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been given of the separation of these two gentlemen. Some have imputed it to a difference in political sentiments, others to a private quarrel; whereas neither was the cause. There was no diversity in their political opinions, which might not have been compromised; and they had no private quarrel. They separated on the following grounds, as I am assured by an intimate friend of both, a member of the present parliament, high in the public estimation, who often conversed with each on the subject; and, besides, saw a letter written by Burke to Hamilton, explaining the grounds and motives of his conduct. Burke, soon perceiving that the abilities which he, and all who knew him, admired in Hamilton were not accompanied with the industry necessary to enable their possessor to rise high in the political world, often, both by word and letter, endeavoured to stimulate his friend to more exertion, but in vain. Finding his efforts ineffectual, he wroté a letter, the substance of which was an expostulation concerning Hamilton's indolence, reminding him that he himself had a growing family to maintain, and must turn his talents to what would be useful ; and, on that account, that he must politically associate with men of more active exertions. This, I can aver, was the substance of the letter which explained the political separation of Hamilton and Burke; a separation which, though it prevented the continuance of their close intimacy, never rose to a quarrel.
However expedient it might be for Burke to break off political intercourse with Hamilton, as a most profound admirer of his genius, I do not rejoice at the commencement of his connection with the Marquis of Rockingham. From that time he may be considered as a PARTY MAN. BURKE OUGHT NOT TO HAVE STOOPED TO BE THE OBJECT OF PATRONAGE. Like his friend Johnson, he should have depended entirely on his own extraordinary powers. He would have been able uniformly to act as his own genius prompted him, instead of employing his talents in giving currency to the doc- . trines of others—to have wielded his own club instead of a party distaff. In this part of their conduct, Johnson and Hume, the only two literary characters of the age who can be placed in the same rank with Burke, acted more worthily of the superiority with which they were blessed by nature. They ATTACHED THEMSELVES TO NO GRANDEES : THEY DID NOT DEGRADE THE NATIVE DIGNITY OF GENIUS, by becoming retainers to : the ADVENTITIOUS dignity of rank. Johnson in his garret, the abode of independence, was superior to Burke in his villa, the fee of a party. The former earned his subsistence by his labour, the latter received his by donative. Johnson was independent, Burke dependent. Besides, the very extraordinary talents of Burke did not tend to promote party objects more effe iually than' good abilities, many degrees inferior to his, and mere knowledge of business, would have done. But had he been as superior to others in party skill, as in genius and knowledge, the fertility of his fancy and the irritability
of his temper must often have prevented him from directing his skill steadily to the most useful ends. For so much irascibility a situation of contention was ill suited.
'I am informed by the same friend of Hamilton and Burke, that the former gave an opinion concerning the latter, not undeserving of attention, as it illustrates some parts of his conduct.
• Whatever opinion Burke, from any motive, supports, so ductile is his imagination, that he soon conceives it to be right:
There are certainly some parts of his conduct, for which this alledged defect in his powerful mind would account more favourably to his sincerity than his detractors have done. Guided by his imagination, his energetic understanding might have been led into erroneous conclusions, which a common mind wonld have escaped. Bucephalus, if he had not been strongly reined and skilfully managed, would have run away with Alex
ander; whilst a very ordinary rider of a common jade kept steadily on in the direct road.
Hamilton's opinion is certainly more hoc, nourable to Burke than that of those who assert he changed his doctrines from corrupt motives; I trust, however, it will, in the course of this narrative, appear that HE DID NOT CHANGE HIS DOCTRINES; but was, in the whole of his conduct, consistent. This is an opinion that will be firmly maintained by those who most accurately, minutely, and comprehensively examine his history. His imagination certainly operated very powerfully, and had a considerable influence on his opinions; an influence, however, that, on every important subject, his reason 'vigorously controuled.
Mr. Hamilton used to observe, that Burke knew every subject of human knowledge except two-gaming and music. He said he was as ignorant of music as any pretended connoisseur in operas.