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of the Histories of Robertson, Raynal, and Marshall] have been gone through; that is, I would recommend the perusal of it twice. It may be a map of the subject in the first instance, and a summary in the second."-Prof. Smyth's Lectures on Modern History. The Essay towards an Abridgment of the English History, was pub. by Dodsley in 1757. Only eight sheets were issued, as the author abandoned the design, probably from hearing that Hume had taken the same subject in hand. Burke's Abridgment possesses no little merit, and it is deeply to be lamented that he did not pursue his intended plan.
"It displays a spirit of close research into the earlier history of our island, not exceeded, perhaps not equalled, by works of much greater pretensions, and with more antiquarian knowledge than The style differs from that of the could possibly be expected. ... 'European Settlements' in aiming at less of point and effect, but possesses simplicity and perspicuity. On the whole, it is, perhaps, the best abstract of that remote period we possess, without any admixture of the fabulous stories so common to the age; and to youth it will be found particularly instructive."-PRIOR.
In 1759 the Earl of Charlemont introduced Burke to William Gerard Hamilton, more familiarly styled SingleSpeech Hamilton,
Who after a few able efforts in the House of Commons, gained more celebrity by afterwards keeping his tongue still, than many others by the most determined volubility."
In 1761 Hamilton accompanied Lord Halifax (appointed Lord-Lieutenant) to Ireland, and took Burke with him as his private secretary. Mr. Hamilton held the high official position of a Lord of Trade, and had diligently laboured to acquire that knowledge of the philosophy of commerce and principles of agriculture. which alone could render the discharge of his duties honourable to himself and useful to others. But a few conversations with his young secretary convinced him that, in future conferences, the master must consent to be scholar, rather than aspire to the post of instructor. The following remarks, extracted from the preface to the Thoughts and Details on Scarcity, presented by Mr. Burke to the Rt. Hon. William Pitt, are not without interest in this connection:
"Agriculture, and the commerce connected with and dependent upon it, form one of the most considerable branches of political economy; and as such, Mr. Burke diligently studied them. In deed, when he began to qualify himself for the exalted rank which he afterwards held among statesmen, he laid a broad and deep foundation; and to an accurate research into the constitution. the laws, the civil and military history of these kingdoms. he joined an enlightened acquaintance with the whole circle of our commercial system. On his first introduction, when a young man, to the late Mr. Gerard Hamilton, who was then a Lord of Trade, the latter ingenuously confessed to a friend still living, how sensibly he felt his own inferiority. much as he had enden voured to inform himself, and aided as he was by official documents inaccessible to any private person. He was also consulted, and the greatest deference was paid to his opinions, by Dr. Adam Smith, in the progress of the celebrated work on the Wealth of Nations."
In this station, his first public employment, Burke proved very serviceable, and in 1763 was rewarded with a pension of £300 per annum on the Irish list. This pension he voluntarily relinquished in 1764, on the occasion of a disagreement with Hamilton, the particulars of which are well known. In 1765 occurred an event which decided the future course of Burke's life, and introduced him to that seat in the national councils from which he so long instructed his countrymen by his wisdom, and astonished the world by the brilliancy of his genius. Mr. Fitzherbert recommended him to the Marquis of Rockingham, the leader of the Whigs in power, as a fit person for his private secretary, and his lordship appointed him to the post
One of the members, whose va-
The delighted lexicographer seized his pen, and wrote
"Burke has gained more reputation than perhaps any man at
We shall have occasion hereafter to make some further
We have now seen Mr Burke fairly launched in public life, in which he continued until within three years of his death-his last appearance in the House of Commons ocplan of our work to enter into any detailed history of his These form an important part of the political labours. curring June 20th, 1794-and it is inconsistent with the of the principal we shall have occasion to refer to hereafter. We now proceed to notice some of the most imhistory of his country for a quarter of a century. Some portant of Mr. Burke's publications. The edition of his Works and Correspondence, pub. by F. & J. Rivington, Lon., 1852, in 8 vols. 8vo, contains the whole of the 20 volumes previously published. A Short Account of a late short Administration, 1766. This, the author's first political pamphlet, is an exposition of the twelve months' administration of the Rockingham ministry. It was anony
Observations on a late Publication entitled The Present
"Mr. Burke fairly convicts his opponent of inconclusive reasoning, of inaccuracy in many parts of his subject, and of ignorance as to facts and details on the great principles of commerce and revenue, on which Mr. Grenville particularly plumed himself."PRIOR.
The 5th edit. of this pamphlet was published in 1782. Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol, 1777. This was a vindiThoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, 1773. cation of his line of conduct on the American Question. His Thirteen Propositions for quieting the troubles in America, had been submitted in March, 1775. His powerful advocacy of Colonial interests strengthened the heart exertions on their behalf were rewarded by a nation's graand nerved the arm of the American patriots, and his titude. As early as 1771 the State of New York had appointed Mr. Burke its agent, an office which added some lution in France, 1790, in a Letter to a French gentleman. £700 per annum to his income. Reflections on the Revoat once took a strong hold of the public mind of Europe. This work was translated into French by M. Dupont, and Within the first year about It was elaborated with great care, more than a dozen proofs being worked off and destroyed before the classical taste France. The first demand continued in England until of the author was satisfied. 19,000 copies were sold in England, and about 13,000 in 30,000 copies were absorbed; and some experienced booksellers have declared that the sale was greater than of any preceding book whatever of the same price, (5 shillings.) fore so complimented. The Sovereigns assembled at PilIt has been remarked that perhaps no writer was ever be nitz-the Emperor of Germany being of the numberKing of England, hastened to honour that genius which the Princes of France, the Empress of Russia, and the George of England-with all bis faults, dignified human nature and would have ennobled the lowone of the best kings who ever sat upon the British throne est of the race. with the emphatic commendation that it was "a book Wil-personally distributed the work he so much admired, which every gentleman ought to read."
