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55 every feeling of humanity, every sentiment of honor.
These abominable principles, and the most abominable avowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation. I call upon that right reverend, and this most learned
bench, io vindicate the religion of their God, to support 60 the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops to
interpose the sanctity of their lawn, upon the judges to interpose the purity of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honor of your lordships to
reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to inain65 tain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity
of my country to vindicate the national character. Í invoke the Genius of the Constitution. From the tapestry, that adorn these walls, the immortal ancestor of
this noble lord frowns with indignation at the disgrace 70 of his country. In vain did he defend the liberty, and
establish the religion of Britain, against the tyranny of Rome, if these worse than popish cruelties and inquisitorial practices are endued among us. To send forth
the merciless cannibal, thirsting for blood! against 75 whom? your protestant brethren! To lay waste their
country, to desolate their dwellings, and extirpate their race and name by the aid and instrumentality of these horrible hell-hounds of war! Spain can no longer boast
pre-eminence in barbarity. She armed herself with 80 blood-hounds to extirpate the wretched natives of Mex
ico; we, more ruthless, loose these dogs of war against our countrymen in America, endeared to us by every tie, that can sanctify humanity. I solemnly call upon
your lordships, and upon every order of men in the state 85 to stamp upon the infamous procedure the indellible
stigma of public abhorrence. More particularly, I call upon the holy prelates of our religion to do away this iniquity; let them perform a lustration to purify the country from this deep and deadly sin.
66. Specimen of the Eloquence of James Otis.
ENGLAND may as well dam up the waters of the Nile with bulrushes, as to fetter the step of freedom, more proud and firm in this youthful land, than where she
treads the sequestered glens of Scotland, or couches 5 herself among the magnificent mountains of Switzer
land. Arbitrary principles, like those, against which we now contend, have cost one king of England his life, another his crown-and they may yet cost a third his
most flourishing colonies. 10 We are two million-one fifth fighting men.
We are bold and vigorous,-and we call no man master. To the nation, from whom we are proud to derive our origin, we ever were, and we ever will be, ready to yield
unforced assistance; but it must not, and it can never 15 be exorted.
Some have sneeringly asked, “ Are the Americans too poor to pay a few pounds on stamped paper ? No! America, thanks to God and herself, is rich. But the
right to take ten pounds implies the right to take a 20 thousand; and what must be the wealth, that avarice,
aided by power, cannot exhaust? True, the spectre is now small; but the shadow he casts before him, is huge enough to darken all this fair land.
Others, in sentimental style, talk of the immense debt 25 of gratitude, which we owe to England. And what is
the amount of this debt? Why, truly, it is the same that the young lion owes to the dam, which has brought it forth on the solitude of the mountain, or left it amid
the winds and storms of the desert. 30 We plunged into the wave, with the great charter of
freedom in our teeth, because the fagot and torch were behind us.
We have waked this new world from its savage lethargy: forests have been prostrated in our
path; towns and cities have grown up suddenly as the 35 flowers of the tropics, and the fires in our autumnal
woods are scarcely more rapid, than the increase of our wealth and population.
And do we owe all this to the kind succor of the mother country? No! we owe it to the tyranny, that 40 drove us from her,-to the pelting storms, which invigorated our helpless infancy.
But perhaps others will say, “ We ask no money from your gratitude, -we only demand that you should pay
your own expenses.” And who, I pray, is to judge of 45 their necessity? Why, the king—(and with all due
reverence to his sacred majesty, he understands the real wants of his distant subjects, as little as he does the language of the Choctaws.) Who is to judge concerning
the frequency of these demands? The ministry. Who 50 is to judge whether the money is properly expended ? The cabinet behind the throne.
In every instance, those who take, are to judge for those who pay ; if this system is suffered to go into ope.
ration, we shall have reason to esteem it a great privi. 55 lege, that rain and dew do not depend upon parliament; otherwise they would soon be taxed and dried.
