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utter destruction, she is “ wholly to lose that preponderance, which she held in the scale of the European powers."

Bless me! this new system of France, after changing all other laws, reverses the law of gravitation. By throwing in weight after weight, her scale rises ; and will, by and by, kick the beam. Certainly there is one sense, in which she loses her preponderance: that is, she is no longer prepon. derant against the countries she has conquered. They are part of herself. But I beg the author to keep his eyes

fixed on the scales for a moment longer, and then to tell me, in downright earnest, whether he sees hitherto any signs of her losing preponderance by an augmentation of weight and power. Has she lost her preponderance over Spain, by her influence in Spain? Are there any signs, that the conquest of Savoy and Nice begins to lessen her preponderance over Switzerland and the Italian states or, that the Canton of Berne, Genoa, and Tuscany, for example, have taken arms against her, or, that Sardinia is more adverse than ever to a treacherous paci. fication ? Was it in the last week of October, that the German states showed, that Jacobin France was losing her preponderance ? Did the King of Prussia, when he delivered into her safe custody his territories on this side of the Rhine, manifest any tokens of his opinion of her loss of preponderance ? Look on Sweden and on Denmark: is her preponderance less visible there?'

According to the noble Lord, France, extended as it then was, would very soon split into a great number of small republics : on which supposition Mr. Burke thus comments:

• Speculate on, good my Lord! provided you ground no part of your politicks on such unsteady speculations. But, as to any practice to ensue, are we not yet cured of the malady of speculating on the circumstances of things totally different from those, in which we live and move? Five years has this monster continued whole and entire in all its members. Far from falling into a division within itself, it is augmented by tremendous additions. We cannot bear to look that frightful form in the face as it is, and in its own actual shape. We dare not be wise. We have not the fortitude of rational fear; we will not provide for our future safety; but we endeavour to hush the cries of present timidity by guesses at what may be hereafter, “To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow.” - Is this our style of talk, “when all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death" Talk not to me of what swarm of republicks may come from this carcass ! It is no carcass. Now, now, whilst we are talking, it is full of life and action. What say you to the Regicide empire of to-day?

The remark sounds strangely in the mouth of the late ambassador at the Hague, is that governments will have learned not to precipitate themselves into embarrassments by speculative wars; and that sovereigns and princes will not forget, that steadiness, moderation, and economy are the best supports of the eminence, on which they stand.” Accordingly, Mr. Burke observes on it ;

«I suspect

74

• I suspect he has a sort of retrospective view to the American war as a speculative war, carried on by England upon one side, and by Louis the XVIth on the other. As to our share of that war, let reverence to the dead, and respect to the living, prevent us from reading lessons of this kind at their expense. I don't know how far the author

may

find himself at liberty to wanton on that subject, but, for my part, I entered into a coalition, which, when I had no longer a duty relative to that business, made me think myself bound in honour not to call it up without necessity.'

We see what a task had been imposed on the noble author; and we cannot wonder that, in executing it, any man should appear to disadvantage, especially when the ground is disputed by such an adversary as Mr. Burke: who, be it recollected, made his attack on him as the herald of the war, the writer of the famed Hague manifesto. It was on their common principles that he forms his onset; and, although labouring under great bodily infirmities, he displays on the occasion all the vigour and alertness of youth : suffering no advantage to escape him, and never permitting his opponent to be indebted to his inerthess or his indulgence. It is to be observed, however, that the weapons of the victorious combatant suited only this particular warfare with quondam disciples, who had viewed the Revolution in the same light with himself, who had shared his sentiments on the subject, and who had until very lately been warm partizans of the war: while it should not be overlooked that there were other adversaries, who from the beginning had set their faces against hostilities, and who, before one drop of blood had been shed in the war of the Revolution, had contended for principles which would have preserved peace to England, and restored that of the continent; - those very principles which were lately proclaimed by the first potentates of Europe with such general approbation. Although these doctrines were urged with matchless ability and eloquence, they made no impression: mankind were not yet ripe for them; and it required years of calamity to establish their authority. These Mr. Burke declined to combat : he

represented them as too preposterous to deserve notice ; and in this view he was sanctioned by the general sentiment of the times. The principles which he maintained here, and in his former Letters on a Regicide Peace, and which he reproaches his associates with deserting, form only one head of those that distinguish his later works; namely, those which respect the external regulations of France. The policy which, he argues, should be observed towards that country is that of open, direct, and unqualified coercion ; and the end proposed to be answered by these principles having lately appeared to be accomplished, it

may

may not be improper to make a few observations on them and the fate which attended them, previously to the recent extraordinary restoration of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Many persons have contended that these and the other principles of Mr. Burke relative to France were inconsistently held by him; be this as it may, it cannot be denied that not only did he maintain them with extraordinary talents and the most ardent zeal, but that, when first announced, they were almost universally well received. People of all classes and descriptions seemed eager to profess them ; rank and fashion declared for them; at home, they were not only countenanced but profusely rewarded and brought into action; foreign potentates also applauded them; they were proclaimed in manifestos, adopted in cabinets, conducted into the field, and supported by immense armies. This triumph, however, did not last long; indeed, scarcely was the new school opened, before the leading disciples deserted; and it was the singular fate of the new principles to be discarded by their earliest and staunchest adherents, by practical statesmen and by men of business. After a considerable interval, we behold the first powers in Europe, of their own free will, and when in a situation apparently the best fitted to inforce them, sit as it were in deli. berate judgment on them, and solemnly and publicly disclaim them ; not, however, until they had undergone repeated trials, and had been found in almost every instance to produce effects the reverse of those which had been promised, to strengthen what they had been employed to demolish, and to establish what they were used to subvert. It happens very singularly that the wars of the Revolution, which Mr. Burke laboured so much to excite, terminated in a formal repeal of his principles, - the principles on which they were established, and frequently renewed. Will the countenance shewn to the system of Mr.Burke account for what we consider as a deep stain in the escutcheon of England, as bearing a part in late transactions ? The proclamation from Frankfort was issued by the arbitrary governments of the continent, and yet is worthy of the most free. Why was England not a party to it? Was it because of the sanction which she had given to different doctrines ?

