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if through levity, inexperience, or ambition, any man's political life to raise another to power, it is young person (like Mr. Pitt, for instance) happens right to consider what are the real dispositions of to be once embarked in their design, they shall, by the person to be so elevated. We are not to form a false shame, keep him fast in it for ever. Many our judgment on these dispositions from the rules they have so hampered.

and principles of a court of justice, but from those 46. I know it is usual, when the peril and alarm of private discretion; not looking for what would of the hour appears to be a little overblown, to serve to criminate another, but what is sufficient think no more of the matter. But for my part, to direct ourselves. By a comparison of a series I look back with horrour on what we have escaped ; of the discourses and actions of certain men, for a and am full of anxiety with regard to the dangers, reasonable length of time, it is impossible not to which, in my opinion, are still to be apprehended obtain sufficient indication of the general tenboth at home and abroad. This business has cast dency of their views and principles. There is no deep roots. Whether it is necessarily connected other rational mode of proceeding. It is true, that in theory with jacobinism is not worth a dispute. in some one or two, perhaps, not well-weighed The two things are connected in fact. The par- expressions, or some one or two unconnected and tisans of the one are the partisans of the other. I doubtful affairs, we may and ought to judge of know it is common with those who are favourable the actions or words by our previous good or to the gentlemen of Mr. Fox's party, and to their ill opinion of the man. But this allowance has leader, though not at all devoted to all their its bounds. It does not extend to any regular reforming projects, or their Gallican politicks, to course of systematical action, or of constant and argue in palliation of their conduct, that it is not repeated discourse. It is against every principle of in their power to do all the harm which their common sense and of justice to one's self, and to actions evidently tend to. It is said, that as the the publick, to judge of a series of speeches and people will not support them, they may safely be actions from the man, and not of the man from indulged in those eccentrick fancies of reform, the whole tenour of his language and conduct. I and those theories which lead to nothing. This have stated the above matters, not as inferring a apology is not very much to the honour of those criminal charge of evil intention. If I had meant politicians, whose interests are to be adhered to in to do so, perhaps they are stated with tolerable defiance of their conduct. I cannot flatter myself exactness.-But I had no such view. The intenthat these incessant attacks on the constitution of tions of these gentlemen may be very pure. I do parliament are safe. It is not in my power to de- not dispute it. But I think they are in some great spise the unceasing efforts of a confederacy of about errour. If these things are done by Mr. Fox and fifty persons of eminence; men, for the far greater his friends with good intentions, they are not done part, of very ample fortunes either in possession or less dangerously; for it shews these good intentions in expectancy; men of decided characters and are not under the direction of safe maxims and vehement passions, men of very great talents of all principles. kinds ; of much boldness, and of the greatest pos- 48. Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, and the gentlemen sible spirit of artifice, intrigue, adventure, and en- who call themselves the phalanx, have not been terprise, all operating with unwearied activity and so very indulgent to others. They have thought perseverance. These gentlemen are much stronger proper to ascribe to those members of the house of too without doors than some calculate. They have commons, who, in exact agreement with the Duke the more active part of the dissenters with them ; of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam, abhor and opand the whole clan of speculators of all denomina- pose the French system, the basest and most untions—a large and growing species. They have worthy motives for their conduct ;-as if none that floating multitude which goes with events, could oppose that atheistick, immoral, and impoand which suffers the loss or gain of a battle to litick project set up in France, so disgraceful and decide its opinions of right and wrong. As long destructive, as I conceive, to human nature itself, as by every art this party keeps alive a spirit of but with some sinister intentions. They treat those disaffection against the very constitution of the members on all occasions with a sort of lordly inkingdom, and attributes, as lately it has been in solence, though they are persons that (whatever the habit of doing, all the publick misfortunes to homage they may pay to the eloquence of the that constitution, it is absolutely impossible but gentlemen who choose to look down upon them that some moment must arrive, in which they will with scorn) are not their inferiours in any partibe enabled to produce a pretended reform and a cular which calls for and obtains just consideration real revolution. If ever the body of this com- from the publick; not their inferiours in knowpound constitution of ours is subverted either ledge of publick law, or of the constitution of the in favour of unlimited monarchy, or of wild de- kingdom; not their inferiours in their acquaintmocracy, that ruin will most certainly be the ance with its foreign and domestick interests ; result of this very sort of machinations against not their inferiours in experience or practice of the house of commons. It is not from a confi- business ; not their inferiours in moral character ; dence in the views or intentions of any statesman, not their inferiours in the proofs they have given that I think he is to be indulged in these perilous of zeal and industry in the service of their country. amusements.