one week after he himself had been called to the head of
the treasury. A cordial friendship sprung up between the
"It may be safely said that probably no man had ever entered
It is not a little remarkable that on the very first day
Stanislaus of Poland sent the author his likeness on a that language the most copious and energetic to convey gold medal, with a letter written in English, "deeming the high sense which he entertained of his patriotism and talents."
The venerable seats of that priceless learning which may be converted to the wisdom of the future, vied wita preserves the records of the experience of the past, that it
seemed to have entered into Fox that unhappy day--he again gave loose to the frenzy which appeared to actuate him-and again and again offended. The breach was never healed.
In 1794 Mr. Burke was struck to the earth by a blo which robbed life of its attractions, and rendered him in. different to the trappings of rank with which his sovereign had purposed to honour his declining years. In the spring of that year he had followed his only and beloved brother to the grave, and before autumn had change the foliage of the woods, his son, an only son, was called to the "narrow house appointed for all living." Young Burke had accepted a post in Ireland, but
"He was sinking into consumption, and his physicians detained him from his duties; not daring, however, to apprize his father of the danger, for they knew that, like the patriarch of old, his life was bound up in the lad's life,' and were convinced that a know ledge of the truth would prove fatal to him sooner than to his son. He was, therefore, kept in ignorance until a week before the clos ing scene, and from that time until all was over, he slept not, he scarcely tasted food, or ceased from the most affecting lamenta tions. The last moments of young Burke present one of those striking cases in which nature seems to rally all her powers at the approach of dissolution, as the taper often burns brightest in the act of going out. His father was waiting his departure in an adjoining room, (for he was unable to bear the sight,) when he rose entered the room where he was sitting. Speak to me, my dear fafrom his bed, dressed himself completely, and leaning on his nurse, ther,' said he, as he saw him bowed to the earth under the poignancy of his grief, I am in no terror; I feel myself better and in spirits; yet my heart flutters. I know not why! Pray talk to me of rell gion-of morality-of indifferent subjects.' Then, returning to his room, he exclaimed, What noise is that? Does it rain? No; it is the rustling of the wind in the trees.' The invalid then broke out at once with a clear, sweet voice in that beautiful passage (the favourite lines of his father) from the Morning Hymn in Milton: 'His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow, Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines, With every plant, in sign of worship, wave!'
"He began again and again, repeated them with the same tenderness and fervour, bowing his head as in the act of worship, and then sank into the arms of his parents, as in a profound and sweet sleep. It would be too painful to dwell on scenes that followed, until the father laid all that remained to him of his child beneath the Beaconsfield Church, adjoining his estate. From that
each other in their expressions of esteem for "the powerful | advocate of the constitution, the friend of public order, virtue, and the happiness of mankind." The Doctors of Trinity College, Dublin, famed for profound indoctrination in the beauties and subtilties of the language of Cicero and Horace, reverentially laid their tribute at the feet of a master whose eloquence as much exceeded the loftiest strains of the one as his withering exposure of the crimes of an insane Democracy surpassed the biting satire of the other. The resident graduates of the University of Oxford-which from the time of Alfred has opened her gates to send forth, for the instruction of mankind, teachers profoundly versed in sacred and classic lore-presented their admiring acknowledgments to the champion who had so eloquently and ably defended those principles for the advancement of which it was their province to labour. The reverend dignitaries of the Churches of England and France pronounced their benedictions upon one who, in an age of infidelity, exalted the inspiration of the written word, and pointed to the Cross of the Redeemer as the only infallible refuge for man amidst the calamities and disorders of a fallen world. Who indeed can peruse the Reflections without admiration of the genius, even if he question some of the sentiments, of the gifted author? The publication of opinions so hostile to the English sympathizers with the French Revolutionists-soon regicides-produced confusion in their ranks, and hastened that separation between Burke and Fox which sooner or later seemed inevitable. On the 6th of May of the next year, occurred that memorable scene-the rupture between these distinguished men-to the pathos and interest of which neither pen nor pencil can do justice. The subject before the House was the Canada Bill, and Mr. Burke opened the debate. Previous to the recess, Mr. Fox had, by implication, thrown out a challenge to Burke to discuss the vexed question of the French Revolution. Mr. Burke had no opportunity to reply before the next meeting of the House. In his opening speech he adverted to it, but was immediately called to order by Mr. Fox, as touching on forbidden grounds. Mr. Burke, surprised by this rudeness, attempted hour he never looked, if he could avoid it, toward that church! a reply, but was again and again interrupted by Fox, with whom others now joined, and Burke listened with astonishment and mortification whilst the late friend of his bosom assailed him with the bitterest irony and keenest invective, only made the more poignant by professions of unbounded admiration of his genius and abilities. Mr. Burke at length was allowed an opportunity to reply. He rose amidst profound silence, for there was something in that unruffled brow, something in that eye, and in the tones