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allayed. Your very wives inflicted the same vengeance on his wife. For the Athenians of that day looked out for no speaker, no general to proưure them a state of prosperous slavery. They had the spirit to reject even life, unless they were allowed to enjoy that life in freedom. Should I then attempt to assert that it was I who inspired you with sentiments worthy of your ancestors, I should meet the just resentment of every hearer. No; it is my point to show, that such sentiments are properly your
that they were the sentiments of my country, long before my days. I claim but my share of merit, in having acted on such principles, in every part of my administration. He, then, who condemns every part of my administration, he who directs you to treat me with severity, as one who hath involved the State in terrors and dangers, while he labors to deprive me of present honor, robs you of the applause of all posterity. For, if you now pronounce, that, as my public conduct hath not been right, Ctesiphon must stand condemned, it must be thought that you yourselves have acted wrong, not that you owe your present state to the caprice of fortune. But it cannot be! No, my countrymen! it cannot be you have acted wrong, in encountering danger bravely, for the liberty and the safety of all Greece. No! by those generous souls of ancient times, who were exposed at Marathon! By those who stood arrayed at Platæa! By those who encountered the Persian fleet at Salamis ! Who fought at Artemisium ! No! by all those illustrious sons of Athens, whose remains lie deposited in the public monuments.
THE reign of Queen Elizabeth may be considered as the
opening of the modern history of England, especially in its connection with the modern system of Europe, which began about that time to assume the form that it preserved till the French Revolution. It was a very memorable period, of which the maxims ought to be engraven on the head and heart of every Englishman. Philip the Second, at the head of the greatest em. pire then in the world, openly was aiming at universal domination
To the most extensive and opulent dominions, the most numerous and disciplined armies, the most renowned captains, the greatest revenue, he added also the most formidable power over opinion. Elizabeth was among the first objects of his hostility. That wise and magnanimous princess placed herself in the front of the battle for the liberties of Europe. Though she had to contend at home with his fanatical faction, which almost occupied Ireland, which divided Scotland, and was not of contemptible strength in England, she aided the oppressed inhabi. tants of the Netherlands in their just and glorious resistance to his tyranny; she aided Henry the Great in suppressing the abominable rebellion which anarchical principles had excited and Spanish arms had supported in France, and after a long reign of various fortune, in which she preserved her unconquered spirit through great calamities and still greater dangers, she at length broke the strength of the enemy, and reduced his power
within such limits as to be compatible with the safety of England and of all Europe. Her great heart inspired her with a higher and a nobler wisdom which disdained to appeal to the low and sordid passions of her people even for the protection of their low and sordid interests, because she knew, or, rather, she felt that there are effeminate, creeping, cowardly, short-sighted passions, which shrink from c'onflict, even in defence of their own mean objects. In a righteous cause she roused those generous affections of her people, which alone teach boldness, constancy, and foresight, and which are therefore the only safe guardians of the lowest as well as the highest interests of a nation. In her memorable address to the army, when the invasion of her kingdom was threatened by Spain, this woman of heroic spirit disdained to speak to them of their ease and their commerce, and their wealth and their safety. No! She touched another chord - she spoke of their national honor, of their dignity as Englishmen, of “the foul scorn that Parma or Spain should dare to invade the borders of her realms.” She breathed into them those grand and powerful sentiments, which exalt vulgar men into heroes, which led them into the battle of their country, armed with holy and irresistible enthusiasm ; which ever cover with their shield all the ignoble interests that base calculation, and cowardly selfishness tremble to hazard, but shrink from defending.
TAE FREE PRESS.
case seems to merit your most serious attention. The real prosecutor is the master of the greatest empire the world ever saw; the defendant is a defenceless, proscribed exile. I consider this case, therefore, as the first of a long series of conflicts between the greatest power in the world and the only FREE PRESS remaining in Europe. Gentlemen, this distinction of the Eng. lish Press is new - it is a proud and melancholy distinction. Before the great earthquake of the French Revolution had swallowed
up all the asylums of free discussion on the Continent, we enjoyed that privilege, indeed, more fully than others; but we did not enjoy it exclusively. It existed, in fact, where it was not protected by law; and the wise and generous connivance of governments was daily more and more secured by the growing civilization of their subjects. In Holland, in Switzerland, in the imperial towns of Germany, the press was either legally or practically free. Holland and Switzerland are no more ; and, since the commencement of this prosecution, fifty imperial towns have been erased from the list of independent States by one dash of the pen. Three or four still preserve a precarious and trembling existence. I will not say by what compliances they must purchase its continuance. I will not insult the feebleness of States, whose unmerited fall I do most bitterly deplore.
