« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
horde of barbarians which the times and erroneous opinions have let loose upon the world. No more doth the trumpet's found ennoble the minds of gentlemen to stand forth, from motives of patriotism, in defence of these hallowed shores.
Our great ancestors, who on the plains of Cressy, Agincourt, and even Ramillies, reflected immortal honour on the British empire, may now blus—when they fee a modern English gentleman, and a soldier, whose pride is his dress ; whose character and morality are beneath criticism, whose most joyful sound is the rattling of dice, and most valorous feats the kicking of a waiter.
Had Hampden and Sidney beheld, even a prototype of the modern soldier, who, while bedaubing his body with perfumes, is sunk in the most infamous libertinism, they would have highed for the fate of their country, but they would have despaired of atlifting her liberties.
Took's Court, JOHN FREDERIC RUNKEL. 19th Sept. 1797.
RIGHT HONOURABLE EDMUND BURKE.
Continued from page 252.)
HE 1. A Vindication of Natural Society, in Imitation of Boling broke.
2. A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful.
3. A Short Account of a lare Short Administration.
4. Observations on a Publication, intituled, “ The present State of the Nation.”
5. Thoughts on the Cause of the present Discontents.
6. Letter 6. Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol on the Affairs of America, 1777.
7. Two Letters to Gentlemen in Bristol, on the Bills depending in Parliament relative to the Affairs of Ireļand, 1778.
8. Refcctions on the Revolution in France, and on the Proceedings of certain Societies in London relative to that Event.
9. Letter to a Member of the National Assembly: 10. Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs.
11. Letter to a Peer of Ireland on the Penal Laws against Irish Catholics. 12. Letter to Sir Hercules Langrihe.
13. Letter from the Right Honourable Edmund Burke to a Noble Lord, on the Attacks made upon him and his Pension, in the House of Lords, by the Duke of Bedford and the Earl of Lauderdale.
14. Two Letters addressed to a Member of the present Parliament, on the Proposals for Peace with the Regicide Directory of France.
15. Letter to his Grace the Duke of Portland: containing Fifty-four Articles of Impeachment against the Right Honourable C. J. Fox.
1. On American Taxation, 1774. 2. On his Arrival at Bristol, 1774.
3. At the Conclusion of the Poll, on his being de. clared duly elected, November 3, 1774.
4. On moving his Resolutions for Conciliation with the Colonies, March 22, 1775.
5. On a Plan for the better Security of the Independence of Parliament, and the economical Refor. mation of the Civil, and other Establishments, February II, 1780.
6. At Bristol, previous to the Election, 1780. 7. On the East India Bill, December 1, 1783.
8. On the Nabub of Arcot's Debts, February 28, 1785.
9. Representation to His Majesty, moved in the House of Commons, June 14, 1784.
10. Substance of the Speech on the Army Eftimates, February 9, 1790.
His Vindication of Natural Society has ever been confidered as a master-piece of deception. It came near enough to Bolingbroke, in imitation of whom it was done, to cheat even the admirers of that nobleman. Nor does it effect all this at the cost of truth. While it professes the destruction of governments, by a specious and general crimination, it is so artfully contrived as to evince, at the fame instant, the futility of what is thus advanced. We conclude our observations on this
production, with a sentence from the preface.
“ Even in matters which are, as it were, just within our reach, what would become of the world if the practice of all moral duties, and the foundations of society, rested spon having their reasons made clear and demonstrative to every individual ?”
Ci the Enquiry on the Sublime and Beautiful, we have spoken in the beginning of these Memoirs.
No publication of Mr. Burke's has been more celebrated than his Thoughts on the Causes of the Present Discontents. By the patriots of that day it was,, at least, as highly esteemed, as it has been quoted by the patriots of this. It unveiled, with a discriminating hand, the hidden sources of our national misfortunes : it revealed to us a double cabinet.
