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that thofe mifcreants fhould tell fuch men fcornfully and outrageoufly, after they had robbed them of all their property, that it is more than enough if they are allowed what will keep them from abfolute famine, and that for the reft, they must let their grey hairs. fall over the plough, to make out a fcanty fubfiftence with the labour of their hands! Laft, and worst, who could endure to hear this unnatural, infolent, and favage defpotifin called liberty? If, at this diftance, fitting quietly by my fire, I cannot read their decrees and fpeeches without indignation, fhall I condemn thefe who have fled from the actual fight and hearing of all these horrors? No, no! mankind has no title to demand that we fhould be flaves to their guilt and infolence; or that we fhould ferve them in fpite of themfelves. Minds, fore with the poignant fenfe of infulted virtue, filled with high difdain against the pride of triumphant bafenefs, often have it not in their choice to ftand their ground, Their complexion (which might defy the rack) cannot go through fuch a trial. Something very high muft fortify men to that proof. But when I am driven to comparifon, furely I cannot hesitate for a moment to prefer to fuch men as are common, thofe herocs, who in the midst of defpair perform all the tafks of hope; who fubdue their feelings to their duties, who, in the cause of humanity, liberty, and honour, abandon all the fatisfactions of life, and every day incur a fresh rifque of life itself. Do me the juftice to believe that I never can prefer any faftidious virtue (virtue fill) to the unconquered perfeverance, to the affectionate patience of thofe who watch day and night, by the bed-fide of their delirious country, who, for their love to that dear and venerable name, bear all the difgufts, and all the buffets they receive from their frantic mother. Sir, I do look on you as true martyrs; I regard you as foldiers who act far more in the fpirit of our Commander in chief, and the Captain of our falvation, than thofe w have left you;


though I must first bolt myself very thoroughly, and know that I could do better, before I can cenfure them. I affure you, Sir, that, when I confider your unconquerable fidelity to your fovereign, and to your country, the courage, fortitude, magnanimity, and long-suffering of yourfelf, and the Abbé Maury, and of Mr. Cazales, and of many worthy perfons of all orders, in your affembly, I forget, in the luftre of thefe great qualities, that on your fide has been difplayed an eloquence fo rational, manly, and convincing, that no time or country, perhaps, has ever excelled. But your talents difappear in my admiration of your virtues.

As to Mr. Mounier and Mr. Lally, I have always wished to do juftice to their parts, and their eloquence, and the general purity of their motives. Indeed I faw very well from the beginning, the mischiefs which, with all thefe talents and good intentions, they would do their country, through their confidence in fyftems. But their distemper was an epidemic malady. They were young and inexperienced; and when will young and inexperienced men learn caution and diftruft of themfelves? And when will men, young or old, if fuddenly raised to far higher power than that which abfolute kings and emperors commonly enjoy, learn any thing like moderation? Monarchs in general refpect fome fettled order of things, which they find it difficult to move from its bafis, and to which they are obliged to confarm, even when there are no pofitive limitations to their power. Thefe gentlemen conceived that they were chofen to new model the state, and even the whole order of civil fociety itself. No wonder that they entertained dangerous vifions, when the king's minifters, trustees for the facred depofit of the monarchy, were fo infected with the contagion of project and fyftem (I can hardly think it black premeditated treachery) that they publicly advertised for plans and schemes of government,


ftands exactly as he wishes it. He is more happy to have his fidelity in reprefentation recognized by the body of the people, than if he were to be ranked in point of ability (and higher he could not be ranked) with those whofe critical cenfure he has had the miffortune to incur.

It is not from this part of their decifion which the author wishes an appeal. There are things which touch him more nearly. To abandon them would argue, not diffidence in his abilities, but treachery to his caufe. Had his work been recognized as a pattern for dexterous argument, and powerful eloquence, yet if it tended to establifh maxims, or to infpire fentiments, adverfe to the wife and free conftitution of this kingdom, he would only have caufe to lament, that it poffeffed qualities fitted to perpetuate the memory of his offence. Oblivion would be the only means of his efcaping the reproaches of posterity. But, after receiving the common allowance due to the common weakness of man, he wishes to owe no part of the indulgence of the world to its forgetfulness. He is at iffue with the party, before the prefent, and if ever he can reach it, before the coming, generation.

