Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 6.djvu/110

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS


the most respected families of our country—himself the only individual of that family—I may almost say of that country: who can look to that possible fate with unconcern? Feeling, as I do, all these impressions, it is in the honest simplicity of my heart I speak, when I say that I never rose in a court of justice with so much embarrassment as upon this occasion.

If, gentlemen, I could entertain a hope of finding refuge for the disconcertion of my mind in the perfect composure of yours, if I could suppose that those awful vicissitudes of human events, which have been stated or alluded to, could leave your judgments undisturbed and your hearts at ease, I know I should form a most erroneous opinion of your character. I entertain no such chimerical hopes; I form no such unworthy opinions; I expect not that your hearts can be more at ease than my own. I have no right to expect; but I have a right to call upon you in the name of your country, in the name of the living God, of whose eternal justice you are now administering that portion which dwells with us on this side of the grave, to discharge your breasts, as far as you are able, of every bias of prejudice or passion; that if my client is guilty of the offense charged upon him you may give tranquillity to the public by a firm verdict of conviction; or if he is innocent, by as firm a verdict of acquittal; and that you will do this in defiance of the paltry artifices and senseless clamors that have been resorted to in

100