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take that route to Venice. In short, do every thing that may contribute to your improvement, and I shall rejoice to see you what Providence in. tended you, a very great man. This you were, in your ideas, before you quitted this ; you best know how far you have studied, that is, practised the mechanic; despised nothing till you had tried it; practised dissections with your own hands, painted from nature as well as from the statues, and portrait as well as history, and this frequently. If you have done all this, as I trust you have, you want nothing but a little prudence, to fulfill all our wishes. This, let me tell you, is no small matter ; for it is impossible for you to find any persons anywhere more truly interested for you ; to these dispositions attribute every thing which may be a little harsh in this letter. We are, thank God, all well, and all most truly and sincerely yours.
I seldom write so long a letter. Take this as a sort of proof how much I am, dear Barry,
" Your faithful friend
6 EDMUND BURKE."
Mr. Fox.-Pamphlet on the Discontents.- Parliamentary Business.--Character of the House of Commons.-Speech of the 19th of April, 1774.-Goldsmith.-Barry.-Johnson and Burke.--Election for Bristol.
The address, in reply to the speech from the throne, the City remonstrance to the King, the affairs of Mr. Wilkes, and the discontents which generally prevailed, brought Mr. Burke forward almost daily in the session commencing 9th January, 1770.
The debate of the first day, in which he took a leading part, occupied 12 hours; and the second called forth an animated defence of his friend, Sir George Saville, from the censures of General Conway, for alleged violence of speech.
His most distinguished exertions were on the 28th of March, in favour of the bounty on the exportation of corn ; when the writers of the time state him to have s spoken inimitably well:”On the 30th of March, in support of Mr. Grenville's bill for regulating controverted elections, displaying great constitutional knowledge, drawing a beautiful distinction between faction and party, and strenuously urging the necessity for having representatives of the commercial and every other class in Parliament, as well as landholders, which some of the country gentlemen appeared by their speeches to doubt :-On the 9th of May, in proposing a series of resolutions of censure on Ministers, for their conduct in American affairs, introduced by a speech, said by contemporary opinion “ to be full of sound argument, and infinite wit and raillery.”. Every speech he made, in fact, is highly praised, though the particulars, no more than those of other speeches, are not given, from the little attention then paid to reporting.
A circumstance, which subsequent events made of interest, took place in the debate on the address, when Mr. Charles Fox, in his first parliamentary essay, attempting to answer the objections of the Rockingham party, had some of his arguments successfully turned into ridicule by its leader. No offence was taken by the young orator. He had been taught some time before, by the literary society at his father's table, to think highly of the talents of Mr. Burke. He had known him personally since 1766, and they had been intimate for about two years ; and further acquaintance insured to the latter that admiration from his younger friend, which all who knew him intimately involuntarily felt. From an admirer Mr. Fox became a disciple, a coadjutor, an amicable rival; at length, by the occurrence of extraordinary and unlookedfor events, terminating, as he began, an opponent.
Of this celebrated man it is unnecessary to say much, and very difficult to draw an impartial character, without giving offence to his friends, or gratifying the spleen of a large body of political adversaries. Of powers the most commanding, and parliamentary talents the most extraordinary, he
did not often exemplify, either in public or private life, the possession of that sound prudence and practical wisdom which insure public confidence and reward. Something of this was owing to natural disposition, something to parental indulgence, which left him in the most critical period of life wholly uncontrolled. . His mind, manly. even in youth, seemed to have reached maturity at a bound; between the boy and the statesman there was scarcely an interval. But there accompanied this early precocity an utter disregard of self-discipline and control, and an absolute tyranny of the passions over the judgment; the very excess of dissipated habits, his neglect of the observances of common life, his indifference to private character, which, even in his most popular days, made him an object of distrust to the reflecting part of the nation, all indicated an ill-regulated mind. It is said, as an additional proof of it, that he paid little regard to religion ; if so, who but must sincerely regret it? If such be the inevitable result of early debauchery upon the character, it is, indeed, a heavy sentence upon frail humanity.
Yet his virtues were of the first cast. He was affectionate, mild, generous, friendly, and sincere ; obscuring his errors so effectually, that scarcely one of his friends could see them, or could for a moment admit the uncharitable interpretation often put upon them by the world. Few men in public life, except perhaps Mr. Burke, have had more political enemies, though in private life perhaps not one; we might be displeased with the poli
tician, but it was scarcely possible to hate the man. There was a good-natured, almost culpable, facility about his character, which frequently brought him into the society, and sometimes under the influence of persons, not only of inferior talents, but of questionable principles and views; and though without any community of feeling with these, or with the enemies of our constitution and government, it must be confessed that he occasionally gave such persons his countenance, so as to alarm the more cautious, the more circumspect, or more timid part of the public: but this was one of his many sacrifices to popularity, made at a time when it became necessary to strengthen his few remaining adherents by allies of every description. The same facility made him, in the opinion of many, a dupe to the plausibility of Buonaparte, in 1802 and 1806, and, at the former period, caused him to admit to his table in France a convicted British traitor, fresh from carrying arms against his native country.
The extraordinary powers which he possessed were chiefly from nature, and he often seemed to depend upon them alone without consulting the surer guide of experience. He had, of course, infinitely more of ingenuity than of knowledge, more of originality of thought than of patient research ; more of decision than of reflection; he was more acute than discriminating; he was self-willed through life, obstinately attached to his own opinions, and undervaluing, though not offensively, those of the rest of mankind. He was heard to say, in the earlier part of life, that “ he had