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duct of those very persons who have
seemed to adopt that mode, by lately de-
claring a rebellion in Massachusetts Bay,
as they had formerly addressed to have
traitors brought hither, under an Act of
Henry the Eighth, for trial. For though
rebellion is declared, it is not proceeded
against as such; nor have any steps been
taken towards the apprehension or con-
viction of any individual offender, either 10
on our late or our former Address; but
modes of public coercion have been
adopted, and such as have much more
resemblance to a sort of qualified hos-
tility toward an independent power than 15
the punishment of rebellious subjects.
All this seems rather inconsistent; but it
shows how difficult it is to apply these
juridical ideas to our present case.

In this situation, let us seriously and 20 coolly ponder. What is it we have got by all our menaces, which have been many and ferocious? What advantage have we derived from the penal laws we have rightly passed, and which, for the 25 time, have been severe and numerous? What advances have we made towards our object, by the sending of a force which, by land and sea, is no contemptible strength? Has the disorder abated? Nothing less. When I see things in this situation, after such confident hopes, bold promises, and active exertions, I cannot for my life avoid a suspicion that the plan itself is not correctly right.


please any people, you must give them the boon which they ask; not what you may think better for them, but of a kind totally different. Such an act may be a 5 wise regulation, but it is no concession; whereas our present theme is the mode of giving satisfaction.

Sir, I think you must perceive that I am resolved this day to have nothing at all to do with the question of the right of taxation. Some gentlemen startle — but it is true; I put it totally out of the question. It is less than nothing in my consideration. I do not indeed wonder, nor will you, sir, that gentlemen of profound learning are fond of displaying it on this profound subject. But my consideration is narrow, confined, and wholly limited to the policy of the question. I do not examine whether the giving away a man's money be a power excepted and reserved out of the general trust of government; and how far all mankind, in all forms of polity, are entitled to an exercise of that right by the charter of Nature. Or whether, on the contrary, a right of taxation is necessarily involved in the general principle of legislation, and inseparable from the ordinary supreme power. These are deep questions, where great names militate against each other; where reason is perplexed; and an appeal to authorities only thickens the confusion. For high and reverend authorities lift up 35 their heads on both sides; and there is no sure footing in the middle. This point is the great Serbonian bog. Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old, Where armies whole have sunk.' I do not intend to be overwhelmed in that bog, though in such respectable company. The question with me is, not whether you have a right to render your people miserable, but whether it is not your interest to make them happy. It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do. Is a politic act the worse for being a generous one? Is no concession proper, but that which is made from your want of right to keep what you grant? Or does it lessen the grace or dignity of relaxing in the exercise of an odious claim, because you have your evidence-room full of titles, and your magazines stuffed with arms to enforce them? What signify all those titles and all those arms? Of what avail


If then the removal of the causes of this spirit of American liberty be, for the greater part, or rather entirely, impracticable; if the ideas of criminal process be inapplicable, or if applicable, are in the highest degree inexpedient; what way yet remains? No way is open but the third and last-to comply with the American spirit as necessary; or, if you please, to submit to it as a necessary evil. 45 If we adopt this mode; if we mean to conciliate and concede; let us see of what nature the concession ought to be: to ascertain the nature of our concession we must look at their complaint. The col-50 onies complain that they have not the characteristic mark and seal of British freedom. They complain that they are taxed in a parliament in which they are not represented. If you mean to satisfy 55 them at all, you must satisfy them with regard to this complaint. If you mean to

are they, when the reason of the thing tells me that the assertion of my title is the loss of my suit; and that I could do nothing but wound myself by the use of my own weapons?


