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hands-why they are not quoted ind What various forms in Heaven's broad acted upon by our statesmen—why they are not incorporated with public Whose limits bound the circle of the opinion—why the nation does not year, make them its test in judging of revo- Or, spread around, in glittering order lie, lutionists, revolutionary creeds, and Or roll in mystic numbers through the revolutions—and why Fox is still wor
sky! shipped, while the ashes of Burke What dims the midnight lustre of the slumber almost without notice, we will
moon ? then cease to treat their boasts with What cause obstructs the sun's bright derision.
rays at noon? Edmund Burke was born at Dublin, Why haste his fiery steeds so long to lave January 1st, 0. S. 1730. His father
Their splendid chariot in the wintry wave? was a respectable attorney. After being What love detains them in the realms
Or why bring on the lazy moon so slow? some time at the Dublin University,
below ?” he removed to London in 1750, with the intention of becoming a member
From reasons which do not appear, of the bar.
Burke forsook the study of the law, It does not appear that he gave any
and was never called to the bar. He very striking indications of superior became an author by profession, at talent during the period of his educa- least lie followed no other profession tion. He was, after all, a poet, and for several years, and there is no evithe following extracts from a transla- dence that he sought any other, if we tion of the conclusion of the second except his attempt to obtain the ProGeorgic of Virgil, made when he was fessorship of Logic in the University only sixteen, will be regarded as a cu
of Glasgow. Mr Dugald Stewart riosity :
doubts whether this attempt was ever
made. “Oh! happy swains ! did they know how to prize
Mr Prior controverts the common The many blessings rural life supplies,
opinion, that his pen, at this period of Where in safe huts from clattering arms
his life, furnished him with his sole afar,
means of subsistence, and asserts, The pomp of cities, and the din of war, though he does not say on what auIndulgent earth, to pay his labouring thority, that his father allowed him hand,
two hundred pounds per annum. After Pours in his arms the blessings of the labouring assiduously in his literary land;
vocation for several years, he, in 1761, Calm through the valleys flows along his accompanied Mr Hamilton, better life,
known by the name Single-speech He knows no danger, as he knows no Hamilton, who was made the Irish strife.
secretary, to Ireland, partly in the caWhat! though no marble portals, rooms pacity of friend, and partly in that of of state,
private secretary. His connexion with Vomit the cringing torrent from his gate, this gentleman was not of long conThough no proud purple hang his stately tinuance. In 1765 he was made prihalls,
vate secretary to the Marquis of RockNor lives the breathing brass along liisingham, and obtained a seat in Parliawalls;
ment. He speedily became a brilliant Though the sheep clothe him without orator, rose to the office of Whig leader colours' aid,
in the House of Commons, and, after Nor seeks he foreign luxury from trade; Yet
a long and laborious public life, spent peace and honesty adorn his days With rural riches and a life of ease.”
chiefly in opposition, in which he proved himself to be one of the greatest men of the age, he died in 1797.
We must now, in justice to Mr “ Celestial Niue! my only joy and care,
Prior, give some extracts from his book. Whose love inflames me, and whose rites Speaking of Burke's conduct in the I bear,
years which followed his arrival in Lead me, oh lead me! from the vulgar London, he states, throng,
“ His more sedentary pursuits were Clothe nature's myst'ries in thy rapturous followed with a degree of assiduity, which song.
vivacious men commonly term plodding:
but which more sober judgments know to tion, who own his superior talents, can be a good substitute for all other talents, find nothing to say against him, but that and in fact the only surety for their excel. he is an impudent fellow.” lence. His application was unwearied. Of the eloquence displayed by Burke Unlike most persons of vivid fancy, he
on the impeachment of Hastings, Mr had good sense enough to recollect, that
Prior thus speaks : the most brilliant imaginations ought not
“ But above them all, (Fox, Sheridan, only to have wings to fly, but also legs to
&c.) beyond dispute stood Mr Burke. stand upon ; in other words, that genius, The greatest amazement, even to those unpropped by knowledge, may serve to
who knew him best, was excited by the amuse, but will rarely be useful in the opening speech or speeches of the immore important concerns of mankind.”
peachment, which a modern writer, ad“ His excesses were not in dissipation,
verse to the impeachment itself, thus but in study. He gave way to no licen
characterizes in the general terms emtious inclinations. It is asserted that he ployed at the time : Never were the did not then know a single game at cards; powers of that wonderful man displayed and that wine was no further a favourite
to such advantage as on this occasion; than as it contributed to social inter
and he astonished even those who were course, of which he was at every period
most intimately acquainted with him by of his life, particularly with literary and
the vast extent of his reading, the variety scientific men, extremely fond, so far as
of his resources, the minuteness of his inthe pleasures of conviviality could be en- formation, and the lucid order in which joyed without its excesses.
