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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 the verge 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 happen 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 upon the departure of a great court of magistracy. Though he had himself smarted under its lash, as everyone 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 unimpeached in honor as in power ; may you stand