Without denying to these gentlemen the respect 47. Before it is made the great object of any and consideration which, it is allowed, justly be

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longs to them, we see no reason why they should line of conduct conformable to those opinions, not as well be obliged to defer something to our pursued by Mr. Fox, must become a matter of opinions, as that we should be bound blindly and serious alarm if he should obtain a power either at servilely to follow those of Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, court or in parliament, or in the nation at large; Mr. Grey, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Lambton, Mr. and for this plain reason—He must be the most Whitbread, Mr. Taylor, and others. We are mem- active and efficient member in any administration bers of parliament and their equals. We never of which he shall form a part. That a man, or consider ourselves as their followers. These set of men, are guided by such not dubious, but gentlemen (some of them hardly born, when some delivered and avowed, principles and maxims of

, of us came into parliament) have thought proper policy as to need a watch and check on them, in to treat us as deserters, as if we had been listed the exercise of the highest power, ought, in my into their phalanx like soldiers, and had sworn opinion, to make every man, who is not of the to live and die in their French principles. This same principles, and guided by the same maxims, insolent claim of superiority on their part, and a little cautious how he makes himself one of the of a sort of vassalage to them on that of other traverses of a ladder, to help such a man, or such members, is what no liberal mind will submit to a set of men, to climb up to the highest authority. bear.

A minister of this country is to be contrculed by 49. The Society of the Liberty of the Press, the the house of commons. He is to be trusted, not Whig Club, and the Society for Constitutional In- controuled, by his colleagues in office; if he were formation, and (I believe) the Friends of the Peo- to be controuled, government, which ought to be ple, as well as some clubs in Scotland, have indeed the source of order, would itself become a scene declared, “ That their confidence in, and attach- of anarchy. Besides, Mr. Fox is a man of an “ment to, Mr. Fox has lately been confirmed, aspiring and commanding mind, made rather to

strengthened, and encreased, by the calumnies controul than to be controuled, and he never will

(as they are called) against him.” It is true, be, nor can be, in any administration, in which Mr. Fox and his friends have those testimonies in he will be guided by any of those whom I have their favour, against certain old friends of the been accustomed to confide in. It is absurd to Duke of Portland. Yet, on a full, serious, and, think that he would or could. If his own opiI think, dispassionate consideration of the whole of nions do not controul him, nothing can. When what Mr. Fox and Mr. Sheridan and their friends we consider of an adherence to a man which leads have acted, said, and written, in this session, in- to his power, we must not only see what the man stead of doing any thing which might tend to pro- is, but how he stands related. It is not to be cure power, or any share of it whatsoever, to them forgotten that Mr. Fox acts in close and insepaor to their phalanx, (as they call it,) or to encrease rable connexion with another gentleman of extheir credit , influence, or popularity in the nation, actly the same description as himself, and who,