of that eloquent voice which had so long "taught senators wisdom," and under whose rebuke the proudest nobles of the land had often stood abashed-something there was which told every beating heart that this would be a day long to be remembered by the Commons of England. He complained of "being treated with harshness and malignity, for which the motive seemed unaccountable;-of being personally attacked from a quarter where he least expected it, after an intimacy of more than twenty-two years; of his public sentiments and writings being garbled, and his confidential communications violated, to give colour to an unjust charge; and that though at his time of life it was obviously indiscreet to provoke enemies, or to lose friends, as he could not hope for the opportunity necessary to acquire others, yet if his steady adherence to the British constitution placed him in such a dilemma, he would risk all, and as public duty and public prudence taught him, with his last breath, exclaim, Fly from the French constitution."" Mr. Fox was alarmed at the consequences of his indiscretion; he whispered to the friend who had long loved and borne with him, "There is no loss of friendship!" "Yes, there is!" replied Burke; "I know the price of my conduct! I have indeed made a great sacrifice: I have done my duty, though I have lost my friend!" A painful scene now ensued. Fox rose in great agitation. He trembled at the results of his folly; and felt that his punishment was more than he could bear. In vain he essayed to speak, and he stood the picture of contrition before the House, until at last nature found relief in tears. He turned to the friend whose feelings he had so deeply outraged that friend, too, one of the noblest of his kind: he conjured him in the most pathetic terms-by "the remembrance of their past attachment-their unalienable friendhip their reciprocal affection, as dear and almost as binding as the ties of nature between father and son,-he conjured him to revoke his renunciation and forget the past!" But, unfortunately, after all this burst of grief and affection, foolishly-unaccountably-for some demon
Eighteen months after, when he had somewhat recovered his composure, he thus adverted to his loss in his celebrated Letter to a Noble Lord: The storm has gone over me, and I lie like one of those old oaks which the late hurricane has scattered around me. I am stripped of all my honours; I am torn up by the roots, and lie prostrate to the earth! There, and prostrate there, I must unfeignedly recognise the divine justice, and in some degree submit to it.... I am alone! I have none to meet my enemies in the gate." See Dr. French Laurence's Letter to Mrs. Haviland.
It is hardly necessary at this day to do more than briefly notice the alleged identity of Mr. Burke with the author of the Letters of Junius. At one time it was generally believed that he was the author, and Mr. Roche made out so strong a case in his Inquiry that even the quick-witted Anti-Jacobin Review was completely convinced, as the following verdict testifies :
"We feel it our duty before we enter into any particulars respecting this work, to declare, that it has fully convinced us of the truth which it is intended to establish;-that the Letters of Ju. nius were written by the Right Honourable Edmund Burke. Mr. Roche has, indeed, brought together such a body of evidence. internal, direct, and circumstantial, as must eventually settle this interesting and long-disputed question."
We shall not be expected to give any opinion upon a point on which most literary men have their own theory. The matter will be adverted to again in our notice of SIR PHILIP FRANCIS. That Mr. Burke at least knew who the author was, we have good reason to believe, but he "died and made no sign." We know an English gentleman who protests that he possesses the secret, and he may reveal something further.
Of all those speeches by which he acquired such renown, Mr. Burke prepared the following only for the press: 1. On American Taxation; delivered April 9, 1774. 2. On Conciliation with America; March 22, 1775. 3. On Economical Reform; Feb. 20, 1780. 4. At Bristol, previous to the Election; September 6, 1780. 5. On Declining the Election at Bristol; September 9, 1780. 6. On the East India Bill of Mr. Fox; December 1, 1783. 7. On the Nabob of Arcot's Debts, Feb. 28, 1785. All of these, with the exception of that On Economical Reform, will be found in the Rev. Dr. Chauncey A. Goodrich's Select British Eloquence, where the reader may also peruse an admirable analysis of Mr. Burke's characteristics as an author and an orator. The great speech of July 16, 1794, On the Impeachment of Warren Hastings, Mr. Burke never prepared for the press. Mr. Macaulay has sketched the august spectacle of that day in colours but little less vivid than those which exposed the gigantic wickedness
of the late Governor-General of India. He as does justice to the purity of motive and laudable philanthropy which actuated Burke in this prosecution, and properly rebukes the disreputable attempt of the reverend biographer (Gleig) of Hastings to impute petty malice to a mind too noble to harbour such an unworthy tenant. Of all the flattering portrait-painters of the age, perhaps the most successful in converting deformity into beauty are Mr. Basil Montagu, Sir John Malcolm, and the Rev. Dr. Gleig: see portraits of Bacon, Clive, and Hastings, as sketched by these great masters. We shall now, in justice to the illustrious subject of our notice, and that we may not be suspected of extravagance in the eulogies for which we are personally responsible, quote from the recorded opinion of a number of his contemporaries and successors: "There never was a more beautiful alliance between virtue and talents. All his conceptions were kind, all his sentiments generous. . . . The sublimest talents, the greatest and rarest virtues that the beneficence of Providence ever concentrated in a single character for the benefit of mankind. But Mr. Burke was too superior to the age in which he lived. His prophetic genius only astonished the nation which it ought to have governed."-M. CAZALES.
