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will and appetite be placed fomewhere, and the lefs of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal conftitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their paffions forge their fetters.
This fentence the prevalent part of your countrymen execute on themfelves. They poffeffed, not long fince, what was next to freedom, a mild paternal monarchy. They defpifed it for its weakness. They were offered a well-poifed free conftitution. It did not fuit their tafte or their temper. They carved for themfelves, they flew out, murdered, robbed, and rebelled. They have fucceeded, and put over their country an infolent tyranny, made up of cruel and inexorable mafters, and that too of a defcription hitherto not known in the world. The powers and policies by which they have fucceeded, are not those of great ftatefmen, or great military commanders, but the practices of incendiaries, affaf fins, houfebreakers, robbers, fpreaders of falfe news, forgers of falfe orders from authority, and other delinquencies, of which ordinary juftice takes cognizance. Accordingly the fpirit of their rule is exactly correfpondent to the means by which they obtained it. They act more in the manner of thieves who have got poffeffion of an house, than of conquerors who have fubdued a nation.
Oppofed to thefe, in appearance, but in appearance only, is another band, who call themfelves the moderate. Thefe, if I conceive rightly of their conduct, are a fet of men who approve heartily of the whole new conftitution, but wifh to lay heavy on the most atrocious
of thofe crimes, by which this fine conftitution of their's has been obtained. They are a fort of people who affect to proceed as if they thought that men may deceive without fraud, rob without injuftice, and overturn every thing without violence. They are
men who would ufurp the government of their coun try with decency and moderation. In fact they are nothing more or better, than men engaged in defperate defigns, with feeble minds. They are not honeft; they are only ineffectual and unsystematic in their iniquity. They are perfons who want not the difpofitions, but the energy and vigour, that is neceffary for great evil machinations. They find that in fuch defigns they fall at beft into a fecondary rank, and others take the place and lead in ufurpation, which they are not qualified to obtain or to hold. They envy to their companions the natural fruit of their crimes; they join to run them down with the hue and cry of mankind, which purfues their common offences; and then hope to mount into their places on the credit of the fobriety with which they fhew themselves disposed to carry on what may feem most plausible in the mischievous projects they purfue in common. But these men naturally are defpifed by those who have heads to know, and hearts that are able to go through the neceffary demands of bold, wicked enterprizes. They are naturally claffed below the latter description, and will only be used by them as inferior inftruments. They will be only the Fairfaxes of your Cromwells. If they mean honeftly, why do they not strengthen the arms of honeft men, to support their antient, legal, wife, and free government, given to them in the spring of 1788, against the inventions of craft, and the theories of ignorance and folly? If they do not, they must continue the fcorn of both parties; fometimes the tool, fometimes the incumbrance of that, whose views they approve, whose conduct they decry. These people are only made to be the fport of tyrants. They never can obtain or communicate freedom.
You ask me too, whether we have a committee of refearch. No, Sir,-God forbid! It is the neceffary
inftrument of tyranny and ufurpation; and therefore I do not wonder that it has had an early establishment under your prefent lords. We do not
Excufe my length. I have been fomewhat occupied fince I was honoured with your letter; and I fhould not have been able to answer it at all, but for the holidays, which have given me means of enjoying the leifure of the country. I am called to duties which I am neither able nor willing to evade. I muft soon return to my old conflict with the corruptions and oppreffions which have prevailed in our eaftern dominions. I must turn myfelf wholly from thofe of France.
In England, we cannot work fo hard as Frenchmen. Frequent relaxation is necessary to us. You are natu¬ rally more intenfe in your application. I did not know this part of your national character, until I went into France in 1773. At prefent, this your difpofition to labour is rather encreafed than leffened. In your affembly you do not allow yourfelves a recefs even on Sundays. We have two days in the week, befides the feftivals; and befides five or fix months of the fummer and autumn. This continued unremitted effort of the members of your affembly, I take to be one among the caufes of the mifchief they have done. They who always labour, can have no true judgment. You never give yourselves time to cool. You can never furvey, from its proper point of fight, the work you have finished, before you decree its final execution. You can never plan the future by the past. You never go into the country, foberly and difpaflionately to obferve the effect of your meafures on their objects. You cannot feel diftinctly how far the people are rendered better and improved, or more mife. rable and depraved, by what you have done. You cannot fee with your own eyes the fufferings and afflictions you caufe. You know them but at a dif
tance, on the statements of those who always flatter the reigning power, and who, amidft their representations of the grievances, inflame your minds against those who are oppreffed. These are amongst the effects of unremitted labour, when men exhauft their attention, burn out their candles, and are left in the dark.Malo meorum negligentiam, quam iftorum obfcuram diligentiam.
January 19th 1791.
I have the honor, &c.
(Signed) EDMUND BURKE.