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ties have a direct interest in employing every effort to destroy Burke's reputation altogether. If he were a statesman and a patriot, Fox was a driveller and a demagogue-if his principles were truth and wisdom, the Whigs are the most blind and dishonoured body of men that the world ever contained. The Benthamites have equal cause with the Whigs to detest him. Though his ashes slumber in the tomb, his voice is still heard to confound them-his spirit still walks the earth to scatter their dogmas and schemes to the winds, and to hold them up to the derision of mankind.

but few traces of them in the discussions. Amidst the gigantic events which concluded the war, and the subsequent revolutionary convulsions of Europe, the late Marquis of Londonderry-we name it to his eternal honour-seemed to take Burke for his guide, but with his death the influence of Burke appeared to terminate. We regret this deeply. Setting aside other matters, we are convinced that Burke's theory for constructing and governing society-for creating and preserving general liberty and happiness can never be shaken; and therefore we are convinced that every departure from it is a departure' into


Of course, a biographer, to do full justice to the fame of Burke, should be able to sketch, distinctly and vividly, the effects which his speeches and writings produced, both to his own country and to Europe-he should be able to draw the line between the triumphs of his hero and those of Pitt -he should be able to pourtray the mighty influence and prodigious errors, follies, and guilt, of Fox and the Whigs--he should be able to paint the tremendous and appalling array of enemies, difficulties, and sorrows, which Burke had to encounter when he gained the most glorious of his victories, and which would have crushed and destroyed any spirit but his own-and he should be able to cope with, not only the delusions, but the prejudices and the wickedness of parties. He should possess a mind equally dauntless and impartial-determined to be alike just and unsparing, and to deal as liberally in condemnation as panegyric-aware that, as it had espoused the cause of one whom almost all conspired to wrong, it could only do justice to him by treating every enemy with due severity.

We wish, not more for the sake of Burke than for the sake of the country, that his memory was held in due estimation. If a nation expect to possess great men, it must consecrate their ashes and preserve from stain their glory-if it expect to have wise rulers, it must teach its children to revere its departed sages. We think the writings of this great and wonderful man have lately lost no inconsiderable portion of their influence. Although they were so strikingly applicable to some of the leading topics of the last two sessions of Parliament, we could find

Allowing as liberally as we please for the infirmities of mankind, there is something in this not a little extraordinary. The compositions of Burke are inimitable in literary beauty, and this, if they had possessed no other recommendation, ought to have obtained for them constant perusal and powerful influence. But, in addition, they treat of the highest interests of individuals and nations; they give the most profound and magnificent views of those things on which the tongue of the Englishman dwells for ever; the splendours of the diction only serve to pourtray the most astonishing triumphs of genius, knowledge, wisdom, and philosophy. Moreover, that portion of them which, when they were written, appeared to be but opinion and speculation, has been proved by time to have been sublime truth and unerring prophesy. Burke died the greatest of sages-a man gifted with even superhuman wisdom-and the grave has made him a wonderful prophet. One of the most striking peculiarities of his late works is-they form a chain of predictions, respecting some of the most momentous, novel, and complicated of human events, which have been accomplished to the letter.. Finally, the history of Europe for the last seven years has been of a description to compel the nation to study the topics on which he wrote, and to drive it to the stores of instruction which he provided.

Whe those who boast so eternally of the increased knowledge and wisdom of the world, shall explain to our satisfaction why the writings of Burke, which treat of the form and regulations of society, are not in every man's

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Nor seeks he foreign luxury from trade; Yet peace and honesty adorn his days' With rural riches and a life of ease.


"Celestial Nine! my only joy and care, Whose love inflames me, and whose rites I bear,

Lead me, oh lead me! from the vulgar throng, Clothe nature's myst'ries in thy rapturous


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From reasons which do not appear, Burke forsook the study of the law, and was never called to the bar. He became an author by profession, at least he followed no other profession for several years, and there is no evidence that he sought any other, if we except his attempt to obtain the Professorship of Logic in the University of Glasgow. Mr Dugald Stewart doubts whether this attempt was ever made.


