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PRIVATE LIBRARY OF

CHARLES

H.

BETTS

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"And please return it You may think this a strange request, but I find that although many of my frLends are poor arithmeticians they are nearly all of them good book-keepers."— Scott.
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EDMUND BURKE : APOSTLE OF JUSTICE AND LIBERTY .

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EDMUND BURKE After the Portrait hij Sir Joshua Reynolds .THE EIGHT HON.

' — Dr. . where • extraordinary man. DUNDAS PILLANS-^ such a man that if you met him for the first time you were stopped by a drove of oxen. 1905 BOSTON COLLKUE LIBRAK? OSJi. JOHNSON'S COURT.G." EDMUND BURKE: APOSTLE OF JUSTICE AND LIBERTY T. he'd talk to you in such a manner that when you parted you would say. Johnson.'irKirr hiItL. WATTS 17. and you and he stepped aside to take shelter but for five minutes. LONDON. is in the street. & CO. This is an "Burke. FLEET STREET. E. Sir. mass..

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.... . - - 175 CHAPTER Aphorisms - - - - 184 Concluding Remarks -----CHAPTER VII. 195 O 186 .CONTENTS Preface ... V. - of the American Colonies - - 31 Indian Affairs _.. IV... VI. - PAGE 7 The Man. 69 CHAPTER The French Revolution .. CHAPTER I. CHAPTER III... His Genius and His Gospel - 11 CHAPTER The Revolt II.. - - - - 143 CHAPTER Constitutional Principles .

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PREFACE In these pages we have placed before the reader passages from Burke's writings and speeches which appear to us to give a clear idea of his political and economic principles. exhausting But if we have paved the way to a more extended study have been achieved. We want a Burke to remind us that the truths he enunciated all were **not for an age. be written without it. indeed. but for time". and afterwards embodied in the emancipating legislation of the Liberal party during two generations. have fallen into sad discredit and oblivion. our object will to The present would seem be a particularly fitting time for recalling public attention to the profound wisdom and consummate statesman- ship unfolded in the works of this great principles man. which The were which he advocated. Many such volumes might. and in an . of Burke's works. that it We do not claim for this work is a complete presentation of the subject.

.PREFACE era such as this. D. when principle and consistency have been discarded in a heedless competition for the favour of the mob. T. and when be the the main object of politicians appears to capture of votes by the most reckless promises. those fundamental principles of that true Liberalism of which he was the first and foremost exponent. 1905. P. we cannot do better than turn for guidance to the words of one who never faltered in his loyalty to Justice and Liberty. when the sound traditions of English constitutionalism have been abandoned for political trickery . September.

Chapter

I.

THE MAN, HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL
The
career of

Edmund Burke

is

one of the most

signal examples in British history of the

triumph

of

genius and character over apparently insurmountable
obstacles.

The date
fixed,

of his birth
it

has never been absolutely
generally

but

is

now

thought

to

have
of

been January 29th, 1729 (new

style).

The son

an obscure Dublin attorney, he suffered a double
disadvantage

from

his

Irish

parentage
a

and

the

religion of his mother,

who was

Roman

Catholic.

The
still

battle of the

Boyne and the

siege of

Derry were

comparatively fresh recollections in the English
of
It

mind, and the penal laws against the adherents
the ancient religion disgraced the statute-book.

was a time, therefore, when

racial

and

religious

prejudice existed to a degree hardly conceivable to

the present generation, and
of

it

requires

little

exercise

the imagination to realise the extent to which
11

;

12

THE MAN, HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL

Burke's origin handicapped him in the race
It

of life.

was an age,

too,

when

social

and

political condi-

tions were anything but conducive to the success of

struggling genius.

The country was

still

under the

sway

of

that

**

Venetian Constitution" upon which
out
the vials
of

Disraeli poured

his wrath.

The

" revolution families " viewed the higher dignities of
state as their

own

exclusive perquisites, and guarded

them with a
Hesperides.

vigilance worthy of the dragon of the

A

political career, to

one not born in

the purple, offered, therefore, no prospect of success

and

it

is

significant

of

the

genius and

force

of

character with which the Dublin attorney's son was

endowed

that, in

spite

of

these

disadvantages, he

climbed to the highest pinnacle of political distinction,

became the guiding

spirit of

the proud oligarchy

which ruled the nation, and

finally acquired a reputa-

tion for profound statesmanship which, passing far

beyond the confines
at
last

of his

own

country,

made him

the oracle of

both the Old and the

New

World.
It is

not our purpose to give a detailed account of
is

Burke's career, but some brief outline
for a

necessary

proper appreciation of his work and character.

to career as secretary to for Hamilton. however. and by an essay entitled '* A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin Sublime and Beautiful. and of In 1782 Lord Rockingham Burke was given the post Forces Paymaster of It the is and a seat in the Privy Council. on coming Prime Minister. returned to power. . HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL 13 After taking his in 1748.Speech " Ireland. Lord Rockingham. and he entered the House of Commons as member for Wendover. but lost the seat at the General Election of 1780." a clever imitation of the style of Bolingbroke. the abolition of on Irish imprisonment for debt.THE MAN. and entered as a student Middle Temple in 1750. In 1774 he was returned for Bristol. Dublin. and the repeal of the penal laws against Roman Catholics. He won soon. and distinction as an author by his '' Vindication of Natural Society." political of our Ideas of the In 1761 he commenced his " Single. He was thereupon elected for Malton in Yorkshire. having given umbrage to his constituents by his advocacy of the removal of restrictions trade. Chief Secretary whom In he 1765 was introduced by Lord be- Charlemont. forsook law for literature. to came London. he of the degree at Trinity College. appointed Burke his private secretary.

however. was during this period that of his he raised two of the greatest monuments of genius —his defence of the people India against the . genius who. while the highest were buted among aristocratic mediocrities. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL significant of Whig exclusiveness that the brilliant says. ficent It close. when the defeat of Fox's East India Bill in of the House Lords terminated its existence. as Disraeli of had "restored the moral existence relegated to the party.14 THE MAN. The sudden death of Rockingham brought his second ministry to an abrupt friend." should have been position. at which he continued to reside until his death. until December of the same year. power. again in the After a brief interval Burke. without offices a subordinate even distri- Cabinet rank. 1783. in April. of the became Paymaster Forces Duke of Portland's Coalition Ministry. but the remaining years of his life brought him fame. fell to and influence far greater It than ever the lot of Cabinet Minister. which only lasted. near Beaconsfield. Burke never again held ministerial rank. and deprived Burke of a generous was through Lord Rockingham's muniof appreciation his services that Burke was of enabled in 1769 to purchase the estate Butler's Court.

and he died three years afterwards at his home The at Beaconsfield. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL Warren Hastings. In each them he stands forth conspicuous as a leading actor. and 15 oppression of his unrelenting opposition to the revolutionary propaganda of France. under any circumstances. The King had intended under the title of to raise him to the peerage of Lord Beaconsfield. As he himself put " Justice itself the great standing " policy of *' civil society. and any eminent departure lies from it. word Justice. historical three great events with which Burke's of name will ever be associated are the revolt the trial the American Colonies." under the " suspicion of being no policy at cornerstone of This was the It Burke's political edifice. to and in order thoroughly understand his attitude towards them we must arrive at a correct appreciation of the principle upon which that in the is attitude was based. and the project literally was abandoned. on July 8th. but the death Burke's only son in 1794 deprived hereditary honours of all value in the old statesman's eyes.THE MAN. all. and the French Revolution. It is summed up it. was . 1797. of Warren of Hastings. This domestic calamity brought down his grey hairs in sorrow to the grave.

" he said. an opportunist in the higher sense. It justice that Burke ranged himself on was to avenge outraged justice that Burke impeached . but whether to is not your ''interest *' make is them happy. No man ever lived who : could more readily sacrifice himself for principle seat for witness his forfeiture of his practical Bristol. " is *' not whether you have a right to render it your people miserable. under cover of which they constituted the KevoluIt tionary Tribunal and established the guillotine. and for his abstract theories paraded by the French republicans. and within very definite limits." And of again: natural Government not made in virtue . HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL because the revolted colonists were struggling for their side. But where government was concerned he derided the pedantic enforcement of theoretic rights. the great Governor-General of India violation of and it was the justice by the all French Jacobins that to impelled Burke to call Europe arms against them. made him also to some extent.16 THE MAN. This intense and passionate love for of justice accounts Burke's indifference to the mere mechanical contempt of the details of government. " The question with me.

to mob. Wherever it democracy has achieved uncontrolled power we see violating the most elementary principles of justice. c . which of it. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL s ^ a 17 ** rights." of It was for this reason that denied the right an absolute democracy. of which he says " The whole scheme of " our mixed Constitution is to prevent any one of its " principles from being carried as far as " itself —taken by he — it would go. so that no individual or class of individuals in the community should be upon any other. to devise a system of checks and counter- checks. in a position to It commit injustice was in this respect that he saw wisdom in the British : system of limited monarchy. was on no account is be tolerated. was necessary. and. a privileged class. any more to than an absolute monarchy. or a promiscuous alike inimical to justice." main end of it government —justice in a highly complex society. The truth of this theory becoming more and more apparent in our day. in his opinion. whether in hands of a single tyrant." the trolled power.— THE MAN. " '' be reckoned among Uncon- the legitimate forms of government. therefore. may and do exist in total is indepenof " dence Government to provide for contrivance " human wisdom To obtain this human wants.

Burke's profound knowledge of history and practical experience of contemporary politics strengthened his doubt of the wisdom of the masses. " volume He is says in one place ** : In history a great unrolled for our instruction. own the mob shouting as of man. He had heard old.18 THE MAN. but Barabbas. and convinced him that they could not be trusted with unfettered power. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL and of and committing which acts of oppression spoliation throw into the shade some the worst excesses of crowned despots. this was knowledge that made him indifferent to numerical representation in the Constitution. drawing the " materials of future wisdom from the past errors '* and infirmities of mankind. passage he says : In one " I see as little of policy or utility . classes when endowed his with supreme power the experience of own day showed that exempt from with his " Not this the masses of the people were not similar ears weaknesses. and when he was defending the peoples It India against the most intolerable oppression." The record of the past proved that ''errors and infirmities" were inherent in all persons and ." when the American colonists were struggling for the elementary rights of of freemen.

" . but they are not " the whole consideration. told by the head. of to act with the weight to and character in we must suppose them social "be that state habitual discipline in " which the wiser. when you break up " beautiful order. But when you this "disturb this harmony. and the less " provided with the goods of fortune. things the voice of this " grand chorus of national *' harmony ought to have a mighty and decisive influence. and. when you separate of common sort to men from their proper " chieftains. as "well as " the of habit and prejudice. this array of truth and nature. conduct. the more expert.THE MAN. by conducting. enlighten and '' protect the weaker. the less knowing. *' When great multitudes of nature I recog- act together under that discipline In all " nise the people. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL " as there 19 is of right in laying down a principle that " a majority of men. and the more " opulent. To enable men of a people. and that as such their will " " is to be law. so as " army. are to be " considered the people. I no " called form them into an adverse longer in know that venerable object the people such a disbanded army of " deserters and vagabonds./ Numbers in a " State are always of consideration.

from a pro*' vince to a parish. whatever remains " will." to Pitt in 1795.20 THE MAN. entitled " Thoughts and Details on Scarcity. superior orb and mover of their duty. which he submitted principle in the he enunciates this following clear and unmistakeable terms : " It is in it the power of government to prevent "much '* evil. steadily. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL But while Burke professed a certain opportunism in practical of statesmanship the day. his to meet the varying rested exigencies political edifice upon a principle which has run through the whole of English history. and from a parish to a private to their fall. to the '' public safety. truly " The State ought to confine itself to what is and properly public . provide for itself. and upon which the permadepends nence of British greatness — the principle of individual effort and enterprise as opposed to State tutelage and control. severely. in a manner. But as they " descend from the State to a province. " vigilantly. proceed first only this. Statesmen who dignity in " know themselves to will. In his masterly economic treatise. with the which the " belongs ** wisdom. " house. to the public peace. can do very little positive good. to the public order. they go on accelerated They . courageously.

these weighty words should be laid to heart as among . HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL 21 " cannot do the lower duty. is when the old British independence of character being sapped by the insidious inroads made by action. " They ought to " things " alone ." In these days. they will certainly fail in the higher. The hand in of authority was seen in everytherefore. of " thing and '* every place. in All. that happened amiss affairs the course even domestic as it " *' was attributed to the Government. I can never quote "France without a foreboding sigh The leading good intention " vice of the French monarchy was in " ill-directed.THE MAN. and a restless desire of governing too " much. always happens in this kind of officious universal " interference. and. I what began in odious power ended may say without exception. in contemp- " tible imbecility. what helongs and what manners fallen . Our Legislature has " into this fault as well as other Governments " have fallen into it all more or less. " always. in proportion as *' they try it. the State upon the sphere of individual and when " munici- " palism " threatens gradually to impose upon the citizen the worst form of Continental bureaucracy. know the different departments of to laws. can regulate. and.

The prophets have generally been stoned by their contemporaries and apotheosised by was no exception struggles of his their descendants.22 THE MAN. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL made the most valuable contributions tion of It is to the instruc- mankind. but his warnings fell on deaf ears. perhaps. The great Governor-General trial was acquitted. fulfilled In the former instance. and one may range to the imagination in speculating upon the position which the British Empire would now occupy had Burke's wise and statesmanlike policy of conciliation been adopted. or. one of of the strangest ironies of history that so many the great men who illustrate its pages are associated with splendid failure. The " might-have-beens " of history are ever an interesting subject give free for consideration. we should rather say that they sowed in apparent failure the seed of principles which in after ages burst forth into an abundant harvest of success. The convulsions . and Burke to this rule. after the had dragged its slow of length along for seven years. In two of the great life — the Revolt of the Colonies and the Trial of Warren Hastings —he failed magnifi- cently. In the case of India he failed again. his predictions were to the letter.

The Colonial policy which he set forth in the peroration to his "conciliation" speech since is the policy which has of ever prevailed . germ The whole subsequent Colonial and Indian was influenced by the prinwith policy of Great Britain ciples which Burke enunciated such heroic courage and such consummate power. But both of future these apparent failures contained the success. that we can only morally justify our possession of that country by acting as the guardians of the interests of all its inhabitants. government any British Colony and the exploita- tion of India in the sole interests of a commercial corporation received its quietus for ever. Never again was it possible to to apply the Georgian theories of .THE MAN. and the dying embers tion of that once blazing conflagra- expired amid general indifference. With regard career to the third great episode in Burke's of —his struggle against it the doctrines the French Kevolution triumph in this — is curious to reflect that his case has since been turned into . HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL Europe during the revolutionary period the recollection of Hastings' alleged 23 obliterated delinquencies. and the government our his great oriental dependency has been based upon fundamental proposition.

the royal family. with the glance of genius. itself His splendid imagination concentrated of upon the aris- immediate sufferings tocracy. the to and the church. the entire exclusion of of the appalling misery into which two centuries injustice had plunged the masses it of the population. 1789. and the the basis now and recognised as it civilised society is generally admitted that its the inherent vices of the old monarchy made root-and-branch destruction inevitable. to be followed by despotism. Rights. the subject. At the same time is impossible not to be struck with the prophetic insight which he displayed in dealing with the great drama of the Revolution . the are Habeas Corpus Act. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL The "prinin defeat ciples by the verdict " of of posterity. In this instance Burke did not show his customary diligence in mastering the minutiae of expression.." which by were anticipated the English constitution Magna Bill of of Charta. While. to use his the own he " wound himself into inmost it " recesses and labyrinths of the Indian detail. he foresaw." is evident that he was not equally conversant with the condition of France before the Revolution. 24 THE MAN. which the revolutionary . the anarchy.

his almost . inevit- and the noyades were the harvest which sprang ably from the fatal seed sown by Louis XIV. condemns of the them Reign to eternal infamy as the real authors of Terror.THE MAISI. of The secret of Burke's achievement fame and influence in the face of unparalleled obstacles lay in his profound knowledge . The horrors of the guillotine. by Richelieu and Mazarin by de Monte- span and de Maintenon . many genera- History. their unscrupulous instruments and their abandoned favourites. and his unrivalled powers in communicating his ideas to the world both by speech and pen. In this country the public his man who can of boldly maintain opinions in the face popular clamour always in the long run exacts . superhuman his unswerv- insight into the heart of great questions ing adherence to principle. Louis XV. and . instead of to the frightful misgovernment and inhumanity for which had disgraced the monarchy tions. de Pompadour and du Barri.. in recording the iniquities of the kings of France. the September massacres. and the only mis- take he made was in ascribing these disasters to the deliberate wickedness of his contemporaries. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL 25 excesses would inevitably entail .

devoted great attention to commercial affairs. in the splendour of his diction. we in his speech . If we seek lucid exposition of a find it scheme of constructive policy. during his career in Parliament. and. and in the brilliancy of his imagination.26 THE MAN. industrial. of states- Burke may be described as the Shakespeare men. and economic questions was perhaps the most remarkable fact of all. Burke's knowledge was simply years which monumental. of varied for his mind was a marvellous storehouse tion. It is remarkable that a statesman who soared abstract politics should at this capacity life. to the highest flights of the same time have been endowed with for dealing with the practical issues of But in the wide range of his subjects. plays. During the intervened between his arrival in London and his entry into politics he must have studied unceasingly. HIS GENIUS AND HIS^GOSPEL attention and respect. If we take any one shall of his great oratorical dis- we find it a complete is and harmonious required to composition. He anticipated most of the economic truths which Adam Smith afterwards gave to the world. informa- His practical grasp of commercial. lacking nothing that it make a masterpiece. for his antecedents and training were not directed to that particular sphere.

with which he concluded his speech on the East India of finished Bill . which the previous generations had with infinite difficulty and disturbance curtailed. or some of his efforts in the impeachment of Hastings.L. 3IAS3. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL on Economical Reform. and admiration to treatises the statesman equally good. in the "Reflections on the ''Revolution in France" —a description which. his masterly oration to For invective we can turn to on the Nabob of Arcot's debts. for is beauty of imagery and impassioned eloquence." a most powerful analysis of the forces that were then at work to corrupt and undermine the power and influence of the House of Commons. As an exponent of British .BUiiro^ COLhEQZ LIBRARY mjL^NWr HII. Or take the famous panegyric on Fox. and to restore the dangerous preponderance of the Crown. 27 THE MAN. ! His written others political are Among may be mentioned his " Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents. probably unsurpassed in English literature. tribute of friendship to the man. Everyone has read his brilliant description of Marie Antoinette as Dauphiness. One of of the is most appalling word-pictures of the horrors war that in which he describes in the " Nabob " speech the devastation of the Carnatic by Hyder Ali. what a consumwhat a splendid of mate piece eloquence it is.

In a society comprising. Perhaps the most significant evidence genius is of Burke's to be found in the esteem in which he was held by the great men with whom he associated. where you were " stopped by a drove of oxen. you " would say.' " Nor was he less admirable on the social side than on the intellectual. and Samuel Johnson. Sir. such intellectual Joshua Reynolds." and his speech at the close of the poll at Bristol in 1774. is in Johnson's appre- such a man that if you met " him for the first time in the street. Their opinion of ciation '' : him was summed up Burke. when you ^Darted." his "Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs. where he defines the of position and duties of a Member Parliament." who met him in 1782. and you and he stepped *' aside to take shelter but for five minutes. he'd talk to ** you in such a manner ' that. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL and constitutional unrivalled.28 THE MAN. thus enthusiastically describes him : " He is . he was nised as more than the equal of them all. all afford convincing proof of the truth of this statement. giants as Sir among others. Oliver Goldsmith. recog- Edward Gibbon. principles first practice his *' he stands The part of Keflections on "the Revolution " in France. This is an extraordinary man. The author of "Evelina.

his air his voice . and powerful " various. Indian and Jacobin One of the greatest merits of Burke's speeches and writings consists in their perfect of composition. . at last .: THE " *' 31AN. more " matter than the manner all." Another attribute for which Burke will always be remembered w^as his goodness of heart and benevolence." Miss Burney then records with as " Neither how he darted from subject to subject as much is rapidity entertainment. " his conversation delightful. adding in the is the charm of his discourse . his address graceful . Crabbe. clear. his manners are attractive. his figure is noble. that effect in " related from him loses half *' its not being related by him. and eloquent . his language is copious. Since we lost Garrick " I have seen nobody so enchanting. is penetrating. found in Burke a w^arm and generous protector his practical and philanthropy w^as manifested in innuto the victims of merable cases oppression. The poet. They resemble some harmonious masterpiece of architecture. " sonorous. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL 29 tall. full symmetry and unity to Hence it is difficult convey their value and excellence by detached passages. after appealing in vain to various eminent men of the day. commanding. therefore.

selected what best present to the reader a we have thought would correct view of Burke's principles as unfolded during the three great struggles of his life. it would be necessary of to quote all is. . applies works as a whole. all *' his works. ivrote. We have. just as the spectator can feast his eye upon some particular beauty of a noble edifice. indeed. for it is a misfortune to miss a word. this observation to his its order to Hazlitt. so can the in reader turn to passages of supreme excellence Burke's orations and dwell on them with equal zest.30 THE MAN. "no single speech Burke's which can : " convey a satisfactory idea of his powers of mind ** to do him justice. although to grasp their full merit his productions must be read from exordium to peroration." he says.'' The only specimen Burke that " he But. in the following chapters. of ''There is. HIS GENIUS AND HIS GOSPEL entirety in which must be viewed in be thoroughly appreciated.

probably under Burke's influence. Administration lasted only about twelve and the ministries that followed drove the colonists into open rebellion by their reckless disregard principles of of justice. THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES In 1765. The Rockingham months. which he predicted would end in the dismemberment 31 of the . The Act was repealed in 1766.Chapter II. when Burke became of private secretary to the that Marquess first Rockingharu. of the most elementary fits and their exasperating overbearing truculence and craven concession. and he had ever since devoted his attention to the colonial question with that grasp of great principles and painstaking mastery of details which he alone among statesmen combined. Burke maintained a consistent but futile opposition to this disastrous policy. the trouble with the American colonies acute. during statesman's ministry. was becoming and took the form of bitter opposition to the hated Stamp Act.

