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revolutions in France and in England, and thinking his friend's construction of his observations uncandid, declared, that Mr. Sheridan and he were from that moment separated for ever in politics. Mr. Sheridan (he said) has sacrificed my frindship in exchange for the applause of clubs and associa tions: I assure him he will find the acquisi tion too insignificant to be worth the price at which it is purchased.'

With a mind, from such a range of knowledge, and such powers of investigation and induction, so principled, as he possessed, Burke had, from the beginning, betaken himself to consider the series of the French proceedings; and to procure from every quarter such information as could enable him to understand the several parts, and comprehend the whole. The accurate Editor of his Posthumous Works inform that he desired all persons of his acquaintance, who were going to Paris (and curiosity attracted many) to bring him whatever they could collect, of the greatest circulation,

us,

both on the one side and the other. It was with this view that he corresponded with Thomas Paine, as I have already mentioned. He had not only many correspondents among the English and Americans residing in France, but also among the natives, to whom, as well as to other foreigners, he had always done the honours of this country, as far as his means would permit him, with liberal hospitality. Among others, he received letters, endeavouring to trick out the events of the revolution in the most gaudy colouring, from Mr. Christie, and Baron Cloots, afterwards better known by the name of Anacharsis. It was in answer to a letter of this kind, from a French gentleman, that he wrote his celebrated Reflexions.'

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The sentiments and opinions declared in the House of Commons by Messrs. Fox and Sheridan induced Burke to enlarge his Reflexions from the first sketch, and more closely to contemplate its probable influence on British minds. Dr. Price's Sermon, preached some months before, and then pub

lished, appeared to him to contain principles very different from those which had established and preserved our constitution; and to praise certain parts of the French proceedings on grounds which, if admitted in this country, he thought would tend to overturn the existing polity. He now, therefore, viewed the French system not only as likely to affect those immediately within the sphere of its operation, but as likely to be · held up by its votaries and admirers as a model for this country. Farther additions ́ were successively made, as the French proceedings and plans more completely unfolded their principles and spirit. The work was published in October 1790.

A subject more momentous than that which now occupied this extraordinary mind cannot well be conceived,-whether a total political change in the situation of twentyfive millions of men was likely to produce happiness or misery to themselves, and to other nations? Such an enquiry was made by a man who grasped every important sub

ject of his thoughts in all its relations, com. prehended the detail of acts, the existing situations, the display of characters, the established measures of judgment and principles of action, intellectual processes and moral rules. These were the GRAND PREMISES from which he undertook to deduce his conclusion, that the French revolution was, and would be, an enormous evil to mankind. The ingenious and profound author of the Vindicia Gallica, who seems to have made the operations of intellect a peculiar study, speaking of experience, observes that there is an experience of case, and an experience of principle. Both these combined to form the ground-work of Burke's reasoning. He considered the particular proceedings of the French revolutionists: from comparing the variety of particulars, he endeavoured to ascertain their general character; and also to investigate the causes both of the proceedings and the character. In this process of things, history, or the EXPERIENCE OF FACT, was the guide which he

endeavoured to follow. He was perfectly acquainted with the constitution and operations of the understanding and affections knew what directions of them were or were not favourable to the accomplishment of their best ends-the discovery of truth, the promotion of virtue, and the performance of duty. He investigated the principles of reasoning and of morality which guided the heads and hearts of the revolutionists. In this he rose TO EXPERIENCE OF LAW; to the science of human nature. Solicitous about the happiness of France, but still more anxious about the happiness of Britain, he takes the new system into conside ration, as it affects the one, and may affect both. In the principles of political reasoning, in the canons of philosophy, admitted by the revolutionists, there appeared to him a fundamental defect so important, that no superstructure, raised on such a basis, could stand. This was, in all public concerns, THE TOTAL REJECTION OF EXPERIENCE AS A GUIDE TO JUDGMENT AND TO CONDUCT.

In all regulations for the public good, they

VOL, II.

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