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Life of Mr. Perceval.
'i certainly not to withhold them, under any apprehension of the public evils of innovation. If such introduction of the Christian religion into the East would introduce a new sttrte of things, and a new condition of many millions of subjects, the superior reason and superior force of this country were still at hand to meet and provide for such new relations. It is, indeed, a sacred truth, that religion will both stand and proceed without our aid; but it is no less our duty to second the will and hand of Providence, and by becoming direct and voluntary, and not blind and compulsory instruments, to have the merit with our Almighty Father of discharging our duty, and doing- and conveying good to all men.
He extended his love of religion and virtue, of piety and goodness, to the love of the persons of good men, and to an anxious sympathy and effort in their fortunes and conditions. This was more particularly exhibited in the manner in which he distributed his church patronage. The duties of one of the offices which he held, and which has erroneously been termed a sinecure, consisted, principally, in the distribution of church preferment. And by virtue of this office, moreover, he deemed it to be particularly incumbent upon him to protect and encourage the clergy. Nor was this protection of a merely general kind; it extended to their families, and he frequently relieved a virtuous clergyman, by providing for such of his family as had attained to sufficient years. Some of them he put into the offices of government; others he sent to the colonies: others he assisted even with money from his own funds. To such as applied to him for relief there was usually but one question—is he a young man of integrity and industry ; is he of a good stock—by which he intended not the splendour of birth, for'tune, or political influence, but the piety, the industry in gdod-doing, and the honest reputation of the father. There is no one, therefore, to whom the clergy are more indebted than to this excellent man. In times of scoff and jeering, in the days of the modern philosophy, he stood forth with a hand and countenance to cheer and support the preachers and advocates of our holy religion; and he lived with such virtue and simplicity as to prove that his profession was his faith, and that he profoundly believed, and most firmly hoped, in the truths which he seconded. Nor shall his belief or his hope deceive fiim; he shall receive that exceeding great reward which is prepared for the just made perfect; and having acknowledged his Almighty Father, and laboured in his service here, he shall be acknowledged by him, and receive his due reward where he is now gone.
In this summary of his character, it would be unpardonable to pass . over the honourable abstinence in which he exercised that general patronage which belonged to his station. It is pardonable, perhaps, because it is natural for a man in high office to distribute some of the most lucrative appointments amongst his own family, aud immediate relative?
Life of Mr. Perceval
and dependants. Such a preference is only culpable when it is made at the expense of the public good, by the preferment of insufficient men to important trusts or offices, or when it alienates the public means of rewarding merit and services into hands which -are useless or worthless. Mr. Perceval, however, could fall under no imputation of this kind. No one in this respect was less benefited by his being in the family of Mr. Perceval. He appears to have observed in this respect a most,important maxim; that the reputation of a minister for public spirit and disinterestedness was one of the most efficient means of enabling him to do good, and that therefore the public service would suffer in any suspicion of a contrary nature which should attach to his person; that it became him to cultivate this reputation in a most especial manner^ and thus to meet the popular propensity of suspicion by a greater purity both of conduct and appearance.
Having now spoken sufficiently of his virtues, I shall conclude with a few brief observations upon his talents.
The mere existence of talents, indeed, can make no part of a man'* merit; but in the right use of them, they are, undoubtedly, the instruments of great virtues. A perfect reputation, therefore, is the concurrent fruit of great talents virtuously employed.
Mr. Perceval, as I have before observed, succeeded to the public principles of the man to whom this kingdom is indebted for its safety and glory. He walked stedfastly in the line of political conduct which this great man pointed out.
Mr. Pitt, a name of which even the pulpit may speak with warmth, bad two prominent principles in his administration of public affairs; the one, the rigid1 and inflexible maintenance of the union of church and state; the other, the support of that public system amongst the European states, by which for so many ages they have been bound together in one community, and the effect of which was to unite them all in the support of the establishment of each. Mr. Perceval acted upon both these principles through the whole course of his administration.
It is certainly not a sound principle either of religion or wisdom to assume success as an undoubted proof of merit or virtue. The battle is not always to the strong, nor success to the wise. Human affairs are not, however, so wholly under the direction of chance, M in a long course of action to sever the natural affinity of cause and effect. In the computation, therefore, even of personal merit, what is U run d fortune is not to be put entirely out of view. A long course of success, therefore, may be undoubtedly taken as no inconsiderable argument of well-planned measures, and of well-executed counsels.
It was another unequivocal excellence in the mind of Mr. Perceval, that the mildness and moderation of his temper were carried into his actions and pursuits; and that even in the mid careeer of fortune and success, he could stop at the point of prudence and safety. Here again Life of Mr. Perceval.
he had another resemblance of Mr. Pitt. Neither of these great men ever lost his gravity or firmness, either in adverse or prosperous fortune. As a public orator, Mr. Perceval carried his virtue and peculiar temper even into his eloquence. There was not a more animated speaker in the assembly to which he belonged. It is natural, and therefore venial in all of us, to have our passions heated in the conflict of debate and opposition; and Mr. Perceval had a mind of too much ardour, and feelings of too much sensibility, not to incorporate himself with his subject. The fervour of debate, therefore, certainly occasionally led him into replies of some ridicule—perhaps of some momentary sarcasm and asperity: but the asperity was but for the moment. There was a radi.. ance within, which soon burst forth with all the vigour of a natural principle, and dissipated every cloud and vapour, almost before they were gathered. The sediment might be shaken up, but the element into which it was raised was uncongenial to it; and upon the subsiding of the external force, it was precipitated whence it came.