— 32 . Rose Fuller. however. THE REVOLT OF THE AMEBICAN COLONIES His protests and warnings were. for On April 19th. Empire. when the . to oration. extracts will afford a general idea of and of the skill with which they were developed : " Could anything be a subject of more just alarm " to America than to see you go out of the plain high " road of finance. member Rye. An animated and interesting debate ensued. merely for the ''sake of insulting your Colonies? No man ever " doubted that the commodity of tea could bear an " imposition of threepence. 1774. and not from by the House at colonial taxation levied Westminster. and also the appropriation of the said duty. or will bear a penny. and give up your most certain " revenues and your clearest interest. The following his arguments. and he was always in a hopeless minority in the House of Commons. per of the whole tea House consider the duty pound on imposed upon the American Colonies. moved that the resolve itself into a to House "that day seven night" Committee of 3d. which Burke contributed a line brilliant The he took was that the Mother Country should seek to derive benefit from Colonial trade. Mr. unheeded. But no commodity will " bear threepence.

upon your wisdom " to persist in a solemn parliamentary declaration of ** the expediency of any object. you " pray. " and nothing else. and two " millions of people are resolved not to pay. it Your act of 1767 " asserts that is expedient to raise a revenue in of 1769. It is a principle of political expediency. on the j " principle " a slave was demanded. " America . that ** we are at issue. by someit is thing much stronger than words. not declaratory oj right D . contradicts the act of 1767 '* and. would have made him ' " It is then. for which. upon the principle of this measure. " lings have ruined Mr. " but the Would twenty Hampden's fortune? No!i . at the " same time.y THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES *' 33 general feelings of men are irritated. Theirs were formerly the called feel- Hampden when upon for the shil- " payment of twenty shillings. Sir. And . ** The feelings of the Colonies were formerly the feelings " of Great Britain. is Act. " revenue. not this circumstance escape you of this it "is very material: that the preamble " which we wish to repeal. payment it of half twenty shillings. Sir. " ings of Mr. asserts that It is a reflection '' not expedient. let make no sort of provision. your act which takes away that .

for has " of late been ever at war with your interest. But what dignity absurdity is derived from the perseverance in " more than I ever could discern. and every idea of your policy. a quiddity. The honourable in " gentleman has said well *' —indeed. Sir. Show it the " thing you contend for to be reason . and then am content to " allow " is it what dignity you please. an exercise you are now contending which for by ways and they " means. show it to be the means of attainI " ing some useful end . but even a "name. not only a substance. but this dignity of it "yours a terrible incumbrance to you. most of his general observations I agree with him —he says . *' you confess. though were obeyed. show to be " common sense .34 THE BEVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES some gentlemen seem *' as to argue it . your " equity. a " thing that wants. tell you. know not how is happens. to be utterly insufficient for their purpose. " They " I for a thing which is neither abstract right " nor profitable enjoyment. it is only a " recital of the expediency of a certain exercise of a " right *' su^Dposed already to have been asserted . " You are therefore at this moment in the awkward " situation of fighting for a phantom. that your dignity it is tied to it.

you had. and " promised that repeal to the obstinate Americans " which they had refused in an easy. you began with violence " before terrors could have any effect. in case by outrages. your ministers immediately begged pardon." " If this dignity. remove from a bad " position as quickly as you can.THE liEVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES " that this subject does not stand as " Oh. both of them. preposterously. " there was a time for preserving " ciling " 1768. good-natured. " which had been publicly and avowedly dissolved for . " complying British Parliament. it and for recon- with any concession. and " the necessity of yielding. this . had been consulted. grow upon " 3^ou every hour of your delay. . session of If in the session of that idle terror and empty " menaces. " your concessions had been returned " But. The disgrace. " repealed these taxes " would . then your strong operations have come justified and enforced. as you were often pressed to do. either and good or " bad. ever}^ hour you continue on " ill-chosen ground your difficulties thicken on you " and therefore my conclusion is. which *' is to stand in the place of just policy and common sense. it. certainly not ! 35 it did formerly. The assemblies.

have been Let the memory of all happy under that system. " the very sound of them. hate Leave the Americans as " they anciently stood. I nor " attempting to mark their boundaries. " and complaining of faction. tax herself. Be content to " bind America by laws of trade . and again. on " both sides. Your ministerial directors blustered 'Mike tragic tyrants here. of if she has taxable matter in her. and then went mumping " with a sore leg in America. " actions. revert to your old principles it " seek peace and ensue '* — leave America. They " and we. to I am not " here going into the distinctions rights. do not I "enter into these metaphysical distinctions. will die along with it. you have always . and these distinctions. which represented " as friends to a revenue from the Colonies.— 36 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES " their contumacy. are called together to receive your " submission. I them hope " nobody in this House will hereafter have the impu" dence to defend American taxes in the *' name of ministry. in contradiction to that good old mode. canting and whining. and " their and our ancestors." '' Again. born of " our unhappy contest. be extinguished for ever.

they are bound in all ' their property and industry by the restraints at the ' you can imagine on commerce. which will they take ? will They ' cast your sovereignty in your Sir. and same . you sophisticate and poison the very source ' of government. let face. These are the argu- ' ments of states . and kingdoms. and ' consequences odious to those you govern. the gentlemen . unwisely ' fatally. from the unlimited and illimitable nature of supreme sovereignty. ' ' you will teach itself them by these means in to call ' that drive sovereignty question.. Do not burthen them by taxes you were ' not used to do so from the beginning. ' trade. they Leave the rest to ' the schools for there only may be discussed ' with safety. But if. for binding their . ' on the other side best of call forth all their ability let the ' them get up and tell me what one character ' of liberty the of slavery Americans have. and what one brand if ' they are free from. Nobody ' will be argued into slavery. intemperately. by urging subtle deductions. Let this be ' your reason for not taxing. that sovereignty and their ' cannot be reconciled. When you freedom ' him hard. THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES done Let this be your reason 37 ' it. If the boar will surely turn upon the ' hunters.

full the fire of ' and when he has modelled the ideas by further experience. if revolt against their parent? He says ' they are not free in is their present state. because Manchester and other So. will be no compensation either to his ' feelings or his understanding. He ' has said that the Americans are our children. of you bring them '? to bear the burthens in is ' unlimited revenue too will feel The Englishman is ' America that this slavery — that it ' legal slavery. ' because some towns in England are not represented. They ask for ' our children . because the ' natural resistance of things. and ' how can they that. [Lord is Carmarthen]. then. ' England not free . he ' lively imagination will be ' an ornament to his country in either House. When will they bear the burthens unlimited ' monopoly.38 THE BE VOLT OF THE time are to A:\IEBICAN COLONIES ' made pack-horses the of every tax 3^011 choose ' impose. without least share in of granting ' them. of who spoke ingenuous of a some time youth . hinder our government. but when children Is it ' bread. ' considerable places are not represented. ' America are ' is to have no representative at ' all. we are not to give a stone. and the various mutations of ' time. or any . ''A noble ' lord ago.

to be free and think they are it Your scheme yields no "revenue. which we are not able for their to work " off. look to the consequences. " Well. to me.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES scheme 39 '* of government. and to reflect with a true resemblance " the beauteous countenance of British liberty. and before I . my inclination. are " to turn to we them the shameful parts to give of our constitufor their "tion? are we them our weakness " strength. If " Will they be content in such a state of slavery? " not. Sir. it therefore. " disobedience and such is the state of America. disorder. " to govern a people " Reflect how you are who think they ought not. to serve them freedom? " If this be the case. from being any more than " a sort of approximation to the right — is it. yields nothing but discontent. "that the Colonies are " *' to recede from infinitely? When this child of ours wishes to assimilate to its filial parent. ask yourselves this question. indeed. to —that —my voice is. and the " slough of slavery. I have recovered a little. our opprobrium for their glory. " that. carries me no " further — all is confusion beyond it. . after wading up to your eyes in blood. you " could only end just where you began " tax where no revenue "fails is to be found.

if we abandon the '' practice of taxation ? *' For my part. immediately. they ought . and by no other instrument " than the executive power *' . to be "just the most reconcilable things in the world. the other. all. I look upon the rights stated in that I " act exactly in the manner in which viewed them I " on its very first proposition. As all these provincial legislatures all " are only co-ordinate to each other. on the imperial rights privileges Great Britain. " Parliament of Great Britain *' The sits at : the head of her extensive empire in two capacities one as the local all " legislature of this island. is what her imperial " character. to lay " before you. and the which the " Colonists ought to enjoy under these rights. providing for things at " home. " she superintends all the several inferior legislatures. " of I look. as from the throne of heaven.40 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES down must say something " *' sit I to another point is to with which gentlemen m'ge us. with great humility. " and guides and controls them without anni- " hilating any. in which. and which have " often taken the liberty. of What become *' the declaratory act asserting the entireness of legislative *' British authority. and I think I call her nobler capacity. I say.

attribute the part taken by me " and my friends If I in this business to a desire of getting " his places. " noble lord. even sadness. My " excellent and honourable friend under " floor " great " me on the [Mr. or as any other person and I know that "the way I take is not the road to preferment. Dowdeswell] toil has trod that road with of for upwards twenty years together. and. " idea. than stand answerable to God " for embracing a system that tends to the destruction " of some of the very best and fairest of his works. probably. since I sat. He is not yet arrived at the noble lord's destination.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES be subordinate to her. " But I know the map of England. indeed. . much heavier. The noble lord [Lord North] will. all his But I had " rather bear the brunt of " blows wit. " On this business of to America I I confess I am one " serious. as well as the . " nor effectually afford mutual assistance. nor hope for mutual justice. and his argument. it have had but " opinion concerning " in Parliament. Let him enjoy this happy and original deprived him all of it. " as usual. 41 ''to else they can neither " preserve mutual peace. and before I sat. I should take away " most of his wit.

* for no other reason than that I " think it laid deep in your truest interests. Burke again brought the question before the House of Commons in a series of resolutions affirming that the North American Colonies had been taxed by the Imperial Parliament without representation there the . That each Colony its possessed a General Assembly of own. no method had hitherto been devised for procuring such representation. " authority in Parliament. it " by limiting the exercise. whoever " may accompany on our journey. the tracks of my worthy friend are those . all may laugh at us honestly and " solemnly declare I have in seasons adhered to " the system of 1766. " I have ever wished to follow " lead to honour.42 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES " However. because I tread the us. . that. owing to the distance of Colonies from the Mother Country and other circumstances. I know they same road or wdioever Long may we " together. wdiich had That is to the policy of the first Eockingham Administration. fixes on the firmest well-grounded consistent. 1775. Until you come back to " that system there will be no peace for England. and that." On March 22nd. " foundations a real.

to repeal That it might be desirable the Acts for taxing the Colonies. 43 at various the the King's service and that their so. The most notable of these were the Boston Port Act. During the year that had elapsed since Burke's previous oration. closing that town against all commerce until the tea. and their readiness to do had been frequently acknowledged by Parliament. right to grant same. and that it would be proper to improve the Admiralty Courts and make better provision for the judges thereof. and for coercing those who had resisted them. and be only removable by the King in Council . matters had been going from bad to worse in the relations between England and her North American possessions. and united them in one common bond union against their oppressors. which had been thrown . acts coercion and which had set the whole of the Colonies in a of blaze. that this That experience showed mode of voting supplies was better than that of granting subsidies in Parliament to be raised and paid in the Colonies. That it might office be proper that Colonial judges should hold during good behaviour. The of Home Govern- ment had passed various reprisal.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES times freely granted subsidies for .

Massachusetts to be in rebellion. At the opening of Parliament in November.44 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES and the Massathat into the harbour. chusetts Act. and offering all the resources of the it ." this second When Burke made which '* and greater oration. ignoring altogether the British Parliament. The Colonists ber. Empire to suppress and the of King. 1774. From of these facts some conception may be formed Burke's courage in advocating a policy of conciliation . announced his intention Parliament wished. should be paid for . the execution that. met in Congress at Philadelphia in to the Septem- and adopted addresses King. the two Houses presented a joint address declaring to the King. They declared by their approval of the resistance already offered to the inhabitants of of Massachusetts Acts. in acting as his reply. the obnoxious and further declared to "if the ** same were attempted be all carried into execution by force. which suppressed the charter of State and practically established martial law. 1774." the relations between England and her Colonies had become strained to breaking-point. in such case America ought " to support them in their opposition. is known as the " Speech on Conciliation with America.

Rose who moved the resolution which led to the debate above recorded. an undertaking that would ennoble the . He opens with a survey of the subject from his of entering the House session." resolutions Within a month the rejection of his first by 270 against 78 the Lexington encounter took place at between the Koyal and Colonial forces. He then proceeds as " To restore order and repose to an empire is. so " great and so distracted as ours. and he drew up the resolutions which he to the now submitted follows : House. thus commencing the struggle which resulted in the establishment of the United States of America. impressed upon him the imperative duty of the Opposition to formulate some of definite policy to remedy the shocking ministerial at first state affairs induced by mismanagement. from assuming such a serious responsibility but the alarming condition of the Colonies overcame his scruples.— THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES 45 at a time when the country was aflame with warlike passions and bitter hostility of to her " rebellious " children. the current when Mr. Burke says he shrank . in 1765 until the beginning Fuller. *' merely in the attempt.

natural or adventitious. not peace to be hunted through " the labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations. I persuaded myself that you " would not reject a reasonable proposition because " it had nothing but its reason to recommend all it. " The proposition of is peace. fomented " from principle. by I " Struggling a good while with these " degrees " length. there was nothing exterior "it of power to awe. and 3'ou will treat it just as " deserves. and " for obtain pardon the efforts of the meanest understanding. On " the other hand. or delude you. Not peace through the " medium war . other " circumstances. dazzle. I felt myself more firm. For. if were weakly conceived " improperly timed. " not peace to arise out of universal discord. judging of what 3'ou are by " what 3'ou ought to be. being totally destitute of " of influence. " see it You will it just as it is . I shadow was very futile " sure that if my it proposition were or or to " dangerous. not . derived. even from the idea of my own " insignificance. thoughts. grew "less anxious. in all parts of the empire .40 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES " flights of the highest genius. in I at some confidence from what. usually produces timidity.

force me say. and ever will be " so long as the world endures. " tion. . " is its simple peace. peace. sought in ordinary haunts. good inten- as easily discovered at the first view is. an healing and therefore. and laid principles propose. which " as fraud " no is is Plain. let surely detected at last. Eefined policy ever My idea is nothing more. and " (far from a scheme of ruling by discord) to " reconcile them to each other in the same act and by '' the bond of the very same interest which reconciles " them " to British government. or the precise marking the It " shadowy boundaries of a complex government. and in " peace in sought in the purely " spirit " pacific. " to give permanent satisfaction to your people. " has been the parent of confusion.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES 47 " peace to depend on the juridical determination of *' perplexing questions. and by restoring the former unsuspecting " confidence of the Colonies in the Mother Country. by removing the ground of the " difference. being " formed upon the most simple grounds imaginable. cementing My plan. of mean in the of government heart is of mankind. of I It its is natural course. " Genuine '* simplicity principle. " may disappoint some people when they hear it.

I cannot prevail on myself to hurry " over this great consideration. It is good for us to . does " not institute a magnificent auction of finance.— 48 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES recommend is " It has nothing to it to the at pruriency of " curious ears. showing the extraordinary the latter from 1704 art to 1772. Speaker. and secondly. There it nothing does not all new and fill "captivating in It propose to " your lobby with squabbling colony agents " require the interposition of who will your mace at every It " instant to keep the peace amongst them. what your conces'' sion ought to be. which he the describes with : consummate in following famous passage *'Mr." He then goes into a consideration of the population of and trade growth of the Colonies. whether you " ought to concede. " this day decide are these two. where " captivated provinces come to general ransom by " bidding against each other until you knock " the down hammer and determine all a proportion of pay- " ments beyond the powers of algebra to equalise " and settle." " The capital leading questions on which you must First.

how- " ever. he " should see his son. all touch two extremities. as he of one of most fortunate men his age. It has happened within sixty-eight years. Let us. *' 49 We is stand where we have an immense past.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES " be here. et qiue ixiterit Suppose. ^' turn back the current of hereditary dignity to E its . is " which '' made him one the of the most amiable. " He was in 1704 of an age at least to be made to comprehend such things. view of what and what is Clouds indeed. before we descend from this noble eminence " reflect that this growth of our national prosperity " has happened within the short period of the life of " man. had " opened to him in vision that. the third prince of the house of Bruns" wick had sat twelve years on the throne of that " nation. Lord Chancellor of England. For my Lord of Bathurst might remember the stages the "progress. He was then " old enough acta parentum " cognoscere virtus. *' and darkness. " There are those alive whose " the '' memory might instance. rest upon the future. that the angel of " this auspicious youth. foreseeing the many virtues. Sir. in the fourth " generation. when. jam legere. which (by the happy issue of moderate and " healing councils) was to be made Great Britain.

" " *' savage men and uncouth manners show itself yet shall. equal to the attracts ' whole of that commerce which now the " *' ' envy of the world. and raise '' of peerage. a small seminal principle. whilst he enriched the family with a new of one. *' amidst these bright and happy scenes domestic " honour and prosperity. to Whatever England has been of ' growing by a progressive increase improve- " ' ment. by successettle- " " ' and civilising ' ments in a you series of seventeen hundred years. there is America to — which at this day serves stories of 'for little ' more than amuse you with . whilst he was gazing with " admiration on the then commercial grandeur of " England.50 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES him to an higher rank " fountain. scarce visible in mass of the " national interest. If. ' before you taste of death. that angel should the have rising " drawn up the curtain. would not . and. *' and unfolded glories of his country. and should " *' ' tell him : ' Young man. to ' " *' ' shall see as much added life ! her by America in If ' the course of a single this state of his it " country had been foretold to him. the genius " little should point out to him a the speck. brought in by varieties sion of civilising conquests of people. rather " than a formed body.

and " the fervid glow of enthusiasm. is which I have asserted.— THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES ^' ! 51 require all all the sanguine credulity of youth. Gentlemen respect will their be led to * their choice of their habits. possibly for want this knowledge. of means by complexions and * Those who understand the military course. It is it an object well worth fighting if Certainly is. that all detail. ' in my admitted in the gross conclusion is is but that ' quite a different drawn from it. to it make him it " believe ? Fortunate man. indeed. ' Those who wield the thunder may have But I ' more confidence in the efficacy of of arms. ' confess. * a noble object. . he has lived to see if " Fortunate. art will. he proceeds thus '' I am sensible. gentlemen say. for. ' fighting a people be the in this best way of gaining ' them. have ' some predilection of the State for it. Sir. my ' opinion is much more of force . in favour of prudent manage- ' ment than considering force not as an ' odious but a feeble instrument for preserving a . 'America. he lives to see nothing that " shall vary the prospect and cloud the setting of his *'day!" After completing his survey of the : physical resources of the Colonies.

52 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES numerous. " without " remains . '' do not choose to consume all its strength along with our own. no further hope " reconciliation " sometimes Power and authority are kindness . effect of force If and an armament ** you do not succeed. the ** ohject by your very endeavours is to preserve The * ' thing you fought for recover. Terror is is not ahvays the not a victory. Sir. bought by but they can " never be begged as alms by an impoverished and *' defeated violence. . it may subdue for a " moment. but. '* A further objection to force is that you impair it. failing. so so *' as this. in a profitable and subordinate ** connection with us. permit me to observe that the use of It ** force alone is but temporary. resource. " subduing again *' and a nation is not governed which is perpetually to be conquered. so growing. sunk. wasted. ** people spirited SO active. force of force is left. conciliation failing. Nothing I less will content me " than whole America. because in . and con- *' sumed in the contest. not the thing which you ** but depreciated. " First. but does not remove the necessity of . you are for. is its **My next objection ** uncertainty.

But we know. ' that our fault was to more tolerable than our attempt far * mend it . for whose sentiments ticulars I in other ' have great respect. '* These. we have no sort of experience in favour of of * force as an instrument in the rule our Colonies. if ' may be so. I Let me * do not choose wholly it is to break the American ' because *' the spirit that has made the country. . But there is still behind a third ' consideration concerning this object. to Our ancient indulIt ' gence has been said be pursued to a fault. I may escape . ' Their growth and their utility have been owing to ' methods altogether different. which serves to * determine my opinion on the sort of policy which of * ought to be pursued in the management America. feeling is evidence. Sir. Lastly. I * do not choose to be caught by a foreign enemy at the end of this exhausting conflict. and still ' less in ' the midst of it. but I can make no add that spirit. seem to be so greatly ' captivated. are my reasons for not entertaining * that high opinion of untried forces by which many par- * gentlemen. and our sin more salutary than our * penitence. ' insurance against such an event.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES parts 53 ' it is the British strength that I consume.

unhappily meeting with an exercise is of power " in England which. and " increased with the increase of their wealth. '' not reconless cilable theirs. far from it. however lawful.'' He next points out that a fierce and unconquer- able love of freedom has been engendered in the : Colonists by causes which he thus describes " Then. I do not *' mean to preclude the fullest deciding on a inquiry . from these six capital sources of " descent.— 54 — I THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES even more than population and ** its its commerce — ** mean its temper and character. out this spirit of liberty have proved utterly and proceeds '' : But. a spirit ** that. in wishing to put an end to pernicious " experiments. of religion in the *' northern provinces. of manners in the southern. of form of government. of education. to any ideas of liberty. Sir." He then shows how the attempts made to stamp futile. Sir. Far from . of the remoteness of situation from the first *' *' mover of government — from all these causes a It " fierce spirit of liberty has grown up. *' has grown with the growth of the people in your Colonies. much is with '' has kindled this flame that ready to " consume us.

''the to it prosecute as I . are resolved to take nothing. " that of giving up the Colonies but it met so slight " a reception that I do not think myself obliged to " dwell a great while upon it. criminal. as far as " but I am capable of discerning. It is nothing but a " little sally of anger. change that causes. it by removing or. the removal of the causes of this spirit . spirit. I would patiently go round '' and round the subject. been started . if it minutely in of ^' every possible aspect. who. These are : To *' as inconvenient. I would state " that. I were capable " engaging you to an equal attention. can think of but Another has. for putting and shows that the third spirit — con- cession to the American — is the only practical one " : If. to " comply with as necessary." Next he considers three several plans an end to the dispute. when they cannot get all they would " have. then. there are three ways of proceeding prevails relative in to this " stubborn *' spirit which your Colonies and disturbs your government. and survey Sir. indeed. like the frowardness of peevish " children.— THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES — 55 " sudden or partial view. would not be guilty I "of an imperfect enumeration " these three.

we mean and concede.— 56 THE REVOLT OF THE AMEBICAN COLONIES " of American liberty *' be. applicable. you please. I think you must perceive that I " this day to have nothing at all am resolved to do with the . " are in the highest degree inexpedient. not what you may think better for them. " be a wise regulation. or . *' you mean any people. you must give them the boon which " they ask. " Sir. but " our present theme is it is Such an . or. you must If satisfy them with to please " regard to this complaint. " satisfy If you mean to them at all. impracticable if the if ideas of " criminal process be inapplicable. we must look at complaint. if as necessary. to conciliate " If *' we adopt mode. to this submit to if it. : let us see of what nature the concession the nature of our contheir " ought to be ** to ascertain cession. but the third and last spirit "to comply with the American " or. They " complain that they are taxed in a Parliament in " which they are not represented. " but of a kind totally different. what " remains? way yet No way is open. rather entirely. The '' Colonies complain that they have not the characteristic *' mark and seal of British freedom. for the greater part. as a necessary evil. act may no concession whereas the mode of giving satisfaction.

