He was and ever would be ready to support a just war, whether against subjects or alien enemies; but where justice, or a color of justice, was wanting, he should ever be the first to oppose it.In the Lords, May 28th, 1777, Lord Chatham brought forward a motion to put a stop to American hostilities, and said:We have tried for unconditional submission; try what can be gained by unconditional redress. We are the aggressors. We have invaded them. We have invaded them as much as the Spanish Armada invaded England. * * * * In the sportsman's phrase, when you have found yourself at fault, you must try back. I shall no doubt hear it objected, Why should we submit or concede? Has America done anything, on her part, to induce us to agree to so large a ground of concession? I will tell you, my lords, why I think you should. You have been the aggressors from the beginning. If then we are the aggressors, it is your lordships' business to make the first overture. I say again, this country has been the aggressor. You have made descents upon their coasts; you have burnt their towns, plundered their country, made war upon the inhabitants, confiscated their property, proscribed and imprisoned their persons. I do therefore affirm, that, instead of exacting unconditional submission from the Colonies, we should grant them unconditional redress. We have injured them; we have endeavored to enslave and oppress them. Upon this clear ground, instead of chastisement they are entitled to redress. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms—never—never— never.And again Lord Chatham said:I would sell my shirt from off my back to assist in proper measures, properly and wisely conducted; but I would not part with a single shilling to the present ministers. Their plans are founded in destruction and disgrace. It is, my lord, a ruinous and destructive war; it is full of danger; it teens with disgrace, and must end in ruin.In the Lords, Nov. 18th, 1777, the Duke of Richmond said:Can we too soon put a stop to such a scene of carnage? I know, that what I am going to say is not fashionable language, but a time will come when every one of us must account to God for his actions; and how can we justify causing so many innocent lives to be lost?In the Commons, Dec. 5th, 1778, Mr. Hartley, the constant friend of America, brought forward a motion:That it is unbecoming the wisdom and prudence of Parliament, to proceed any further in the support of this fruitless, expensive, and destructive war; more especially without any specific terms of accommodation declared.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.