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to a great act of national justice? Do tion by which justice is made an herediwe want a cause, my lords? You have tary office. My lords, we have here a the cause of oppressed princes, of undone new nobility, who have risen and exalted women of the first rank, of desolated themselves by various merits, by great provinces, and of wasted kingdoms. military services, which have ex- (120
Do you want a criminal, my lords? tended the fame of this country from When was there so much iniquity ever the rising to the setting sun: we have laid to the charge of any one?-No, my those who by various civil merits and lords, you must not look to punish any 170 various civil talen's have been exalted other such delinquent from India. to a situation which they well deserve, Warren Hastings has not left substance and in which they will justify the favor enough in India to nourish such another of their sovereign, and the good opindelinquent.
ion of their fellow-subjects, and make My lords, is it a prosecutor you want? them rejoice to see those virtuous characYou have before you the Commons of ters, that were the other day upon a (130 Great Britain as prosecutors; and, I level with them, now exalted above them believe, my lords, that the sun in his in rank, but feeling with them in sympathy beneficent progress round the world does what they felt in common with them not behold a more glorious sight than (80 before. We have persons exalted from that of men, separated from a remote the practice of the law, from the place people by the material bounds and bar in which they administered high though riers of nature, united by the bond of a subordinate justice, to a seat here, to social and moral community;--all the enlighten with their knowledge and to Commons of England resenting, as their strengthen with their votes those prinown, the indignities and cruelties that ciples which have distinguished the (140 are offered to all the people of India. courts in which they have presided.
Do we want a tribunal? My lords, no My lords, you have here also the lights example of antiquity, nothing in the | of our religion; you have the bishops of modern world, nothing in the range of (90 | England. My lords, you have that true human imagination, can supply us with a image of the primitive church in its antribunal like this. My lords, here we see cient form, in its ancient ordinances, virtually in the mind's eye that sacred purified from the superstitions and the majesty of the Crown, under whose au vices which a long succession of ages thority you sit, and whose power you will bring upon the best institutions. You exercise. We see in that invisible au have the representatives of that re- (159 thority, what we all feel in reality and ligion which says that their God is love, life, the beneficent powers and protecting that the very vital spirit of their institujustice of his Majesty. We have here the tion is charity; a religion which so much heir-apparent to the Crown, such as (100 hates oppression, that when the God the fond wishes of the people of England whom we adore appeared in human form, wish an heir-apparent of the Crown to He did not appear in a form of greatbe. We have here all the branches of the ness and majesty, but in sympathy with royal family in a situation between maj the lowest of the people, and thereby esty and subjection, between the sov made it a firm and ruling principle, that ereign and the subject,-offering a pledge their welfare was the object of all (160 in that situation for the support of the government; since the person, who was rights of the Crown and the liberties of the Master of Nature, chose to appear the people, both which extremities they Himself in a subordinate situation. These touch. My lords, we have a great (110 are the considerations which influence hereditary peerage here; those who have them, which animate them, and will their own honor, the honor of their an- | animate them, against all oppression; cestors, and of their posterity, to guard; | knowing, that He who is called first among and who will justify, as they have always them, and first among us all, both of justified, that provision in the constitu- | the flock that is fed and of those who feed it, made Himself “the servant (170 we have carried on with the crimes - 20 of all.”
with the vices—with the exorbitant My lords, these are the securities which wealth-with the enormous and overwe have in all the constituent parts of powering influence of Eastern corruption. the body of this House. We know them, This war, my lords, we have waged for we reckon, we rest upon them, and com twenty-two years, and the conflict has mit safely the interests of India and of been fought at your lordships' bar for humanity into your hands. Therefore, the last seven years. My lords, twentyit is with confidence that, ordered by two years is a great space in the scale of the Commons
the life of man; it is no inconsiderable I impeach Warren Hastings, Esq., (180 space in the history of a great nation. 130 of high crimes and misdemeanors.
