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may happen through life—in pain, in sorrow, in depression, and distress—I will call to mind this accusation ; and be comforted.

Gentlemen, I submit the whole to your judgment. Mr Mayor, I thank you for the trouble you have taken on this occasion. In your state of health, it is particularly obliging. If this company should think it advisable for me to withdraw, I shall respectfully retire ; if you think otherwise, I shall go directly to the Councilhouse and to the Change, and, without a moment's delay, begin my canvass.

[Three days later, Sept. 9, Burke saw no hope of success, and withdrew from the contest.]

NOTES. The act. An act repealing a statute of and London was in imminent danger

1699, by which certain monstrous of destruction by fire. "The houses disabilities had been laid upon

they (the rioters] stripped of the Roman Catholics. This act of re- furniture, and the chapels of the lief passed both Houses, without altars, pulpits, pews, and benches, opposition, in May 1778.

all which served to make bonfires The late horrible spirit. Manifested in the streets' (Mahon, Hist. 0,

in the Lord George Gordon riots of England, vol. vii., ch. 61). June 1780. Lords and Commons To be placed. *To' is given here, were roughly handled by the mob, though omitted before 'pass.'

FRANCE BEFORE THE REVOLUTION:

THE GOVERNMENT JUDGED FROM THE WEALTH OF THE COUNTRY,

(From Reflections on the Revolution in France.) [Burke estimates the effects of the monarchical government by two standards, population and national wealth. After discussing M. Necker's economical facts and speculations, he proceeds :]

Some adequate cause must have originally introduced all the money coined at its mint into that kingdom; and some cause as operative must have kept at home, or returned into its bosom, such a vast flood of treasure as Mr Necker calculates to remain for domestic circulation. Suppose any reasonable deductions from Mr Necker's, computation ; the remainder must still amount to an

immense sum. Causes thus powerful to acquire and to retain, cannot be found in discouraged industry, insecure property, and a positively destructive government. Indeed, when I consider the face of the kingdom of France; the multitude and opulence of her cities ; the useful magnificence of her spacious high-roads and bridges ; the opportunity of her artificial canals and navigations opening the conveniences of maritime communication through a solid continent of so immense an extent; when I turn my eyes to the stupendous works of her ports and harbours, and to her whole naval apparatus, whether for war or trade; when I bring before my

view the number of her fortifications, constructed with so bold and masterly a skill, and made and maintained at so prodigious a charge, presenting an armed front and impene trable barrier to her enemies upon every side; when I recollect how very small a part of that extensive region is without cultivation, and to what complete perfection the culture of many of the best productions of the earth have been brought in France ; when I reflect on the excellence of her manufactures and fabrics, second to

ours, and in some particulars not second ; when I contemplate the grand foundations of charity, public and private ; when I survey the state of all the arts that beautify and polish life; when I reckon the men she has bred for extending her fame in war, her able statesmen, the multitude of her profound lawyers and theologians, her philosophers, her critics, her historians and antiquaries, her poets, and her orators sacred and profane : I behold in all this something which awes and commands the imagination, which checks the mind on the brink of precipitate and indiscriminate censure, and which demands that we should very seriously examine what and how great are the latent vices that could authorise us at once to level so specious a fabric with the ground. I

none but

do not recognise, in this view of things, the despotism of Turkey. Nor do I discern the character of a government that has been, on the whole, so oppressive, or so corrupt, or so negligent, as to be utterly unfit for all reformation. I must think such 4 government well deserved to have its excellencies heightened ; its faults corrected; and its capacities improved into a British constitution.

