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The severer law of Scotland, it seems, and happy for them that it should, enables them to remove from their sight the victim of their infatuation. The more merciful spirit of our law deprives you of that consolation; his sufferings must remain forever before our eyes, a continual call upon your shame and your remorse. But those sufferings will do more; they will not rest satisfied with your unavailing contrition, they will challenge the great and paramount inquest of suciety: the man will be weighed against the charge, the witness and the sentence; and impartial justice will demand, why has an Irish jury done this deed ? The moment he ceases to be regarded as a criminal, he becomes of: necessity an accuser; and let me ask you, what can your most zealous defenders be prepared to answer to such a charge ? When your sentence shall have sent him forth to that stage, which guilt alone can render infamous ; let me tell you, he will not be like a little statue nipon a mighty pedestal, diminishing by elevation ; but he will stand a striking and imposing object upon a monument, which, if it do not, and it cannot, record the atrocity of his crime, must record the atroci. ty of his conviction. Upon this subject, therefore, credit me when I say, that I am still more anxious for you, than I can possibly be for him. I cannot but feel the peculiarity of your situation. Not the jury of his own choice, which the law of England allows, but which ours refuses : collected in that box by a person, certainly no friend to Mr. Rowan, certainly not very deeply interested in giving him a very impartial jury. Feeling this, as I am persuaded you do, you cannot be surprised, however you may be distressed at the mourn. ful presage, with which an anxious public is led to fear the worst from your possible determination. But I will not, for the justice and honor of our common country, suffer my mind to be borne away by such melancholy anticipation. I will not relinquish the confidence that this day will be the period of his sufferings; and however mercilessly he has been hitherto pursued, that your Verdict will send him home to the arms of his family,
and the wishes of his country. But if, which heaven forbid, it hath still been unfortunately determined, that because he has not bent to power and authority, because he would not bow down before the golden calf and worship it, he is to be bound and cast into the furnace; I do trust in God, that there is a redeeming spirit in the constitution, which will be seen to walk with the sufferer through the flames, and to preserve him unhurt by the confiagration.
[Upon the conclusion of this speech, Mr. Curran was again for many minutes loudly applauded by the auditors; and upon leaving the court was drawn home by the populace, who took the horses from his carriage.]
ELOQUENCE OF POPULAR ASSEMBLIES.
SPEECH OF PATRICK HENRY, Before the Convention of Delegates for the several coun
ties and corporations of Virginia, on Thursday, the 23rd of March, 1775. Mr. HENRY rose with a majesty unusual to him in an exordium, and with all that self-possession by which he was so invariably distinguished. “No man," he said, “thought more highly than he did of the patriotism, as well as of the abilities, of the very worthy gentleman who had just addressed the house. But different men often saw the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, he hoped it would not be thoughi disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as he did, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, he should speak forth his sentiments freely, and without reserve. This was no time for ceremony. The question before the house was one of awful moment to this country.-For his own part, he considered it nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery. And in proportion to the magnitude of the subject, ought to be the freedom of the debate. It was only in this way that they could hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which they held to God and to their country. Should he keep back his opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, he should consider himself as guilty of treason towards his country, and of an act of disloyal. ty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which he revered above all earthly kings.
"Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painsul truth and listen to the song of that syren, till she transform us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and ardent strug. gle for liberty ? Were we disposed to be of the num. ber of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation ?-For his part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, he was willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
“He had but one lamp by which his feet were guided; and that was the lamp of experience. He knew of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, he wished to know . what there had been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen had been pleased to solace themselves and the house? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received ? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not crourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation ? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love ? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and - subjugation the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies ? . No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us : they
can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains, which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument ? Sir, we
have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we any thing new to offer upon the subject ? Nothing We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable ; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find, which have not been already ex: hausted? Let us not, I beseech you, deceive ourselves longer. Sir, we have done every thing that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned—we have remonstrated-we have sug plicated, we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament. Our peti tions have been slighted ; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded ; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge ihe fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room
for hope. If we wish to be free—if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending—if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon, until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained—we must fight I repeat it, sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us !”
“ They tell us, sir, that we are weak-unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger ? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction ? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot ? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of