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to an early character of the highest promise—with the strong assurance of those qualities which engage affection and command respect-on these grounds, I, for one, shall give him my cordial support.
“ Gentlemen, I have now executed a difficult and painful task----yet one duty more remains--not a painful but a grateful one--yet one more difficult, perhaps, than that which I have left-it is to endeavour to express you
those sentiments of sincere and eager gratitude, which your voluntarily proffered support, and your indulgent acceptance of what I have this day submitted to you, have so strongly excited, and which is indelibly imprinted on a heart not formed to be unthankful, As a public man, I feel that your approbation rewards my past efforts ; and it shall be the animation of my future endeavours."
MR. SHERIDAN's SPEECH
OCTOBER 22, 1806.
Mr. SHERIDAN having declined, Earl Percy was chosen without opposition; but parliament was dissolved by proclamation on the 24th of October, before his Lordship could take his seat for Westminster. The general expectation of this event induced Mr. SHERIDAN on the 20th, to solicit the support of the Electors, as he was no longer prevented by any former considerations from entering the course, which, he said, every motive of duty, gratitude, and fair ambition called on him to pursue. “I
make * Mr. Moore, the chairman, having concluded a short panegyric on Mr. SHERIDAN, with modestly slating the disadvantages which he himself felt, when speaking in such a presence" before a man so distinguished for the splendor of his talents," and observing, “ that the star shone brightest when the sun was not seen." P 2
make no professions,” he added : “ I am confident you do not expect any from me. What I have been, I shall continue to be. The maintenance of the principles of Mr. Fox is now more than ever a sacred duty. It is a solemn trust bequeathed especially to those who shared his confia dence, gloried in his friendship, and followed in his steps, while living. Such efforts as I can make to execute my humble share in that trust will, in my estimation, at all times be overpaid by the continuance of your protection and approbation.”
Two days after [October 22] a numerous meeting of Mr. SHERIDAN's friends dined together at the Shakespeare Tavern, when the health of the favorite candidate being proposed by the chairman, and received with great applause by the company, Mr. SHERIDAN rose, and spoke nearly thus :
« GENTLEMEN, “Having very recently occupied the attention of the Electors of Westminster at some length, and having within the last few days published an address to them, I do not now feel it necessary long to trespass upon your time or indulgence. My honorable friend, the Chairman, who has, I feel, been too complimentary to me, has stated, that the lustre of the star is only visible when the sun has set *. Apply this observation to me ; for whatever rays I may be capable of shedding forth to illuminate your horizon, you must rather attribute to the gloom created by the setting of that great sun whose loss you all deplore, than to any peculiar merit of mine. For twenty
four years have I stood by that illustrious man :-throughout my political life, has he been the object of my adherence and admiration. Before I entered Parliament, I sought him out, and had the honor to enjoy his cordial friendship; and that friendship I have the pride and pleasure to think was never for a moment interrupted to the latest period of his life. It is upon the same ground which urged me to look after, and enabled me to enjoy, that friendship, that I am now induced to solicit your support. An attachment to freedom, and a determination to persevere through life in the principles of Mr. Fox, are the only grounds upon which I can rest a pretension to your confidence. My honorable friend in the chair has talked of supplying the loss of the great man we deplore; but that is quite impossible. For, even in the scale of gradation, all men with regard to him are on a level; and thus I must pronounce my total disqualification. But yet, I will yield to no man in a zealous regard for that sacred liberty, which, however its cause may have been betrayed by treachery bedewed with blood, or profaned by sacrilege in other nations, shall ever stand in my estimation as the highest gift which the Great Creator ever conferred upon man. In devotion to this principle alone do I presume to think myself in any degree equal to your late illustrious representative--to that man, who in powers of mind stood completely unequalled--who, in my judgment, was, as a statesman, superior in intellect, not only to any this country has ever produced, but to any the world has ever witnessed."
Mr. SHERIDAN concluded with repeating the words of his late address, before quoted—" What I have been, I shall continue to be. The maintenance of the principles of Mr. Fox is now more than ever a sacred duty.”
THE THE EARL OF MOIRA's SPEECH
ANNIVERSARY MEETING OF THE
MARCH 17, 1803.
When his Majesty's message on the eighth of March 1803, concerning the military preparations then making in the ports of France and Holland, was taken into consideration in the House of Lords, the Earl of MOIRA expressed himself with so much animation and energy as did more than excite applause : he infused the spirit, which he himself felt, into all his hearers : he made them ardent and determined to vindicate the abused confidence and insulted honor of the nation to prove the competency of England to grapple single-handed with a restless, vaunting, inordinately ambitious, and implacable enemy-to shew the world that British bosoms were fired with the same courage; and British valor nerved with the same energies, which had at all times distinguished their ancestors.
A few days after, at the anniversary meeting of the benevolent Society of St. Patrick, where his lordship presided as chairman, he availed himself of a seasonable opportunity to diffuse the same sentiments in a fine strain of popular eloquence. . He began with some remarks on the happy effects of the institution. “But,” said he, “I do not mean to allude to its ordinary design, or that
which so peculiarly recommends it as one devoted to charitable purposes. There is something in the present crisis of affairs so awful, and there is something in the circumstances of this meeting so different from the ordinary course, that it places all other considerations out of the question. It is at a moment like this, that such a meeting is likely to be productive of the most essential advantages. I look with sanguine expectations to the effect which will be produced throughout Ireland by the sentiments unanimously expressed by a meeting so respectably constituted as this is. I do not wish to sow jealousies; but it is vain for any man to pretend not to see what is the present state of Ireland. It may be said, that an assembly like this is not the proper place for political discussions, I hope I shall not incur the censure attached to such an observation by any thing I shall address to you. I feel on the contrary, a strong persuasion, that every endeavour to impart and diffuse the spirit by which this meeting is actuated, must be of the utmost service to the interests of the empire in general, and particularly of Ireland. “ I consider you, my countrymen, as the
the representatives of Ireland on the present occasion. The people of Ireland, speaking of you, will say, These are men met to celebrate a festival in which we are essentially interested : let us see what are their sentiments : let us determine from their expressions what we are to do : they are nearest to the source of government and authentic information : they form a body uncontrolled by ministerial influence, unseduced by power, and unawed by fear : it is from their opinion (I am speaking the language of the people of Ireland) we will take the tone of our political sentiments. I will then say, let this meeting communicate the tone of its sentiments to the people of Ireland. Although we can come to no resolution, yet the sentiments we shall express will be immediately felt