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upon the spirit and humanity of my country to vindicate the national character. I invoke the Genius of the Constitution. From the tapestry that adorn these walls, the immortal ancestor of this noble lord frowns with indignation at the disgrace of his country.
To send forth the merciless cannibal, thirsting for blood! against whom? your Protestant brethren! to lay waste their country, to desolate their dwellings, and extirpate their race and name by the aid and instrumentality of these horrible hell-hounds of war! Spain can no longer boast pre-eminence in barbarity. She armed herself with blood-hounds to extirpate the wretched natives of Mexico; we, more ruthless, loose these dogs of war against our countrymen in America, endeared to us by every tie that can sanctify humanity. I solemnly call upon your lordships, and upon every order of men in the state, to stamp upon this infamous procedure the indelible stigma of the public abhorrence. More particularly I call upon the holy prelates of our religion to do away this iniquity; let them perform a lustration, to purify the country from this deep and deadly sin.
My lords, I am old and weak, and at present unable to say more; but my feelings and indignation were too strong to have said less. I could not have slept this night in my bed, nor even reposed my head upon my pillow, without giving vent to my eternal abhorrence of such enormous and preposterous principles.
[EDMUND BURKE is ranked among the most eloquent and philosophical of English Statesmen. Besides his parliamentary Speeches, he published various works, among which may be named particularly A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, Reflections on the French Revolution, Letters on a Regicide Peace, &c. His complete works have been published in 16 vols. 8vo.
Towards the close of his life, it was in contemplation to elevate Mr. Burke to the peerage. This project was opposed by the Duke of Bedford and others. The remarks of the Duke upon this subject in the House of Lords called forth one of the ablest as well as bitterest of all of Burke's writings, his "Letters to a noble Lord." Mr. Burke having lost his only son, became indifferent about the title, and the matter was dropt. Two passages are given in reference to this subject.]
The Difference Between Mr. Burke and the Duke of Bedford.
I was not, like his Grace of Bedford, swaddled, and rocked, and dandled into a legislator-Nitor in adversum* is the motto of a man like me. I possessed not one of the qualities, nor cultivated one of the arts, that recommend men to the favour and protection of the great. I was not made for a minion or a tool. As little did I follow the trade of winning the hearts by imposing on the understandings of the people. At every step of my progress in life (for in every step was I traversed and opposed), and at every turnpike I met,
* I struggle against adversity.
I was obliged to snow my passport, and again and again to prove my sole title to the honour of being useful to my country, by a proof that I was not wholly unacquainted with its laws, and the whole system of its interests both abroad and at home. Otherwise no rank, no toleration even for me. I had no arts but manly arts. On them I have stood, and please God, in spite of the Duke of Bedford and the Earl of Lauderdale, to the last gasp will I stand.
I know not how it has happened, but it really seems that, whilst his Grace was meditating his well-considered censure upon me, he fell into a sort of sleep. Homer nods, and the Duke of Bedford may dream; and as dreams (even his golden dreams) are apt to be ill-pieced and incongruously put together, his Grace preserved his idea of reproach to me, but took the subject-matter from the crown-grants to his own family. This is "the stuff of which his dreams are made.' In that way of putting things together, his Grace is perfectly in the right. The grants to the house of Russe. were so enormous, as not only to outrage economy, but even to stagger credibility. The Duke of Bedford is the leviathan among all the creatures of the crown. He tumbles about his unwieldy bulk; he plays and frolics in the ocean of the royal bounty. Huge as he is, and whilst "he lies floating many a rood," he is still a creature. His ribs, his fins, his whalebone, his blubber, the very spiracles through which he spouts a torrent of brine against his origin, and covers me all over with the spray-everything of him and about him is from the throne.
Is it for him to question the dispensation of the royal favour?
Mr. Burke's Account of his Son.
Had it pleased God to continue to me the hopes of succession, I should have been, according to my mediocrity, and the mediocrity of the age I live in, a sort of a founder of a family; I should have left a son, who, in all the points in which personal merit can be viewed, in science, in erudition, in genius, in taste, in honour, in generosity, in humanity, in every liberal sentiment, and every liberal accomplishment, would not have shown himself inferior to the Duke of Bedford, or to any of those whom he traces in his line. His Grace very soon would have wanted all plausibility in his attack upon that provision which belonged more to mine than to me. He would soon have supplied every deficiency, and symmetrised every disproportion. It would not have been for that successor to resort to any stagnant wasting reservoir of merit in me, or in any ancestry. He had in himself a salient living spring of generous and manly action. Every day he lived, he would have repurchased the bounty of the crown, and ten times more, if ten times more he had received. He was made a public creature, and had no enjoyment whatever but in the performance of some duty. At this exigent moment the loss of a finished man is not easily supplied.
But a Disposer, whose power we are little able to resist, and whose wisdom it behoves us not at all to dispute, has ordained it in another manner, and (whatever my querulous weakness might suggest) a far better. The storm has gone over me, and I lie like one of those old oaks which the late hurricane has scat