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June 6. Mr. Burges rose. He ob- 80581. was not the whole of the expense served, that he wished, if possible, to incurred; but that, in fact, it amounted satisfy the call of a right hon gentleman, to full 15,0006. at present, and with the who, on a former day, had desired him fees of the clerks of the two Houses, &c. to state his doubts respecting the articles it would amount to 18,0006. before the in the account of the expenses incurred session closed. He concluded with movby the trial of Warren Hastings, esq. ing, “ That Messrs. Wallis and Troward, He repeated the circumstances that had solicitors for the Impeachment against led to such a call having been made upon / Warren Hastings, esq. do lay before him, and then proceeded to explain what this House, on the first day of every month his doubts were. The first of them he during the continuance of the said instated to be a doubt whether the House peachment (if this House shall then be had authorized the managers to employ sitting, otherwise on the first day this counsel ; a doubt whether there was any House shall sit after every such first day precedent for their employing counsel; of the month) a particular account of such and, in case the House had not authorized expenses and charges as shall have been them to employ counsel, and that there incurred by the said solicitors, as may was no precedent for it, a doubt whether have occurred subsequent to any account there was any peculiar circumstance of dif- by them previously delivered to this House ficulty in the nature of the present prose- stating specifically to whom, and on what cution, that made the assistance of counsel account, such sums shall have been paid." necessary. Mr. Burges argued these 1. Mr. Burke said, that he rose neither to doubts separately and distinctly. He second nor to resist the motion. Before he said, it would not, he should suppose, be seconded, he must approve a motion ; denied that the House had not given any before he opposed it, he must feel a strong authority to the managers for the employ- / reason for meeting it with his negative. ment of counsel, and he could not find any | In the present case he felt no powerful precedent for the assistance of counsel propensity either way. He could not having been either required or granted however avoid offering his warmest conin such prosecutions. At the same time gratulations to the hon. gentleman on his he conceived, it was not one of those sort having chosen that glorious day, after the of prosecutions, that required the special triumph of the morning, to bring forward assistance of counsel. Only two legal a business of such an important nature! It points had yet arisen in the progress of was the hon. gentleman's choice of filling the cause, that of the guarantee, and that up the happy interval between their adof the year 1783. Whatever legal diffi- journment from Westminster-hall and the culties might offer, there were learned rising of the House, with calling them to gentlemen enough on the Committee of the examination of the items of a solici. managers to solve every doubt. He pro- tor's bill, which alone was fit to follow ceeded to state his doubts on the difference his first onset within those walls, when he between the two bills that had been de- had stood up, and boldly ventured for a livered to the House by the solicitors for long time, singly and unseconded, to call the prosecution at different periods, and for the attention of the House, after every pointed out tlie particulars in which that other member had been struck dumb with difference consisted. These were in the astonishment and admiration at the won. total amounts, and the charges on account derful eloquence of his hon. friend (Mr. of sums paid to counsel, and the charge Sheridan) who had that day again sur. of the solicitors' expenses. He dwelt on prised the thousands'who hung with rapture these differences, reasoning upon each, on his accents, by such a display of talents and declaring that it struck him, as if two as were unparalleled in the annals of oramore counsel had made a part of the tory, and as did the highest honour to clause in the first bill, than in the second, biniself, to that House, and to his country. since, in the second, a sum equal to the For his part, Mr. Burke added, his mind difference was transferred from the charge was not sufficiently let down from the of money paid to counsel, to the charge of height of exaltation to which it had been expenses incurred by the solicitors. He raised : it required a degree of bending, went into calculations to 'show, that the of wetting, and of relaxation, to sink his sum divided different ways would warrant thoughts to the level of such an inquiry as the supposition of a different number of that to which the hon. gentleman had called counsel being employed. He said. that their attention. After such a sublime and
glorious feast as the morning had afforded," Mr. Fot said, if there was any thing in the hon. gentleman's curious speculation the account worth inquiry, let it be inon minute particulars convinced him that quired into. He and the managers had Providence had intended that man should nothing to do with it. The subject had come not be proud, but that ecstacy of the mind under discussion in no less than three difshould be checked and cooled by some ferent days; and he thought it a little sudden concomitant of mortification and hard, that those on the other side, who disgrace, so that, under any circumstances, appeared to concur with them, and to it should be impossible for a human being ' agree that they had nothing to do with it, to escape long from having some proof should nevertheless suffer it to be again of natural infirmity thrust before his sight. brought forward, and the same things reHe again congratulated the hon. genile peated respecting it. If his astonishment man, therefore, on his choice of a day, could be raised at all at the paper just delideclaring, that if ever there was a day vered, it would be at the ridiculous parsimade to dignify the nation, made to mony with which a prosecution of such dignify human nature itself, it was that 'magnitude was carried forward. If the very day. Of all species of oratory, of hon. gentleman had done what was fair, every kind of eloquence that had been he would have stated his doubts