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EXERCISE XXXI.-SPEECH ON THE GOVERNMENT OP INDIA.— Foto
[The piece which follows, is introduced as an example of plain, practical, parliamentary declamation, in which no aid of inspiration is derived from poetic passion, but only from the earnest feeling associated with historic fact, and actual life. A clear, form, and manly utterance, and plain, unpretending, but forcible gesture, are here the main elements of effect.)
The honourable gentleman who opened the debate, charges me with abandoning that cause, which he says, in terms of flattery, I had once so successfully asserted. I tell him, in reply, that if he were to search the history of my life, he would find that the period of it, in which I struggled most for the real, substantial cause of liberty, is this very moment that I am addressing you.
Freedom, according to my conception of it, consists in the safe and sacred possession of a man's property, governed by laws defined and certain ; with many personal privileges, civil and religious, which he cannot surrender without ruin to himself; and of which to be deprived by any other power, is despotism. This bill, instead of subverting, is destined to stabilitate these principles : instead of narrowing the basis of freedom, it tends to enlarge it; instead of suppressing, its object is to infuse and circulate the spirit of liberty.
'What is the most odious species of tyranny? Precisely that which this bill is meant to annihilate. That a handful of men, free themselves, should execute the most base and abominable despotism over millions of their fellow-creatures; that innocence should be the victim of oppression ; that industry should toil for rapine; that the harmless labourer should sweat, not for his own benefit, but for the luxury and rapacity of tyrannic depredation :-in a word, that thirty millions of men, gifted by Providence with the ordinary endowments of humanity, should groan under a system of despotism, unmatched in all the histories of the world.
What is the end of all government ? Certainly the happiness of the governed. Others may hold other opinions; but this is mine, and I proclaim it. What are we to think of a government, whose good fortune is supposed to spring from the calamities of its subjects; whose aggrandizement grows out of the miseries of mankind! This is the kind of government exercised under the East India Company upon the natives of Hindostan ; and the subversion of that infamous government, is the main object of the bill in question.
But, in the progress of accomplishing this end, it is ob
jected that the charter of the company should not be violated ; and upon this point, sir, I shall deliver my opinion without disguise.
Å charter is a trust to one or more persons for some given benefit. If this trust be abused, if the benefit be not obtained, and its failure arise from palpable guilt, (or what, in this case, is full as bad,) from palpable ignorance or mismanagement, will any man gravely say, that trust should not be resumed, and delivered to other hands,-more especially in the case of the East India Company, whose manner of executing this trust, whose laxity and languor produced, and tend to produce, consequences diametrically opposite to the ends of confiding that trust, and of the institution for which it was granted ?
No man will tell me that a trust to a company of merchants, stands upon the solemn and sanctified ground, by which a trust is committed to a monarch; and I am at a loss to reconcile the conduct of men, who approve
resumption of violated trust, which rescued and re-established our unparalleled and admirable constitution, with a thousand valuable improvements and advantages, at the revolution; and who, at this moment, rise up the champions of the East India Company's charter; although the incapacity and incompetence of that company to a due and adequate discharge of the trust deposited in them by charter, are themes of ridicule and contempt to all the world; and although, in consequence of their mismanagement, connivance, and imbecility, combined with the wickedness of their servants, the very name of an Englishman is detested, even to a proverb, through all Asia; and the national character is become disgraced and dishonoured.
To rescue that name from odium, and redeem this character from disgrace, are some of the objects of the present bill; and gentlemen should indeed gravely weigh their opposition to a measure, which, with a thousand other points, not less valuable, aims at the attainment of those objects.
EXERCISE XXXII.LINES TO THE OLD CLOCK WITHOUT HANDS, AT
HAMPTON COURT.-G. P. R. James. (An example of the style of grave and serious sentiment. The elocution of such pieces, is dependent, chiefly, on distinct and deliberate enunciation, true inflections, well marked emphasis, and full pauses: the utterance is low and subdued. In recitation, the gesture which accompanies the voice, must be chaste and simple, but not feeble or monotonous.}
Memento of the gone-by hours,
Dost thou recall alone the past ?
Where time still flies so fast?
That marked those moments as they flew,
Who turned on thee their view,
Of every empty dream of joy,
Which might such dreams destroy ?
