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5.-ARBITRARY POWER NOT GIVEN TO MAN. . MR HASTINGS has declared his opinion that he is 'a despotic prince; that he is to use arbitrary power, and that of course all his acts are covered with that shield. “I know,” says he, “the constitution of Asia only from its practice.” Will your Lordships submit to hear the corrupt practices of mankind made the principles of government? No; it will be your pride and glory to teach men intrusted with power, that, in their use of it, they are to conform to principles, and not to draw their principles from the corrupt practice of any man whatever. Was there ever heard, or could it be conceived, that a governor would dare to heap up all the evil practices, all the cruelties, oppressions, extortions, corruptions, briberies, of all the ferocious usurpers, desperate robbers, thieves, cheats, and jugglers, that ever had office from one end of Asia to another, and, consolidating all this mass of the crimes and absurdities of barbarous domination into one code, establish it as the whole duty of an English governor? I believe that, till this time, so audacious a thing was never attempted by man. He have arbitrary power! My Lords! the East India Company have not arbitrary power to give him—the King has no arbitrary power to give him; your Lordships have it not, nor the Commons, nor the whole legislature. We have no arbitrary power to give, because arbitrary power is a thing which neither any man can hold nor any man can give. No man can lawfully govern himself according to his own will, much less can one person be governed by the will of another. We are all born in subjection, all born equally, high and low, governors and governed, in subjection to one great immutable pre-existent law, prior to all our devices, and prior to all our contrivances, paramount to all our ideas, and all our sensations, antecedent to our very existence, by which we are knit and connected in the eternal frame of the universe, and out of which we cannot stir.
6.-EXTRACT FROM HENRY BROUGHAM'S SPEECH AT THE
LIVERPOOL ELECTION, 1812.
GENTLEMEN,—I feel it necessary after the fatigues of this long and anxious day to entreat, as I did on a former occasion, that you would have the goodness to favour me with as silent a hearing as possible, that I may not by over-exertion in my present exhausted state destroy that voice, which I hope I may preserve to raise in your defence once more hereafter. For this great town, for the country at large, whose cause we are upholding—whose fight we are fighting, for the whole manufacturing and trading interest—for all who love peace-all who have no profit in war,-I feel the deepest alarm lest our grand attempt may not prosper. All these feelings are in my heart at this moment—they are various—they are conflicting
- they are painful—they are burthensome, but they are not overwhelming! and amongst them all, and I have swept round the whole range of which the human mind is susceptible, there is not one that bears the slightest resemblance to despair. I trust myself once more in your faithful hands—I fling myself again on you for protection-I call aloud to you to bear your own cause in your hearts--I implore of you to come forward in your own defence—for the sake of this vast town and its people for the salvation of the middle and lower orders—for the whole industrious part of the whole country--I entreat you by your love of peace by your hatred of oppression-by your weariness of burthensome and useless taxation--by yet another appeal to which those must lend an ear who have been deaf to all the rest-I ask it for your families—for your infants—if you would avoid such a winter of horrors as the last! It is coming fast upon you—already it is near at hand—yet a few short weeks and we may be in the midst of those unspeakable miseries, the recollection of which now rends your very souls. If there be one freeman amongst this immense multitude, who has not tendered his voice-and if he can be deaf to this appeal—if he can suffer the threats of our antagonists to frighten him away from the recollections of the last dismal winter--that man will not vote for me. But if I have the happiness of addressing one honest man amongst you, who has a care left for his wife and children, or for other endearing ties of domestic tenderness, that man will lay his hand on his heart when I now bid him do so,—and, with those little threats of present spite ringing in his ears, he will rather consult his fears of greater evil, by listening to the dictates of his heart, when he casts a look towards the dreadful season through which he lately passed--and will come bravely forward to place those men in parliament, whose whole efforts have been directed towards the restoration of peace and the revival of trade.