"I do not reckon it amongst the least calamities of the times, certainly not among those that affect me least, that the world has now lost Mr. Burke. Oh! how much may we rue that his counsels were not followed. Oh! how exactly do we see verified all that he has predicted!"--WINDHAM.
"He must again repeat that all he ever knew of men, that all he ever read in books, that all his reasoning faculties informed him of, or his fancy suggested to him, did not impart that exalted knowledge, that superior information, which he had acquired from the lessons of his right honourable friend. To him he owed all his fame, if fame he had any. And if he (Mr. Fox) should now, or at any time, prevail over him in discussion. he could ac knowledge his gratitude for the capability and pride of the conquest in telling him Hoc ipsum quod vincit id est tuum.'"-Mr. Fox's Speech in the House of Commons on the occasion of his rupture
with Mr. Burke.
At the moment of proposing Mr. Burke's interment in Westminster Abbey, he again repeated the same acknowledgments in terms which, in the words of a member in attendance, "drew tears from every one present who had any feelings at all, or could sympathize in the excellence of the great genius before them, or with the still greater excellence of the genius who had departed."
"Burke understands every thing but gaming and music. In the House of Commons I sometimes think him only the second man in England; out of it he is always the first."-GERARD HA
chivalry; and I can almost forgive his reverence for hurch estab lishments."-EDWARD GIBBON.
"When he has roused us with the thunders of his eloquence, he can at once, Timotheus-like, choose a melancholy theme, and melt us into pity: there is grace in his anger, for he can inveigh without vulgarity; he can modulate the strongest burst of pas sion, for even in his madness there is music."-CUMBERLAND. "That volume of voice, that superabundant richness and fertility of fancy, that vast grasp and range of mind, which Mr. Burke possessed beyond all created beings."
On one occasion Mr. Shackleton, after listening to some of Burke's conversational eloquence, remarked aside to the orator's son, "He is the greatest man of the age." "He is," replied the son, with filial enthusiasm, "the greatest man of any age!" It is to be here observed that Burke, with that remarkable modesty which so eminently distinguished him, and which prevented his making a collection of his writings, considered his son's talents as far superior to his own. Wilberforce remarked:
"His eloquence had always attracted, his imagination continually charmed, his reasonings often convinced, him. Of his head and his heart, of his abilities and of his humanity, of his rectitude he did." and perseverance, no man could entertain a higher opinion than
"When the public mind was darkened that it could not discern, when in every quarter of the heaven appeared vapour and mist and cloud and exhalation, at this very hour the morning horizon began suddenly to redden: it was the dawn. Then, indeed, First in his east the glorious lamp was seen,
Regent of day!'
That luminary was EDMUND BURKE.... I would record in lasting characters, and in our holiest and most honourable temple, the de
parted Orator of England, the Statesman and the Christian, EDMUND BURKE. Remuneratio ejus Cum Altissimo!"-Pursuits of Literature.
"The name of Burke will be remembered with admiration when those of Pitt and Fox will be comparatively forgotten."-LORD THURLOW.
"Let me speak what my mind prompts of the eloquence of Burke; of Burke, by whose sweetness Athens herself would have been soothed, with whose amplitude and exuberance she would have been enraptured, and on whose lips that prolific mother of genius and science would have adored. confessed, the Goddess of Persuasion.... Who is there among men of eloquence or learning more profoundly versed in every branch of science? Who is there that has cultivated philosophy, the parent of all that is illustrious in literature or exploit, with more felicitous success? .. Who is there that combines the charm of invisible grace and urbanity with such magnificent and boundless expansion?"-DR. PARR. See these opinions and others in Prior's Life of Burke.
In conversation Burke was as unrivalled as in oratory. Johnson was the first man in the literary circles of London when Burke was absent, but he knew himself to be only list-second in the presence of Burke. It was a "striking spectacle to see one so proud and stubborn, who had for years been accustomed to give forth his dicta with the authority of an oracle, submit to contradiction from a youth of twenty-seven. But though Johnson differed from Burke in politics, he always did him justice. He spoke of him from the first in terms of the highest respect." He remarked to Boswell:
The admiration, nay astonishment, with which I so often ened to Mr. Burke, gave an interest to every spot connected with his memory, and forcibly brought to my recollection the profundity and extent of his knowledge, while the energy, warmth, and beauty of his imagery, captured the heart, and made the judgment tributary to the will. As an orator he surpassed all his contemporaries, and was perhaps never exceeded."-CURWEN.
Another contemporary remarks:
"The political knowledge of Mr. Burke might be considered almost as an Encyclopædia: every man who approached him received instruction from his stores."
"I do not grudge Burke's being the first man in the House of Commons, for he is the first everywhere.' 'Burke,' he remarked
One who generally opposed him in politics acknowledges upon another occasion, is an extraordinary man. His stream of that
Learning waited upon him as a handmaid, presenting to bis choice all that antiquity had culled or invented; he often seemed to be oppressed under the load and variety of his intellectual treasures. Every power of oratory was wielded by him in turn; for he could be during the same evening pathetic and humorous, acrimonious and conciliating: now giving a loose to his indignation and severity, and then, almost in the same breath, calling to his assistance ridicule, wit, and mockery."
Another political opponent remarks:
"As an orator, notwithstanding some defects. he stands almost unrivalled. No man was better calculated to arouse the dormant passions, to call forth the glowing affections of the human heart, and to harrow up' the inmost recesses of the soul. Venality and meanness stood appalled in his presence: he who was dead to the feelings of his own conscience was still alive to his animated reproaches; and corruption for a while became alarmed at the terrors of his countenance."
