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But the free state, where rank is knit
I see that we must yield, or seem to yield :-
And for this base submission
EXERCISE XLVII.—EULOGY OF WASHINGTON.-Lord Brougham. [See remarks introductory to EXERCISE XX.]
In Washington, we truly behold a marvellous contrast to almost every one of the endowments and vices of Bonaparte, so well fitted to excite a mingled admiration, and sorrow, and abhorrence. With none of that brilliant genius which dazzles ordinary minds;-with not even any remarkable quickness of apprehension,-with knowledge less than almost all persons in the middle ranks, and many well educated of the humbler classes possess; this eminent person is presented to our observation, clothed in attributes as modest, as unpretending, as little calculated to strike or astonish, as if he had passed, unknown, through some secluded region of private life.
But he had a judgment sure and sound; a steadiness of mind which never suffered any passion, not even any feeling, to ruffle its calm; a strength of understanding which worked, rather than forced, its way, through all obstacles; removing or avoiding rather than overleaping them. His courage, whether in battle or in council, was as perfect as might be expected from this pure and steady temper of soul.
A perfectly just man, with a thoroughly firm resolution
never to be misled by others, any more than by others overawed; never to be seduced or betrayed, or hurried away by his own weakness or self-delusions, any more than by other men's arts; nor even to be disheartened by the most complicated difficulties, any more than to be spoiled upon the giddy heights of fortune;-such was this great man,whether we regard him sustaining, alone, the whole weight of campaigns all but desperate, or gloriously terminating a just warfare by his resources and courage,-presiding over the jarring elements of political council, alike deaf to the storms of all extremes, or directing the formation of a new government, for a great people, the first time that so vast an experiment had ever been tried by man; or, finally, retiring from the Supreme Power to which his virtue had raised him over the nation he had created, and whose destinies he had guided as long as his aid was required;-retiring from the veneration of all parties, of all nations, of all Inankind, in order that the rights of men might be conserved, and that his example might never be appealed to by vulgar tyrants.
This is the consummate glory of the great American ;—a triumphant warrior where the most sanguine had a right to despair; a successful ruler in all the difficulties of a course wholly untried; but a warrior, whose sword only left its sheath when the first law of our nature commanded it to be drawn; and a ruler, who, having tasted of supreme power, gently and unostentatiously desired that the cup might pass from him, nor would suffer more to wet his lips, than the most solemn and sacred duty to his country and his God required!
To his latest breath did this great patriot maintain the noble character of a captain the patron of peace, and a statesman the friend of justice. Dying, he bequeathed to his heirs the sword which he had worn in the war of liberty, charging them 'never to take it from the scabbard, but in selfdefence, or in defence of their country and her freedom; and commanding them, that, when it should thus be drawn, they should never sheath it nor give it up, but prefer falling with it in their hands to the relinquishment thereof,'—words, the majesty and simple eloquence of which, are not surpassed in the oratory of Athens and Rome.
It will be the duty of the historian and the sage, in all ages, to omit no occasion of commemorating this illustrious man; and, till time shall be no more, will a test of the
progress which our race made in wisdom and in virtue, be derived from the veneration paid to the immortal name of Washington.
EXERCISE XLVIII.-NECESSITY OF REFORM IN PARLIAMENT.
From his speech in the House of Commons, on the petition of the Friends of the People.
[This piece exemplifies the tones of earnest and animated declamation: it requires an attention to spirited utterance.]
I am aware of the difficulties I have to encounter in bringing forward this business; I am aware how ungracious it would be for this House to show that they are not the real representatives of the people; I am aware that the question has been formerly agitated on different occasions, by great and able characters, who have deserted the cause from despair of success; and I am aware that I must necessarily go into what may perhaps be supposed trite and worn-out arguments. I come forward on the present occasion, actuated solely by a sense of duty, to make a serious and important motion, which, I am ready fairly to admit, involves no less a consideration than a fundamental change in the government.
