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a to ask it. But on this day, and in this extremely mosentous exigency, no reliance is reposed on your councils— no advice is asked of parliament; but the crown from itself, and by itself, declares an unalterable determination to pursue its own preconcerted measures; and what measures, my lords ? Measures which have produced hitherto nothing but disappointments and defeats. I cannot, my lords, I will not join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. This, my lords, is a perilous and tremendous moment: it is not a time for adulation; the smoothness of flattery cannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must, if possible, dispel the darkness and delusion which envelop it; and display, in its full danger and genuine colors, the ruin which is brought to our doors. Can ministers still presume to expect support in their infatuation! Can parliament be so dead to its dignity and duty as to give their support to measures thus obtruded and forced upon them? Measures, my lords, which have reduced this great and flourishing empire to scorn and contempt. But yesterday, “and England might have stood against the world.—Now, none so poor to do her reverence.” The people whom we at first despised as rebels, but whom we now acknowledge as enemies, are abetted against you, supplied with every military store, their interest consulted, and their ambassadors entertained by your inveterate enemy;
and our ministers do not and dare not interpose with dignity and effect. The desperate state of our army abroad is in part known. No man more highly esteems and honors the English troops than I do: I know their virtues and their valor : I know they can achieve any thing except impossibilities : and I know that the conquest of English-America is an impossibility. You cannot, my lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst, but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing and suffered much. You may swell every expense, and strain every effort, accumulate every
assistance, and extend your traffick to the shambles of every German despot; your attempts for ever will be vain and impotent; doubly so, indeed, from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates to an incurable resentment the minds of your adversaries, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop remained in my country, I never would lay down my arms never, never, never.
It will not, I think, be pretended, that any of our public speakers have often occasion to address more sagacious, learned, or polite assemblies, than those which were composed of the Roman senate, or the Athenian people, in their most enlightened times. But it is well known what great stress the most celebrated orators of those times laid on action; how exceedingly imperfect they reckoned eloquence without it, and what wonders they performed with its assistance; performed upon the greatest, firmest, most sensible, and most elegant spirits the world ever saw.
It were easy to throw together a number of commonplace quotations, in support, or illustration of this, and almost every other remark that can be made upon subject. But as that would lead me beyond the intention of this address, I need only mention here one simple fact, which every body has heard of; that whereas Demosthenes himself did not succeed in his first attempts, through his having neglected to study action, he afterwards arrived at such a pitch in that faculty, that when the people of Rhodes expressed in high terms their admiration of his famous oration for Ctesiphon, upon hearing it read with a very sweet and strong voice by Aschines, whose banishment it had procured, that great and candid judge said to them,“ How would you have been affected, had you seen him speak it. For he that only hears Demosthenes, loses much the better part of the oration.”—What an honorable testimony this from a vanquished adversary, and such an adversary! What a noble idea doth it give of that wonderful orator's action! I grasp it with ardor ; I transport myself in imagination to old Athens. I mingle with the popular assembly, I behold the lightning, I listen to the thunder of Demosthenes. I feel my blood thrilled, I see the auditory lost and shaken, like some deep forest by a mighty storm. I am filled with wonder at such marvellous effects. I am hurried almost out of myself. In a little while, I endeavor to be more collected. Then I consider the orator's address. I find the whole inexpressible. But nothing strikes me more than his action. I perceive the various passions he would inspire, rising in him by turns, and working from the depth of his frame. Now he glows with the love of the public; now he flames with indignation at its enemies; then he swells with disdain, of its false, indolent, or interested friends, anon he melts with grief for its misfortunes; and now he turns pale with fear of yet greater ones. Every feature, nerve, and circumstance about him, is intensely ani
mated; each almost seems as if it would speak. I discern his inmost soul, I see it as only clad in some thin transparent vehicle. It is all on fire. I wonder no longer at the effects of such eloquence. I only wonder at their cause.
APPEAL TO THE JURY IN DEFENSE OF ROWAN.--Curran.
I cannot, however, avoid adverting to a circumstance that distinguishes the case of Mr. Rowan from that of the late sacrifice in a neighboring kingdom.