before. heard, either in ancient or in modern times; The first account contained the subject of whatever the acuteness of the bar, the dig. his doubts as well as the second; and the nity of the senate, or the morality of the latter gave him no sort of information res. pulpit, could furnish, had not been equal pecting them, which the second did not to what that House had that day heard in convey. With regard to the hon. gentleWestminster-hall. No holy religionist, man's declaration, that only two points of no man of any description as a literary law bad occurred, if the bon. gentleman, character, could have come up, in the instead of spending his time in the neat one instance, to the pure sentiments of calculations he had so nicely made, had morality, or in the other, to the variety examined the charges already gone into, of knowledge, force of imagination, pro- with all his profound skill in arithmetic, priety and vivacity of allusion, beauty he would venture to say he would have and elegance of diction, and strength found more legal poinis than he could of expression, to which they had all that easily have counted up. In respect to the day listened. From poetry up to elo employment of counsel, he believed it was quence, there was not a species of com- a new thing to employ counsel on such a position of which a complete and perfect prosecution, but he was persuaded, from specimen might not have been culled, from his own experience, that the assistance of one part or the other of the 'speech to counsel had been and would be indiswhich he alluded, and which, he was per. | pensably necessary to the safe conduct of suaded, had made too strong an impres- the cause. The expenses of the prosecusion on the minds of that House to be so tion of Mr. Hastings stood upon the same 8000 obliterated, as to render such a coarse ground with every other species of public dish of soups as the hop. gentleman had set expenditure, and he saw no reason why, before them, at all palatable. There was, after the House had appointed managers Mr. Burke added, no conquest of man over for the conduct of the prosecution, it should man, like that of genius over injustice; in not give them as much confidence with stead, therefore,of resolving themselves into respect to a prudent management of the a committee of petit accounts, they ought, expenditure entrusted to their superintenlike the Romans, after Scipio's victories, dence, as they gave the particular departe to go and thank the gods for that day's ments which presided over any other triumph. In conclusion, Mr. Burke de. peculiar head of public expenditure. clared that he disdained to take notice of Mr. Drake said, that although he apsuch a subject as the hon. gentleman had proved of the present motion, yet after the stated to the House. If the hon. gentle= rebuff which his hon. friend had met with, man doubted, or any man doubted, the he was almost afraid to utter one syllable solicitor's charges, let them call the soli- in its favour. He fully acceded to the citors to the bar, and examine them. For compliments passed on the oration delihis part, he would continue to order such vered by Mr. Sheridan in Westminsterservices as he thought proper, till the hall, and confessed that he had that day House should think proper to command listened to all that was great and grand, him to desist.
ornamental and elegant : virtue had been (VOL. XXVII.]
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aggrandized, and vice debased; if he was | House had been called on for that pur. not a natural lover of virtue, he should pose, the noble lord would have stated that day have been made a convert to it. fully the nature and tendency of the Bill. He nevertheless must ever stand up the He could not but lament the want of this avowed friend of economy. The ma- necessary information, for of all the pronagers, undoubtedly, were no way answer. ductions he had ever read, the present able for the correctness of the accounts on Bill was the most vague, loose, and unin. the table. They were engaged in nobler telligible compound of blunders and abobjects and lottier pursuits; but surely surdities. He was certain it did not orithat was no reason why his hon, friend and ginate with the noble lord, but had been himself, being men of humbler faculties, drawn up by some interested person, who might not attend to matters of the dry and had imposed on his known humanity and less elevated nature of the bills in question. love of justice. Bills of this description
Mr. Pitt said, that undoubtedly the ma- were, at all times, objects which required nagers were entitled to the confidence of the most scrupulous investigation: the the House, and whatever assistance they House had annually witnessed instances thought was necessary for the safe conduct of their being submitted to their judg. of the cause, he would be ready to say, ment, and with much propriety had rethey ought to be authorized to procure. jected them. The present Bill embraced He had entertained some doubts in his objects of a larger scale; it went to overown mind, whether it was necessary that turn, in a great measure, those laws which two civilians should be employed. If the our ancestors had thought prudent to conright hon. gentleman thought that they tinue from the time of William the Conwere requisite, he was ready to declare queror to the present period. The learnthat they ought to be employed.
led lord then endeavoured to show the Sir W. Dolben said, that although he inefficacy of several parts of the Bill, and had scarcely recovered from the effect of asserted that it would give additional latithe whiff and wind of Mr. Burke's fell arm, tude to wicked and designing men, to yet he ventured to second the motion, prey upon the honest and industrious part because he thought it the duty of that of the community. It was his wish to House to attend to such objects. He de- make Insolvent Bills answer their original fended Mr. Burges from the ridicule of intention, and then the numbers within Mr. Burke, and said, that though in the the walls would bear but a small propordischarge of his duty, his hon. friend had tion to what they now did. It had long condescended to notice the subject under been the custom, whenever an insolvent consideration, be had talents equal to the Bill was pending, for persons, by means of moving in a higher sphere.