My idea, therefore, without considering whether we yield as matter of right, or grant as matter of favor, is to admit the people of our colonies into an interest in the Constitution; and, by recording that admission in the journals of parliament, to give them as strong an assurance as the nature of the thing will admit, that we mean for ever to adhere to that


Some years ago, the repeal of a Revenue Act, upon its understood principle, might have served to show that we in

Such is steadfastly my opinion of the absolute necessity of keeping up the concord of this empire by a unity of spirit, though in a diversity of operations, that, if I were sure the colonists had, at their 10 solemn declaration of systematic indulleaving this country, sealed a regular compact of servitude; that they had solemnly abjured all the rights of citizens; that they had made a vow to renounce all ideas of liberty for them and 15 tended an unconditional abatement of the their posterity to all generations; yet I should hold myself obliged to conform to the temper I found universally prevalent in my own day, and to govern two million of men, impatient of servitude, on the 20 principles of freedom. I am not determining a point of law; I am restoring tranquillity; and the general character and situation of a people must determine what sort of government is fitted for them. 25 That point nothing else can or ought to determine.

exercise of a taxing power. Such a measure was then sufficient to remove all suspicion, and to give perfect content. But unfortunate events, since that time, may make something further necessary; and not more necessary for the satisfaction of the colonies, than for the dignity and consistency of our own future proceedings.


EDWARD GIBBON (1737-1794)

The greatest of English historians was born not far from London, at Putney in Surrey, where his father lived the easy life of a country gentleman. Gibbon ascribed the success of his later years to the 'golden mediocrity' of his fortunes, which preserved him on the one hand from the seductions of pleasure and, on the other, from the need of earning a living. His childhood was sickly, his education was intermittent, and he was indulged in his bent for reading which soon settled to a passion for history. At an early age he had devoured everything in that department which was accessible in English and had begun to annex other languages in order that he might gratify his hunger for original documents. He was sent at fifteen to Magdalen College, Oxford, and has left a withering indictment of the neglect and incompetence which he encountered at that seat of learning. Left to himself, he fell under the influence of a Jesuit and was converted to Roman Catholicism; whereupon his father promptly deported him to Switzerland and placed him under the care of a Calvinist minister at Lausanne. Through constant practice in the defense of his faith he became familiar with its assailable points, and soon passed to the position of scepticism which he permanently occupied. He mastered the French language and the French method of study and became deeply imbued with the French rationalistic ideas of the period. By five years of great diligence under able direction he laid the foundation of his superb equipment for the task of his life. Returning to England, he published in the French language his first book, Essai sur l'Etude de la Litterature [Essay on the Study of Literature] (1761). To please his father he served for two years and a half as a captain of militia. The singleness of his ambition is well illustrated by his summary of these lost years: The discipline and evolutions of a modern battalion gave me a clearer notion of the phalanx and the legions, and the captain of the Hampshire grenadiers — the reader may smile has not been useless to the historian of the Roman empire.' But of this and of his later career in Parliament he was impatient as of anything which did not contribute directly to his one ambition. From his early youth he had aspired to the character of a historian,' but he remained unsettled as to the field he should occupy until he found himself at Rome. In my journal, the place and the moment of the conception are recorded,' he tells us in his Memoirs, the fifteenth of October, 1764, in the close of the evening, as I sat musing in the church of the Zoccolanti or Franciscan friars, while they were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter on the ruins of the Capitol.' Two years elapsed before he was able to set to work, twelve before the first volume was published in London, and another twelve before he laid down his pen at Lausanne. His History of the Decline and Fall had been his life, the one object toward which all his reading and experience were made to converge, and is the one subject of his Memoirs. He quietly finished his days at Lausanne, undoubtedly justified in his feeling that this achievement had been enough for one life. The substance of Gibbon's 'candid and rational inquiry into the human causes' of the religious growth which undermined the civilization of the ancient world, has not remained totally unassailed by the modern historian; nor is Gibbon's style perfect; but it is safe to say that no other Englishman has united in an equal degree abundance and accuracy of information, sense of historical perspective and proportion, vigor of narrative, and splendor of style.