he arranged the whole for the support of Burke became a first-rate in Parlia- his object, and to make a deep impresment almost immediately on his en
sion on the minds of his hearers.' tering it. Mr Prior gives the follow
“ Nothing, certainly, in the way of fact, ing account of his debut.
and nothing, perhaps, even in theatrical “ The session opened for business on representation, ever exceeded the effects the 14th January, 1766, when Mr Burke produced among the auditory, by the deseized the first opportunity of taking an tail of the cruelties of Debi Sing, which active part in the discussion concerning he gave on the third day, from the reAmerica. The details are not otherwise
ports of Mr Paterson, who had been sent known than from a few notes taken by as commissioner to inquire into the cirLord Charlemont. Mr Pitt, who profess- cumstances. The whole statement is aped to have no specific objection to the palling and heart-sickening in the exministry, though he would not give them
treme ; a convulsive sensation of horror, his confidence, immediately followed Mr affright, and smothered execration, perBurke in the debate, and complimented vaded all the male part of his hearers, him by observing, that the young mem- and audible sobbings and screams, atber had proved a very able advocate; he tended with tears and faintings, the fehad himself intended to enter at length male. His own feelings were scarcely into the details, but he had been antici- less overpowering; he dropped his head pated with so much ingenuity and elo
upon his hands, and for some minutes quence, there was little left for him to
was unable to proceed. --Alluding to the say; he congratulated him on his success, close of this day, the writer of the bisand his friends on the value of the acqui- tory of the Trial says' In this part of sition they had made.'-After this he his speech, Mr Burke's descriptions were spoke frequently, and at length, and again more vivid, more harrowing, and more received some unusual compliments, the horrific, than human utterance, on either highest estimates being formed of his fact or fancy, perhaps, ever formed bepowers as a speaker."
fore. The agitation of most people was In the following session, Lord very apparent.
Mrs Sheridan was so Charlemont stated, in a letter to Mr overpowered that she fainted ; several Flood
others were as powerfully affected.' “ I some time ago sent to Leland an “ His powers,' says a political adver. account of our friend Burke's unparallel. sary, * were never more conspicuous than ed success, which I suppose he commu- on that memorable day, on which he exnicated to you. His character daily rises, posed the enormities of a subaltern agent and Barré is totally eclipsed by him ; his of oriental despotism—the tortures in. praise is universal ; and even the Opposi- ficted by his orders—the flagrant injus
# Dr Glennie.
tice committed by his authority--the pol- preceding work whatever of the same Jution that ensued in consequence of his price." sanction-when he painted agonizing na- The particulars of Burke's rupture ture vibrating in horrid suspense, between with Fox are too well known for us to life and destruction when he described, transcribe them. Mr Prior thus vinin the climax of crimes, death introdu- dicates Burke's fame from the asperced into the very sources of life,' the bo- sions which the Whigs have cast upon soms of his auditors became convulsed it, touching the matter :with passion, and those of more delicate “ Opposition soon saw in it the loss organs, or weaker frame, actually swoon- of much of that consequence they had they were coming into power. He had ings in France, wished him nevertheless already explicitly declared his intention to pass over the opinions and the challento separate from the dearest friends, who. ges of Mr Fox and Mr Sheridan in silence. should give countenance to the revolu. This, he urged, was impossible. He had tionary doctrines then afloat, and the been personally alluded to; and though breach with Mr Sheridan proved that this treated without the least consideration or was no idle threat. He doubtless felt respect, this he would willingly forget ; displeased that his general principles but without giving any cause for such a should be, if not misrepresented, at least proceeding, he had been thrice within a so far misapplied, as to become the means week pointedly dared to the discussion; of charging him with dereliction of prin- and standing as he did, pledged to the ciple. He might be angry that this house and to the country upon the subshould be done by one who had so long ject, which no other member was, it would been his friend, and who made it his look like political cowardice to shrink chief boast, even at the moment, that he from the contest. He thought Mr Fox's was his disciple. He could not be well opinions of great weight in the country, pleased that this disciple should condemn and should not be permitted to circulate his book without ceremony, as an attack through it uncontradicted. He was furon all free governments.”
