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up, and communicated to the Duke of friends, assisted by a servant, was carry Portland, a narrative of the proceedings ing him into another room, he faintly
said of Mr. Fox and his cabal, in which many God bless you," fell back, and expired extraordinary facts were developed, full without a groan. His remains were in enough to justify the separation that had terred, on the 15th, in the church of Bea taken place, and the necessity of giving consfield in Buckinghamshire, in which support to the government for the preser- parish he had long resided, on an estate vation of the constitution.
which is said to have been given him by the In 1794, Mr. BURKE had two severe marquis of Rockingham. But it is extrials, in the death of his brother, followed traordinary, and little to the credit of the by that of his only son Richard, who was age, that as yet no monument has been his colleague in the representation of Mal- raised to his memory. Mr. Burke in his ton. The next year he retired from par- person was about five feet ten inches in liament; and soon after received the grant height, erect, and well formed ; his counof a pension for himself and his wife, tenance was pleasing, but being very nearpayable out of the civil list. But this sighted, his action in public speaking lost mark of the royal favour, though bestowed much of its effect. Of his talents there when he was no longer in a situation to cannot be two opinions; his knowledge assist ministers by his vote, brought upon was so various that he could converse him a load of illiberal abuse; and iwo upon all subjects, and that with such a peers did themselves no honour by the grasp of mind and felicity of expression, manner of their noticing Mr. Burke and as delighted the hearer, who, on parting his pension in the House of Lords. from him naturally exclaimed, "What
These illiberal attacks, (for such they a wonderful man!" unquestionably were,) produced a spirit- As an orator he stood confessedly in ed retort in a letter addressed to Lord the very first class, but he had the fault Fitzwilliam. In this tract the venerable of prolixity, and too generally overloaded author gave abundant proof, that neither his argument with an exuberance of illusage nor misfortune had weakened his trative imagery. His metaphors were mental energies ; and if those who so wan- sometimes incongruous, and his language tonly provoked him did not writhe under was occasionally so low as to excite surthe scourge, their nerves must have been prise and disgust. In his manners he was of a peculiar construction.
urbane and generous, very communicaThe next and last performance which tive of his advice, and ready to patronize Mr. Burke gave to the public, was a merit. Of this he gave a proof in his series of“ Letters on the Proposals for liberality to Barry the painter, whom he Peace with the Regicide Directory of took under his protection in Dublin, and France;" and of all his works this may sent him at his own expense to Italy. fairly challenge the pre-eminence for a While there, the most friendly correspondcomprehensive view of foreign and do- ence passed between them, and through mestic policy, strength of reasoning, and life Mr. BURKE behaved kindly to his powerful appeals to the understanding. ingenious countryman, although the be
The design of it was as exalted as the haviour of Barry was far from being such cxecution was masterly; being no less as he could approve. than to rouse the nation from a state of The literary character of Mr. BURKE despondency under difficulties, to confi- is above all praise. Though he wrote dence in its resources, and a vigorous ex- rapidly, not a line dropped from his pen ertion of its powers, in a struggle, the but what bore the striking impress of his glorious termination of which our politi- powerful mind, and in truth he can hardly cal Nestor foresaw and foretold.
be said to have written a single page withAt length these incessant labours ope- outcommunicating to the most enlightenrated upon the constitution of Mr. Burke ed reader something new, either in thought in a manner that soon gave indications or illustration. Wisdom and eloquence, of a rapid decay. Still, amidst all his which others attain with labour, were in odily weakness, his mind preserved its him the habitual and ordinary niarch of vigour, and on the seventh of July, 1797, his ideas; whence his style constantly ex. ne conversed with animation on the great hibits such a superabundance of argument subject which had so long occupied his and imagery, that while our attention is thoughts. The next day, while one of his pursuing the track of his reasoning wa are in danger of losing ourselves amidst the regulation of their conduct in perilous the vario is beauties with which it is en- times, were driven about by every wind forced and embellished. The same cha- that blew, having no point of certain disracteristics distinguished the oratory of tinction, nor any principles upon which Mr. Burke, that are still perceived in his they could depend for their guidance and compositions; but though he rarely, if security, amidst the sea of revolutionary ever, failed to delight his hearers by his strife, from which, as they and others manner and his matter, he too frequently vainly flattered themselves, a new world weakened the effect of his elocution by of perfection was about to arise. Most not stopping at the right period of his ar- of these visionaries have dropped into gument; the consequence of which was, oblivion, and the few that remain are so that those who had been charmed and little known, that their very names will convinced by the former part of the speech, in a short space be forgotten. BURKE, became, at the close of it, languid, tired, on the contrary, has left an imperishable and indifferent.
