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His sentiments too, were apparently simple; but sentiments were never adopted or uttered with greater skill; he was often familiar and even playful, but it was the familiarity and playfulness of condescension—the lion that dandled with the kid. The terrible, however, was his peculiar power.-—Then the whole house sunk before him.—Still he'was dignified; and wonderful as was his eloquence, it was attended with this most important effect, that it impressed every hearer with a conviction, that there Was something in him even finer than his words; that the man was infinitely greater than the orator. N o impression of this kind was made by the eloquence ofhis son, or his son’s antagonist. '
Stil!,--with the great man,—for great he certainly was,-—manner did much. One of the fairest specimens which we possess of his lordship’s oratory, is his speech, in 1776, for the repeal ofthe stamp act.
l\Iost, perhaps, who read the report of this speech, in Almon’s Register, will wonder at the effect, which it is known to have produced on the hearers; yet the report is tolerably exact, and exhibits, although faintly, its leading features. But they should have seen the look of inefi'able contempt, with which he surveyed the late Mr. Grenville, who sat within one of him, and should have heard him say with that look,7-—“As to the late ministry,—-every capital measure they have taken, has been entirely wrong.” They should also have beheld him, when addressing himself to 1VIr. Grenville’s successors,_ he said,—“As to the present gentlemen,—those, at least, whom I have in my eye,”—-(looking at the bench on which Mr. Conway sat,)———“I have no objection; I have never been made a sacrifice by any of them.— Some of them have done me the honour to ask my poor opinion, before they would engage torepeal the act;— they will do me the justice to own, I did advise them to engage to dd" Itl—fbut notwithstanding—(for I love to be . explicit,)—-I cannét'give them my confidence. Pardon me, gentlemen,”— botving to them,)—confidence is a plant of slow grow .” Those, Who remember the air of condescending protection, with which the how was made, and the look given, when he spoke these words, will recollect how much they themselves, at the moment, were both delighted and awed, and what they them
selves then conceived of the immeasurable superiority of the orator over every human being that surrounded him. In the passages which we have cited, there is
70 nothing which an ordinary speaker might 'not have said; it'was the manner, and the manner only, which produced the effect.
Mr. Fox and Mr. Pitt.—BUTLER.
On his first separation from the ministry, Mr. Fox as
sumed the character of a Whig. Almost the whole of his political life was spent in opposition to his majest "s ministers. In vehemence and 5 power of argument e resembled Demosthenes; but there the resemblance ended. He possessed a strain of ridicule and wit, which nature denied to the Athenian; and it was the more powerful, as it always appeared to 4 be blended with argument, and to result from it. To 10 the perfect composition which so eminently distinguishes the speeches of Demosthenes, he had no pretence. He was heedless ofmethodz-éhaving the complete command of good words;- he never sought for better; if those, which occurfid, expressed his meaning clearly l5 and forcibly, he paid little attention to their arrangement or harmony._f . _. The moment of his grandeur was, when, after he had stated the argument ofhis adversary, with much greater strength than his adversary had done, and with much 20 greater than any of his hearers thought possible, he seized it with the strength of a giant, and tore and ‘trampled on it to destruction. If, at this moment, he had possessed the power of the Athenian over the passions or the imaginations of his hearers, he might have Q5 disposed of the house at his pleasure; but this was denied to him; and, on this accountQ his speeches fell very short of the effect, which otherwise they must have pro: .
. duced. -, a
It is difficult to decide on the comparative merit of 30 him and Mr. Pitt; the latter had not the vehement rea' sohing, or argumentative ridicule, of Mr. Fox: but he
had more splendour, more imagery, and much more method and discretion. His long, lofty, and reverential panegyrics of the British constitution, his eloquent vi
35 tuperations of those, whom he described as advocating the democratic spirit, then let loose on the inhabitants of the earth, and his solemn adjuration of the house, to de fend and to assist him, in defending their all against it, were, in the highest degree, both imposing and concil
40 iating. In addition, he had the command of bitter, con— temptuous sarcasm, which tortured to madness. This he could expand or compress at- pleasure: even in one member of a sentence, he could inflict a wound that was never healed.