hitherto enjoyed as a body in the state, “ The testimony of the accused party and were thunderstruck at the consehimself is perhaps the strongest ever quences; uttering the harshest animadborne to the powers of any orator of any versions upon Mr Burke, not only at the country. • For half an hour,' said Mr breaking up of the house, but on all occaHastings, • I looked up at the orator in sions afterwards during his life, and even a reverie of wonder; and during that since his death, as well as by writers of space, I actually felt myself the most
the same political partialities, not one of culpable man on earth ;' adding, how
whom but misrepresents the circumstanever-But I recurred to my own bosom, ces of the quarrel, or attributes it, on the and there found a consciousness that con- part of that gentleman, to a preconcertsoled me under all I heard and all I suf- ed scheme, or spleen at not being per
mitted to dictate the conduct of the body We give the following extract re- of which he was a member. specting the famous
« Reflections on " These assertions are now known to the Revolution in France :"
be wholly false. If design can be attri“ The whole was polished with extra-' buted to either party, it would seem to ordinary care, more than a dozen of proofs have rested rather with Mr Fox and his being worked off and destroyed before friends than with Mr Burke, for though he could please himself; it was set off they probably did not desire an open rupwith every attraction of the highest style ture with him, they went the straight of eloquence of which the English lan- way to work to effect it; for there is not guage is susceptible; it was impressed a stronger instance than this in Parliaon the judgment by acute reasoning, by mentary history, of what may be termed great penetration into the motives of hu- a dead set being made upon a member to man action, by maxims of the most sound prevent his delivering his sentiments on and practical wisdom: nothing, indeed, an extraordinary and questionable event, which his genius, his knowledge, or his and this upon the trifling pretext of being observation could supply, was omitted to out of order. Admitting him to have give popularity to the Reflections on the been out of order, which he was not, as Revolution in France.”
the house decided, was it the business of “ In the beginning of November 1790, his friends to attack him on that head ? this celebrated work made its appear- -of the men with whom he had been so ance, and a French translation, by his long associated, whose career he had so friend M. Dupont, quickly spread its re- long directed, whose battles he had putation over all Europe. The publica- fought, whose credit he had been the first tion proved one of the most remarkable to raise in public esteem-to assail him events of the year, perhaps of the cen- with vehement disapprobation, persevetury; for it may be doubted whether any ring interruptions, and votes of censure ?" previous production ever excited so much “ There are a variety of other reasons attention, so much discussion, so much which tell strongly in favour of Mr praise, so much animadversion, and ulti- Burke. Far from broaching it as a promately, among the great majority of per- vocative to quarrel, he bad, on the consons, such general conviction ; having trary, studiously avoided it in this and the fully succeeded in turning the stream of preceding sessions, until introduced by public opinion to the direction he wish- the very persons who now professed to ed, from the channel in which it had hi- wish to avoid the subject. It was obtherto flowed. The circulation of the viously his interest not to disagree with book corresponded with its fame ; about those with whom he had been so long 30,000 copies were sold when there was connected ; and more especially at this not a third of the demand for books of moment, when it was believed, in conseany kind that there is at presenta quence of words which fell from the greater sale, it is said, than that of any King in the dispute with Russia, that
ther impelled by an imperious sense of “ The dispute was not about a private public duty, which he considered para- . or trivial, but a great constitutional mat- mount to all other considerations. These ter, which superseded all minor consi- reasons were deemed scarcely sufficient; derations,—not a hackneyed or specula- he further heard that the adherents of Mr : tive topic on which they might amicably Fox had determined to interrupt him on differ, and pass on to the consideration the point of order; and that gentleman of others on which they agreed, but one himself, in company with a friend, waited in its consequences involving the very upon him to ask that the discussion might existence of the state. It was a question be postponed till another opportunity, wholly new; it was one which agitated which, Mr Burke pointed out, was not almost every man in the kingdom ; it likely to occur again during the Session. was constantly and progressively before To convince Mr Fox, however, that nothe eyes of Parliament; it met the lead- thing personal or offensive was intended, ers at every turn in debate, and in some he stated explicitly what he meant to say, form or other mingled in every discuss all the heads of his arguments, and the sion of fact or principle. It was in itself limitations he designed to impose on himfull of difficulties, of jagged points and self; an instance of candour which Mr sharp angles, against which neither of Fox returned by relating the favourable them could rub without feeling some de- expressions of himself just alluded to, regree of irritation; and it was one on cently uttered by the king. The interwhich, from the first, each seemed to view, therefore, though not quite satishave staked his whole reputation for po- factory, excited no hostile feelings; on litical wisdom against the other.' the contrary, they walked to the house
