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mentioned, Mr. Dolphin, whose attention to her family was remembered with gratitude, and who still possessed the management of its pecuniary




"The parental care which you and Mrs. Dolphin have had the goodness to show to my niece, Mary French, calls at all times for my gratitude, and at this time for the communication which I think ought to be made to you of whatever is of importance with regard to her. She is at this time on the point of engaging in an important matter to all human creatures. A young gentleman in my neighbourhood, and whom I have known from his infancy, has been for a good while much attached to her, and she has shown a liking to him: I believe him to be a most worthy and honourable man, and likely to rise in the military profession; it is Captain Haviland (in the next promotion to be Major), son of the late General Haviland. He has something at present beside his commission, not wholly inconsiderable, and on his mother's death will have a reasonably good estate; so that on his side Mrs. Burke and I could have no just objection to their union.

"In giving him this young woman, I think I make him a very valuable present. I do not know a better creature; her temper is admirable, infinite good nature, a great deal of piety, much affection to her relations, and I am sure a mind full of love and gratitude to you and Mrs. Dolphin, of whom she

never speaks without being sensibly affected. I think these dispositions in her promise as much happiness as is to be expected in any marriage.

"I now beg that as you have hitherto been so very kind as to interest yourself in her poor affairs, you will be pleased to send over a statement of them so as to enable us to direct a proper settlement; and that in future you would continue the protection which has hitherto been matter of so much advantage and consolation to her. I have seen your son Mr. Dolphin, though from unpleasant occupations, not so much or so often as I wished. I am not singular in a very high opinion of the talents and virtues of this young gentleman, and the amazing progress which at his time of life he has made in whatever distinguishes a man in letters and leads to professional distinction. I hope to be more fortunate when he returns amongst us. Mrs. Burke and Mary desire their most affectionate regards to you and Mrs. Dolphin; and do me the favour to believe me, my dear Sir,

"Your most faithful

"And obedient humble servant,

"Beaconsfield, Nov. 28, 1793.”

Early in February 1794, the affections of Mr. Burke received a severe shock in the death of his brother Richard, with whom, and indeed with all his relatives, he had ever lived in a degree of harmony and affection rarely witnessed in the most united families. There was but little difference in their ages. They had started nearly at the same

time, and under circumstances nearly similar, though with very different capacities, to work up the hill of life together; and whenever the weaker powers of the younger caused him to lag behind, the hand of the elder was immediately extended to aid him on the journey. For many years they had but one purse and one house, and many of their friendships and pursuits were in common. The talents of Richard, though bearing no comparison with those of his brother, were much above mediocrity, and would have placed him high in any sphere of life, had not a constitutional vivacity and love of pleasure rendered him less patient of application than his brother: he wrote extremely well, but wanted industry. Lord Mansfield, who had formed a high opinion of his powers, pronounced him a rising man at the bar; but an inclination to politics, and the acceptance of the situation of one of the secretaries to the Treasury, in 1782, and again in 1783, injured his prospects as a lawyer, though, through the interest of his brother, he became afterwards Recorder of Bristol, and one of the counsel on the trial of Mr. Hastings. His person was good; his features handsome; his manners prepossessing; which, with his wit and humour, gave him a ready introduction to the fashionable society of the metropolis.

Goldsmith, with whom he was in habits of intimacy, characterizes him almost as happily as he has done his brother Edmund—

"While Dick with his pepper shall heighten the savour."

And again

"Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh at ;
Alas, that such frolic should now be so quiet!

What spirits were his! what wit and what whim!

Now breaking a jest and now breaking a limb!
Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball!
Now teasing and vexing, yet laughing at all!

In short, so provoking a devil was Dick,

That we wished him full ten times a-day at Old Nick ;
But missing his mirth and agreeable vein,

As often we wished to have Dick back again.”

One particular species of the waggery here attributed to him occasionally afforded amusement to the domestic circle of his brother. He claimed the office it seems of reading the newspaper aloud every morning at the breakfast table, making such comments on the circumstances of the day as his whim and humour suggested; and when these proved barren of matter for his genius, he would turn to his brother's speech of the preceding night, read a part of it correctly, then suddenly introduce something of his own of quite an opposite purport to the report, and continue apparently to read with a grave face until interrupted by Edmund, with the exclamation" This is all wrong, Dick; they quite mistake me." A silent assent was nodded by the wag, who nevertheless continued his teasing career of invention." These people," again would Mr. Burke exclaim," are quite malicious or foolish to make me say such things." The wit, still unmoved by the simple perplexity of his brother at the stupidity of the reporters, would go on with something still more outrageous until finally stopped by the earnest and

solemn assurance, "I declare to God, Dick, I said nothing of this kind.".

When in the West Indies, Richard, it appears, made a purchase which turned out unfortunate, and ultimately occasioned him considerable pecuniary loss. To this circumstance Edmund alludes in a letter to Mr. Nagle, of July, 1772—

"Since my brother came home he has not been negligent in the management of his contested purchase. How the matter may finally terminate I know not; but hitherto he has gone on so successfully as to obtain a report of the Board of Trade, recommending to the Council the disallowance of the act of Provincial Assembly, which had put him out of possession and declared his title void. Thus far he has succeeded. Of the quiet and unmolested possession I do not despair; but as it is an affair of magnitude, so it will be a work of time and patience." Again in August, 1776, he says—“ Richard the elder is in town. If his business had prospered, you would have been one of the first to hear of it. But we do not trouble our friends except with pleasing news. He has had much wrong done to him; but the thing is not yet desperate. I believe that the Commissioner who goes out will not have adverse instructions."*

Mr. Burke took little share in parliamentary business until the session was pretty far advanced, and then chiefly by speaking in favour of voluntary subscriptions and enrolment of troops as not being unconstitutional, and as an evidence to the enemy of

New Monthly Magazine, December 1825.

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