« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
the man exceeded the power of the king. But this gentleman, a subject, may this day say this at least with truth, that he secures the rice in his pot to every man in India. A poet of antiquity thought it ono of the first distinctions to a prince whom he meant to celebrate, that through a long succession of generations he had been the progenitor of an able and virtuous citizen who by force of the arts of peace had corrected governments of oppression and suppressed wars of rapine.
Indole proh quanta juvenis, quantumque daturus
Fulmine compescet linguæ.This was what was said of the predecessor of the only person to whose eloquence it does not wrong that of the mover of this bill to be compared. But the Ganges and the Indus are the patrimony of the fame of my honorable friend, and not of Cicero. I confess I anticipate with joy the reward of those whose wholo consequence, power, and authority exist only for the benefit of mankind; and I carry my mind to all the people, and all the names and descriptions, that, relieved by this bill, will bless the labors of this Parliament, and the confidence which the best House of Commons has given to him who the best deserves it. The little cavils of party will not be heard where freedom and happiness will be felt. There is not a tongue, a nation, or religion in India, which will not bless the presiding care and manly ber cficence of this House, and of him who proposes to you this great work. Your names will never be scparated before the throne of the Divine Goodness, in whatever language, or with whatever rites, pardon is asked for sin, and reward for those who imitate the Godhead in His universal bounty to His creatures. These honors you deserve, and they will surely be paid, when all the jargon of influence and party and patronage are swept into oblivion.
I have spoken what I think, and what I feel, of the mover of this bill. An honorable friend of mine, speaking of his merits, was charged with having made a studied panegyric. I don't know what his was. Mine, I am sure, is a studied panegyric, — the fruit of much meditation, the result of the observation of near twenty years. For my own part, I am happy that I have lived to sco this day; I feel myself overpaid for the labors of cighteen years, wlien, at this late period, I am able to take my share, by one humble vote, in destroying a tyranny that exists to the disgrace of this nation and the destruction of so large a part of the human species.
REPRESENTATION TO HIS MAJESTY,
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
BY THE RIGHT HON. EDMUND BURKE, AND SECONDED
BY WILLIAM WINDHAM, ESQ.,
ON MONDAY, JUNE 14, 1784,
WITH A PREFACE AND NOTES.
HE representation nuw given to the public re
lates to some of the most essential privileges of the House of Commons. It would appear of little importance, if it were to be judged by its reception in the place where it was proposed. There it was rejected without debate. The subject matter may, perhaps, hereafter appear to merit a more serious consideration. Thinking men will scarcely regard the penal dissolution of a Parliament as a very trifling concern. Such a dissolution must operate forcibly as an example; and it much imports the people of this kingdom to consider what lesson that example is to teach.
The late House of Commons was not accused of an interested compliance to the will of a court. The charge against them was of a different nature. They were charged with being actuated by an extravagant spirit of independency. This species of offence is so closely connected with merit, this vice bears so near a resemblance to virtue, that the flight of a House of Commons above the exact temperate medium of independence ought to be correctly ascertained, lest we give encouragement to dispositions of a less generous nature, and less safo for the people; we ought to call for very solid and convincing proofs of the existence, and of the magnitude, too,