This fragment on a Regicide Peace is followed by a collection of letters ; which, although in the epistolary form, may be considered as so many small tracts on political topics, and seem to have been penned as if to meet the public eye. At the head of them stands a letter to the late Empress Catharine, in answer to verbal compliments which her ambassador had been instructed to deliver to Mr. Burke, on account of his writings on the French Revolution : but the great publicist was not honoured with a single line from the august personage ; which appears rather singular, when it is considered that she had been for many years the regular and familiar correspondent of several of the French philosophers. Mr. Burke compliments her Imperial majesty on her having an ambassador at Coblentz; where, he says, in an cracular manner which he knew at times very well how to assume, are to be found the king and the nation of France. Another of these letters well deserves notice on account of its admirable contents; it relates to a project which had before been frequently canvassed, but which we are told it was then seriously intended to carry into execution ; namely, to impose a tax on Irish absentees. The subject here undergoes a very masterly discussion, conducted in Mr. Burke's best manner. Never were the mischiefs of short-sighted policy placed in a clearer light, or an oppressive measure more completely exposed. The matter, we presume, is for ever set at rest.

noured

We may now advert to two pieces which, at the time of their being penned, did not yield in attraction to any of the productions in the voluminous collection before us; nor are they without very deep interest in themselves, which is extremely heightened, moreover, by their contrast with the tracts amid which they appear relative to the French Revolution. whole, we regard them as great curiosities. Although they are now published for the first time, they are of a remote date, reaching back to the period of the American war. They consist of two addresses, one to the king, and the other to the American colonies, which were at that time in a state of open insurrection against the parent-country, and they were intended, we are told, to have been presented on the occasion of a proposed secession from parliament of those members of both houses who voted in opposition: a measure which, we are informed, had likewise been determined, but, for reasons that do not appear, was never carried into execution, on which account (we suppose) these papers lay dormant. No sooner do we cast our eyes on these tracts, than we wholly lose sight of the person with whom we have lately been so much in converse ; who was the very pink of loyalty and the idolater of established authority, who deemed it the highest crime to lift up a finger against despotism, and in whose judgment a people at variance with its rulers must cease to be a nation, and can consist only of rebels. This most supple individualnow altogether disappears ; we no longer listen to his smooth harangues, but our ears are assailed by the loud complaints of some turbulent republican, or, to speak according to the modern fashion, a rank jacobin. Yet it is no other than Mr. Burke himself, who, in the first of these addresses, tells the king that the disorders which prevail in the colonies are owing to the usual and natural causes of such events, to plans laid in obstinacy and pursued with weakness, and that the insurrection cannot have taken place without occasion. He reprobates in the strongest terms the severity of the measures adopted against the colonies; such measures, he asserts, ought to fail, and he predicts that they will : but, should it prove otherwise, he says, the result would be fatal to the liberties of the mother-country. He consequently applauds the resistance, insists on the deep interest which the subjects at home have in its success, and deprecates its discontinuance until its object has been fully attained. In this production, we recognize the intrepid statesman who was wont to declare that he did not know w how to frame an indictment against a whole people ! or to find a verdict of guilty against a nation :" -- in this paper, liberty is held up as paramount to every thing else, and nought besides is worthy of our consideration : to intrench on her or to violate her rights is the height of misdoing; not to provide against casualties which may prove injurious to her is a heinous offence; and openly to outrage her is to introduce distraction into a state, and to prepare for its ruin. The liberty of our Americans cannot, the author says, be invaded, without endangering that of Great Britain: she cannot be ill-treated in the colonies without suffering at home; and no affront can be offered to her on the other side of the Atlantic, without her receiving an insult among ourselves, which it is the bounden duty of her friends to resent. — Did ever the language of liberty assume a more: lofty tone, or were ever the rights of the people carried farther ?. When was the maxim that the end of government is the wellbeing of the governed more strenuously maintained, than in this address to royalty ? Mr. Burke tells the king:

• We are sure that we must have your Majesty's heart along with us, when we declare in favour of mixing something conciliatory with

Sir, we abhor the idea of making a conquest of our countrymen. We wish, that they may yield to well ascertained, well authenticated, and well secured, terms of reconciliation; not, that your Majesty should owe the recovery of your dominions to their total waste and destruction. Humanity will not permit us to enter, tain such a desire ; „nor will the reverence we bear to the civil rights of mankind make us even wish, that questions of great difficulty, of the last importance, and lying deep in the vital principles of the British constitution, should be solved by the arms of foreign mer. cenary soldiers.'

• What, gracious Sovereign, is the empire of America to us, or the empire of the world, if we lose our own liberties? We deprecate this last of evils. We deprecate the effect of the doctrines, which

must

our force.

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