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5 As great might have aspir'd, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part; but other pow’rs as great
Hadst thou the same free will and pow'r to stand? 10 Thou hadst: Whom hast thou then, or what, t'accuse,
But heav’n’s free love dealt equally to all?
Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; 15 And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threat’ning to devour me, opens wide,
Left for repentance, none for pardon left? 20 None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue 25 Th' Omnipotent. Ah me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain!
With diadem and sceptre high advanced, 30 The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery: Such joy ambition finds.
Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay 35 What feign'd submission swore? ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
All hope excluded thus, behold instead 40 Of us outcast, exil'd his new delight,
Mankind created, and for him this world.
Eloquence of Sheridan. Public curiosity was scarcely ever so strongly interested as on the day when Mr. Sheridan was to speak on the Begum charge on the impeachment of Mr. Hastings.
The avenues leading to the hall were filled with persons 5 of the first distinction, many of them peeresses in full
dress, who waited in the open air for upwards of an hour and a half, before the gates were opened, when the crowd pressed so eagerly forward, that many persons
had nearly perished. No extract can do justice to this 10 speech; the following is a partial specimen of its power:
" When we hear the description of the paroxysm, fever, and delirium, into which despair had thrown the natives, when on the banks of the polluted Ganges, panting for
death, they tore more widely open the lips of their gap15 ing wounds, to accelerate their dissolution, and while
their blood was issuing, presented their ghastly eyes Heaven, breathing their last and fervent prayer, that the dry earth might not be suffered to drink their blood, but
that it might rise up to the throne of God, and rouse the 20 eternal Providence to avenge the wrongs of their coun
try; what motive, could have such influence in their bosom? what motive! — That which nature, the common parent, plants in the bosom of man, and which, though it
may be less active in the Indian than in the Englishman, 25 is still congenial with, and makes part of his being ;
that feeling which tells him, that man was never made to be the property of man; but that, when through pride and insolence of power, one human creature dares to ty
rannize over another, it is a power usurped, and resist30 ance is a duty; that feeling which tells him, that all
power is delegated for the good, not for the injury of the people, and that when it is converted from the original purpose, the compact is broken, and the right is to be re
sumed;—that principle which tells him, that resistance to 35 power usurped is not merely a duty which he owes to
himself and to his neighbour, but a duty which he owes to his God, in asserting and maintaining the rank which he gave him in the creation! to that common God, who, where he gives the form of man, whatever may be the
40 complexion, gives also the feelings and the rights of
man,--that principle, which neither the rudeness of ignorance can stifle, nor the enervation of refinement extinguish!--that principle, which makes it base for a man
to suffer when he ought to act, which tending to preserve 45 to the species the original designations of Providence,
spurns at the arrogant distinctions of man, and vindicates the independent quality of his race.
The Majesty of Justice, in the eyes of Mr. Hastings, is a being of terrific horror-a dreadful idol, placed in 50 the gloom of graves, accessible only to cringing suppli
cation, and which must be approached with offerings, and worshipped by sacrifice. The Majesty of Mr. Hastings is a being, whose decrees are written with blood,
and whose oracles are at once secure and terrible. From 55 such an idol I turn mine eyes with horror-I turn them
here to this dignified and high tribunal, where the Majesty of Justice really sits enthroned. Here I perceive the Majesty of Justice in her proper robes of truth and
mercy-chaste and simple-accessible and patient-aw60 ful without severity,-inquisitive, without meanness. I
see her enthroned and sitting in judgement on a great and momentous cause, in which the happiness of millions is involved.-Pardon me, my lords, if I presume
to say, that in the decision of this great cause, you are 65 to be envied, as well as venerated. You possess the
highest distinction of the human character; for when
ultimate voice on this cause, illustrating the dignity of the ancestors from whom you spring--jus
tifying the solemn asseveration which you make-vindi70 cating the people of whom you are a part—and manifest
ing the intelligence of the times in which you
On the conclusion of MÌr. Sheridan's speech, the whole 75 assembly, members, peers, and strangers, involuntarily
joined in a tumult of applause, and adopted a mode of expressing their approbation new and irregular in that house, by loudly and repeatedly clapping their hands. A
motion was immediately made and carried for an ad80 journment, that the members, who were in a state of de
lirious insensibility, from the talismanic influence of such powerful eloquence, might have time to collect their
live-you scattered senses for the exercise of a sober judgement.