But thanks to God, there is freedom enough left upon earth to resist such monstrous injustice. The flame of
liberty is extinguished in Greece and Rome, but the 60 light of its glowing embers is still bright and strong on
the shores of America. Actuated by its sacred influence, we will resist unto death. But we will not countenance anarchy and misrule. The wrongs, that a des
perate community have heaped upon their enemies, 65 shall be amply and speedily repaired. Still, it may be
well for some proud men to remember, that a fire is lighted in these colonies, which one breath of their king may kindle-into such fury, that the blood of all England cannot extinguish it.
67. Pitt's Reply to Walpole.
which the honorable gentleman has, with such spirit and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palli
ate, nor deny,—but content myself with wishing that I 5 may be one of those whose follies may cease with their
youth, and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience. Whether youth can be imputed to any man as a reproach, I will not, sir, assume the province
of determining ;-but surely age may become justly con10 temptible, if the opportunities which it brings have past
away without improvement, and vice appears to prevail
when the passions have subsided. The wretch who, after having seen the consequences of a thousand er
rors, continues still to blunder, and whose age has on15 ly added obstinacy to stupidity, is surely the object of either abhorrence or contempt, and deserves not that
grey hairs should secure him from insult. Much more, sir, is he to be abhorred, who, as he advanced in
age, has receded from virtue, and becomes more wicked 20 with less temptation ;-who prostitutes himself for
money which he cannot enjoy, and spends the remains of his life in the ruin of his country. But youth, sir, is not my only crime; I have been accused of acting a
A theatrical part may either imply 25 some peculiarities of gesture, or a dissimulation of my
real sentiments, and an adoption of the opinions and language of another man.
In the first sense, sir, the charge is too trifling to be confuted, and deserves only to be mentioned to be de30 spised. I am at liberty, like every other man, to use my
own language ; and though, perhaps I may have some ambition to please this gentleman, I shall not lay myself under any restraint, nor very solicitously copy his
diction, or his mein, however matured by age, or mode 35 elled by experience. If any man shall by charging me
with theatrical behavior, imply that I utter any sentiments but my own, I shall treat him as a calumniator and a villain ;-nor shall any protection shelter him from
the treatment he deserves. I shall, on such an occa40 sion, without scruple, trample upon all those forms with
which wealth and dignity intrench themselves, -nor shall any thing but age restrain my resentment;-age, which always brings one privilege, that of being inso
lent and supercilious without punishment. But with 45 regard, sir, to those whom I have offended, I am of
opinion, that if I had acted a borrowed part, I should have avoided their censure: the heat that offended them is the ardor of conviction, and that zeal for the
service of my country, which neither hope nor fear shall 50 influence me to suppress.
I will not sit unconcerned while my liberty is invaded, nor look in silence upon
public robbery. I will exert my endeavours, at whatever hazard, to repel the aggressor, and drag the thief to jus
tice—whoever may protect them in their villany-and 55 whoever may partake of their plunder.
Speech of Mr. Griffin against Cheetham.
I am one of those who believe that the heart of the wilful and the deliberate libeller is blacker than that of the high-way robber, or of one who commits the crime of
midnight arson. The man who plunders on the high5 way, may have the semblance of an apology for what he
does. An affectionate wife may demand subsistence; a circle of helpless children raise to him the supplicating hand for food. He may be driven to the desperate
act by the high mandate of imperative necessity. The 10 mild features of the husband and the father may inter
mingle with those of the robber and soften the roughness of the shade. But the robber of character plunders that which“ not enricheth him," though it makes
his neighbor “poor indeed”—The man who at the 15 midnight hour consumes his neighbor's dwelling, does
him an injury which perhaps is not irreparable. Industry may rear another habitation. The storm may indeed descend upon him until charity opens a neighbor
ing door: the rude winds of heaven may whistle around 20 his uncovered family. But he looks forward to better
days; he has yet a hook to hang a hope on. No such consolation cheers the heart of him whose character has been torn from him. If innocent, he may look,
like Anaxagoras, to the heavens; but he must be con25 strained to feel that this world is to him a wilderness. For
whither shall he go ? Shall he dedicate himself to the service of his country ? But will his country receive him? Will she employ in her councils, or in her ar
mies, the man at whom the “slow unmoving finger of 30 scorn" is pointed ? Shall he betake himself to the
fire-side ? The story of his disgrace will enter his own doors before him. And can he bear, think you, can he bear the sympathizing agonies of a dis