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teenth century, the visitations of this sorbed and suuk in the common periodic frenzy thickened. Frederic gulf of national perversion. Catholic and the Seven Years' War roused Emancipation was the next crisis of every talker in England into angry elo- the public folly. Its cry rang through cution, and the man was pronounced the empire, until the whole tribe of an enemy to his country who could loose politics, the general living disdoubt the cause of Prussia. This ab- contents, the incurable bitternesses surdity had its day. The public against all government, the alienafever cooled away, and men were tions from all rule, the whole fretful astonished at their own extravagance. accumulation of imaginary wrongs, The Middlesex elections next disco- imaginary rights, and imaginary pavered the organ of political frenzy naceas for all the common difficulties in the public brain. The nation was of mankind, were marshalled at the instantly in a paroxysm. Every man sound of that voice of evil. Other was an orator, and every orator exand more disciplined forces soon claimed, that all past hazards were joined to swell that levy. The priestnothing to the inevitable ruin of the hood sounded the trumpet from their hour; what was life without liberty, altars. The armed banditti of Irish and what was liberty without the faction, long trained by mid-day inpower of election. England saw this sults to all authority, and midnight day pass too, and the chief miner lay usurpation of all power, moved at aside the match which he had been the head of the insurrection, and so long waving at the mouth of the Parliament was stormed. The great mine, shelter himself in an opulent body of the English nation must be sinecure, and laugh at the dupes exonerated, in this instance, from whose clamour had been its pur- the guilt of the act, if they shall yet chase. The American question next be compelled to share deeply in the roused the multitude. The whole misfortune of its consequences. But host of obscure politicians were in the battle was not now fought upon stantly awakened in their retreats, the old ground. The nation was exand poured forth, brandishing their cluded from the contest, and reserrusty and uncouth weapons for the ved only to be delivered over in fetcolonies. Every factious clamour ters to the conqueror. The battle from beyond the Atlantic was echoed was fought not in Parliament, but from our shores with either a shout in the Cabinet. The weapons of of applause or a groan of sympathy. English allegiance, virtue, and wisThousands and tens of thousands in- dom, were petition and flamed themselves into the concep- strance. The weapons of Popish amtion that the hourly fate of England bition were open and hourly murwas hung in the balance of America. der, pitiless conflagration, notorious Thousands and tens of thousands bands of blood, the curses of a furious imbued themselves with American superstition, the triumphings of unpolitics until the English complexion punished insurrection, insolent aphad vanished from their features, peals to foreign Powers, and the and they actually saw nothing in sul- traitorous menaces of national sepalen ingratitude, but generous resist- ration. The walls of the Cabinet, ance, and in a rash, unjustifiable, and impregnable to the weapons of Con godless determination to throw off stitutional entreaty, broke down inall the ties of duty, kindred, and stantly before the assaults of unsworn allegiance, but a heroic and constitutional force. For this emer English repulsion of tyranny. We gency there was but one resource; see, and we should see it with a na- and it is in no tendency to undue tural alarm at the power of political homage, that we pronounce that reillusion, the extent to which this fan- source to be Religion. If that Cabi tastic folly usurped over the higher net had but remembered that there minds of England. We may well was a Providence above them, they shrink at the strength of the whirl would never have shrunk from the pool when we see it sweeping Burke fullest trial of the strength of Eng. and Chatham round, through every land against the guilty fury of Popish circle but the last, and those most faction, with all its allies of treason, muscular minds of the empire, barely rapine, and infidelity. Manfully, canmaking their escape from being ab- didly, and wisely, they would havo
VOL. XXXIT, NO. CCVII.
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resisted the madness of the hour, and course, failure. Rash conciliation their resistance would have been naturally inflames the malady which triumphant; they would have been it proposes to cure; America proat this moment in possession of ceeded in her rebellion, only the power, if to the champions of the more fortified by the knowledge cause of God, the gratifications of hu- that she had active partisans, and inman power are worth considering; active repugnants, in the mother they would have saved England from country. The topic is now unimportcalamities, now growing on her from ant, but the speech has still a high moment to moment, and which seem value as an example of eloquence, to deepen only into the bloody vista and as a depository of that moral of civil war; and with the whole vast wisdom, which embalms the most and high-minded population of the temporary and decaying subjects of British Empire rejoicing in their au- the great orator. We shall give a thority, and supporting them with its few of the detached and characteristic irresistible strength, they would have sentences. **** "I have no very wielded the affairs of England and exalted opinion of paper government, the world until they were gathered nor of any politics in which the plan in glory to their graves.
is to be wholly separated from the This illusion will pass away, like execution. **** Public calamity all that went before. But it will not is a mighty leveller; and there are pass away with the impunity of the occasions when any, even the slightpast follies. It has been tinged with est, chance of doing good must be crime, a dash of blood and treason laid hold on, even by the most inhas been flung on the national cha. considerable person.