A business which has so long occupied I impeach him in the name of the the councils and the tribunals of Great Commons of Great Britain in parliament Britain, cannot possibly be huddled over assembled, whose parliamentary trust he in the course of vulgar, trite, and transihas betrayed.
tory events. Nothing but some of those I impeach him in the name of all the great revolutions that break the tradiCommons of Great Britain, whose na tionary chain of human memory, and tional character he has dishonored. alter the very face of nature itself, can
I impeach him in the name of the peo possibly obscure it. My lords, we are all ple in India, whose laws, rights, and (190 elevated to a degree of importance (40 liberties he has subverted, whose proper by it; the meanest of us will, by means ties he has destroyed, whose country he of it, more or less become the concern of has laid waste and desolate.
posterity, if we are yet to hope for such I impeach him in the name and by a thing in the present state of the world virtue of those eternal laws of justice as a recording, retrospective, civilized which he has violated.
posterity; but this is in the hands of the I impeach him in the name of human great Disposer of events: it is not ours to nature itself, which he has cruelly out settle how it shall be. My lords, your raged, injured, and oppressed in both House yet stands; it stands as a great sexes, in every age, rank, situation, (200 edifice; but let me say, that it stands (50 and condition of life.
in the midst of ruins; in the midst of the
ruins that have been made by the greatest THE PERORATION
moral earthquake that ever convulsed
and shattered this globe of ours. My My lords, I have done; the part of the lords, it has pleased Providence to place Commons is concluded. With a trembling | us in such a state, that we appear every solicitude we consign this product of our moment to be upon the verge of some long, long labors to your charge. Take great mutations. There is one thing, it !-take it! It is a sacred trust. Never and one thing only, which defies all mutabefore was a cause of such magnitude tion; that which existed before the 160 submitted to any human tribunal.
world, and will survive the fabric of the My lords, at this awful close, in the world itself; I mean justice; that justice, name of the Commons, and surrounded which, emanating from the Divinity, has by them, I attest the retiring, I attest (10) a place in the breast of every one of us, the advancing generations, between which, given us for our guide with regard to as a link in the great chain of eternal ourselves and with regard to others, and order, we stand.—We call this nation, which will stand after this globe is burned we call the world to witness, that the Com to ashes, our advocate or our accuser mons have shrunk from no labor; that before the great Judge, when He comes we have been guilty of no prevarication; || to call upon us for the tenor of a well- 170 that we have made no compromise with spent life... crime; that we have not feared any odium My lords, the Commons will share in whatsoever, in the long warfare which every fate with your lordships; there is nothing sinister which can happen to wound, he declared that his motives for you, in which we shall not be involved; doing it were merely political, and that and if it should so happen that we shall their hands were as pure as those of (130 be subjected to some of those frightful | justice itself, which they administered changes which we have seen-if it should a great and glorious exit, my lords, of a happen that your lordships, stripped of great and glorious body! And never was all the decorous distinctions of human (80 a eulogy pronounced upon a body more society, should, by hands at once base deserved. They were persons in nobility and cruel, be led to those scaffolds and of rank, in amplitude of fortune, in weight machines of murder, upon which great of authority, in depth of learning, inferior kings and glorious queens have shed their | to few of those that hear me. My lords, blood, amidst the prelates, amidst the it was but the other day that they subnobles, amidst the magistrates who sup- mitted their necks to the axe; but (140 ported their thrones, may you in those their honor was unwounded. Their enemoments feel that consolation which I mies, the persons who sentenced them to am persuaded they felt in the critical death, were lawyers, full of subtlety; they moments of their dreadful agony! (90 were enemies, full of malice; yet lawyers