45 Mr. Fox had a captivating earnestness of tone and manner; Mr. Pitt was more dignified than earnest. The action of hIr. Fox was easy and graceful; Mr. Pitt’s cannot be praised. It was an observation of the reporters in the gallery, that it required great exertion
50 to follow Mr. Fox while he was speaking; none to remember what he had said; that it was easy and delightful to follow Mr. Pitt; not so easy to recollect what had delighted them. It may be added, that, in all Mr. Fox’s speeches, even when he‘was most violent, there
55 was an unquestionable indication of good humour, which attracted every heart. Where there was such a seeming equipoise of merit, the two last circumstances might be thought to turn the scale; but Mr. Pitt’s undeviating circumspection,——sometimes concealed, some
60 times ostentatiously displayed,—tended to obtain for him, from the considerate and the grave, a confidence which they denied to his rival.
Lord Chatham entered the House of Lords for the last time on the 7th of April 1778, leaning upon two friends. He was wrapped up in flannel, and looked pale and emaciated. His eye was still penetrating; and though with
5 the evident appearance ofa dying man, there never was seen a figure of more dignity; he appeared like a being
of superior species. He rose from his seat slowly, and with difficulty, leaning on his crutches, and supported under each arm by two of his friends. He took one hand from his crutch, and raised it, casting his eyes toward heaven, and said, “ I thank God that I have been enabled to come here this day—to perform my duty, and to speak on a subject which has so deeply impressed my mind. I am old and infirm; have one foot, more than one foot, in the grave. I am risen from my bed, to stand up in the cause of my country! perhaps never again to speak in this house!” At first he spoke in a very low and feeble tone; but as he grew warm, his voice rose, and was as harmonious as ever, perhaps more oratorical and affecting than at any former period; both from his own situation, and from the importance of the subject on which he spoke. He gave the whole history ofthe American war; of all the measures to which he had objected; and all the evils which he had prophesied would be the consequence of them; adding, at the end ofeach, “ And so it proved.”
In one part of his speech he ridiculed the apprehension of an invasion; and then recalled the remembrances of former invasions. “ Of a Spanish invasion, of a French invasion, of a Dutch invasion, many noble lords may have read in history; and some lords (looking keenly at one who sat near him,) may perhaps remember a Scotch invasion!”
When the Duke of Richmond was speaking, he looked at him with attention and composure; but when he rose to answieir, his strength failed him, and he fell backward. He was instantly supported by those who were near him. He was then carried to Mr. Serjent’s house in Downingstreet; and from thence conveyed home to Hayes, and put to bed from which he never rose. Such was the glorious end of the great Lord Chatham, who died in the discharge of a great political duty, a duty which he came in a dying state to perform.
It is yet the traditionary tale of the country that gave this great orator and lawyer birth, that almost in infancy he was accustomed to declaim upon his native moun
' tains, and repeat to the winds the most celebrated speech
es of Demosthenes and Cicero, not only in their original text, but in his own translations of them.
Mansfield advanced to the dignities of the state by rapid strides. They were not bestowed by the caprice of party favour or affection; they were (as was said of Pliny) liberal dispensations of power, upon an object that knew how to add new lustre to that power, by the rational exertion of his own.
As a Speaker in the House of Lords, he was without a competitor. His language was elegant and perspicuous, arranged with the happiest method, and applied with the utmost extent of human ingenuity; his images were often bold, and always just; but the more prevailing character of his eloquence, was that of being flowing, soft, delightful, and affecting. Among his more rare qualifications, may be ranked theexternal graces of his person; the fire and vivacity of his looks; the delicious harmony of his voice; and that habitual fitness in all he said, which gave to his speeches more than the effect of the most laboured compositions. He was modest and unassuming; never descending to personal altercation, or even replying to personal reflections, excqst when they went to affect the integrity of his public character. When instances of the latter occurred, he evinced that he was not without a spirit to repel them; of this he gave a memorable proof, in the debate on Wilkes’ outlawry, when, being accused of braving the popular opinion, he replied in the following noble strain of eloquence.
“ IfI have ever supported the king’s measures; if I have ever afforded any assistance to government; if I have discharged my duty as a public or private officer, by endeavouring to preserve pure and perfect the prin— ciples of the constitution; maintaining unsullied the honour of the courts ofjustice; and by an upright administration of, to give due effect to, the laws; I have hith