a deep ditch of the depth of one hundred feet. Against this line of fortification, which Phranza, an eye-witness, prolongs Of the triangle which composes the to the measure of six miles, the Ottomans figure of Constantinople, the two sides 5 directed their principal attack; and the along the sea were made inaccessible to emperor, after distributing the service an enemy: the Propontis by nature and and command of the most perilous stathe harbor by art. Between the two tions, undertook the defence of the exwaters, the basis of the triangle, the land ternal wall. In the first days of the siege, side was protected by a double wall and 10 the Greek soldiers descended into the


workmen were destroyed; and the skill of an artist was admired, who bethought himself of preventing the danger and the accident, by pouring oil, after each explo5 sion, into the mouth of the cannon.

The first random shots were productive of more sound than effect; and it was by the advice of a christian that the engineers were taught to level their aim

ditch, or sallied into the field; but they soon discovered that, in the proportion of their numbers, one christian was of more value than twenty Turks; and, after these bold preludes, they were prudently content to maintain the rampart with their missile weapons. Nor should this prudence be accused of pusillanimity. The nation was indeed pusillanimous and base; but the last Constantine deserves to against the two opposite sides of the the name of an hero: his noble band of volunteers was inspired with Roman virtue; and the foreign auxiliaries supported the honor of the Western chivalry. The incessant volleys of lances and arrows 15 were accompanied with the smoke, the sound, and the fire of their musketry and cannon. Their small arms discharged at the same time either five or even ten balls of lead of the size of a walnut; and, 20 according to the closeness of the ranks and the force of the powder, several breastplates and bodies were transpierced by the same shot. But the Turkish approaches were soon sunk in trenches or 25 covered with ruins. Each day added to the science of the christians; but their inadequate stock of gunpowder wasted in the operations of each day Their ordnance was not powerful either 30 in size or number; and, if they possessed some heavy cannon, they feared to plant them on the walls, lest the aged structure should be shaken and overthrown by the explosion. The same destructive secret 35 had been revealed to the Moslems; by whom it was employed with the superior energy of zeal, riches, and despotism. The great cannon of Mahomet has been separately noticed; an important and 40 visible object in the history of the times: but that enormous engine was flanked by two fellows almost of equal magnitude; the long order of the Turkish artillery was pointed against the walls; fourteen 45 batteries thundered at once on the most accessible places; and of one of these it is ambiguously expressed that it was mounted with one hundred and thirty guns, or that it discharged one hundred and thirty bullets. Yet, in the power and activity of the sultan, we may discern the infancy of the new science. Under a master who counted the moments, the great cannon could be loaded and fired no 55 by a staircase to the upper platform, and,

more than seven times in one day. The heated metal unfortunately burst; several

salient angles of a bastion. However imperfect, the weight and repetition of the fire made some impression on the walls; and the Turks, pushing their approaches to the edge of the ditch, attempted to fill the enormous chasm and to build a road to the assault. Innumerable fascines and hogsheads and trunks of trees were heaped on each other; and such was the impetuosity of the throng that the foremost and the weakest were pushed headlong down the precipice and instantly buried under the accumulated mass. To fill the ditch was the toil of the besiegers; to clear away the rubbish was the safety of the besieged; and, after a long and bloody conflict, the web that had been woven in the day was still unraveled in the night. The next resource of Mahomet was the practice of mines; but the soil was rocky; in every attempt he was stopped and undermined by the christian engineers; nor had the art been yet invented of replenishing those subterraneous passages with gunpowder and blowing whole towers and cities into the air. A circumstance that distinguishes the siege of Constantinople is the reunion. of the ancient and modern artillery. The cannon were intermingled with the mechanical engines for casting stones and darts; the bullet and the battering-ram were directed against the same walls; nor had the discovery of gunpowder superseded the use of the liquid and unextinguishable fire. A wooden turret of the largest size was advanced on rollers: this portable magazine of ammunition and fascines was protected by a threefold cover50 ing of bulls' hides; incessant volleys were securely discharged from the loop-holes: in the front, three doors were contrived for the alternate sally and retreat of the soldiers and workmen. They ascended