The racter, which will not be bleached proposition is peace. Not peace away by the common operation of through the medium of war. Not time. There is a stain on the floor peace to be hunted through the laof that Cabinet which will tell, to the byrinth of intricate and endless neremotest age, the spot where the dag- gotiations. Not peace to arise out ger was driven into the side of the of universal discord, fomented on Constitution. Evil days are coming, principle in all parts of the Empire. evil days have come. Who talks now Not peace to depend on the juridiof the majesty of public deliberation ? cal determination of perplexiog quesWho thinks now of the dignity of tions; or the precise marking the halls, which once echoed to tbe no- shadowy boundaries of a complex goblest aspirations of human wisdom, vernment. It is simple peace, sought philosophy, and courage? Or who in its natural course, and in its orthinks of their old sacredness with- dinary haunts. It is peace, sought out thinking of the Capitol taken by in the spirit of peace.
* * * * Reassault, and the Goth and the Gaul, fined policy ever has been the parent the ferocious sons of the forest and of confusion, and ever will be, so the swamp, playing their savage gam- long as the world endures. Plain bols, plucking the Roman Senator good intention, which is as easily disby the beard, from his curule chair, covered at the first view as fraud is rending the ivory sceptre from his surely detected at last, is of no hand ?
mean force in governing mankind. Burke's speech on American affairs, Genuine simplicity of heart is a healon the 22d of March, 1775, is record- ing and cementing principle. * ed as one of his most remarkable Great and acknowledged force is displays of ability. In the general not impaired in either effect or resistance of the Ministry to all pro- opinion by an unwillingness to exert posals of treating with the Colonies, itself. The superior power may and the general inefficiency of Oppo- offer peace with honour and with sition to concoct even any plausible safety. Such an offer, from such a measure, the task fell upon Burke, power, will be attributed to magnaand he employed himself in framing nimity. But the concessions of the the memorable " Thirteen Articles," weak are the concessions of fear. which were to be the purchase of When such a one is disarmed, he is national tranquillity. The project wholly at the mercy of his superior, belonged to party; it was of course and he loses for ever that time and extravagant; and the result was, of those chances, which, as they happen to all men, are the strength and re- tached to Liberty, than those to the sources of all inferior power. Northward. Such were all the an. I look on force, not only as an odi- cient commonwealths; such were ous, but a feeble instrument, for pre- our Gothic ancestors; such in our serving a people so numerous, so days were the Poles; and such will growing, and so spirited as this, in a be all masters of slaves, who are not profitable and subordinate connexion. slaves themselves. In such a people, First, the use of force alone is but the haughtiness of domination comtemporary. It may subdue for a mo- bines with the spirit of freedom, forment, but it does not remove the ne. tifies it, and renders it invincible.” cessity of subduing again. A nation His eloquent observation on the is not governed, which is perpetually general taste for legal studies which to be conquered. My next objection predominated in America, is true to is its uncertainty. Terror is not al- fact and nature. “ When great howays the effect of force, and an ar- nours and great emoluments do not mament is not a victory. If you do win over this knowledge to the sernot succeed, you are without re- vice of the state, it is a formidable source. For, conciliation failing, adversary to government. Abeunt force remains; but force failing, no studia in mores. This study renders further hope of conciliation is left. men acute, inquisitive, dexterous, Power and authority are sometimes prompt in attack, ready in defence, bought by kindness; but they can full of resources. In other counnever be begged as alms, by an im- tries, the people, more simple and of poverished and defeated violence. a less mercurial cast, judge of an A further objection to force is, that ill principle in government only by you impair the object by your very an actual grievance; here they antiendeavours to preserve it. The cipate the evil and judge of the presthing you fought for is not the thing sure of the grievance by the badness which you recover ; but depreciated, of the principle. They augur missunk, wasted, and consumed in the government at a distance, and snuff contest."
the approach of tyranny in every His remark on the state of society tainted breeze.”
