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Holcroft, and Godwin had established three great banks of anarchy and infidelity (there might be much greater capitalists that did not avow themselves) whose notes inferior dealers took, and circulated for current cash.

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Inflamed by teachers and ministers of sedition, many of the populace conceived themselves to be totally deprived of their rights, and that nothing would restore them but a national convention. A plan of this sort having been tried in Edinburgh, and a meeting having taken place, under that name, in which also the subordinate phraseology of the French was adopted, to shew the model of imitation ; the meeting having been dispersed by the activity of the chief magistrate, and the leaders punished, an. assembly of the same kind* was preparing to be held in England. While the societies,

* A national convention of delegates having, by our con. stitution, no authority to alter the government; but, according to Paine's Rights of Man, necessary to regenerate the government of Britain.

their committees, and sections, by their pro. ceedings, severally and jointly, shewed the obje&t to be a change, not indeed exactly defined, but obviously not consistent with the existing constitution of this country, and by means not warranted by its laws. These plans verified the predictions of Burke respecting the effect of wild theories in this country, as the whole system of the French operations, in principle and detail, in every transfer of power, had verified his predictions concerning their effect in France. On the bill for detaining suspected persons, which Ministers found necessary, in order to detect and overthrow the designs of democratic malecontents, Mr. Burke took a very active part; and displayed at once his eloquence and his wisdom. The issue of the trials that followed the inquiry concerning the proceedings of the societies, does not, in the least, affect the predictions of Burke. All that the acquittal proved, was, that the jury did not receive the legal definition of treason in the same sense in which the Attorney-General used it as the ground of the

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indictment; or the grand jury as the ground for finding a bill. There might be devised by the fertile invention of wickedness many modes of conduct of equal moral culpability and political hurt with those that are punishable capitally. Every impartial man will see grounds for inference in cases where there are not grounds for verdicts.

Burke had resolved to retire from Parliament when the trial of Hastings should be finished. This summer a sentence was passed, and Burke soon after resigned his seat.

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During the important period of Burke's parliamentary life, the eloquence of the senate had received very considerable improvement. Able men took a wider

range of knowledge; investigated more profoundly ; and thus their discussions, besides their immediate applicability to the questions at issue, contained a much greater quantity of general truth. Although this effect

may be in some degree owing to the progression of philosophy, yet it has been considerably accelerated by individual genius. In Fox's orations we have found, from the commencement of his intimacy with Burke, a more rapid advancement in political philosophy than even his own great mind would probably so soon have produced. All those who admire the force of his eloquence, (and who, that

possesses taste, and, what is of more consequence, comprehension of understanding, that does not?) if they have attentively considered its progression, will acknowledge that Burke's conversation, speeches, and writings have tended to enhance its value. Lord Lauderdale, Duke of Bedford, Messrs. Courtenay, Erskine, Sheridan, and other distinguishing observers, who look up to Fox as the highest where they themselves are high, will admit that great additions have been made to the attainments of their friend by Edmund Burke. Great minds only can derive great accessions of intellectual riches from intellectual treasures. There is a gentleman of the first talents, cultivated

Mr. Grey,

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by literature and disciplined by science, who has profited beyond most men from the example and lessons of Burke, as his mind was more peculiarly fitted for receiving the advantages, not by nature only, but by a similar course of previous study. Mr. Windham, before he entered Parliament, had bestowed very great attention on letters and philosophy, and had attained uncommon excellence in logical, closeness, acute reasoning, and profound investigation. Intimately acquainted with other men of letters, and a most favourite companion of the Litchfield sage, he had a mind well fitted by nature, and prepared by pursuit and habit, for receiving the wisdom of Burke. Between men of congenial minds, intimacy is generally the follower of acquaintance. Mr. Windham soon became the most confidential friend of the illustrious personage. Like Burke, he loved liberty as the means of happiness ; venerated the British constitution as the best preserver of freedom to that extent. Thoroughly acquainted with the human mind, he perceived that the surest ratiocina,

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