« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
of my dissolution approaching, I will, like the father of Hannibal, take my children to the altar, and swear them to eternal hostility against the invaders of their country's freedom. Sir, I shall not detain you by pursuing this subject through the various topics which it so abundantly offers. I should be proud to think that my name might be handed down to posterity in the same roll with these disinterested patriots who have so successfully resisted the enemies of their countrysuccessfully I trust it will be. In all events I have my “exceeding great reward.” I shall bear in my heart the consciousness of having done my duty, and in the hour of death I shall not be haunted by the reflection of having basely sold or meanly abandoned the liberties of my native land. Can every man who gives his vote on the other side, this night, lay his hand upon his heart, and make the same declaration? I hope so.---It will be well for his own peace--the indignation and abhorrence of his countrymen will not accompany him through life, and the curses of his children will not follow him to the grave.
SPEECH OF LYCURGUS, AFTER THE FATAL BATTLE OF CHÆRONEA, ON THE DESERTION OF LEOCRATES.
At that period of desolation, where was the person, whether native or stranger, who did not feel for the city's calamity? Who was there with such a hatred of democracy in general, or of Athens in particular, that at such a period—when every mouth was full of the defeat and recent calamity, when the city was on the tiptoe of fear and expectation as to the future, and when every hope centered in the men who had already exceeded the usual age of military service--who, I say, at such a period, could endure to see the ranks of the army filling, and himself not among the number? And oh, the spectacles of that horrid time! women of the first quality thronged to the gates in all the agonies of terror and consternation; the only question upon their lips, “Does he still live, my husband, my father,-my brother !” a sight as degrading to their own dignity as to that of the republic! and every street crowded with age and imbecility, with men past the age of military service, tottering on the very brink of the grave, yet clothed and equipped in the strictest habiliments of war! Yet, bitter as all this was, and amid every species of calamity, public as well 1s private, one rose pre-eminent above the rest, and wrung a tear from eyes, which beheld the rest unmoved; and why was that? It was to see the people of Athens -that people whose greatest pride was their freedom and origin from the soil, now passing their votes, to give freedom to the slave, citizenship to the stranger, and restoration of rights and franchises to men, who for their crimes had been stript of both! This was indeed a change and vicissitude of things! to see that city, which in former times was the first to aim for the general freedom of Greece, now satisfied to secure her own safety :-to behold that town which had formerly swayed it over the whole region of barbarism, now insecure of her own against men of Macedon-to witness those people, whose aid had been formerly solicited by the Lacedemonians, by the Peloponnessians, by the Greek inhabitants of Asia-now at their prayers, and begging help from the Islands of Andros and Ceos! And in such a crisis of complicated danger, terror and disgrace, to desert his native soil—to refuse his body to the ranks, and by a hasty fight, to endanger his country's very life and existence, where is the orator who will aid the traitor by his eloquence?Where the juryman who will save the dastard by his vote? Wretch without feeling as without common generosity, who had neither a tear for his country's woes, nor a helping hand for her wounds: and that when aīl beside, even to the most helpless age, had something to contribute towards her relief; the young furnishing their arms, the lifeless earth her timber, and the very dead their sepulchres and their graves! If he had nothing else to give, where were his personal exertions? Who was then idle but Leocrates? Think of it men of Athens ! He bore no bleeding body to its grave-he helped no corse to its funeral rites; as far as he is concerned, the patriots of Chæronea lie ştill without a grave! And yet, unutterable wretch, as he passed by their tombs, he dared to consider theii inmates as his fellow citizens. He!-but treasure it up and let death be his portion.
BURKE, ON THE TRIAL OF WARREN
Your Lordships will not wonder, that these monstrous and oppressive demands, exacted with such tortures, threw the whole province into despair. They abandoned their crops on the ground. The people, in a body, would have fled out of its confines; but bands of soldiers invested the avenues of the province, and making a line of circumvallation, drove back those wretches, who sought exile as a relief, into the prison of their native soil. Not suffered to quit the district they fled to the wild thickets, which oppression had scattered through it, and sought among
the jungles and dens of tygers, a refuge from the tyranny of Warren Hastings. Not able to exist here, pressed at once by wild beasts and famine, the same despair drove them back; and seeking their last resource in arms, the most quiet—the most passive—the most! timid of the human race, rose up in a universal insurrection; and, what will always happen in popular tumults, the effects of the fury of the people fell on the meaner and sometimes the reluctant instruments of the tyranny, who in several places were massacred. The English chief in that province had been the silent witness, most probably the abetter and accomplice of all these horrors. He called in first irregular, then regular troops, who by dread ful and universal military execution got the better of the impotent resistance of unarmed discipline and despair. I am tired with
the detail of the cruelties of peace. I spare you those of a cruel and inhuman war, and of the execution, which, without law or process, or even the shadow of authority, were ordered by the English revenue chief in that province.
CHARACTER OF MR. PITT (EARL OF
The secretary stood alone. Modern degeneracy had not reached him. Original and unaccommodating, the features of his character had the hardihood of antiquity. His august mind overawed majesty, and one of his sovereigns thought royalty so impaired in lis presence, that he conspired to remove him, in order to be relieved from his superiority. No state chicanery, no narrow system of vicious politics, no idle contests for ministerial victories, sunk him to the vulgar level of the great ; but overbearing, persuasive and impracticable his object was England, his ambition was fame. Without dividing, he destroyed party; without corrupting he made a venal age, upanimous. France sunk beneath him.
With one hand he smote the house of Bourbon, and wielded in the other, the democracy of England. The sight of his mind was infinite : and his schemes were to affect not England, not the present age only, but Europe