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SPEECH, &c. My Lords,—When I consider the importance der it self-evident. It is a proposition of that of this bill to your Lordships, I am not surprised nature that can neither be weakened by arguIt has taken so much of your consideration. It ment, nor entangled with sophistry. Mucb, in. is a bill, indeed, of no common magnitude. It is deed, has been said by some noble Lords on the no less than to take away from two thirds of the wisdom of our ancestors, and how differently they Legislative body of this great kingdom, certain thought from us. They not only decreed that privileges and immunities of which they have privilege should prevent all civil suits from probeen long possessed. Perhaps there is no situ- ceeding during the sitting of Parliament, but like. ation the human mind can be placed in, that is wise granted protection to the very servants of so difficult, and so trying, as where it is made a members. I shall say nothing on the wisdom of judge in its own cause. There is something im- our ancestors. It might perhaps appear invidplanted in the breast of man so attached to itself
, ious, and is not necessary in the present case. so tenacious of privileges once obtained, that, in I shall only say, that the noble Lords that flatter such a situation, either to discuss with impartial themselves with the weight of that reflection, ity, or decide with justice, has ever been held as should remember, that, as circumstances alter, the summit of all human virtue. The bill now things themselves should alter. Formerly it was in question puts your Lordships in this very pre- not so fashionable either for masters or servants dicament; and I doubt not but the wisdom of to run in debt as it is at present; nor formerly your decision will convince the world, that, where were merchants or manufacturers members of self-interest and justice are in opposite scales, the Parliament, as at present. The case now is very latter will ever preponderate with your Lord-different. Both merchants and manufacturers ships.
are, with great propriety, elected members of the Privileges have been granted to legislators in Lower House. Commerce having thus got into all ages and in all countries. The practice is the legislative body of the kingdom, privilege founded in wisdom; and, indeed, it is peculiarly must be done away. We all know that the very essential to the Constitution of this country, that soul and essence of trade are regular payments : the members of both Houses should be free in and sad experience teaches us that there are their persons in cases of civil suits; for there men who will not make their regular payments may come a time when the safety and welfare without the compulsive power of the laws. The of this whole empire may depend upon their at-law, then, ought to be equally open to all. Any tendance in Parliament. God forbid that I exemption to particular men, or particular ranks sliould advise any measure that would in future of men, is, in a free commercial country, a sole. endanger the state. But the bill before your cism of the grossest nature. Lordships has, I am confident, no such tendency, But I will not trouble your Lordships with ar. for it expressly secures the persons of members guments for that which is sufficiently evident of either House in all civil suits. This being the without any. I shall only say a few words to case, I confess, when I see many noble Lords, some noble Lords, who foresee much inconven. for whose judgment I have the greatest respect, ience from the persons of their servants being standing up to oppose a bill which is calculated liable to be arrested. One noble Lord observes, merely to facilitate the recovery of just and legal that the coachman of a peer may be arrested debts, I am astonished and amazed. They, I while he is driving his master to the House, and doubt not, oppose the bill upon public principles. consequently he will not be able to attend his I would not wish to insinuate that private interest duty in Parliament. If this was actually to haphas the least weight in their determination. pen, there are so many methods by which the
This bill has been frequently proposed, and as member might still get to the House, I can hardly frequently miscarried; but it was always lost in think the noble Lord to be serious in his objecthe Lower House. Little did I think, when it tion. Another noble Lord said, that by this bill had passed the Commons, that it possibly could one might lose his most valuable and honest servhave met with such opposition here. Shall it be ants. This I hold to be a contradiction in terms; said that you, my Lords, the grand council of the for he neither can be a valuable servant, nor an nation, the highest judicial and legislative body honest man, who gets into debt, which he neither of the realm, endeavor to evade by privilege is able nor willing to pay till compelled by law. those very laws which you enforce on your fellow. If my servant, by unforeseen accidents, has got subjects ? Forbid it, justice. I am sure, were in debt, and I still wish to retain him, I certainly the noble Lords as well acquainted as I am with would pay the debt. But upon no principle of but half the difficulties and delays that are every liberal legislation whatever can my servant have day occasioned in the courts of justice, under pre- a title to set his creditors at defiance, while, for tense of privilege, they would not, nay, they could forty shillings only, the honest tradesman may bo not, oppose this bill.
torn from his family and locked up in jail. It is I have waited with patience to hear what ar- monstrous injustice ! I flatter myself
, however, guments might be urged against the bill; but I the determination of this day will entirely put an have waited in vain. The truth is, there is no end to all such partial proceedings for the future, argument that can weigh against it. The jus. by passing into a law the bill now under your tice and expediency of this bill are such as ren- Lordships' consideration.