, I think it one of my most serious and important perhaps, of the two, is the leader. The rest of the publick duties, in whatsoever station I may be body are not a great deal more tractable ; and placed for the short time I have to live, effectu- over them if Mr. Fox and Mr. Sheridan have ally to employ my best endeavours, by every pru- authority, most assuredly the Duke of Portland dent and every lawful means, to traverse all their has not the smallest degree of influence. designs. I have only to lament, that my abilities 51. One must take care, that a blind partiality are not greater, and that my probability of life is to some persons, and as blind a hatred to others, not better, for the more effectual pursuit of that may not enter into our minds under a colour of object. But I trust that neither the principles nor inflexible publick principle. We hear, as a reason exertions will die with me. I am the rather con- for clinging to Mr. Fox at present, that nine years firmed in this my resolution, and in this my

wish ago Mr. Pitt got into power by mischievous inof transmitting it, because every ray of hope con- trigues with the court, with the dissenters, and cerning a possible controul or mitigation of the with other factious people out of parliament, to the enormous mischiefs which the principles of these discredit and weakening of the power of the house gentlemen, and whic! their connexions, full as of commons. His conduct nine years ago, I still dangerous as their principles, might receive from hold to be very culpable. There are, however, the influence of the Duke of Portland and Lord many things very culpable that I do not know how Fitzwilliam, on becoming their colleagues in to punish. My opinion, on such matters, I must office, is now entirely banished from the mind of submit to the good of the state, as I have done on every one living. It is apparent, even to the other occasions; and particularly with regard to world at large, that, so far from having a power to the authors and managers of the American war, direct or to guide Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. with whom I have acted, both in office and in Grey, and the rest, in any important matter, they opposition, with great confidence and cordiality, have not, through this session, been able to prevail though I thought many of their acts criminal and on them to forbear, or to delay, or mitigate, or impeachable. Whilst the misconduct of Mr. Pitt soften, any one act, or any one expression, upon and his associates was yet recent, it was not possubjects on which they essentially differed. sible to get Mr. Fox of himself to take a single

50. Even if this hope of a possible control did step, or even to countenance others in taking any exist, yet the declared opinions and the uniform step upon the ground of that misconduct and

false policy, though if the matters had been then is, Mr. Pitt or Mr. Fox, must be minister. They taken

up and pursued, such a step could not have are, I am sorry for it, irreconcilable. Mr. Fox's appeared so evidently desperate as now it is. So conduct in this session has rendered the idea of his far from pursuing Mr. Pitt, I know that then, power a matter of serious alarm to many people, and for some time after, some of Mr. Fox's friends

who were

very

little pleased with the proceedings were actually, and with no small earnestness, look of Mr. Pitt in the beginning of his administraing out to a coalition with that gentleman. For tion. They like neither the conduct of Mr. Pitt, , years I never heard this circumstance of Mr. Pitt's in 1784, nor that of Mr. Fox, in 1793 ; but they misconduct on that occasion mentioned by Mr. estimate which of the evils is most pressing at the Fox, either in publick or in private, as a ground time, and what is likely to be the consequence of a for opposition to that minister. All opposition, change. If Mr. Fox be wedded, they must be senfrom that period to this very session, has proceed-sible, that his opinions and principles, on the now ed upon the separate measures as they separately existing state of things at home and abroad, must arose, without any vindictive retrospect to Mr. be taken as his portion. In his train must also be Pitt's conduct in 1784. My memory, however, taken the whole body of gentlemen who are may fail me. I must appeal to the printed debates, pledged to him and to each other, and to their which (so far as Mr. Fox is concerned) are un- common politicks and principles.— I believe no usually accurate.

king of Great Britain ever will adopt, for his con52. Whatever might have been in our power, fidential servants, that body of gentlemen, holding at an early period, at this day I see no remedy that body of principles. Even if the present king for what was done in 1784. I had no great hopes or his successor should think fit to take that step, even at the time.