“ Three in the Southern Provinces of Ameri. thousand miles of ocean lie between ca, unquestionably true as it is, may you and the colonies. No contrigive some insight into the grounds vance can prevent the effect of this of their present dispute with the distance in weakening government. Northern, and of that original and Seas roll and months pass between native difference which must end in the order and the execution. And national struggle. “ In Virginia and the want of a speedy explanation of the Carolinas, they have a vast a single point is enough to defeat a multitude of slaves. Where this is whole system. You have indeed the case in any part of the world, winged Ministers of vengeance, whọ those who are free, are by far the carry your bolts in their pounces to most proud and jealous of their the uttermost verge of the sea. But freedom. Freedom to them is not there a power steps in, which limits only an enjoyment, but a kind of the arrogance of raging passions and rank and privilege. Not seeing there furious elements, and says, So far that freedom, as in couutries where shalt thou go, and no further !? Who it is a common blessing, and as broad are you that should fret and rage, and general as the air, may be unit- and bite the chains of nature ?" ed with much abject toil, with great His anticipation of the results that misery, with all the exterior of ser- must yet follow from the extension vitude, Liberty looks among them, of the colonies, through the western like something more noble and liberal. lauds of America, is probably not I do not mean to commend the su- far from its fulfilment, though the perior morality of this sentiment, sea-shore States have abandoned which has at least as much pride as their allegiance. “ You cannot stavirtue in it; but I cannot alter the tion garrisons in every part of those nature of man. The fact is so; and deserts. If you drive the people the people of the Southern Colonies from one place, they will carry on are much more strongly, and with a their annual tillage, and remove with higher and more stubborn spirit, at- their flocks and herds to another.
Many of the people in the back set- trophe to old Lord Bathurst on the tlements are already little attached progress of the Colonies to maturity to particular situations. Already within his lifetime, and the nervous they have topped the Apalachian description of the early vigour of mountains. Thence they behold be their commercial and maritime purfore them an immense plain, one suits. These are probably familiar vast rich level meadow, a square of to the lovers of English eloquence. five hundred miles. Over this they But every portion of the speech would wander without a possibility abounds with noble illustrations, and of restraint; they would change their lavish command of classic language. manners with their habits of life; In allusion to the undoubted fact, would soon forget a government by that the true way to secure a rewhich they were disowned; would venue is to begin, not by fiscal regubecome hordes of English Tartars, lations, but by making the people and pouring down upon your fron- masters of their own wealth, he sudtiers a fierce and irresistible cavalry, denly starts from the simplest form become masters of your governors of the statement, into various and and counsellors, your collectors and luminous figures. “What, says the comptrollers, and of all the slaves financier, is peace to us, without that adhered to them. Such would, money. Your plan gives us no reand in no long time must be, the ef- venue. Yes, but it does, for it sefect of attempting to forbid as a cures to the subject the power crime, and to suppress as an evil, the fusal, the first of all revenues. Excommand and blessing of Provi- perience is a cheat, and fact a liar, if dence, increase and multiply.” this power in the subject of propor
Towards the close of this great tioning his grant, or of not granting performance, he lays down the prin- at all, has not been found the richest ciple, (so adverse to that of the en- mine of revenue ever discovered by thusiasts for new constitutions,) that the skill or the fortune of man. It in all things, even in freedom, we does not indeed vote you any paltry, must consider the price, and settle or limited sum. But it gives the with ourselves how far we may be strong-box itself, the fund, the bank, satisfied with what is attainable from which only revenues can arise “ Although there are some among among a people sensible of freedom. us who think our constitution wants Posità luditur arca. Most may be many improvements to make it a taken where most is accumulated. complete system of liberty, perhaps And what is the soil or climate where none who are of that opinion would experience has not uniformly proved, think it right to aim at such improve that the voluntary flow of heaped up ment by disturbing his country, and plenty, bursting from the weight of risking, every thing that is dear to its own luxuriance, has ever run him. In every arduous enterprise with a more copious stream of revewe consider what we are to lose, as nue, than could be squeezed from well as what we are to gain; and the dry husks of oppressed indithe more and better stake of liberty gence by the straining of all the poevery people possess, the less they litical machinery in the world ?”. will hazard in a vain attempt to During this anxious period, while make it more. These are the cords all the elements of public life were of a man. Man acts from adequate darkening, and the tempest which motives relative to his interest, and began in America threatened to make not on metaphysical speculations. its round of the whole European Aristotle, the great master of rea- horizon, Burke found leisure and soning, cautions us, and with great buoyancy of spirit for the full en. weight and propriety, against this joyment of society. He was still species of delusive geometrical ac- the universal favourite. Even John. curacy in moral arguments, as the son, adverse as he was to him in pomost fallacious of all sophistry.” litics, and accustomed to treat all ad
