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his unworthy associates. They are corrupt—they are seditious. -and they, at this very moment are in a conspiracy against their country. I have returned to refute a libel, as false as it is malicious, given to the public under the appellation of a report of the committee of the lords. Here I stand ready for impeachment or trial. I dare accusation. I defy the honorable gentleman; I defy the government; I defy their whole phalanx: let them come forth. I tell the ministers, I will neither give them quarter nor take it. I am here to lay the shattered remains of my constitution on the floor of this house, in defense of the liberties of my country.
Who shall estimate the cost of priceless reputation--that impress which gives this human dross its currency—without which we stand despised, debased, depreciated? Who shall repair it injured ? Who shall redeem it lost? Oh! well and truly does the great philosopher of poetry esteem the world's wealth as “ trash" in the comparison. Without it gold has no value, birth no distinction, station no dignity, beauty no charm, age no reverence; or, should I not rather say,
without it every treasure impoverishes, every grace deforms, every dignity degrades, and all the arts, the decorations, and accomplishments of life, stand, like the beacon-blaze upon a rock, warning the whole world that its approach is danger-that its contact is death. The wretch without it is under eternal quarantine ; no friend to greet—no home to harbor him. The voyage of his life becomes a joyless peril; and in the midst of all ambition can achieve, or avarice amass, or rapacity plunder, he tosses on the surge a buoyant pestilence! But, let me not degrade into the selfishness of individual safety, or individual exposure. this universal principle ; it testifies a higher, a more ennobling origin. It is this which, consecrating the humble circle of the hearth, will at times extend itself to the circumference of the horizon; which nerves the arm of the patriot to save his country; which lights the lamp of the philosopher to amend man; which, if it does not inspire, will yet invigorate the martyr to merit immortality; which, when the world's agony is passed, and the glory of another is dawning, will prompt the prophet, even in his chariot of fire, and in his vision of heaven, to bequeath to mankind the mantle of his memory! Oh, divine, oh, delightful legacy of a spotless reputation! Rich is the inherite
ance it leaves; pious the example it testifies ; pure, precious, and imperishable, the hope which it inspires! Can you conceive a more atrocious injury than to filch from its possessor this inestimable benefit-to rob society of its charm, and solitude of its solace; not only to outlaw life, but to attaint death, converting the very grave, the refuge of the sufferer, into the gate of infamy and of shame! I conceive few crimes beyond it. He who plunders my property takes from me that which can be repaired by time: but what period can repair a ruined reputation? He who maims my person affects that which medicine may remedy: but what herb has sovereignty over the wound of slander ? He who ridicules my poverty or reproaches my profession, upbraids me with that which industry may retrieve, and integrity may purify: but what riches shall redeem the bankrupt fame? What
shall blanch the sullied snow of character? Can there be an injury more deadly? Can there be a crime more cruel? It is without remedy—it is without antidote—it is without evasion! The reptile calumny is ever on the watch. From the fascination of its eye no activity can escape ; from the venom of its fang no sanity can recover. It has no enjoyment but crime; it has no prey but virtue ; it has no interval from the restlessness of its malice, save when, blasted with its victims, it grovels to disgorge them at the withered shrine where envy idolizes her own infirmities. Under such a visitation how dreadful would be the destiny of the virtuous and the good, if the providence of our constitution had not given you the power, as, I trust, you will have the principle, to bruise the head of the serpent, and crush and crumble the altar of its idolatry!
LIMITATION OF THE AMOUNT OF PENSIONS.-Curran,
I am surprised that gentlemen have taken up such a foolish opinion, as that our constitution is maintained by its different component parts mutually checking and controlling each other: they seem to think with Hobbes, that a state of nature is a state of warfare; and that, like Mohammed's coffin, the constitution is suspended between the attraction of different powers. My friends seem to think that the crown should be restrained from doing wrong by a physical necessity; forgetting, that if you take away from a man all power to do wrong, you at the same time take away from him all merit of doing right, and by making it impossible for men to run into slavery, you-enslave them most
effectually. But if, instead of the three different parts of our constitution drawing forcibly in right lines, at opposite directions, they were to unite their power, and draw all one way, in one right line, how great would be the effect of their force, how happy the direction of this union! The present system is not only contrary to mathematical rectitude, but to public harmony; but if instead of privilege setting up his back to oppose prerogative, he was to saddle his back and invite prerogative to ride, how comfortably might they both jog along; and therefore it delights me to hear the advocates for the royal bounty's flowing freely, and spontaneously, and abundantly, as Holywell in Wales. If the crown grants double the amount of the revenue in pensions, they approve of their royal master, for he is the breath of their nostrils.
