Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  On the War with America

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

On the War with America

By William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (1708–1778)

[A.D. 1777.]

THE PEOPLE whom they affect to call contemptible rebels, but whose growing power has at last obtained the name of enemies,… are abetted against you, supplied with every military store, their interests consulted, and their embassadors entertained, by your inveterate enemy; and our ministers dare not interpose with dignity or effect…. I love and honor the English troops: I know their virtues and their valor: I know they can achieve anything except impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility…. My lords, you cannot conquer America!… You may swell every expense, and every effort, still more extravagantly; pile and accumulate every assistance you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter with every little pitiful German prince that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign prince: your efforts are for ever vain and impotent—doubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely…. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms—never—never—never!