In these fragments, the object has versaries, on all occasions, with rough been exclusively to extract the max- contempt or angry sarcasm, smoothims of political truth. The passages ed down his mane, and drew in his of oratorical beauty have been passed talons in the presence of Burke. On by; among the rest, that bold apos- one occasion, when Goldsmith, in his
vague style, talked of the impossibi- tainty that it could produce no eflity of living in intimacy with a per- fect - that not one vote would be son having a different opinion on any gained by it.” prominent topic, Johnson rebuked " Waiving your compliment to him us usual. Why, no, Sir. You me," was the reply, “ I shall say, in must only shun the subject on which general, that it is very well worth you disagree. For instance, I can while for a man to take pains to speak live very well with Burke. I love well in Parliament. A man who has his knowledge, his genins, his diffu- vanity speaks to display his talents. sion and affluence of conversation. And if a man speaks well, he graduBut I would not talk to him of the ally establishes a certain reputation Rockingham party.”
and consequence in the general opiIn his reserve upon this topic, nion, which sooner or later will have Johnson probably meant to exhibit its political reward. Besides, though more kindness than met the ear, for not one vote is gained, a good speech the Rockingham party had become has its effect. Though an act which has the tender point of Burke's public been ably opposed passes into a law, feelings. That party had been ori- yet in its progress it is modelled, it ginally driven to take refuge under is softened in such a manner, that we its nominal leader, by the mere temp- see plainly the Minister has been tation of high Whig title, hereditary told, that the members attached to rank, and large fortune. But the him are so sensible of its injustice or Marquis had been found inefficient absurdity from what they have heard, or unlucky, and his parliamentary that it must be altered.” weight diminished day by day. Burke He again observed," There are still
fought, kept actual ruin at a dis- many members who generally go tance, and signalized himself by all with the Minister, who will not go the vigour, zeal, and enterprise of an all lengths. There are many honest, invincible debater. But nothing well-meaning country gentlemen, could resist the force of circumstan- who are in Parliament only to keep ces; the party must change its leader, up the consequence of their families. or give up its arms. lo this emer- Upon most of those a good speech gency, the Marquis proposed a total will have influence." secession from Parliament. To this What,”
,"asked Sir Joshua, “would proposal Burke, with due submis- be the result, if a Minister, secure of sion, gave way, but accompanied his a majority, were to resolve that there acquiescence with a letter, in which, should be no speaking on his side ?” in stating his reasons for retreat, he Burke answered," he must soon go 80 strikingly stated the reasons for out. The plan has been tried al. the contrary, that the Marquis chan- ready, but it was found it would not ged his opinion at once; and the field do." was retained for a new trial of In the midst of the more importfortune. Burke's impression, doubt- ant matters of debate, his natural less, was, that nothing is capable of good humour often relieved the grabeing, gained, though every thing vity of the House. His half-vexed, may be lost, by giving up the con- balf-sportive remark on the speech test; that nothing is sooner forgots of David Hartley, the member for ten than the public man who is no Hull, an honest man, but a dreary longer before the public eye; and orator, was long remembered. Burke that, whatever the nation may disco. had come, intending to speak to a ver in vigorous resistance, it will motion on American affairs to be never discover courage in flight, or brought forward by the member for wisdom in despair.
Hull. But that gentleman's style His opinion on this point was rapidly thinned the benches. touched on in a subsequent conver- length, when the House was almost sation with his friend Sir Joshua a desert, he called for the reading of Reynolds. “Mr Burke, I do not the Riot Act, to support some of mean to flatter,” said Sir Joshua, his arguments. Burke's impatience " but when posterity reads one of could be restrained no longer, and your speeches in Parliament, it will under the double vexation of seeing be difficult to believe that you took the motion ruined, and his own so much pains, koowing with cer- speech likely to be thrown away for