“ The first part of the reformed plan was to draw a line which pould separate the court from the ministry. Hitherto these names had been looked upon as synonymous; but for the future, court and administration were to be considered as things totally diflinet. By this operation, two systems of adminiftration were to be formed; one which should be in the real secret and confidence; the other merely ostensible, to perform the official and executory duties of government. The
latter were alone to. he responsible; whilst theʻreal advisers, who enjoyed all the power, were effectually removed from all the danger.
“ Secondly, A party under these leaders was to be formed in favour of the court againft the ministry: this party was to have a large share in the emuluments of government, and to hold it totally separate from, and independent of, ostensible adminiftration.
“ The third point, and that on which the success of the whole scheme ultimately depended, was to bring parliament to an acquiefience in this project. Parliament was therefore to be taught by degrees a total indifference to the persons, rank, influence, abilities, connexions, and character, of the ministers of the crown. By means of a discipline, on which I shall say more hereafter, that body was to be habituated to the most opposite interests, and the most discordant politics. All connections and dependencies among subjects were to be entirely diffolved. As hitherto business had gone through the hands of leaders of Whigs or Tories, men of talents to conciliate the people, and engage to their confidence; now the method was to be altered, and the lead was to be given to men of no sort of confideration or credit in the country. This want of natural importance was to be their very title to delegated power. Members of parliament were to be hardened into an infensibility to pride as well as to duty. Those high and haughty sentiments, which are the great support of independence, were to be let down gradually. Point of honour and precedence were no more to be regarded in parliamentary decorum, than in a Turkish army. It was to be avowed as a constitutional maxim, that the king might appoint one of his footmen, or one of your footmen, for minifter; and that he ought to be, and that he would be, as well followed as the first name for rank or wisdom in the nation. Thus parliament was to look on, as if perfectly unconcerned, while a cabal of the closet and backfairs was subftituted in the place of national administration."
“ A minister of state will sometimes keep himself totally estranged from all his colleagues; will differ from them in their councils, will privately traverse, and publicly oppose, their measures. He will, however, continue in his employment. Instead of suffering any mark of displeasure, he will Le distinguished by an unbounded profufion of court rewards
and caresses ; because he does what is expected, and all that is expected, from men in office. He helps to keep some form of administration in being, and keeps it at the same time as weak and divided as possible.”
“ Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the exercise of the powers which are left at large to the prudence and uprightness of ministers of state. Even all the use and potency of the laws depends upon them. Without them, your commonwealth is no better than a scheme upon paper; and not a ng, acting, ef fective conftitution. It is possible, that through negligence, or ignorance, or design, artfully conducted, ministers may suffer one part of government to languish, another to be perverted from its purposes, and every valuable interest of the country to fall into ruin and decay, without possibility of fixing any fingle act on which a criminal prosecution can be juftly grounded. The due arrangement of men in the active part of the state, far from being foreign to the purposes of a wise government, ought to be among its very first and dearest objects. When, therefore, the abertors of the new system tell us, that between them and their opposers there is nothing but a struggle for power, and that therefore we are no ways concerned in it; we must tell those who have the impudence to infult us in this manner, that of all things we ought to be the most concerned, who, and what sort of men they are, that hold the trust of every thing that is dear to us. Nothing can render this a point of indifference to the nation, but what must either render us totally desperate, or soothe us into the security of ideots. We must soften into a credulity below the milkiness of infancy, to think all men virtuous. We mug be tainted with a malignity truly diabolical, to believe all the world to be equally wicked and corrupt. Men are in public life as in private, some good, some evil. The elevation of the one, and the depression of the other, are the first ohjeets of all true policy. But that form of government, which, neither in its direct institutions, nor in their immediate tendency, has contrived to throw its affairs into the most trust-worthy hands, but has left its whole executory fyftem to be disposed of agreeably to the uncontrouled pleature of any one man, however excellent or virtuous, is a plan of polity defective not only in that merber, but consequentially erroneous in every part of it."