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The Ghost of Chatham; A Vision Dedicated to the House of Peers   By:

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THE GHOST OF CHATHAM; A VISION.

DEDICATED TO THE HOUSE OF PEERS.

"Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. A SPIRIT passed before my face." Job.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR WILLIAM HONE, 45, LUDGATE HILL.

1821.

Sixpence.

J. M'Creery, Tooks Court, Chancery Lane, London.

PREFACE.

The following lines were written under the powerful impulse of feelings which appear to have been almost consentaneous with those of the whole British people. The national spirit has been rouzed against this cruel and unconstitutional attack upon the QUEEN, with pervasive ardour, which forcibly recalls the language of the Augustan poet:

"SPIRITUS intus alit, totamque infusa per ARTUS , MENS agitat MOLEM, et magno se corpore miscet ."

This irresistible movement has been one of LOYALTY, not of FACTION; of love and not of enmity towards the constitution. It is not disputed that factious men exist, who are ready to swell public tumult whenever it arises: but it is mere drivelling, for ministers and their adherents, to talk of " radicalism " and democracy on this occasion. They must know, if they consult the commonest sources of intelligence open to them, that detestation of "THE BILL OF PAINS AND PENALTIES" is rooted beyond all possibility of eradication in the breasts of an overwhelming majority of good men, and faithful subjects.

At the moment when it was determined to send the following "VISION" to the press, a burst of honest exultation has electrified the whole kingdom. With feelings of solemn gratitude to God, and love for my country, I rejoice not only that the QUEEN is thus delivered from the fangs of her enemies; but that THE KING, THE CONSTITUTION, and THE COUNTRY, have been thus, as I do unequivocally believe, rescued from a tremendous explosion, which would at best have been of doubtful issue to our liberties.

Notwithstanding this most happy, this providential result, I have determined still to send out the poem to the public; because it expresses in strong, however inadequate language, sentiments which are essential to our character as a free people, and to the preservation of our justly balanced monarchy.

I have not assumed the FASCIS of satire, without deep conviction that its rods were imperatively called into action: but most gladly shall I reverse them, after the manner of the ancient LICTORS, over the obsequies of an administration, which must be now in its death pangs. May succeeding cabinets be WARNED, not guided , by its example!

THE GHOST OF CHATHAM;

A VISION.

A vision came! It was not in the hour Of sleep; but when the unresisted power Of magic Fancy, threw, with full control, Her half prophetic mantle o'er the soul. The place was thron'd like Britain's royal halls, And her proud navy deck'd the tap'stried walls. Statesmen and heroes grac'd the pictur'd scene; Fathers who were what since their sons have been; And some whose laurell'd brows might glow with shame, Of sons with nought of their's besides the name. In this august abode the loud debate Seem'd hush'd, and prince and peer in silence sate; E'en G ff d's brazen descant seem'd to fail, And gasping C pley gazed on L d rd le; Panting, they loll'd their contumelious tongues, And suck'd Italian juice to clear their lungs. Y k mus'd on armies ; yet, with doubtful trust, Wish'd he were certain, or the cause were just: The eye of Cl r nce fiercely rang'd the floor, But soften'd as it fell on D n ghm re; While L v rp l, who inly seem'd to fear For place and power, his fellows strove to cheer With sickly smile; and courtier lords obscene, Temper'd new filth, to daub their libell'd QUEEN.

Sudden amid the peers whom ENGLAND hails HER nobles men who fail but when SHE fails, The vision rose. It was a rev'rend form Of aged dignity: its eye was warm With kindlings of a spirit that of old Made those walls tremble through its earthly mould... Continue reading book >>




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