I put it totally out of the ques- tion. where reason perplexed. where great names is against each other. in all forms right *' an exercise of that '' by the charter of nature. that '' do not. lift '' For high and reverend authorities . ivhere " hog^ betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius " armies ivhole have sunk. is But my con- " sideration narrow. up their " heads on both sides ** and there is is no sure footing in great the middle. " gentlemen of profound learning are fond of dis" playing it on this profound subject. wonder. Sir. I It is less than nothing in my consideration. a right of taxation '' necessarily involved legislation. indeed. are entitled to all mankind. 57 Some gentlemen " startle. Or whether. confined. on the is " contrary. and wholly limited I " to the policy of the question. " whether the giving away a man's '' do not examine a power money be excepted and reserved out of the general trust of '' government.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES " question of the right of taxation. " are *' These militate deep questions. *' it is true. nor will you. I do not intend to be . and how far of polity. in the general principle of and in- " separable from the ordinary supreme power. This point the Serhonian old. and '' an appeal to authorities only thickens the confusion.

though in such respect^Yith ' company. that. Is a politic act the ? * worse for being a generous one proper but that which right to keep is Is no concession w^ant of it ' made from your ? ' what you grant Or does lessen ' the grace or dignity of relaxing in the exercise of an ' odious claim because you have your evidence-room full of titles ' and your magazines stuffed with arms titles ' to enforce all them ? arms? What signify all those * and those Of what avail are they when ' the reason of the thing tells of me that the assertion ' my title is the loss of my suit. sealed a regular compact of . reason. and I ' justice tell me ought to do. if though in a diversity of opera- ' I were sure the Colonists had. It is not what a lawyer ' me I may do. and that of I could ' do nothing but wound myself by the use my own ' weapons " Such ? is steadfastly my opinion of the absolute of this ' necessity of keeping up the concord empire ' by a unity tions. but whether it render your people not your interest to tells ' ' make them happy. but what humanity. at their ' leaving this country. of spirit. The question to is me is not ' whether you have a right miserable.58 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES overwhelmed able ' in that bog.

all ideas of liberty for all them and I their '' to generations. that we '' mean for ever to adhere to that solemn declaration this policy of of systematic indulgence. yet should hold " myself obliged to conform to the temper I found " universally prevalent in my own I day. or ought to. therefore. impatient of servitude. '' My idea. is to admit the people of ." will To apply conciliation. he says he consult the genius of the English Constitution. point of law . of government else is fitted for '* That point nothing can.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES ''servitude. I am restoring tranquillity and the " general character and situation of a people must '' determine what sort them. and quotes the historical examples of the treatment of . that they '' 59 had solemnly abjured that they all the to rights of citizens . " determine. and to govern " two million of men. on the " principles of freedom. had made a vow *' renounce posterity. our Colonies into an " interest in the Constitution and. by recording that " admission in the journals of Parliament. ^' am not determining a . to give *' them as strong an assurance as the nature of the " thing will admit. without considering whether " we yield as matter of right or grant as matter of " favour.

Chester. and his proposal. course. THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES Ireland. Sir. Durham : in support of Then he continues now. I " am not obliged for the ways and to means of this substitute I tax my own unpro- " ductive invention. us not refuse altogether. What nature in '' has disjoined in one way. absolutely meddle with no theory. *' Perhaps I might be inclined to entertain some such thought. the I do not '' assert impracticability of such a to it ** representation. *' but a great flood stops me in my Opposuit of the " natura '* — I cannot remove the eternal barriers creation. ' ' But how ? Where ? What substitute ? " Fortunately. Wales. and there are often several means to the same end. But do not see my way the " and those who have been more successful. If we " cannot give the principal. " You will perhaps imagine that I am on " the point of proposing to you a scheme for a repre" sentation of the Colonies in Parliament. let us find a substitute. may unite ** When we let cannot give the benefit as we it " would wish. The thing As I in that mode I do not know to I *' be possible. is confident have not " been more However. am not even obliged to go to . wisdom another. arm of " public benevolence '' not shortened.— 60 .

THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES ** 61 the rich treasury of the fertile framers of imaginary ** commonwealths . " Harrington. not to the . justice of mean to establish the of equity and a taxation America by legal "grant. " advantage. To acknowledge that this legal " competency has had a dutifid and heneficial exercisCy " and that experience has shown the benefit of their "grants and the futility of Parliamentary taxation as a " method of supply. ** not to the Utopia of More not to the Oceana of . only wish you to recognise. to return to that mode which to *' an uniform experience has marked out you as " best. Republic of Plato . '' and as to the practice. *' To mark the competency of the Colony assemblies for the support of their *' government in peace and for public aids *' in time of war. and not by imposition. and in which you walked with security. and honour until the year 1763. ** It is before me it is at my feet. therefore. the this " theory. " These solid truths compose six fundamental . " ** My Resolutions. and the rude sivain treads daily on I it ivith his clouted for " shoon. the ancient constitutional policy of *' kingdom with regard to representation as that "policy has been declared in Acts of Parliament.

and concludes with the following superb peroration : "But ** to clear up my ideas on this subject — not revenue from America transmitted hither — do . subjects and justifies their acceptance. three more resolutions set.— 62 a THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES There are If " propositions. " in this confident assurance. I shall be far from solicitous whether you last. and they are such facts as irresistible conclusions even in the stating. and not any management ** mine. comparing it most unfavourably with his own. But if you admit the " *' first. Then he Lord North's proposition for dealing with the matter to a destructive criticism. you admit the first you " can hardly reject the others. *' this is the of power of truth. accept or refuse the I think these six massive " pillars will be of strength sufficient to support the "temple " than I of British concord. with but tolerable future management. I have no more doubt that if entertain of my existence you " admitted these you would command an immediate " peace. I am not arrogant are The propositions if " *' all mere matters draw of fact . " a lasting obedience in America. " corollary to these." next states his six resolutions. and. explains their He purport.

and gives you. America gives you taxable " on which you lay your duties here. it or an " institution " India fit for the transmission. and serve " you essentially.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES 63 ''delude yourselves —you We it is never can receive it. She ought be reserved to a war. If. contribute in moderation. from " remote countries when " you attempted to extract revenue from Bengal. If America has none these objects. is the East of Company. no. with the enemies that " likely to have. she has performed her part " to the British " revenue. what can you expect from " America? "qualified North For to certainly. to her own internal establishments she may. " aptitudes. " ration . you " were obliged to return in loan what you had taken " in imposition. " not a shilling. " at the same time. the " weight of which. we are most must be considerable There she in her quarter " of the globe. a surplus by a foreign sale of her " commodities " which to pay the duties on these objects you tax at home. mode- for she ought not to to be permitted to exhaust " herself. I doubt not I say in " she will. But with regard . may serve you. if ever there was a country it produce wealth. is India. . have experience that not to be expected.

from kindred blood. and no force " under heaven will be of power to tear them from " their allegiance. is loosened. the more friends you will " the more ardently they love liberty. the more . the sacred " temple consecrated to our common faith. or Empire. whether is of *' revenue. and everything hastens to decay and dissolution. wherever free- " the chosen race and sons of England worship " dom. from similar " privileges. for all service.. the cement " the cohesion *' gone. are as strong as links of iron. they will turn their faces towards you. " which. trade. 64 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES *' For that service. " Colonies " is My hold of the in the close affection which grows from common names. may be one thing and their privi- " leges that these two things may is exist " without any mutual relation. though light as *' These are ties air. *' But let it be once understood that your government another. As long sovereign as you have the this " wisdom to keep the " country as the authority of sanctuary of liberty. my trust in her " interest in the British constitution. and equal protection.. Let the Colonies always keep the idea of civil rights " their '' associated with your Government they will cling and grapple to you. " The have more they multiply.

These things " do not *' make your Government. is spirit of the " English communion that gives their life and . it Dead instruments. and your suspending " clauses. Do not dream that your letters of and your instructions. *' Deny them this participation of freedom. it It is a weed that grows in every " ** They may have But it from Spain. they may have from Prussia. Slavery they can '' have anywhere. of which you have " the monopoly. the unity of the ''Empire. are the things that hold together the great " contexture of this mysterious whole. of until you become and lost to all *' feeling dignity. and must still sole bond which originally *' preserve. " office. and you break that made. soil. Do not entertain so weak an imagination affi- " as that your registers and your bonds. your *' davits and your sufferances. are what form " your commerce.THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES 65 *' perfect will be their obedience. which binds to you the commerce " and through them secures to you the wealth of the " world. the all passive tools as they are. the " This commodity This is of price. your cockets and your the great securities of ** clearances. '' the true act of navigation of the Colonies. is your true interest your natural ** freedom they can have from none but you.

raises that it is the Land Tax Act which is your ' revenue ? that it the annual vote in the Comor ' mittee of Supply which gives you your that it army ? it * is the Mutiny Bill which inspires ? with ' bravery and discipline love of the people . ' every part of the Empire. then. feeds. will sound wild and chimerical to the profane herd of those vulgar and ' mechanical politicians who have no place among us . which gives you your army and your navy.66 THE REVOLT OF THE AMEBIC AN COLONIES ' efficacy to them. and infuses into both that liberal ' ' obedience without which your army * would be a base rabble. . unites. that nothing exists ' but what gross and material and who. ' "All ' this. infused through the mighty vivifies. No . "Is it not the same virtue which does everything 'for us here in ' England? Do you imagine. even down to the ' minutest member. invigorates. It is the spirit of the English ' constitution which. I know well enough. ' a sort of people is who think . therefore. 'mass. and your navy nothing but rotten timber. pervades. surely no ! It is the ' it is their attachment to their of ' Gevernment from the sense the deep stake they ' have in such a glorious institution.

and glow wdth zeal to *' fill our places as becomes our station and ourselves. are all in truth " everything. but by " promoting. *' turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire *' and have made the most extensive and the only honourable conquests . the wealth. in the opinion of such tioned. ** not by destroying. THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES 67 " far from being qualified to be directors of the great ** movement of empire. dignity of this By adverting to the *' high calling our ancestors have . the happiness *' of the human race. these ruling and master principles *' which. to auspicate all ** we ought our public proceedings on of ** America with the old warning the Church.. and " is in all. have men as I have men- ** no substantial existence. the number. in politics not seldom the truest wisdom little and a great If " empire and minds go ill together. Let us get an American empire. *^ Sursum corcla f We ought to elevate our minds to ** the greatness of that trust to which the order of *' Providence has called us. we are " conscious of our situation. But to men truly initiated and " rightly taught. Magnanimity . it " revenue as we ** have got an American it English privileges have made all that is . are not fit to turn a wheel in " the machine.

68 THE REVOLT OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES make *' English privileges alone full will it all it can be. " In ** confidence of this unalterable truth. I sit) now (quodfelix faustumque lay the first stone of the *' temple of peace." .

Chapter III. and 1785. The American affairs War had. against the he opened campaign . which he had long taken a special tales of Strange filtered rapacity and to tyranny occasionally through England from the East. therefore. been carefully watching their proceedings for many years past. in make them Their ill-gotten wealth was frequently employed borough-mongering and in supporting the " Court Party " in Parliament. able in devote his whole attention to affairs. INDIAN AFFAIRS The struggle in which Burke had been engaged since of the 1765 was ended by the recognition dence of the Indepen- United States of America by the Mother Country on November 30th. 1782. to He was now Indian interest. that was not his 69 February 28th. pushed it Indian until into the background. however. and the deport" Nabobs " w^ho returned ment *' of the home after shaking the pagoda tree " was not calculated to popular. and Burke had.

70 INDIAN AFFAIRS despoilers of the Indian peoples in a brilliant speech in the House of Commons on the Nabob of Arcot's debts. who. without openly committing cause. and in order to secure this he entered into a secret and corrupt understanding with some of its servants to use its power it for his to his aggrandisement. . deal of this debt was of a purely fictitious character a paper liability. A good . but Burke invested with all the glamour of of his incomparable oratory. arms. a who had the clutches of gang of unscrupulous service. plot The result was that the Englishmen fortunes. potentate in fallen into The Nabob Arcot was a the southern part of India. by force against petitors. had seated him on the throne his brother the claims of and other com(as About the year 1765 he began at he the instigation of the servants of the Company. harpies in the East India Company's He owed his position to the intervention of the of Company. alleged). The subject does not sound very it attractive. to form designs for the extension of his His ambition could only be achieved by the Company's assistance. territory. representing no actual cash received. in the amassed enormous and the Nabob incurred a correspondingly gigantic debt.

— INDIAN AFFAIRS 71 but deliberately manufactured for the benefit of the corrupt gang of Europeans. The whole proceedings were discreditable that Fox. But the Ministry reversed decision. This decito sion the Board of Directors was required acknow- ledge as their own. but the investigation was relegated to the Court of Directors of the East India Company. The scandal leaked out. and. in the then state of parties. In his speech Burke thus describes one method adopted for the manufacture liabilities '' : of the Nabob's bogus The manner in which this transaction was carried . This was conceded by Pitt. and they ordered the President and Council of Madras to examine fully into its origin their former and nature. his resolution being. and its discharge was on the revenues of the Carnatic. and assumed such proportions that an inquiry was demanded into the facts. to debt to amount. moved papers on the subject. the whole of the alleged liability settled was recognised. on for so mysterious and February 28th. without further inquiry. of course. rejected by a very large majority. 1785. with compound an enormous sum. who found the interest.

to John Clavering. the Nabob . "'One ' mode. who manages matters thus : ' The governor presses the Nabob for to the his ' balance due from him . one fraud furnishes light to the discovery and so on. generally on ' good terms with the banker. examples. is Here ' the governor. you may take letter written on my word. because of another. while the allies were under sale. ' He is generally in arrears to the Company. being cash keeper. It is a from one Sir of undoubted information in Madras. until the whole secret of mysterious in a blaze of detection. give One of those splendid me leave to mention at a somewhat more early period.72 INDIAN AFFAIRS on shows that good examples are not easily forgot. especially by those ^Yho are bred in a great school. and grants his notes accordingly. the banker engages to pay the ' money. which he puts in the cash-book as ready ' money . If you please. the Nabob flies ' banker for relief .' says Clavering's correspondent. 'of at the amassing money Nabob's cost is curious. during the time of Winch's administration. is iniquity bursts upon you The paper I shall read you it not on record. describing the Company's Governor practice that prevailed there.

which lawful spoil. you have the whole art and " mystery. is By this means not a cash " " " ' advanced by the banker. Paul Benfield. being in left them with money excess of that permitted by law. inexperienced " young Englishmen. the true freemason secret of the profession " of soucaring . for " instance. such as Mr. and to become creditors " for millions. to '' make princes their debtors. appears. the lenders entirely at the mercy of this group of plunderers. Speaker.INDIAN AFFAIRS 73 ' ' pays him an interest for cent. . Matters in the is ' meantime are for this so managed that there no till call ' money for the Company's service the ' tunkaws become due. though he receives a is ' heavy interest from the Nabob. " enabled at once to take provinces in mortgage. it for their own advantage. " would without property upon a which anyone are lend to themselves single shilling. it at two and three per (( ( per mensem till the tunkaws he grants on the it " " " " ' particular districts for are paid." While Mr.' divided as ' " Here. by which a few innocent. Paul Benfield and his associates had been fleecing the Nabob they had. Mr. been inducing natives to entrust at rates of interest which.

— 74 INDIAN AFFAIRS Burke follows : deals with this phase of the subject as " There " been is little doubt that several individuals have seduced by the purveyors to the Nabob of their " Arcot to put money (perhaps the whole of their "honest and laborious earnings) into hands. being condemned the great " at law. the persons seduced their seducers . and have always domineered. " arrangement. " exclusive preference. These seduced probably persons of no power or " interest. confounded in one mass. whom he sees serve to be omnipotent in England. " and that at such high interest as. leaves them at the mercy of " managers " creditors whom are they trusted. either in England or India. no measures for discrimination and " discovery. and may be in this "just objects of compassion. is left to The subthe Nabob. made dependent on honesty . in " and who may him future. the fraudulent and the fair are. as they have if " done in times past. will have precedence. not an These leading interests " domineer. in the " first instance. " are By this arrangement. over the " whole. of his cor- " sequent selection and distribution " With him the agents and instruments " ruption. By taking.

They lent bond fide in probability they were even forced to lend. and to " death in a shameful prison. and must quit " and '* its proper character. " the creditors. They had no They had . which he describes as an " abused. ." It is a graphic description exposing the enormities which charac. and ruined country.. by exhausting the whole revenues is left for "nothing " all them. "But be these English creditors what they may. racked. " no lawful government seditiously to overturn nor " had they a governor. to entitle itself to the alms of bribery and speculation. indeed of the Carnatic. at least) must become of the " party of fraud. its just claims. " nations to betray to robbery and ruin. are the " natives. *' They had no had no faith trusts to carry to his market. or to " give goods and service for the Nabob's obligations. terised the beginnings of British rule in India it and contains that terrible word-picture of the horrors . to whom it is owing that you " exist in India. to deliver over to captivity. *' who are numerous and wretched. INDIAN AFFAIRS 75 " (comparative honesty. most certainly not fraudulent. of They ** alliances to sell. insulted." He of the *' then proceeds to unfold the actual condition Carnatic.

They soon their pur- '* upon a contrivance which answered '' poses far better than the methods which were for. Wars were accordingly discouraged . " bidden though in this also they violated an ancient. But vehement passion ingenious in resources. But in the Company it gave " rise to other sentiments. They began also to fear that the of " fortune of war might take *' away what the fortune war had given. the high flood-tide of in the lowest " private emolument was generally ebb " of their affairs. " but they thought an abrogated. The " Company's servants were not only stimulated. They reversed . by the prohibition.— 76 INDIAN AFFAIRS of war to : which we have alluded in our introductory remarks " The great fortunes made in India in the begin- " nings of conquest naturally excited an emulation in " *' all the parts. *' by repeated injunctions and menaces and that the " servants mi -lit not be bribed into them by the " native princes. they were strictly forbidden to take " any '* money whatsoever from is their hands. order. and through the whole succession of the Company's service. but ** better fell instructed. On the contrary. " *' They did not find the new channels to of acquisition flow with equal riches them.

they ' once irresistible and irresponsible. to the One . Instead of carrying on wars in contrived an authority. they indulged themselves in the ' most extravagant speculations of creditors of plunder. In the next place. As a preliminary on him to to ' this undertaking. First. ' should be conquered. in order to possess themselves. they prevailed propose part * a tripartite division of that vast country. ' The cabal who have been the object of ' the late bountiful grant from his majesty's ministers. and he readily imbibed. Instead of receiving presents. being thus ' freed from all restraint. the idea of the * general empire of Indostan. it of every country in India. ' Company . name ' and. man so ' they persuaded him to consider ' himself as of a principal member in the political ' system Europe.INDIAN AFFAIRS 77 ' their proceedings. ' they their made loans. in whose they might ravage at pleasure . ' under the name of ' creditors as fast as and assignees. at ' own name. another to the Marattas and the . they held ' out to him. inspired into the ' mind the of the Nabob of Arcot (then a dependent on ' Company of the humblest order) a scheme of ' the most wild and desperate ambition that I believe ' ever was admitted into the thoughts of a situated.

' and remitted them to the Nabob of Arcot * they fell upon and totally destroyed the oldest ally of Tanjore. 78 INDIAN AFFAIRS ' third to himself. ' preventing the English for ever from assuming an equality. and under his ' This disposition was to be secured by the of ' Nabob's putting himself under the guarantee * France . ' much less a superiority. in the Carnatic. To himself he reserved all the ' southern part of the great peninsula. they ' declined to receive the ambassadors from foreign courts. and. the king and plundered five ' the country to the amount of near . and the direc- ' hire of mercenaries for his use. by the means of that rival nation. ' of the Company. On to this scheme of their servants. millions ' sterling one after another. in the Nabob's name. * In pursuance of this treasonable project (treasonable of the * on the part English) they extinguished the ' Company as a sovereign power in that part of India all ' they withdrew the Company's garrisons out of the forts and ' strongholds of the Carnatic . the Company ' was appear in the Carnatic in no other light than ' as a contractor for the provision of armies. but * with English force. tion.. they brought into a miserable . comprehended ' under the general name *' of the Deccan.

** This man the possessed the western. . division of the It " Carnatic. every principle of policy pointed " out this power as a natural alliance. '' was among the leading measures to in the design of this cabal (according their own Ali.INDIAN AFFAIRS 79 '' servitude all the princes and great independent In proportion to these the people. which ruined " the fund of the Nabob's debt grew and flourished. '* treasons and violences. as the Company under name of the ** Nabob of Arcot does the eastern. '' nobility of a vast country. and publicly " invested their instrument with the sovereignty of *' the kingdom of Mysore . *' Among the victims to this magnificent plan of *' universal plunder worthy of the heroic avarice of all " the projectors. and himself to be a rebel. Both before and " since that treaty. but their victim was not of to con- ** the passive kind. *' emphatic language) declared the to extirpate of this Hyder to " They Nabob Arcot be his " sovereign. you have heard (and he has made " himself to be well remembered) of an Indian chief " called Hyder All Khan. and on his *' part it was courted by every sort of amicable office. They were soon obliged " elude a treaty of peace and close alliance with this " rebel at the gates of Madras.

black and white. *' Nabob of Arcot. As to the outward members of the double. From that ** time forward a continued plot was carried on within " the divan. but which cannot be " misunderstood) from performing what justice and " interest combined so evidently to enforce. of " and who were the determined enemies '* human intercourse itself. in the gloomy recesses of a " of He mind capacious such things. to leave the whole Carnatic an " everlasting *' monument of vengeance. " When at length Hyder Ali found that he had to " do with men who either would sign no convention. and to put perpetual desolation as a barrier between him and . of the " for the destruction of Hyder Ali. which had signed the ** treat}^. or rather treble.INDIAN AFFAIES " But the cabinet council of English creditors would '' not suffer their Nabob of Arcot to sign the treaty. " nor even to give to a prince. " or whom no treaty and no signature could bind. always prevented by some overruling " (which they do not describe. he decreed to make the country " possessed by these incorrigible and predestinated " criminals a memorable example to mankind. " resolved. at least his equal. government they were influence " of Madras. the ** ordinary titles of respect and courtesy.