NOTES. M. Necker, an able financier of France. And below : ‘behold ... recog

'He affirms that from the year 1726 nise . . . discern.' to the year 1784, there was coined at Canals &c. Especially the Languedoc the mint of France, in the species of canal, Canal du Midi (* of the gold and silver, to the amount of south '), stretching from Toulouse about one hundred millions of pounds to Narbonne and Agde, and uniting sterling.' 'He calculates the numé- the Atlantic and the Mediterranean raire, or what we call the specie, (hence also called Canal des deux then [1785] actually existing in Mers, 'canal of the two seas'). France, at about eighty-eight mil- Executed (1666-80), under Louis lions of the same English money' XIV., by Paul de Riquet, at a cost (Burke, Reflections &c.)

of nearly a million and a half sterling. When I consider ... turn my eyes Ports &c. As Brest, Toulon, Cher

bring before my view, &c. Ob- bourg. serve the studied variety of expres- Fortifications &c. Constructed chiefly sion.

Cf. preceding extract (third by the famous engineer De Vauban. par.): 'stand accused

it is not Have been brought. Cf. notes (9), said it is not alleged,' &c. page 95.

Re-write the passage, with considerable expansion. By the side of Burke's view should be placed some complementary view. Cf., for example, Carlyle, The French Revolution, Book II., chap. i. : ‘Dreary, languid do these [the twenty to twenty-five millions lumped together as the canaille, or ‘masses '] struggle in their obscure remoteness; their hearth cheerless, their diet thin. For them, in this world, rises no Era of Hope. Untaught, uncomforted, unfed ! ... There is dearth, an indubitable scarcity of bread. And so, on the 2d day of May 1775, these waste multitudes do here, at Versailles Château, in wide-spread wretchedness, in sallow faces, squalor, winged raggedness, present, as in legible hieroglyphic writing, their Petition of Grievances. The Château-Grates must be shut; but the King will appear on the balcony, and speak to them. They have seen the King's face; their Petition of Grievances has been, if not read, looked at. For answer, two of them are hanged, on a new gallows forty feet high;” and the rest driven back to their dens—for a time.'

WILLIAM COWPER.–1731-1800. WILLIAM COWPER was born in his father's parsonage at Great Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire. Grandson of Spencer Cowper, Judge of the Common Pleas, and great-nephew of William Cowper, the Lord Chancellor, the future poet, on leaving Westminster School at eighteen, began the study of law in the office of the same attorney with the future Lord Chancellor Thurlow. He was called to the bar in 1754. His constitutional shyness, however, was so overpowering that he could not avail himself of the helping efforts of his friends; and it turned at last to religious depression and mental derangement. On his recovery, he settled at Huntingdon (1765), where he formed an intimacy with a Rev. Mr Unwin, into whose family he was soon adopted. When Mr Unwin was thrown from his horse and killed in 1767, Cowper still remained with Mrs Unwin, who watched over him with the greatest care. They removed first (1767) to Olney, in Buckinghamshire, and afterwards (1786) to Weston, in Northamptonshire. A mental attack in 1773 was not got over for five years. Cowper was then persuaded to turn his attention to poetry, which he cultivated assiduously till his mind finally gave way. In 1794 he received a crown pension of £300 a year.

Neither Cowper's share (68) of the Olney Hymns (1779), nor a small volume of poems, didactic and satirical, in 1782, did much to secure public attention. His masterpiece, The Task (1785), at once made kim famous. He had already (1784) begun his translation of Homer, which, after many interruptions, at last appeared in 1791. He executed many other translations also: from Madame Guyon (religious pieces); from Milton (Latin and Italian poems); and from several Latin and Greek writers. Many of his miscellaneous poemsBoadicea, The Loss of the Royal George, John Gilpin, &c.—are well known.

LIBERTY AND FRATERNITY.

(From The Task, Book II.)
Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more ! My ear is pained,
My soul is sick, with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.
There is no flesh in man's obdūrate heart,

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It does not feel for man; the natural bond
Of brotherhood is severed as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own; and, having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys ;
And, worse than all, and most to be deplored,
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes that Mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.
No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation prized above all price,
I had much rather be myself the slave,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home :—then why abroad ?
And they themselves, once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loosed.
Slaves cannot breathe in England ; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free ;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through every vein
Of all your empire ; that where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.

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