"His learning is so various and extensive that we might praise It for its range and compass, were it not still more praiseworthy for its solidity and depth. His imagination is so lively and so creative, that he may ustly be called the child of fancy; and, therefore, his enemies, for even he is not without them. would persuade ns that his fancy overbears his judgment. . . . His grand characteristic is genius, and his ruling faculty is judgment. . . . Whilst he persuades as an orator. he instructs as a philosopher."-REV. THOMAS CAMPBELL, author of the History of Ireland.
"Of his talents and acquirements in general, it is unnecessary to speak. They were long the glory of his country and the admiration of Europe; they might have been (had it consisted with the Inscrutable counsels of Divine Providence) the salvation of both. If not the most accomplished orator, yet the most eloquent man of his age, perhaps second to none in any age, he had still more wisdom than eloquence. He diligently collected it from the wise of all ages; but what he had so obtained he enriched from the vast treasury of his own observation."-DR. FRENCH LAURENCE. "I admire his eloquence; I approve his politics; I adore his
talk is perpetual; and he does not talk from any desire of distine tion, but because his mind is full. . . . He is the only man whosa common conversation corresponds with the general fame which he has in the world. Take him up where you please, he is ready
to meet you.... No man of sense could meet Burke by accident under a gateway, to avoid a shower, without being convinced that he was the first man in England."
"A striking confirmation of this remark occurred some years after, when Mr. Burke was passing through Lichfield, the Lirthplace of Johnson. Wishing to see the Cathedral, during the change of horses, he stepped into the building, and was met by one of the clergy of the place, who kindly offered to point out the principal objects of curiosity. A conversation ensued, but in a few moments the clergyman's pride of local information was completely subdued by the copious and intricate knowledge displayed by the stranger. Whatever topic the objects before them suggested, whether the theme was architecture or antiquities, some obscure passage in ecclesiastical history, or some question respecting the life of a saint, he touched it as with a sunbeam. His information appeared universal; his mild, clear intellect, without one particle of ignorance. A few minutes after their separation, the clergyman was met hur rying through the street. I have had.' said he, quite an adventure. I have been conversing for this half hour past with a man of the most extraordinary powers of mind and extent of information which it has ever been my fortune to meet with; and I am now going to the inn to ascertain, if possible, who this stranger is.' Johnson considered that he would have excited as much wonder in much lower company. If he should go into a stable, and talk a few minutes with the hostlers about horses, they would venerate him as the wisest of human beings. They would say, We have had an extraordinary man here.'. . . In speaking of Mr. Burke's social hours, the late Mr. Grattan observed to several friends, that he was the greatest man in conversation he had met with. A nobleman who was present (Lord C.) inquired whether he did not think Curran on some occasions greater. No, my Lord.' was the reply: Curran indeed had my-h wit; but Burke had wit too, and, in addition to wit, boundless sures of wisdom an know ledge.""
When some one eulogized Johnson's powers of conversation, "But," replied Goldsmith, "is he like Burke, who winds into his subject like a serpent?"
It is worth noticing here that Mr. Burke himself considered Mrs. Anne Pitt, sister of the minister at the head of the cabinet, as "the most perfectly eloquent person he ever heard speak. He lamented not having committed to paper one particular conversation in which the richness and variety of her discourse quite astonished him." We hope that our readers will appreciate the gallantry which causes us to introduce this anecdote.
Well said Mr. Fox,
"If we are no longer in shameful ignorance of India; if India no longer makes us blush in the eyes of Europe; let us know and feel our obligations to him whose admirable resources of opinion and affection-whose untiring toil, sublime genius, and high as piring honour, raised him up conspicuous among the most bene ficent worthies of mankind!"-Speech on the Impeachment of War ren Hastings.
Burke himself calls this great work-the arraignment of Hastings-" that principal act which is to be the glory or the shame of my whole public life."-Works, edit. 1852, ii. 309.
Sheridan's tribute to Burke is worthy of his genius: "A gentleman whose abilities, happily for the glory of the age in which we live, are not intrusted to the perishable eloquence of the day, but will live to be the admiration of that hour when all of us shall be mute, and most of us forgotten"
"It would not be difficult to multiply evidences of the vast stores of knowledge which Mr. Burke seems to have always had on hand ready for use at a moment's notice. On one occasion he dined with a party, where he met with an ecclesiastical dignitary who surprised the company by starting subjects of conversation so abstruse or unusual, that few of his hearers felt inclined or qualified to accompany him.' Mr. Burke said nothing for some time; but when the gentleman committed an error in his detail of some of the operations of Caesar in Britain, he immediately corrected him: the clergyman bowed without making any reply. He then brought up for discussion the merits of some obscure Latin authors, and was giving ing a quotation, when Mr. Burke reminded him that he had not rendered properly two or three words of the sentence. Again he Introduced to the notice of the company a description of a rare old volume, containing some curious geographical details.' Here at least he was safe from the formidable critic! Not at all: Mr. Burke took the subject out of his hands, and commented on it as if it had been an every day matter.
