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corum of life as well as we do) considered a person accused to stand in such a doubtful situation, that from the moment of accusation he assumed either a mourning, or some squalid garb; although, by the nature of their constitution, accusations were brought forward by one of their lowest magistrates. The spirit of that decent usage has continued from the time of the Romans till this very day. No man was ever brought before your lordships, that did not carry the outward as well as inward demeanor of modesty, of fear, of apprehension, of a sense of his situation, of a sense of our accusation, and a sense of your lordships' dignity.
These, however, are but outward things; they are, as Hamlet says, "things which a man may play." But, my lords, this prisoner has gone a great deal further than being merely deficient in decent humility. Instead of defending himself, he has, with a degree of insolence unparalleled in the history of pride and guilt, cast out a recriminatory accusation upon the House of Commons. Instead of considering himself as a person already under the condemnation of his country, and uncertain whether or not that condemnation shall receive the sanction of your verdict, he ranks himself with the suffering heroes of antiquity. Joining with them, he accuses us, the representatives of his country, of the blackest ingratitude, of the basest motives, of the most abominable oppression, not only of an innocent, but of a most meritorious individual, who, in your and in our service, has sacrificed his health, his fortune, and even suffered his fame and character to be called in question, from one end of the world to the other. This, I say, he charges upon the Commons of Great Britain; and he charges it before the Court of Peers of the same kingdom. Had I not heard this language from the prisoner, and afterwards from his counsel, I must confess I could hardly have believed that any man could so comport himself at your lordships' bar.
After stating in his defence the wonderful things he did for us, he says, "I maintained the wars which were of your
formation, or that of others, not of mine. I won one member of the great Indian confederacy from it, by an act of seasonable restitution; with another, I maintained a secret intercourse, and converted him into a friend; a third, I drew off by diversion and negotiation, and employed him as the instrument of peace. When you cried out for peace, and your cries were heard by those who were the objects of it, I resisted this and every other species of counteraction, by rising in my demands, and accomplished a peace, and I hope an everlasting one, with one great state; and I at least afforded the efficient means by which a peace, if not so durable, more seasonable at least, was accomplished with another. I gave you all; and you have rewarded me with confiscation, disgrace, and a life of impeachment."
Comparing our conduct with that of the people of India, he says, "They manifested a generosity, of which we have no example in the European world. Their conduct was the effect of their sense of gratitude for the benefits they had received from my administration. I wish I could say as much of my own countrymen."
My lords, here then we have the prisoner at your bar in his demeanor not defending himself, but recriminating upon his country; charging it with perfidy, ingratitude, and oppression, and making a comparison of it with the banyans of India, whom he prefers to the Commons of Great Britain.
My lords, what shall we say to this demeanor? With regard to the charge of using him with ingratitude, there are two points to be considered. First, the charge implies that he had rendered great services; and secondly, that he has been falsely accused.
My lords, as to the great services, they have not, they cannot come in evidence before you. If you have received such evidence, you have received it obliquely; for there is no other direct proof before your lordships of such services, than that of there having been great distresses and great calamities in India, during his government. Upon these distresses and
calamities, he has, indeed, attempted to justify obliquely the corruption that has been charged upon him: but you have not properly in issue these services. You cannot admit the evidence of any such services received directly from him, as a matter of recriminatory charge upon the House of Commons, because you have not suffered that House to examine into the validity and merit of this plea. We have not been heard upon this recriminatory charge, which makes a considerable part of the demeanor of the prisoner; we cannot be heard upon it; and therefore I demand, on the part of the Commons of Great Britain, that it be dismissed from your consideration; and this I demand, whether you take it as an attempt to render odious the conduct of the Commons; whether you take it in mitigation of the punishment due to the prisoner for his crimes; or whether it be adduced as a presumption, that so virtuous a servant never could be guilty of the offences with which we charge him. In whichever of these lights you may be inclined to consider this matter, I say you have it not in evidence before you; and therefore you must expunge it from your thoughts, and separate it entirely from your judgment. I shall hereafter have occasion to say a few words on this subject of merits. I have said thus much at present, in order to remove extraneous impressions from your minds. For admitting that your lordships are the best judges, as I well know that you are, yet I cannot say that you are not men, and that matter of this kind, however irrelevant, may not make an impression upon you. It does, therefore, become us to take some occasional notice. of these supposed services, not in the way of argument, but with a view by one sort of prejudice to destroy another prejudice. If there is any thing in evidence which tends to destroy this plea of merits, we shall recur to that evidence; if there is nothing to destroy it but argument, we shall have recourse to that argument; and if we support that argument by authority and document, not in your lordships' minutes, I
hope it will not be the less considered as good argument, because it is so supported.
