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ric. But this assertion too, just like the rest, is false.' The idea, that a Dean would serve the Court in order to become a Bishop, was certainly derogatory to the clerical character. Doctor Tucker disavowed so corrupt motives, in a letter addressed to Mr. Burke.
In that letter he endeavoured to draw Mr. Burke's character, as a speaker and a writer, in the following words : “My only difficulty,' says he, is to state your meaning with accuracy and precision. Not that you yourself are unable to express your own thoughts with the utmost clearness, as well as energy, but you are unwilling; for you excel in the art of ambiguous expressions, i.e. in giving one sense to your readers, and reserving another to yourself, if called upon to defend what you have said. You excel, I say, in this art, perhaps the most of any nian living. Sometimes you express more than you mean, and at other times less ; but at all times you have one general end in view, viz: to amuse with tropes and
figures, and great swelling words, your audience or your readers, and not to let them see your drift and intention till you have drawn your net around them. That Burke could express himself with great ambiguity, and involve his meaning in tropes and figures, is undoubtedly true: he could speak or write in any style he chose: but this speech, to which Dr. Tucker refers, is as perspicuous as any speech that could be written, as an impartial reader must immediately perceive. The passage respecting
Tucker himself is as clear as any in the whole speech, and without a trope or figure from the beginning to the end of it. Burke's allegation is simply this: Tucker asserts, that the opposition in Parliament to the stamp-act caused the disturb.inces in America. • This assertion is false. In all the papers which have loaded your table, in all the vast crowd of verbal witnesses that appeared at your bar--witnesses which were indiscriminately produced from both sides of the house, not the least hint of such a cause of disturbance has ever appeared:
Burke's meaning here is obvious, and perfectly free from the studied anbiguity imputed to him by the Dean: plainer or more precise language cannot be found. His conjecture also about Tucker's motives, whether just or not, is certainly so expressed as to be very intelligible. It would appear that the Dean, who is himself a very vigorous and precise reasoner when he chuses, here, instead of speaking directly to the point, the primary causes of the disturbances in America, and to Burke's particular attack on his arguments, turns aside to irrelative cbservations on Burke's general mode of expression.
Some months after this reply, when, at the general election, a great body of the Eristol voters requested (as has been said) Burke to stand candidate, Dr. Tucker exerted himself to oppose his success. In this opposition he co-operated with Lord Nugent, who was the friend of Tucker, and inimical to the party that supported Burke. The Dean now proposed a plan, differing
on the one hand from the conciliatory intention of Burke, on the other from the coercive plans of Ministry. This was, a total separation of the mother country from the colonies; a proposition attacked in Johnson's ministerial. Taxation no Tyranny, and mentioned with the most slighting contempt in Burke's Speech on Conciliation. • Another plan has indeed been started, that of giving up the colonies; but it met so slight a reception, that I do not think myself obliged to dwell a great while upon it. It is nothing but a little sally of anger, like the frowardness of peevish children ; who, when they cannot get all they would have, are resolved to have nothing at all.' From the event it appears, that even a total separation would have been more fortunate for us without hostilities, than a plan of coercion, which, after a long and expensive war, was to end with that separation. The event has justified the anticipation of Dean Tucker's sagacity.
The Minister proposed a bill to prohibit all trade and commerce with the United Colonies, with severe penalties against those who should transgress the law; and commissioners to enforce its observance. One of the ablest supporters of the proposition was Mr. Wedderburne, who reasoned with an ingenuity that few could equal. Burke opposed the motion with his usual ability, as of the greatest detriment to Britain, and ineffectual against America. · When the colonies,' said he, found they would not be supplied by this country, they would go to other markets. Britain would lose a great source of wcalth, with little annoyance to the colonies, and to the gain of foreign nations. Besides future trade, it would be injurious as to the past, as great debts were owing to the British merchants from the colonies ; and if all commerce was prohibited, an immediate stop would be put to payments; that thus merchants would be ruined without the cause of Government being advanced. Th¢ bill was retrospective, for by it the Minister inflicted punishment