I now come to speak upon, what, indeed, I very decisions of some of the courts were tinc. would have gladly avoided, had I not been par- tured with that doctrine.' It was undoubtedly ticularly pointed at for the part I have taken in an abominable doctrine. thought so then, and this bill. It has been said by a noble Lord on think'so still. But, nevertheless, it was a popular my left hand thut I likewise am running the race doctrine, and came immediately from those who of popularity. If the noble Lord means by pop- were called the friends of liberty, how deservedly ularity that applause bestowed by after ages on time will show. True liberty, in my opinion, good and virtuous actions, I have long been strug- can only exist when justice is equally adminis gling in that race, to what purpose all-trying tered to all—to the King and to the beggar time can alone determine. But if the noble Where is the justice, then, or where is the law, Lord means that mushroom popularity which is that protects a member of Parliament more than raised without merit, and lost without a crime, any other man from the punishment due to his he is much mistaken in his opinion. I defy the crimes ? The laws of this country allow no noble Lord to point out a single action in my place nor employment to be a sanctuary for life where the popularity of the times ever had crimes; and, where I have the honor to sit as the smallest influence on my determinations. I judge, neither royal favor nor popular applausa thank God I have a more permanent and steady shall ever protect the guilty. rule for my conduct — the dictates of my own I have now only to beg pardon for having embreast. Those that have foregone that pleasing ployed so much of your Lordships' time; and I adviser, and given up their mind to be the slave am very sorry a bill, fraught with so good conof every popular impulse, I sincerely pity. I sequences, has not met with an abler advocate; pity them still more if their vanity leads them to but I doubt not your Lordships' determination mistake the shouts of a mob for the trumpet of will convince the world that a bill, calculated to their fame. Experience might inform them that contribuie so much to the equal distribution of many who have been saluted with the huzzas of justice as the present, requires, with your Lord a crowd one day, have received their execrations ships, but very little support. the next; and many who, by the popularity of their times, have been held up as spotless patri. ots, have nevertheless appeared upon the histori
The act was finally passed. an's page, when truth has triumphed over delusion, the assassins of liberty.
i This refers to the case of Mr. Wilkes, who was Why, then, the noble Lord can think I am am- arrested under a general warrant for a seditious bitious of present popularity, that echo of folly libel on the King. He was taken before the Court and shadow of renown, I am at a loss to determ- of Common Pleas by a writ of Habeas Corpus, and ine. Besides, I do not know that the bill now
there pleaded his privilege against arrest as a membefore your Lordships will be popular. It de- ber of Parliament. The court, with Lord Camden
at their head, unanimously decided, that members pends much upon the caprice of the day. It | were free from arrest in all cases except treason, may not be popular to compel people to pay their felony, and actual breach of the peace. Whatever debts; and in that case the present must be an may have been the merits of this case, it was un. unpopular bil]. It may not be popular, neither, worthy of Lord Mansfield to speer at Lord Camden
"As authorto take away any of the privileges of Parliament; and his associates as “ weak minds." for I very well remember, and many of your ities then stood,” says Lord Campbell, “ I think a Lordships may remember, that not long ago the court of law was bound to decide in favor of privipopular cry was for the extension of privilege. lege in such a case.” This, it is believed, bas been And so far did they carry it at that time, that it the general sentiment of the English bar; while all was said that privilege protected members from agree that this extension of privilege to criminal
cases was wrong in principle, and was very propcriminal actions ; nay, such was the power of erly set aside a short time after, by a joint rosola popular prejudices over weak minds, tha! the tion of the two houses of Parliament.
STAT NOMINIS UMBRA,1
THE LETTERS OF Junius have taken a permanent place in the eloquence of ou language. Though often false in statement and malignant in spirit, they will nevçı cease to be read as specimens of powerful composition : For the union of brilliancy and force, there is nothing superior to them in our literature. Nor is it for his style alone that Junius deserves to be studied. He shows great rhetorical skill in his mode of developing a subject. There is an arrangement of a given mass of thought, which serves to throw it upon the mind with the greatest possible effect. There is another arrangement which defeats its object, and renders the impression feeble or indistinct Demosthenes was, of all men,' most perfectly master of the one; the majority of extemporaneous speakers are equally good examples of the other.