Mr Prior controverts the common opinion, that his pen, at this period of his life, furnished him with his sole means of subsistence, and asserts, though he does not say on what authority, that his father allowed him two hundred pounds per annum. After labouring assiduously in his literary vocation for several years, he, in 1761, accompanied Mr Hamilton, better known by the name Single-speech Hamilton, who was made the Irish secretary, to Ireland, partly in the capacity of friend, and partly in that of private secretary. His connexion with this gentleman was not of long continuance. In 1765 he was made private secretary to the Marquis of Rockingham, and obtained a seat in Parlia ment. He speedily became a brilliant orator, rose to the office of Whig leader in the House of Commons, and, after a long and laborious public life, spent 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 Prior, give some extracts from his book. Speaking of Burke's conduct in the years which followed his arrival in London, he states,

"His more sedentary pursuits were followed with a degree of assiduity, which vivacious men commonly term plodding:

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but which more sober judgments know to be a good substitute for all other talents, and in fact the only surety for their excellence. His application was unwearied. Unlike most persons of vivid fancy, he had good sense enough to recollect, that the most brilliant imaginations ought not only to have wings to fly, but also legs to stand upon; in other words, that genius, unpropped by knowledge, may serve to amuse, but will rarely be useful in the more important concerns of mankind."

"His excesses were not in dissipation, but in study. He gave way to no licentious inclinations. It is asserted that he did not then know a single game at cards; and that wine was no further a favourite than as it contributed to social intercourse, of which he was at every period of his life, particularly with literary and scientific men, extremely fond, so far as the pleasures of conviviality could be enjoyed without its excesses.'

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Burke became a first-rate in Parliament almost immediately on his entering it. Mr Prior gives the following account of his debut.


"The session opened for business on the 14th January, 1766, when Mr Burke seized the first opportunity of taking an active part in the discussion concerning America. The details are not otherwise known than from a few notes taken by Lord Charlemont. Mr Pitt, who professed to have no specific objection to the ministry, though he would not give them his confidence, immediately followed Mr Burke in the debate, and complimented him by observing, that the young member had proved a very able advocate; he had himself intended to enter at length into the details, but he had been anticipated with so much ingenuity and eloquence, there was little left for him to say; he congratulated him on his success, and his friends on the value of the acquisition they had made.'-After this he spoke frequently, and at length, and again received some unusual compliments, the highest estimates being formed of his powers as a speaker.


In the following session, Lord Charlemont stated, in a letter to Mr Flood

"I some time ago sent to Leland an account of our friend Burke's unparalleled success, which I suppose be communicated to you. His character daily rises, and Barré is totally eclipsed by him; his praise is universal; and even the Opposi

tion, who own his superior talents, can find nothing to say against him, but that he is an impudent fellow."

Of the eloquence displayed by Burke on the impeachment of Hastings, Mr Prior thus speaks :

"But above them all, (Fox, Sheridan, &c.) beyond dispute stood Mr Burke.The greatest amazement, even to those who knew him best, was excited by the opening speech or speeches of the impeachment, which a modern writer, adverse to the impeachment itself, thus characterizes in the general terms employed at the time:- Never were the powers of that wonderful man displayed to such advantage as on this occasion; and he astonished even those who were most intimately acquainted with him by the vast extent of his reading, the variety of his resources, the minuteness of his information, and the lucid order in which he arranged the whole for the support of his object, and to make a deep impression on the minds of his hearers.'"'

"Nothing, certainly, in the way of fact, and nothing, perhaps, even in theatrical representation, ever exceeded the effects produced among the auditory, by the detail of the cruelties of Debi Sing, which he gave on the third day, from the reports of Mr Paterson, who had been sent as commissioner to inquire into the circumstances. The whole statement is appalling and heart-sickening in the ex treme; a convulsive sensation of horror, affright, and smothered execration, per vaded all the male part of his hearers, and audible sobbings and screams, attended with tears and faintings, the female. His own feelings were scarcely less overpowering; he dropped his head upon his hands, and for some minutes was unable to proceed.-Alluding to the close of this day, the writer of the history of the Trial says-'In this part of his speech, Mr Burke's descriptions were more vivid, more harrowing, and more horrific, than human utterance, ou either fact or fancy, perhaps, ever formed before. very apparent. The agitation of most people was Mrs Sheridan was so overpowered that she fainted; several others were as powerfully affected.'"

