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sons palter with their sacred trust, and are tender to crimes, because they look forward to the future possession of the same power, which they now prosecute, and purpose to abuse it in the manner it has been abused by the criminal of whom they are so tender.

To remove such an imputation from us, we assert, that the Commons of Great Britain are not to receive instructions about the language which they ought to hold, from the gentlemen who have made profitable studies in the academies of Benares and of Oude. We know, and therefore do not want to learn, how to comport ourselves in prosecuting the haughty and overgrown delinquents of the East. We cannot require to be instructed by them, in what words we shall express just indignation at enormous crimes; for we have the example of our great ancestors to teach us. We tread in their steps and we speak in their language.


Your lordships well know, for you must be conversant in this kind of reading, that you once had before you a man of the highest rank in this country, one of the greatest men of the law, and one of the greatest men of the state, a peer your own body, Lord Macclesfield. Yet, my lords, when that peer did but just modestly hint, that he had received hard measure from the Commons and their managers, those managers thought themselves bound seriatim one after another, to express the utmost indignation at the charge, in the harshest language that could be used. Why did they do so? They knew it was the language that became them. They lived in an age in which politeness was as well understood and as much cultivated, as it is at present; but they knew what they were doing, and they were resolved to use no language but what their ancestors had used, and to suffer no insolence which their ancestors would not have suffered. We tread in their steps; we pursue their method; we learn of them; and we shall never learn at any other school.

We know from history and the records of this House, that a Lord Bacon has been before you. Who is there, that upon

hearing this name does not instantly rscognise every thing of genius the most profound, every thing of literature the most extensive, every thing of discovery the most penetrating, every thing of observation on human life the most distinguishing and refined? All these must be instantly recognised, for they are all inseparably associated with the name of Lord Verulam. Yet when this prodigy was brought before your lordships, by the Commons of Great Britain, for having permitted his menial servant to receive presents, what was his demeanor? Did he require his counsel not "to let down the dignity of his defence?" No. That Lord Bacon whose least distinction was, that he was a Peer of England, a Lord High Chancellor, and the son of a Lord Keeper, behaved like a man who knew himself; like a man who was conscious of merits of the highest kind; but who was at the same time conscious of having fallen into guilt. The House of Commons did not spare him. They brought him to your bar. They found spots in that sun. And what, I again ask, was his behavior? That of contrition, that of humility, that of repentance, that which belongs to the greatest men lapsed and fallen through human infirmity into error. He did not hurl defiance at the accusations of his country, he bowed himself before it, yet with all his penitence he could not esuape the pursuit of the House of Commons, and the inflexible justice of this court. Your lordships fined him £40,000, notwithstanding all his merits; notwithstanding his humility; notwithstanding his contrition; notwithstanding the decorum of his behavior, so well suited to a man under the prosecution of the Commons of England, before the Peers of England. You fined him in a sum fully equal to £100,000 of the present day. You imprisoned him during the king's pleasure; and you disqualified him for ever from having a seat in this House, and any office in this kingdom. This is the way, in which the Commons behaved formerly, and in which your lordships acted formerly; when no culprit at this bar dared to hurl a recriminatory accusation against

his prosecutors, or dared to censure the language in which they expressed their indignation at his crimes.

The Commons of Great Britain, following these examples and fortified by them, abhor all compromise with guilt either in act or in language. They will not disclaim any one word that they have spoken; because, my lords, they have said nothing abusive or illiberal. It has been said, that we have used such language as was used to Sir Walter Raleigh, when he was called, not by the Commons, but by a certain person of a learned profession, "a spider of hell." My lords, Sir Walter was a great soldier, a great mariner, and one of the first scholars of his age. To call him a spider of hell, was not only indecent in itself, but perfectly foolish, from the term being totally inapplicable to the object, and fit only for the very pedantic eloquence of the person who used it. But if Sir Walter Raleigh had been guilty of numberless frauds and prevarications; if he had clandestinely picked up other men's money, concealed his peculation by false bonds, and afterwards attempted to cover it by the cobwebs of the law, then my Lord Coke would have trespassed a great deal more against decorum than against propriety of similitude and metaphor.

