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assembly, as the one before which I speak, there is not an eye but must look reproof to this conduct, not a heart but must anticipate its condemnation. Filial piety! It is the primal bond of society. It is that instinctive principle, which, panting for its proper good, soothes, unbidden, each sense and sensibility of man. It now quivers on every lip. It now beams from every eye. It is that gratitude which, softening under the sense of recollected good, is eager to own the vast, countless debt, it never, alas! can pay, for so many long years of unceasing solicitudes, honorable self-denials, life-preserving cares. It is that part of our practice, where duty drops its awe, where reverence refines into love. It asks no aid of memory. It needs not the deductions of reason. Pre-existing, paramount over all, whether moral law or human rule, few arguments can increase and none can diminish it. It is the sacrament of our nature; not only the duty, but the indulgence of man. It is his first great privilege. It is among his last, most endearing delights, when the bosom glows with the idea of reverberated love; when to requite on the visitations of nature, and return the blessings that have been received, what was emotion, is fixed into vital principle ; what was instinct, is habituated into a master-passion, sways all the sweetest energies of man; hangs over each vicissitude of all that must pass away; aids the melancholy virtues in their last sad task of life; cheers the languor of decrepitude and age; explores the thought; explains the aching eye!
24. DEFENSE OF J. A. WILLIAMS, FOR A LIBEL ON THE CLEROT
It is necessary for me to set before you the picture my learned friend was pleased to draw of the clergy of the diocese of Durham, and I shall recall it to your minds almost in his own words. According to him, they stand in a peculiarly unfortunate situation; they are, in truth, the most injured of men.
They all, it seems, entertained the same generous sentiments with the rest of their countrymen, though they did not express them in the old, free English manner, by openly condemning the proceedings against the late queen; and after the course of unexampled injustice, against which she victoriously struggled, had been followed by the needless infliction of inhuman torture, to undermine a frame whose spirit no open hostility could daunt, and extinguish the life so long imbittered by the same foul arts —after that great princess had ceased to harass her enemies— after her glorious but unhappy life had closed, and that princely head was at last laid low by death, which, living, all oppression had only the more illustriously exalted—the venerable the clergy of Durham, I am now told for the first time, though less forward in giving vent to their feelings than the rest of their fellowcitizens—though not so vehement in their indignation at the matchless and unmanly persecution of the queen—though not so unbridled in their joy at her immortal triumph, nor so loud in their lamentations over her mournful and untimely end—did, nevertheless, in reality, all the while, deeply sympathize with her sufferings, in the bottom of their reverend hearts!
When all the resources of the most ingenious cruelty hurried her to a fate without parallel—if not so clamorous, they did not feel the least of all the members of the community—their grief was in truth too deep for utterance—sorrow clung round their bosoms—weighed upon their tongues, stifled every sound—and, when all the rest of mankind, of all sects and of all nations, freely gave vent to the feelings of our common nature, their silence, the contrast which they displayed to the rest of their species, proceeded from the greater depth of their affliction; they said the less, because they felt the more!
Oh! talk of hypocrisy after this! Most consummate of all hypocrites! After instructing your chosen official advocate to stand forward with such a defense—such an exposition of your motives—to dare utter the word hypocrisy, and complain of those who charged you with it! This is indeed to insult common sense, and outrage the feelings of the whole human race! If you were hypocrites before, you were downright, frank, honest hypocrites, to what you have now made yourselves—and surely, for all you have ever done or even been charged with, your worst enemies must be satiated with the humiliation of this day, its just atonement, and ample retribution!
25. Osmond's Dream.—Lewis.
Hark, fellows—Instruments of my guilt, listen to my punish ment !—Methought I wandered through the lowbrowed caverns where repose the reliques of my ancestors!—my eye dwelt with awe on their tombs; with disgust, on mortality's surrounding emblems!—Suddenly a female form glided along the vault; it was Angela!—She smiled upon me, and beckoned me to advance. I flew towards her; my arms were already unclosed to clasp her, when suddenly her figure changed, her face grew pale, a stream of blood gushed from her bosom!—Hassan, 'twas Evelina! Such as when she sank at my feet expiring, while my hand grasped the dagger, still crimsoned with her blood !—" We meet again this night!" murmured her hollow voice!" Now rush to my arms, but first see what you have made me !—Embrace me, my bridegroom! we must never part again!"—While speaking, her form withered away: the flesh fell from her bones; her eyes burst from their sockets; a skeleton, lothesome and meagre, clasped me in her molderiirg arms !—Her infected breath was mingled with mine; her rotting fingers pressed my hand, and my face was covered with her kisses !—Oh, how I trembled with disgust!—And now blue dismal flames gleamed along the walls; the tombs were rent asunder; bands of fierce spectres rushed round me in frantic dance !—Furiously they gnashed their teeth, while they gazed upon me, and shrieked in loud yell—" Welcome thou fratricide !—Welcome thou lost for ever!"—Horror burst the bands of sleep; distracted I flew hither: but my feelings— words are too weak, too powerless to express them.—Surely this was no idle dream!—'Twas a celestial warning; 'twas my better angel that whispered, "Osmond, repent your former crimes!—commit not new ones!"