"His powers,' says a political adversary,* were never more conspicuous than on that memorable day, on which he exposed the enormities of a subaltern agent of oriental despotism-the tortures inflicted by his orders-the flagrant injus

Dr Glennie.

tice committed by his authority-the pollution that ensued in consequence of his sanction when he painted agonizing nature vibrating in horrid suspense, between life and destruction-when he described, in the climax of crimes, death introduced into the very sources of life,' the bosoms of his auditors became convulsed with passion, and those of more delicate organs, or weaker frame, actually swooned away.


"The testimony of the accused party himself is perhaps the strongest ever borne to the powers of any orator of any country. For half an hour,' said Mr Hastings, I looked up at the orator in a reverie of wonder; and during that space, I actually felt myself the most culpable man on earth;' adding, how ever-But I recurred to my own bosom, and there found a consciousness that consoled me under all I heard and all I suffered."

We give the following extract respecting the famous "Reflections on the Revolution in France :"

"The whole was polished with extraordinary care, more than a dozen of proofs being worked off and destroyed before he could please himself; it was set off with every attraction of the highest style of eloquence of which the English language is susceptible; it was impressed on the judgment by acute reasoning, by great penetration into the motives of human action, by maxims of the most sound and practical wisdom; nothing, indeed, which his genius, his knowledge, or his observation could supply, was omitted to give popularity to the Reflections on the Revolution in France."

"In the beginning of November 1790, this celebrated work made its appear ance, and a French translation, by his friend M. Dupont, quickly spread its reputation over all Europe. The publica tion proved one of the most remarkable events of the year, perhaps of the century; for it may be doubted whether any previous production ever excited so much attention, so much discussion, so much praise, so much animadversion, and ulti mately, among the great majority of persons, such general conviction; having fully succeeded in turning the stream of public opinion to the direction he wish ed, from the channel in which it had his therto flowed. The circulation of the book corresponded with its fame; about 30,000 copies were sold when there was not a third of the demand for books of any kind that there is at present-a greater sale, it is said, than that of any

preceding work whatever of the same price."

The particulars of Burke's rupture with Fox are too well known for us to transcribe them. Mr Prior thus vindicates Burke's fame from the aspersions which the Whigs have cast upon it, touching the matter:

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"Opposition soon saw in it the loss of much of that consequence they had hitherto enjoyed as a body in the state, and were thunderstruck at the conse quences; uttering the harshest animadversions upon Mr Burke, not only at the breaking up of the house, but on all occa sions afterwards during his life, and even since his death, as well as by writers of the same political partialities, not one of whom but misrepresents the circumstances of the quarrel, or attributes it, on the part of that gentleman, to a preconcerted scheme, or spleen at not being permitted to dictate the conduct of the body of which he was a member.

" These assertions are now known to be wholly false. If design can be attributed to either party, it would seem to have rested rather with Mr Fox and his friends than with Mr Burke, for though they probably did not desire an open rupture with him, they went the straight way to work to effect it; for there is not a stronger instance than this in Parliamentary history, of what may be termed a dead set being made upon a member to prevent his delivering his sentiments on an extraordinary and questionable event, and this upon the trifling pretext of being out of order. Admitting him to have been out of order, which he was not, as the house decided, was it the business of his friends to attack him on that head?

of the men with whom he had been so long associated, whose career he had so long directed, whose battles he had fought, whose credit he had been the first to raise in public esteem-to assail him with vehement disapprobation, persevering interruptions, and votes of censure?"

