« FöregåendeFortsätt »
least share in granting them. When they bear the burdens of unlimited monopoly, will you bring them to bear the burdens of unlimited revenue too? The Englishman in America will feel that this is slavery—that it is legal slavery, sir, will be po compensation, either to his feelings or his understanding.
IX.-THE COMMERCIAL IMPORTANCE OF AMERICA TO ENGLAND.
Extract from the same Speech.
Mr. Speaker,- I CANNOT prevail on myself to hurry over this great consideration—the value of the trade of America to England. It is good for us to be here. We stand where we have an immense view of what is, and what is past. Clouds, indeed, and darkness, rest upon the future. Let us, however, before we descend from this noble eminence, re. flect that this growth of our national prosperity has happened within the short period of the lise of man. It has happened within sixty-eight years.
There are thuse alive whose memory might touch the two extremities. For instance, my Lord Bathurst might remember all the stages of the progress. He was, in 1704, of an age at least to be made to comprehend such things. Suppose, sir, that the angel of this auspicious youth, foreseeing the many virtues, which made him one of the most amiable, as he is one of the most fortunate men of his age, had opened to him in vision, that, when, in the fourth generation, the third prince of the house of Brunswick had sat twelve years on the throne of that nation, which, by the happy issue of moderate and healing counsels, was to be made Great Britain, he should see his son lord chancellor of England, turn back the cur. rent of hereditary dignity to its fountain, and raise him to a higher rank of peerage, whilst he enriched the family with a
If amidst these bright and happy scenes of do. mestic honor and prosperity, that angel should have drawn up the curtain, and unfolded the rising glories of his coun. try, and whilst he was gazing with admiration on the then commercial grandeur of England, the genius should point out to him a little speck, scarce visible in the mass of the
national interest, a small seminal principle, rather than a formed body, and should tell him" Young man, there is America, which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men, and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world. Whatever England has been growing to by a pro. gressive increase of improvement, brought in by varieties of people, by succession of civilizing conquests and civilizing settlements in a series of seventeen hundred years, you shall see as much added to her by America in the course of a sin.
If this state of his country had been foretold to him, would it not have required all the sanguine credulity of youth, and all the fervid glow of enthusiasm, to make him be. lieve it? Fortunate man, he has lived to see it! Fortunate indeed, if he live to see nothing to vary the prospect, and cloud the setting of his day !
gle life !"
X.--THE ENTERPRISE OF THE PEOPLE OF NEW.ENGLAND.
Extract from the same Speech.
As to the wealth, Mr. Speaker, which the colonies have drawn from the sea by their fisheries, you had all that mat. ter fully opened at your bar. You surely thought those ac. quisitions of value, for they seemed even to excite your envy ; and yet the spirit by which that enterprising employment has been exercised, ought rather, in my opinion, to have raised your esteem and admiration. And pray, sir, what in the world is equal to it? Pass by the other parts, and look at the manner in which the people of New England have of late carried on the whale fishery. Whilst we follow them among the tumbling mountains of ice, and behold them penetrating into the deepest frozen recesses of Hudson's bay and Davis's straits, whilst we are looking for them beneath the arctic circle, we hear that they have pierced into the opposite region of polar cold, that they are at the antipodes, and engaged under the frozen serpent of the south. Falkiand island, which seemed too remote and romantic an object for the grasp of national ambition, is but a stage and resting place in the progress of their victorious industry. Nor is the equinoctial heat more discouraging to them, than the accumulated winter. of both the poles. We know that whilst some of them draw the line and strike the harpoon on the coast of Africa, others run the longitude, and pursue their gigantic game along the coast of Brazil. No sea but what is vexed by their fisheries. No climate that is not witness to their toils. Neither the perseverance of Holland, nor the activity of France, nor the dexterous and firm sagacity of English enterprise, ever carried this most perilous mode of hardy industry to the extent to which it has been pushed by this recent people ; a people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood. When I contemplate these things; when I know that the colonies in general owe little or nothing to any care of ours, and that they are not squeezed into this happy form by the constraints of watchful and suspicious government, but that through a wise and salutary neglect, a generous nature has been suffered to take her own way to perfection; when I reflect upon these effects, when I see how profitable they have been to us, I feel all the pride of power sink, and all presumption in the wisdom of human contrivan. ces melt and die away within me. My rigor relents. I pardon something to the spirit of liberty.
