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bearing part of our foreign establishment in peace. She aids us at all times by the money that her absentees spend amongst us; which is no small part of the rental of that kingdoin. Thus Ireland contributes her part. Some objects bear port duties; some are fitter for an inland excise. The mode varies; the object is the same. To strain these from their old and inveterate leanings, might impair the old benefit, and not answer the end of the new project. Among all the great men of antiquity, Procrustes shall never be my hero of legislation ; with his iron bed, the allegory of his government, and the type of some modern policy, by which the long limb was to be cut short, and the short tortured into length. Such was the statebed of uniformity! He would, I conceive, be a very indifferent farmer, who complained that his sheep did not plough, or his horses yield him wool ; though it would be an idea full of equality. They may think this right in, rustic economy, who think it available in the politic;
Qui Bavium non odit, amet tua carmina Mævi!
He proceeds to an attack upon the Grenville Administration, which, though somewhat exaggerated, is in many respects just; vindicates the Rockingham Ministry, not without evident partiality; makes a very high panegyric on his patron, and the connections of the party; and animadverts, with cutting severity, on their successors in office. , ,
There is one excellence which I shall have occasion frequently to remark in the writings and speeches of Burke. They abound in the wisest general observations, descriptions of mankind, and lessons of conduct. This essay contains a very striking picture of political profligacy, in its progress and consequences. There is something,' he says, • uncertain on the confines of the two empires which they first pass through, and which renders the change easy and imperceptible. There is even a sort of splendid impositions, so well contrived, that, at the very time the path of rectitude is quitted for ever, men seem advancing into some nobler road of public conduct. Not that such im
lature. The substance of this speech is published only in the Parliamentary Debates., In the state in which they give it, it displays a most extensive and accurate acquaintance with parliamentary history and cases, and the soundest nations of political expediency.
This session American affairs afforded Burke a subject for the exhibition of his eloquence and wisdom. It was proposed by Ministry to revive the statute of Henry VIII. by which the King is empowered to appoint a commission in England for the trial of treason committed beyond seas. Against this proposed revival Burke directed the force of his powers. The plan of bringing delinquents from the province of Massachus sets to England, to be tried, was, he cons tended, in its principle inconsistent with the law of England. In this country, a man charged with a crime is tried near the place where it is alledged to have been committed ; that, if innocent, he may have the means of acquittal. It was iniquitous in its operation. By taking the acciused to an immense disa
stance from his friends and business, it ren-dered it impossible, unless to men of great opulence, to endure the expence of bringing the evidence necessary to vindication. The judges, who were to be of the mother country, would be persons against whom the accused was supposed to have transgressed; the prosecution, in effect, would be condemnation, and so the great purposes of justice entirely defeated. Even if the mode proposed were just, it would be attended with such difficulty of execution as would, in every prudential view, amount to impracticability. The attempt would irritate the colonies, whilst its inefficacy would not restrain dangerous practices. Unfortunately, experience confirmed the anticipation of sagacity,—the proposal exasperated the Americans, the plan afforded no obstruction to their disorders,