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lord chancellor, I beseech you, pardon me. I have but a short memory, and you
know that I have to tell a long tale. If you proceed in this way I shall forget the half of my defence. I have no school-tricks, nor art of recol. lection. Unless you hear me while I remember, your second charge will hammer the first out of my head.”
Several of the counsellors were friends of the earl; and knowing the acrimony of the cardinal's taunts, which they were themselves often obliged to endure, interfered, and entreated that the charges might be discussed one by one. Wolsey assenting to this, Kildare resumed.
“ It is with good reason that your grace is the mouth of this council; but, my lord, the mouths that put this tale into yours are very wide, and have gaped long for my ruin. What
cousin Desmond has done I know not; beshrew him for holding out so long. If he be taken in the traps that I have set for him, my adversaries, by this heap of heinous charges, will only have proved their own malice. But if he be never taken, what is Kildare to blame more than Ossory, who, notwithstanding his high promises, and having now the king's power, you see, takes his own time to bring him in ? Cannot the Earl of Desmond stir, but I must ad. vise ? Cannot he be hid, but I must wink? If he is befriended, am I therefore a traitor ? It is truly a formidable accusation! My first denial confounds my ac
Who made them so familiar with my sight? When was the earl in my view ? Who stood by when I let him slip? But, say they, I sent him word. Who was the messenger ? Where are the letters ? Confute
Only see, my lord, how loosely this idle gear of theirs hangs together ! Desmond is not taken. Well !
Kildare is in fault. Why? Because he is. Who
proves it? Nobody. But it is thought; it is said. By whom ? His enemies. Who informed them? They will swear it. Will they swear it, my lord ? Why, then they must know it. Either they have my letters to show, or can produce my messengers, or were present at a conference, or were concerned with Desmond, or somebody betrayed the secret to them, or they were themselves my vicegerents in the business : which of these points will they choose to maintain? I know them too well to reckon myself convicted by their assertions, hearsays, or any oaths which they may swear. My letters could soon be read, were any such things extant. My servants and friends are ready to be sifted. Of my cousin Desmond they may lie loudly ; for no man here can contradict them. But as to myself, I never saw in them integrity enough to make me stake on their silence the life of a hound, far less my own. I doubt not, if your honours examine them apart, you will find that they are the tools of others, suborned to say, swear, and state any thing but truth; and that their tongues are chained, as it were, to some patron's trencher. I am grieved, my lord cardinal, that your grace, whom I take to be passing wise and sharp, and who, of your own blessed disposition, wishes me so well, should be so far gone in crediting these corrupt informers that abuse your ignorance of Ireland. Little know you, my lord, how necessary it is, not only for the governor, but also for every nobleman in that country, to hamper his uncivil neighbours at discretion. Were we to wait for processes of law, and had not those hearts and hands, of which you speak, we should soon lose both lives and lands. · You hear of our case as in a dream, and feel not the smart of suffering that we endure. In England, there is not a subject that dare extend his arm to fillip a peer of the realm. In Ireland, unless
the lord have ability to his power, and power to protect himself, with sufficient authority to take thieves and varlets whenever they stir, he will find them swarm so fast, that it will soon be too late to call for justice. If you will have our service to effect, you must not bind us always to judicial proceedings, such as you are blessed with here in England. As to my kingdom, my lord cardinal, I know not what you mean. If your grace thinks that a kingdom consists in serving God, in obeying the king, in governing the commonwealth with love, in sheltering the subjects, in suppressing rebels, in executing justice, and in bridling factions, I would gladly be invested with so virtuous and royal a state. But if you only call me king, because you are persuaded that I repine at the government of my sovereign, wink at malefactors, and oppress well-doers, I utterly disclaim the odious epithet, surprised that your grace should appropriate so sacred a name to conduct so wicked. But however this may be, I would you and I, my lord, exchanged kingdoms for one month. I would in that time undertake to gather more crumbs than twice the revenues of my poor earldom. You are safe and warm, my lord cardinal, and should not upbraid me. While you sleep in your bed of down, I lie in a hovel ; while you are served under a canopy, I serve under the cope of heaven; while you drink wine from golden cups, I must be content with water from a shell; my charger is trained for the field, your gennet is taught to amble ; and while you are be-lorded and be-graced, and crouched and knelt to, I get little reverence, but when I cut the rebels off by the knees."
“ It is not in REPLY alone,” resumed Egeria, “ that the British orators have surpassed the Greek and Roman; among us another species of eloquence has been cultivated with equal success. It belongs to a class which may be called descriptive oratory, but it comprehends higher qualities than those of description; its effects are similar to the impressions of argument, but it does not apparently employ any form of ratiocination ; appealing to knowledge previously existing in the minds of the auditors, it works out its object and intent, by placing facts together in such a manner as to produce all the force of argument combined with the interest which lively description never fails to awaken. You will find a very splendid specimen of this species of oratory, which might, I think, be described as the statmentative (if we may coin such a term,) in Mr Burke's speech on Mr Fox's East India Bill, 1st December 1783.
Now, sir, according to the plan I proposed, I shall take notice of the Company's internal government, as it is exercised first on the dependent provinces, and then as it affects those under the direct and immediate authority of that body. And here, sir, before I enter into the spirit of their interior government, permit me to observe to you, upon a few of the many lines of difference which are to be found between the vices of the Company's government, and those of the conquerors who preceded us in India, that we may be enabled a little the better to see our way in an attempt to the necessary reformation.
“ The several irruptions of Arabs, Tartars, and Persians, into India were, for 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 blood; being introduced by various frauds and delusions, and by taking advantage of the incurable, blind, and senseless animosity, which the
of man ;
several country powers bear towards each other, rather than by open force. But the difference in favour of the first conquerors
is 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 fall of the territory they lived in. Fathers there deposited the hopes of their posterity ; and children there beheld the monuments of their fathers. Here their lot was finally cast; and it is the natural wish of all, that their lot should not be cast in a bad land. Poverty, sterility, and desolation, are not a recreating prospect to the eye
and there are very few who can bear to grow old among the curses of a whole people. If their passion or their avarice drove the Tartar lords to acts of rapacity or tyranny, there was time enough, even in the short life of man, to bring round the ill effects of an abuse of power upon the power itself. If hoards were made by violence and tyranny, they were still domestic hoards, and domestic profusion, 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 manufactures, 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 were dearly bought, but they were sure; and the general stock of the community grew by the general effort.
“But under the English government all this order is reversed. The Tartar invasion was mischievous; but it is our protection that destroys India. It was their enmity, but it is our friendship. Our conquest there,