I must now call your lordships' attention from the vaunted services of the prisoner, which have been urged to convict us of ingratitude, to another part of his recriminatory defence. He says, my lords, that we have not only oppressed him with unjust charges, (which is a matter for your lordships to judge, and is now the point at issue between us,) but that instead of attacking him by fair judicial modes of proceeding, by stating crimes clearly and plainly, and by proving those crimes, and showing their necessary consequences, we have oppressed him with all sorts of foul and abusive language; so much so, that every part of our proceeding has, in the eye of the world, more the appearance of private revenge, than of public justice.
Against this impudent and calumnious recriminatory accusation, which your lordships have thought good to suffer him to utter here, at a time too when all dignity is in danger of being trodden under foot, we will say nothing by way of defence. The Commons of Great Britain, my lords, are a rustic people; a tone of rusticity is therefore the proper accent of their managers. We are not acquainted with the nrbanity and politeness of extortion and oppression: nor do we know any thing of the sentimental delicacies of bribery and corruption. We speak the language of truth, and we speak it in the plain, simple terms in which truth ought to be spoken. Even if we have any thing to answer for on this head, we can only answer to the body which we represent and to that body which hears us; to any others we owe no apology whatever.
The prisoner at your bar admits that the crimes which we charge him with are of that atrocity, that if brought home to him he merits death. Yet when in pursuance of our duty, we come to state these crimes with their proper criminatory epithets, when we state in strong and direct terms the circumstances which heighten and aggravate them, when we
dwell on the immoral and heinous nature of the acts, and the terrible effects which such acts produce, and when we offer to prove both the principal facts, and the aggravatory ones by evidence, and to show their nature and quality by the rules of law, morality, and policy, then this criminal, then his counsel, then his accomplices and hirelings, posted in newspapers and dispersed in circles through every part of the kingdom, represent him as an object of great compassion; because he is treated, say they, with nothing but opprobrious names and scurrilous invectives.
To all this the managers of the Commons will say nothing by way of defence, it would be to betray their trust if they did. No, my lords, they have another and a very different duty to perform on this occasion. They are bound not to suffer public opinion, which often prevents judgment and often defeats its effects, to be debauched and corrupted. Much less is this to be suffered in the presence of our coordinate branch of legislature, and as it were with your and our own tacit acquiescence. Whenever the public mind is misled, it becomes the duty of the Commons of Great Britain to give it a more proper tone and a juster way of thinking. When ignorance and corruption have usurped the professor's chair, and placed themselves in the seats of science and of virtue, it is high time for us to speak out. We know that the doctrines of folly are of great use to the professors of vice. We know that it is one of the signs of a corrupt and degenerate age, and one of the means of insuring its further corruption and degeneracy, to give mild and lenient epithets to vices and to crimes. The world is much influenced by names. And as terms are the representatives of sentiments, when persons who exercise any censorial magistracy seem in their language to compromise with crimes and criminals, by expressing no horror of the one or detestation of the other, the world will naturally think that they act merely to acquit themselves in its sight in form, but in reality to evade their duty. Yes, my lords, the world must think, that such per