G The . so collected in his might. world together was no pro- * He became at length so confident of his * force. of its * Then * ensued a scene seen. havoc. that he made no Having * secret whatsoever of his dreadful resolution. and. of woe.INDIAN AFFAIRS 81 * those. he the mountains. ' who buried their mutual animosities in their creditors of ' common Nabob detestation against the the ' of Arcot. it * suddenly burst and poured down the whole contents upon the plains of the Carnatic. new rudiments all in * compounding the * materials of fury. ' adequately All the horrors of war before ' known or heard of were mercy to that new havoc. and desolation into one ' black cloud. con- ' A storm of universal fire blasted every field. the like of which no eye had ' no heart conceived. and which no tongue can tell. against whom of the the faith which holds the * moral elements tection. he drew from every quarter whatever * a savage ferocity could add to his the arts of destruction. * terminated his disputes with every enemy and every rival. destroyed every temple. hung for a while on the declivities of ' While the authors of all these evils * were idly and stupidly gazing on this menacing ' meteor which blackened all their horizon. * sumed every house.

" husbands from wives. were swept '' captivity in an unknown and hostile land. their the *' on the glacis Tanjore. it was a nation which '' stretched hands for food. flying from their . whose very excess and luxury. to age. in this all : dreadful exigenc}^ were certainly liberal. in their most plenteous days.82 INDIAN AFFAIRS " miserable inhabitants. or " sacredness of function. and amid the goading *' spears of drivers and the trampling into of pursuing horses. fathers torn from children. " Those who were able to evade this tempest fled to . and expired of . almost without complaint. For months ** together these creatures of sufferance. patient. every bodies in *' at least. without " regard to sex. the settlement. without sedition or disturbance. fell into the jaws of famine. and was done but it *' by charity that private charity could do a was *' people in out beggary its . they " The alms of *' but. in part were slaughtered others. escaping from fire. flaming " villages. sword. to the respect of rank. ** *' had fallen short of the allowance of our austerest silent. enveloped in a whirlwind of " cavalry. resigned. " the walled cities " and exile. " *' fasts. streets. or streets laid of of Madras. perished by *' an hundred a day in the day seventy.

without intermission. " the calamities which beset and waylay the " man. they are so humiliating to human it nature " ** that. this For eighteen months.INDIAN AFFAIRS " famine in the granary of India. not one . " species of horror so nauseous and disgusting ** they the are so degrading . this comes nearest to our heart. ** I was going to of awake your justice towards this unhappy part " our fellow citizens by bringing before you some of " the circumstances of this plague of hunger. I find more advisable to throw a pall over this hideous object. Madras did to the " gates of Tanjore *' and art so completely Ali these masters in their — Hyder and his more of their " ferocious son ** — absolve themselves impious vow that when the British armies traversed. ** destruction raged from the gates of . " to manage it with decorum these details are of a . the Carnatic for hundreds of miles in " directions. not one woman. and " wherein the proudest of us '* Of life is all of that all feels himself to be nothing more than he is : but I find myself unable . to the sufferers and to ** hearers itself. on better thoughts. as all " they did. it " and to leave *' to your general conceptions. through the whole line of their march ** they did not see one man.

in Figure yourself. ' all who will support this assertion of ' in its full extent. emptied and embowelled of ' (may God avert the omen accomplished a desolation. not one four-footed beast of any descrip- * tion whatever. to the central provinces of the * Six or seven districts to the north and ' the south (and these not wholly untouched) * escaped the general ravage. figure to yourself the ' your sweet and cheerful country from Thames to Trent. Mr. " The Carnatic ' is a country not much to inferior in extent to England. the land whose representative chair form and fashion of ' you sit . north and south. and suppose your ' ministers taking a survey of this scene of waste and desolation . exception. * Speaker. tion our crimes !) by so ' Extend your imaginathen ' a little further. uniform silence reigned ' over the whole region. With the inconsiderable * exceptions of the narrow vicinage of some I new forts. That hurricane of war passed ' through every part Carnatic.I 84 INDIAN AFFAIRS * child. and from the Irish to the ' ' German Sea east and west. ' wish to to be understood as speaking literally — * mean above produce to you more than three witnesses. One dead. * what would be your thoughts if you .

the revenues providing. the whole of what England had yielded ** in the most ? exuberant seasons of peace and " abundance What would you into call it ? is To call it " tyranny sublimed madness at the principle right " upon " have which the ministers your hand proceeded in their estimate of Carnatic. Sir. upon the " relics of the satiated vengeance of relentless " enemies. in order that they should charge (take in the " most favourable light) for public service. would a virtuous and enlightened " ministry do on the view of the ruins of such works "before them? On the view of such a chasm of in " desolation as that which yawned north of the midst of "those countries "still to the and south. not protection. how " the customs.— INDIAN AFFAIRS 85 " should be informed that they were computing *' how much had been much the amount of the excises." Next he denounces the British Ministry in following powerful invective ** : the What. how much the land and malt it " tax. which bore some vestiges all cultivation? They " would have reduced their most necessary . but " of the when they were its " supply for the establishments of " rewards for the authors of its ruin.

whose crimes were their claims. "that they must keep an awful distance. indefeasible claim supersedes every other " demand. ** what our minister could never think of saying or doing. and have thus laid a solid foundation '' for future opulence and future force. is " have done and said. " country the '' first creditor is the plough that this original. While they " were performing this fundamental duty. with " a voice that should make itself heard. first A " ministry of another kind would have improved " the country. " This is what a wise and virtuous ministry would This.INDIAN AFFAIRS " establishments *' . unhallowed paws from " this holy work they would have proclaimed. But on this '* grand point is of the restoration of the country there " not one syllable to be found in the correspondence . . therefore. that they *' must silence their inauspicious tongues off their . have suspended the justest payments they would have employed every to " shilling derived from the producing reanimate " the powers of the unproductive parts. that they " must hold profane. that in every . while they " were *' celebrating these mysteries of told justice and of humanity. they would . they would have the corps " fictitious creditors.

raking in the dust of an empty " treasury '' they were melted into compassion for rapine and oppression. the first to the last fire. These were the necessities for " which they were studious to provide. its " palms *' their bowels yearned for usury that its had . 87 " of our felt ministers.* long missed the harvest of felt returning months for " they *' for peculation which had been so many years . in which are engendered the whole brood * Interest was rated in India by the month. '* That debt all to the Company under which themselves." After stating that he protested against ference given to *' the pre- fictitious private debts over the " standing defence and the standing government. " unbloody jaws. and famine their sympathies took another "direction. the other debts lurk and cover the foul *' That debt forms putrid " mucus. parched." he proceeds *' : But my principal objection lies a is good deal the pretext " deeper. from for . they were touched with pity for bribery " so long tormented with a fruitless itching of .— INDIAN AFFAIRS . . licking their dry. " they nothing a land desolated by " sword.

on a mortgage of the territorial . It is : necessary. Then steps forward *' some Paul Benfield. *' all the endless a involutions. " the *' utter perdition to the unhappy to The Nabob falls into an arrear Company. and from his grateful comfilial *' passion to the Nabob. will '* But there are soucars who mortgage of supply you on the '' your territories. whenever Company has occasion to borrow. for payment. attend the process with debt.six per cent. and his regard to the " Company. for a consideration of twenty-four or " thirty. regard to the ** public and private and with what little " appearance of decency they play into each other's " hands a game of " natives of India. that the interest. *' you should recollect two things first. '' Carrying in your mind these two to facts. The Nabob's answer I have no money. he unlocks the treasures of his virtuous " industry. the eternal knot. and. The presidency presses is. " Nabob's debt to the Company ^Yill carries no " In the next place you " the observe that. bo^^'els of India. Good. she fit has at " always commanded whatever she thought " eight per cent.INDIAN AFFAIRS " of creeping ascaricles. added to knot of those inex- " pngnable tape-worms ^Thich devour the nutriment *' and eat up the Sir.

after it * extinguished. " In consequence of this double game. the vator. been ' covered by these locusts. becomes security to the '' Company for the Nabob's arrears. of * because a succession claimants ' lashed from oppressor to oppressor. last culti- ' who grows having his back * scored by the farmer. ' large as England. while his servants his soldiers murmur for wages and to the ' mutiny for pay. is The mortgage ' European assignee farmer replaced the then resumed. the ' farmer flies to the Nabob's presence to claim his ' bargain. at one time or other. During these ' what a scene has that country pre- ' sented ! The usurious European assignee super- ' sedes the Nabob's native farmer of the revenue. while a single . short-lived. the English soucars. as of the Carnatic has escaped them. has again flayed by the ' whip of the assignee. and is thus by a ravenous. Not ' one single foot a territory operations. Every ' man rank and landed fortune being long since remaining miserable to the soil. ' all the terri- torial revenues have. and the native to * —replaced.INDIAN AFFAIRS " revenue. again of the be removed on ' new clamour of European assignee.

" very far from it. various contending and contradictory " all issuing from one and the same source. or " manliness in the people. men equal to your substantial English yeomen. spirit. fact. are daily " tied up *' and of scourged to answer the multiplied demands titles. *' who drag this is out a precarious of and degraded existence under system the outrage of it " upon *' human nature.90 INDIAN AFFAIRS *' drop of blood is left as the means of extorting a " single grain of corn. mutually producing and is left ''produced. of a Such effect the establishment debt to the Company." He next deals with the condition of Tanjore. " and '* that again in at calls forth tyrannous coercion. which of the Carnatic. Men of respectable condition. " Tyrannous exaction brings on servile concealment. and exposes the . They move till a circle. " until ideas are adopted totally different from those " which prevail at this time. he shows to be as deplorable as that and then applies the lash Benfield of his invective to Paul and his confederates. Far. no trace of integrity. as it has " hitherto been managed. I do not reach the nor " approach to *' it. length nothing of humanity " in the Government. and as ever will remain. Do not think I paint.

and settle his choice on Paul Benfield. and while the chancellor of the ** exchequer pledges in vain the man and the minister . sufficient " funds and apt instruments *' became necessary. what what borough. as well as sound policy. " bold paradoxical To carry that design into execution. would direct his " eyes. what county. the reformer to whom the whole choir of reformers bow. In his " anxious researches upon this subject. formed " a new plan. " himself *' palm : for what region in the empire. what is " tribunal in this kingdom. " Benfield '' Paul is the grand parliamentary reformer.— INDIAN AFFAIRS 91 connection which existed between them and the Cabinet *' : Our wonderful minister. You are perfectly sensible that a parliamentary reform " occupies his thoughts day and night as an essential *' member in this extraordinary project. '* not full of his labours ? Others have been only speculators —he is the grand " practical reformer. natural " instinct. ** and to whom must even the right honourable gentleman yield the city. a plan insigne recens indictum ore alio. as you all know. " a plan for supporting the freedom of our consti- " tution by court intrigues. and for removing its " corruptions by Indian delinquency.

Benfield has thrown in the borough of Cricklade to reinforce the ' county representation. but with real living ' patterns of true modern virtue. this public-spirited of ' amid his charitable toils for the relief forget ' India. Mr. Benfield's attorney. ' Paul Benfield made (reckoning himself) no fewer than eight ' members streams in of the last parliament. to furnish it. ' has auspiciously and practically begun far Leaving ' behind him even Lord Camelford's generous ' design of bestowing Old Sarum on the Bank of ' England. recites the distinctions which were showered upon him. For her he did not disdain wholesale upholsterer for ' to stoop to the trade of a ' this house. in gratitude for the services he rendered . Mr. did not the poor rotten constitution ' of his native country. ' Not content with phalanx for usurer. ' What not copious pure blood the must he of ' have " transfused into veins the ' present! Then he and takes in hand Atkinson.92 INDIAN AFFAIRS ' to increase the provincial members. not with the faded tapestry ' figures of antiquated merit such as decorate and ' may solid reproach some other houses. all this. in order to station a steady ' future reforms. Benfield it.

. usury. ' his motives. His advertisements show stood. last ' where the whole business It of the ' general election was managed. and to be made. which was . ' prevail (and I am sorry to say . ' and cup for of an Indian This was the golden ' abominations this the chalice of the forni- ' cations of rapine. how how very of ' near they were prevailing) capital of this representative the ' kingdom. he was not wanting in zeal ' common cause. he was brought in for a ministerial ' borough. every distinction was ' to be heaped upon him. every honour. direct was openly attorney of ' managed by the Benfield. It agent and ' was managed upon India principles.— INDIAN" AFFAIRS . ministry could near. and oppression. 93 to the Government party : when his principal had returned to India " Every trust. interest. But to secure his services ' against all risk. and the merits upon which he this ' For your minister. at once made a * director of the India of company made an alderman if ' London . to enter into the worn-out veteran submitted the ' dusty field of London contest ' and you all remember that in the same virtuous office * cause he submitted to keep a sort of public or counting-house. He was . for the On his part.

which so " *' many land. a who long since ought to have fattened the his offal. 94 INDIAN AFFAIRS '* held out by the gorgeous eastern harlot . " criminal. refractory. and this is the grand " counterpoise against " interests.. is. Pitt] as the support of the crown and consti** tution. to follow this to Do you think '* that no reckoning was lewd debauch? riot ** that no payment was be demanded for this "of public drunkenness and national prostitution? *' Here of the ! you have it here before you. against the old. The principal *' grand election manager must be indemnified his crew '* accordingly. '* all odious coalitions of these A single Benfield outweighs them all . the claims of Benfield and *' must be put above all inquiry. region kites with by his majesty's of a great " ministers. enthroned in the government " kingdom. which in the " comparison effaces the splendour of " of Europe. so many of the nobles of this had drained to the very dregs." all the nobility . corrupt. *' Here is a specimen of the new and pure aristo- *' cracy created by the right honourable gentleman " [Mr. of the people. and enfeoffed with an estate. natural "interests of this kingdom.

Atkinson at the general election " I have laid open to you the connection of Atkinson " with Benfield '' . indeed. Clandestine and collusive practice can only *' be traced by combination and comparison of circumstances. *' and the liberal protection If this which he has received chain of circumstances *' from the minister. his '' practices to hide that concern from the public eye. in creating a " to procure a ministerial protection I have set " before your eyes his large concern in the debt. ** does not lead you necessarily to conclude that the of " minister has paid to the avarice '' Benfield the to of services done by Benfield's connections short his " ambition. I think the " with sufficient clearness. " ministers with Mr. . I have shown Benfield's employment parliamentary interest. . of his wealth. Mr.— INDIAN AFFAIRS 95 He of his '' then sums up as follows the general purport speech : I have thus laid before you. is it ** To reject such combination and comonly means of detecting it " parison '* to reject the is. connection of the . fraud . Speaker. to give a patent and free " licence to cheat with impunity. I do not know anything the " confession of the party that can persuade you of his *' guilt.

material half of But. is no longer a favourite in House. and as ' much those it so on my part. * The House revolution. long as the subject is. least as and w^hich seems be pursued with at If I * much vigour and regularity as ever. at one time taken so much this * and zeal. at least. to and distasteful to the ' reliques of the last Parliament it is a matter of fear * and apprehension. ' uncouth . I ought * make some apology to myself. perhaps some apology ' for having detained your attention so I * long. to you. It is natural for those who have . itself has undergone a great and signal is * To some the subject several harsh strange and . I know on what ground up with tread.— 96 INDIAN AFFAIRS The speech concludes with the following peroration : " The debate has been long. ' considered your ease or my own. the corrupt and destructive * system to which this debt has been rendered subto * servient. rather than the to * weight and importance of this question. as on the part of who have the ' spoken before me. more been * has hardly * touched on — that is. This fervour ' subject.

you ought not to examine its conduct. the basis of this laid new Govern- ment has been on old condemned delinquents. to keep aloof from this perilous lee shore. therefore. we can do nothing to separate from " our public interest and our national reputation.— INDIAN AFFAIRS 97 " seen their friends sink in the tornado which raged *' during the last shift of the monsoon. and. we " are not to examine into this board of control. the right honourable gentle- "man " into " this ! says that. and have " hardly escaped on the planks of the general wreck "it is but too natural for them. Heavens ! what an argument is We are not to examine into the conduct of it is " the direction. as much as " possible. Then we are only to examine into to " the conduct of those who have no conduct account " " for. A Government has been fabricated for "that great province. " But let us do what we please to put India from it " our thoughts. and " every time in a shape more unpleasant than the " former. " to put about their new-built barks. " Our attempts to banish this importunate duty will " only make it return upon us again and again. Unfortunately. as soon as they make " the rocks and quicksands of their former disasters. . because an old Government. because " it is a new one.

therefore. it Baffled. ' shall be found at my is. * shame and destruction must ensue. ' almost compels to tyranny and rapine. Whoever. by an audience Europe. justice to subdued. the was in ' better part of the proposed establishment ' the publicity of its proceedings . Without ' what is our Government at home. ' responsibility to Parliament. as ' every European Government other States is. post. The ' upon us I is authoritative. shall at any time bring . Let who will shrink back. as will the cause ' and humanity be only the dearer ' me. be ' not inspected with the eye of a severe and unremitting vigilance. discounof ' tenanced. of this question ' and as the mover had planned. which tempts. shall though it may call ' not break or subdue me. had been otherwise ' constituted. of this day. had it been constituted even as I wished. ' formed of the of by the ' applause or condemnation of the discerning and critical * company before which it acts ? But if the ' scene on the other side of the globe. invites. as The event has been such But if it * might be expected. discredited. ' For one. even awed. the worst event deject.98 INDIAN AFFAIRS ' and its superstructure is raised out of prosecutors * turned into protectors. in its perpetual this check.

tion of the to Bill. and towards a " subversion of the present most corrupt and oppres- " sive system for " weak. I admit their " claim to administer an annual territorial revenue " of seven millions sterling . he had to regulate the made a great speech on the of India. 1783. earnest. and faithful assistant. and denies claim defend its malpractices on the ground of the right its conferred by parliamentary charter. measure as Fox's Government known East India handiwork. steady. and to dispose (under the " control of a sovereign imperial discretion." Previously to the above deliverance. and with " the due observance of the natural and local law) " of the lives and fortunes of thirty millions of their . He says : " I therefore freely admit to the East India Com- "pany '* their claim to exclude their fellow-subjects ' from the commerce of half the globe. on December 1st. but which was of course Burke's criticises the constituits In this oration he East India Company. *' its government. in but a me shall find a I am afraid.— INDIAN AFFAIRS 99 " before you any thing towards the relief of our '' distressed fellow-citizens in India. to command an army " of sixty thousand men . when Burke was Paymaster of the Forces.

or ' grants for the mere private * benefit of leges. or all in the holders. . ought ' be some way or other exercised ultimately for * their benefit. and that * privilege claimed or exercised in exclusion of them. ' and even totally to cease when it substantially it ' varies from the purposes for which alone could ' have a lawful existence. or privicall it * whatever else you choose to . are is of ' the strictest sense a trust and the ' very essence of every trust to be rendered accountable . All this they possess (in by charter * and by Acts of Parliament my opinion) without * a shadow of controversy. and for so much a derogation ' from the natural equality to of mankind at large. ** Those who carry the rights and claims the furthest do not contend for all this I freely of the ' Company this this. ' being wholly artificial. none of which can be original self -derived rights.100 INDIAN AFFAIRS ' fellow-creatures. . them. more than all * and grant. then such rights. " If this ' is true with regard to every species of of political dominion and every description com- * mercial privilege. But granting ' they must grant to me in my turn that all all ' political power which is set over men.

when- " ever power and authority originating from ourselves " are perverted '' from their purposes. would I make to the East India Comto " pany accountable? '' Why. Parliament. '' Sir. Sir. and alone capable of an effectual legislative '' remedy. . had nothing to do with this charter. then. which alone capable of *' comprehending the magnitude of its object and its ** abuse. indifferent spectators of what *' passes in the Company's name in India and in ** London. from to whom their trust is was *' derived Parliament. "If Parliament.INDIAN AFFAIRS 101 " This I conceive. Parliament. and become instruments of wrong and violence. we might have some sort of Epicurean " excuse to stand aloof. and of such as seem to *' hold of no human how creature. to be true of trusts of power ^' vested in the highest hands. But if we are the very cause of the evil. to . which is held out to " exclude Parliament from correcting malversation " with regard to the high trust vested in the *' Company. *' I do not see a controversy can be maintained. title is the very thing which at once gives a to interfere and *' imposes a duty on us with effect. " To whom. be sure . But about the applica- " tion of this principle to subordinate derivative trusts. The very charter.


:

102

INDIAN AFFAIRS

" we are in a special manner engaged to the redress
" and for us
passively
to

;

bear
of

with
our

oppressions

" committed under the sanction
*'

own
to

authority

is

in truth

and reason

for this

House

be an active

" accomplice in the abuse.
" That the power notoriously, grossly abused has " been

bought from us

is

very certain.

But
the

this
Bill,

" circumstance,

which

is

urged

against

" becomes an additional motive for our interference,
" lest
'*

we should be thought
of

to

have sold the blood
base
consideration

of
of

millions

men

for

the

*'

money.
is,

We

sold, I admit, all that

we had

to sell

" that

our authority, not our control.

"We had not

" a right to

make

a

market

of

our duties.

" I ground myself, " that
if

therefore,

on this principle
is

the abuse

is

proved, the contract
all

broken,
into the
is

" and we re-enter into
" exercise of " indeed as " authority "
"
all

our rights

—that
and

is,

our duties.

Our own authority

much
is

a trust originally as the Company's
;

a trust derivatively

it

is

the use

we make

of the

resumed power that must
resumption
of
it.

justify or

condemn us

in the

When we

" have perfected the plan laid before us by the right

" honourable mover, the world will then see what

it


INDIAN AFFAIRS
103

"is we destroy and what
" test
"
it

it

is

we

create.

By

that

we stand

or

fall

;

and hy that

test I trust that

will

be found in the issue that we are going to
full

" supersede a charter abused to the " the powers which
it

extent of all

could abuse and exercised in

" the plenitude of despotism, tyranny, and corrup" tion, and that in one and the same plan
*'

we provide
of

a real

chartered

security

for

the

rights

men

" cruelly violated under that charter."

Following the plan adopted by him in his speech

on conciliation with America, he describes in detail
the
physical,
ethnological,
political,
social,

and

religious

conditions of Hindostan, and proceeds to
its

enlarge on the flagrant violations of

trust

comgives

mitted by the East India Company.

