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DESCRIPTION OF JUNIUS.
SIR, - How comes this Junius to have broken through the
cobwebs of the law, and to range uncontrolled, unpunished, through the land ? The myrmidons of the court have been long, and are still pursuing him in vain. They will not spend their time
upon me, or you, or you. No! they disdain such vermin, when the mighty boar of the forest, that has broken through all their toils, is before them. But what will all their efforts avail ? No sooner has he wounded one than he lays down another dead at his feet. For my part, when I saw his attack upon the king, I own my blood ran cold. I thought he had ventured too far, and there was an end of his triumphs. Not that he had not asserted many truths : - Yes, sir, there are in that composition many bold truths, by which a wise prince might profit. It was the rancor and venom, with which I was struck. In these respects the North-Briton is as much inferior to him, as in strength, wit, and judgment.
But while I expected, in this daring flight, his final ruin and fall, behold him rising still higher, and coming down souse upon both Houses of Parliament. Yes, he did make you
quarry, and you
still bleed from the wounds of his talons. You crouched, and still crouch, beneath his rage. Nor has he dreaded the terrors of your brow, sir ; he has attacked even you he has and I believe you have no reason to triumph in the encounter. In short, after carrying away our royal eagle in his pounces, and dashing him against a rock, he has laid you prostrate. King, lords, and commons, are but the sport of his fury.
Were he a member of this House, what might not be expected from his knowledge, his firmness, and integrity ? He would be easily known by his contempt of all danger, by his penetration, by his vigor. Nothing would escape his vigilance and activity. Bad ministers could conceal nothing from his sagacity ; nor could promises nor threats induce him to conceal anything from the public.
E. Burke. 13
true lawgiver ought to have a heart full of sensibility. He ought to love and respect his kind, and to fear himself. It may be allowed to his temperament to catch his ultimate object with an intuitive glance, but his movements toward it ought to be deliberate. Political arrangement, as it is a work for social ends, is to be wrought only by social means.
There mind must conspire with mind. Time is required to produce all the good we aim at. Our patience will achieve more than our force. If I might venture to appeal to what is so much out of fashion in Paris, I mean to experience, I should tell you that in my course I have known, and, according to my measure, have coöperated with great men; and I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in business. By a slow but well-sustained progress
the effect of each step is watched; the good or ill success of the first gives light to us in the second ; and so from light to light, we are conducted with safety through the whole series.
We see that the parts of the system do not clash. The evils latent in the most promising contrivances are provided for as they arise. One advantage is as little as possible sacrificed to another. We compensate, we reconcile, we balance. We are enabled to unite into a consistent whole the various anomalies and contending principles that are found in the minds and affairs of men. From hence arises not an excellence in simplicity, but one far superior, an excellence in composition. Where the great interests of mankind are concerned through a long succession of generatiors, that succession ought to be admitted into some share in the courcils which are so deeply to affect them. If justice requires this, the work itself requires the aid of more minds than one aga van furnish. It is from this view of things that the best legislators have been often satisfied with the establishment of some sure, soliil, and ruling principle in government. a power like that which some of the philosophers have called a plastir rature ; and baving fixed the principle, they have left it afterward to its own operation.
THE QUEEN OF FRANCE AND THE SPIRIT OF CAIVALRY.
I HEAR, and I rejoice to hear, that the great lady, the other
object of the triumph, has borne that day (one is interested that beings made for suffering should suffer well), and that she hears all the succeeding days — that she bears the imprisonment of her husband, and her own captivity, and the exile of her friends, and the insulting adulation of addresses, and the whole weight of her accumulated wrongs, with a serene patience, in a manner suited to her rank and race and becoming the offspring of a sovereign distinguished for her piety and her courage; that, like her, she has lofty sentiments ; that she feels with the dignity of a Roman matron; that in the last extremity she will save herself; and that, if she must fall, she will fall by no ignoble hand.
It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles ; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in, glittering like the morning star, full of life and splendor and joy. Oh! what a revolution ! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate, without emotion, that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom ; little did I dream that I should have lived to see Buch disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honor and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists and calculators has succeeded ; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud suhmission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom.
The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honor, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage while it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness.
PERORATION OF OPENING SPEECA AGAINST HASTINGS.
villany upon Warren Hastings, in this last moment of my application to you.
My Lords, what is it that we want here to a great act of national justice? Do we want a cause, my
Lords ? You have the cause of oppressed princes, of undone women of the first rank, of desolated provinces, and of wasted kingdoms.
Do you want a criminal, my Lords ? When was there so much iniquity ever laid to the charge of any one? No, my Lords, you must not look to punish any other such delinquent from India. Warren Hastings has not left substance enough in India to nourish such another delinquent.
My Lords, is it a prosecutor you want? You have before you the Commons of Great Britain as prosecutors ; and I believe, my Lords, that the sun, in his beneficent progress round the world, does not behold a more glorious sight than that of men, separated from a remote people by the material bounds and barriers of nature, united by the bond of a social and moral community — all the Commons of England resenting, as their own, the indignities and cruelties, that are offered to all the people of India.
Do we want a tribunal? My Lords, no example of antiquity, nothing in the modern world, nothing in the range of human imagination, can supply us with a tribunal like this. My Lords, here we see virtually, in the mind's eye, that sacred majesty of the Crown, under whose authority you sit and whose power you exercise.
We have here all the branches of the royal family, in a situation between majesty and subjection, between the sovereign and the subject — offering a pledge, in that situation, for the support of the rights of the Crown and the liberties of the people, both which extremities they touch.
My Lords, we have a great hereditary peerage here; those who have their own honor, the honor of their ancestors, and of their posterity, to guard, and who will justify, as they always have justified, that provision in the Constitution by which justice is made an hereditary office.
My Lords, we have here a new nobility, who have risen, and exalted themselves by various merits, by great civil and military services, which have extended the fame of this country from the rising to the setting sun.
My Lords, you have here, also, the lights of our religion ; you have the bishops of England. My Lords, you have that true image of the primitive Church in its ancient form, in its ancient ordinances, purified from the superstitions and the vices which a long succession of ages will bring upon the best institutions.
My Lords, these are the securities which we have in all the constituent parts of the body of this House. We know them, we reckon, we rest upon them, and commit safely the interests of India and of humanity into your hands. Therefore, it is with confidence, that, ordered by the Commons,
I impeach Warren Hastings, Esquire, of high crimes and misdemeanors.
I impeach him in the name of the Commons of Great Britain, in Parliament assembled, whose parliamentary trust he has betrayed.
I impeach him in the name of all the Commons of Great Britain, whose national character he has dishonored.
I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose laws, rights, and liberties he has subverted, whose property he has destroyed, whose country he has laid waste and desolate.
I impeach him in the name, and by virtue of those eternal laws of justice which he has violated.
I impeach him in the name of human nature itself, which he has cruelly outraged, injured and oppressed, in both sexes, in every age, rank, situation and condition of life.