memorial ; every day increases its value, In domestic life Mr. Burke exhibited and future ages will have recourse to it such a striking contrast to his associates, for the maxims of political wisdom in the that it is a matter of some surprise how a government and direction of life. Whatperson of his philosophical principles and ever may be thought of those infirmities temperate habits could endure a connexion which he possessed in common with the with men, most of whose time was dissi- rest of mankind, or of the errors into pated, to use no worse term, in midnight which he occasionally fell, he had the revelry over the bottle, or at the gaming. singular merit of dissolving the links of table.' To reconcile private vice with party, at a critical period, when that party public virtue is a task which no casuist began to assume the dangerous part of has yet ventured to undertake in a free a faction, under a leader whose ambition and impartial spirit; nor would any one admitting no restraint, engage in the proof that the union is
“ Sprung upwards, like a pyramid of fire consistent, were it not from a desire to Into the wild expanse, and through the shock justify particular characters, whose morals
or fighting elements, on all sides round have been at variance with the professions
Environ'd, won his way.” which they set up in the face of the world.
Taking, therefore, a retrospective glance Dr. Price was well aware of this, and at that part of our national history, and therefore, in one of his political sermons, looking steadfastly upon the opposite conhe took occasion, sharply, to reprobate duct of the men who distinguished themthe pernicious maxim, that patriotism and selves when the horrors of the Revolution profligacy could exist in the same person.
had nearly broken in upon the shores of . He did this in reference to the leaders of Britain, one cannot help admiring the in. the party to which he belonged, and he trepid spirit that first and last opposed lamented most devoutly and sincerely, the torrent, and for so doing brought upon that while, by their oratorical powers, in the least intimidated by their taunts and
himself the hatred of his compcers. Not these great men were upholding and propagating the same doctrines with himself, reproaches, he pursued his course, and as being essential to human happiness, by that firmness became a main instruthey rendered them altogether nugatory ment of rousing the nation to that resist by the most scandalous conduct in the ance against anarchy, which ultimately ordinary transactions of life.
gave peace to the world. Like the faith When the French Revolution broke ful seraph, so admirably painted by the out, it was seen that public and private poet, he stood virtue cannot be separated, without en
* Among innumerable false, unmoy'd,
Unshaken, unseduc'd, unterrified; dangering the fundamental principles His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal ; upon which all social order must stand, Nor number, nor example, with him wrough and by the consummation of which thé To swerve from Truth, or change his constant rights of individuals can alone be secured. Though 'single. From amidst them, forth he
[pags'd In that storm, BURKE appeared im Long way through hostile scorn, which he sug. pregnable, like the rock whose basis is infixed in the foundation of eternal mora
Superior, nor of insolence feared aught;
And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd lity, while the political sophists of the day, on those proud towns to swift desis ulcior having nothing stable in their minds for
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER.
The late M Burke, from a principle of disposed in chronological order, with the er unaffected humi)'sy, which they, who were the ception of the Preface to Brissot's Address most intimately ecquainted with his character, which having appeared in tho Author's life. best know to hare been in his estimation one time, and from delicacy not being avowed by of the most important moral duties, never him- him, did not come within the plan of this self made any collection of the various publi- edition, but has been placed at the end of the cations with which, during a period of forty last volume, on its being found deficient in just years, he adorned and enriched the literature bulk. of this country. When, however, the rapid The several posthumous publications, as and unexampled demand for his “Reflections they from time to time made their appearance, on the Revolution of France," had unequivo- were accompanied by appropriate prefaces. cally testified his celebrity as a writer, some These, however, as they were principally of his friends so far prevailed upon him, that intended for temporary purposes, have been he permitted them to put forth a regular edition omitted. Some few explanations only, which of his works. Accordingly, three volumes in they contained, seem here to be necessary. quarto appeared under that title in 1792, print- The “Observations on the Conduct of the ed for the late Mr. Dodsley. That edition, Minority in the Session of 1793," had been therefore, has been made the foundation of the written and sent by Mr. Burke as a paper present, for which a form has been chosen entirely alia strictly confidential; but it crept better adapted to public convenience. Such surreptitiously into the world, through the fraud errours of the press as have been discovered and treachery of the man whom he had emin it are here rectified; in other respects it is ployed to transcribe it, and, as usually happens faithfully followed, except that in one instance, in such cases, came forth in a very mangled an accident of little moment has occasioned a state, under a false title, and without the inslight deviation from the strict chronological troductory letter. The friends of the Author, arrangement; and that, on the other hand, a without waiting to consult him, instantly obspeech of conspicuous excellence, on his de- tained an injunction from the Court of Chanclining the poll at Bristol, in 1780, is here, for cery to stop the sale. What he himself felt, the first time, inserted in its proper place. on receiving intelligence of the injury donc As the activity of the Author's mind, and him by one,
