Billeder på siden

It is with pleasure I acquaint you, that the friends to a parliamentary reform in this

[blocks in formation]

Whether the violent measure, recently adopted by the irish parliament, originated with the fecretary of the home-department, (lord North) or the house of Cavendish, is a matter of little importance to the public. Both parties act in ftricteft concert with each other, and now must be confidered as jointly endeavouring to deprefs that spirit of freedom, which the defpotic principles of the one, and the aristocratic prejudices of the other, equally lead them to deteft. I will, however, venture to predict, that disappointment and difgrace will, in the prefent instance, attend their counfels, The ill-judged oppofition of the administration and parliament of Ireland, to the voice of the collective body of the people, in a caufe peculiarly their own, will, in all human probability, render the triumph of the friends of freedom more complete, and this, perhaps, at no very diftant period. The fire of genuine patriotism is not thus to be extinguished.

"Prefumptuous man! think'ft thou yon envious cloud,
Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day?
To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray."


The lofs of public confidence, an evil more alarming than the lofs of public credit, now so justly apprehended, renders it more neceffary than ever for the people to unite; I will add, to affociate, in fupport of the only ́measure, which, under providence, can preferve the expiring liberties of England. I must confefs, that, with others, I long indulged the fond perfuafion, that


country feem to receive new courage in confequence of your exertions; and, agreeably


the fpirit and abilities of Mr. Fox would ftrenuously, and at length successfully, have been exerted in reftoring the mutilated conftitution of his country. During the period of our intercourfe, it was my conftant effort to impress his mind with the perfuafion, that by employing his fplendid talents in the fupport of conftitutional liberty, and the cause of the people, he would attain the utmost height of power, to which an honest ambition could aspire, and, at the same time, live honoured and revered by every friend to the interefts of his country and mankind, His exemplary attachment to the cause of fuffering humanity, in the american queftion, ftrongly induced me to believe, that his heart was upright, that his profeffions were fincere. It was, therefore, with feelings moft diftreffing, that I received the intelligence of his union with a party, hoftile to America, to Ireland, to the real interefts of Britain, to the facred cause of civil and religious liberty, to the human species. I remonftrated against fo difgraceful and portentous a coali tion, with all the warmth and earneftnefs of friendship; but, I remonftrated in vain. When I recalled to my mind his former exertions in the cause of freedom; when I recollected with what refiftlefs energy he had employed every captivating power of his unrivalled eloquence in her fupport, the dark tranfaction feemed illufion, the work of fancy, or the operation of that malignant principle, that reprefents as real the defection from virtue, which it wishes may be fact. Alas! it was my lot to lament over him, as fallen from the faireft pinnacle of human glory, while others furrounded him with congratulations upon his elevation to the height of power!


to your own animating expreffion, "fee, in your success, the certain harbinger of their own."

I remain, with cordial good wishes to yourself and your refpectable committee,

Your obedient fervant,


Oct. 25, 1783.

The recollection of that attachment, by which our hearts were once united, might difpofe me to rejoice, were fome future day to exhibit him again awake to the facred call of freedom and of public virtue; but confidence hath fled, I fear, never to return.

At prefent, with aftonishment, mingled with the most fenfible regret, I behold him the affociate and the advocate of men, in principle and practice moft defpotic; the adviser of measures equally impolitic and unjuft; I will add, unprecedented in the annals of mankind: measures, which at once shake all the fecurities of property to their foundation, and create an acceffion of influence to the minifter, which threatens to render him triumphant over every fpecies of conftitutional control,

Is it poffible, I would ask him, once more appealing to the unbiaffed fentiments of his heart, that, with an understanding fo exalted, he can prefer the character and fame of Richlieu, the arbitrary minifter of the thirteenth Lewis, the fubverter of the remaining liberties of France; to the fplendid glory, that in every future age will encircle the brow of the immortal Sully, the friend of Henry, the friend of man?

Dec. 6, 1783.









« ForrigeFortsæt »