« السابقةمتابعة »
one, “You have got my good faith in your handsyou, my veracity to manage. Mr. Shore, I hope you will make me a good financier--Mr. Middleton, you have my humanity in commission." When it is done, he brings it to the House of Commons, and says, “I was equal to the task. I knew the difficulties, but I scorn them: here is the truth, and if the truth will convict me, I am content myself to be the channel of it!" His friends hold up their heads, and say, “What noble magnanimity! This must be the effect of conscious and real innocence." Well, it is so received, it is so argued upon—but it fails of its effect.
Then says Mr. Hastings: “That my defence! no, mere journeyman-work-good enough for the Commons, but not fit for your Lordships' consideration." He then calls upon his Counsel to save him: "I fear none of my accusers' witnesses—I know some of them well—I know the weakness of their memory, and the strength of their attachment_I fear no testimony but my own-save me from the peril of my own panegyric -preserve me from that, and I shall be safe.” Then is this plea brought to your Lordships' bar, and Major Scott gravely asserts,—that Mr. Hastings did, at the bar of the House of Commons, vouch for facts of which he was ignorant, and for arguments which he had never read.
After such an attempt, we certainly are left in doubt to decide, to which set of his friends Mr. Hastings is the least obliged, those who assisted him in making his defence, or those who advised him to deny it.
I am perfectly convinced that there is one idea, which must arise in your Lordships' minds as a subject of wonder,-how a person of Mr. Hastings' reputed abilities can furnish such matter of accusation against himself. He knows that truth must convict him, and concludes, à converso, that falsehood will acquit him; forgetting that there must be some connection, some system, some coöperation, or, otherwise, his host of falsities fall without an enemy, self-discomfited and destroyed. But of this he never seems to have had the slightest apprehension. He falls to work, an artificer of fraud, against all the rules of architecture; -he lays his ornamental work first, and his massy foundation at the top of it; and thus his whole building tumbles upon his head. Other people look well to their ground, choose their position, and watch whether they are likely to be surprised there; but he, as if in the ostentation of his heart, builds upon a precipice, and encamps upon a mine, from choice.
He seems to have no one actuating principle, but a steady, persevering resolution not to speak the truth or to tell the fact.
It is impossible almost to treat conduct of this kind with perfect seriousness; yet I am aware that it ought to be more seriously accounted for–because I am sure it has been a sort of paradox, which must have struck your Lordships, how any person having so many motives to conceal-having so many reasons to dread detection should yet go to work so clumsily upon the subject. It is possible, indeed, that it may raise this doubt-whether such a person is of sound mind enough to be a proper object of punishment; or at least it may give a kind of confused notion that the guilt cannot be of so deep and black a grain, over which such a thin veil was thrown, and so little trouble taken to avoid detection. I am aware that, to account for this seeming paradox, historians, poets, and even philosophersat least of ancient times—have adopted the superstitious solution of the vulgar, and said that the gods deprive men of reason whom they devote to destruction or to punishment. But to unassuming or unprejudiced reason, there is no need to resort to any supposed supernatural interference; for the solution will be found in the eternal rules that formed the mind of man, and gave a quality and nature to every passion that inhabits in it.
An honourable friend of mine, who is now, I believe, near me, has told you that Prudence, the first of virtues, never can be used in the cause of vice. But I should doubt whether we can read the history of a Philip of Macedon, a Cæsar, or a Cromwell, without confessing, that there have been evil purposes, baneful to the peace and to the rights of men, conducted—if I may not say, with prudence or with wisdom-yet with awful craft and most successful and commanding subtlety. If, however, I might make a distinction, I should say that it is the proud attempt to mix a variety of lordly crimes, that unsettles the prudence of the mind, and breeds this distraction of the brain. One master-passion, domineering in the breast, may win the faculties of the understanding to advance its purpose, and to direct to that object everything that thought or human knowledge can effect; but, to succeed, it must maintain a solitary despotism in the mind -each rival profligacy must stand aloof, or wait in abject vassalage upon its throne. For, the Power, that has not forbade the entrance of evil passions into man's mind, has, at least, forbade their union;if they meet they defeat their object, and their conquest, or their attempt at it, is tumult. To turn to the Virtues
-how different the decree! Formed to connect, to blend, to associate, and to coöperate; bearing the same course, with kindred energies and harmonious sympathy, each perfect in its own lovely sphere, each moving in its wider or more contracted orbit, with different, but concentering powers, guided by the same influence of reason, and endeavouring at the same blessed end-the happiness of the individual, the harmony of the species, and the glory of the Creator. In the Vices, on the other hand, it is the discord that insures the defeat-each clamorous to be heard in its own barbarous language; each claims the exclusive cunning of the brain; each thwarts and reproaches the other; and even while their fell rage assails with common hate the peace and virtue of the world, the civil war among their own tumultuous legions defeats the purpose of the foul conspiracy. These are the Furies of the mind, my Lords, that unsettle the understanding; these are the Furies, that destroy the virtue, Prudence,-while the distracted brain and shivered intellect proclaim the tumult that is within, and bear their testimonies, from the mouth of God himself, to the foul condition of the heart.
'HERE was a South of slavery and secession
that South is dead. There is a South of Union and freedom-that South, thank God, is living, breathing, growing every hour.” These words, delivered from the immortal lips of Benjamin E. Hill, at Tammany Hall, in 1866, true then, and truer now, I shall make my text to-night.
In speaking to the toast with which you have honored me, I accept the term, "The New South," as in no sense disparaging to the old. Dear to me, sir, is the home of my childhood, and the traditions of my people. I would not, if I could, dim the glory they won in peace and war, or by word or deed take aught from the splendor and grace of their civilization, never equaled, and perhaps never to be equaled in its chivalric strength and grace. There is a New South, not through protest against the old, but because of new conditions, new adjustments, and, if you please, new ideas and aspirations. It is to this that I address myself, and to the consideration of which I hasten, lest it become the Old South before I get to it. Age does not endow all things with strength and virtue, nor are all new things to be despised. The shoemaker who put over his door, “John Smith's shop, founded 1760," was more than matched by his young rival across the street who hung out this sign: "Bill Jones. Established 1886. No old stock kept in this shop."
Dr. Talmage has drawn for you, with a master hand, the picture of your returning armies. He has told you how, in the pomp and circumstance of war,