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study of the law. He had not been there long before politics began to engage his attention. He frequently attended the debates in parliament, and became an ardent admirer of Lord Chatham-then in the zenith of his fame.

The powerful oratory of this great statesman made a deep impression on the glowing mind of young Grattan, who listened with indescribable pleasure to those magnificent bursts of declamation which rolled from the lips of the


The eloquence of Chatham, bold, nervous, and fiery, was exactly suited to the nature of Grattan, upon whom it acted with such fascination as seemed completely to form his destiny. It is said that he now determined to become an orator and chose Lord Chatham as his model. "Everything was forgotten in the one great object of cultivating his powers as a public speaker. To emulate and express, through the peculiar forms of his own genius, the lofty conceptions of the great English orator, was from this time. the object of his continual study and most fervent aspirations."

"Even in those early days Grattan was preparing sedulously for his future destination. He had taken a residence near Windsor Forest, and there it was his custom to rove about moonlight nights, addressing the trees as if they were an audience. His landlady took such manifestations much to heart. What a sad thing it was,' she would say, 'to see the poor young gentleman all day talking to somebody he calls Mr. Speaker, when there is no speaker in the house except himself!' Her mind was completely made up upon the subject.'

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Mr. Grattan returned to Ireland in 1772, and became a member of the Irish parliament, in 1775.

The complete independence of his country was the one great object which he had in view, during his brilliant political career.

Ireland had been long treated by the English like a conquered nation. During the reign of George I., an act was passed, asserting, "that Ireland was a subordinate and

dependent kingdom;-that the Kings, Lords, and Commons of England had power to make laws to bind Ireland; that the Irish House of Lords had no jurisdiction, and that all proceedings before that court were void."

Mr. Grattan determined that the parliament of his country should be free if it was in his power to break the chains thrown around her. He resolved to effect the repeal of this act. Accordingly on the 19th of April, 1780, he made his memorable motion for a Declaration of Irish Right, which denied the authority of the British parliament to make laws for Ireland. Mr. Grattan was cheered on in taking this bold step by the whole body of the Irish nation. It is said that the speech which he delivered on that occasion in support of his motion "was the most splendid piece of eloquence that had ever been heard in Ireland." The orator himself always thought it his finest oratorical effort. Says Professor Goodrich: "As a specimen of condensed and fervid argumentation, it indicates a high order of talent; while in brilliancy of style, pungency of application, and impassioned vehemence of spirit, it has rarely, if ever, been surpassed. The conclusion, especially, is one of the most magnificent passages in our eloquence." Mr. Grattan thus finished his speech in the boldest tone:

"I might, as a constituent, come to your bar and demand my liberty. I do call upon you by the laws of the land, and their violation; by the instructions of eighteen centuries; by the arms, inspiration, and providence of the present movement-tell us the rule by which we shall go; assert the law of Ireland; declare the liberty of the land! I will not be answered by a public lie, in the shape of an amendment; nor, speaking for the subject's freedom, am I to hear of faction. I wish for nothing but to breathe in this our island, in common with my fellow-subjects, the air of liberty. I have no ambition, unless it be to break your chain and contemplate your glory. I never will be satisfied so long as the meanest cottager in Ireland has a link of the British chain clanking to his rags. He may be naked, he shall not be in irons. And I do see the time at hand; the

spirit has gone forth; the Declaration of Right is planted and though great men should fall off, the cause will live; and though he who utters this should die, yet the immortal fire shall outlast the organ that conveys it, and the breath of liberty, like the word of the holy man, will not die with the prophet, but survive him."

Professor Goodrich says: "The reader will be interested to observe the rhythmus of the last three paragraphs, so slow and dignified in its movement; so weighty as it falls on the ear; so perfectly adapted to the sentiments expressed in this magnificent passage. The effect will be heightened by comparing it with the rapid and iambic movement of the passage containing Mr. Erskine's description of the Indian chief."

Mr. Grattan's motion did not pass at that time; but notwithstanding his temporary defeat, he never faltered for a moment: he ever kept his eye fixed on parliamentary emancipation. Mr. Grattan availed himself of the general enthusiasm for liberty which prevailed in Ireland, and mainly by his efforts the Irish Revolution of 1782 was carried, thus achieving, to use the language of Lord Brougham, a victory "which stands at the head of all the triumphs ever won by a patriot for his country in modern times; he had effected an important revolution in the government without violence of any kind, and had broken chains of the most degrading kind by which the injustice and usurpation of three centuries had bowed her down."

