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40 complexion, gives also the feelings and the rights of
man,—that principle, which neither the rudeness of ignorance can stifle, nor the enervation of refinement extinguish!—that principle, which makes it base for a man
to suffer when he ought to act, which tending to preserve 45 to the species the original designations of Providence,
spurns at the arrogant distinctions of man, and vindicates the independent quality of his race.
The Majesty of Justice, in the eyes of Mr. Hastings,
is a being of terrific horror-a dreadful idol, placed in 50 the gloom of graves, accessible only to cringing suppli
cation, and which must be approached with offerings, and worshipped by sacrifice. The Majesty of Mir. Hastings is a being, whose decrees are written with blood,
and whose oracles are at once secure and terrible. From 55 such an idol I turn mine eyes with horror—I turn them
here to this dignified and high tribunal, where the Majesty of Justice really sits enthroned. Here I perceive the Majesty of Justice in her proper robes of truth and
mercy-chaste and simple-accessible and patient-aw60 ful without severity,-inquisitive, without meanness. I
see her enthroned and sitting in judgement on a great and momentous cause, in which the happiness of millions is involved.-Pardon me, my lords, if I presume
to say, that in the decision of this great cause, you are 65 to be envied, as well as venerated. You possess the
highest distinction of the human character; for when you render your ultimate voice on this cause, illustrating the dignity of the ancestors from whom you spring-jus
tifying the solemn asseveration which you make-vindi70 cating the people of whom you are a part—and manifest
ing the intelligence of the times in which you live-you will do such an act of mercy, and blessing to man, as no men but yourselves are able to grant.'
On the conclusion of Mr. Sheridan's speech, the whole 75 assembly, inembers, peers, and strangers, involuntarily
joined in a tumult of applause, and adopted a mode of expressing their approbation new and irregular in that house, by loudly and repeatedly clapping their hands. A
motion was immediately made and carried for an ad80 journment, that the members, who were in a state of de
lirious insensibility, from the talismanic influence of such powerful eloquence, might have time to collect their
scattered senses for the exercise of a sober judgement.
This motion was made by Mr. Pitt, who declared that 85 this speech "surpassed all the eloquence of ancient and
modern times, and possesses every thing that genius or art could furnish, to agitate and control the human mind."
“ He has this day,” said Mr. Burke, “ surprised the thousands who hung with rapture on his accents, by such : 90 an array of talents, such an exhibition of capacity, such
a display of powers, as are unparalleled in the annals of oratory! a display that reflects the highest honor upon himself-lustre upon letters-renown upon parliament
glory upon the country. Of all species of rhetoric, of 95 every kind of eloquence that has been witnessed or re
corded, either in ancient or modern times: whatever the acuteness of the bar, the dignity of the senate, the solidity of the judgement seat, and the sacred morality of the pulpit, have hitherto furnished, nothing has sur 100 passed, nothing has equalled, what we have this day
heard in Westminster-hall. No holy seer of religion, no sage, no statesman, no orator, no man of any literary description whatever, has come up, in the one instance,
to the pure sentiments of morality; or, in the other, to 105 that variety of knowledge, force of imagination, propri
ety and vivacity of allusion, beauty and elegance of diction, strength and copiousness of style, pathos and sublimity of conception, to which we have this day listened
with ardour and admiration. From poetry up to elo110 quence, there is not a species of composition of which
a complete and perfect specimen might not from that single speech be culled and collected.'
Exercise 118. Spirit of the American Revolution.—Josiah QUINCY, JR.
Be not deceived, my countrymen. Believe not these venal hirelings, when they would cajole you by their subtilties into submission, or frighten you by their vapour
ings into compliance. When they strive to flatter you 5 by the terms “ moderation and prudence," tell them
that calmness and deliberation are to guide the judgement; courage and intrepidity command the action. When they endeavour to make perceive our inabil
ity to oppose our mother country,” let us boldly answer, 10 -In defence of our civil and religious rights, we dare
oppose the world; with the God of armies on our side, even the God who fought our fathers' battles, we fear not the hour of trial, though the hosts of our enemies should
cover the field like locusts. If this be enthusiasm, we 15 will live and die enthusiasts.
Blandishments will not fascinate us, nor will threats of a “halter” intimidate. For, under God, we are determined, that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever
we shall be called to make our exit, we will die freemen. 20 Well do we know that all the regalia of this world can
not dignify the death of a villain, nor diminish the ignominy, with which a slave shall quit existence. Neither can it taint the unblemished honour of a son of freedom,
though he should make his departure on the already pre25 pared gibbet, or be dragged to the newly erected scaffold
for execution. With the plaudits of his country, and what is more, the plaudits of his conscience, he will go off the stage. The history of his life his children shall
venerate. The virtues of their sire shall excite their 30 emulation.
