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Purdhaun than was contained in the former treaties. This I have sent to you, and hope that you will prepare and send a treaty conformable to that, without any besides, or if, or why, or but, and whereas, that as soon as it arrives, I may depart for Poonah, and having united with me Row Mahadajee Scindia, and having brought over the nabob, Nizam ul Dowlah, to this business, I may settle and adjust all matters which are in this bad situation. As soon as I have received my dismission from thence, I would set off for Calcutta, and represent to you every thing, which for a long while I have had in my mind, and by this transaction erect to the view of all the world the standard of the greatness and goodness of the English, and of my masters, and extinguish the flames of war with the waters of friendship. The compassing all those advantages and happy prospects depends entirely upon your will and consent; and the power of bringing them to an issue is in your hands alone.”
My lords, you may here see the necessity there was for passing the act of parliament, which I have just read to you, in order to prevent in future the recurrence of that want of faith, of which Mr. Hastings had been so notoriously guilty, and by which he had not only united all India against us, and had hindered us from making, for a long time, any peace at all, but had exposed the British character to the irony, scorn, derision, and insult of the whole people of that vast continent.
My lords, in the progress of this impeachment, you have heard our charges; you have heard the prisoner's plea of merits; you have heard our observations on them. In the progress of this impeachment, you have seen the condition in which Mr. Hastings received Benares; you have seen the condition in which Mr. Hastings received the country of the Rohillas ; you have seen the condition in which he received the country of Oude ; you have seen the condition in which he received the provinces of Bengal ; you have seen the
condition of the country when the native government was succeeded by that of Mr. Hastings ; you have seen the happiness and prosperity of all its inhabitants, from those of the highest to those of the lowest rank. My lords, you have seen the very reverse of all this under the government of Mr. Hastings; the country itself, all its beauty and glory ending in a jungle for wild beasts. You have seen flourishing families reduced to implore that pity, which the poorest man and the meanest situation might very well call for. You have seen whole nations in the mass reduced to a condition of the same distress. These things in his government at home : abroad, scorn, contempt, and derision cast upon and covering the British name ; war stirred up, and dishonorable
, treaties of peace made, by the total prostitution of British faith. Now take, my lords, together all the multiplied delinquencies which we have proved, from the highest degree of tyranny to the lowest degree of sharping and cheating, and then judge, my lords, whether the House of Commons could rest for one moment, without bringing these matters, which have baffled all legislation at various times, before you, to try at last what judgment will do. Judgment is what gives force, effect, and vigor to laws; laws without judgment are contemptible and ridiculous; we had better have no laws, than laws not enforced by judgments, and suitable penalties upon delinquents. Revert, my lords, to all the sentences which have heretofore been passed by this high court. Look at the sentence passed upon Lord Bacon ; look at the sentence passed upon Lord Macclesfield, and then compare the sentences, which your ancestors have given, with the delinquencies which were then before them, and you have the measure to be taken in your sentence upon the delinquent now before you. Your sentence, I say, will be measured according to that rule which ought to direct the judgment of all courts in like cases, lessening it for a lesser offence, and aggravating it for a greater, until the measure of justice is completely full.
My lords, I have done ; the part of the Commons is concluded. With a trembling solicitude we consign this product of our long, long labors, to your charge. Take it take it !
! It is a sacred trust. Never before was a cause of such magnitude submitted to any human tribunal.
