Edmund Burke, on moving his Resolutions for Conciliation with the Colonies.
House of Commons, March 22, 1775
Below are excerpts from the first fifth of the speech. The speech is public domain. All 24,000 words are available at Project Gutenberg.
I hope, Sir, that notwithstanding the austerity of the Chair, your good nature will incline you to some degree of indulgence towards human frailty… . We are at this very instant nearly as free to choose a plan for our American Government as we were on the first day of the session. If, Sir, we incline to the side of conciliation, we are not at all embarrassed (unless we please to make ourselves so) by any incongruous mixture of coercion and restraint. We are therefore called upon, as it were by a superior warning voice, again to attend to America; to attend to the whole of it together; and to review the subject with an unusual degree of care and calmness. read more