some friend, to Aing themselves into prie · Mr. M. A. Taylor considered the mo- son, in order to be white-washed, and tion as a paltry attempt to cast a slur on thereby defraud their just creditors. The the managers, and therefore was deter. Bill now brought in from the mode in which mined to take the sense of the House they were to obtain their liberation, would upon it.
give them an additional opportunity of "Mr. Dundas said, he had given and effecting this. Under this Bill, those who would continue to give confidence to the had been guilty of the greatest breaches managers; but as the question of the of trust might be cleared, whilst a clause council was settled, and the rest of the particularly prevented the liberation of Bill referred to matters which lay with those imprisoned for verdicts obtained on the Board of Treasury, he saw no use in libels. Was this justice ? was this equity? proceeding to a division, and would there- The Chancellor said, he should vote fore prevent it, by moving the order of against the commitment. the day.
Lord Rawdon was astonished that the After some further conversation, the learned lord should want farther informaorder of the day was put and carried. tion, after the full manner in which he
I had detailed its objects. He could bry Debate in the Lords on the Insolventno means subscribe to the learned lord's Debtors Bil.] May 23. Lord Rawdon assertion, that imprisonment for debt having moved, that the Insolvent Debtors had existed from the time of William Bill be committed,
the Conqueror. In the days of Edward The Lord Chancellor objected to the 1, it only extended to bailiffs, who pur. pwotion. He had trusted that before the loined the revenues of their lords, and
was farther extended in the reign of Ed-grievance lie here alone; and is it only ward 3, but then not until after execution here that relief must be had ? No, my had been obtained. So far from assisting lords, there is another end to this busiupprincipled men, it was his intention, in ness ; and which, unless first in the point some degree, to stop that unbounded of order, will render what is now before credit which was too promiscuously given. us last in point of utility. Let the noble Trade had, in faci, degenerated into author, then, begin, and I will second him gambling, tradesmen gave credit to those not with the law, but with the lawyers. who had no just right to expect it, and My Lords, I beg pardon for calling the indemnified their losses by exorbitant description of men to whom I allude by charges on those who could pay. By this that respectable name. The title no more conduct many unthinking young men were than the thing itself appertains to them. early involved in difficulties from which The right use of the law is that which they could never after extricate them- belongs to a lawyer ; but it is upon the selves. The learned lord had drawn a abuse of the law that these vermin feed. dark picture of the unfortunate inha- I say, then, my lords, let us begin with bitants of prisons; but surely its truth those licensed robbers, those legalised pickwould not be assented to, when it was pockets, the pettifogging attornies of this considered, that many of them were offi- country,who, like locusts, have now so mulcers who had bravely fought the battles of tiplied and overspread the land, ebat every their country, and, on the conclusion of individual feels, and cannot help feeling the war, were reduced on a scanty pit- the bitter effects of their all-devouring ra. tance, unequal to support, with common pacity. My Lords, I speak to the knowdecency, their rank in life. The Ameri- ledge, I speak to the feelings, of your can loyalists formed no small part of the lordships. For myself, I speak from my persons intended to be relieved; these own experience, (experto crede Roberto), had reduced themselves to their present an experience, from which, it is true I lamentable situation, by their firm attach- have learnt a lesson of wisdom; but it is a ment to this country. The objection that lesson which I did not learn without having magistrates were not competent to decide very sufficiently paid for it. Here, thep, between debtor and creditor, was futile in my Lords, is the principium et fons, Let the extreme. The law already allowed the noble lord look to these men. Let them to determine in cases of felony, and the rod of justice lash them into some surely, investigating accounts, and doing order and regulation; and having laid the justice between two parties, was not re- restraints upon them, under which they ferring that to them which they were not ought to be, and must be, sooner or later, fully able to decide. He trusted that the placed, I will take upon me to tell the Bill would be suffered to go to the com- noble lord, that more than one half of his mittee, where it might be altered and work is done: that his account of debtor amended, to meet the views of their lord- and creditor is nearly balanced. For, my ships.