"At the conclusion of the evening Mr. Richards and the Archdeacon walked home together. Sir.' observed the former, 'I admired your patience when so repeatedly, and I dare say, unneces sarily, interrupted by Mr. Burke; for, from the nature of your studies, you must be a more competent judge of such matters than the bustle of politics can permit him to be.' Mr. Burke was nevertheless right, and I was wrong,' replied the Archdeacon: 'nay more; I confess I went previously prepared to speak on these subjects, for knowing that I was to meet him, and hearing that he was acquainted with almost every thing, I had determined to put
his knowledge to the test, and for this purpose had spent much
of the morning in my study. My memory, however, has been more treacherous than I had imagined."
If the mere perusal of Burke's speeches affect us so powerfully, what must have been the emotions of his auditory! The Duke de Levis heard one of his philippics against the French Revolution, and he declares that
This extraordinary man seemed to raise and quell the passions of his auditory with as much ease and as rapidly as a skilful musician passes into the various modulations of his harpsichord. I have witnessed many, too many, political assemblages, and striking scenes, where eloquence performed a noble part, but the whole of them appear insipid when compared with this amazing effort." When he painted the cruelties of Debi Sing in his speech on the impeachment of Warren Hastings, the writer of the History of the Trial tells us
"In this part of his speech Mr. Burke's descriptions were more vivid, more harrowing, and more horrific, than human utterance, or either fact or fancy, perhaps ever formed before. The agitation of most people was very apparent: Mrs. Sheridan was so overpowered that she fainted: several others wore as powerfully affected." Mrs. Siddons is said to have been one of the number thus overcome by a mightier eloquence than any known to the stage.
The "flinty chancellor," Lord Thurlow, albeit unused to the melting mood, was so visibly affected, that "iron tears down Pluto's cheek" was very near to being something more than a simile of the orator's.
"In his address to the Peers, some days afterwards, he concluded a handsome eulogium on the speech, by observing that their Lordships all knew the effect upon the auditors, many of whom had not to that moment, and perhaps never would, recover from the shock it had occasioned.""
"The testimony of the accused party himself is perhaps the strongest ever borne to the powers of any speaker of any country. For half an hour,' said Mr. Hastings, I looked up at the orator in a reverie of wonder; and during that space I actually felt myself the most culpable man on earth;' adding, however, but I recurred to my own bosom, and there found a consciousness that consoled me under all I heard and all I suffered."—Prior's Life of Burke.
Was there ever an instance of such exquisite hypocrisy, or of such utter callousness of soul? But we leave this moral phenomena for Dr. Gleig's anatomical powers. It was enough to excite a momentary pang of remorse even in the flinty heart of that man of blood and spoils, to hear himself thus most accurately depicted by the indignant eloquence of the first orator in the world:
"Therefore hath it with all confidence been ordered by the Commons of Great Britain, that I impeach Warren Hastings of high eimes and misdemeanours!
"I impeach him in the name of the Commons House of Parlia ment, whose trust he has betrayed!
"I impeach him in the name of the English nation, whose ancient honrar he has sullied!
"I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose rights he Las trodden under foot, and whose country he has turned into a desert! Lastly, in the name of human nature itself, in the name of both sexes, in the name of every age, in the name of every rai k, I impeach the common enemy and oppressor of all!"
The distinguished Schlegel is eloquent in his praise: "This man has been to his own country and to all Europe-in a very particular manner to Germany-a new light of political wisdom and moral experience. He corrected his age when it was at the height of its revolutionary frenzy; and without maintainany system of philosophy, he seems to have seen farther into the true nature of society, and to have more clearly comprehended the effect of religion in connecting individual security with na tional welfare, than any philosopher, or any system of philosophy, of any succeeding age."-Schlegel's Lectures on Literature.
Robert Hall, himself a great master of eloquence, touches a loftier note than is usual even with him, when speaking of Burke:
"Who can withstand the fascination and magic of his eloquence? The excursions of his genius are immense! His imperial fancy has laid all nature under tribute, and has collected riches from every scene of the creation and every walk of art!"
"The immortality of Burke is that which is common to Cicero or to Bacon,-that which can never be interrupted while there exists the beauty of order or the love of virtue, and which can fear no death except what barbarity may impose on the globe."-GRATTAN.
Mr. Grattan may be charged with extravagance in placing Burke upon a par with Cicero and Bacon, but many capable critics are not satisfied with this rank, and assign him a still higher place. Sir James Mackintosh hardly allows to the great master of ancient eloquence, or to the profound father of modern philosophy, an equality with him who combined the excellencies of both:
above talent. Burke was one of the first thinkers, as well as one "Shakspeare and Burke are, if I may venture on the expression, of the greatest orators, of his time. He is without parallel in any age or country, except perhaps Lord Bacon or Cicero; and his works contain an ampler store of political and MORAL WISDOM THAN CAN BE
FOUND IN ANY OTHER WRITER WHATEVER."
The reader must not fail to procure A Memoir of the Political Life of the Right Hon. Edmund Burke, 2 vols. p. 8vo, by the Rev. George Croly, LL.D., Rector of St. Stephen's, Wallbrook, London.
"We have quoted enough, and more than enough, to convince the most skeptical of the originality, eloquence, and power of these remarkable volumes. We regard them as a valuable contribution to our national literature, as an effectual antidote to revolutionary principles, and as a masterly analysis of the mind and writings of the greatest philosopher and statesman in our history."-The Britannia.