But we shall find that this complaisance, this gentleness between the crown and its true servants, is not confined at home; it extends its influence to foreign powers. Our merchants have been insulted in Portugal, our commerce interdicted ;—what did the British lion do? Did he whet his tusks? Did he bristle up and shake his mane ? Did he roar ? no; no such thingthe gentle creature wagged his tail for six years at the court of Lisbon, and now we hear from the delphic oracle on the treasury bench, that he is wagging his tail in London to Chevalier Pinto ; who, he hopes soon to be able to tell us, will allow his lady to entertain him as a lap-dog; and when she does, no doubt the British factories will furnish some of their softest woolens to make a cushion for him to lie upon. But though the gentle beast had continued so long fawning and crouching, I believe his vengeance will be as great as it is slow, and that posterity, whose ancestors are yet unborn, will be surprised at the vengeance he will take.
This polyglot of wealth, this museum of curiosities, the pension list, embraces every link in the human chain, every description of men, women, and children, from the exalted excellence of a Hawke, or a Rodney, to the debased situation of a lady who humbleth herself that she may be exalted. But the lesson it inculcates forms its greatest perfection; it teacheth,
l that sloth and vice may eat that bread which virtue and honesty may starve for, after they have earned it. It teaches the idle and dissolute to look up for that support which they are too proud to stoop and earn. It directs the minds of men to an entire reliance on the ruling power of the state, who feeds the ravens of the royal aviary that cry continually for food. It teaches them to imitate those saints on the pension list, that are like the lilies of the field ; they toil not, neither do they spin,
yet are arrayed like Solomon in his glory. In fine, it teaches à lesson, which indeed they might have learned from Epictetus —that it is sometimes good not to be over-virtuous : it shows, that in proportion as our distresses increase, the munificence of the crown increases also ; in proportion as our clothes are rent, the royal mantle is extended over us.
FALLACY OF MR. TIERNEY'S ARGUMENT ON A MOTION FOR
PEACE WITH THE FRENCH. -Canning:
So much, sir, as to the particular argument, that the past conduct of our former allies ought to lead us to withhold all credit from their future professions. There is, however, another and more general argument, comprehending alike these and the other powers of Europe ; which, but that it has been stated by the honorable gentleman, I should really have thought scarcely worth confutation. We, it seems—a wise, prudent, reflecting people—are much struck with all the outrages France has committed upon the continent, but on the powers of the continent itself, no lasting impression has been made. Is this probable ? Is it possible ? Is it in the nature of things, that the contemplation of the wrongs and miseries which others have endured, should have worked a deeper impression upon our minds, than the suffering of those miseries and wrongs has left in the minds of those on whom they were actually inflicted ?
“Segniùs irritant animos demissa per aures,
Quàm quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus.” Yet the echo and report of the blows by which other countries have fallen, are supposed to have more effect upon us, than the blows themselves produced upon the miserable victims who sunk beneath them.
The pillage and bloody devastation of Italy strikes us with horror ;-but Italy, we are to believe, is contented with what has befalien her. The insults which are hurled by the French garrison from the walls of the citadel of Turin, rouse resentment in our breasts, but have no effect on the feelings of the Piedmontese. We read with indignation of the flag of Bernadotte displayed in mockery and insult to the emperor and his subjects; but it flaunted in the eyes of the people, without exciting any emotions of hatred or resentment. The invasion of a province of a friendly power, with whom they had no cause nor pretence for hostility, has created in us a decided detestation for the unprincipled hypocrisy and ambition of the directory; but the Ottoman Porte sits down contented with the loss of Egypt; feels no injury, and desires neither reparation nor revenge. And then, sir, the wrongs of Switzerland! they, too, are calculated to excite an interest here ; but the Swiss, no doubt, endured them with quiet resignation and contented humility. If, after the taking of Soleure, the venerable magistrates of that place were first handed round the town in barbarous triumph, and afterwards, contrary to all the laws of war, of nations, and nature, were inhumanly put to death ; if, when the unoffending town of Sion capitulated to the French, the troops were let loose to revel in every species of licentiousness and cruelty ;-if, more recently, when Stantz was carried after a short, but vigorous and honorable resistance, such as would have conciliated the esteem of any but a French conqueror, the whole town was burnt to the ground, and the ashes quenched with the blood of the inhabitants !—The bare recital of these horrors and atrocities awakens in British bosoms, I trust it does awaken, I trust it will long keep alive an abhorrence of the nation and name of that people by whom such execrable cruelties have been practised, and such terrible calamities inflicted ; but on the Swiss, we are to understand, these cruelties and calamities have left no lasting impression; the inhabitants of Soleure, who followed, with tears of anguish and indignation, their venerated magistrates to a death of terror and ignominy; the husbands, and fathers, and sons, of those wretched victims who expired in torture and in shame, beneath the brutality of a savage soldiery at Sion; the wretched survivors of those who perished in the ruins of the country at Stantz, they all felt but a transient pang; their tears by this time are dried; their rage is hushed; their resentment silenced; there is nothing in their feelings which can be stimulated into honorable and effectual action; there is no motive for their exertions upon which we can safely and permanently rely! Sir, I should be ashamed to waste your time by arguing such a question.
INDIGNANT REBUKE ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF INDIANS IN
I am astonished !-shocked! to hear such principles confessed to hear them avowed in this house, or in this country: principles equally unconstitutional, inhuman, and unchristian!
My lords, I did not intend to have encroached again upon