I was therefore very eager to I apprehend a general discontent of those, who record a remonstrance on the journals of the house wish that this nation and that Europe should conof commons, as a caution against such a popular tinue in their present state, would ensue; a disdelusion in times to come; and this I then feared, content, which, combined with the principles and and now am certain, is all that could be done. I progress of the new men in power, would shake know of no way of animadverting on the Crown. this kingdom to its foundations. I do not believe I know of no mode of calling to account the house any one political conjuncture can be more certain of lords, who threw out the India bill, in a way than this. not much to their credit. As little, or rather less, 53. Without at all defending or palliating Mr. am I able to coerce the people at large, who be- Pitt's conduct in 1784, I must observe, that the haved very unwisely and intemperately on that crisis of 1793, with regard to every thing at home occasion. Mr. Pitt was then accused, by me as and abroad, is full as important as that of 1784 well as others, of attempting to be minister with- ever was; and, if for no other reason, by being out enjoying the confidence of the house of com- present, is much more important. It is not to nine mons, though he did enjoy the confidence of the years ago we are to look for the danger of Mr. Crown. That house of commons, whose confi- Fox's and Mr. Sheridan's conduct, and that of dence he did not enjoy, unfortunately did not it- the gentlemen who act with them. It is at this self enjoy the confidence (though we well deserved very time, and in this very session, that, if they it) either of the Crown or of the publick. For had not been strenuously resisted, they would not want of that confidence, the then house of com- merely have discredited the house of commons, (as mons did not survive the contest. Since that pe- Mr. Pitt did in 1784, when he persuaded the king riod Mr. Pitt has enjoyed the confidence of the to reject their advice, and to appeal from them to Crown, and of the lords, and of the house of com- the people,) but in my opinion, would have been mons, through two successive parliaments ; and I the means of wholly subverting the house of comsuspect that he has ever since, and that he does mons and the house of peers, and the whole constill, enjoy as large a portion, at least, of the constitution actual and virtual, together with the safety fidence of the people without doors, as his great and independence of this nation, and the peace rival. Before whom, then, is Mr. Pitt to be im- and settlement of every state in the now christian peached, and by whom? The more I consider the world. It is to our opinion of the nature of jacomatter, the more firmly I am convinced, that the binism, and of the probability, by corruption, facidea of proscribing Mr. Pitt indirectly, when you tion, and force, of its gaining ground every where, cannot directly punish him, is as chimerical a pro- that the question whom and what you are to supject, and as unjustifiable, as it would be to have port is to be determined. For my part, without proscribed Lord North. For supposing, that by doubt or hesitation, I look upon jacobinism as the indirect ways of opposition, by opposition upon most dreadful and the most shameful evil, which measures which do not relate to the business of ever afflicted mankind, a thing which goes beyond 1784, but which on other grounds might prove the

power of all calculation in its mischief; and unpopular, you were to drive him from his seat, that if it is suffered to exist in France, we must this would be no example whatever of punish- in England, and speedily too, fall into that calament for the matters we charge as offences in 1784. mity. On a cool and dispassionate view of the affairs of 54. I figure to myself the purpose of these genthis time and country, it appears obvious to me, tlemen accomplished, and this ministry destroyed. that one or the other of those two great men, that I see that the persons, who in that case must rule, can be no other than Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. species of modern politicks not easily comprehensiGrey, the Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord Thurlow, ble, and which must end in the ruin of the country, Lord Lauderdale, and the Duke of Norfolk, with if it should continue and spread. Mr. Pitt may the other chiefs of the friends of the people, the be the worst of men, and Mr. Fox may be the parliamentary reformers, and the admirers of the best; but, at present, the former is in the interest French Revolution. The principal of these are all of his country, and of the order of things long formally pledged to their projects. If the Duke established in Europe: Mr. Fox is not. I have, of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam should be ad- for one, been born in this order of things, and mitted into that system, (as they might and pro- would fain die in it. I am sure it is sufficient to bably would be,) it is quite certain they could not make men as virtuous, as happy, and as knowing, have the smallest weight in it; less, indeed, than as any thing which Mr. Fox, and his friends abroad what they now possess, if less were possible: be- or at home, would substitute in its place; and I cause they would be less wanted than they now should be sorry that any set of politicians should are ; and because all those who wished to join obtain power in England, whose principles or them, and to act under them, have been rejected schemes should lead them to countenance persons by the Duke of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam or factions whose object is to introduce some new themselves; and Mr. Fox, finding them thus by devised order of things into England, or to suptheniselves disarmed, has built quite a new fabrick, port that order, where it is already introduced, in upon quite a new foundation. There is no trifling France; a place, in which if it can be fixed, in on this subject. We see very distinctly before us my mind, it must have a certain and decided inthe ministry that would be formed, and the plan Auence in and upon this kingdom. This is my that would be pursued. If we like the plan, we account of my conduct to my private friends. Í must wish the power of those who are to carry it have already said all I wish to say, or nearly so, into execution : but to pursue the political exalta- to the publick. I write this with pain, and with a tion of those whose political measures we disap- heart full of grief. prove, and whose principles we dissent from, is a