To thee the eager eye has turned,
of pride, of policy, and power,
To hear thee mark his hour.
Have heard thee chime some change of lot;
Has heard, but marked thee not.
While round thy mystic dial runs
As thou, he marks the suns,-
Unchronicled by both go on;
Till man's brief day be done.
Records of passing hours may stand,
But stand unmarked by movement fit,
By chimes or pointing hand.
To speak reproach for life's abuse ?
Or tell Time's future use?
The future? Thou hast nought to do
With it !—The solemn past, alone,
Fit grave-stone of hours gone!
Thus, plainly thus, thy moral stands,-
A dial without hands!”
EXERCISE XXXIII. - AN UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT TO RAISE THE
WIND.—Dickens. Dialogue adapted from Martin Chuzzlewit.- Speakers, -Tigg, Pecksniff, and Slyme.* Scene,-the bar-room of the Blue Dragon.
(Humorous dialogue demands attention to the full expression of free, playful feeling, in voice and action. The motto of elocution in such pieces is, as in youthful sports, . Keep up the spirit of the scene.' The object of practice, in this form, is to impart ease and animation to the speaker's general manner.]
Tigg, [dragging in Pecksniff by the collar.] You were eavesdropping at that door, you vagabond !
Peck. (shaking himself free.) Where is Mrs. Lupin, I wonder ? Can the good woman possibly be aware that there is a person here, who
Tigg. Stay! Wait a bit! She does know. What then?
Peck. What then, sir ?—What then ?-Do you know that I am the friend and relative of the sick gentleman above stairs ? That I am his protector, his guardian, his
Tigg. Wait a bit! perhaps you are a cousin,—the cousin who lives in this place.
* In appearance, Tigg represents the shabby genteel, in its last stage; Pecksniff, a smooth, well-dressed man, with a prodigious collar ; Slyme, a miserable looking wretch, worn out with low dissipation.-Tigg's man. ner is dashing, independent, and highly affected; Pecksniff's grave and cold, very much constrained; Slyme's is dull and stupid, indicating partial inebriety.
Peck. I am the cousin who lives in this place.
Tigg, (touching his hat.] I am proud to know you; and I ask your pardon.—You behold in me one who has also an interest in that gentleman up stairs.--Wait a bit. [Pulling off his hat, and dropping from it a handful of dirty letters, and broken cigars; and selecting one of the former, which he hands to Pecksniff.) Read that!
Peck. This is addressed to Chevy Slyme, Esq.
Tigg. You know Chevy Slyme, Esq., I believe ?-Very good : that is my interest and business here.
Peck. (withdrawing from T.] Now, this is very distressing, my friend. It is very distressing to me to be compelled to say,
you are not the person you claim to be. I know Mr. Slyme, my friend : this will not do: honesty is the best policy: you had better not: you had, indeed.
Tigg. Stop! Wait a bit !-I understand your mistake; and I am not offended. Why? Because it is complimentary. You suppose I would set myself up for Chevy Slyme. Sir, if there is a man on earth, whom a gentleman would feel proud and honoured to be mistaken for, that man is Chevy Slyme. For he is, without an exception, the highestminded, the most independent-spirited; most original, spiritual, classical, talented ; and most thoroughly Shaksperian,if not Miltonic; and, at the same time, most-disgustinglyunappreciated dog I know. But, sir, I have not the vanity to attempt to pass for Slyme. Any other man in the wide world I am equal to. But Slyme is, I frankly confess, a great many cuts above me.
Therefore you are wrong. Peck, (holding out the letter.) I judged from this.
Tigg. No doubt you did. But, Mr. Pecksniff, the whole thing resolves itself into an instance of the peculiarities of genius. Every man of true genius has his peculiarity. Sir, the peculiarity of my friend Slyme, is, that he is always waiting round the corner. He is perpetually round the cor
He is round the corner, at this instant. That is a remarkably curious and interesting trait in Slyme's character; and whenever Slyme's life comes to be written, that trait must be thoroughly worked out by his biographer; or society.will not be satisfied,-observe me,--society will not be satisfied.
Peck, [coughing nervously.] Hem!
Tigg. Slyme's biographer, sir, whoever he may be, must apply to me; or, if I am gone to that what's-his-name from