Junius had evidently studied this subject with great care ; and it is for the sake of urging it upon the young orator that some of the ablest of his productions will now be given. Happily, the selection is easy. There are ten or twelve of his letters which stand far above the rest for strength of thought and elegance of diction. These will be found below, with the exception of his Letters to Lord Mansfield, which, though highly finished in respect to style, are now universally condemned for their errors, both in law and fact, and their unmerited abuse of the greatest of English jurists. In regard to his treatment of others, it is hardly necessary to say that the statements of Junius are to be taken with great allowance. He was an unscrupulous political partisan; and though much that he said of the Duke of Grafton and the other objects of his vengeance was strictly true, they were by no means so weak or profligate as he here represents them. We might as well take Pope's Satires for a faithful exhibition of men and manners in the days of George II.
It is, therefore, only as an orator-for such he undoubtedly was in public life, and such he truly is in these letters--that we are now to consider him. In this character his writings are worthy of the closest study, especially in respect to the quality alluded to above. Each of these letters was the result of severe and protracted labor. We should have known it, if he had not himself avowed the fact, for we see every where the marks of elaborate forecast and revision; and we learn, from his private correspondence with Woodfall, that he expended on their composition an amount of anxiety and effort which hardly any other writer, especially one so proud, would have been willing to acknowledge. Yet it is certain that by far the greater part of all this toil was bestowed, not upon the language, but on the selection and arrangement of his ideas. His mind, in early life, had clearly been subjected to the severest logical training. Composition, with him, was the creation of a system of thought, in which every thing is made subordinate to a just order and sequence of ideas. One thought grows out of another in regular succession. His reasonings
I This celebrated motto was taken from the first book of Lucan's Pharsalia, line 135. The poet there speaks of Pompey, when he entered into the war with Cesar, as having his name, or reputation, chiefly in the past ; and adds, in reference to this idea, “Stat magni nominis umbra". stands the shadow of a mighty name. When the author of these letters collected them into a volume, he beautifully appropriated these words to bimself, with the omission of the word magni, and a change of application. He placed them on the title-page, in connection with the word JUNIUS, which“ stands the shadow of a name," whose secret was intrusted to no one, and was never to be revealent
often take the form of a syllogism, though usually with the omission of one of the terms; and we never find him betrayed into that careless diffusion of style so common with those who are ignorant of the principles of logic. In this respect, the wntings of Junius will amply repay the closest study and analysis. Let the young orator enter completely into the scope and design of the author. Let him watch the under-current of his thoughts and feelings. Let him observe how perfectly every thing coincides to produce the desired impression-the statement of principles and the reference to facts, the shadings of thought and the colorings of imagery. Let him take one of the more striking passages, and remark the dexterous preparation by which each of its several parts is so shaped that the leading thoughts come forward to the best advantage; clear in all their relations, standing boldly out, unen cumbered by secondary ideas, and thus fitted to strike the mind with full and undi vided force. Such a study of Junius will prepare the yourg reader to enter into the Logic of Thought. It will lead to the formation of a severe intellectual taste, which is the best guard against the dangers of hasty composition, and the still greater dan. gers of extemporaneous speaking. Such speaking can not be dispensed with. the contrary, it is becoming more and more essential to the success of public men in every department of life. It is, therefore, of the highest importance for the student in oratory to be familiar with models which shall preserve the purity of his style, and aid him in the formation of those intellectual habits without which there can be neither clearness, nor force, nor continuity of thought in extemporaneous speaking. One of our most eloquent advocates, the late William Wirt, whose early training was of a different kind, remarked, in an address delivered not long before his death, that here lay the chief deficiency of our public speakers—that the want of severe intellectual discipline was the great want of American orators.
