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slower mind, with an ordinary recollection of common-place precepts, would have avoided. • Thus,' (says Burke, after having confuted vague reports circulated by court: hirelings) · are blown away the insect-race of courtly falsehoods! Thus perish the miserable inventions of the wretched runner's for a wretched cause, which they have flyblown into every weak and rotten part of the country, in vain hopes that when their inaggots had taken wing, their importunate buzzing might sound something like the public voice.' A rhetorician might probably tell us that the falsehoods are considered first metaphorically as insects, again literally as inventions, and immediately afterwards as inse. is, all in the same sentence. Critics of more intellectual expansion than verbal minuteness miglit reply, that the figure, whether rhetorically accurate or not, yet produces the intended effect of exciting contempt.
A send bill respecting American affairs was now proposed. From the disorders in
Massachuset's Bay, it was asserted by Ministers that the civil government of that province was inadequate to the remedy of the alledged defects : it was proposed to enact a law to deprive the lower House of Assembly of the privilege of electing the members of the council, and to vest that power in the Crown; and also to vest in the King or Governor the appointment of magistrates and judges. This bill was vigorously opposed by many members. Burke contended that there was no evidence to justify such a deviation from the constitution of the colonies, and such an accession of power to the Crown. A third act was proposed for empowering the Governor, with adyice of council, to send to Egland, to be, tried, any person who, in the support of : the revenue laws, or suppression of riots, should be charged with murder. We find no speech of Burke upon this bill. A fourth act was proposed for the government of Canada, to secure to the inhabitants the Roman Catholic religion, to its clergy the tithes, to supersede trial by jury, to re
establish the French mode in its place, and to appoint a council dependent on the King's pleasure. This bill originated in the House of Lords. In opposing it in the House of Commons, Burke principally gave vent to his humour, in which, though he abounded, it seldom formed the leading characteristic of any of his speeches.
During the recess after this session, Burke received, at Beaconsfield, a visit from his friend Johnson. On viewing Burke's beautiful villa, he exclaimed, in the words of the exiled Mantuan to the restored Virgil,
• Non equidem in video miror magis.' Although these two great men had frequently political disputes in town, here there was no altercation. The polite host refrained from subjects of contention. The guest had so much breeding as to abstain from unprovoked attacks, in his own house, on a man of the most engaging hospitality. Mr. and Mrs. Burke exerted themselves to please their illustrious visitor, whom Mr. Burke venerated for kindred genius, and his lady, because so prized by her husband;
and so effectually studied his pleasure, that he declared he never passed his time with so much delight and instruction. Indeed, the sole conversation of each other must have been, to those eminent personages, a treat which they seldom experienced. In town they often met, but though generally in company respectable for talents and knowledge, far inferior to themselves.is
Burke's attention to the sage did not prevent him from betowing every mark of polite attention on his other guests. He, as a landlord, exercised that hospitality which is the result of good sense and good dispositions, polished by an extensive intercourse with the politest society; dividing his attention to his different guests, and drawing every one of them to converse on the subjects with which he knew them best acquainted. Mrs. Thrale, who might very probably construe the politeness of Burke into an admiration of those talents and acquirements with which she herself and many others believed her to be endowed, declares
it was a most delightful party. Burke made his guests pleased with themselves, with each other, and consequently with their entertainer. Although his fulness could not avoid venting itself, yet did he manage his conversation so as not to mortify others by a sense of their inferiority, or overbear them with his powers. They felt they were delighted, and knew they were instructed by the discourse, without being drawn to a humiliating comparison with the speaker. He never brought his strength to a comparative trial, unless provoked by ‘an attack, nor indeed always then.
Mrs. Thrale, who has been more careful in marking the defects of her friend's manners than the perfections of his understanding, the former being, probably, more within the reach of her observation than the latter, mentions a strange compliment paid by Johnson to Burke at parting. The general election called them all different ways. Mr. Burke being to set out for Bristol, to stånd candidate, for which he