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although she in no respect partakes of the duty of protection. To prepare the constitutional charter is, we are told, the immediate purpose, and we may say the only one, if we are correctly informed, for which General Maitland is now here; but we doubt if, with this limited object in view, he is not transgressing the bounds assigned, for as we read the treaty, the British commissioner is only to regulate the forms of convoking a legislative assembly, and the assembly 80 convened, is itself to draw up the constitutional charter for the states. Whatever may be the politics or practice of France, or of the Netherlands, we believe that the King of England assumes no right of dictating a constitution to his own subjects, much less would it be pretended, that where he is in the relation of protector, and paid for that protection, he should arrogate to himself any such authority.
As both the translator and the author of this work have observed upon the benefits the islanders are likely to derive from British protection, we may be allowed to say a few words on the salutary exercise of the power with which this government is invested, and from which it cannot deviate without violating the sacred obligation towards this defenceless people which it has voluntarily undertaken to discharge.
There are some principles of political philosophy which we hold to be perfectly settled with all those who have attended to the subject.
Civil liberty is the right of a state to govern itself by its own discretion, or by laws of its own forming, without being subject to any extraneous power.
A government by laws is not a free government, unless such laws are enacted by common consent.
It will be immediately perceived, that the connexion subsisting between the eastern and western dependencies of this great empire is not regulated by such incontrovertible and acknowledged principles of free government; and it may be true, both in morals and in physics, that when the body politic or natural has long taken an improper direction, the trunk must not by main strength be suddenly forced into the position it should have originally assumed, lest that be broken and destroyed which it is designed to che. rish and preserve. We avail ourselves of this comparison, not to justify the early neglect by which this vicious growth was permitted, but to shew that changes may not be so hastily made, or revolutions so rapidly concocted, as the impetuous rage of our modern reformers would require.
The Ionian Islands are not our colonies, and with them we are in a new situation; and, in the first place, they have not sought our protection, and were no parties to the arrangement between the contracting states that presumed to concede to us this authority.
Secondly, we should observe, that it is absolutely necessary that authority so acquired should be confirmed by the people over which it is extended.
Thirdly, the instrument that arrogates this authority declares the states to be free and independent, and therefore the authority, however exercised, must in no way interfere with the fundamental principle of the relation, their freedom and independence.
To the bases of public liberty we before stated, we might have added another axiom, viz.
No one community can have any rightful power over the property or legislation of another community that is not incorporated with it by a just and adequate representation.
This canon of political government immediately bears on the question before us. It may be said hereafter, but cer. tainly not at present, that the Adriatic islanders have offered to the British islanders a power that disposes of this maxini of social institution. The short answer to such an allegation would be, that the principle is the root of liberty, and liberty, root and branch, is inalienable Liberty is not only indigenous in every country, but is inseparable from it; its incorporation with all social concerns, resembles that sublime process of nature by which vegetation becomes progressively the soil on which it feeds, and to extirpate it is as impossible as to annihilate a particle or an atom to which existence has been given by the Almighty Creator.
The principal inquiry then is ; are there not causes by which one state may acquire a rightful authority over another, although not supported by an adequate representation? In common honesty we must say, there are none, that neither conquest, compact, or obligations conferred, can in any case give it; and if the connexion with the lonian Republic do not nearly resemble that of an alliance between co-equal states (an equitable compensation being allowed for the protection afforded) the subsisting relation will be an infraction of the independence we acknowledge, a violation of the solemn engagement into which we have entered, and an aggression on the inalienable rights and privileges of a sovereign and a free people !
Art. II.-Speeches of the late Right Honourable Richard
Brinsley Sheridan, several corrected by himself, edited by a Constitutional Friend. London, Martin, 3 vols. 8vo. 1816.
It has become a modern expedient, in imitation of the practice of the ancients, to collate the speeches of distin. guished British orators, and by such means, the most important materials of history are supplied, the most luminous views of state affairs are presented, the best exercise of the human understanding is displayed, and not only the record of sentiments the most profound, and the expression of emotions the most powerful are preserved; but even the momentary ebullitions of wit, and the transient effusions of genius, are fixed and secured for the honour of him who is endowed with such high qualities, and for the gratification of those who can enjoy what they cannot create.
It would be easy to shew, that to Isæus, Lysias, Cicero, and others whose harangues have equally escaped the slow decay of time, and the hasty demolition of barbarian vio. lence, we are indebted for a large portion of our knowledge of the habits and customs of early communities, of the principles of their government, of the character of their laws, and of the maxims of their policy, in matters on which we could obtain no accurate information from any contemporary historian ; and the subjects of the British statesman are as various as are the multiplied hopes, wishes, and enjoyments of a cultivated people. The blunted sensibility of the annalist in narrating the tardy progress of events, can never elicit those sparks which are ignited into flame by the active collision of the passions of the orator, and by this radiant light, the philosopher and the moralist can discern causes and effects touching the subversion of nations and the revolution of empires, which would otherwise bave never been discovered.