My lords, the managers for the Commons have not used any inapplicable language. We have indeed used, and will again use, such expressions as are proper to portray guilt. After describing the magnitude of the crime, we describe the magnitude of the criminal. We have declared him to be not only a public robber himself, but the head of a system of robbery; the captain general of the gang; the chief under whom a whole predatory band was arrayed, disciplined, and paid. This, my lords, is what we offered to prove fully to you, what in part we have proved, and the whole of which, I believe, we could prove. In developing such a mass of criminality, and in describing a criminal of such magnitude, as we have now brought before you, we could not use lenient epithets, without compromising with crime. We there


fore shall not relax in our pursuits, nor in our language. No, my lords, no; we shall not fail to feel indignation wherever our moral nature has taught us to feel it, nor shall we hesitate to speak the language which is dictated by that indignation. Whenever men are oppressed where they ought to be protected, we called it tyranny; and we call the actor a tyWhenever goods are taken by violence from the possessor, we call it a robbery; and the person who takes it, we call a robber. Money clandestinely taken from the proprietor, we call theft; and the person who takes it, we call a thief. When a false paper is made out to obtain money, we call the act a forgery. That steward who takes bribes from his master's tenants, and then, pretending the money to be his own, lends it to that master and takes bonds for it to himself, we consider guilty of a breach of trust; and the person who commits such crimes, we call a cheat, a swindler, and a forger of bonds. All these offences, without the least softening, under all these names, we charge upon this man. We have so charged in our record, we have so charged in our speeches; and we are sorry that our language does not furnish terms of sufficient force and compass to mark the multitude, the magnitude, and the atrocity of his crimes.

How came it, then, that the Commons of Great Britain should be calumniated for the course which they have taken? Why should it ever have been supposed that we are actuated by revenge? I answer there are two very sufficient causes : corruption and ignorance. The first disposes an innumerable multitude of people to a fellow feeling with the prisoner. Under the shadow of his crimes thousands of fortunes have been made; and therefore thousands of tongues are employed to justify the means by which these fortunes were made. When they cannot deny the facts, they attack the accusers; they attack their conduct, they attack their persons, they attack their language, in every possible manner. I have said, my lords, that ignorance is the other cause of this calumny by which the House of Commons is assailed. Ignorance pro

duces a confusion of ideas concerning the decorum of life, by confounding the rules of private society with those of public function. To talk, as we here talk, to persons in a mixed company of men and women, would violate the law of such societies; because they meet for the sole purpose of social intercourse, and not for the exposure, the censure, the punishment of crimes; to all which things private societies are altogether incompetent. In them crimes can never be regularly stated, proved, or refuted. The law has therefore appointed special places for such inquiries; and if in any of those places we were to apply the emollient language of drawing rooms to the exposure of great crimes, it would be as false and vicious in taste and in morals, as to use the criminatory language of this hall, in drawing and assembling rooms would be misplaced and ridiculous. Every one knows, that in common society palliating names are given to vices. Adultery in a lady is called gallantry: the gentleman is commonly called a man of good fortune, sometimes in French and sometimes in English. But is this the tone which would become a person, in a court of justice, calling these people to an account for that horrible crime, which destroys the basis of society? No, my lords; this is not the tone of such proceedings. Your lordships know that it is not; the Commons know that it is not; and because we have acted on that knowledge, and stigmatized crimes with becoming indignation, we are said to be actuated rather by revenge than justice.

If it should still be asked, why we show sufficient acrimony to excite a suspicion of being in any manner influenced by malice or a desire of revenge; to this, my lords, I answer, because we would be thought to know our duty, and to have all the world know how resolutely we are resolved to perform it. The Commons of Great Britain are not disposed to quarrel with the Divine wisdom and goodness, which has moulded up revenge into the frame and constitution of man. He, that has made us what we are, has made us at once resentful and reasonable. Instinct tells a man, that he ought to

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