Do not, Gentlemen, listen to those who tell you the cause of freedom is desperate;—they are the enemies of that cause and of you—but listen to me, for you know me—and I am one who has never yet deceived you ;-I say then that it will be desperate if you make no exertions to retrieve it. I tell you that your languor alone can betray it—that it can be made desperate only through your despair. I am not a man to be cast down by temporary reverses, let them come upon me as thick and as swift and as sudden as they may. I am not he who is daunted by majorities in the outset of a struggle for worthy objects—else I should not now stand before you to boast of triumphs won in your cause. If your champions had yielded to the force of numbers, of gold, of power—if defeat could have dismayed them—then would the African Slave Trade never have been abolished—then would the cause of Reform, which now bids fair to prevail over its enemies, have been long ago sunk amidst the desertions of its friends then would those prospects of peace have been utterly benighted, which I still devoutly cherish, and which even now brighten in our eyes—then would the Orders in Council, which I overthrew by your support, have remained a disgrace to the British name, and an eternal obstacle to our best interests. I no more despond now than I have done in the course of sacred and glorious contentious; but it is for you to say whether to-morrow shall not make it my duty to despair. To-morrow is your last day—your last efforts must then be made—if you put forth your strength, the day is your own—if you desert me, it is lost. To win it, I shall be the first to lead you on, and the last to forsake you.
7.—THE TRUE POLICY OF GREAT BRITAIN. GENTLEMEN, — The end which I have always had in view as the legitimate object of pursuit to a British statesman I can describe in one word. The language of the philosopher is diffusely benevolent. It professes the amelioration of the lot of all mankind. I hope that my heart beats as high towards other nations of the earth as that of any one who vaunts his philanthropy ; but I am contented to confess that the main object of my contemplation is the interest of England. Not that the interest of England can stand isolated and alone.
The situation she holds forbids an exclusive selfishness; her prosperity must contribute to the prosperity of other nations, her stability to the safety of the world. But it does not follow that we are called upon to mix ourselves on every occasion with a meddling activity in the concerns of the nations around us. There are men, actuated by noble principles and generous feelings, who would rush forward at once, from the sense of indignation at aggression, and deem that no act of injustice should be perpetrated from one end of the universe to the other, but that the sword of Great Britain ought to leap from its scabbard to avenge it. But, as it is the province of law to control the excess even of laudable feelings in individuals, so it is the duty of government to restrain within due bounds the ebullition of national impulses which it cannot blame. But while we thus control our feelings by our duty, let it not be said that we cultivate peace because we fear, or because we are unprepared for war; on the contrary, if eight months ago the government proclaimed this country to be prepared for war, every month of peace that hath since passed has but made us so much the more capable of exertion. The resources created by peace are the means of war. In cherishing those resources, we accumulate our means. Our present repose is no more a proof of inability, than the state of inactivity in which I see those mighty ships float in these waters, is a proof that they are devoid of strength, and incapable of being fitted out for action. You well know how soon one of these stupendous masses, now reposing on their shadows in perfect stillness, how soon, upon any call of patriotism, it would assume the likeness of an animated thing, instinct with life and motion-how soon it would ruffle up its swelling plumage-how quickly it would put forth all its beauty and its bravery, collect its scattered elements of strength, and awaken its dormant thunder. Such as is one of those magnificent machines springing from inaction into a display of its might-such is England herself—while apparently passive, she silently concentrates the power to be put forth on an adequate occasion. But Heaven forbid that that occasion should arise! After a war of a quarter of a century, sometimes single-handed, England now needs a period of tranquillity. Long may we be enabled to improve the blessings of our present situation, to cultivate the arts of peace, to give to commerce greater extension and new spheres of employment, and to confirm the prosperity now diffused throughout this island !
8.-SPEECH OF LORD CHATHAM, IN THE HOUSE OF PEERS, AGAINST
THE AMERICAN WAR, AND AGAINST EMPLOYING THE INDIANS
IN IT. I CANNOT, my Lords, I will not, join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. This, my Lords, is a perilous and tremendous moment. It is not a time for adulation: the smoothness of flattery cannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must, if possible, dispel the delusion and darkness which envelop it; and display, in its full danger and genuine colours, the ruin which is brought to our doors. Can ministers still presume to expect support in their infatuation? Can parliament be so dead to its dignity and duty, as to give its support to measures thus obtruded and forced upon it? Measures, my Lords, which have reduced this late flourishing empire to scorn and contempt! “But yesterday, and Britain inight have stood against the world; now, none so poor as to