The author, feveral months previous to his publication, well knew, that two gentlemen, both of them poffeffed of the moft diftinguifhed abilities, and of a moft decifive authority in the party, had differed with him in one of the moft material parts relative to the French revolution; that is in their opinion of the behaviour of the French foldiery, and its revolt from its officers. At the time of their public declaration on this fubject, he did not imagine the opinion of these two gentlemen had extended a great way beyond themselves. He was however well aware of the probability, that perfons of their juft credit and influence would at length difpofe the greater number to an agreement with their fertiments; and perhaps might induce the whole body to a tacit acquiefcence


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in their declarations, under a natural, and not always an improper diflike of fhewing a difference with thofe who lead their party. I will not deny, that in general this conduct in parties is defenfible; but within what limits the practice is to be circumfcribed, and with what exceptions the doctrine which fupports it is to be received, it is not my present purpose to define. The prefent queftion has nothing to do with their motives; it only regards the public expreffion of their fentiments.

The author is compelled, however reluctantly, to receive the sentence pronounced upon him in the House of Commons as that of the party. It proceeded from the mouth of him who must be regarded as its authentic organ. In a difcuffion which continued for two days, no one gentleman of the opposition interpofed a negative, or even a doubt, in favour of him or of his opinions. If an idea confonant to the doctrine of his book, or favourable to his conduct, lurks in the minds of any perfons in that defcription, it is to be confidered only as a peculiarity which they indulge to their own private liberty of thinking. The author cannot reckon upon it. It has nothing to do with them as members of a party. In their public capacity, in every thing that meets the public ear, or public eye, the body must be confidered as unani


They must have been animated with a very warm. zeal against those opinions, because they were under no neceffity of acting as they did, from any juft cause of apprehenfion that the errors of this writer fhould be taken for theirs. They might difapprove; it was not neceffary they fhould disavow him, as they have done in the whole, and in all the parts of his book; because neither in the whole nor in any of the parts, were they, directly, or by any implication, involved. The author was known indeed to have been VOL. III. B b


warmly, ftrenuously, and affectionately, againft all allurements of ambition, and all poffibility of aliena tion from pride, or perfonal picque, or peevish jealoufy, attached to the Whig party. With one of them he has had a long friendship, which he must ever remember with a melancholy pleasure. To the great, real, and amiable virtues, and to the unequalled abilities of that gentleman, he shall always join with his country in paying a juft tribute of applause. There are others in that party for whom, without any fhade of forrow, he bears as high a degree of love as can enter into the human heart; and as much veneration as ought to be paid to human creatures; because he firmly believes, that they are endowed with as many and as great virtues, as the nature of man is capable of producing, joined to great clearnefs of intellect, to a juft judgment, to a wonderful temper, and to true wifdom. His fentiments with regard to them can never vary, without fubjecting him to the just indignation of mankind, who are bound, and are generally difpofed, to look up with reverence to the best patterns of their fpecies, and fuch as give a dignity to the nature of which we all participate. For the whole of the party he has high refpect. Upon a view indeed of the composition of all parties, he finds great fatisfaction. It is, that in leaving the fervice of his country, he leaves parliament without all comparison richer in abilities than he found it. Very folid and very brilliant talents diftinguish the minifterial benches. The oppofite rows are a fort of feminary of genius, and have brought forth fuch and fo great talents as never before (amongst us at leaft) have appeared together. If their owners are difpofed to ferve their country, (he trufts they are) they are in a condition to render it fervices of the highest importance. If, through mistake or paffion, they are led to contribute to its ruin, we shall at least have a confolation denied to the ruined country


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