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its nature testamentary;" yet he writes with the vigour of a man who had just attained the maturity of his talents.'
The amount of his reasoning is this: The system of France is impious, enormously wicked, and destructive to all within its sphere: we must either conquer it, or be destroyed ourselves. Peace would enable it to operate rapidly to our ruin: let us, therefore, avoid peace. Although the idea of eternal war with the Jacobins must, to us of common apprehension, appear extravagant, and ultimately ruinous, yet it must be admitted that the views and conduct of the French rulers are such as to shew that peace is at present impracticable, and to justify Burke's reasoning as applicable to present circumstances. Considering peace as the most pernicious policy, he exhorts his countrymen to vigour and perseverance in combating an irremediable evil. hortation is very eloquent, and, as far as respects present circumstances, replete with the soundest reasoning and most salutary lessons of conduct. To encourage the ex
ertion absolutely necessary for the salvation of the country, he shews that our resources are such as, if wisely directed to the great and main object, may save the country. His eloquence, founded in truth, addresses to his fellow subjects the most powerful motives to bring into action their physical and moral resources. A dreadful evil impends. By energetic efforts we can be saved; by pusillanimity, relaxation, or indifference, we must be ruined.'
I shall forbear selecting passages from this extraordinary work, because it has been so recently in the hands of all readers.
Several answers were attempted to Burke's Thoughts on a Regicide Peace ;' some of them very abusive. Burke, had, indeed, at almost every period of his life been the object of scurrility and invective: attacks which all eminent men must pay, whọ speak and act according to their own perceptions of truth and of rectitude. The part that he took on the French revolution, and on the dissemination of Jacobinical doctrines in these realms, made him detested by all those who wished these doctrines to be reduced to practice. Catiline's Rights of Man conspirators reviled Cicero. Burke threw upon their designs light: they loved darkness better. The description of the English Jacobins in the · Regicide Peace, so just and so animated, inflamed that body with rage. One of their Apostles, in a rhapsody of abuse, comprising almost every scurrilous term the language could afford, has a conclusion, which the " Monthly Review notices as very laughable. John Thelwall calls Edmund Burke a scribbler!' The
Thoughts' underwent in the Monthly Review' the ablest and most complete discụssion that any work of the author had undergone since Mackintosh's answer to the « Reflexions.'
Mr. Burke about this time received a visit from a very eminent literary gentleman, who has been so kind as to communicate to me various particulars of the conversation which
took place, and the deportment of his host. Part of the communications is interspersed in different parts of the volumes; the remainder I shall insert here.
The visitant went prepossessed with the very highest idea of merit which he could analyse, comprehend, and appreciate. The first address of the host was extremely striking, and suggested to the guest the idea of chivalrous hospitality. His powers of conversation were wonderful : in extent and minuteness of detail, as well as the most profound and expanded philosophy; in playfulness, in humour, wit, serious imagery, beautiful, grand, and diversified. An instance of his correctness in point of fact, he exhibited in a statement of the poor's rates of fifty parishes in Buckinghamshire, during the time he had been at Beaconsfield ; he also gave the history and progress of the farming, the improvements, rents, and taxes. The conversation having turned upon
literary subjects, the guest had an opportunity of hearing him talk of David Hume. The
reader will remember, that Mr. Hume, in a note on his account of Mary, mentions three sets of persons that are not to be argued with, but left to their own prejudices : a Scotch Jacobite, who believes in the innocence of Mary; an Irish Catholic, who denies the truth of the Irish massacre; and an English Whig, who believes in Titus Oates's plot. Mr. Burke considered himself, though no Catholic, as referred to on the subject of the massacre.
Mr. Hume and he had met at Garrick's, and thie massacre was one of the subjects discussed. Mr. Burke endeavoured to prove
that the received accounts were in a great degree unfounded, or at least
very much exaggerated, and quoted affidavits deposited in Trinity College, Dublin. He described various absurd stories that had been propagated and believed by many concerning the Irish; among others, that the ghosts of the murdered Protestants frequented the banks of the Shannon almost from its source to the sea. Mr. Hume maintained the justness of the account, which makes a part of his history. It must