“ From the moment, indeed, that Mr together, but found that Mr Sheridan had Fox pronounced such decided panegyrics moved to postpone the re-commitment upon the French Constitution, and par- of the bill until after the Easter holidays, ticularly after the 15th April, when Mr when, as already stated, the discussion Burke, as related, was prevented from re- came on on the 6th of May. Something plying by the clamour of his own party, like premeditated hostility on the part of a rupture between them appeared at hand. the minority towards Mr Burke appeared The very next morning, a general alarm in the abuse heaped upon him during the at the consequences spread through the interval by the newspapers in their inteparty. Several conciliatory explanations rest.” were offered to Mr Burke, and some apo- We give Mr Prior's account of logies; many even who agreed with Mr Burke's last moments. Fox's opinions, did not hesitate to con- “ To his own increasing weakness, demn him for imprudence in expressing submitted with the same placid and Chris them, though in fact he had been urged tian-like resignation, undisturbed by to do it; and for having already done so, murmur; hoping, as he said, to obtain two or three of the number had been the Divine mercy through the intercestempted to say he was deficient in firm- sion of a blessed Redeemer, which, in his
On the other hand, some of Mr own words, he had long sought with unBurke's personal friends, and the con- feigned humiliation, and to which he looknexions of the Duke of Portland, who ed with a trembling hope.' thought nearly as he did of the proceed- “A presentiment almost of the moment of the final summons from the world seem. talker was in company,' writes Cumber. ed to have prevailed with him ; for several land, ' Edmund Burke declined all claims of the previous hours were employed in upon attention.' - His conversational sending messages of affectionate remem- powers partook of the same fulness of brance to absent friends, in expressing his mind which distinguished his eloquence; forgiveness of all who had in any manner they never ran dry; the supply for the injured or offended him, and in request- subject always exceeded the demand.” ing the same from all whom his general We regret that our limits will not or particular infirmities had offended. He permit us to extract Mr Prior's derecapitulated his motives of action in tails and anecdotes respecting Burke's great public emergencies-his then private character. They prove that he thoughts on the alarming state of the was one of the best, as well as one of country- the ruling passion even in
the greatest, of men.
The generous death, —gave some private directionsconand ready assistance which he ever nected with his approaching decease, and rendered to destitute genius whenever afterwards listened attentively to the per- it appealed to him, ought to endear usal, by his own desire, of some serious
his name to every friend of literature papers of Addison on religious subjects, and on the immortality of the soul. I'hese and the
arts. His munificent patronduties finished, his attendants, with Mr
age of Barry is well known, and se
veral of his admirable letters to the Nagle of the War-office, a relation, were
artist enrich Mr Prior's work. conveying him to his bed, when, indistinctly articulating a blessing on those
Two reasons prevent us from quotaround him, he sunk down, and after a
ing more largely from the volume.
One is, the belief that our readers are momentary struggle expired, July 8th, · 1797, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. already familiar with the leading in
• His end,' said Dr Lawrence, with great cidents of Burke's life, and the other truth, ‘was suited to the simple greatness is, a wish to employ the remainder of of mind which he displayed through life, our paper in enforcing some of the every way unaffected, without levity, many lessons which his history offers without ostentation, full of natural grace to our public men, our political parand dignity. He appeared neither to wish, ties, and the country. nor to dread, but patiently and placidly The circumstances which led this to await, the appointed hour of his disso- wonderful man into public life, are
not a little remarkable. He had no · “ In person he was five feet ten inches romance in his composition-he was a high, erect, well-formed, never very ro- man of great caution, and vast forebust; when young, expert in the sports sight—he excelled all other men in of his country and time; until his last ill. comprehensive examination and unerrness, active in habits suited to his years, ing judgment—he had his full share and always, it scarcely need be added, ac- of honourable ambition-he discovertive in mind, having nothing of what he
ed immediately on his arrival in Loncalled that master vice sloth,' in his
don, that “ genius, the 'rath primcomposition. His countenance in early rose, which forsaken dies,' was not palife possessed considerable sweetness, and by his female friends was esteemed hand- that writers of the first talents were
tronized by any of the nobility, and some.-Like Mr Fox, he was somewhat left to the capricious patronage of the negligent in common dress, being latterly distinguished by a tight brown coat, which public ;"—and yet he abandoned the seemed to impede freedom of motion, study of the law to become an author by and a little bob-wig with curls, which, in profession. He forsook the path which addition to his spectacles, made him be
seldom fails to lead moderate talents recognised by those who had never pre
and industry to affluence and diguities, viously seen him, the moment he rose to
to follow that which rarely takes those speak in the House of Commons. His who tread it to anything but poverty address in private life possessed some
and obscurity, until they are alike inthing of a chivalrous air-noble, yet un
sensible to dishonour and fame. affected and unreserved, impressing upon
This was singular, and it was still strangers of every rank, imperceptibly and more singular, that after becoming a without effort, the conviction of his being writer by profession, Burke should be a remarkable man.-His manner in mix- able, without fortune, friends, and ined society was unobtrusive, surrendering terest, as he was, to struggle into acat once his desire to talk to any one who tive and exalted political existence. had, or who thought he had, the least If a man wish for a calling that will claim to be heard : Where a loud-tongued conduct him to honours and emolu