing and sending any knights and burgesses, or others, to represent them in the high court of parliament."
ON THE BILL INTRODUCED INTO THE HOUse of LordS, MAY 24TH, 1737, FOR LICENSING AND REGULATING THE THEA
IT has been so confidently said, we know not exactly upon what authority, that the published speech of Earl Chesterfield on "licensing the Theatres,' was written by Doctor Johnson, that it is now, very generally admitted to be his production.
After having carefully perused the speech, we were persuaded that the existing belief respecting it was untrue, and that his lordship had unjustly been despoiled of this, perhaps, the brightest gem in his literary escutcheon. Neither in the construction of its sentences, nor in the vein of thought which pervades it, could we discern any close resemblance to the well marked manner of the illustrious moralist.
To the internal evidence which the speech supplies, in vindication of its genuineness, there may, moreover, be added a chain of very strong presumptive proof.
By recurring to the history of the proceedings of parliament, it will be seen that the speech was delivered in May, 1737. Attracting much attention, it was immediately printed, and for the first time appeared in Fog's Journal, a paper then under the patronage of Lord Chesterfield, and to which he occasionally contributed. The copy of the speech, however, was defective, and especially as regarded the quotation applied to Pompey,
"Nostra miseria tu es Magnus." This, together with some other blemishes, exposed the noble earl to a virulent criticism from the Ga
zetteer, one of the journals of the opposite party, which produced a corrected impression of the speech in several of the magazines of the very next month, and, whence it was translated, without the slightest alteration, into the Parliamentary Register of the same year.
Certainly, it is not unreasonable to suppose that this revision was executed, and the republication directed by Earl Chesterfield himself.
Against the particular claim set up for Dr. Johnson, it will be sufficient to observe that, though he came to London in March 1737, a few weeks prior to the date of the speech, yet he lived in obscurity and had no literary engagements, or connexion with booksellers, for a considerable period afterwards.
The employment of reporting the parliamentary debates, he did not commence till so late as the opening of the session on the 19th of November, 1740, being upwards of three years subsequently to the appearance of the speech.
Taking into view with the preceding facts, the acknowledged talents and superiour powers of debate of Earl Chesterfield there can be little hesitation, we think, to the adoption of the present speech, as an authentick specimen of his eloquence.
In the following extract, the circumstances which gave rise to the speech, are distinctly related.
"The only remarkable occurrence of this session, which remains to be taken notice of, is contained in the proceedings upon the bill, to explain and amend so much of an act made in the twelfth year of the reign of queen Anne, entitled, An act for reducing the laws relating to rogues, vagabonds, sturdy beggars, and vagrants, into one act of parliament; and for the more effectual punishing such rogues, vagabonds, sturdy beggars, and vagrants, and sending them whither they ought to be sent, as relates to common players of interludes. The bill, which was passed into a law, and remains still in force, was ordered by the house of commons to be prepared and brought in on Friday the 20th of May, and was occasioned by a farce called