Then he

the following powerful description of the disastrous

consequences of the English government of India as
then carried on, and of the people who were conducting
*'

it

:

The

several

irruptions

of

Arabs,
for

Tartars,

and

**

Persians into

India were,

the

greater part,

''ferocious,

bloody,

and wasteful in the

extreme;

" our entrance into the dominion of that country was, " as generally, with small comparative effusion of

104

INDIAN AFFAIRS

" blood,
*'

being

introduced

by various

frauds

and

delusions,
blind,

and by taking advantage

of the incurable,

''

and senseless animosity which the several

" country powers bear towards each other rather than
" by open force. "
first

But the
is

difference in favour of the
:

conquerors

this

the Asiatic

conquerors

" very soon abated of their ferocity, because they "

made

the conquered country their own.

They rose

" or

fell

with the rise or
in.

fall

of the

territory they

" lived " their "
*'

Fathers
;

there

deposited the hopes of
there

posterity
of
;

and

children

beheld

the

monuments
finally cast
lot

their fathers.
it

Here

their lot
all

was
that
land.

and

is

the natural wish of

" their

should
sterility,

not

be

cast

in

a

bad

" Poverty,
" ing

and desolation are not a recreatthe

prospect

to

eye

of to

man,

and

there

" are very few
*'

who can bear

grow old among
passion or

the curses of a whole people. the

If their

" their avarice drove
*'

Tartar lords to acts of

rapacity or tyranny, there was time enough, even
in the short
effects of
If
life of

''

man,

to

bring round the

ill-

*'

an abuse

of

power upon the power

itself.

**

hoards were made by violence and tyranny, they
still

**

were

domestic hoards

;

the domestic profusion,

INDIAN AFFAIRS

105

'*

or the rapine of a

more powerful and prodigal hand,

" restored them to the people.
*'

With many

disorders,

and with few

political

checks upon power, nature

*'

had

still

fair

play

;

the sources of acquisition were

''

not dried up, and therefore the trade, the manufaotures,

''

and the commerce

of the

country flourished.

"

Even

avarice and usury itself operated, both for the

" preservation
*'

and

the

employment

of

national

wealth.

The husbandman and manufacturer paid

" heavy interest, but then they augmented the fund
" from whence

they were again to borrow.

Their

"resources w^ere dearly bought, but they were sure;
" and the general stock of the community grew by the
**

general

effort.

"But under
"
is

the English government

all

this order

reversed.
it is

The Tartar invasion was mischievous,
It

" but

our protection that destroys India.
it

was

" their enmity, but

is

our friendship.
is

Our conit

" quest there, after twenty years,

as crude as

was
it is

" the

first

day.

The

natives scarcely

know what

" to see the grey head of an Englishman. "

Young

men

(boys almost)

govern there, without society,

" and without sympathy with the natives.

They have
if

" no more social habits with the people than

they

cut no navigations. dug out no ' Every other conqueror of every other ' description has left some monument. roads. they one after another. England has built no bridges. no palaces. is any species ' of intercourse but that which necessary to make * a sudden fortune. ' England has erected no churches. ' no retributory superstitions by which a ' foundation of charity compensates. Every rupee profit made With ' by an Englishman us are is lost for ever to India. to the poor. ' With us no pride erects stately monuments which had produced. ' made no high reservoirs. no * no schools . hopeless prospect of * new flights of birds of prey and passage. for the rapine ' and injustice of a day. with for ' appetites continually renewing a food that of is ' continually wasting. nor. either of state to ' or beneficence. through ages. and its ' repair the mischiefs which pride ' which adorn a country out of own spoils. hospitals. indeed. ' wave after wave. behind him.106 INDIAN AFFAIRS * still resided in England . Were we be driven tell ' out of India this day. and there nothing before the ' eyes of the natives but an endless. with a view to remote settlement. nothing would remain to . ' Animated with all the avarice of age and roll in is all the ' impetuosity of youth.

neither nature nor reason " has any opportunity excesses of to exert itself for remedy " of the their premature power. which in good minds " (and many of theirs are probably such) might pro- " duce penitence or amendment. " fortune " by the acquired in England are often displayed virtues which dispense in same persons the wealth. " and as they are full grown in fortune long before " they are ripe in principle. But as English youth in " India drink the intoxicating draught of authority " and dominion before their heads are able to bear it. in every breaking up " of the monsoon. during the inglorious " period of our dominion. are unable to pursue " the rapidity of their flight. or that we see trailing a pike. and the cries of India are given to seas " and winds to be blown about. Their prey is lodged in "England. The " consequences of their conduct. *' In India is all the vices operate by which sudden .INDIAN AFFAIRS 107 " that it had been possessed. over a remote and unhearing ocean. or bending " over a desk at home. the . nothing in the boys we send to India " worse than in the boys whom we are whipping at " school. by anything better than the '' ourang-outang or the " There is tiger. "hereditary Arrived England.

a most discouraging attempt. " by loans they raise their value by demand. Our Indian government in its state a . Here the manufacturer and husbandman the just will bless and punctual hand that in cloth " India has torn the from the loom.. you succeed. In such to return '' an attempt you hurt those who are able If " kindness or to resent injury. you " save those who cannot so much as give you thanks. " All these things show the difficulty of the work " have on *' we hand . *' oppressions They marry into your families they enter into your senate. and. 108 INDIAN AFFAIRS " destroyers *' of the will nobility find of and gentry of a in whole kingdom at the best company " this nation. or " wrested the scanty portion of rice and salt from " the peasant of Bengal. " '* a board elegance and hospi- tality. they ease jomv estates . and there '* heavy is scarcely a house in the kingdom that does not that feel some concern and of *' interest makes all reform our eastern " government appear officious and disgusting. they lie " cherish and protect your relations which " on your patronage. or wrung from him the forgot his " very opium in which he " and his oppressor. but they show is its necessity best too. on *' the whole.

warm. both in conduct and " constitution. He then proceeds : "I *' therefore conclude. showing a consummate knowledge of the minutiae Indian political. of and describes of the spoliation of the Begums Oude. and even impassioned in the " cause." whom we are used He Nabob next deals with of Hastings' treatment of the Oude. being totally perverted its from the purposes incorrigible . and affects those " consider as strangers. and social organisation nothing short of marvellous. and the work of " men sanguine. and of the Eohillas. just on the same principles on which have all *' been made the just changes and revolutions of " government that have taken place since the begin" ning of the world. power ought to be taken out of their '' hands . is utterly and because they are incorrigible. and the Rajah of of Benares. religious. " of *' institution." Next he defends the proposals of the Bill against .— INDIAN AFFAIRS 109 " grievance. '' But it is an arduous thing to plead against abuses of a power which originates from your own to " country. what you all conclude. that this body. *' It is necessary that the correctives should be uncommonly vigorous.

" sanction to such tyranny and " Charters are kept when their purposes are main" tained . and concludes as follows : " It has been said. and even the of so " charter of London. no charter " should protect the mismanagement from correction. they have no security at all. " the charter of the city of London should prove no such oppression. engagements which it it could not perform. " and such public grievances from redress. No no security of at ** If the bank should. and with bills for "which could not procure payment. in which " public credit is so deeply concerned. . and of cruelly oppressing and t^-ran- " nising over millions of men as good as themselves. " with demands *' should be oppressed it could not answer. into a state similar to that of the if it "East India Company. by every species fall mis- *' management. : In the like case . " city of If the London had the means and will of destroying " an empire. in which the rights " subjects are involved *' many ? I answer all. they are violated its when the privilege is " supported against end and its object. what " security has the charter of the bank. if 3^011 violate this charter.— 110 INDIAN AFFAIRS the objections raised by the Opposition.

" resolved in take action. The first two days were occupied in reading the articles of impeachment the third day and the answers of the accused. The trial commenced in Westminster Hall before the assembled Peers on February 13th. This pledge. and Pitt's Ministry subsequently agreed to the impeachment of Hastings." to use his Burke having. On . beyond the for denunciatory speeches arch delinquent. am is '' wrong. " For *' my own this part. of against In the spring 1786 he moved papers on the subject. in '' destroying a tyranny that exists to the disgrace of " this nation. I . when. Parliament. I *' am able to take my share. of know what " right. 1788. I have finished *' all I proposed to say as If I my reasons for giving it is my vote to this Bill. and the destruction of so large a part of " the human species. at this late period. by one humble vote. Sir.INDIAN AFFAIRS 111 " Now. " ** own words. " wound him- self into the inmost recesses and labyrinths of the to Indian detail. not for want of pains to least. at my rectitude I have " given to my country. am happy that I have lived to see day I feel myself overpaid for the *' labours of eighteen years.

and then goes on to describe the crime. He commences with a skilful and admirably con- ceived tribute to the justice and impartiality of their lordships as a tribunal. we are say that the crimes . We " one which we contemplated in " all its its its nature with extensions. on that " review. I observe. This opening speech of Burke's is a wonderful It differs example of the wide range of his powers. entirely in manner and method from his Parliamentary utterances. in the next place. circumstances. all its with all "and with aggravations. and the evidence in the following words '' My lords. had he continued in the profession he originally adopted. the : criminal. eager to hear the most famous orator of the day in a case which had created such universal interest. the galleries being crowded to overflowing by an excited public. with chose " respect to the crime which we chose. bold to and.— 112 INDIAN AFFAIRS Burke began his general opening of the case for the prosecution. and had divided society into two bitterly hostile camps. he would have been one of the greatest advocates that ever adorned the English bar. and proves that.

— truly. the persons tried as who is serve us must be * men . cruelty. due to error. such as we know and * and can allow rise in the they are crimes which have their of * wicked dispositions men . We know that. ' malignity of temper. that they are no errors or mistakes. and have weighed before we to ' came your lordships' bar. frailty. as we are to be ' served by men. and emphatiare too liberal not to * The Commons * allow for the difficulties of public situation. human infirmity and human ' This we know. such fall ' as wise and good men might possibly into ' they are crimes cally crimes. . pride. ferocity. and that there a very large allow- ' ance. a great and arduous too well that domi- * They know ' neering necessities will occur in particular situations. * They know that particular situations will to * not give the mind time it have recourse to fixed * principles. they are ' crimes which have their rise in avarice. and properly.— INDIAN AFFAIRS 113 * with which we charge the prisoner are substantial * crimes . But the crimes we effects * charge are not the crimes and of common feel * human nature and for . rapacity. indeed. but that is made frequently to decide * in a manner that calmer reason would certainly * have rejected.

we desire no longer to be heard on this " occasion. that he did not commit we charge him with nothing ''that *' he did not commit against command. by . in short. pleaded on the score of error and infirmity we give *' up the whole. we stand on crimes of deliberation. *' Let everything be pleaded that can be .114 INDIAN AFFAIRS " haughtiness. *' We have not chosen to bring before you a poor. Now as to the criminal. insolence . *' So far as to the crime. misled. and absolute high *' crimes and misdemeanours. a heart gangreened ** to the very core. If we do not plant our crimes in to ** those vices which the breast of man is made " abhor. ** puny. " *' we charge him with nothing against remonstrances . in everything that " manifests a heart blackened to the very blackest. They were " crimes not against morals. perhaps. *' language. *' They were not but in real in formal and technical effect. trembling delinquent. we charge him with nothing that he did not commit " contrary to the advice. but against those eternal *' laws of justice which you are assembled here to assert. a " heart dyed deep in blackness. contrary to the admonition " and reprimand of those who were authorised by the " laws to reprove and reprimand him.

a few words relative to the evidence that we have brought to support such a " charge. It is evidence of record — of weighty. and arrayed. give it '* something like the nature of oppression first ** but we have brought before your lordships the *' man in property and power . disciplined. weighed against the public prosecution. ** my Lords. made up papers signed it is ** by the hand of the criminal himself made up . you " before you such a person. of . ** the tyranny in India are embodied. will be equal to the charge " ** itself. we have brought *' before you the head. whose insignificance *' and weakness. We have not chosen of to " bring before your lordships one ** those obscure offenders in other situations. Then. if if we have brought him.. authentic record — that is. all the " peculations. INDIAN AFFAIRS 115 " the faction of those that ought to have kept him in ** awe. the chief. which. we think. *' you strike at will not have need of a great many more examples if " —you strike at the whole corps you strike at the **head. the captain-general in iniquity ** —one all in whom all the frauds. " Now. official. and oppressed order to afterwards by their power in of screen- *' make his punishment the means " ing higher delinquents.

There never was a man who who thought he had " no law but his own will. when the believe. authenticated by his of witnesses own hands oral. are proved. merely as the opportunity or . ** An arbitrary system must always be a corrupt " one. " Mr. living ** made up of numbers to — " witnesses — competent are speak to the points to that "which they brought. The following passages power and eloquence : some idea of its Avarice and Greed the Key of Hastings' Policy. Hastings governed corruptly — that " that he gave and received bribes. did not also find that profit. " he had no ends but his own We is say that to say. and I trust the " evidence will be found such as cannot give you the " least doubt in your minds ** of the facts . I *' from their nature and you can have " no doubt of their criminality. and when you consider them. "We say that he did not ** only receive and give bribes accidentally without " any scheme or design. and formed a ** system for that purpose. INDIAN AFFAIRS ** of his it is own letters." Burke's opening speech extended over six days. During its course he opened the various charges will afford generally.— 116 . facts effects.

I believe. from this. as the British nation. Hastings has stained it. I shall show that in his judicial and character " official Mr. ** and attempts to justify it on the score of " utility. peculation. that there is less taint of . set up a system of corruption. but that he " formed schemes and plans of government for that " very purpose. It is certain that even tyranny itself " may find some specious colour. " There are. " nature and character of ** but he is staining the peculiar and distinguishing glory of this country. that man is staining. ** This system is such a one. ** is the dignity attached to its offices. ** many fearful things in Govern- ments that make them and odious . base. not only the general office. in particular. and *' contemptible. in any part of these dominions. and may appear " even as a more secure and rigid execution of justice. undoubtedly. " religious persecution " guise of may shade itself under the piety a mistaken and over-zealous . but " bribery. will disown for if *' any one thing distinguishes it this nation " eminently above another. INDIAN AFFAIRS 117 ** the importunity of temptation incited. and guilty hands are things " that have always been denominated low.. *' My Lords.. " corruption in them ** so that he who would.

" by any prejudice of mankind. merits of very merits ** nothing but oppression . that he squeezed more money out of the inhabitants of the country than any other " ** man could by any other means have done. base avarice which never can look. " money. the Company. money money . ** make amends for the present : but nothing ** can excuse money there is pollution in the touch. His acts of are acts. from the poor or from the rich. and you If may leave be governed as they can. are his merits. What he is. he says : You have " got a large ** sum them of to money from the people. " breach of faith. and will ** man imagine that future benefits exigency . anything like virtue.118 INDIAN AFFAIRS ** conquest induce a may cover to itself with its own laurels. " To his employers. Hastings has pleaded That he corevils of " rected the abuses or prevented the "arbitrary Government? " contends for ** an No such thing. perfidy is . What ? are the merits " which Mr. got by ** money got by extortion money got by is " violence. yet the great " ruling principle of the whole ** money. ** There is pollution in that Government which makes ** nothing but money its object. These. are my Lords. he . There cruelty. his . and It is his Government a Government.

In 1776 he despatched to the Court a plan for the better administration of justice. Behar. and the tools he employed for the purpose. and money the end of his ** Government. . and even recommended that Parliamentary sanction should be obtained for their establishment. and replaced council. and in 1775 he had recommended to the Court of Directors of the their continuance East India Company. or made it. In 1773 the Governor General had established for the collection six provincial councils and management of the revenues. he suddenly single abolished them. and in that plan he had specially provided for the permanence of these provincial councils. of them with one under which was placed the administration whole revenue of the the kingdoms of Bengal.INDIAN AFFAIRS 119 " has at any time taken any ** money from the inhabi- tants of the country. money is the middle. however. money the beginning. their subjection more complete. and Orissa. In 1781. is is " Very far from ** In short." Burke next describes the means adopted by Hastings to carry out this policy of plunder. he does not pretend he has *' increased their zeal and their affection for your " cause.

a person who could ** communicate between them and the country Government. the friend of the Mr. of the ** they assert that the whole power " most alarming and terrible nature — a power — centred in this . My Lords. your Lordships will allow me to from the ** report of the Council themselves. hear of " Hastings ** —a man sound that of you which will often all — name at the India turns pale.— 120 a INDIAN AFFAIRS After follows *' : stating these facts. such an agent was given to *' them by Mr. entirely of his it own ** creatures and favourites but. the most atrocious. the boldest. Hastings " " *' — there in never was a opinion of human being that differed their Gunga Govind to Sing. Hastings. ** hope and trust state. whom all authority below I and all the "authority above was delegated. the nature and *' importance of this office of secretary. as was necessary " that these gentlemen should have for their dewan or " secretary some native *' acquainted with the laws and customs of the country. ** the most wicked. Burke continues as This new Council he composed . There never —there never " was a foe of Mr. ** and most dexterous villain that that w^as a friend country ever " produced.

of. little better than ** hands of their . dewan. were. you see the executive power was ** destroyed you see that the delegation by Mr. no charge to make councils against The provincial were then . The screen he put before the " public. ** Now. you have here the itself.INDIAN AFFAIRS 121 " man. ** corruptest. to say that Did " Mr. both above *' and below. He pried into of the it '* the secrets of families he availed himself . and Mr. and that the Council. opinion of the Council are you see what they ** made . tools in the after all. Hastings pretend ** he destroyed them for their corruption or insufficiency ? No such their their *' thing. *' knowledge in of those secrets and he thereby had whole ** his power to lay the country under " contribution. " wickedest. with the best abilities ** and intentions. the veil was thrown open. Hastings " uses the names and authority of the English to *' make them tools in the hands of the the basest. you have heard ** that the provincial councils were destroyed. judicial and civil. He declares he has no objection to " competency. all *' Hastings of the English authority. was given to this " Gunga Govind Sing. for . most atrocious villain that ever was heard My Lords. my Lords. " conduct.

and to speak to you ** as a man much conversant in the world. dull. ** It is not in their nature. and amidst occupations the most various " from that experience. 122 INDIAN AFFAIRS " destroyed ** . and with per " j962. forty English gentlemen were removed the whole administration of the country was over. • •••«• one " Permit me. " turned ** the East India Company were burdened with pensions for the persons dismissed. *' that ** resourceless creatures. track they are poor. Their muscles have . as a man and. Their minds artificial are distorted of by following the corrupt. " lost their very tone and character they cannot . There is ** always some disqualifying ingredient mixing with the ** compound and spoiling it. helpless. Hastings' friend. my Lords.000 *' annum all for the newly-appointed council. Gunga Govind Sing. They are quite paralytic. *' means Out of accomplishing their own selfish ends.. Their faculties are benumbed ** on that side. I profess that I never for " knew a man that was had any service that " was good. for moment to drop my " representative character here. " ** much life acquainted with men and manners now fit in active . and for the purpose of establishing ** Mr.

em- ployments. the accomplishment of anything is is good a physical impossibility in as such a man. his " Mr. the principal of the six provincial . but not from his which he ** was allowed still to retain. no one ever employed ** man but for bad ends. this were too ** abominable escape and.INDIAN AFFAIRS 123 " move. to Thus stigmatised. a person called Debi Sing. ** There decrepitude as well if distortion. ** His corruptions to and oppressions notice. " place in his confidence but there was another " next to him. or deputy steward. a bad ** my Lords. he had procure the office " the influence of high " dewan. Hastings the justice to if " say that ** he had known that there was another accomplished in iniquity than Gunga first man more *' Govind Sing. Hastings removed ** man from profits. My Lords. These men know nothing " but ** how to pursue selfish ends by bad means. He " could not he would if is not more certain than that " he would not he could. Therefore I say. accordingly. I will do Mr. *' In short. he would have given him the . " under He ranked Gunga Govind Sing. to the council of Moor- " shedabad.

men without any scruples on . whom was his to interest to so con- " It was his study provide quick a " succession of pleasures. " who. like other young ** men of pleasurable disposi- tions. ** There my Lords.124 INDIAN AFFAIRS ** councils. and undertook to lead them. ** man possessed in an eminent degree the it ** pleasing those ciliate. This art of '* through the paths of profit and pleasure. at one and the ** same time. diversions. were *' willing reconcile they could the means of " acquiring a good fortune with the effects of ruin. and especially to like if young men in India. " into his conduct. with that care and with for *' that ability which he has been so much . ** Debi Sing took compassion upon them. This council consisted of young men. ** This tax Debi Sing farmed '' and from among the ladies who were the subjects of the tax *' he singled out. and entertain- " ments for the gentlemen who had seats at the " council board that ** they should not have much leisure to attend to business or inquire minutely is. in that country a tax much more productive than honourgirls " able " ** —a tax upon dancing and other females who make a profession in India of contributing to the pleasure of the the score of modesty.

have * papers of the utmost consequence brought to the * gentlemen who composed the council to be signed. * sober in the midst of drunkenness. * Sing made frequent visits. French wines. w^ere supplied liberally finest with the 'choicest * the dancing. active in the lap of drowsiness for the * —watched the favourable moment of his purposes. * Young men.' and all those fine names Debi * that tended to heighten the general harmony. of all * With them he concerted the plans tainments. as by accident. and not by design. the most costly perfumes in short. This ' great magician — chaste in the midst of dissoluteness. the most delicious of India . who seldom suspect others but still are honest themselves * of dishonest practices or arts * less so when their spirits are raised by . my Lords. those who had the merit. ' greatest personal ' The ladies were called 'good pearls of price.' ' rubies of pure blood.. with everything that could * by * possibility add to the luxury of such a scene. He always carried this * moving seraglio about with him wherever he went. pleasure that Asiatic luxury could ' His guests music. INDIAN AFFAIRS 125 ' commended. which were executed with new enter- * the refine- ' ments upon devise. * accomplishment if and conto * trived.

new taxes " upon the inhabitants but such instructions did not . he ** grievously oppressed and desolated. the collection of the revenues of the great countries of Dinagepore ** ** " and Rumpore. ** My Lords. to lead him in the ** paths of piety and virtue.126 INDIAN AFFAIRS " wine and the blandishments of " ** women . " accomplished ** and thus did this keeper of a legal brothel obtain the superintendence of a districts. all of number of ** which. as he had done before. incurred large arrears of payments. and a *' sober guardian of the morals youth. at such a moment was they unsuspectingly signed whatever paper offered for that purpose. and to have the whole administration of his territories. he was publicly whipped by proxy. committed into his hands. Hastings as a proper man to superintend the young rajah. for ** " his peculations. he was " chosen *' by Mr. or impose . the consequences were such as might ** inevitably be expected. and in one of these places. a prudent of the *' farmer of the of revenue. and thus the great ** ends of these expensive entertainments were fully . ** Having thus proved himself a kind protector people. Debi Sing lost not a "moment. *' One part of his instructions was that he should not raise the rents.

and oblige them to sign papers con- " sen ting to an increase of their rents. The demesne auction " lands were accordingly put up to and ''knocked down at one year's purchase. to seize The thing ** he did was on all the gentry of the country. throw *' them into prison.000 a year. he obliged them to give " bonds to what amount he His next pleased. which. These lands so their " sequestered were purchased so much under . " as well as others.000 sterling a year. as the price of step " their '' liberty. he was not to " laid. Being thus in prison. They amounted in ''all sum of £70.INDIAN AFFAIRS 127 " weigh ** much with a man who knew of that if he broke through them he was sure fore resolved. was to seize and sequester the lands that pay no taxes. of but. they were worth ^£300. though the *' usual price of land in that country was ten. The next " step he took was to lay on them a number of *' new have taxes. keep them in irons. to impunity. by his covenant. He there- *' by plunder and rapine of every sort. Whom *' were they sold to? Your Lordships to will anticipate " ** me— they the were sold of Debi Sing himself through means to the one of his agents. " according to the value ** money in that country. first *' make the most of his situation.