My lords, there is a consolation, and a full of subtlety, and enemies full of great consolation it is, which often hap malice, as they were, they did not dare pens to oppressed virtue and fallen dig to reproach them with having supported nity; it often happens that the very op the wealthy, the great, and powerful, and pressors and persecutors themselves are of having oppressed the weak and feeble, forced to bear testimony in its favor. I in any of their judgments, or of having (150 do not like to go for instances a great way perverted justice in any one instance back into antiquity. I know very well whatever, through favor, through inthat length of time operates so as to give terest, or cabal. an air of the fabulous to remote events, (100 My lords, if you must fall, may you so which lessens the interest and weakens fall! But if you stand, and stand I trust. the application of examples. I wish to you will, together with the fortune of come nearer to the present time. Your this ancient monarchy-together with the lordships know and have heard, for which ancient laws and liberties of this great of us has not known and heard, of the and illustrious kingdom, may you stand parliament of Paris? The parliament as unimpeached in honor as in power; (160 of Paris had an origin very, very similar may you stand not as a substitute for to that of the great court before which virtue, but as an ornament of virtue, as a I stand; the parliament of Paris con security for virtue; may you stand long, tinued to have a great resemblance (110 and long stand the terror of tyrants; may to it in its constitution, even to its fall; you stand the refuge of afflicted nations; the parliament of Paris, my lords, WAS; may you stand a sacred temple, for the it is gone! It has passed away; it has perpetual residence of an inviolable justice. vanished like a dream! It fell, pierced by the sword of the Compte de Mirabeau. And yet I will say that that man, at the
From REFLECTIONS ON THE time of his inflicting the death wound of
REVOLUTION IN FRANCE that parliament, produced at once the
THE RIGHTS OF MEN shortest and the grandest funeral oration that ever was or could be made upon (120 | Far am I from denying in theory, full the departure of a great court of magis as far is my heart from withholding in tracy. Though he had himself smarted | practice (if I were of power to give or to under its lash, as every one knows who | withhold), the real rights of men. In knows his history (and he was elevated to denying their false claims of right, I do dreadful notoriety in history), yet when not mean to injure those which are real, he pronounced the death sentence upon 1 and are such as their pretended rights that parliament, and inflicted the mortal | would totally destroy. If civil society
be made for the advantage of man, all the first fundamental right of unconthe advantages for which it is made (10 venanted man, that is, to judge for himself, become his right. It is an institution of and to assert his own cause. He abdicates beneficence; and law itself is only benefi all right to be his own governor. He incence acting by a rule. Men have a right clusively, in a great measure, abandons to live by that rule; they have a right to the right of self-defence, the first law of do justice, as between their fellows, nature. Men cannot enjoy the rights of whether their fellows are in public func an uncivil and of a civil state together. 170 tion or in ordinary occupation. They That he may obtain justice, he gives up have a right to the fruits of their industry; his right of determining what it is in points and to the means of making their indus the most essential to him. That he may try fruitful. They have a right to the [20 secure some liberty, he makes a suracquisitions of their parents; to the nour render in trust of the whole of it. ishment and improvement of their off Government is not made in virtue of spring; to instruction in life, and to con natural rights, which may and do exist solation in death. Whatever each man in total independence of it; and exist in can separately do, without trespassing much greater clearness, and in a much upon others, he has a right to do for him greater degree of abstract perfection; (80 self; and he has a right to a fair portion of | but their abstract perfection is their pracall which society, with all its combina- | tical defect. By having a right to everytions of skill and force, can do in his | thing they want everything. Government favor. In this partnership all men (30 is a contrivance of human wisdom to have equal rights; but not to equal things. provide for human wants. Men have a He that has but five shillings in the part right that these wants should be pronership, has as good a right to it, as he vided for by this wisdom. Among these that has five hundred pounds has to his | wants is to be reckoned the want, out of larger proportion. But he has not a civil society, of a sufficient restraint upon right to an equal dividend in the product their passions. Society requires not 190 of the joint stock; and as to the share of only that the passions of individuals power, authority, and direction which should be subjected, but that even in the each individual ought to have in the mass and body, as well as in the indimanagement of the state, that I must (40 viduals, the inclinations of men should deny to be amongst the direct original frequently be thwarted, their will conrights of man in civil society; for I have trolled, and their passions brought into in my contemplation the civil social man, subjection. This can only be done by a and no other. It is a thing to be settled power out of themselves; and not, in the by convention.
