Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/35

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INTRODUCTION


similar to that of Marius, but it is doubtful whether one better than his was ever offered. It includes the following words:

"They despise my humbleness of birth; I contemn their imbecility. My condition is made an objection to me; their misconduct is a reproach to them. The circumstances of birth, indeed, I consider as one and the same to all; but think that he who best exerts himself is the noblest. If the patricians justly despise me, let them also despise their own ancestors, whose nobility, like mine, had its origin in merit. They envy me the honor that I have received; let them also envy me the toils, the abstinence, and the perils by which I obtained that honor."

If space permitted quotations might be made from other speeches here given, for each has its own distinctive merits. In Sheridan's speech at the trial of Warren Hastings, the reader will find some excellent examples of invective. I must quote a single passage from that speech:

"If a stranger had at this time [in 1782] goneinto the kingdom of Oude, ignorant of what

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