as high as the level of that platform, a scaling-ladder could be raised by pulleys




the greatness of the spectacle. The five christian ships continued to advance with joyful shouts, and a full press both of sails and oars, against an hostile fleet of three hundred vessels; and the rampart, the camp, the coasts of Europe and Asia, were lined with innumerable spectators, who anxiously awaited the event of this momentous succor. At the first view that event could not appear doubtful: the superiority of the Moslems was beyond all measure or account; and, in a calm, their numbers and valor must inevitably have prevailed. But their hasty and imperfect navy had been created, not by the genius of the people, but by the will of the sultan in the height of their prosperity, the Turks have acknowledged that, if God had given them the earth, he had

to form a bridge and grapple with the adverse rampart. By these various arts of annoyance, some as new as they were pernicious to the Greeks, the tower of St. Romanus was at length overturned: after a severe struggle, the Turks were pulsed from the breach and interrupted by darkness; but they trusted that with the return of light they should renew the attack with fresh vigor and decisive 10 success. Of this pause of action, this interval of hope, each moment was improved by the activity of the emperor and Justiniani, who passed the night on the spot, and urged the labors which involved 15 the safety of the church and city. At the dawn of day, the impatient sultan perceived, with astonishment and grief, that his wooden turret had been reduced to ashes: the ditch was cleared and re- 20 left the sea to the infidels; and a series of stored; and the tower of St. Romanus was again strong and entire. He deplored the failure of his design; and uttered a profane exclamation that the word of the thirty-seven thousand proph- 25 ets should not have compelled him to believe that such a work, in so short a time, should have been accomplished by the infidels.

The generosity of the christian princes 30 was cold and tardy; but, in the first apprehension of a siege, Constantine had negotiated, in the isles of the Archipelago, the Morea, and Sicily, the most indispensable supplies. As early as the begin- 35 ning of April, five great ships, equipped for merchandise and war, would have sailed from the harbor of Chios, had not the wind blown obstinately from the north. One of these ships bore the Im-40 perial flag; the remaining four belonged to the Genoese; and they were laden with wheat and barley, with wine, oil, and vegetables, and, above all, with soldiers and mariners, for the service of the 45 capital. After a tedious delay, a gentle breeze, and, on the second day, a strong gale from the south, carried them through the Hellespont and the Propontis; but the city was already invested by sea and land; 50 and the Turkish fleet, at the entrance of the Bosphorus, was stretched from shore to shore, in the form of a crescent, to intercept, or at least to repel, these bold auxiliaries. The reader who has present 55 to his mind the geographical picture of Constantinople, will conceive and admire

defeats, a rapid progress of decay, has established the truth of their modest confession. Except eighteen galleys of some force, the rest of their fleet consisted of open boats, rudely constructed and awkwardly managed, crowded with troops and destitute of cannon; and, since courage arises in a great measure from the consciousness of strength, the bravest of the Janizaries might tremble on a new element. In the christian squadron, five stout and lofty ships were guided by skilful pilots, and manned with the veterans of Italy and Greece, long practised in the arts and perils of the sea. Their weight was directed to sink or scatter the weak obstacles that impeded their passage: their artillery swept the waters; their liquid fire was poured on the heads of the adversaries who, with the design of boarding, presumed to approach them; and the winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators. In this conflict, the Imperial vessel, which had been almost overpowered, was rescued by the Genoese; but the Turks, in a distant and closer attack, were twice repulsed with considerable loss. Mahomet himself sat on horseback on the beach, to encourage their valor by his voice and presence, by the promise of reward, and by fear more potent than the fear of the enemy. The passions of his soul, and even the gestures of his body, seemed to imitate the actions of the combatants; and, as if he had been the lord of nature, he spurred his horse with a fearless and

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