The sex. they are guarded ** with all possible attention . The " " *' money was put and the moment and or it it was paid the rents were raised again. Lords. nevertheless. or to zemin- " dars. was put by as a sacred deposit *' some other person whom Mr. in India. into a separate collection. Hastings should Next was the sale of their goods. *' appoint. for himself. are kept in a constant ** state imprisonment. and accordingly such persons came and made themall ** into the houses of these zemindars. " fled. No hand " of the law can touch them " of sending family ** but they have a custom bailiffs and family Serjeants into their houses. and respect.128 INDIAN AFFAIRS " value that the fee simple of *' an acre of land sold for about seven or eight shillings. from the ** sanctity in which they are held. and there here a circumstance that will call loudly for ** your " pity —most my of of the principal landholders. and the miserable " wretches received the payment for their lands out *' of the money that was collected from them. These is ** they were obliged to carry to market. The men and women All the charity lands were sold at the all same "market: that the affections of their ancestors . " selves masters of them. happened at that time ** be women.

from the nature of their education and " religion. the most heartrending " But. the the ** secondary gentry. more greedy This ** than the grave — these lands were sold also. But by the tyranny Debi Sing^ a tyranny more consuming than fire. " was to them.— INDIAN AFFAIRS 129 ** had provided to maintain the poor and helpless was ** sold before their faces at that this. my Lords. same market. were they ** obliged to sign recognitions of their E . *' of all their losses. But *' my Lords. and there they were obliged cipal to sign. How of dear these ** grounds are to all the people of India it is needless " for ** me to say. There were things yet consolations of imaginalife. they ruin . all. all women. the of. " dearer to them ** — the poor set tion at death for all the substantial miseries of ** There were lands burial-grounds of apart and destined for the ** the owners. as the prin- ** zemindars had done before. this was not in This was the all manner which all the principal gentry. of the say their possible " situation ** ten thousand times worse — if there are degrees of utter ruin. is not all. and all " minors were disposed '* What was yeomen ? the situation I if of the poor is men. They were " driven like horned cattle into the ** common prison.

fulness. cent. " The next thing that they were forced to part with *' was the ornaments of their women. of There were ** such an incredible variety new taxes every day all " that they were obliged to ** sell almost the corn of the country at once. my Lords. where an overloaded market and wicked pur- " chasers. 130 INDIAN AFFAIRS ** were let out only to their destruction. five were known to sell for ten shillings. so that. These were all forced to be brought to so "market along with the " silver " value. sold for cattle. It happening to be a year of ** and the markets overloaded. " Permit me now.. they came to the " next resource —they were obliged all to sell everywhere " and hurry to market the cattle. to set before you the this " state of the people that remain victims of . The women of *' India do not decorate themselves to our their decorations serve as a resource in mode *' cases of " emergency. their crops ** did not sell for above one-fourth of their value. my Lords. under silver Some will Gold and sold "under " there their value! is Certainly. ** being overloaded with taxes. that gold and their twenty per say. Of cattle that " were worth twenty shillings or twenty-five shillings ** a-piece.

prevails It is notorious that poverty generally * among the are poor ryots. my of Lords. to * tion of the infernal fiend. ' Usurers. have those * bonds discharged that the wretched husbandmen were obliged to ' borrow money. is sought that dreadful resource which misery ' apt to fly to — they fell into the hands of usurers. while they were harassed in this manner. a little Their effects are ' earthenware. are a bad resource at any time ' and at that time those usurers. not at twenty. * straw. . and their houses a handful of the . . men ten times worse —that ' their own necessities. it ' was concerned produce it in racking and I ' to show what a country is. The * people. this strange testimony My these Lords. or husbandmen * that the poor seldom possessed of any sub- * stance. added ' another that makes such is. Such was the determinaDebi Sing. sale it of which was not worth a few incredible that there should ' rupees but is still ' not be a want of purchasers. except at the time they reap their harvest * and this is the reason that such numbers of them only * were swept away by famine. or . to the accustomed that ' hardness description of people. I produce ' from the person himself who people. INDIAN AFFAIRS 131 ' oppression..


INDIAN AFFAIRS

132

*

thirty, or
cent., in

forty, or fifty,

but at six hundred per
!

*

order to satisfy

him

"My
* *

Lords, I

am

here

obliged

to

offer

some

apology for the horrid scenes I

am

about to open.
to

Permit

me

to

make

the

same apology

your lord-

'

ships that was

made by Mr. Patterson
I

— a man with
it

*

whose name
posterity.

wish mine
is

to

be handed down to

*

His apology

this

— and

is

mine
of

*

that the punishments inflicted

upon the ryots
were,
I

*

Rumpore
instances,

and
of

of

Dinagepore

in

many

*

such a nature that
veil

would rather

*

wish

to

draw a
by a

over

them than shock your
it

'

feelings

detail.

But
justice

is

necessary for the
for

*

substantial ends of

and humanity, and

'

the

honour

of

government, that they should be

'

exposed, that they should be recorded, and handed

*

down
Lords,
thing

to

after ages

;

let this

be

my

apology.

My

*

when
it

the people had been stript of everyin

*

was

some cases suspected, and
of the grain.

justly,

*

that they

had hid some share

Their
of

*

bodies were then
torture,

applied to the fiercest
this
:

mode

*

which was

They began with winding
till

*

cords about their fingers

the flesh on each

hand

*

clung and was actually incorporated.

Then they

INDIAN AFFAIRS

133

"
**

hammered wedges

of

wood and iron between those
and maimed those poor,
which were never

fingers until they crushed

" honest, and

laborious hands,

"

lifted

up

to their

mouths but with a scanty supply
Lords, these acts of unparalleled
;

"

of provision.

My

" cruelty began with the poor ryots
**

but

if

they
of

began there, there they did not
the villages, the leading
respectable

stop.
of

The heads

**

yeomen

the country,

**

for their virtues, respectable for their

*'

age, were tied together, two

and two, the

unofifend-

" ing and helpless, thrown across a bar, upon which
" they were
**

hung with

their feet uppermost,

and there

beat with

bamboo canes on the

soles of those feet
;

**

until the nails started

from their toes

and then with

**

the cudgels of their blind fury these poor wretches

" were afterwards beat about the head until the blood
" gushed out
at

their

mouth, nose, and

ears.

My

"Lords, they did not stop here.
**

Bamboos, w^angees,

rattans, canes,

common

whips, and scourges were
tree in the
:

" not sufficient.
*'

They found a

country

which bears strong and sharp thorns

not satisfied

**

with those other cruelties, they scourged them with

" these.

Not

satisfied

with

this,

but searching every-

" thing through the deepest parts of Nature, where

134

INDIAN AFFAIRS

*'

she seems to have forgot her usual benevolence,

" they found a poisonous plant, a deadly caustic, that " inflames the part that is bruised,
*'

and often occasions

death.

This they applied to those wounds.

My
are

''

Lords, we

know

that there are

men

(for so

we

"
''

made)

whom
of

bodily pains

cannot

subdue.

The

mind

some men strengthens

in proportion as the

" body suffers.
" their

But people who can bear up against up against those
of

own

tortures cannot bear

" their children
**

and their friends.
the

To

add, therefore,

to

their

sufferings,

innocent

children

were

'*

brought forth and cruelly scourged before the faces
of their parents.

**

They frequently bound the
to face,
till

father

**

and the son face

arm

to

arm, body

to body,

"

and then flogged

the skin was torn from the

" flesh; and thus they had the devilish satisfaction of
"
''

knowing that every blow must wound the body or
the

mind

;

for

if

one escaped the son, his sensibility

"

was wounded by the knowledge he had that the

" blow
**

had

fallen

upon his father

;

the

same torture

was

felt

by the father when he knew that every blow

" that missed
**

him had

fallen

upon his unfortunate son.

My

Lords, this was not
of

this

was not
be

all

!

The

" treatment

the

females

cannot

described.


INDIAN AFFAIRS
135

" Virgins that were kept from the sight of the sun " were dragged
**

into

the public
to

court

—that

court
all

which was intended
oppression

be a refuge against

*'

—and there, in the presence
of

of day, their

" delicacies were offended and their persons cruelly

" violated by the basest
" there
*'
;

mankind.

It did

not end

the wives of the

men

of

the country only

suffered less

by

this

:

they lost their honour in the

" bottom of the most cruel dungeons in which they

" were confined.

They were then dragged out naked,

" and in that situation exposed to public view, and
*'

scourged before

all

the people.

My

Lords, here

is
it

*'

my

authority

— for otherwise

you

will not believe

" possible.

My

Lords, what will you feel

when

I tell

" you that they put the nipples of the
**

women
tore

into

the cleft notches of sharp
their bodies?

bamboos and

them

"from
**

What modesty

in all nations
to

most carefully conceals these monsters revealed

" view and consumed by burning tortures and cruel " slow
fires
!

My
tell
!

Lords, I

am ashamed

to

open

it

" horrid to
*'

These infernal

fiends, these

mon-

strous tools of this monster, Debi Sing, in defiance

" of everything divine or
*'

human, planted death

in the

source of

life

"
!


136

INDIAN AFFAIRS

(Here Burke dropped his head upon his hands,
unable to continue, so greatly was he oppressed by
his

appalling narration.

The

effect

on

the

vast
of a

audience was profound.
class not given to

Composed

in the

main
it

outward displays

of feeling,

was,

nevertheless, convulsed with

intense emotion.
;

Exseveral

clamations of
ladies fainted
;

horror arose on every side

and

it

was some

little

time before

Burke could proceed.)

The following
Burke concluded
day

is

the

peroration

with

which

his

opening speech on the sixth

:—

" I charge Mr. Hastings

— and we
charge

shall charge

him

" with having destroyed the whole system of govern"
**

ment, which he had no right to destroy, in the
provincial
councils.
I

six

him with having

" delegated
**

away

that power which the Act of Parlia-

ment had
himself.

directed
I

him

to preserve

unalienably in

*'

charge him with having

formed

an

**

ostensible committee to be instruments

and

tools
I

" at the
*'

enormous expense

of

£62,000 a year.

charge him with having appointed a person dewan

" to
"

whom

those tools were to be subservient
to

— a man
his

whose name,

his

own knowledge, by

own

without away the lands of right. burnt their houses. I charge him that he has not done that . abhorred. cruelly harassed the peasants. " bribe-duty with fidelity for there is something like " a fidelity in the transactions of the very worst of " men. title. I charge him with having robbed he took the bribes. I charge him with having tortured and dishonoured their persons. ** semindaries to most wicked of knowing his wickedness with having com- mitted to him that great country. ** which he had thus separated from the council-general and from the provincial councils. and destroyed the honour of the whole female race of ** . taking bribes of " I charge ** him with Gunga Govind Sing. and with having ** wasted the country. . I those " people of whom charge him " with having alienated the fortunes of " charge widows. destroyed the landed interest. I him with having. charge him with giving the . " those very " persons. " that can ** by everything make a man known.INDIAN AFFAIRS 137 " general recorded official transactions. or " purchase. *' " and ** destroyed their crops. and them to the very person under whose protecI " tion those orphans were. and detested. taken " given orphans. was stamped with infamy with giving him this " whole power.

my Lords ? " *' When was one ? much iniquity apjplied to any- No. my Lords. and of wasted ? kingdoms Do you want there so a criminal. I may venture to say that the " sun in his beneficent progress does not behold a *' more glorious sight than to see those that are of " separated '* by the material bounds and barriers nature united by the bond of social and natural *' humanity . 138 INDIAN AFFAIRS ** that country. for Mr. of Great Britain the I " appear ** to You have before you . of undone women the " first ** rank. My of Lords. Commons Great Britain as prosecutors and " believe. my Lords. " permit My Lords. me to add. if a " prosecutor you want. of desolated provinces. neither do we want a tribunal . with respect to India. to " Hastings has not left substance *' enough in Asia punish such another delinquent. and all the Commons of England resent- " ing as their own the indignities and cruelties that " have been offered to the people of India. what in this last of justice moment that of we want besides the cause —the cause of *' oppressed princes. is it " Now. ** my Lords. the Commons prosecute. This I charge upon him in the of name " of the Commons England.. you to *' must not look punish in India more .

and their magnanimity. we have also here a new nobility. *' My Lords. and those who by their " various talents and abilities have been exalted to a . " the *' the Crown. such as the fond wishes desire " the people of " be. England all an heir apparent nobles of to We have here the England. while ancestors. of " the honour ** and the honour their posterity guard of . under whose exercise. " *' We have my Lords. sacred minister of sit. here we see. feel authority you and whose power you which we all " In that invisible authority. virtually in the mind's eye. power " his Majesty. the Heir of Crown. My " Lords. We . they be " inherit ** the virtues those will anxious to transmit them to that posterity. who have " raised themselves ** by their integrity. " offering themselves as a pledge for the support of ** the rights of the Crown and the liberties of the " people. their virtue.INDIAN AFFAIRS 139 "for a greater tribunal than the present no example *' of antiquity nor anything in the world can supply. a great hereditary " peerage we have those who have of their ancestors. my Lords. the of " energy and life of. to their own honour. and who. have here. we see the protecting also. sitting in judgment Apparent in this great to the and august assembly.

in when the God whom ** we adore appeared human form. and strengthen and promote those " principles which they have maintained in their " respective courts below. that of their instiis *' tutions the very vital spirit so charity. we have here persons highly exalted in the " practice of the law. to enlighten it. he did not . in its primitive it the most incorrupted . and secure to them the good These will *' opinion of their fellow subjects. ** our Church. and which ** may justify that favour.140 INDIAN AFFAIRS " situation. My Lords. *' who come to to sit in this tribunal. be *' equally careful not to sully those honours. purified from the superstitions that are but disgrace too apt to the best institutions in the world. by the wisdom and bounty of their " sovereign. you have here also the lights of our holy the bishops of " religion. You " have here the representatives of that religion which ** says that God is a God of love. ** and ancient forms here " you behold " *' in its primitive ordinances. for their superior knowledge no doubt. see that " the law is justly ** and impartially administered. and that it ** much hates oppression that. My " Lords. Here we behold the true image of religion. ** These being ennobled will. which they well deserve.

" I impeach him in the name of the People of . these are our securities we rest upon ** them we reckon upon them . " I impeach him in the name whose laws. ordered I House of Commons Hastings Great Britain. and we commit. with " confidence. " I impeach him in the name of the Commons of " Great Britain. Lords. rights. : My . of the flock that feed and those that " feed them. whose national character he has dis- " honoured. ** and liberties he has subverted. impeach mis- Warren of high crimes and demeanours. and made " in that government it a firm principle that is which he who in our master of " nature and who appeared humble form has "established. " " ** Therefore of it is that. ** I impeach him Britain in in the name of the Commons of " Great Parliament assembled. but in sympathy to " the lower people. whose " parliamentary trust he has abused. he ** who is called first among them. of the People of " India. is and ought " to be the servant of the rest.INDIAN AFFAIRS 141 " appear in greatness of majesty. the interests of India and of humanity by the " to your hands.

and by the virtue those eternal laws " of justice which ought equally to pervade every age. rank. whose " country he has laid waste and desolate. And of." . " condition. I impeach him in *' the name. and oppressed in both sexes. injured. which he has cruelly outraged. ** I impeach him in the name of human nature " *' itself. and situation in the world. whose properties he has destroyed.142 INDIAN AFFAIRS " India.

man can separately do. to without on others." In saying this he implicitly all condemns both autocracy (which places 143 individual . of Burke's political to edifice was There were two buttresses it that edifice which supported and gave Order. all can do in his equal favour. he has a right do for himself and he has " a right to a fair portion of all that Society. without Liberty and could be no enduring Justice. five shillings in the He that has but *' partnership has as good a right ** to it as he that has five hundred pounds has to his ** larger proportion. THE FRENCH REVOLUTION The foundation Justice. to the means "making " ** their industry fruitful Whatever each trespassing . strength —Liberty and Order there '* Indeed. ** In his : Reflections on the Revolution in France " he says '' Men have a of " right to the fruits of their industry.Chapter IV. with all " *' its combinations of skill and force. In this partnership men have *' rights. but not to equal things.

and the other Whig leaders acclaimed the uprising with enthusiasm. and which cannot ** exist at all without them." like that of their former masters. we must keep fundamental principles to the delivery of of his life. and three weeks later. Burke proceeded to write that most famous of all his works. therefore. in a letter to Lord Charlemont. ** Speaking Bristol. and had come away with gloomy forebodings as to the future of French society.144 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION and property rights of life. On July 14th. he expressed his abhor- rence of such that. remarking than they were due to character rather fit to accident." In considering. at the mercy of one irresponsible subjects overlord) and democracy (which them to the still greater irresponsibility of at the mob). and ** must have a strong hand. Burke's attitude on the French Revolution. in I 1774. liberty. he said : The liberty — the only liberty mean — is a liberty " connected with order and virtue. then the French people **were not " for liberty. " Reflections on . Sheridan. disorderly if and lawless outbreaks. 1789. to coerce While Fox. them. in view these three The year previous just referred to the speech to we have he had paid a visit France. the Bastille was captured by the Paris mob.

THE FBENCH BEVOLUTION 145 " the Revolution in France. for they have seen that he of was but acting on his three great leading principles Justice. The '' Reflections " was by "An Appeal " from the New to the Old Whigs." and consists of a refutation of three propositions advanced by a dissenting minister L . and by many speeches during one of in Parliament on the same subject. '' The " Reflections " is couched in the form of a letter intended to have been sent to " a gentleman in Paris. Taunts of inconsistency and treason to the principles of a lifetime were hurled at him . and sold of to the then unprecedented number its 30. as he had been when defending the American Colonists and the Peoples followed of India. took the world by storm.000 copies within a few months of Its appear- ance. 1790. and on the Proceedings in ** Certain Societies in London relative to that Event. which occurred the famous rupture between Burke and Fox. contents threw his former associates into rage and consternation. of the and Order in opposing the violence Jacobin mob." which. Liberty. but the succeeding generations have acquitted of these Burke charges." in which he replied to the attacks of his former political associates. by which their long friendship came to an end. published in November.

— THE FRENCH REVOLUTION the day. it he deals with as follows :— . We give extracts which will. and as to the solicitude with which they preserved. that which he refutes Dr. 1. With regard in to the first part of his subject. be seen that his forecast of the course of the Kevolution was nothing short of prophetic. to this The portion of treatise is devoted subject the second to the consideration of the Kevoits lution in France. in a sermon 146 of entitled " Discourse on the Love of in our Country. Eichard Price. place before the reader a clear It will conception of Burke's method and argument. the first . Dr. 3. as far possible. The preacher's thesis was that by the Kevolution of 1688 the people of rights." preached a chapel in the Old Jewry. we think. England acquired three fundamental : namely To choose our own governors. the Eev. Price's three propositions. To cashier a them for misconduct. for ourselves. 2. its inception. continuity of the the royal succession. progress. and its probable future developments. To frame government This thesis Burke refutes by references to the declarations of the Whigs who made the Kevolution of 1688.

eldest " daughter of King James. ever there was a time favourable for " establishing the principle that a king of popular " choice was the only legal king. but on that of his wife Mary. without all doubt it " was at the Revolution. not on the head of the '' Prince of Orange. which his. in '* the person of King William. the " issue of ** born of the that king. a small and a temporary " deviation from the strict order of a regular heredi** tary succession . It they acknowledged as to repeat a all undoubtedly would be very trite *' story to recall to your memory those circum- " stances which demonstrated that their accepting .THE FRENCH REVOLUTION *' 147 Unquestionably there was at the Revolution. *' Its not being done at that time is a proof that the nation to was of opinion is it ** ought not be done at any time. There no " person so completely ignorant of our history as not " to know that the majority in Parliament of both little " parties were so disposed to anything resembling first " that principle that at they were determined to " place the vacant crown. but it is against all genuine " principles of jurisprudence to draw a principle from " a law made in a special case and regarding an non transit " individual *' person. If Privilegium in exemplum.

whilst all kept from that could be found in this act " of necessity to countenance the idea of an hereditary " succession " is brought forward and fostered and the made the most of by this great man and by " legislature *' who followed him. but *' to all those who to did not wish. in effect. " though not next. very near in the line " of succession. " Somers. legislative it * ejaculation. ** had just escaped. and in a strict " single case. it is curious to bill observe how Lord who drew the called the Declaration of " Right. it was an act of ** in the strictest moral sense in which " necessity can be taken. Quitting the dry. in favour of a prince who. has comported himself on that delicate occa" sion. Parliament departed from the '* order of inheritance. and liberties into the peril they necessity. imperative style of an Act of Parliament.148 THE FBENCH BEVOLUTION ''King William was not properly a choice. It is curious to observe with what address is " this temporary solution of continuity " the eye. laws. and declare that they consider as a . to recall King " James ** or deluge their country in blood. and again to bring their religion. '* In the very Act in which for a time. was. he makes " the Lords and '* Commons fall to a pious. however.

as it . and that they might preserve a close " conformity to the practice of their ancestors. '* Accordof their ingly. in the Act of King William. to reign over us on the for ' ' throne of their which. in the meliorated order of "succession. They threw a politic. was by them considered as a " providential escape. " condition to avoid the very appearance of as " much as possible. laivful title much less to make an election the only " to the Crown. that they might not relax the nerves " monarchy. did fair " not thank God that they had found a " tunity '* oppor- to assert a right to choose their own Governors. they meant to perpetuate. or which " might furnish a precedent for any future departure " from what they had then settled for ever.THE FRENCH REVOLUTION * 149 ' marvellous providence and merciful goodness of ' ' God to this nation to preserve their said majesties' ' ' royal persons most happily ancestors.' '' The two Houses. they return their humblest ' ' thanks and praises. Their having been in it. from the ' ' bottom of their hearts. wellto " wrought veil over every circumstance tending " weaken the rights which.

declaring:. containing a most solemn pledge. they declare (observing also in this the traditionary " language. " by reason of any pretended ** titles to the Crown. 'That in ' them " they are most fully.150 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION Queen Mary *' appeared in the declaratory statutes of " and Queen Elizabeth. and tranquillity of this thereof. united.'! In " the clause which follows. and tranquillity of this nation. wholly depend. in the next clause they vest. and that of election would destructive the unity.' which " they thought to be considerations of some moment. under God. *' all the legal pre- rogatives of the Crown.' * ** They knew that a doubtful title of succession " would but too " an " * much resemble an be utterly election. and entirely *'* invested. rightfully. and therefore ' to exclude for ever the Old Jewry doctrine of * a right *' to choose our own governors.' they follow with a *' clause. for preventing questions. " by recognition. and annexed. the unity. along with the traditionary policy of the *' nation. " nation doth. incorporated. and repeating as from a rubric the language " of the preceding acts of Elizabeth and James) that "on " ' the preserving 'a certainty in the succession peace. in their majesties. " To *' provide for these objects. taken from . peace.

ever. faithfully ' submit themselves. herein specified of their powers. much I as " they please *' on their Whig principles but never desire to be thought a better or to Whig than Lord of " Somers. understand the principles the " Eevolution better than those by whom it was brought "about. and ' also the limitation of the Crown. So far is it to the utmost " *' from being true that we acquired a if right by the Eevolution to elect our kings that.' etc. '' we had possessed it before. and Commons. " ' and contained. aforesaid. and defend their said majesties. and as solemn a renunciation " as could be *' made them. to. as solemn a " pledge as ever was or can be given in favour of an " hereditary succession. or to read in the declaration " mysteries of right any style unknown to those whose penetrating . in spiritual and temof all the *' poral. the name " " " ' people most their humbly and heirs. of the principles ' by this society imputed ' to The Lords do. the English nation did " at that time most solemnly renounce and abdicate *' it for themselves and for all their posterity for ever. '' These gentlemen may value themselves as .THE FRENCH REVOLUTION " the preceding Act of 151 Queen Elizabeth. and posterities for * and do faithfully promise that they will stand " " ' maintain.

if had any fault. it shows the anxiety of the men who influenced the conduct of affairs at " that great event to " settlement make the Kevolution a parent of of and not a nursery future revolutions. rather too guarded.' "Perhaps the apprehensions our " tained " ' ancestors enter* of forming such a precedent as that of cashiering for misconduct. ** the words and spirit of that immortal law.152 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION " has engraved in our ordinances. all this But all this guard " and '' accumulation of circumstances serve to show the spirit of caution which predominated in "the national councils in a situation in which men.' was the cause that the " declaration of the Act *'of *' which implied the abdication it King James was. " irritated by oppression and elevated by a triumph " over it.'' They who " the Kevolution grounded their virtual abdication of . and too circumstantial. " No Government could stand a moment if it could " be blown down with anything of ' so loose and indefinite led at "as an opinion misconduct. and in our hearts. ** The second claim of the revolution society is * a " ' right of cashiering their governors for misconduct. are apt to abandon themselves to violent "and extreme " great courses.

