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years of politeness and general ideas | are put down in Magna Charta. We have persuaded the French to trust in despise this abstract verbiage, which human goodness and pure reason. A deprives man of all equity and respect hundred and fifty years of moral reflec- to puff him up with presumption and tion and political strife have attached theories: the Englishman to positive religion and an established constitution. Each has his contrary dogma and his contrary enthusiasm. Neither understands and each detests the other. What one calls reform, the other calls destruction; what one reveres as the establishment of right, the other curses as the overthrow of right; what seems to one the annihilation of superstition, seems to the other the abolition of morality. Never was the contrast of two spirits and two civilizations shown in clearer characters, and it was Burke who, with the superiority of a thinker and the hostility of an Englishman, took it in hand to show this to the
He is indignant at this "tragi-comick farce," which at Paris is called the regeneration of humanity. He denies that the contagion of such folly can ever poison England. He laughs at the Cockneys, who, roused by the pratings of democratic societies, think themselves on the brink of a revolution:
"Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that of course, they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little shrivelled, meagre, nopping though loud and troublesome insects of the hour. #
Real England hates and detests the maxims and actions of the French Revolution: t
"The very idea of the fabrication of a new government is enough to fill us with disgust and We wished. to derive all we possess as an inher ance from our forefathers..
(We claim) our franchises not as the rights of
Burke's Works, v. 165; Reflections on the
"I almost venture to affirm, that not one in a hundred amongst us participates in the triumph of the revolution society."-Burke's Reflections, v. 165. + Ibid. 75.
"We have not been drawn and trussed, in a museum, with chaff and rags and paltry blurr order that we may be filled, like stuffed birds ir ed shreds of paper about the rights of men.' Our constitution is not a fictitious con tract, like that of Rousseau, sure to be violated in three months, but a real contract, by which, king, nobles, peo and is himself held. The crown of ple, church, every one holds the other, the prince and the privilege of the
noble are as sacred as the land of the
peasant and the tool of the workingthe inheritance, we respect it in every man. Whatever be the acquisition or man, and our law has but one object, which is to preserve to each his property and his rights.
"We fear God; we look up with awe to kings; with affection to parliaments; with duty to magistrates; with reverence to priests; and with respect to nobility."t
"There is not one public man in this kingdom who does not reprobate the dishonest, per. fidious, and cruel confiscation which the National Assembly has been compelled to Church and State are ideas inseparable in our minds. Our education is in a manner wholly in the hands of ecclesiasticks, and in all stages, from infancy to manhood. They never will suffer the fixed estate of the church to be converted into a penson, to depend on the treasury. They made their church like their nobility, independent. They can see without pain or grudging an archbishop precede a duke. They can see in possession of ten thousand a year.” ‡ a Bishop Durham or a Bishop of Winchester
We will never suffer the established
we have purged ourselves of it, whilst | more the right of insurrection which you have been saturated with it.
"A true natural aristocracy is not a separate interest in the state or separable from it. When great multitudes act together under that discipline of nature, I recognize the people; when you separate the common sort of men from their proper chieftains so as to form them into an adverse army, I no longer know that venerable object called the people in such a disbanded race of deserters and vagabonds." We detest with all our power of hatred the right of tyranny which you give them over others, and we detest still * Burke's Works, v. 172; Reflections. + Ibid. 175.
Ibid. vi. 201; Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs.
"A government of five hundred country attornies and obscure curates is not good for twenty-four millions of men, though it were chos by eight and forty millions. ... As to the share of power, authority, direction, which each individual ought to have in the manage ment of the state, that I must deny to be amongst the direct original rights of man in civil society."-Burke's Works, v. 109; Reflec
Burke's Works, vi. 219; Appea from the New to the Old Whigs.
