previous next
[324] of the House of Commons in reference to the Middle-
Chap. XLII.} 1770. Jan.
sex election, but contended, that whether they were right or wrong, the jurisdiction in the case belonged to them and from their decision there was no appeal. ‘I distrust,’ rejoined Chatham, ‘the refinements of learning, which fall to the share of so small a number of men. Providence has taken better care of our happiness, and given us in the simplicity of Common Sense a rule for our direction by which we shall never be misled.’ The words were revolutionary; Scotland, in unconscious harmony with Kant and the ablest minds in Germany, was renovating philosophy by the aid of Common Sense and Reason; Chatham transplanted the theory, so favorable to democracy, into the Halls of legislation. ‘Power without right,’ he continued, aiming his invective at the venal House of Commons, ‘is a thing hateful in itself and ever inclining to its fall. Tyranny is detestable in every shape; but in none so formidable, as when it is assumed and exercised by a number of tyrants.’

Though the House of Lords opposed him by a vote of more than two to one, the actual Ministry was shattered; and Chatham, feeble and emaciated as he was, sprang forward with the party of Rockingham, to beat down the tottering system, and raise on its ruins a Government more friendly to liberty.

But the King was the best politician among them all. Dismissing Camden, he sent an offer of the Chancellor's place to Charles Yorke, who was of the Rockingham connection. He had long coveted the high dignity beyond any thing on earth. Now that it was within his reach, he vacillated, wished delay, put the temptation aside; and formally announced his refusal, hoping a recurrence of the opportunity at a later day.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Yorke (1)
Kant (1)
England Chatham (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1770 AD (1)
January (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: