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it out, I owe you a clear explanation of member is bound blindly and implicitly to my poor sentiments on that subject. obey, to vote, and to argue for, though
He tells you that “the topic of instruc- | contrary to the clearest conviction of his tions has occasioned much altercation judgment and conscience these are and uneasiness in this city;” and he ex things utterly unknown to the laws of presses himself (if I understand him this land, and which arise from a 1300 rightly) in favor of the coercive authority | fundamental mistake of the whole order of such instructions.
and tenor of our constitution. Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the Parliament is not a congress of ambashappiness and glory of a representa- (250 sadors from different and hostile intive to live in the strictest union, the terests; which interests each must mainclosest correspondence, and the most tain, as an agent and advocate, against unreserved communication with his con other agents and advocates; but parliastituents. Their wishes ought to have ment is a deliberative assembly of one great weight with him; their opinion, nation, with one interest, that of the high respect; their business, unremitted whole; where, not local purposes, not (310 attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his local prejudices, ought to guide, but the repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to general good, resulting from the general theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, reason of the whole. You choose a memto prefer their interest to his own. (260 | ber indeed; but when you have chosen But his unbiassed opinion, his mature him, he is not member of Bristol, but he judgment, his enlightened conscience, is a member of parliament. If the local he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any constituent should have an interest, or man, or to any set of men living. These should form an hasty opinion, evidently he does not derive from your pleasure; opposite to the real good of the rest of no, nor from the law and the constitution. the community, the member for that (320 They are a trust from Providence, for place ought to be as far as any other from the abuse of which he is deeply answer- any endeavor to give it effect. I beg able. Your representative owes you, not | pardon for saying so much on this subhis industry only, but his judgment; (270 |ject. I have been unwillingly drawn and he betrays, instead of serving you, into it; but I shall ever use a respectful if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
frankness of communication with you. My worthy colleague says, his will | Your faithful friend, your devoted servought to be subservient to yours. If that | ant, I shall be to the end of my life; a be all, the thing is innocent. If govern- | flatterer you do not wish for. On this ment were a matter of will upon any side, point of instructions, however, I think (330 yours, without question, ought to be su | it scarcely possible we ever can have any perior. But government and legislation sort of difference. Perhaps I may give are matters of reason and judgment, and you too much, rather than too little, not of inclination; and what sort of (280 trouble. reason is that, in which the determination | From the first hour I was encouraged precedes the discussion; in which one set to court your favor, to this happy day of of men deliberate, and another decide; obtaining it, I have never promised you and where those who form the con anything but humble and persevering clusion are perhaps three hundred miles endeavors to do my duty. The weight distant from those who hear the argu-l of that duty, I confess, makes me 1340 ments?
tremble; and whoever well considers what To deliver an opinion is the right of it is, of all things in the world, will fly all men; that of constituents is a weighty from what has the least likeness to a and respectable opinion, which a [290 positive and precipitate engagement. To representative ought always to rejoice to be a good member of parliament is, let me hear; and which he ought always most tell you, no easy task; especially at this seriously to consider. But authoritative time, when there is so strong a disposition instructions; mandates issued, which the to run into the perilous extremes of servile
compliance or wild popularity. To unitement had directed him to preserve uncircumspection with vigor, is abso- (350 alienably in himself. lutely necessary; but it is extremely I charge him with having formed a (10 difficult. We are now members for a rich committee to be mere instruments and commercial city; this city, however, is tools, at the enormous expenses of but a part of a rich commercial nation, the interests of which are various, multi- I charge him with having appointed a form, and intricate. We are members person their dewan, to whom these Engfor that great nation, which, however, is lishmen were to be subservient tools; itself but part of a great empire, extended whose name, to his own knowledge, was by our virtue and our fortune to the by the general voice of India, by the farthest limits of the east and of the 1360 general recorded voice of the Company, west. All these wide-spread interests by recorded official transactions, by (20 must be considered; must be compared; | everything that can make a man known, must be reconciled, if possible. We are abhorred and detested, stamped with members for a free country; and surely we infamy; and with giving him the whole all know, that the machine of a free con power which he had thus separated from stitution is no simple thing; but as intri-| the council-general and from the provincate and as delicate as it is valuable. cial councils. We are members in a great and ancient I charge him with taking bribes of monarchy; and we must preserve reli- Gunga Govin Sing. giously the true legal rights of the 1370 I charge him with not having done that sovereign, which form the key-stone that bribe service which fidelity even in 130 binds together the noble and well-con iniquity requires at the hands of the structed arch of our empire and our con- worst of men. stitution. A constitution made up of I charge him with having robbed those balanced powers must ever be a critical people of whom he took the bribes. thing. As such I mean to touch that part I charge him with having fraudulently of it which comes within my reach. I alienated the fortunes of widows. know my inability, and I wish for support I charge him with having, without from every quarter. In particular I shall right, title, or purchase, taken the lands aim at the friendship, and shall culti- 1380 of orphans, and given them to wicked vate the best correspondence, of the persons under him.
40 worthy colleague you have given me.
I charge him with having removed the I trouble you no further than once natural guardians of a minor Rajah, and more to thank you all; you, gentlemen, with having given that trust to a stranger, for your favors; the candidates, for their Debi Sing, whose wickedness was known temperate and polite behavior; and the to himself and all the world; and by sheriffs, for a conduct which may give a whom the Rajah, his family, and de model for all who are in public stations. pendants, were cruelly oppressed
I charge him with having committed
to the management of Debi Sing three From THE IMPEACHMENT OF great provinces; and thereby, with 150 WARREN HASTINGS
having wasted the country, ruined the
landed interest, cruelly harassed the THE CHARGE
peasants, burnt their houses, seized their
crops, tortured and degraded their perI, therefore, charge Mr. Hastings sons, and destroyed the honor of the whole with having destroyed, for private pur female race of that country. poses, the whole system of government In the name of the Commons of Engby the six provincial councils, which he | land, I charge all this villany upon Warren had no right to destroy.
Hastings, in this last moment of my apI charge him with having delegated to plication to you.
(60 others that power which the act of parlia- | My lords, what is it that we want here
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 talents 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 prin
own, 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- (150 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 institu-: justice 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. (30 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 140 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 150 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 (60 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- 173 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 administeredchanges 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 and are such as their pretended rights that parliament, and inflicted the mortal | would totally destroy. If civil society