While his countrymen were armed, ready for open rebellion, on the 16th of April, 1782, Mr. Grattan repeated his motion in the Irish House of Commons for a Declaration of Irish Right. His speech on that occasion, it is said, was universally admired for its boldness, sublimity, and compass of thought. The untiring efforts of the orator were at last crowned with complete success. The grievances of Ireland. were redressed, a bill repealing the act of George I. was soon after passed.

Mr. Grattan's services were remunerated by a grant of £100,000 from the parliament of Ireland. He at first de

clined the reception of this high expression of gratitude; but by the interposition of his friends he was subsequently induced to accept one-half of the amount granted.

Shortly after this victory Mr. Grattan was led into a personal quarrel with Mr. Flood, a rival member of parliament. A bitter animosity had arisen between them; and Grattan having unfortunately led the way in personality, by speaking of his opponent's "affectation of infirmity," Flood replied with great asperity, denouncing Grattan as "a mendicant patriot," who, "bought by his country for a sum of money, then sold his country for prompt payment." He also sneered at Grattan's "aping the style of Lord Chatham." To these taunts Grattan replied in a speech, an abridgment of which will be given. An arrangement for a hostile meeting between the parties was the consequence of this speech; but Flood was arrested, and the crime of a duel was not added to the offence of vindictive personality of which both had been guilty. It is said that Grattan lived to regret his harshness, and spoke in generous terms of his rival. Mr. Grattan said:


'It is not the slander of an evil tongue that can defame me. I maintain my reputation in public and in private life. No man, who has not a bad character, can ever say that I deceived. No country can call me a cheat. But I will suppose such a public character. I will suppose such a man to have existence. I will begin with his character in his politi cal cradle, and I will follow him to the last stage of political dissolution. I will suppose him, in the first stage of his life, to have been intemperate; in the second, to have been corrupt; and in the last, seditious;-that, after an envenomed attack on the persons and measures of a succession of viceroys, and after much declamation against their illegalities. and their profusion, he took office, and became a supporter of government, when the profusion of ministers had greatly increased, and their crimes multiplied beyond example.

"With regard to the liberties of America, which were inseparable from ours, I will suppose this gentleman to have been an enemy decided and unreserved; that he voted.

against her liberty, and voted, moreover, for an address to send four thousand Irish troops to cut the throats of the Americans; that he called these butchers armed negotiators', and stood with a metaphor in his mouth and a bribe in his pocket, a champion against the rights of America,—of America, the only hope of Ireland, and the only refuge of the liberties of mankind. Thus defective in every relationship, whether to constitution, commerce, and toleration, I will suppose this man to have added much private improbity to public crimes; that his probity was like his patriotism, and his honour on a level with his oath. He loves to deliver panegyrics on himself. I will interrupt him and say: "Sir, you are much mistaken if you think that your talents have been as great as your life has been reprehensible. You began your parliamentary career with an acrimony and personality which could have been justified only by a supposition of virtue; after a rank and clamorous opposition, you became, on a sudden, silent; you were silent for seven. years; you were silent on the greatest questions, and you were silent for money! You supported the unparalleled profusion and jobbing of Lord Harcourt's scandalous ministry. You, sir, who manufacture stage thunder against Mr. Eden for his anti-American principles,-you, sir, whom it pleases to chant a hymn to the immortal Hampden ;—you, sir, approved of the tyranny exercised against America, and you, sir, voted four thousand Irish troops to cut the throats of the Americans fighting for their freedom, fighting for your freedom, fighting for the great principle, liberty! But you found, at last, that the court had bought, but would not trust you. Mortified at the discovery, you try the sorry game of a trimmer in your progress to the acts of an incendiary; and observing, with regard to prince and people, the most impartial treachery and desertion, you justify the suspicion of your sovereign by betraying the government, as you had sold the people. Such has been your conduct, and at such conduct every order of your fellow-subjects have a right to exclaim! The merchant may say to you, the constitutionalist may say to you, the American may say to you,

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