from whom his kindness deserved the lively interest which he took in the welfare a very different turn, will be best conveyed in of his country, ceased only with his life, many his own words. The following is an extract subsequent productions issued from his pen, of a letter to a friend, which he dictated on which were received in a manner correspond this subject from a sick bed: ing with his distinguished reputation. He wrote also various tracts, of a less popular
“Bath, 15th Feb. 1797. description, which he designed for private "MY DEAR LAURENCE, -On the appear. circulation, in quarters where he supposed ance of the advertisement, all newspapers, and they might produce most benefit to the com- all letters have been kept back from me tik munity ; but which, with some other papers, this time. Mrs. Burke opened your's, and have been printed since his death, from copies finding that all the measures in the power of which he left behind him fairly transcribed, Dr. King, yourself, and Mr. Woodford, had and most of them corrected as for the press. been taken to suppress the publication, she All these, now first collected together, form ventured to deliver me the letters to-day, which the contents of the last volume. They are were read to me in my bed, about two o'clock
“ This affair does vex me; but I am not in it, might have seemed an abandonment of the a state of health at present to be deeply vexed principles which it contained. The Author, at any thing. Whenever this matter comes therefore, discovering that, with the exception into discussion, I authorize you to contradict of the introductory letter, he had not in fact the infamous reports, which (I am informed) kept any clean copy, as he had supposed, corhave been given out; that this paper had been rected one of the pamphlets with his own hand. circulated through the Ministry, and was in. From this, which was found preserved with his tended gradually to slide into the press. To other papers, his friends afterwards thought it the best of my recollection, I never had a clean their duty to give an authentic edition. copy of it but one, which is now in my posses- The "Thoughts and Details on Scarcity” sion; I never communicated that, but to the were originally presented in the form of a Duke of Portland, from whom I had it back Memorial to Mr. Pitt. The Author proposed again. But the Duke will set this matter to afterwards to recast the same matter in a new rights, if in reality there were two copies, and shape. He even advertised the intended work he has one. I never shewed it, as they know, under the title of “Letters on Rural Econoto any one of the Ministry. If the Duke has mics, addressed to Mr. Arthur Young;” but really a copy, I believe his and mine are the he seems to have finished only two or three only ones that exist, except what was taken detached fragments of the first letter. These by fraud from loose and incorrect papers by being too imperfect to be printed alone, his
-, to whom I gave the letter to copy. friends inserted them in the Memorial, where As soon as I began to suspect him capable of they seemed best to cohere. The Memorial any such scandalous breach of trust, you know had been fairly copied, but did not appear to with what anxiety I got the loose papers out have been examined or corrected, as some of his hands, not having reason to think that trifling errours of the transcriber were percephe kept any other. Neither do I believe in tible in it. The manuscript of the fragments fact (unless he meditated this villainy long was a rough draft from the Author's own hand, ago) that he did or does now possess any clean much blotted and very confused. copy. I never communicated that paper to any The “Third Letter on the Proposals for one out of the very small circle of those private Peace" was in its progress through the press friends, from whom I concealed nothing. when Mr. Burke died. About one half of it
“But I beg you and my friends to be cautious was actually revised in print by himself, though how you let it be understood, that I disclaim any not in the exact order of the pages as they now thing but the mere act and intention of publica- stand. He enlarged his first draft, and sepation. I do not retract any one of the sentiments rated one great member of his subject, for the contained in that Memorial, which was and is purpose of introducing some other matter bemy justification, addressed to the friends, for tween. The different parcels of manuscript, whose use alone I intended it. Had I designed designed to intervene, were discovered. One it for the public, I should have been more exact of them he seemed to have gone over himself, and full. It was written in a tone of indignation, and to have improved and augmented. The in consequence of the resolutions of the Whig other, (fortunately the smaller,) was much more Club, which were directly pointed against mye imperfect, just as it was taken from his mouth self and others, and occasioned our secession by dictation. No important change, none at from that club; which is the last act of my all affecting the meaning of any passage, has life that I shall under any circumstances repent. been made in either, though in the more Many temperaments and explanations there imperfect parcel, some latitude of discretion would have been, if I had ever had a notion in subordinate points was necessarily used. that it should meet the public eye.”
There is, however, a considerable member,
for the greater part of which, Mr. Burke's In the mean time a large impression, amount- reputation is not responsible: this is the ining, it is believed, to three thousand copies, had quiry into the condition of the higher classes. boen dispersed over the country. To recall The summary of the whole topic indeed, nearly these was impossible ; to have expected that as it stands, was found, together with a margiany acknowledged production of Mr. Burke, nal reference to the bankrupt-list, in his own full of matter likely to interest the future histo- hand-writing; and the actual conclusion of tho rian, could remain for ever in obscurity, would letter was dictated by him, but never received have been folly; and to have passed it over in his subsequent correction. He had also presilent neglect, on the one hand, or, on the other, served, as materials for this branch of the to have then made any considerable changes in subjest, some scattered hints, documents, and