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He had no occasion to say, as the Grecian orator did, that, if he had sometimes acted contrary to himself, he had never acted contrary to the republic; but he might justly have
said, as the noble Roman did, “I have rendered to my 5 country all the great services which she was willing to re
ceive at my hands, and I have never harbored a thought concerning her that was not divine.”
More fortunate than Cicero, who fell a victim of civil wars which he could not avert, Adams was permitted to 10 linger on the earth, until the generations of that future
age, for whom he had lived and to whom he had appealed from the condemnation of contemporaries, came up before the curtain which had shut out his sight, and pronounced
over him, as he was sinking into the grave, their judgment 15 of approval and benediction.
The distinguished characteristics of liis life were beneficent labor and personal contentment. He never sought wealth, but devoted himself to the service of mankind ;
yet by the practice of frugality and method, he secured 20 the enjoyment of dealing forth continually no stinted
charities, and died in affluence. He never solicited place or preferment, and had no partisan combinations or even connections; yet he received honors which eluded the
covetous grasp of those who formed parties, rewarded 25 friends, and proscribed enemies; and he filled a longer
period of varied and distinguished service than ever fell to the lot of any other citizen. In every state of this progress he was content. He was content to be president, minister,
representative, or citizen. 30 Stricken in the midst of this service, in the very act of
rising to debate, he fell into the arms of conscript fathers of the republic. A long lethargy supervened, and oppressed his senses. Nature rallied the wasting powers,
on the verge of the grave, for a very brief period. But it 35 was long enough for him. The rekindled eye showed that
the re-collected mind was clear, calm, and vigorous.
His weeping family and his sorrowing compeers were there. He surveyed the scene, and knew at once its fatal import. He had left no duty unperformed; he had no
wish unsatisfied ; no ambition unattained ; no regret, no 5 sorrow, no fear, no remorse. He could not shake off the
dews of death that gathered on his brow. He could not pierce the thick shades that rose up before him. But he knew that eternity lay close by the shores of time. He
knew that his Redeemer lived. 10 Eloquence, even in that hour, inspired him with his
ancient sublimity of utterance. “This,” said the dying man, “this is the last of earth.” He paused for a moment, and then added, “ I am content.” Angels might well have
drawn aside the curtains of the skies to look down on such 15 a scene
a scene that approximated even to that scene of unapproachable sublimity, not to be recalled without reverence, when, in mortal agony, One who spake as never man spake, said, “ It is finished.”
CVI. — TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS.
MACAULAY. [This description of the trial of Warren Hastings is from the review of “Gleiu's Life of Hastings” in the “Edinburgh Review.” Hastings was governor-gencral of India from 1774 to 1785; and on his return to England was impeached by the House of Commcns, and tried by the Ho.ee of Lords, for numerous acts of injustice and oppression. The trial began in 1788, and dragged on its slow length till 1795, when he was finally acquitted. The judg, ments of men entitled to respect are still divided as to the amount of blame to be attached to Hastings. He was a man of great abilities, but there can be no doubt that he was often unscrupulous in his conduct, and cruel in his government. He constantly acted upon the dangerous doctrine, that a good end justifies the use of any means to attain it. He was nearly ruined by the expenses of his trial, which are said to have amounted to nearly four hundred thousand dollars.)
The place was worthy of such a trial. It was the great hall of William Rufus ; o the hall which had resounded
Westminster Hall was built by William Rusus, for a banqueting hall.
with acclamations at the inauguration of thirty kings; the hall which had witnessed the just sentence of Bacon and the just absolution of Somers; the hall where thc elo.
quence of Strafford had for a moment awed and melted a 5 victorious party inflamed with just resentment; the hall
where Charles had confronted the High Court of Justice with the placid courage that has half redeemed his fame.
Neither military nor civil pomp was wanting. The avenues were lined with grenadiers. The streets were kept 10 clear by cavalry. The peers, robed in gold and ermine,
were marshalled by heralds under Garter King-at-arms. The judges, in their vestinents of state, attended to give advice on points of law. Near a hundred and seventy
lords, three fourths of the upper house, as the upper house 15 then was, walked in solemn order from their usual place
of assembling to the tribunal. The junior baron present led the way, — George Eliott, Lord Heathfield, recently ennobled for his memorable defence of Gibraltar against
the fleets and armies of France and Spain. The long pro20 cession was closed by the Duke of Norfolk, earl marshal
of the realm, by the great dignitaries, and by the brothers and 'sons of the king. Last of all came the Prince of Wales, conspicuous by his fine person and noble bearing.
