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infamous transactions. What can be your intention in attacking all honor and virtue? Do you mean to bring all men to a level with yourselves, and to extirpate all honor and independence? Perhaps you imagine, a vote will settle the whole controversy. Alas! you are not aware, that the manner in which your vote is procured, is
a secret to no man. 2. Listen. For if you are not totally callous, if your consciences are not seared, I will speak daggers to your souls, and wake you to all the pangs of guilty recollection. I will follow you with whips and stings, through every maze of your unexampled turpitude, and plant thorns under the rose of ministerial approbation.
3. You have flagrantly violated justice, and the law of the land, and opened a door for anarchy and confusion. After assuming an arbitrary dominion over law and justice, you issue orders, warrants, and proclamations, against every opponent; and send prisoners to your Bastile, all those who have the courage and virtue, to defend the freedom of their country.
4. But it is in vain that you hope by fear and terror, to extinguish the native British fire. The more sacrifices—the more martyrs you make, the more numerous the sons of liberty will become. They will multiply like the hydra, and hurl vengeance on your
heads. 5. Let others act as they will; while I have a tongue or an arm, they shall be free. And that I may not be a witness of these monstrous proceedings, I will leave the house; nor do I doubt, but every independent, every honest man, every friend to England, will follow me. These walls are unholy, baleful, deadly, while a prostitute majority holds the bolt of parliamentary power, and hurls its vengeance only upon the virtu
To yourselves, therefore, I consign you. Enjoy your pandemonium.
This powerful speech was made in the year 1770, against a motion introduced by a member of the British parliament, to send the Lord Mayor of London and Alderman Oliver to the tower. At the close of it, all the gentlemen in the opposition rose as one man, and left the house. Mr. Burke was born in 1729, and died at the age of 68. He was one of the greatest and best men, that England ever produced. He wisely said: Education is the cheap defence of nations."
The committee on colleges, academies, and common schools, of which the Hon. L. H. Brown was chairman, in their report made March 26, 1845, in the legislature of the state of New-York, say, with equal wisdom, "In a free community school houses are a better defence than forts; good
school masters better than the officers of a standing army; and good books of instruction better weapons than bayonets and swords.”
The orator doubtless delivered this speech with great and increasing energy and power; and it need scarcely be added, that it should thus be declaimed.
62. THE RIGHT OF INSTRUCTING REPRES",NTATIVES. E. Burke.
1. Gentlemen My worthy colleague expresses himself, if I understand him rightly, in favor of a coercive authority of instructions from constituents
. Certainly, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative, to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents.
2. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and, above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interests to his own. But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living.
3. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law or the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which, he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
4. The gentleman says, his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment, and not of inclination; and what sort of reason is that, in which the determination precedes the discussion; in which one set of men deliberate, and another decide; and where those who form the conclusion, are, perhaps, three hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments ?
5. To deliver an opinion is the right of all men; that of constituents, is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear, and which he
ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions, mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience; these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor of our constitution.
6. Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole, where not local purposes, not local prejudices, ought to guide, but the general good, result. ing from the general reason of the whole.
7. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament. If the local constituents should have an interest, or should form a hasty opinion, evidently opposite to the real good of the rest of the community, the member for that place, ought to be as far as any other, from an endeavor to give it effect.
8. As for the trifling petulance which the rage of party stirs up in little minds, it has not made the slightest impression on me. The highest flight of such clamorous birds, is winged in an inferior region of the air.
Mr. Burke's observations on the right of constituents to instruct representatives, are worthy the attention of the American people. He presents the subject to the electors of Bristol, in its true light. It is very desirable
, that the representative should reflect, as a mirror, the will of his constituents; and yet, he should not be the mere pen with which they write. Mr. Burke's speech should be read or recited in an animated manner, and on a middle key.
63. HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY ON DEATH.-Shakspeare
1. To be or not to be that is the question!
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
No more ;—and, by a sleep to say we end
Must give us pause ! 2. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
Who would fardels bear,
and sweat under a weary life;
Than fly to others that we know not of.-
And thus the native hue of resolution
Hamlet's Soliloquy is, as has been well observed, “one of the most difficult things to read in the English language.” It requires nice discrimination, as well as great powers of elocution, It is one of Shakspeare's most admirable productions. It does not, however, teach us a useful moral les son. Hamlet ought to have been deterred from self-destruction, by considerations of duty to himself, his fellow-citizens, and his God. The doctrine of expediency, by which he appears to have been governed, is a doctrine not of Christ; it is practical atheism. Hamlet ought to have been governed, not by expediency, but by principle--by Christian morality The soliloquy can be read or recited well, only by those who both per fectly understand, and thoroughly feel, the sentiments which it contains. It should be commenced deliberately, on a middle key. The indignant feeling with which the prince enumerates particulars,“ The oppressor's wrongs,” &c. requires the voice gradually to rise on each. The concluding part of the soliloquy, requires quantity, and rather slow time.
64. SPEECH OF KING RICHARD III.--Shakspeare. 1. Give me another horse-bind up my wounds, – Have mercy, Jesu !—Soft; I did but dream. O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me! The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight. Cold-fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh. What do I fear? myself? there's none else by,
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
Then fly.--What, from myself! Great reason-Why?
3. I am a villain! Yet I lie, I am not.
Fool! of thyself speak well :-Fool, do not flatter.
tale condemns me for a villain.
Throng to the bar, crying all-Guilty! guilty! 4. I shall despair.—There is no creature loves me;
And, if I die, no soul will pity me;-