exercise of its function, subject to that If civil society be the offspring of con will and to those passions which it is (100 vention, that convention must be its law. its office to bridle and subdue. In this That convention must limit and modify sense the restraints on men, as well as all the descriptions of constitution which their liberties, are to be reckoned amongst are formed under it. Every sort of [50 their rights. But as the liberties and the legislative, judicial, or executory power restrictions, vary with times and cir are its creatures. They can have no stances, and admit of infinite modificabeing in any other state of things; and tions, they cannot be settled upon any how can any man claim under the con abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish ventions of civil society, rights which do | as to discuss them upon that principle. not so much as suppose its existence? The moment you abate anything (110 rights which are absolutely repugnant to from the full rights of men, each to govern it? One of the first motives to civil so- himself, and suffer any artificial, positive ciety, and which becomes one of its funda limitation upon those rights, from that mental rules, is, that no man should (60 moment the whole organization of governbe judge in his own cause. By this each ment becomes a consideration of conperson has at once divested himself of venience. This it is which makes the
constitution of a state, and the due dis the laws of nature, refracted from their tribution of its powers, a matter of the straight line. Indeed in the gross and most delicate and complicated skill. It complicated mass of human passions and requires a deep knowledge of human (120 concerns, the primitive rights of men nature and human necessities, and of the undergo such a variety of refractions and things which facilitate or obstruct the reflections, that it becomes absurd to various ends, which are to be pursued talk of them as if they continued in the by the mechanism of civil institutions. simplicity of their original direction. The state is to have recruits to its strength, The nature of man is intricate; the oband remedies to its distempers. What is jects of society are of the greatest (180 the use of discussing a man's abstract possible complexity: and therefore no right to food or medicine? The question simple disposition or direction of power is upon the method of procuring and can be suitable either to man's nature, administering them. In that delibera- (130 or to the quality of his affairs. When I tion I shall always advise to call in the hear the simplicity of contrivance aimed aid of the farmer and the physician, rather at and boasted of in any new political than the professor of metaphysics.
constitutions, I am at no loss to decide The science of constructing a common that the artificers are grossly ignorant wealth, or renovating it, or reforming it, of their trade, or totally negligent of their is, like every other experimental science, duty. The simple governments are (190 not to be taught a priori. Nor is it a fundamentally defective, to say no worse short experience that can instruct us in of them. If you were to contemplate that practical science; because the real society in but one point of view, all the effects of moral causes are not always (140 simple modes of polity are infinitely immediate; but that which in the first captivating. In effect each would answer instance is prejudicial may be excellent its single end much more perfectly than in its remoter operation; and its excellence the more complex is able to attain all may arise even from the ill effects it pro- its complex purposes. But it is better duces in the beginning. The reverse also that the whole should be imperfectly and happens: and very plausible schemes, anomalously answered, than that, [200 with very pleasing commencements, have while some parts are provided for with often shameful and lamentable conclu great exactness, others might be tosions. In states there are often some tally neglected, or perhaps materially obscure and almost latent causes, (150 | injured, by the over-care of a favorite things which appear at first view of little member. moment, on which a very great part of its The pretended rights of these theorists prosperity or adversity may most essen are all extremes: and in proportion as they tially depend. The science of government are metaphysically true, they are morally being therefore so practical in itself, and and politically false. The rights of men intended for such practical purposes, a are in a sort of middle, incapable of (210 matter which requires experience, and definition, but not impossible to be diseven more experience than any person cerned. The rights of men in governcan gain in his whole life, however saga- | ments are their advantages; and these cious and observing he may be, it is (160 are often in balances between differences with infinite caution that any man ought of good; in compromises sometimes beto venture upon pulling down an edifice, tween good and evil, and sometimes bewhich has answered in any tolerable tween evil and evil. Political reason is a degree for ages the common purposes of computing principle; adding, subtracting, society, or on building it up again, with multiplying, and dividing, morally and out having models and patterns of ap not metaphysically, or mathematic- [220 proved utility before his eyes.
ally, true moral denominations. These metaphysic rights entering into By these theorists the right of the | common life, like rays of light which people is almost always sophistically con
pierce into a dense medium, are, by (170 founded with their power. The body of