The gray old walls were hung with scarlet. The long 25 galleries were crowded by an audience such as has rarely
excited the fcars or the emulation of an orator. There were gathered together from all parts of a great, free, enlightened, and prosperous realm, grace, and female
loveliness, wit and learning, the representatives of every 20 science and of every art.
There were seated round the queen the fair-haired young daughters of the house of Brunswick. There the ambassadors of great kings and commonwealths gazed with admi
ration on a spectacle which no other country in the world 35 could present. There Siddons, in the prime of her majes
tic beauty, looked with emotion on a scene surpassing all
the iinitations of the stage. There the historian of the Roman empire thought of the days when Cicero pleaded the cause of Sicily against Verres, and when, before a
senate which had still some show of freedom, Tacitus 5 thundered against the oppressor of Africa.
There were seen, side by side, the greatest painter and the greatest scholar of the age. The spectacle had allured Reynolds from that easel which has preserved to us the
thoughtful foreheads of so many writers and statesmen, 10 and the sweet smiles of so many noble matrons. It had
induced Parr † to suspend his labors in that dark and profound mine from which he had extracted a vast treasure of erudition, a treasure too often buried in the earth, too
often paraded with injudicious and inelegant ostentation, 15 but still precious, massive, and splendid.
There appeared the voluptuous charms of her I to whom the heir of the throne had in secret plighted his faith. There, too, was she,s the beautiful mother of a beautiful
race, the St. Cecilia, whose delicate features, lighted up 20 by love and music, art has rescued from the common
decay. There were the members of that brilliant society which quoted, criticized, and exchanged repartees, under the rich peacock hangings of Mrs. Montague. And there
the ladies, whose lips, more persuasive than those of Fox 25 himself, had carried the Westminster election against
palace and treasury, shone round Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.
The sergeants made proclamation. Hastings advanced to the bar, and bent his knee. The culprit was indeed not unworthy of that great presence. He had ruled an
† Samuel Parr, a clergyman and man of learning, but hardly the “ greatest scholar of the age.”
| Mrs. Fitzherbert whom the Prince of Wales was supposed to have secretly married.
$ The first wife of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, a woman remarkable for beauty and musical genius, whom Sir Joshua Reynolds had painted as St. Cecilia,
extensive and populous country, had made laws and treaties, had sent forth armies, had set up and pulled down princes. And in his high place he had so borne him
self that all had feared him, that most had loved him, 5 and that hatred itself could deny him no title to glory, except virtue.
He looked like a great man, and not like a bad man. A person small and emaciated, yet deriving dignity from a
carriage which, while it indicated deference to the court, 10 indicated also habitual self-possession and self-respect, a
high and intellectual forehead, a brow pensive, but not gloomy, a mouth of inflexible decision, a face pale and worn, but serene, such was the aspect with which the
great proconsul presented himself to his judges. 15 The charges and the answers of Hastings were first read.
The ceremony occupied two whole days, and was rendered less tedious than it would otherwise have been, by the silver voice and just emphasis of Cowper, the clerk of the
court, a near relation of the amiable poet. 20 On the third day, Burke rose. Four sittings were occu
pied by his opening speech, which was intended to be a general introduction to all the charges. With an exuberance of thought and a splendor of diction which more than
satisfied the highly-raised expectation of the audience, he 27 described the character and institutions of the natives of
India, recounted the circumstances in which the Asiatic empire of Britain had originated, and set forth the constitution of the company, and of the English presidencies.
Having thus attempted to communicate to his hearers 80 an idea of eastern society as vivid as that which existed in
his own mind, he proceeded to arraign the administration of Hastings, as systematically conducted in defiance of morality and public law. The energy and pathos of the great orator extorted expressions of unwonted admiration from the stern and hostile chancellor, and, for a moment,
* Lord Thurlow, a stern, rough man, and friendly to Hastings,