The severer law of that country, it seems, and happy for them that it should, enables them to remove from their sight the victim of their infatuation. The more merciful spirit of our law deprives you of that consolation ; his sufferings must remain for ever before our eyes, a continual call upon your shame and your remorse. But those sufferings will do more; they will not rest satisfied with your unavailing contrition, they will challenge the great and paramount inquest of society : the man will be weighed against the charge, the witness, and the sentence; and impartial justice will demand, why has an Irish jury done this deed ? The moment he ceases to be regarded as a criminal, he becomes of necessity an accuser : and let me ask you, what can your most zealous defenders be prepared to answer to such a charge? When your sentence shall have sent him forth to that stage, which guilt alone can render infamous, let me tell you, he will not be like a little statue upon a mighty pedestal, diminishing by elevation, but he will stand a striking and imposing object upon a monument, which, if it does not (and it cannot) record the atrocity of his crime, must record the atrocity of his conviction. Upon this subject, therefore, credit me when I
say that I am still more anxious for you, than I can possibly be for him. I cannot but feel the peculiarity of your situation. Not the jury of his own choice, which the law of England allows, but which ours refuses; collected in that box by a person, certainly no friend to Mr. Rowan, certainly not very deeply interested in giving him a very impartial jury. Feeling this, as I am persuaded you do, you cannot be surprised, however you may be distressed, at the mournful presage, with which an anxious public is led to fear the worst from your possible determination. But I will not for the justice and honor of our common country, suffer my mind to be borne away by such melancholy anticipation. I will not relinquish the confidence that this day will be the period of his sufferings ; and however mercilessly he has been hitherto pursued, thạt your verdict will send him home to the arms of his family, and the wishes of his country. But if, which heaven forbid, it hath still been unfortunately determined, that because he has not bent to power and authority, because he would not bow down before the golden calf and worship it, he is to be bound and cast into the furnace; I do trust in God, that there is a redeeming spirit in the constitution, which will be seen to walk with the sufferer through the flames, and preserve him unhurt by the conflagration.
MEN OF STERLING INTEGRITY ONLY FIT FOR OFFICE.
Were your country, Mr. President, in a state of anarchywere it distracted by the struggles of rival parties, drawn out, every now and then, in arms against one another—and were you, sir, to attempt a reformation of manners, what qualifications would you require in the men whom you would associate with you in such an undertaking ? What would content you ?Talent ?-No! Enterprise ?-No! Courage ?-No! Reputation ?-No! Virtue ?-No! The men whom you would select, should possess, not one, but all of these-nor, yet, should that content you.
They must be proved men-tested men-men that had, again and again, passed through the ordeal of human temptation—without a scar- —without a blemish-without a speck! You would not select the public firebrand-you would not seek your seconds in the tavern or in the brothel-you would not inquire out the man who was oppressed with debts, contracted by licentiousness, debauchery, every species of profligacy! Who, sir, I ask, were Cæsar's seconds in his undertaking? Crebonius Curio, one of the most vicious and debauched young men in Rome—a creature of Pompey's, bought off by the illustrious Cæsar! Marcus Antonius, a creature of that creature's—a young man, so addicted to every kind of dissipation, that he had been driven from the paternal roof—the friend and coadjutor of that Clodius who violated the mysteries of the Bona Dea_and drove into exile the man that had been called the father of his country! Paulus Æmilius—a patrician, a consul—a friend of Pompey's—bought off by the great Cæsar with a bribe of fifteen hundred talents! Such, sir, were the abettors of Cæsar. What, then, what was Cæsar's object ? Do we select. extortioners to enforce the laws of equity? Do we make choice of profligates to guard the morals of society? Do
we depute atheists, to preside over the rites of religion? What, I say, was Cæsar's object? I will not press the answer-I need not press the answer—the premises of my argument render it unnecessary
the achievement of great objects does not belong to the vile—or of virtuous ones, to the vicious—or of religious ones, to the profane. Cæsar did not associate such characters with him for the good of his country. His object was, the gratification of his own ambition—the attainment of supreme power; no matter by what means accomplished—no matter by what consequences attended. He aspired to be the highest-above the people !—above the authorities —above the laws! above his country!-and, in that seat of eminence, he was content to sit, though, from the centre to the far horizon of his power, his eyes could contemplate nothing but the ruin and desolation by which he had reached to it!
CHARACTER OF AN INFORMER.-Curran.
Gentlemen of the Jury,—The learned gentleman is pleased to say, that the traverser has charged the government with the encouragement of informers. This, gentlemen, is another small fact that you are to deny at the hazard of your souls, and upon the solemnity of your oaths. You are, upon your oaths, to say to the sister country, that the government of Ireland uses no such abominable instruments of destruction as informers.—Let me ask you, honestly,--what do you feel, when in my hearing, when in the face of this audience, you are called upon to give a verdict that every man of us, aye, and every man of you, knows by the testimony of your own eyes, to be utterly and absolutely false ?
I speak not now of the public employment of informers, with a promise of secrecy and of extravagant reward; I speak not of the fate of those horrid wretches who have been so often transferred from the table to the dock, and from the dock to the pillory; I speak of what your own eyes have seen, day after day, during the course of this commission, from the box where you are now sitting ; I speak of the horrid miscreants who have avowed, upon their oaths, that they had come from the very seat of government—from the castle, where they had been worked upon by the fear of death, and the hopes of compensation, to give evidence against their fellows. I speak of the mild and wholesome councils of this government, holden over these catacombs of living death, where the wretch that is buried