One asylum of free discussion is still inviolate. There is still one spot in Europe where man can fully exercise his reason on the most important concerns of society, where he can boldly publish his judgment on the acts of the proudest and most powerful tyrants. The Press of England is still free. It is guarded by the free Constitution of our forefathers. It is guarded by the hearts and arms of Englishmen; and, I trust I may venture to say that if it he to fall, it will fall only under the ruins of the British Empire. It is an awful consideration, gentlemen. Every other monument of European liberty has perished. That ancient fabric which has been gradually raised by the wisdom and virtues of our fathers still stands. It stands, thanks be to God ! solid and entire - but it stands alone, and it stands amid ruins. Believing, then, I do, that w are on the eve of a great strug
gle — that this is only the first of a long series of conflicts between reason and power- that you have now in your hands committed to your trust, the protection of the only Free Press remaining in Europe, now confined to this kingdom ; and addressing you therefore as the guardians of the most important interests of mankind — convinced that the unfettered exercise of reason depends more on your present verdict than on any other that was ever delivered by a jury, — I trust I may rely with confidence on the issue I trust that
yourselves as the advanced guard of Liberty as having this day to fight the first battle of free discussion against the most formidable enemy that it ever encountered !
TAE LIBERTY OF THE PRESS.
HE liberty of the press, on general subjects, comprehends
and implies as much strict observance of positive law as is consistent with perfect purity of intention, and equal and useful society. What that latitude is, cannot be promulgated in the abstract, but must be judged in the particular instance, and consequently, upon this occasion, must be judged of by you, without forming any possible precedent for any other case.
If, gentlemen, you are firmly persuaded of the singleness and purity of the author's intentions, you are not bound to subject him to infamy, because in the zealous career of a just and ani. mated composition, he happens to have tripped with his pen into an intemperate expression in one or two instances of a long work. If this severe duty were binding on your conscience, the liberty of the press would be an empty sound, and no man could venture to write on any subject, however pure
without an attorney at one elbow and a counsel at the other.
From minds thus subdued by the terrors of punishment, there could issue no works of genius to expand the empire of human reason, nor any masterly compositions on the general nature of government, by the help of which the great commonwealths of mankind have founded their establishments ; much less any of those useful applications of them to critical conjunctures, by which, from time to time, our own Constitution, by the exertion of patriot citizens, has been brought back to its standard Inder such terrors, all the great lights of science and civilization must be extinguished; for men cannot communicate their free thoughts to one another with a lash held over their heads. It is the nature of everything that is great and useful, both in the animate and inanimate world, to be wild and irregular, and we must be contented to take them with the alloys which belong to them, or live without them. Genius breaks from the fetters of criticism, but its wanderings are sanctioned by its majesty and wis. dom when it advances in its path : subject it to the critic, and you tame it into dulness. Mighty rivers break down their banks in the winter, sweeping away to death the flocks which are fattened on the soil that they fertilize in the summer: the few may be saved by embankments from drowning, but the flock must perish for hunger. Tempests occasionally shake our dwellings and dissipate our commerce; but they scourge before them the lazy elements, which without them would stagnate into pestilence. In like manner, Liberty herself, the last and best gift of God to his creatures, must be taken just as she is : you might pare her down into bashful regularity, and shape her into a perfect model of severe, scrupulous law, but she would then be Liberty no longer; and you must be content to die under the lash of this inexorable justice which you had exchanged for the banners of Freedom.
BRITISH TYRANNY IN INDIA.
AM driven in the defence of my client, to remark, that it is
mad and preposterous to bring to the standard of justice and humanity the exercise of a dominion founded upon violence and terror. It
and must be true that Mr. Hastings has repeat edly offended against the rights and privileges of Asiatic government, if he was the faithful deputy of a power which could not maintain itself for an hour without trampling upon both. He may and must have offended against the laws of God and nature, if he was the faithful viceroy of an empire wrested in blood from the people to whom God and nature had given it. He
and must have preserved that unjust dominion over timorous and abject nations by a terrifying, overbearing, insulting superiority, if he was the faithful administrator of your government, which,