Слике страница
PDF
ePub

22, 23. the pamphlet, by Dean Tucker, somewhat famous in the discussions of this time, and noticed by Johnson, as well as by Burke in his previous speech on American Taxation.

PAGE 41, 30. For a clear understanding of the various matters referred to in this paragraph, the student should consult-some succinct sketch of the history of Ireland, such, for example, as may be found in Chambers’s Encyclopedia; or, better still, with the help of the Index, the subject may be followed up in Green's Short History of the English People, a work which ought always to be within reach of the student of English Literature.

PAGE 42, 17. Sir John Davis, or rather, Davies, “Speaker of the First Irish House of Commons in 1612.” — PAYNE.

33–35. The two great crises which have occurred in the course of English constitutional history are the revolt of the Parliament against Charles I., and the revolution which brought in William and Mary and established the principle of ministerial responsibility to Parliament. The first is habitually called by Englishmen the Great Rebellion, and the other the Revolution. Their application of these terms must not be confounded with other applications more familiar to us.

PAGE 43, 3, 4. Burke here goes much further than the facts with regard to Ireland warrant. Ireland has never been “a principal part of England's strength and name.”

21. Cf. Green's Short History. The parallel between Ireland and Wales is close and cogent so far as concerns the era of repression and savage coercion in each. On the other hand, the difference in the remedial measures applied to the two, and the difference in the results, have furnished a powerful argument in the discussion of the Irish question since Burke's time. Many parts of this speech gather fresh significance when read in the light of recent English history.

33. as secondary as deputy. The word is a noun here.

PAGE 45, 25–30. From Horace, Odes, Book I. xii. 27, paring the advent of Augustus upon the distracted world to the rising of Castor and Pollux (the constellation of Gemini), upon the stormy sea. “ As soon as the bright star has flashed on the view of the sailors, the raging sea retires from the rocks, winds

com

sink and clouds disperse, and on the open main so they (the deities] have willed it — the threatening swell is laid.”

PAGE 46, 6. shewen, the older spelling of show with the old English plural ending, identical with that of modern German.

PAGE 48, 19. “ Nature has planted [a barrier] in the way.' JUVENAL, Sat. x. 152. The Latin poets and the English Bible fortunately were both familiar to Burke's audience, and one of the notable features of his oratory is the telling effect with which he marks his climaxes of thought by some pregnant text from these sources or from the English poets.

PAGE 49, 4, 5. From Comus, l. 634, 635, inexactly quoted.

28. temple of British concord, with obvious allusion to the Temple of Concord in Rome, in which the Senate met during the troublous times of Catiline's conspiracy. The richness and frequency of allusion in Burke far transcend the possibility of annotation, but they should not be overlooked by any one who would feel the force and charm of his writing. See, for example, the whole of the first paragraph on p. 51.

Page 50, 34, 35. “ Not mine is this language, but what Ofellus taught me; rustic, but of wisdom not learned in schools." HORACE, Sat. II. ii. 2, 3.

PAGE 55, 27, 28. misguided people, sc. of England. gaged in, enlisted in favor of.

Page 62, 33, 34. the immediate jewel of his soul, Othello, III. iii. 156. A great house, etc. –

.-even slaves feel a pride in the glory of a princely establishment to which they belong, and are willing to sacrifice something for the distinction it confers

A reminiscence from Juvenal, Sat. v. 66. PAGE 64, 10, 11. Burke lived to see this state of things reversed, and to approve the abolition of a separate Irish legislature. — PAYNE.

PAGE 65, 5, 6. “Experiments should be tried on objects of no value.”

Page 68, 4. a Treasury Extent, a summary process of compelling the payment of debts due the Crown by seizure of persons, lands, and goods.

13. empire of Germany, the so-called Holy Roman Empire,

en

upon them.

already little more than a name in Burke's time, and formally brought to an end in 1806. Cf. Bryce's Holy Roman Empire.

