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the commons at large. The distinctions that are made to separate us, are unnatural and wicked contrivances. Let us identify, let us incorporate ourselves with the people. Let us cut all the cables and snap the chains which tie us to an unfaithful shore, and enter the friendly harbour, that shoots far out into the main its moles and jettees to receive us." War with the world, and peace with our constituents." Be this our motto and our principle. Then, indeed, we shall be truly great. Respecting ourselves, we shall be respected by the world. At present all is trouble and cloudy, and distracted, and full of anger and turbulence, both abroad and at home; but the air may be cleared by this storm, and light and fertility may follow it. Let us give a faithful pledge to the people, that we honour, indeed, the crown; but that we belong to them; that we are their auxiliaries, and not their task-masters; the fellow labourers in the same vineyard; not lording over their rights, but helpers of their joy; that to tax them is a grievance to ourselves, but to cut off from our enjoyments to forward theirs, is the highest gratification we are capable of receiving. I feel with comfort, that we are all warmed with these sentiments, and while we are thus warm, I wish we may go directly and with a chearful heart to this salutary work.
Extracts from his Speech on American Taxation.
CHARACTER OF MR. GRENVILLE.
HERE began to dawn the first glimmerings of this new colony system. It appeared more distinctly afterwards, when it was devolved upon a person, to whom on other accounts this country owes very great obligations. I do believe that he had a very serious desire to benefit the public. But with no small study of the detail, he did not seem to have his view, at least equally, carried to the total circuit of our affairs. He generally considered his objects in lights that were rather too detached. No man can believe, that at this time of day I mean to lean on the venerable memory of a great man, whose loss we deplore in common. Our little party-differences have been long ago composed; and I have acted more with him, and certainly with more pleasure with him, than ever Í acted against him. Undoubtedly Mr. Grenville was a first-rate figure in this country. With a masculine understanding, and a stout and resolute heart, he had an application undissipated and unwearied. He took pub
lic business, not as a duty which he was to fulfil, but as a pleasure he was to enjoy and he seemed to have no delight out of this house, except in such things as some way related to the business that was to be done in it. If he was ambitious, I will say this for him, his ambition was a noble and generous strain. It was to raise himself, not by the low pimping politics of a court, but to win his way to power, through the laborious gradations of public service; and to secure to himself a wellearned rank in parliament by a thorough knowledge of its constitution, and a perfect practice in all its business.
Sir, if such a man fell into errors, it must be from defects not intrinsical: they must be rather sought in
the particular habits of his life; which, though they do not alter the ground-work of character, yet tinge it with their own hue. He was bred in a profession. He was bred to the law, which is, in my opinion, one of the first and noblest of human sciences; a science, which does more to quicken and invigorate the understanding, than all other kinds of human learning put together: but it is not apt, except in persons very happily born, to open and liberalize the mind exactly in the same proportion. Passing from that study, he did not go very largely into the world, but plunged into business; I mean into the business of office, and the limited and fixed methods and forms established there. Much knowledge is undoubtedly to be had in that line; and there is no knowledge which is not valuable. But it may be truly said, that men too much conversant in office, are rarely minds of remarkable enlargement. Their habits are apt to give them a turn to think the substance of business not to be much more important than the forms in which it is conducted. These forms are adapted to ordinary occasions; and therefore persons who are nurtured in office do admirably well, as long as things go on in their common order; but when the high roads are broken up, and the waters out, when a new and troubled scene is opened, and the file affords no precedent, then it is that a far greater knowledge of mankind, and a more extensive comprehension of things, is requisite than ever office gave, or than office can ever give. Mr. Grenville thought better of the wisdom and power of legislation than in truth it deserves. He conceived, and many conceived along with him, that the flourishing trade of this country was greatly owing to law and institution, and not quite so much to liberty; for but too many are apt to believe regulation to be commerce, and taxes to be revenue, &c.
Characters of Lord CHATHAM and Mr. C. TOWNSHEND.
From the same.
I HAVE done with the third period of your policy; the return to your ancient system, and your ancient tranquillity and concord. Sir, this period was not as long as it was happy. Another scene was opened, and other actors appeared on the stage. The state, in the condition I have decribed it, was delivered into the hands of lord Chatham-a great and celebrated name; a name that keeps the name of this country respectable in every other on the globe. It may be truly called,
Clarum et venerabile nomen
Gentibus, et multum nostræ quod proderat urbí.
Sir, the venerable age of this great man, his merited rank, his superior eloquence, his splendid qualities, his eminent services, the vast space he fills in the eye of mankind; and more than all the rest, his fall from power, which, like death, canonizes and sanctifies a great character, will not suffer me to censure any part of his conduct. I am afraid to flatter him; I am sure I am not disposed to blame him. Let those who have betrayed him by their adulation, insult him with their malevolence. But what I do not presume to censure, I may have leave to lament. For a wise man, he seemed to me at that time to be governed too much by general maxims. I speak with the freedom of history, and I hope without offence. One or two of these maxims, flowing from an opinion not the most indulgent to our unhappy species, and surely a little too general, led him into measures that were greatly mischievous to himself: and for that reason among others, perhaps fatal to his country; measures, the effects of which I am afraid, are for ever
incurable. He made an administration, so checkered and speckled; he put together a piece of joinery, so crossly indented and whimsically dovetailed; a cabinet so variously inlaid; such a piece of diversified mosaic; such a tesselated pavement without cement, here a bit of black stone and there a bit of white; patriots and cour tiers, king's friends and republicans; whigs and tories; treacherous friends and open enemies; that it was indeed a very curious show; but utterly unsafe to touch and unsure to stand on.
In consequence of this arrangement, the confusion was such that his own principles could not possibly have any effect or influence in the conduct of affairs. If ever he fell into a fit of the gout, or if any other cause withdrew him from public cares, principles directly contrary were sure to predominate. When he had executed his plan, he had not an inch of ground to stand on; when he had accomplished his scheme of administration, he was no longer a minister. When his face was hid for a moment, his whole system was on a wide sea, without chart or compass. The gentlemen, his particular friends, with a confidence in him which was justified even in its extravagance by his superior abilities, had never in any instance presumed upon any opinion of their own. prived of his guiding influence, they were whirled about, the sport of every gust, and easily driven into any port; and as those who joined with them in manning the vessel of the state were most directly opposite to his opinions, measures, and character, and far the most artful and most powerful of the set, they easily prevailed so as to seize upon the vacant derelict minds of his friends, and instantly they turned the vessel wholly out of the course of his policy. As if it were to insult as well as to betray him, even long before the close of the first session of his administration, when every thing was publicly transacted and with great parade, in his name, they made an act declaring it highly just and expedient to raise a revenue in America. For even then, sir, even before this splendid VOL. II,