There is also another lesson to be learned from Junius, viz., the art of throwing away unnecessary ideas. A large proportion of the thoughts which rise to the mind in first considering a subject, are not really essential to its clear and full development. No one ever felt this more strongly than Junius. He had studied in the school of the classics; he had caught the spirit of the Grecian oratory; and he knew that the first element of its power was a rigid scrutiny of the ideas to be brought forward, and a stern rejection of every form of thought, however plausible or attractive, which was not clearly indispensable to the attainment of his object. He learned, too, in the same school, another lesson of equal importance, in relation to the ideas selected for use. He saw how much could be done to abridge their statement, and set aside the necessity of qualifying terms and clauses, by such an arrangement of the leading thoughts that each should throw light upon the other, and all unite in one full, determinate impression. Our language is, indeed, poorly fitted for such purposes. It is a weak and imperfect instrument compared with others, whose varied inflections and numerous illative particles afford the readiest means of graceful transition, and of binding ideas together in close-compacted masses. Such as it is, however, Junius has used it to the utmost advantage. In his best a fine compression of thought, arising from the skillful disposition of his materials, which it is far more easy to admire than to imitate. Not an idea is excluded which could promote his object. It is all there, but in the narrowest compass. The stroke is a single one, because nothing more is needed ; and it takes its full effect, because there is nothing in the way to weaken the force of the blow. He has thus given us some of the best specimens in our language of that "rich economy of expression,” which was so much studied by the great writers of antiquity.
There is only one more characteristic of Junius which will here be noticed. It is the wonderful power he possessed of insinuating ideas into the mind without giving them a formal or direct expression. Voltaire is the only writer who ever ep.
passages, there is joyed this power in an equal degree, and he used it chiefly in his hours of gayety and sport. Junius used it for the most serious purposes of his life. He made it tha instrument of torturing his victims. It is a curious inquiry why this species of indirect attack is so peculiarly painful to persons of education and refinement. The question is not why they suffer more than others from contempt and ridicule, but why sarcasm, irony, and the other forms of attack by insinuation, have such extraordinary power to distress their feelings. Perhaps the reason is, that such persons are peculiarly qualified to understand and appreciate these forms of ingenious derision. The ignorant and vulgar have no power to comprehend them, and are therefore beyond their reach. But it is otherwise with men of cultivated minds. It is impossible for such men not to admire the efforts of genius; and when they find these efforts turned against themselves, and see all the force of a subtle intellect employed in thus dexterously insinuating suspicion or covering them with ridicule, whatever may be their consciousness of innocence, they can not but feel deeply. Coarse invective and reproachful language would be a relief to the mind. Any one can cry“ fool," “ liar," or “scoundrel.” But to sketch a picture in which real traits of character are so ingeniously distorted that every one will recognize the likeness and apply the name, requires no ordinary force of genius; and it is not wonderful that men of the firmest spirit shrink from such an assailant. We have seen how Lord Mansfield“ suffered” under inflictions of this kind from Lord Chatham, till he could endure them no longer, and abruptly fled the contest. In addition to this, he who is thus assailed knows that the talent which he feels so keenly will be perfectly understood by others, and that attacks of this kind diffuse their influence, like a subtle poison, throughout the whole republic of letters. They will be read, he is aware, not only by that large class who dwell with malicious delight on the pages of detraction, but by multitudes whose good opinion he prizes most highly-in whose minds all that is dear to him in reputation will be mingled with images of ridicule and contempt, which can not fail to be remembered for their ingenuity, how much soever they may be condemned for their spirit. For these and perhaps other reasons, this covert mode of attack has al. ways been the most potent engine of wounding the feelings and destroying character. Junius had not only the requisite talent and bitterness to wield this engine with terrible effect, but he stood on a vantage ground in using it, such as no other writer ever enjoyed. He had means of secret information, which men have labored in vain to trace out or conceive of. His searching eye penetrated equally into the retired circles of domestic life, the cabinets of ministers, and the closet of the King." Persons of the highest rank and most callous feelings were filled with alarm when they found their darkest intrigues laid open, their most hidden motives detected, their duplicity and tergiversation exposed to view, and even their private vices blazoned before the eyes of the public. Nor did Junius, on these points, very scrupulously confine himself to the truth. He gave currency to some of the basest slanders of the day, which he could not but know were unfounded, in order to blacken the char.
: The following is a curious instance. About two years after these Letters were commenced, Garrick learned confidentially from Woodfall that it was doubtful whether Junius would continue to write much longer. He flew instantly with the news to Mr. Ramus, one of the royal pages, who hastened with it to the King, then residing at Richmond. Within two days, Garrick received, through Woodfall, the following note from Junius :
" I am very exactly informed of your impertinent inqniries, and of the information you so busily sent to Richmond, and with what triumph and exultation it was received. I knew every particular of it the next day. Now, mark me, vagabond! keep to your pantomimes, or be assured you shall hear of it. Meddle no more, thou busy informer! It is in my power to make you curse the hour in which you dared to interfere with
Junius." Miss Seward states, in her Letters, that on the evening after the receipt of this note, Garrick, for once in his life, played badly.