This motion was made by Mr. Pitt, who declared that 85 this speech “surpassed all the eloquence of ancient and
modern times, and possesses every thing that genius or art could furnish, to agitate and control the human mind."
“ He has this day," said Mr. Burke, “surprised the thousands who hung with rapture on accents, by such 90 an array of talents,
such an exhibition of capacity, such a display of powers, as are unparalleled in the annals of oratory! a display that reflects the highest honor upon himself-lustre upon letters-renown upon parliament,
glory upon the country. Of all species of rhetoric, of 95 every kind of eloquence that has been witnessed or re
corded, either in ancient or modern times: whatever the acuteness of the bar, the dignity of the senate, the solidity of the judgement seat, and the sacred morality
of the pulpit, have hitherto furnished, nothing has sur 100 passed, nothing has equalled, what we have this day
heard in Westminster-hall. No holy seer of religion, no sage, no statesman, no orator, no man of any literary description whatever, has come up, in the one instance,
to the pure sentiments of morality; or, in the other, to 105 that variety of knowledge, force of imagination, propri
ety and vivacity of allusion, beauty and elegance of diction, strength and copiousness of style, pathos and sublimity of conception, to which we have this day listened
with ardour and admiration. From poetry up to elo110 quence, there is not a species of composition of which
a complete and perfect specimen might not from that single speech be culled and collected.'
EXERCISE 118. Spirit of the American Revolution.- Josiau QUINCY, JR.
Be not deceived, my countrymen. Believe not these venal hirelings, when they would cajole you by their subtilties into submission, or frighten you by their vapour
ings into compliance. When they strive to flatter you 5 by the terms “ moderation and prudence," tell them
that calmness and deliberation are to guide the judgeinent; courage and intrepidity command the action. When they endeavour to make us perceive our inabil ity to oppose our mother country,” let us boldly answer; 10 — In defence of our civil and religious rights, we dare
oppose the world; with the God of armies on our side, even the God who fought our fathers' battles, we fear not the hour of trial, though the hosts of our enemies should
cover the field like locusts. If this be enthusiasm, we 15 will live and die enthusiasts.
Blandishments will not fascinate us, nor will threats of a “halter” intimidate. For, under God, we are determined, that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever
we shall ke called to make our exit, we will die freemen. 20 Well do we know that all the regalia of this world can
not dignify the death of a villain, nor diminish the ignominy, with which a slave shall quit existence. Neither can it taint the unblemished honour of a son of freedom,
though he should make his departure on the already pre25 pared gibbet, or be dragged to the newly erected scaffold
for execution. With the plaudits of his country, and what is more, the plaudits of his conscience, he will go off the stage. The history of his life his children shall
venerate. The virtues of their sire shall excite their 30 emulation.
Who has the front to ask, Wherefore do you complain? Who dares assert, that every thing worth living for is not lost, when a nation is enslaved? Are not pen
sioners, stipendiaries and salary-men, unknown before, 35 hourly multiplying upon us, to riot in the spoils of miser
able America? Does not every eastern gale waft us some new insect, even of that devouring kind, which eat up every green thing? Is not the bread taken out of the
children's mouths and given unto the dogs? Are not our 40.estates given to corrupt sycophants, without a design, or
even a pretence, of soliciting our assent; and our lives put into the hands of those whose tender mercies are cruelties? Has not an authority in a distant land, in the
most public manner, proclaimed a right of disposing of 45 the all of Americans? In short, what have we to lose?
What have we to fear? ' Are not our distresses more than we can bear? And, to finish all, are not our cities, in a time of profound peace, filled with standing armies,
to preclude from us that last solace of the wretched-to 50 open their mouths in complaint, and send forth their
cries in bitterness of heart?