you give them against themselves We believe that a constitution is a trust transmitted to this generation by the past, to be handed down to the dispose of it as its own, it ought also future, and that if a generation can to respect it as belonging to others We hold that, "by this unprincipled facility of changing the state as often and as much, and in as many ways a there are floating fancies and fashions, the whole chain and continuity of th◄ commonwealth would be broken. No one generation could link with the other. Men would become little bet
ter than the flies of a summer."* We
repudiate this meagre and coarse rea son, which separates a man from hi ties, and sees in him only the present and counts him as only one head in a which separates a man from society. flock. We despise these "metaphysics of an undergraduate and the mathe. matics of an exciseman," by which you cut up the state and man's rights ac cording to square miles and numerical unities. We have a horror of that
cynical coarseness by which "all the decent drapery of life is to be rudely torn off," by which "now a queen is but a woman, and a woman is but an animal," † which cuts down chivalric and religious spirit, the two crowns of humanity, to plunge them, together with learning, into the popular mire, to be "trodden down under the hoofs of a sw.nish multitude." We have a horror of this systematic levelling which aísorganizes civil society. Burke continues thus:
ject of rning a great expire into a vestry, or "I am satisfied bey.ad a doubt that the proto a collection of vestries and of governing it in the spirit of a parocnial administration, is sens.ess and absurd, in any mode, or with any qualifications. I can never be convinced that the scheme of placing the highest powers of the state in churchwardens and constables, and other such officers, guided by the prudence of litigio attornies, and Jew brokers, and set ir action by shameless women of the lowest condition, Ey keepers of hotels, taverns, and brothels, by pert apprentices, by clerks, shop-boys, hairdressers, fiddlers, and dancers on the stage (who, in such a commonwealth as yours, will in future overbear, as already they have over borne, the sober incapacity of dull uninstructed
eties in the towns formed of directors in assignats, attornies, agents, money-jobbers, speculators, and adventurers, composing an iguoble oligarchy founded on the destruction of the crown, the church, the nobility and the Aople." t
men, of useful but laborious occupations), can | property and brute force. The rage of never be put into any shape that must not be execration, invective, and destruction both disgraceful and destructive." * archy should ever obtain an entire ascendency mounted on both sides like a conflagra in France, it will probably be... the most tion.* It was not the collision of the completely arbitrary power that has ever ap- two governments, but of the two civili peared on earth. France will be wholly gov-zations and the two doctrines. erned by the agitators in corporations, by soci- two vast machines, driven with all their momentum and velocity, met face to face, not by chance, but by fatality. A whole age of literature and philosophy had been necessary to amass the fuel which filled their sides, and laid down the rail which guided their course. Ir this thundering clash, amid these ebullitions of hissing and fiery vapor, in these red flames which licked the boilers, and whirled with a rumbling noise upwards to the heavens, an attentive spectator may still discover the nature and the accumulation of the force which caused such an outburst, dislocated such iron plates, and strewed the ground with such ruins.
This is what Burke wrote in 1790 at the dawn of the first French Revolution. Two years after the people of Birmingham destroyed the houses of some English democrats, and the miners of Wednesbury went out in a body from their pits to come to the succor of " king and church." If we compare one crusade with another, scared England was as fanatical as enthusiastic France. Pitt declared that they could not "treat with a nation of atheists." § Burke said that the war was not between people and people, but between
* Burke's Works, vi. 5; Letter to a Member of the National Assembly.
Ibid. v. 349; Reflections.
"The effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please: we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations which may be soon turned into complaints. Strange chaos of levity and ferocity, monstrous tragi-comic scene. After I have read the list of the persons and descriptions elected into the Tiers-Etat, nothing which they afterwards did could appear astonishing.. Of any practical experience in the state, not one man was to be found. The best were only men of theory. The majority was composed of practitioners in the law," active chicaners, ... obscure provincial advocates, stewards of petty local jurisdictions, country attornies, notaries, etc."-Burke's Reflections, etc., v. 37 and 90. That which offends Burke, and even makes him very uneasy, was, that no representatives of the "natural landed interests "were among the representatives of Tiers-Etat. Let us give one quotation more, for really this political clairvoyance is akin to genius: "Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.
Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their pás sions forge their fetters."
Pitt's Speeches, 3 vols. 1808, ii. p. 81, on negotiating for peace with France, Jan. 26, 1795. Pitt says, however, in the same speech: "God forbid that we should look on the body of the people of France as atheists."-TR.
IN this vast transformation of mind which occupies the whole eighteenth century, and gives England its political and moral standing, two eminent me: appear in politics and morality, both accomplished writers-the most ac complished yet seen in England; both accredited mouthpieces of a party, masters in the art of persuasion and conviction; both limited in philosophy and art, incapable of considering sentiments in a disinterested fashion; always bent on seeing in things mo tives for approbation or blame; other wise differing, and even in contras! with one another: one happy, benevo lent, beloved; the other hated, hat ing, and most unfortunate: the one a partisan of liberty and the noblest hopes of man; the other an advocate of a retrograde party, and an eager detractor of humanity: the one meas ured, delicate, furnishing a model of the most solid English qualities, per
* Letters to a Noble Lord; Letters on a Regicide Peace.
fected by continental culture; the other | most affected, Claudian and Pruden unbridled and formidable, showing an tius; presently in Italy quotations will example of the harshest English in- rain from his pen; from top to bottom stincts, luxuriating without limit or in all its nooks, and under all its asrule in every kind of devastation and pects, his memory is stuffed with Latin amid every degree of despair. To verses. We see that he loves them, penetrate to the interior of this civil- scans them with delight, that a fine ization and this people, there are no cæsura charms him, that every delicacy means better than to pause and dwell touches him, that no hue of art or pon Swift and Addison. emotion escapes him, that his literary tact is refined, and prepared to relish all the beauties of thought and expression. This inclination, too long retained, is a sign of a little mind, I allow; a man ought not to spend so much time in inventing centos.