' In order to lighten the Crown still further.THE FRENCH REVOLUTION King James upon no such ciple. as under that most rigorous of all laws. policy of all ' The grand render it their regulations for was to * almost impracticable any future ' sovereign to compel the states of the kingdom to * have again recourse to those violent in the eye remedies. had ever been. obliged A grave and overruling necessity ' them to take the step they took. perfectly irresponsible. to subvert the Protestant Church and State and ' \hQ\Y fundamental f unquestionable laws and liberties : * they charged him with having broken the original contract ' between king and people. they ' aggravated responsibility on ministers of State ' They secured soon after the frequent meetings of ' Parliament^ by which the whole Government would ' be under the constant inspection and active control of the ' popular representatives and of the magnates . of * Their trust for the future preservation ' the constitution was not in future revolutions. confirmed illegal * acts. and took ' with infinite reluctance. This was more ' than misconduct. 153 ' light and uncertain prinless ' They charged him with nothing by a multitude of than a overt ' design. ' They left the it Crown what. and estima- * tion of law.

and for ' the further limitation of the better ' securing the rights and liberties of the subject. as the " their claims. ' than the reservation of a right so difficult ' in the practice. asserted by the pulpit "of the Old Jewry " ' —namely. first two of The Revolution was made to preserve .' in The rule ' laid down for Government the Declaration of ' Eight. so and often that of ' mischievous in the consequences. ' they provided * * that no pardon under the great to seal ' of England should be pleadable an impeach- ' ' ment by the Commons in Parliament. at least. " The third head of right. the constant inspection of Parliament. as ' cashiering their governors. as little " countenance from anything done at the Revolution. the practical ' claim of impeachment. Crown.154 THE FRENCH BE VOLUTION ' of the kingdom. they thought ' infinitely a better security not only for their con- ' stitutional liberty. so uncertain in the issue. but against the vices of administration. that of the 12th and 13th of King William.' has. the 'right to form a Government for ourselves. " either in precedent or principle. In the next great Constitutional ' Act.

" hitherto we have made have proceeded upon . nay. " and not in the sermons of the Old Jewry and the " after-dinner toasts of the Revolution Society. and do '' We wished at the period all now wish. " and the policy which predominated in that great " period which has secured it to this hour. that body and stock of inheritance Upon *' we have taken ** care not to inoculate any scion alien to the nature All the reformations " of the original plant. pray look " for both in our histories. The very idea is the fill " fabrication of a new Government enough " us with disgust and horror. that all those which possibly may made . Such a claim it is is as ill-suited to our " temper and wishes as *' unsupported by any of to appearance of authority. the principle of " reference to antiquity *' and I hope. to derive we possess as an inheritance from our forejathers. I am be per- suaded. in our " Acts of Parliament. If is our are " only security for law and you " desirous of knowing the spirit of our constitution. and that ''ancient Constitution of Government which liberty. " of the Revolution.THE FRENCH REVOLUTION 155 " our ancient indisputable laws and liberties. in our records. and journals of Parliament. In " the former you will find other ideas and another " language.

and and *' a People inheriting privileges. '' and above it. We have an inheritable Crown. franchises. the people of England well know that the . and a House of Commons. or. rather. By this means our Consti- " tution preserves an unity in so great a diversity of " *' its parts. *' People will not look forward to posterity look who never backward to their ancestors. " Besides. *' liberties *' from a long line of ancestors. specially belonging to the people of this " without any reference whatever to any other more *' general or prior right. and "to be transmitted ** to our posterity .156 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION *' hereafter will be carefully formed upon analogical ** precedent. which wisdom without spirit reflecis " tion. and example. authority. This policy appears to me to be the result of *' profound reflection. A of innovation generally the result of a selfish temper and confined " views. ''From Magna Charta *' to the Declaration of of Eight it has been the uniform policy our Constitution " to claim and assert our liberties as an entailed " inheritance derived to us from our forefathers. an inheritable Peerage. as an estate kingdom. the is happy effect of '' following nature.

but in a condition of unchangeable ' constancy. are handed in down and to us and ' from us the is same course order. ' grasped as in ' a kind of policy.THE FRENCH BEVOLUTION idea of 157 ' inheritance furnishes a sure principle of ' conservation and a sure principle of transmission. we ' we hold. mortmain for ever. we transmit our government and ' our privileges in the same manner in which we enjoy and transmit our property and our lives. or young. * and symmetry with the order the and with ' mode of existence decreed to a permanent body ' composed of transitory parts. moves on through the varied tenour of . moulding together ' the great mysterious incorporation of the race. ' ment. It it leaves but it secures ' what acquires. Our ' political system placed in a just correspondence of the world. By a constitutional ' working after the pattern of nature. the human ' whole at one time is never old or middle- * aged. the of * Providence. ' without at all excluding a principle of improveacquisition free . ' ' The gifts institutions of policy. Whatever advantages are obtained ' by a State proceeding on these maxims are locked fast as in a sort of family settlement . the goods of fortune. w^herein. receive. by the dis- ' position of a stupendous wisdom.

Always acting as forefathers. by preserving the method conduct never of the nature in the ' State. fall. their and cherishing with the warmth ' combined and mutually reflected charities. our sepulchres. In this choice ' of inheritance we have given a relation to our frame of polity ' the image of in blood. what we improve we are what we retain ' wholly new in we are ' never wholly obsolete. ' we have derived benefits of several other. in spirit the of ' presence of canonised the . and our altars. ' Thus. ' bosom of keeping of inall ' separable. ' by the spirit of philosophic analogy. binding up ' the Constitution of our country with our dearest ' domestic the ties .158 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION renovation. " Through the same plan of a conformity to nature ' in our artificial institutions. in . and by calling in the to fortify ' aid of her unerring and powerful instincts ' the fallible and feeble contrivances of our reason. of * perpetual decay. and those no small. liberties in the light if ' from considering our * an inheritance. By adhering in this manner ' and on those principles to our forefathers. our ' State. our hearths. adopting our fundamental laws into our family affections . and progression. we are but * guided not by the superstition of antiquarians.

its ** and We procure rever- " ence to our civil institutions on the principle upon " which nature teaches us to revere individual '' men on account of their age. leading in is itself to misrule and excess. *' tempered with an awful gravity. " bearings and '* has has its ensigns its armorial." In the second part of the " Eeflections " he draws . who have chosen our nature rather than our speculations. evidences.THE FRENCH REVOLUTION *' 159 freedom. monumental titles. It It has its its " a pedigree and illustrating ancestors. inscriptions. which prevents that upstart insolence ** almost inevitably adhering to and disgracing those " who are the first acquirers of any distinction. our breasts rather " than our inventions. and on account of those *' from whom they are descended. records. for the great conservatories " and magazines of our rights and privileges. All your sophisters '' cannot produce anything better adapted to preserve " a rational and manly freedom than the course that " w^e *' have pursued. It It carries an imposing and majestic aspect. By " this *' means our liberty becomes a noble freedom. This idea of a " liberal descent inspires us with a sense of habitual ** native dignity. gallery of portraits.

the stationary interests of the nation con- " cerned have most *' commonly influenced the new governments in the same manner in which they influenced the old. both as to persons and " forms. and the frenzy and fury of which characterised that following passage difference political *' France in 1789. Whatever the government " might be. It It is ** a revolution oj " doctrine and theoretic dogma. in which the neighbouring States have had ** little or no concern. and the revolution. *' its territory. upon principles merely political. out the In the he points latter fundamental all between the event and other : movements previously recorded in history There have been many internal revolutions in " the government of countries. with respect to those persons and those *' forms. has a much greater .— 160 THE FRENCH BE VOLUTION and cold a masterly contrast between the caution deliberation with which the great English Eevolution of 1688 was carried out. and to bear little ** resemblance or analogy to any of those *' which have been brought about in Europe. turning on *' ** matter of local grievance or did not extend beyond *' of local accommodation. The present revolution in France seems to me to '* be of quite another character and description.

of M . *' " That effect was to introduce other interests into " *' all countries than those which arose from their locality and natural circumstances " These principles of internal as well as external " division and coalition are but just " But they now extinguished. not for my purpose to take any notice here of the *' merits of that revolution. *' The last revolution of doctrine is and theory which It is " has happened in Europe *' the Reformation. are opened. ** combining parties among the inhabitants of different countries into *' one connection.THE FRENCH EEVOLUTION *' 161 resemblance to those changes which have been spirit of " *' made upon religious grounds. who will examine into the true character " and genius of some late events must be satisfied " that other sources of faction. in which a proselytism makes an essential part. upon the " system. by the head. but to state one only of its effects. " is is to ' new French unite the factions of different nations told this : That the majority. " The political dogma which. and that from those " sources are likely to arise effects fully as important " as those which had formerly arisen from the jarring " interests of the religious sects.

as *' ' well as the administration. of the State.' " He thus criticises the new French doctrine of social : equality and the " Eights of Man " " The Chancellor of France at the opening of the *' States General said. .— 162 THE FRENCH BEVOLUTION " *' * the taxable people in every country natural. is the perpetual. are names they " *' * only functionaries to obey the orders * (general as laws. ** he would not have gone beyond the truth. indefeasible sovereign that *' ' this majority is perfectly master of the form. not to suffer " Such descriptions *' men . If he meant " only that no honest employment was disgraceful. that this all is the only * natural Government that others are tyranny ' and usurpation. The occupation of a " hairdresser or of a working tallow-chandler cannot *' be a matter of honour to any person of — to say nothing "of a number other of more servile employments. in a tone of oratorical flourish. ought oppression from the State but the State suffers . asserting But in '' that anything is honourable we imply *' some distinction in its favour. . or particular as decrees) which " " " * that majority may make . '' that all occupations were honourable. and that are ** ' the magistrates. * unceasing. under whatever called.

and distinction to *' blood. Wherever they are " actually found they have. that are given to grace and to serve and " would condemn to obscurity everything formed to " diffuse lustre and glory around a State. *' my dear Sir. actual or presumptive. Sir. profession. passing into the opposite . " I do not. if such as they. LYon do not imagine that " wish to confine power. or trade. either individually or to rule. *' are permitted In this you " think you are combating prejudice. too. or reliit. military.THE FRENCH REVOLUTION *' 163 oppression collectively. " gious. Woe to " that country. captious or of that uncandid '' dulness as to require for every general observation " or sentiment an explicit detail of the correctives " and exceptions which reason will presume to be " included in ** all the general propositions which come I from reasonable men. the passport of heaven to "human *' *' place and honour. civil. in whatever state. conceive you to be of that spirit sophistical. authority. No. and for titles. that. and names. but you are at " war with nature. There is " no qualification '* government but virtue and wisdom. condi*' tion. Woe to the country which would madly and impiously reject the service of the talents and virtues.

a mean. but not indifferently to every * man. or to accommodate / * the one to the other. virtue is let it be remembered. a sordid. too. If it be opened that ' through virtue. can be generally good in a government extensive objects. Everything ' ought to be open . The temple honour ' ought to be seated on an eminence. nor a ' thing too much of course. it If rare merit be the ' rarest of all rare things. as a preferable title to ' ' command. full (if as far I is my heart from withholding in practice were of ' power to give or to withhold). direct or indirect. mercenary occupation. of No rotation. 1 do not hesitate to say that ' the road condition to eminence and power from obscure ' ought not to be made too easy. considers a low education. no mode ' election operating sortition or ' rotation. contracted view of things.164 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ' extreme. to select the ' man with a view to the duty. no appointment by in the spirit of lot. difficulty ' never tried but by some and ' some struggle^? " Far * am I from denying in theory. ought to pass through of ' some sort of probation. * conversant in Because they ' have no tendency. . the real rights of men.

civil society " '' be made for the it advantage is of man.— THE FRENCH BE VOLUTION *' 165 In denying their false claims of right. " Many of our men of speculation. I do not *' mean to injure those which are real. . employ their sagacity to . because we suspect " that the stock in each *' man is small. instead of casting away " prejudices. that. and. instead of ex- " ploding general prejudices. his " right. we cherish all them to a very considerable to ourselves. ** an institution of beneficence and law itself is only beneficence acting by a rule. " We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on " his own private stock of reason. to take more shame we " cherish them because they are prejudices " longer they have lasted. "degree." In the following passage he boldly defends " preju*' dice " as a necessary guide for the ordinary man : " In this enlightened age I am bold enough to of " confess that we are generally men untaught our old "feelings. and that the individuals w^ould do better to avail themselves of " the general bank and capital of nations and of ages. the more we cherish them. the advantages for which It is made become . and are such If all *' as their pretended rights would totally destroy. and the and the more generally " they have prevailed.

therefore. and not a nected acts. puzzled. that he should approach to the faults *' State as to the wounds of a father. a steady course of wisdom and and does not leave the of man " hesitating in the ** moment decision — sceptical.— 166 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION wisdom which prevails in them. and to leave nothing ** but the reason. with . pre- " viously *' engages the mind in virtue. [Prejudice renders a ** man's virtue his habit. its *' no man should approach to look into . and an *' affection is which will give it permanence. with its " has a motive to give action to that reason. Prejudice it *' of ready application in the emergency. naked reason . with the reason involved. because prejudice. the evils of inconstancy and versatility — ten thou- ** sand times worse than those blindest prejudice that of obstinacy and the *' — we have consecrated the State. defects " or corruptions but with due caution that he should its " never dream of beginning *' its reformation by subversion of the . series of unconduty '* Through of his just prejudice his " *' becomes a part nature To avoid. fail *' discover the latent If '' they find what they seek it —and they seldom " they think '' more wise to continue the prejudice. than to cast away the " coat of prejudice. and unresolved.

'* because a far better founded. in hopes that. This " principle ought even to be more strongly impressed " upon the minds of those who compose those of is the collective princes. they are less under responof the greatest controlling " one powers on " earth —the sense of shame and estimation. and that they are to *' account for their conduct in that trust to the one " great Master. by their " poisonous weeds and wild incantations. " sovereignty than upon ** single Where popular strained authority absolute and unre- ** the people have an infinitely greater.— THE FRENCH REVOLUTION *' 167 pious awe and trembling solicitude. sibility to Besides. By this wise " prejudice we are taught to look with horror on those " children of their country who are prompt rashly to " hack that aged parent to pieces and put *' him into the kettle of magicians. Author. and Founder of society. they *' may regenerate the paternal constitution and renovate their father's Uie^JJ *' He points out the evils of unbridled democracy as : follows " All '' persons possessing any portion of power ought to be strongly and awfully impressed with *' an idea that the}^ act in trust. confidence in their ** own power. The .

It is. as Certainly the people at large never ought. judgment A it ** democracy therefore. the " operation of opinion being in the inverse ratio to " the number of those who abuse power.168 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ** share of infamy that is likely to fall to the lot of is " each individual in public acts small indeed . " of *' no form government merely upon abstract principles. There cir- may be some (very few and very particularly it " cumstanced) where would be clearly desirable. for. is As it is the most shameless. I reprobate is the " standard of right and wrong. No man apprehends in *'his person he can be ** made subject to punishment. the people at large *' can never become the subject of punishment by any infinite *' human hand. '' also the most fearless. of impor- " tance that they should not be suffered to imagine *' that their will. therefore. There may be situations will in which the purely " democratic *' form become necessary. " Until now we have seen no examples of considerable . any more than that of kings. appearance perfect of a public is. own acts Their own " approbation of their ** has to them the in their favour. all *' punishments are for example towards the con- " servation of the people at large. the most shameless ** thing in the world.

and *' be carried on with much greater fury. and I cannot help concurring with their opinion that an absolute democracy. " interest in the State. The ancients were better acquainted '' with them. Aristotle observes *' democracy has many striking points of *' resemblance with a tyranny.— THE FRENCH REVOLUTION *' 169 democracies. must be admitted for . and that oppression of the minority will extend to a far will " greater number. Of this I am certain. is to be reckoned among the it " legitimate forms of government. as they often must . no more than '* *' an absolute monarchy. is ** that in a democracy the majority of the citizens *' capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions " upon the minority whenever strong divisions prevail " in that kind '* of polity. " which. or separable from It is " formed out of a class of legitimate presumptions. than can almost ever be apprehended " from the dominion of a single sceptre. taken as generalities." In the " Appeal from the New to the of Old Whigs " Burke maintains thus the necessity an aristocracy : in the constitution of a well-ordered State "A true natural aristocracy is not a separate it. " rather the corruption '' They think and degeneracy than the sound constitution that a of a republic.

170 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION To be bred in a place of estimation " actual truths. the pursuit of and duty to be formed to the greatest " degree of vigilance. "to be taught " honour to despise danger in . and that you act "as a reconciler between God and man . to stand upon such " elevated ground as to be enabled to take a large " view *' of the widespread and infinitely diversified of combinations to men and affairs in a large society . to converse to be " enabled to draw the court and attention of the wise " and learned wherever they are to be found . ** to see nothing low and sordid from one's infancy. to be " employed as an administrator of law and justice. foresight. to be "habituated in armies to command and to obey. and the slightest mistakes draw on "the most ruinous consequences. " to be taught to respect one's self to be habituated "to the censorial inspection to of the public eye. and circumspection... to reflect. to "look early public opinion. *' have leisure to read. to be led to a " guarded and regulated conduct from a sense that "you are considered as an instructor of your fellow- " citizens in their highest concerns. . " and to be thereby among the first benefactors to . " in a state of things in which no fault is committed " with impunity.

therefore. guiding. as she operates in the modification of common and *' society. The " state of civil society. *' form in Nature. qualified in the manner I have just described. *' which the man does not exist. and reguto *' and have cultivated an habitual regard " commutative justice ** — these are the circumstances there is of men that form what I should call a natural aris- " tocracy. from their success. at least. We are " as much. the leading. " a state of nature . reasonable and he " never perfectly in his natural state but " placed where reason '' when he may Art is be best cultivated and most predominates. truly so than a savage and incoherent mode . ** governing part. Men. and much of is is more life. to possess the *' of diligence. without give. without which no nation. who. are presumed to have sharp '* and vigorous understandings. to constancy. w^hich necessarily generates is " this aristocracy. and virtues larity. in a state of nature in formed ''manhood as ** in immature and helpless infancy.THE FRENCH REVOLUTION '^mankind. in the social order. " For man is. To " no more importance. It is the soul to the body. or of " liberal and ingenious art. order. to be *' among rich traders. man's nature. by nature. to such . 171 to be a professor of high science.

" He ** predicts in the following passage in the " Keflec- tions" the inevitable fate of the French Revolutionary to system end in a military despotism : " They have levelled and crushed together all the " orders which they found. insomuch that if monarchy should ever " again obtain an entire ascendancy in France. " properly ordered. even under the coarse. It is if here. all securities to a it. however. " unartificial arrangement of *' the monarchy.— 172 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION *' descriptions of men than that of so many units is a "horrible usurpation. as well as it is the necessary to a Republic. and composes a strong barrier against the *' excesses of despotism. if " not voluntarily tempered at setting out by the wise " and virtuous counsels of the prince. all ''moderated freedom along with the are " indirect restraints which mitigate despotism ''removed. ^' the present project of a Republic should fail fail. good in all forms of govern- " ment. if *' means of giving effect and permanence " For want of something of this kind. it will probably be. . the most com" pletely arbitrary power that has ever appeared on " earth. under " this or any other dynasty. that is every such classification.

and in '' the fluctuation of all. no other way " securing military obedience in this state of things. " In the weakness of one kind of authority. is " the person who really commands the army your . even supposing that was in " possession of another sort of organ through which " '* its orders were to pass.THE FRENCH REVOLUTION whether it 173 ''It *' is. to be considered an Assembly like yours. and *' who possesses of the true spirit of all command. Armies There is will obey him on of "his personal account. or popular '' authority. The officers must totally lose if the " characteristic disposition of military '' men they see with perfect submission of and due admiration the "dominion lawyers whose military policy and " the genius of whose ** command (if they have any) is must be as uncertain as their duration transient. known " that armies have hitherto yielded a very precarious " and uncertain obedience to any senate. is fit for promoting the It is obedience and discipline of an army. besides. until some popular general who understands the " art of conciliating the soldiery. the officers of an army will " remain for some time mutinous and '' full of faction. shall draw the eyes *' men upon himself. " But the moment in which that event shall happen.

the master (that is little) of your king. the " master of your Assembly.174 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION *' master." . the master of your whole '* Republic.