My lords, at this awful close, in the name of the Commons, and surrounded by them, I attest the retiring, I attest the advancing generations, between which, as a link in the great chain of eternal order, we stand.-We call this nation, we call the world to witness, that the Commons have shrunk from no labor ; that we have been guilty of no prevarication ; that we have made no compromise with crime ; that we have not feared any odium whatsoever, in the long warfare which we have carried on with the crimes-with the vices—with the exorbitant wealth-with the enormous and overpowering influence of Eastern corruption. This war, my lords, we have waged for twenty-two years, and the conflict has been fought at your lordships' bar for the last seven years. My lords, twenty-two years is a great space in the scale of the life of man; it is no inconsiderable space in the history of a great nation. A business, which has so long occupied the councils and the tribunals of Great Britain, cannot possibly be huddled over in the course of vulgar, trite, and transitory events. Nothing but some of those great revolutions, that break the traditionary chain of human memory, and alter the very face of nature itself, can possibly obscure it. My lords, we are all elevated to a degree of importance by it; the meanest of us will, by means of it, more or less, become the concern of posterity; if we are yet to hope for such a thing in the present state of the world, as a recording, retrospective, civilized posterity; but this is in the hands of the great Disposer of events; it is not ours to settle how it shall be. My lords, your House yet stands; it stands as a great edifice; but let me say, that it stands in the midst of ruins; in the midst of the ruins, that have been made by the greatest moral earthquake that ever convulsed and shat
tered this globe of ours. My lords, it has pleased Providence to place us in such a state, that we appear every moment to be upon
of some great mutations. There is one thing, and one thing only, which defies all mutation ; that which existed before the world, and will survive the fabric of the world itself ; I mean justice; that justice, which, emanating from the Divinity, has a place in the breast of every one of us, given us for our guide with regard to ourselves, and with regard to others, and which will stand, after this globe is burned to ashes, our advocate or our accuser before the great Judge, when He comes to call upon us for the tenor of a well-spent life.
My lords, the Commons will share in every fate with your lordships; there is nothing sinister which can happen to you, in which we shall not be involved; and if it should so hap
1 pen that we shall be subjected to some of those frightful changes, which we have seen; if it should happen that your lordships, stripped of all the decorous distinctions of human society, should, by hands at once base and cruel, be led to those scaffolds and machines of murder, upon which great kings and glorious queens have shed their blood, amidst the prelates, amidst the nobles, amidst the magistrates, who supported their thrones, may you in those moments feel that consolation, which I am persuaded they felt in the critical moments of their dreadful agony !
My lords, there is a consolation, and a great consolation it is, which often happens to oppressed virtue and fallen dignity; it often happens that the very oppressors and persecutors themselves are forced to bear testimony in its favor. I do not like to go for instances a great way back into antiquity. I know very well, that length of time operates so as to give an air of the fabulous to remote events, which lessens the interest and weakens the application of examples. I wish to come nearer to the present time. Your lordships know and have heard, for which of us has not known and heard of the parliament of Paris ? The parliament of Paris had an
origin very, very similar to that of the great court before which I stand; the parliament of Paris continued to have a great resemblance to it in its constitution, even to its fall; the parliament of Paris, my lords, was; it is gone! It has passed away; it has 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 time of his inflicting the death wound of that parliament, produced at once the shortest and the grandest funeral oration that ever was or could be made
the departure of a great court of magistracy. Though he had himself smarted under its lash, as every one knows who knows his history, (and he was elevated to dreadful notoriety in history,) yet when he pronounced the death sentence upon that parliament, and inflicted the mortal wound, he declared that his motives for doing it were merely political, and that their hands were as pure as those of justice itself, which they administered—a great and glorious exit, my lords, of a great and glorious body! And never was a eulogy pronounced upon a body, more deserved. They were persons in nobility of rank, in amplitude of fortune, in weight of authority, in depth of learning, inferior to few of those that hear me.
My lords, it was but the other day, that they submitted their necks to the axe! but their honor was unwounded. Their enemies, the persons who sentenced them to death, were lawyers, full of subtlety; they were enemies, full of malice; yet lawyers full of subtlety, and enemies full of malice, as they were, they did not dare to reproach them with having supported the wealthy, the great, and powerful, and of having oppressed the weak and feeble, in any of their judgments, or of having perverted justice in any one instance whatever, through favor, through interest, or cabal.
My lords, if you must fall, may you so fall ! But if you stand, and stand I trust you will, together with the fortune of this ancient monarchy-together with the ancient laws and liberties of this great and illustrious kingdom, may you stand as uniinpeached in honor as in power ; may you stand