"There are a variety of other reasons which tell strongly in favour of Mr Burke. Far from broaching it as a provocative to quarrel, he had, on the contrary, studiously avoided it in this and the preceding sessions, until introduced by the very persons who now professed to wish to avoid the subject. It was obviously his interest not to disagree with those with whom he had been so long connected; and more especially at this moment, when it was believed, in consequence of words which fell from the King in the dispute with Russia, that

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they were coming into power. already explicitly declared his intention to separate from the dearest friends, who should give countenance to the revolu. tionary doctrines then afloat, and the breach with Mr Sheridan proved that this was no idle threat. He doubtless felt displeased that his general principles should be, if not misrepresented, at least so far misapplied, as to become the means of charging him with dereliction of principle. He might be angry that this should be done by one who had so long been his friend, and who made it his chief boast, even at the moment, that he was his disciple. He could not be well pleased that this disciple should condemn his book without ceremony, as an attack on all free governments.'


"The dispute was not about a private or trivial, but a great constitutional matter, which superseded all minor considerations,-not a hackneyed or speculative topic on which they might amicably differ, and pass on to the consideration of others on which they agreed, but one in its consequences involving the very existence of the state. It was a question wholly new; it was one which agitated almost every man in the kingdom; it was constantly and progressively before the eyes of Parliament; it met the lead ers at every turn in debate, and in some. form or other mingled in every discussion of fact or principle. It was in itself full of difficulties, of jagged points and sharp angles, against which neither of them could rub without feeling some degree of irritation; and it was one on which, from the first, each seemed to have staked his whole reputation for political wisdom against the other."

"From the moment, indeed, that Mr Fox pronounced such decided panegyrics upon the French Constitution, and particularly after the 15th April, when Mr Burke, as related, was prevented from replying by the clamour of his own party, a rupture between them appeared at hand. The very next morning, a general alarm at the consequences spread through the party. Several conciliatory explanations were offered to Mr Burke, and some apologies; many even who agreed with Mr Fox's opinions, did not hesitate to condemn him for imprudence in expressing them, though in fact he had been urged to do it; and for having already done so, two or three of the number had been tempted to say he was deficient in firmOn the other hand, some of Mr Burke's personal friends, and the connexions of the Duke of Portland, who thought nearly as he did of the proceed


ings in France, wished him nevertheless to pass over the opinions and the challenges of Mr Fox and Mr Sheridan in silence. This, he urged, was impossible. He had been personally alluded to; and though treated without the least consideration or respect, this he would willingly forget; but without giving any cause for such a proceeding, he had been thrice within a week pointedly dared to the discussion; and standing as he did, pledged to the house and to the country upon the subject, which no other member was, it would look like political cowardice to shrink from the contest. He thought Mr Fox's opinions of great weight in the country, and should not be permitted to circulate through it uncontradicted. He was further impelled by an imperious sense of public duty, which he considered paramount to all other considerations. These reasons were deemed scarcely sufficient; he further heard that the adherents of Mr Fox had determined to interrupt him on the point of order; and that gentleman himself, in company with a friend, waited upon him to ask that the discussion might be postponed till another opportunity, which, Mr Burke pointed out, was not likely to occur again during the Session. To convince Mr Fox, however, that nothing personal or offensive was intended, he stated explicitly what he meant to say, all the heads of his arguments, and the limitations he designed to impose on himself; an instance of candour which Mr Fox returned by relating the favourable expressions of himself just alluded to, recently uttered by the king. The interview, therefore, though not quite satisfactory, excited no hostile feelings; on the contrary, they walked to the house together, but found that Mr Sheridan had moved to postpone the re-commitment of the bill until after the Easter holidays, when, as already stated, the discussion came on on the 6th of May. Something like premeditated hostility on the part of the minority towards Mr Burke appeared in the abuse heaped upon him during the interval by the newspapers in their interest."

We give Mr Prior's account of Burke's last moments.

"To his own increasing weakness, submitted with the same placid and Chris tian-like resignation, undisturbed by murmur; hoping, as he said, to obtain the Divine mercy through the intercession of a blessed Redeemer, which, in his own words, he had long sought with unfeigned humiliation, and to which he looked with a trembling hope.""

"A presentiment almost of the moment

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