The grace, moreover, with which he repaired these occasional railleries, (for such they were), was not, indeed, the least pleasing part of his character. It would have too much the appearance of an oratorical point to say, that one might have wished to have been so offended, in order that we might have been so appeased; but certainly, with regard to truth may it be said, that there was infinitely more of benevolence in the regret, than just cause of complaint in the •ffence. The offence, as far as it was so, belonged to the iniirmity of our common nature; the amends, to his own peculiar virtue.
It now only remains that we follow Mr. Perceval to the last affecting incident of his life. Asa public office invests the individual with some part of the reverence and sacredness which belong to the state in its collective character, it is natural that the death of an officer of emience, putting aside every other consideration—when that death is dealt by the blow of an assassin, and overtakes him in the discharge of his public functions, should excite an universal regret in the hearts of a grateful'people. It gives occasion, moreover, to a feeling of sacrilegious horror, when the individual so eminent in his office, so loved and honoured for his virtues, falls within the very verge of the sanctuary, and is slain, as it were, upon the very altar of the constitution.
Under such circumstances it becomes the peculiar duty of the country; it is a summons upon our honour, our honesty, and our piety; it results from that pledge, which the country, without any stained analogy, may be presumed to give to every public functionary—that it will not only guard him from all malice and revenge by the ordinary checks of its laws, but will acquit his family from those losses which they must necessarily sustain from his premature death in the public service; it is, I say, our peculiar duty, under such considerations, to pay our obsequies to his memory by munificence to his relatives, and the dedication Life of Mr. Perceval.
of substantial monuments of public sorrow and gratitude towards himself-*
It is certainly to the credit of the people of England, as a community, and to "the government, as expressing the common sentiments of the nation, that they have uniformly carried this honourable, feeling to that point, which is sufficient to satisfy all liberal expectation, without breaking in upon prudence.
It is indeed a consolation to know, that the family of the deceased have all the means afforded them, by national justice, to maintain that station to which they have been accustomed, and to look forward to that rank in society, which is their reasonable expectation.
With respect to the deceased himself, his memory will survive long in the affections of those who now lament him; and it will be in the power of Art still further to prolong it, for the satisfaction and lively sympathy of our posterity.
Our country is the marc endeared to us, as containing the ashes'of our fathers. The tombs of the great and good refresh and enliven the recollections of friendship; continue the regards of the liviug, and become, as it were, altars upon which we swear our children to the ambition and emulation of their virtues.f
"Erit igilur extructa moles opcre magnifico, incis<eque literal rirtu"lis testes sempiternal: nunquam de vobis, eorum, qui aut videbunt "eestrnm monumentum, aut audient, gratissimus sermo conticesscet. "Ita pro mortali conditione vitaa: immortalitatem estis consecuti." t
* This public duty is thus eloquently urged by Cicero in his oration, De Cwsu ad IWutinam.
"Scd qnoniam, patres conscript!, gloria; munus optimis, ft fortissimis civibus, '* monument! hornore porsolvitur, consolemur eorum Proximost quibus optima eat "lia'C quidem consolation: parentibus, quod tanta Keipublicie prasidia genucr"nut: liberis quod babebunt domestica exempla virtutis: conjugibus, quod i is "viiis carebunt, quo* lauitare qiiam lugere prsestabit: fratribus, quodin sc, ut "corparum, sic virtutum similitudiuem esse confident."
Parliament hare settled a competent annuity upon Mrs. Perceval, and voted a liberal sum to the twelve children of the deceased statesman.
f A monument has been ordered by Parliament t« be erected to Mr. Perceval, is Westminster Abbey. ,
TO THE EDITOR.
SIR,—I shall be very thankful if any of your readers can favour me with information on the undermentioned points :—
An account of the military works, which have been published during the last century on Tactics, Strategy, and other military subjects, specifying the language in which written, the authors names, and distinguishing those which have been translated into other languages. An account of modern pamphlets, published in England on military matters, stating the authors names, period of publication, and particular subject, &c, &c, I am, Sir, your obedient servant, E.-H»,.'
Ealing, May 12, Imj.
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia.
STRENGTH OF FRANCE AND RUSSIA.
, IN TWO PARTS.
FIRST PART—FRANCE.—SECOND PART—RUSSIA.
I shall say nothing of the character of this admirable pamphlet, as I have given the first part complete in this number, and in thefollowing shall give the second; the reader wil not have read two pages, before he will recognize the masterly ability of the statesman and the orator, from whom it proceeded, I have every reason, moreover, to believe, that hesides its ability, and present interest, it has yet a further claim to more particular notice, being connected with a curious piece of party and literary history. The title page of this book, which I have given to be printed, purports the work to be printed at the Hague; and, in order to keep up the probability, it is printed in a large sized type, which appears defaced. This is, evidently, only an assumed disguise, as in no part of the world are books printed in this manner. The truth I ■believe to be this,—that the work, From Beginning To End, was written by the late Mr. Windham. I found this opinion upon' circumstances connected with it, and still more upon the internal evidence of the book itself. The style is precisely that of this lamented statesman, under circumstances in which he would deem it necessary to repress his fancy /'whilst he kept his vigour J, lest he should be recognized. I trust that no one will complain that we have given too large a portion of our work to it, when I have to add, that the book is printed in quarto, in a large ill-shaped old type, and was sold at a guinea, and that only a few copies were printed to serve party purposes. I have got one of them (the one from which this is printed, and I believe no one else in Loudon can procure a copy of it.
No matter who commands there, nor what denomination the government may assume; it is a nation possessing immense natural sources of wealth, power,and political influence.
Soil.—Situated as France is, under an excellent climate, and with an arable, easily worked soil, agriculture must always be the staple branch of her national industry, and the principal source from which she must draw her political influence and military power.
Prior to the revolution, agriculture in Fraucj wa< in nearly the same state in which we find it still in every country in continental Europe:
VOX. IV. NO, 20. P