Mr. Warren thus warmly commends the political writings of our great author to the reverence of the student
"The political writings of the illustrious Edmund Burke need be mentioned, only, to vindicate their claim to the continual pe rusal-the earnest study, of all who are capable of appreciating the display of profound wisdom, set forth in enchanting eloquence, made contributory to the advancement of the permanent and highest interests of mankind, and capable of indefinitely elevating and expanding the feelings and understanding-but vain is the task of attempting to do justice to writings upon which pane gyric has long ago exhausted itself. Out of a thousand witnesses, let us select the testimony of one only-one, however, who has a paramount title to the attention and deference of that Bar, of which he was one of the brightest ornaments-Lord Erskine. Among the characteristics of Lord Erskine's eloquence,' observes the late accomplished Mr. Henry Roscoe, the perpetual ilustra tious derived from the writings of Burke, is very remarkable. In every one of the great state trials in which he was concerned, he referred to the works of that extraordinary person, as to a textbook of political wisdom,-expounding, enforcing, and justifying, all the great and noble principles of freedom and justice. Lord Erskine himself has left on record his impressive testimony to the same effect: When I look into my own mind, and find its best lights and principles fed from that immense magazine of moral and political wisdom, which he has left as an inheritance to mankind for their instruction, I feel myself repelled by an awful and grateful sensibility from petulantly approaching him." "— Warren's Law Studies, Lon., 1845, 12mo.
The following testimonies are of equal value: "The writings of that eminent man whom posterity will regard as the most eloquent of orators, and the most profound of the philosophic statesmen of modern times."-SIR ROBERT PEEL.
"The Speeches he made will be the subject of admiration for all succeeding generations."-LORD JOHN RUSSELL.
"That great master of eloquence, Edmund Burke! . . . in ap titude of comprehension and richness of imagination, superior i every orator, ancient or modern."-T. B. MACAULAY.
"The variety and extent of his powers in debate were greater than that of any orator in ancient or modern times. No one ever poured forth such a flood of thought-so many original combinations of inventive genius; so much knowledge of man, and the werkings of political systems; so many just remarks on the relation of government to the manners, the spirit, and even the prejudices, of a people; so many wise maxims as to a change in constitution and laws; so many beautiful effusions of lofty and generous sentiment; such exuberant stores of illustration, ornament, and apt allusion: all intermingled with the liveliest sallies of wit, or the boldest flights of a sublime imagination. . In the structure of his mind he had a strong resemblance to Bacon, nor was he greatly his inferior in the leading attributes of his intellect. In imagination he went far beyond him. He united more perfectly than any other man the discordant qualities of the philosopher and the poet."-C. A. GOODRICH, D.D., Professor of Rheteric in Yale College."
We add an eloquent exposition of the characteristics of Burke's genius from one of the most celebrated orators of our oven day:
"No one can doubt that enlightened men in all ages will hang ever the Works of MR. BURKE. He was a writer of the first class, and excelled in almost every kind of prose composition. The extraordinary depth of his detached views. the penetrating sagacity which he occasionally applies to the affairs of men and their motives, and the curious felicity of expression with which he unfolds principles, and traces resemblances and relations, are separately the gift of few, and, in their union, probably without any example. When he is handling any one matter, we perceive that we are conversing with a reasoner and a teacher to whom almost every other branch of knowledge is familiar. His views range over all the cognate subjects; his reasonings are derived from principles applicable to other matters as well as the one in hand; arguments pour in from all sides, as well as those which start up under our feet, the natural growth of the path he is leading us over; while, to throw light round our steps, and either explore its darker places or serve for our recreation, illustrations are fetched from a thousand quarters; and an imagination marvellously quick to descry unthought-of resemblances, pours forth the stores which a lore yet more marvellous has gathered from all ages and nations and arts and tongues. We are, in respect of the argument, reminded of Bacon's multifarious knowledge, and the exuberance of his learned fancy; while the many-lettered diction recalls to mind the first of English poets and his immortal verse, rich with the spoils
of all sciences and all times.
"All his Works, indeed, even his controversial, are so informed
with general reflection, so variegated with speculative discussion, that they wear the air of the Lyceum as well as the Academy. His narrative is excellent; and it is impossible more harmoniously to expose the details of a complicated subject, to give them more animation and interest, if dry in themselves, or to make them bear by the mere power of statement more powerfully upon the argument. In description he can hardly be surpassed, at least for effect; he has all the qualities that conduce to it-ardour of purpose, sometimes rising into violence-vivid, but too luxuriant fancy-bold, frequently extravagant, conception-the faculty of shedding upon mere inanimate scenery the light imparted by moral associations.
"He now moves on with the composed air, the even, dignified pace of the historian; and unfolds his facts in a narrative so easy, and yet so correct, that you plainly perceive he wanted only the dismissal of other pursuits to have rivalled Livy or Hume. But soon this advance is interrupted, and he stops to display his powers of description, when the boldness of his design is only matched by the brilliancy of his colouring. He then skirmishes for a space, and puts in motion all the lighter arms of wit; sometimes not unmingled with drollery, sometimes bordering upon farce. His main battery is now opened, and a tempest bursts forth of every weapon of attack-invective, abuse, irony, sarcasm, simile drawn out to allegory, allusion, quotation, fable, parable, anathema.
