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gentlemen, would have been brought against me as a crime.

I shall now advert to the third topick of accusation: the conduct of the war. I have already stated in what manner, and under what circumstances hostilities commenced; and as I am neither general nor admiral, as I have nothing to do either with our navy or army, I am sure I am not answerable for the prosecution of it. But were I to answer for every thing, no fault could, I think, be found with my conduct in the prosecution of the war. It has from the beginning been carried on with as much vigour, and as great care of our trade, as was consistent with our safety at "home, and with the circumstances we were in at the beginning of the war. If our attacks upon the enemy were too long delayed, or if they have not been so vigorous or so frequent as they ought to have been, those only are to blame who have for many years been haranguing against standing armies: for without a sufficient number of regular troops in proportion to the numbers kept up by our neighbours, I am sure we can neither defend ourselves, nor offend our enemies. On the supposed miscarriages of the war, so unfairly stated, and so unjustly imputed to me, I could, with great ease, frame an incontrovertible defence: but as I have trespassed so long on the time of the house, I shall not weaken the effect of that forcible exculpation so generously and disinterestedly advanced by the right honourable gentleman who so meritoriously presides at the admiralty.

If my whole administration is to be scrutinized and arraigned, why are the most favourable parts to be omitted? If facts are to be accumulated on one side, why not on the other? And why may not I be permitted to speak in my own favour? Was I not called by the voice of the king and the nation to remedy the fatal effects of the South Sea project, and to support declining credit? Was I not placed at the head of the treasury, when the revenues were in the greatest confusion? Is credit revived, and does it now flourish? Is it not at an incredible height, and if

so, to whom must that circumstance be attributed? Has not tranquillity been preserved both at home and abroad, notwithstanding a most unreasonable and violent opposition? Has the true interest of the nation been pursued, or has trade flourished? Have gentlemen produced one instance of this exorbitant power, of the influence which I extend to all parts of the nation, of the tyranny with which I oppress those who oppose, and the liberality with which I reward those who support me? But having first invested me with a kind of mock dignity, and styled me a prime minister, they impute to me an unpardonable abuse of that chimerical authority which they only have created and conferred. If they are really persuaded that the army is annually established by me, that I have the sole disposal of posts and honours, that I employ this power in the destruction of liberty, and the diminution of commerce, let me awaken them from their delusion. Let me expose to their view the real condition of the publick weal; let me show them that the crown has made no encroachments, that all supplies have been granted by parliament, that all questions have been debated with the same freedom as before the fatal period, in which my counsels are said to have gained the ascendency; an ascendency from which they deduce the loss of trade, the approach of slavery, the preponderance of prerogative, and the extension of influence. But I am far from believing that they feel those apprehensions which they so earnestly labour to communicate to others, and I have too high an opinion of their sagacity not to conclude that, even in their own judgment, they are complaining of grievances that they do not suffer, and promoting rather their private interest than that of the publick.

What is this unbounded sole power which is imputed to me? How has it discovered itself, or how has it been proved?

What have been the effects of the corruption, ambition, and avarice, with which I am so abundantly charged?

Have I ever been suspected of being corrupted? A strange phenomenon, a corrupter himself not corrupt! Is ambition imputed to me? Why then do I still continue a commoner? I, who refused a white staff and a peerage. I had, indeed, like to have forgotten the little ornament about my shoulders, which gentlemen have so repeatedly mentioned in terms of sarcastick obloquy. But surely, though this may be regarded with envy or indignation in another place, it cannot be supposed to raise any resentment in this house, where many may be pleased to see those honours which their ancestors have worn, restored again to the commons.

Have I given any symptoms of an avaricious disposition? Have I obtained any grants from the crown since I have been placed at the head of the treasury? Has my conduct been different from that which others in the same station would have followed? Have I acted wrong in giving the place of auditor to my son, and in providing for my own family? I trust that their advancement will not be imputed to me as a crime, unless it shall be proved that I placed them in offices of trust and responsibility for which they were unfit.

But while I unequivocally deny that I am sole and prime minister, and that to my influence and direction all the measures of government must be attributed, yet I will not shrink from the responsibility which attaches to the post I have the honour to hold; and should during the long period in which I have sat upon this bench, any one step taken by government be proved to be either disgraceful or disadvantageous to the nation, I am ready to hold myself accountable.

To conclude, sir, though I shall always be proud of the honour of any trust or confidence from his majesty, yet I shall always be ready to remove from his councils and presence, when he thinks fit; and therefore I should think myself very little concerned in the event of the present question, if it were not for the encroachment that will thereby be made upon the prerogatives of the crown. But I must think, that an address to his majesty to remove one of his ser

vants, without so much as alleging any particular crime against him, is one of the greatest encroachments that was ever made upon the prerogatives of the crown; and therefore for the sake of my master, without any regard for my own, I hope all those that have a due regard for our constitution, and for the rights and prerogatives of the crown, without which our constitution cannot be preserved, will be against this motion.

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As one of the leading managers who conducted the memorable trial of Warren Hastings, the duty particularly assigned to Mr. Sheridan was to support charge which related to the treatment of the Princesses of Oude. This charge which seems to have been considered as the most criminal of the offences alleged against Mr. Hastings, is so entangled with a complicated portion of the history of his administration, that we despair of being able to convey, within the limits to which we are restricted, an intelligible explanation of the subject. It is, however, a matter of little consequence, since there will be found in the speeches of Mr. Sheridan, especially the concluding one, the charge stated with sufficient distinctness, accompanied too by a narrative of the transactions on which it is predicated, clear, copious, and precise. The first of these inimitable orations was delivered in the house of commons on the question, Whether the conduct of Mr. Hastings towards the Begums deserved impeachment? The theme was peculiarly adapted to display the best powers of eloquence; and never, perhaps, were they exerted with superiour skill, force, and elegance. For more than five hours, he continued without abatement, to fascinate, arouse, and inflame the feelings of his audience, and

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