I feel, in the strongest manner, how very formidable an adversary I have to encounter in the right honourable gentleman opposite, (Mr. Pitt,) formidable from his talents, formidable from the influence of his situation; but still more formidable from having once been friendly to the cause of reform, and becoming its determined opponent, drawing off others from its standard.
With that right honourable gentleman I will never condescend to bargain, nor shall he endeavour to conciliate my favour by any mode of compliment; I have never disguised the objections I have to the way in which he came into power, and to the whole system of his government, since.
At the Revolution, the necessity of short parliaments was asserted; and every departure from these principles, is in some shape a departure from the spirit and practice of the constitution; yet, when they are compared with the present state of the representation, how does the matter stand? Are the elections free or are parliaments free? With respect to shortening the duration of parliament, it does not appear to me that it would be advantageous, without a total alteration of the present system.
Has not the patronage of peers increased? Is not the patronage of India now vested in the crown? Are all these innovations to be made in order to increase the influence of the executive power; and is nothing to be done in favour of the popular part of the constitution, to act as a counterpoise?
It may be said, that the House of Commons are really a just representation of the people, because, on great emergencies, they never fail to speak the sense of the people, as was the case in the American war, and in the Russian armament; but had the House of Commons had a real representation of the people, they would have interfered sooner on these occasions, without the necessity of being called upon to do so. I fear much that this House is not a real representation of the people, and that it is too much influenced by passion, prejudice, or interest.
This may for a time give to the executive government apparent strength; but no government can be either lasting or free, which is not founded on virtue, and on that independence of mind and conduct among the people, which creates energy, and leads to every thing that is noble and generous, or that can conduce to the strength and safety of a state.
"What constitutes a state ?
Not high raised battlement or laboured mound,
Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crown'd,
Where, laughing at the storm, proud navies ride;
Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride!
With powers as far above dull brutes endued,
In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks, and brambles rude,—
But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain.”
EXERCISE XLIX.-FALSE ELOQUENCE.-Anon.
From a speech in Congress on the Revenue Bill of 1833.
[Bombast, of which the following is a specimen,-is distinguished by vociferation and mouthing, and excessively swelling tone; along with which usually goes the accompaniment of overdone action,—a ceaseless sweep and swing of the arm;—the whole forming a full illustration of exaggeration and caricature.]
We understand it now.-The President is impatient to wreak his vengeance on South Carolina. Be it so. Pass your measure, sir,-unchain your tiger,-let loose your wardogs as soon as you please! I know the people you desire to war on. They await you with unflinching, unshrinking, unblanching firmness. I know full well the State you strike at. She is deeply enshrined in as warm affections, brave hearts, and high minds, as ever formed a living rampart for public liberty. They will receive this bill, sir, whether you pass the other or not, with scorn, and indignation, and detestation. They never will submit to it. They will see in it the iron crown of Charlemagne placed upon the head of your Executive. They will see in it the scene upon the Lupercal vamped up, and new-varnished. They will see in its hideous features of pains and penalties, a declaration of war in all but its form. They cannot, (for they are the best informed people on the face of the earth, or that ever have been on it, on the great principles of civil and political liberty,) but see in it the utter prostration and demolition of State rights, State constitutions, aye, and of the Federal constitution too.
Is this thing so coveted by, and gratifying to, the President, is this bloody bill, this Boston port-bill, so delightful to him, that it is to be preferred to that which is said to be pacificatory? Why, sir, if he must be gratified, must be amused and pleasurably employed, buy him a TEE-TO-TUM, or some other harmless toy, but do not give him the purse and sword of the nation, the army and navy, the whole military power of the country, as peaceful playthings to be used at his discretion.
If, however, this bill must pass,-if there be no substitute so palatable as blood, I withdraw my opposition to its being taken up, and only ask the privilege of exposing its details; although I clearly see that the interested passions on one side, and a supple subserviency on another, will insure its passage by a very large majority.