"He was admirable in exposition; in truth, he delighted to give Instruction both when speaking and conversing, and in this he was unrivalled. Quis in sententiis argutior? in docendo edisseren doque subtilior? Mr. Fox might well avow, without a compliment, that he had learnt more from him than from all other men and authors."-LORD BROUGHAM.
It is truly gratifying to know that there are no incongruous colours in the background to detract from the brilliancy and beauty of the portrait we have thus presented of Edmund Burke: "the King's daughter was all glorious within," and so with the illustrious subject of our theme; we are not called upon to deplore the union of splendid talents and degrading vices, of public philanthropy and private venality: the spotless ermine covers no hidden corruption. Of this we have abundant evidence:
The unspotted innocence, the firm integrity of Burke," says Dr. Parr, "want no emblazoning, and if he is accustomed to exact a rigorous account of the moral conduct of others, it is justified in one who shuns not the most inquisitorial scrutiny into his own." The Rev. Mr. Crabbe, whom Burke raised from a position of want and distress to competency and comfort, speaks in glowing terms
Of his private worth, of his wishes to do good, of his affability it was wanted; his delight to give praise where he thought it was deserved his affectionate manners, his amiable disposition, and zeal for their happiness which he manifested in the hours of retirement with the members of his family."
and condescension; his readiness to lend assistance where he knew
"A much higher feature of his character than wit, was a fervent and unfeigned spirit of piety, cheerful but humble, unallied to any thing like fanaticism, and expressive of a deep dependence on the dispensations of Providence, traces of which are to be found
in the letters of his boyhood. . . . His moral character stood wholly unimpeached by any thing that approached to the name of vice."-PRIOR.
Of the affecting incidents of "the inevitable hour" which comes alike to all, the great and the obscure, the learned and the untaught, the man who feareth God and the man who feareth him not,-we have a graphic sketch by the friend of his bosom-Dr. French Laurence. The poet truly tells us, "The chamber where the good man meets his fate Is privileged beyond the common walks of life," and we are assured upon higher authority, "that it is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to heart." Let us then in spirit contemplate to our profit the last earthly scene of the philosopher, the patriot, and the Christian:
"His end was suited to the simple greatness of mind which be displayed through life, every way unaffected, without levity, without ostentation, full of natural grace and dignity; he appeared neither to wish nor to dread, but patiently and placidly to await, the hour of his dissolution. He had been listening to some essays of Addison's, in which he ever took delight; he had recommended himself. in many affectionate messages, to the remembrance of those absent friends whom he had never ceased to love; he had conversed some time with his accustomed force of thought and expression on the awful situation of his country, for the welfare of which his heart was interested to the very last beat; he had given with steady composure some private directions, in contemplation of his approaching death; when, as his attendants were conveying him to his bed, he sunk down, and, after a short struggle, passed quietly and without a groan to eternal rest. in that mercy which he had just declared he had long sought with unfeigned humiliation, and to which he looked with a trembling hope!"
In conformity with the directions of his will, he was buried in the church at Beaconsfield, in the same grave with his son and brother.
Viewed in the light of the present age, how great is our admiration of that foresight which foretold, and that wisdom which would have averted, the storms which menaced the peace and well-being of his country! Impartial in his judgment, unswayed by every wind of political doctrine, because based upon the rock of truth, he as zealously denounced that arbitrary power which oppressed the American Colonies, as he rebuked that hurricane of fierce democracy which swept the throne and the altar from France, and involved the Court and the Commonalty in a general ruin. Had his counsel been followed, Warren Hastings would have expiated his crimes on the scaffold, and the world would have lacked a Napoleon to illustrate the depravity of his race. Burke's public labours present a continuous struggle against the stupidity, the obstinacy, and the venality, of the politicians of his day. His life, therefore, cannot be said to have been a happy one, for happiness dwells not amidst ceaseless vexations; and no man can possess his soul in peace" whose philanthropy stimulates him to the duty of enlightening the ignorant, reforming the vicious, and subduing the refractory. He does well; he acts nobly; he fulfils the end of his being; and if he have the spiritual prerequisites, many will be his consolations here, and great shall be his reward hereafter. But let him not expect much either of gratitude or applause in this life: malice will censure, envy defame, rivalry decry, the noblest motives and the wisest acts. Yet posterity will do him justice; and generations yet unborn shall reverence his name, emulate his virtues, and follow in his steps. His "good name shall be an inheritance to his children's children," and the "remembrance of the just shall be blessed!"
Behold an instance of this noble advocacy of right, and its appreciation by an admiring posterity, in the philan thropic labours of Edmund Burke, and the deep reverence with which his character is regarded in the present day!
In the three principal questions which excited his interest, and called forth the most splendid displays of his eloquence-the contest with the American Colonies, the impeachment of Warren Hastings, and the French Revolution-we see displayed a philanthropy the most pure, illustrated by a genius the most resplendent. In each of these cases he was the friend of the oppressed, the rebuker of the insolence of power, the excesses of petty tyranny, or the fierce ragings of a successful and unprincipled democracy. He was ever the bold and uncompromising champion of justice, mercy, and truth. When his own sovereign stretched forth the hand of despotic power to afflict a suffering nation, he forgot that "the king could do no wrong," and pointed his finger to a violated constitution and broken laws! When a remorseless Verres ground to the earth, by his exactions and cruelty, a simple and confiding people whose rights and happiness he should lave maintained and cherished, their cries entered into the