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nor is it possible a scheme of polity, which, in total exclusion of the body of the community, confines (with little or no regard to their rank or condition in life) to a certain set of favoured citizens the rights which formerly belonged to the whole, should not by the operation of the same selfish and narrow principles, teach the persons who administer in that government, to prefer their own particular, but well understood private interest, to the false and ill-calculated private interest of the monopolizing company they belong to.

“ Eminent characters, to be sure, over-rule places and circumstances. I have nothing to say to that virtue which shoots up in full force by the native vigour of the seminal principle, in spite of the adverse soil and climate that it grows in. But speaking of things in their ordinary course, in a country of monopoly there can be no patriotism. There may be a party spiritbut public spirit there can be

As to a spirit of liberty still less can it exist, or any thing like it. A liberty made up of penalties! a liberty made up of incapacities ! a liberty made up of exclusions and proscriptions, continued for ages, of four-fifths perhaps of the inhabitants of all ranks and fortunes! In what does such liberty differ from the description of the most shocking kind of servitude ?”

A letter of young Burke at this time to his friend Mr. Smith, already introduced to the reader, reiterates his opinion of the leaders of Irish politics, and alludes to some of their mutual writings.



« Dublin, Tuesday. “I should have more pleasure than I have in sending you the enclosed, if it were better worth your acceptance than it is. It has all the faults which some of its censurers have, in print, found with it; but if it had as many more, I am not sure that it would, on this account, be substantially the worse. I do not know whether I am capable of producing a work of literary merit, but I know I was not, in this instance, attempting any thing of the kind. I merely wished to ring a bell that should be heard ; and felt no particular anxiety as to the sweetness of its tone. Your criticisms I shall indeed listen to with interest and attention, because I know you attend more to the matter than to the manner of a thing.

“ It appears that when you wrote, a letter of mine had not yet reached you. When it was sent to your house in Hume Street, the messenger was told that you had left Dublin, but that it should be sent after you without delay. It is therefore likely that you have received it by this time, and if so, you have discovered your mistake in supposing that I had not found time (I should have made time) to read over what you sent me. I have read the whole of it with pleasure, and will you think me too complimentary if I add-parts of it with admiration. The Vision and the Fable rival each other with me; and if it were not for the reception given 'to Rekub in the former, I do not well know which I should prefer. The controlling effect which you suppose his ascendant to produce on his opponent, is very happily imagined, and executed with great skill. I may

indeed I must be partial, where my father is concerned. But I will, notwithstanding, venture to say that I do not think him undeserving of the praise which you have bestowed, with so much cordiality and good taste.-Numbers 7 and 15 are also very good. In parts of the former there is a felicity of expression which I have seldom seen surpassed.

“ But yet, if you have received my letter, you know that I would dissuade you from giving your thoughts to the public in this form. The path which you are treading has been already trodden, since the days of the Tatler and Spectator, not only by first but by second rate writers; and one who neither knew the author, nor happened to fall upon a fascinating passage, might take up and open your book, only to shut and lay it down again.

“ You must introduce me to your father. Not to his acquaintance ; for I have done this myself; perhaps forwardly enough ; but under circumstances which, when you hear them, you will say amount to an apology, or something near it. Accordingly I am forgiven; for I am to be his guest on Saturday; but I fear without much chance of meeting you.—What I want you to introduce me to, is his favourable opinion. I flatter myself that to do this, will be but to communicate your own.

We have not indeed met often, or known each other long; but on the day when I sat next you at Beaconsfield, it seemed to me that we made as much progress in intimacy as could well be made in an afternoon; especially by two lemonade drinkers, which I remember we were at the time.

“ The more I detect of the spirit of your Irish

councils, the less I like them. and

may be what you call them. But I fear you are doing what you do not mean to do, complimenting them. I suspect their bigotry to be no better than a mask; ugly enough in all conscience; but hiding what is less honest, and therefore more deformed. Then the vessel of your state! It seems to be without a rudder, or without a steersman; tossed at the will of wind and current, or of a management which is shifting, contradictory, and capricious; and what port it is to find, or whether it is to find any, I take to be rather a matter of chance than of calculation.

“On some of these points, if you do not altogether differ from me, neither, I fear, are we quite agreed. I am some years older than you; and I think time will remove whatever differences of opinion at present exist between us on these subjects. In the mean while let me say you are too candid. Not content with throwing weighty reasons into your own scale, you are also for flinging arguments into that of your adversaries, which, without your assistance, many of them would not have discovered ; but which you will find them ready enough to turn to an unfair and ungrateful purpose.

“ In my last letter you will have found me almost soliciting your active co-operation. This I do not expect; nor perhaps, under all the circumstances, ought I ever to have expected. Yet there is nothing in the substance of my letter which I repent of. What I should do, if I were now revising it, would be to make it less formal than I believe it to have been. From the kindness of your's which is now before me, it appears that you have not forgotten VOL. II.


an evening to which I have been alluding, and I am led to hope that you will pronounce mine (his letter) to have been too ceremonious, and will consider our Beaconsfield afternoon to have put me on a footing of more familiarity with you than I have used. I shall feel greatly obliged by your reproaches upon this score.

“ Most faithfully your's, “ To William Smith, Esq.


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