But there is a facility now possessed that improves our confidence in the correctness of these orations, which to antiquity was wholly unknown, and which, we believe, is not practised, even at this day, in any language but the English :-we allude to a technical art, of easy attainment, which rivals the velocity of speech, if not the rapidity of thought. When Demosthenes was pouring forth the torrent of bis eloquence, and Tully was displaying the fertility and exuberance of his imagination, could some secret hand
have depicted the impetuous storm in all its native force, and collected the scattered flowers in all their beauty and freshness, what would have been the admiration and de. light of future ages!
If British eloquence be in these times the bold competitor of Greek and Roman fame, it is because it is raised to the elevation on which it reposes by the strongest impulses with which the heart of man is influenced, and these are, the deep interests our situation involves, and the high feel. ings our liberty inspires; with the effect the talents of a single individual produces on the happiness of the myriads that are dependent on this mighty empire.
Of the three volumes intended to be published, only two have yet appeared, and these are confined to the interval between November, 1780, and April, 1792,-a period less than twelve years; but if the duration were measured politically, and not astronomically—by the importance of the events, and not by the revolutions of the heavens-it would be greatly extended. The successive ministers at this time were Lord North, the Marquis of Rockingham, Earl Shelburne, the Duke of Portland, and the Hon. Wm. Pitt: the first was removed on the change of policy as to the American war, in 1789; the second by death, the same year; the third, in the following, by the coalition of Lord North and Mr. Fox; and the Duke of Portland shortly afterwards, by the India Bill. The long continuance of Mr. Pitt in office afforded ample opportunities to Mr. Sheridan to employ those masculine powers of reasoning, and that brilliancy of wit, for which he was so eminently distinguished. The great occasion on which his extraordinary talents were exhibited, did not occur until seven years after his first election for Stafford, although he had before embraced frequent opportunities in Parliament of shewing the acuteness of his judgment, and the refinement of his taste. On the 7th February, 1787, the House resolved itself into a committee on the fourth charge against Mr. Hastings, which related to the resumption of the Jaghires, and the confiscation of the treasures of the Princesses of Oude. On the ground of this charge, Mr. Sheridan rose to move, « that Warren Hastings be impeached.” In support of his motion, he commented largely on the evidence which had been given by Sir Elijah Impey, and read an extract from a letter of the Begum, the princess chiefly concerned, addressed to Mr. Hastings in December, 1775, in which she says CRIT. Rev. VOL. 1V. Sept. 1816.
« If it is your pleasure that the mother of the late Nabob, myself, and his other women, and infant children, should be reduced to a státe of dishonour and distress, we must submit ; but if, on the contrary, you call to mind the friendship of the late blessed Nabob, you will exert yourself effectually in favour of us, who are helpless." And again, “If you do not approve of my remaining at Fyzabad, send a person here, in your name, to remove the mother of the late Nabob, myself, and about two thousand other women and children, that we may reside with honour and reputation in some other place." (Vol. I. p. 281.)
Mr. Sheridan, in the sequel, proceeds in a vein of the keenest satire.
« It was curious to reflect on the whole of Sir Elijah's circuit at that perilous time. Sir Elijah had stated his desire of relaxing from the fatigues of office, and unbending his mind in a party of health and pleasure; yet wisely apprehending that very sudden relaxation might defeat its object, he had contrived to mix some matters of business to be interspersed with his amusements: he had, therefore, in his little airing of nine hundred miles-great part of which he went post, escorted by an army-selected those very situations where insurrection subsisted, and rebellion was threatened; and had not only delivered his deep and curious rescarches into the laws and rights of nations and of treaties, in the capacity of the Oriental Grotius, whom Warren Hastings was to study, but likewise in the humbler and more practical situation of a collector of ex parte evidence. In the former quality, his opinion was the premature sanction for plundering the Begums; in tlie latter character, he became the posthumous sapporter of the expulsion and pillage of the Rajah Cheit Sing. Acting on an unproved fact-on a position as a datum of the Duke of Richmond's fabrication-he had not hesitated, in the first instance, to lend his authority as a license for unlimited persecution; in the latter, he did not disdain to scud about India, like an itinerant inforiner, with a pedlar's pack of garbled evidence and surreptitious affidavits. What pure friendship! what a voucher of unequivocal attachment from a British judge to such a character as Warren Hastings! With a generous oblivion of duty and of ho. nour-with a proud sense of having authorized all future rapacity, and sanctioned all past oppression—this friendly judge proceeded on his circuit of health and ease; and whilst the Governor general, sanctioned by this solemn opinion, issued his orders to plunder the Begums of their treasure, Sir Elijah pursued his progress; and passing through a wide region of distress and misery, explored a country that presented a 'speaking picture of hunger and of naked. Dess, in quest of objects best suited to his feelings—in anxious search of calamities most kindred to his invalid imagination.
“ Thus, whilst the executive power in India was perverted to the most disgraceful inbumanities, the judicial authority also became