Who has the front to ask, Wherefore do you complain? Who dares assert, that every thing worth living för is not lost, when a nation is enslaved? Are not pen
sioners, stipendiaries and salary-men, unknown before, 35 hourly multiplying upon us, to riot in the spoils of miser
able America? Does not every eastern gale waft us some new insect, even of that devouring kind, which eat up every green thing? Is not the bread taken out of the
children's mouths and given unto the dogs? Are not our 40 estates given to corrupt sycophants, without a design, or
even a pretence, of soliciting our assent; and our lives put into the hands of those whose tender mercies are cruelties? Has not an authority in a distant land, in the
most public manner, proclaimed a right of disposing of 45 the all of Americans? In short, what have we to lose?
What have we to fear? Are not our distresses more than we can bear? And, to finish all, are not our cities, in a time of profound peace, filled with standing armies,
to preclude from us that last solace of the wretched-to 50 open their mouths in complaint, and send forth their
cries in bitterness of heart?
But is there no ray of hope? Is not Great Britain inhabited by the children of those renowned barons, who
waded through seas of crimson gore to establish their 55 liberty? and will they not allow us, their fellow men, to
enjoy that freedom which we claim from nature, which is confirmed by our constitution, and which they pretend so highly to value? Were a tyrant to conquer us, the
chains of slavery, when opposition should become use60 less, might be supportable; but to be shackled by Eng
lishmen,-by our equals,- is not to be borne. By the sweat of our brow we earn the little we possess; from nature we derive the common rights of man; and by
charter we claim the liberties of Britons. Shall we, dare 65 we, pusillanimously surrender our birthright? Is the
obligation to our fathers discharged? Is the debt we owe posterity paid? Answer me, thou coward, who hidest thyself in the hour of trial! If there is no reward
in this life, no prize of glory in the next, capable of ani70 mating thy dastard soul, think and tremble, thou mis
creant! at the whips and stripes thy master shall lash thee with on earth,—and the flames and scorpions thy second master shall torment thee with hereafter!
Oh, my countrymen! what will our children say, 75 when they read the history of these times, should they
find that we tamely gave away, without one noble struggle, the most invaluable of earthly blessings! As they drag the galling chain, will they not execrate us?
have any respect for things sacred, any regard to the 80 dearest treasure on earth; if we have one tender senti
ment for posterity; if we would not be despised by the whole world;- let us, in the most open, solemn manner, and with determined fortitude, swear -We will die, if
we cannot live freemen. 85
While we have equity, justice, and God on our side, tyranny, spiritual or temporal, shall never ride triumphant in a land inhabited by Englishmen.
America.-Phillips. I appeal to History! Tell me, thou reverend chronicler of the grave, can all the illusions of ambition realized, can all the wealth of a universal commerce, can all
the achievements of successful heroism, or all the estab5 lishments of this world's wisdom, secure to empire the
permanency of its possessions? Alas! Troy thought so once; yet the land of Priam lives only in song! Thebes thought so once; yet her hundred gates have
crumbled, and her very tombs are but as the dust they 10 were vainly intended to commemorate! So thought
Palmyra—where is she? So thought the countries of Demosthenes and the Spartan; yet Leonidas is trampled by the timid slave, and Athens insulted by the ser
vile, mindless, and enervate Ottoman! In his hurried 15 march, Time has but looked at their imagined immor
tality; and all its vanities, from the palace to the tomb, have, with their ruins, erased the very impression of his footsteps! The days of their glory are as if they had
never been; and the island, that was then a speck, rude 20 and neglected in the barren ocean, now rivals the ubi
quity of their commerce, the glory of their arms, the fame of their philosophy, the eloquence of their senate, and the inspiration of their bards! Who shall say, then,
contemplating the past, that England, proud and potent 25 as she appears, may not, one day, be what Athens is,
and the young America yet soar to be what Athens was! Who shall say, that, when the European column shall have mouldered, and the night of barbarism ob
scured its very ruins, that mighty continent may not 30 emerge from the horizon, to rule, for its time, sovereign of the ascendant!
Sir, it matters very little what immediate spot may have been the birthplace of such a man as Washing
No people can claim, no country can appropriate 35 him. The boon of Providence to the human race, his
fame is eternity, and his residence creation. Though it was the defeat of our arms, and the disgrace of our policy, I almost bless the convulsion in which he had
his origin. If the heavens thundered, and the earth 40 rocked, yet, when the storm had passed, how pure was
the climate that it cleared! how bright, in the brow of the firmament, was the planet which it revealed to us! In the production of Washington, it does really appear
as if Nature was endeavouring to improve upon herself, 45 and that all the virtues of the ancient world were but so
many studies preparatory to the patriot of the new, In