his knowledge-to study Latin prosewriters, Greek literature, Christian hardly knew. But this limited culture, antiquity, modern Italy, which he leaving him weaker, made him more refined. He formed his art by studying only the monuments of Latin urbanity; he acquired a taste for the and artifices of style; he became selfelegance and refinements, the triumphs
"I have often reflected," says of Addison, "after a night spent with aim, apart from all the world, that I Ead had the pleasure of conversing with an intimate acquaintance of Ter-son would have done better to enlarge ence and Catullus, who had all their wit and nature heightened with humor, more exquisite and delightful than any other man ever possessed." * And Pope, a rival of Addison, and a bitter rival, adds: "His conversation had something in it more charming than I have found in any other man." These sayings express the whole talent of Addison: his writings are conversations, masterpieces of English urbanity contemplative, correct, capable of and reason; nearly all the details of knowing and perfecting his his character and life have contributed tongue. In the designed reministo nourish this urbanity and this rea- cences, the happy allusions, the dissoning. creet tone of his little poems, I find beforehand many traits of the Specta
for a long time in the two most polLeaving the university, he travelled ished countries in the world, France and Italy. He lived at Paris, in the ular and brilliant society which gave house of the ambassador, in the reg fashion to Europe; he visited Boileau,
At the age of seventeen we find him at Oxford, studious and peaceful, loving solitary walks under the elm-avenues, and amongst the beautiful meadows on the banks of the Cherwell. From the thorny brake of school education he chose the only flower-a withered one, doubtless, Latin verse, but one which, compared to the erudition, to the theology, to the logic of Malebranche, saw with somewhat mathe time, is still a flower. He cele-licious curiosity the fine curtsies of the brates, in strophes or hexameters, the peace of Ryswick, or the system of Dr. Burnet; he composes little ingenious poems on a puppet-show, on the battle of the pigmies and cranes; he learns to praise and jest-in Latin it is truebut with such success, that his verses recommend him for the rewards of the ministry, and even come to the knowledge of Boileau. At the same time he imbues himself with the Latin poets; he knows them by heart, even the * Addison's Works, ed. Hurd, 6 vols., v. 151; Steele's Letter to Mr. Congreve. + Thid vi. 789
painted and affected ladies of Ver-
maker, he congratulated himself on
* Addison's Works, vols. 4to, Tonson. 1721, vol. i. 43. A retter to Lord Halifax (1701).
pressed.* He had the fine training | of the world? He had already a long hich is now given to young men of time ago acquired the art of fashionhigher ranks. And it was not the able poetry, I mean the correct verses, amusements of Cockneys or the racket which are complimentary, or written to of taverns which employed him. His order. In all polite society we look beloved Latin poets followed him for the adornment of though everywhere. He had read them over desire for it rare, brilliant, beautiful before setting out; he recited their dress, to distinguish it from vulgar verses in the places which they men- thoughts, and for this reason we im. tion. "I must confess, it was not one pose upon it rhyme, metre, noble ex of the least entertainments that I met pression; we keep for it a store ci with in travelling, to examine these select terms, verified metaphors, suir several desriptions, as it were, upon able images, which are like an aristo the spot, and to compare the natural cratic wardrobe, in which it is ham. face of the country with the landscapes pered but must adorn itself. Men of that the poets have given us of it." twit are bound to make verses for it, These were the pleasures of an epicure and in a certain style, just as others in literature; there could be nothing must display their lace, and that after more literary and less pedantic than a certain pattern. Addison put on the account which he wrote on his this dress, and wore it correctly and return. Presently this refined and easily, passing without difficulty from delicate curiosity led him to coins. one habit to a similar one, from Latin "There is a great affinity," he says, to English verse. His principal piece, "between them and poetry;" for they The Campaign, is an excellent model serve as a commentary upon ancient of the agreeable and classical style. authors; an effigy of the Graces makes Each verse is full, perfect in itself, a verse of Horace visible. And on with a clever antithesis, a good epithet, this subject he wrote a very agreeable or a concise picture. Countries have dialogue, choosing for personages well-noble names; Italy is Ausonia, the bred men: "all three very well versed Black Sea is the Scythian Sea; there in the politer parts of learning, and had travelled into the most refined nations of Europe. Their design was to pass away the heat of the summer among the fresh breezes that rise from the river (the Thames), and the agreeable mixture of shades and fountains in which the whole country naturally abounds."§ Then, with a gentle and well-tempered gayety, he laughs at pedants who waste life in discussing the Latin toga or sandal, but pointed out, like a man of taste and wit, the services which coins might render to history and the arts. Was there ever a better education for a literary man
are mountains of dead, and a thunder
* On the victory of Blenheim, i. 63.
The marshes stagnate and the rivers zwek
Rows of hollow brasa, Tube behind tube the dreadful entrance keep,
Whilst in their wombs ten thousand thus ders sleep.
... Here shattered walls, like broken rocks, from far
Rise up in hideous views, the guilt of war, Whilst here the vine o'er hills of ruin climbs
Industrious to conceal great Bourbon's crimes."-Vol i. 63 83.