« ПредишнаНапред »
general to all, and which would give weight and advantage to all the particular ways of redress. That is, that we should speedily desire a conference with the lords, and acquaint them with the miserable condition wherein we find the Church and State; and as we have already resolved to join in a religious seeking of God, in a day of fast and humiliation, so to entreat them to concur with us in a parliamentary course of petitioning the King, as there should be occasion; and in searching out the causes and remedies of these many insupportable grievances under which we lie. That so, by the united wisdom and authority of both Houses, such courses may be taken as (through God's blessing) may advance the honor and greatness of his Majesty, and restore and establish the peace and prosperity of the kingdom. This, he said, we might undertake with comfort and hope of success; for though there be a darkness upon the land, a thick and palpable darkness, like that of Egypt, yet, as in that, the sun had not lost his light, nor the Egyptians their sight (the interruption was only in the medium), so with us, there is still (God be thanked) light in the sun—wisdom and justice in his Majesty—to dispel this darkness; and in us there remains a visual faculty, whereby we are enabled to apprehend, and moved to desire, light. And when we shall be blessed in the enjoying of it, we shall thereby be incited to return his Majesty such thanks as may make it shine more clearly in the world, to his own glory, and in the hearts of his people, to their joy and contentment.
At the conclusion of Pym's speech, the King's solicitor, Herbert, “with all imaginable address,” attempted to call off the attention of the members from the extraordinary impression it had made. But the singular moderation no less than the deadly force of Pym's statements had created a calm but a settled determination. A committee was at once appointed to inquire into violations of privilege; and it was resolved to ask for a conference on grievances with the Lords. A conference was held, and the debate continued for two days—that of the second day continuing from eight in the morning till five in the afternoon. The King saw that grievances would have to be redressed before supplies would be granted, and, accordingly, at an early hour on the following morning, he dissolved Parliament.
The Revolution was now probably inevitable. The affection of the people and of the members of Parliament for the King was fast transformed into distrust, and finally into hostility. Macaulay in his essays on “Hampden " and “Hallam's Constitutional History” has well shown the several steps in the process of transformation. The King was soon obliged to summon another Parliament; and when the new members came together in November of the same year, it was evident that compromise was no longer possible. The impeachment and execution of Strafford were soon followed by an attempt of the King to arrest the leading members of Parliament, and this attempt in turn was followed by the outbreak of war.
THE elder William Pitt entered the House of Commons at the age of twenty-six, in the year 1735. At Eton and at Oxford his energies had been devoted to a course of study that was admirably adapted to develop the remarkable powers for which his name is so well known. We are told that he was a devoted student of the classics, that he wrote out again and again carefully-prepared translations of some of the . great models of ancient oratory, and that in this way he acquired his easy command of a forcible and expressive style. His studies in English, too, were directed to the same end. He read and reread the sermons of Dr. Barrow, till he had acquired something of that great preacher's copiousness of vocabulary and ex
actness of expression. With the same end in
view he also performed the extraordinary task of going twice through Bailey's Dictionary, examining every word, and making himself, as far as possible, complete master of all the shades of its significance. Joined to these efforts was also an unusual training in elocution, which gave him extraordinary command of a remarkable voice, and made him an actor scarcely inferior to Garrick himself. may be doubted wh&Tanyone, since the days of Cicero, has subjected himself to an equal amount of pure drudgery in order to fit himself for the duties of a public speaker. When Pitt entered the House of Commons, Walpole was at the height of his power. Pitt's first speech was on the occasion of the marriage of the Prince of Wales in 1736; and, although it consisted mainly of a series of highsounding compliments, it attracted immediate and universal attention on account of its fine command of language and its general elegance of manner. United with these characteristics
was also a vein of irony that made it “gall *