PAGE 69, 31. - The treasure-chest is staked on the game the utmost resources of the Colonies will thus be pledged to secure England's success. See

p. 70, 1. 21 ff. Page 70, 34, 35. Paradise Lost, iv., 96, 97, inexactly quoted.

PAGE 74, 3, 4. warning in the old sense of summons or call. Sursum corda, “ Lift up your hearts !” — the exhortation which, in all the old liturgies, as well as in the Prayer Book, prefaces the sacrament of the Communion. 15, 10.

· Happy and auspicious may it prove!” the old Roman invocation prefacing all high and solemn acts.

Burke's propositions, it will be noticed, are strictly resolutions, as he calls them. If passed, they would

ave been mere expressions of the views and opinions of the assembly, and not legislation proper in the form of an Act of Parliament. After the recital of circumstances (Resolutions 1-6), instead of an “enacting clause " to make that which follows law, we have in each section the words, " That it may be proper to.”. In this way it was possible to bring these matters to discussion and to a vote; whereas legislation would at best have incurred many delays, and in this case, with the Ministry to oppose it at every step, it could hardly have been brought to the consideration of the House at all. (See Note on Forms of Procedure, p. 323.) Still, could these resolutions have passed, the Ministers would, in effect, have been instructed to introduce and forward the legislation indicated, or else to vacate their places.

This speech shared the fate which attended most of Burke's efforts. Its force and eloquence commanded universal admiration, but were powerless to bring about what he desired. The resolutions were lost by an overwhelming majority. What actually took place is stated in Hansard's Parliamentary History as follows:1 “ Mr. Jenkinson moved the previous question upon the first Resolution. Upon this the House divided. ... Yeas. 78, Noes, ... 270. So it passed in the negative. The second, third, fourth and thirteenth Resolutions had also the previous question put on them. The others were negatived."

1 The statement appended to the first edition of this speech, and copied by almost every editor since, that “upon this [first] Resolution the previous question was put and carried,” is manifestly in error and absurd.

In American practice the motion “ that the previous question be now put,” is a well-known device to stop debate, and to force a vote on the main question pending before the assembly. It is made and seconded by persons who hope to carry first it, and then the main question immediately afterwards. If it fails, things are only as they were before. In England, on the contrary, the motion “that the previous question be put,” is a device for killing the main question altogether, without coming to any direct vote upon it; is, in fact, a back-handed way of “tabling” it. The motion is made and seconded by persons who mean to vote against it; for, according to English theory, the assembly is not at liberty to consider further any question upon which it has decided that a vote shall not be taken. Thus, in the present instance, the Ministerial party used the “previous question ” to get rid of Burke's troublesome array of facts without either admitting or denying them, and then voted down the policy he based upon those facts.

LORD CHATHAM.

WILLIAM Pitt, the “Great Commoner,” afterwards Earl of Chatham, was born in 1708, was educated at Eton and Oxford, and entered Parliament in 1735. His remarkable powers of oratory and his fiery spirit soon made him one of the foremost men of the Commons, and the most formidable antagonist of Walpole’s administration. His uncompromising and successful hostility during these years earned for him the King's lasting resentment. When Walpole was overthrown, and the Opposition came into power, Pitt's mastery in the House should have been recognized, and a seat should have been given him in the Ministry. But it was long before the King could be brought to offer him even a subordinate position. It was not until 1746 that he became Paymaster of the Forces; ten more years passed, and every other experiment was tried, before he was asked to become Prime Minister. At this time he was confessedly the only man capable of saving England from the desperate straits into which the weakness and wickedness of his predecessors had brought her. He soon won for her far more than all that had been lost. He made the name of England to be known and respected in every quarter of the globe. The five years of his administration are accounted the most glorious in all her history. For five years after that Pitt was out of office. After his return in 1766 with the title of Earl of Chatham, ill-health prevented him from taking an active part in the administration of which he was nominally the head; and he retired finally from office two years later. But his interest in public affairs, and especially in whatever concerned the greatness of England, remained undiminished to the end. His most memorable speeches were those in which he denounced that pride and folly which was driving the American Colonies

« ПретходнаНастави »