Lords, is it the creditor that imprisons The Earl of Abingdon said: - My the debtor? No; it is the attorney. lords; I do not rise to enter into the sub-And how? The debtor owes the creditor ject matter of this Bill; I have before forty shillings, and he is clapped into stated my objections to it, and have given prison for forty pounds; and perhaps the my reasons why it ought not to be en- creditor along with him. And whence tered into at all. But admitting, for a does this arise? Look to the attorney's moment, the necessity and propriety of the bill, which, like a two-edged sword, is measure, in my humble opinion, the noble made so dexterously to cut on both sides, author of it has begun at the wrong end of that the creditor who gains bis suit is the business ; so much so as to defeat the oftentimes no better off than the debtor very object of his own good intentions. who loses it; and thus are two imprisonFor, my lords, what is the object of the ments, instead of one, effected. It is Bill? It is for the relief of insolvent therefore, my Lords, not, as I have said, debtors, and of bankrupts, in certain to the theory of the law that we are to cases. And how is this relief proposed to advert (for that is sound and good), but be obtained ? It is to be obtained by it is to the mal-practice of the law, and drawing, as it would seem, the lines of these are the malversators of it. But parity and justice betwixt the two parties there is one other topic to which, with of debtor and creditor. But does the your lordships' leave, I will allude. This
bill comes defore us under the sanction, | Russia to extirpate the Turks, or to drive and with the recommendation of humanity them out, and to banish them from their for its support; and, upon that'ground, I own kingdoms and countries? And yet am right glad to meet it: for, my Lords, arguments, no less than arms, will not be our humanity, notwithstanding the many found wanting in defence of the measure. occasions we have for it at home, has been Even so too, my Lords, comparing little of late so much occupied and employed things with great, is it with the case abroad, has been so distant from ourselves, before us; for who is it whose heart is so and so connected with others, soʻbusily at / obdurate, and whose nerves are so palsied, work in making the tour of the east, in as not to feel for the distresses of our culling tropes and figures, and in gathering fellow creatures, under the circumstances the oratorical flowers of Indostan, to strew alluded to by this Bill: And if this be so at your lordships' feet in Westminster-hall, in civil cases, what shall we say when we that, like the prodigal son, tired of its turn our eyes on the criminal jurisprudence prodigality, I was in hopes that our hu- of this country, on that sanguinary code manity had returned again to rest and to of laws under which it may be said we are remain with ourselves : but, my Lords, made not to live but to die? And is there vain and forlorn were these hopes in me; no alteration here wanting, no amendment for no sooner do we welcome the return of required? Yes, it will be answered; but this prodigal son among us from the east; this is looking at home, which is too conthan we hear of his intended flight to the centric an idea for the eccentric abilities, west, and from thence to the south, to act the lively fancies, and the boundless imagias a missionary among the savages of nations of our modern patriots, politicians Africa, to humanize inhumanity, to civi- and orators, to submit to. But, my Lords, lize negroes, to wash the black-a-moor the truth is, these are those very cases in white. Would to God, before this depar- which humanity and policy are at variance' ture of our humanity from hence, that with each other; for they are the cases (if unwilling to cast its eyes at home on that are and have been from time imme. the spot where we are) it would be pleased morial, in opposition to their humanity, i to look a little to the westward of this sanctioned under the policy of them, by island, to the kingdom of Ireland, my the laws of the land. It is, then, my Lords, and in the profusion of its bounty, Lords, between this humanity and this to bestow some small portion of its com- policy that we are to judge; and it is for miseration upon the white negroes of that us as pilots of the state, so to use the country, who under the weight and pres compass of our understandings, and so to, sure of exaction, are wound up to pitches steer our course, that, whilst we avoid of misery and distress, not surpasssed, Scylla, we do not run upon Charybdis. probably not equalled, by any other human Humanity, it is true, is a good thing; but beings existing under the sun of heaven: “too much virtue," even says the moralist for such is the fate of these' hapless" is vice;" and the better the thing is, the wretches. . And then is it, my Lords, that, worse, when misapplied, are the conse- in doing this, our humanity would act, quences. But humanity too, is but a term not as it does, in the very converse of in language, and, my Lords, let us beware sound philosophy and true patriotism, but of catch words. Economy was the word as it ought to act; and as, in the words of at one time; at another, omnipotence of the poet is beautifully expressed
parliament; and now humanity is the ton. “ Friends, parents, neighbours, first we do embrace ; ( Whiggism and toryism, 400, have had Our country next; and then all human raco."
their days. But, my Lords, as I have said, In the present instance, however, my let us beware of catch words: they someLords, I find our humanity is with us; times lead to good, but much more often and it being made the plea of this Bill, I to mischief: tliey are too frequently the readily receive it as such: but, as in many snares of politicians, to catch the great as other cases humanity and policy are at well as the little vulgar in; and are made variance with each other, so is it in this: to operate as the soldier's drum upon the for what is there in life more inhuman, soldier, not by the sense, but by the both in theory and practice, than the wars sound. Upon the whole, thep, my Lords, that are continually waging? And what is | until, as the necessary and proper data to it but policy that can justify them? What be given, it shall appear to me in proof, is there more shocking to humanity than that we are grown so much wiser and the present attempts of Austria and better and more humane than our ancestors