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PRE FACE

TO THE

ADDRESS OF M. BRISSOT TO HIS CONSTITUENTS.

TRANSLATED

BY THE LATE WILLIAM BURKE, ESQ.

1794.

The French Revolution has been the subject of actor in all the scenes which he presents. No various speculations, and various histories. As man can object to him as a royalist : the royal might be expected, the royalists and the repub-party, and the Christian religion, never had a licans have differed a good deal in their accounts more determined enemy. In a word it is Brisof the principles of that Revolution, of the springs sor.--It is Brissot, the republican, the jacobin, which have set it in motion, and of the true cha- and the philosopher, who is brought to give an racter of those who have been, or still are, the account of jacobinism, and of republicanism, and principal actors on that astonishing scene. of philosophy.

They, who are inclined to think favourably of It is worthy of observation, that this his account that event, will undoubtedly object to every state of the genius of jacobinism, and its effects, is not of facts which comes only from the authority of a confined to the period in which that faction came royalist. Thus much must be allowed by those to be divided within itself. In several, and those who are the most firmly attached to the cause of very important, particulars, Brissot's observations religion, law, and order, (for of such, and not of apply to the whole of the preceding period, before friends to despotism, the royal party is composed,) the great schism, and whilst the jacobins acted as that their very affection to this generous and one body; insomuch, that the far greater part of manly cause, and their abhorrence of a Revolu- the proceedings of the ruling powers, since the tion, not less fatal to liberty than to government, commencement of the Revolution in France, so may possibly lead them in some particulars to a strikingly painted, so strongly and so justly repromore harsh representation of the proceedings of bated by Brissot, were the acts of Brissot himself their adversaries, than would be allowed by the and his associates. All the members of the Gicold neutrality of an impartial judge. This sort rondin subdivision were as deeply concerned as of errour arises from a source highly laudable ; any of the Mountain could possibly be, and some but the exactness of truth may suffer even from of them much more deeply, in those horrid transthe feelings of virtue. History will do justice to actions which have filled all the thinking part of the intentions of worthy men ; but it will be on Europe with the greatest detestation, and with its guard against their infirmities; it will exa- the most serious apprehensions for the common mine, with great strictness of scrutiny, whatever liberty and safety. appears from a writer in favour of his own cause. A question will very naturally be asked, what On the other hand, whatever escapes him, and could induce Brissot to draw such a picture ? He makes against that cause, comes with the greatest must have been sensible it was his own. The weight.

answer is--the inducement was the same with that In this important controversy, the translator of which led him to partake in the perpetration of the following work brings forward to the English all the crimes, the calamitous effects of which he tribunal of opinion the testimony of a witness describes with the pen of a master--ambition. His beyond all exception. His competence is un faction having obtained their stupendous and undoubted. He knows every thing which concerns natural power, by rooting out of the minds of his this Revolution to the bottom. He is a chief unhappy countrymen every principle of religion,

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