— Chapter V. and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. most of which are as applicable to present-day problems as they were to the questions which agitated his times. the closest '' correspondence. own There is. for instance. 1774. *' have great weight with him 175 their opinion. in which he expressed his views as to the position and duty of a member of Parliament. after he had been declared elected for that city. there are many other works of Burke which contain valuable teachings. and pointed out the distinc- tion between a representative and a mere delegate with a hard-and-fast " mandate. BURKE ON CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES Besides the speeches and writings from which we have ah'eady quoted. the speech which he delivered at Bristol on November 3rd. high ." The following " It is the passage referred to : ought to be the happiness and glory of a repre- " sentative to live in the strictest union. '' Their wishes ought to .

their business. and not . his " satisfactions. above all. ought to be *' superior. " *' My worthy colleague says his If will all. and. " nor from the law and the Constitution. for the abuse of which he " deeply answerable. innocent. They are a is " trust from Providence. without question. unremitted attention. ** men deliberate and who form another decide and where ^' those the conclusion are perhaps three . It is " his duty to sacrifice his repose. But government and legislation are *' matters of reason and judgment. any man. if he sacrifices to " your opinion. " These he does not derive from your pleasure no. Your representative owes you . If that be the thing of *' government were a matter will " upon any side. or to any set of men living.176 BURKE ON CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES ** respect. his enlightened conscience. ever and in cases to prefer their interest to his own. to theirs " all . yours. of inclina- " tion *' and what sort of reason is that in . his pleasures. " not his industry only. ought to be is subservient to yours. which the which one determination precedes the discussion set of in . his mature judgment. but his judgment *' and he it betrays. he ought not to sacrifice to to "you. . instead of serving you. But " his ^' unbiassed opinion.

'* different and hostile interests which interests each '' must maintain. and to argue for. " though contrary to the clearest conviction of his ''judgment and conscience. to consider. ** that of the whole. with one interest. which the member bound ** blindly and implicitly to obey. he is not a member If *' of Bristol. BURKE ON CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES ** 111 hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments? *' *' To deliver an opinion is is the right of all men . or ** should form a hasty opinion. to vote. *' that of constituents a weighty and respectable to ** opinion. which a rejoice to hear. representative ought always ** and which he ought always most *' seriously tions. *' Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from . as an agent and advocate against is "other agents and advocates. but Parliament a " deliberative assembly of one nation. indeed is '' but when j^ou have chosen him. But authoritative instrucis ** mandates issued.. You choose a member. but he a member of Parliament. " the local constituent should have an interest. evidently opposite to N . these are things utterly *' unknown to the laws of this land. and which arise of *' from a fundamental mistake the whole order and " tenour of our Constitution.

is of the Society of Merchant of on April 23rd. I have nothing so *' near and dear to me as their approbation. Master Adventurers the following of Bristol. Samuel Span. I shall *' the end of my a flatterer you do not wish ** On this point of instructions. However. it *' your devoted servant. and he ex2Dlained and justified his action in a letter to Mr. ** Next to my honour and conscience. the " members of that place ought to be as far as any ** other from any endeavour to give faithful friend. it effect Your be to for. life . 1778. *' have taken in this It gave me " inexpressible concern to find that my conduct had " been a cause of uneasiness to any of them.— 178 BURKE ON CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES ** the real good of the rest of the community. with regard affair." Burke's support of the removal Irish trade displeased of restrictions on some of his constituents. however. who fancied that the interests of Bristol might suffer. . which the concluding passage. It serves to bring out in still stronger relief his lofty conception : of the duties of a legislator '' I have written this long letter in order to give all ** possible satisfaction to to the part I my constituents. I think " scarcely possible we ever can have any sort of *' difference.

" ** the cause you wished me to under- I should have lost the only thing which can abilities as . I am and sure. It is in great " measure for your sakes that I wish to preserve this " character. and that he not *' ready to take up or lay down a great political ** system for the convenience of the hour . *' Without it.BURKE ON CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES " I had *' 179 much rather run the risk of displeasing if than injuring them. I should only disgrace myself. with the smallest degree effect. that he is *' in Parliament to support his opinion of the public " good. the smallest part ** of that debt of gratitude affection which I owe . by any service. and does not form his opinion in order to get '* into Parliament or to continue in it. I should be ill able to discharge. I am driven to make such an *' You for obligingly lament that you are not to '* have me your advocate . of '* without supporting. but if I had been '' capable of acting as an advocate in opposition to a ** plan so perfectly consonant to my known principles. make such mine of any use to the world now or hereafter I mean that authority which is '' derived from an opinion that a member speaks the is *' language of truth and sincerity. option. " credit or " take. " and to the opinions I had publicly declared on a *' hundred occasions.

sure am the that such ** things as they and I are possessed of no such power. .— 180 BURKE ON CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES for the great *' you and honourable trust you have ** reposed in me. and again explained his views on the duty of a popular representative as follows ** : When we know to that the opinions of even the " greatest are the standard of rectitude. and Burke went re-election. " No man carries further than I do policy of " making *' government pleasing to the people. I shall think *' myself obliged make those opinions the masters if it " of my conscience. be doubted whether to alter the essential I " Omnipotence *' itself is competent constitution of right and wrong. of '' I would not only " consult the interests the people. 1780. there was an appeal to the country. " think I *' am not austere or formal in I would bear. " of children that We are all a sort I must be soothed and managed." In September. play my part I in. but I would " cheerfully gratify their humours. would even myself my nature. down to Bristol to seek In his speech to the electors he defended himself from charges arising out of his Parliamentary conduct. is But con- the widest range of this politic complaisance fined within the limits of justice. But.

" public But I wish to be a member of " Parliament. " they will mix malice in their sports. than to be placed on the '' most splendid throne of the universe. " men. I have had my day. indeed. " ' —no. my share of doing good and It would. I can never sufficiently " express my gratitude to you for having set me in a " place wherein I could lend the ^slightest help to . I " deceive myself. to have "resisting " renounce evil. not so much as a kitling. therefore. tantalised with a denial of the practice situation of all *' which can make the greatest Gentle- '' any other than the greatest curse.' ''It is certainly not pleasing to be put out of the service. 181 But I If " never will act the tyrant for their amusement.BUBKE ON CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES " any innocent buffooneries to divert them. most grossly if had not hidden " much rather pass the remainder of my " in the recesses of the deepest obscurity. feeding ** my of mind even with the visions and imaginations " such things. be absurd to my objects in order to retain my I life seat. I " ' may chance never to be elected into Parliament. to But if I profess all this impolitic stubbornness. I shall never " consent to throw them any living sentient creature " whatsoever " torment.

in the I period of my service. private vote. in *' great If I have had to my ** share any measure giving . but this '* enough my I measure. in a single " instance. or to my fortune. this serious day. gentlemen. and taught him to look for his protection to " the laws of his country. if I have joined in reconciling kings if to "their subjects. or . and for his comfort to the ** goodwill of his countrymen the best of . I do not here stand before you accused It is " or of neglect of duty. if I have taken best of my " part with men in the I their " actions. have. quiet if. as " let were. on it when " come. I " have assisted to loosen the foreign holdings of the " citizen. " I have not lived in vain. and subjects to their prince. of venality. I can shut the book. It is not alleged " that to gratify any anger or revenge of my own. " long not said that. to make up my account with some degree of you. might wish is to read for " a page or two more. me take to myself of the honest pride " on the nature ** charges that are against me. And now. sacrificed the slightest of your interests '* to my ambition. I " property and private conscience by my " have aided in securing to families the best possession " —peace .182 BURKE ON CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES and laudable designs.

BURKE ON CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES " of 183 my party. I have had a share in wronging or " oppressing any description of men. in sorrow." . and " further than the opinions of ** many would go along with me. life In every accident which may happen and be " through *' —in pain. '' general justice and benevolence too '' further than a cautious policy would warrant. or any one ** man me in any description. *' comforted. and distress. No ! the charges against I ** are all of one kind ciples of —that have pushed the prinfar. I will call to this accusation. in mind depression.

or to resist its growth during its infancy. that is the road which 184 . It was soon discovered that the forms of a free and the ends of an arbitrary government were things not altogether incompatible. to power. and the same attempt will not be made against a constitution fully formed and matured that was used to destroy it in the cradle. APHORISMS Having now presented teachings which to the reader a will view of Burke's justified we think have fully our claim that he was pre-eminently the apostle of Justice and Liberty. are things inseparable from free government. Whatever be the road will be trod.— Chapter VI. wrong in their feel- ings concernmg public misconduct their speculation as rare to be right in upon the cause its of it. whether on the whole operating for good or evil. It is very rare indeed for men to be . we hundred dicta will conclude our excerpts with one at and aphorisms taken : random from his speeches and writings Party divisions. Every age has own manners and its politics dependent upon them.

a stroke between the confines day and night. not given to men. Public life is a situation of power and energy. is There is no knowledge which not valuable. But timidity with heroic virtue. yet light and darkness are upon the whole War The nation.APHORISMS 185 No of lines can be laid clown for civil or political wisdom. of the regard to the well-being of our country Great State. no more than to love and to be wise. Interested timidity disgraces as much is in the Cabinet as personal timidity does in the field. spirit. know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people. virtue. But though no man can draw tolerably distinguishable. An Englishman I do not is the unfittest person on earth to argue another Englishman into slavery. is a situation which sets in its full light the value of the hearts of a people. as well as he that goes over to the enemy. he tres- passes against his duty who sleeps upon his watch. not whether you have a right to . men are the guide-posts and land-marks To is tax and to please. The question with me is. and essence of a House of Commons consists in its being the express image of the feelings of the Party is a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed.

contending to itself from injustice and oppression. in any other course or of method than that ditary rights. but whether interest to it is not your make them happy. subsist. first little minds go is ill together. and a great empire and Plain. Virtue will catch. community can rest Nothing in progression can on original plan. as well as vice. by contact. an hereditary Crown. A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation. of no mean force in the government of mankind. is The but extreme of liberty (which its abstract perfection. No experience has taught us that. We may an as well think of rocking a grown man in the cradle of infant. our liberties can be regularly perpetuated and preserved sacred as our here- . let view as fraud is surely detected at last. in politics is Magnanimity not seldom the truest wisdom. No sound ought to be heard in the church but the healing Surely the church is voice of Christian charity a place where one day's truce ought to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind. is an object respectable in the eyes of God and man. its real fault) obtains nowhere. good intention. which as easily discovered at the is. me say.186 APHORISMS render your people miserable. nor ought to obtain any- where But it ought to be the constant aim of every wise with public counsel to find out of this restraint the how little. The save poorest being that crawls on earth. its not how much.

upon any pretext of public service. to confiscate the goods of a single unoffending citizen. No man can mortgage fidelity. Criminal means. us love our country. Almost all the high-bred republicans of my time have. our country ought to be Kings will be tyrants from policy when subjects are rebels from principle. of natural rights. I little" are treason against pro- hope we shall never be so totally lost to all sense of the of social duties imposed upon us by the law union as. after a short space. become the most decided. lies. which a well-formed mind would be disposed To make lovely. are soon preferred. There ought to be a system of manners in every nation to relish. his injustice as a pawn for his . once tolerated. thorough- paced courtiers. it Government is not made in virtue which may and is do exist in total independence of Government a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Conduct — the only language that rarely "Too much" and "too perty. 187 of Honour ought is to be seated on let it an If it be opened through virtue. that virtue never tried but by some difficulty and some struggle.APHORISMS The Temple eminence. be remem- bered. too. They present a shorter cut to the object than through the high- way of the moral virtues.

We are bought by the enemy with the treasure from our own coffers. we command our wealth. intending impose upon do not even impose upon themselves. to war. but of envied. we shall be rich and free . must be are respected. there is also a false. among nations. by conformities. Often has a to man lost his all it. not of caution. To be secure. if our wealth command we are poor indeed. . Lawful enjoyment lawful gratification. are led to associate by resemblances. is the surest method to prevent un- There reptile is a courageous wisdom . us. if it be the means of wrong and violence. If They must be commanded. prudence —the is result. Power and eminence and consideration things not to be begged. Men They As are not tied to one another by papers and seals. to it in humiliation. we shall be always beginners. because he would not submit hazard all in defending A peace too eagerly sought is not always the sooner obtained. fear. it is the sole means of justice banish to it from the world. too A find great State safety too much much dreaded. us. England has been a direct object of government. has been ever closely connected with Personal liberty Our in legislature individual feeling and individual interest. by sympathies.188 APHORISMS If we do not take to our aid the foregone studies of men reputed intelligent and learned. Nothing can They who say otherwise.

A tude brave people will certainly prefer liberty. is An enemy is a bad witness a robber is a worse. /In history a great volume drawing the materials errors of unrolled for our instruction. malignant. or for any image or representation fall that sees with joy the unmerited flourished in splendour It is of what had long any when they and in honour. without taste of virtue. the Corinthian capital of polished society. they are going to plunder. They pass into the neighbouring vice. . envious disposition. accompanied with a virtuous poverty. is It is in the principle of injustice that the danger description of not in the persons on whom it exercised. and does not lead prostrain. If prescription be once shaken. It is perity and plenty in her is Nobility a graceful ornament to the civil order. to a depraved and wealthy serviI shall always. and out of their place they hardly deserve the name. It is a sour. The great source of my solicitude is lest it should ever be considered in England as the policy of a State to seek a resource in confiscations of any kind. consider that liberty is very equivocal in her appearance which has not wisdom and justice for her companions. for the reality. or that any one description of citizens should be brought to regard any of the others as their proper prey. not with much credulity I listen to speak evil of those whom . future wisdom from the past and first and infirmities of mankindTj lies. however.APHORISMS 189 Virtues have their place. no species of property is secure.

have co-operated with —and. (A disposition to preserve. surely they become a part of duty. and an ability to improve taken together. exist without a proportionable degree of Eloquence may a wisdom. and habits multitudes may be rendered miserable.190 APH0RIS3IS Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society. lies under any circum- under the suspicion of being no policy at all. in half and frenzy down more an hour than prudence. . ourselves. too. by the sudden alteration of whose state. and foresight can build up in a hundred yeaS^ If circumspection and caution are a part of wisdom when we work only upon inanimate matter. it. when the subject of our demolition and construction is not brick and timber. but sentient beings. would be Superstition is my standard of a statesman^ the religion of feeble minds. Difficulty is severe instructor. according —great men and . I In my course have known measure. and any eminent departure from stances. sharp ens our ^—Sage Our antagonist will pull is our helper. too. to my have I never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those standing to the person who were much inferior in underwho took the lead in the business. condition. as he loves who knows us better than we know us better. set over us by the supreme ordinance of a parental Guardian and Legislator. deliberation. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and skill.

In effect all whether for support or for reformation. domina- tion lurk in the claim of an extravagant There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil decision. How often the desire and design of a tyrannic liberty.APHORISMS 191 CEiiose who are habitually employed in finding and dis- playing faults are unqualified for the work of reformation. is ^. and he will become The conduct least. ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be Their passions forge their fetters. because their minds are not only unfurnished with patterns of the fair and good. There a confidence necessary to human intercourse. The revenue depends upon it. State the State. morning and evening. free. for one twelvemonth. and by acting with promptitude. men. but by habit they come to love is to take no delight in the contemplation of those things. and steadiness in that There are cases in which a to man would is be ashamed not have been imposed on. they come of the men too littt§. vices too By hating much. at never can possess the only infallible criterion of to vulgar wisdom It is judgments —success. but our master. Let us only suffer any person to tell us his story.The credulity of dupes tion of knaves. as inexhaustible as the inven- . it of a losing party never appears right . their and without which men are often more injured by by the perfidy own suspicions than they would be of others. belief.

of our mixed constitution would is to prevent of its principles from being carried as it far as. Men their are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to to disposition put moral chains upon their own appetites. already passed upon The execution is only Provisions for security are not to be received from those who think that there is no danger. they can no longer endure reason. When a man is from system furious against monarchy or episcopacy. i^Ien little think how immorally they act in rashly meddling with what they do not understaiic^ . The whole scheme any one by itself.192 APHORISMS When the people have once tasted the flattery of knaves. taken and theoretically. Sentence delayed. He is provoked at as furnishing a plea for preserving the thing which he wishes to destroy. which appears to them only in the form of censure and reproach. than further to irritate the adversary. is Indecision the natural accomplice of violence. but have an extreme disrelish to be told of their duty. There are times and circumstances in which not out is to speak at least to connive. Men love to hear of their power. it. A constitution on sufferance is is a constitution condemned. the good conduct of the monarch or the bishop has no other effect it. A theory concerning government may become as much a cause of fanaticism as a dogma in religion. go.

have known merchants with the sentiments and the and I have seen persons in abilities of great statesmen I .) impossible that anything should be necessary to is commerce which inconsistent wdth justice. a necessary ingredient in the composition of true glory. aid of He who in the an equal understanding of doubles his own. of a liberty have no idea unconnected with honesty and justice. Bad laws I are the worst sort of tyranny. own judg- ment than condemn Liie that accuses all mankind of corruption ought to remember that he It is is sure to convict only one. We are all a sort of children that must be soothed and managed. He who profits a superior under- .APHORISMS They who behaviour of 193 raise suspicions ill on the good on account of the men are of the party of the latter. and character of The situation of calls man is the preceptor of his duty. A conscientious person would rather doubt his his species. censures God who quarrels with the imperfections of The use Obloquy all of character is to be a shield against is calumny. calumny and abuse are essential parts of triumph. What shadows we are. and what shadows we pursue ! He man. the rank of statesmen with the conceptions pedlars.

Whenever our neighbour's house amiss for the engines to play a little is on fire. The to effect of liberty to individuals is that . they may do what they please we ought to see what it will please them do before we risk congratulations which may be soon turned into complaints. . it cannot be Better to on our own.194 APHORISMS standing raises his powers to a level with the height of the superior understanding he unites with. be despised for too anxious apprehensions than ruined by too confident a security.

. . Gibbon. and trust that we have achieved. Clive and Warren Hastings 195 Wolfe. CONCLUDING REMARKS We have now brought our quotations to a close. Hogarth. Fielding. It has become the habit to sneer at the eighteenth century as an age of shams canes. fail where absolutely necessary The reader of these pages cannot to have been struck with the gulf which separates our times from the period in which Burke lived. Burke speak and have refrained from comment except to elucidate the context. Morland. . Adam Smith. of periwigs. . Richardson. Arkwright. for Carlyle in is mainly responsible opinion. our humble an utterly superficial and erroneous one. clouded and formal grimacings. Goldsmith. in part at all events. Gainsborough. of powder and patches .Chapter YII. is this view. to for himself. Smollett. the object which we set before us at the outset. and Cowper . let We have endeavoured. A century which produced Johnson. Thomson. and Crompton . Hume. as far as possible. and Reynolds Watt. which.

The this prevailing mania to restlessness. much in evidence as they might The present age that of lacks the dignity which charac- terised is Burke. hurry now extends desire to get to all phases A feverish money w^ithout the slow and laborious process of honest w^ork has fostered and developed the gambling speculator spirit among all classes. is it not. victories of and The Glorious First of June. Jervis. Fox. and from no class seems be exempt. on the other hand. from any place in which they happen to find themselves at a given moment. and Burke mined by the '* and whose annals are Plassey. and Nelson . illu- Windham. which in these days are not so be. St. utmost possible speed. more neurotic and less virile ? The eighteenth all their century fox-hunting gentry of England. from the to is who plunges on a large scale the working man who of has his "bit on " and the the main support halfpenny evening news- . If society is now less brutal. . Rodney. Pitt. Vincent. The sole desire of vast multitudes of people w^ith the appears to be to get away. with faults.196 CONCLUDING B EMARKS Howe. possessed many sterling virtues. The same rush and of life." is not one to be dismissed with a sneer.

the press teems with complaints of her frivolity and crass ignorance of all domestic and maternal duties.CONCLUDING REMARKS 197 papers. of the The despotism of realising Caucus has destroyed the possibility of his ideal is a member of Parliament. Amidst all this hectic excitement few have is time to think. . the farmyard. in spite of all the abuses which existed in Burke's time. while the prac- knowledge formerly acquired by the young in the the garden. it is In politics to be feared that. Our boasted diffusion of knowledge largely a sham." As to the modern woman. and tends to confuse the thinking powers rather than tical field. the workshop. there are plenty who can mis-describe the equator as " an imaginary lion running round the " earth. to Farmers complain it is difficult procure a labourer who can thatch a rick. and the is household that. More and in the more the representative becoming merged delegate. National ''education" consists in indigestible scraps cramming unreceptive minds with of information. while the House of Commons has practically ceased to be a deliberative assembly. while becoming extinct. and has become a mere registration bureau for Ministerial decrees. the present age does not compare favourably with his. to develop them .

in the words of Burke. and under that wise and beneficent policy our ancestors." Those who believe that the greatness of that empire can be preserved only by adherence principle of individual initiative and energy to the which . commercial. support the whole greatness and prosperity. British The principles enunciated by Burke were those held and taught by a long succession of illustrious statesmen — of whom he was the greatest to the —from State the the Revolution of 1688 down latter part of of nineteenth century. Their aim was to release the nation it from the trammels with which had been hampered owing to the restless desire of previous generations to " govern too much. " turned " a savage wilderness into a glorious empire. too. religious. as fabric of Burke showed.198 CONCLUDING REMARKS On all sides. poison the political The creed word of those men was summed up in one — Liberty. when the virus to and Municipal Socialism began life-blood of the country. there is evidence of the encroach- ments of *' the State " upon personal freedom and the rights of private property — the twin pillars which. and industrial of their — was the alpha and omega creed ." Freedom — political.

.CONCLUDING REMARKS 199 created it. will find in Burke's pages a never-failing source of inspiration and encouragement in resisting the socialistic tendencies of the age — the deadliest and most insidious danger that has ever threatened the liberty and progress of mankind.

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