Angela!—Oh! at that name, all again is calm in my bosom. Hushed by her image, my tumultuous passions sink to rest; and my terrors subside into that single fear, her loss!—My heart-strings are twisted round the maid, and ere I resign her, those strings must break. If I exist to-morrow night, she shall be mine. If I exist ?—Ha! whence that doubt ?" We meet again this night!"—so said the spectre!—Dreadful words, be ye blotted from my mind for ever!—Hassan, to your vigilance, I leave the care of my beloved. Fly to me that instant should any unbidden footstep approach your chamber-door. I'll to my couch again. Follow me, Saib, and watch me while I sleep. Then, if you see my limbs convulsed, my teeth clenched, my hair bristling, and cold dews trembling on my brow! Seize me, rouse me! Snatch me from my bed!—I must not dream again. —Oh! faithless sleep, why art thou too leagued with my foes? There was a time, when thy presence brought oblivion to my sorrows; when thy poppy crown was mingled with roses!— Now, fear and remorse are thy sad companions, and I shudder to see thee approach my couch! Blood trickles from thy garments: snakes writhe around thy brows; thy hand holds the well-known fatal dagger, and plunges it still reeking in mv breast!—then do I shriek in agony; then do I start distracted from thy arms! Oh! how I hate thee, sleep! Friend of virtue, Oh! how I dread thy coming!—
26. REFLECTIONS ON THE YOUTH AND THEATRICAL MANNER
or Mr. Pitt.—Walpole.
Sir,—I was unwilling to interrupt the course of this debate, while it was carried on with calmness and decency, by men who do not suffer the ardor of opposition to cloud their reason, or transport them to such expressions as the dignity of this assembly does not admit. I have hitherto deferred to answer the gentleman who declaimed against the bill, with such fluency of rhetoric, and such vehemence of gesture; who charged the advocates of the expedients now proposed, with having no regard to any interests but their own, and with making laws only to consume paper, and threatened them with the defection of their adherents, and the loss of their influence, upon this new discovery of their folly, and their ignorance. Nor, sir, do 1 now answer him for any other purpose than to remind him how little the clamors of rage, and petulancy of invectives, contribute to the purposes for which this assembly is called together;— how little the discovery of truth is promoted, and the security of the nation established, by pompous diction and theatrical emotions. Formidable sounds, and furious declamations, confident assertions, and lofty periods, may affect the young and inexperienced; and perhaps the gentleman may have contracted his habits of oratory, by conversing more with those of his own age, than with such as have had more opportunities of acquiring knowledge, and more successful methods of communicating their sentiments. If the heat of his temper, sir, would suffer him to attend to those whose age, and long acquaintance with business, give them an indisputable right to deference and superiority, he would learn, in time, to reason rather than declaim; to prefer justness of argument, and an accurate knowledge of facts, to sounding epithets and splendid superlatives, which may disturb the imagination for a moment, but leave no lasting impression on the mind. He will learn, sir, that to accuse and prove are very different, and that reproaches unsupported by evidence, affect only the character of him that utters them. Excursions of fancy and flights of oratory, are indeed pardonable in young men, but in no other; and it would surely contribute more, even to the purpose for which some gentlemen appear to speak, (that of depreciating the conduct of the administration,) to prove the inconveniences and injustice of this bill, than barely to assert them, with whatever magnificence of language, or appearance of zeal, honesty, or compassion.
27. REPLY TO THE ILL-TIMED REFLECTIONS OF MR. WALPOLB
Sir,—The atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honorable gentleman has, with such spirit and decency charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny; but content myself with wishing—that I may be one of those whose follies cease with their youth; and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience.
Whether youth can be imputed to any man as a reproach, I will not, sir, assume the province of determining—but surely, age may become justly contemptible—if the opportunities which it brings have passed away without improvement, and vice appears to prevail when the passions have subsided. The wretch who, after having seen the consequences of a thousand errors, continues still to blunder, and whose age has only added obstinacy to stupidity, is surely the object of either abhorrence or contempt; and deserves not that his grey hairs should secure him from insult. Much more, sir, is he to be abhorred—who, as he has advanced in age, has receded from virtue, and becomes more wicked with less temptation: who prostitutes himself for money which he cannot enjoy, and spends the remains of his life in the ruin of his country.
But youth, sir, is not my only crime. I have been accused of acting a theatrical part.
A theatrical part may either imply—some peculiarities of gesture,—or a dissimulation of my real sentiments, and the adoption of the opinions and language of another man.
In the first sense, the charge is too trifling to be confuted; and deserves only to be mentioned that it may be despised. I am at liberty, like every other man, to use my own language; and though I may, perhaps, have some ambition,—yet to please this gentleman, I shall not lay myself under any restraint, nor very solicitously copy his diction, or his mien; however matured by age, or modeled by experience. If any man shall, by charging me with theatrical behavior, imply that I utter any sentiments but my own, I shall treat him as a calumniator and a villain; nor shall any protection shelter him from the treat