XI.-THE SPANISH PATRIOT's song.
Hark! Hear ye the sounds that the winds, on their pinions,
Exultingly roll from the shore to the sea, With a voice that resounds through her boundless dominions !
'Tis COLUMBIA calls on her sons to be free !
Behold, on yon summits, where heaven has throned her,
How she starts from her proud, inaccessible seat; With nature's impregnable ramparts around her,
And the cataract's thunder and foam at her feet!
In the breeze of her mountains her loose locks are shaken,
While the soul-stirring notes of her warrior-song, From the rock to the valley, re-echo, " Awaken!
Awaken, ye hearts, that have slumbered too long !"
Yes, despots, too long did your tyranny hold us,
In a vassalage vile, ere its weakness was known ; Till we learned that the links of the chain that controlled us,
Were forged by the fears of its captives alone.
That spell is destroyed, and no longer availing.
Despised as detested, pause well ere ye dare To cope with a people, whose spirits and feeling
Are roused by remembrance, and steeled by despair.
Go, tame the wild torrent, or stem with a straw
that sweep o'er the strand that confined But presume not again to give freemen a law, [them;
Nor think with the chains they have broken to bind them.
To heights by the beacons of liberty lightened,
They're a scorn who come up her young eagles to tame; And to swords, that her sons for the battle have brightened,
The hosts of a king are as flax to a flame.
XII.-THE RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENCE AGAINST THE ACCUSA
TIONS OF PARLIAMENT.
Extract from Mr. Erskine's Speech on the Trial of Stockdale.*
Gentlemen of the Jury,-MR. STOCKDALE, who is brought before you as a criminal for the publication of this book, a review of the articles of impeachment against Mr. Hastings, has, by employing me as his advocate, reposed what must appear to many an extraordinary degree of confidence ; since, although he well knows that I am personally connected in friendship with most of those whose conduct and opinions are principally arraigned by its author, he nevertheless com. mits to my hands his defence and justification. Now the question, gentlemen, you have to try upon all this matter is extremely simple. It is neither more nor less than this : At a time when the charges against Mr. Hastings were, by the implied consent of the Commons, in every hand and on every table ; when, by their managers, the lightning of eloquence was continually consuming him, and flashing in the eyes of the public ;-when every man was, with perfect impunity, saying, and writing, and publishing, just what he pleased of the supposed plunderer and devastator of nations; would it have been criminal in MR. HASTINGS HIMSELF to have reminded the public that he was a native of this free land, en. titled to the common protection of her justice, and that he had a defence in his turn to offer them, the outlines of which he implored them in the mean time to receive, as an antidote to the unlimited and unpunished poison in circulation against him.? This is, gentlemen, without color or exaggeration, the true question you are to decide. Because I assert, without the hazard of contradiction, that IF MR. HASTINGS could have stood justified or excused in your eyes for publish. ing this volume in his own defence, the author, if he wrote it bona fide* to defend him, must stand equally excused and jus. tified: and if the author be justified, the publisher cannot be criminal, unless you have evidence that it was published by him, with a different spirit and intention from those in which it was written.
* When Warren Hastings, Governor General of India, was im. peached by the House of Commons, the articles of impeachment were
drawn up by Mr. Burke ; and not only were the allegations specified, but they were embellished with all the eloquence of that gifted orator. The pamphlet having been extensively circulated throughout the king. dom, the Rev. Mr. Logan, a Scotch clergyman, drew up a Review of the Articles of Impeachment, and carried it for publication to Mr. Stockdale, an eminent bookseller in London. For the publication of this pamphlet, Mr. Fox moved, in the House of Commons, that Mr. Stockdale be prosecuted.
* Bona fide, in good faith, sincerely, honestly,