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advantage; that the whole-passed, as far as it is gone, with complete unanimity; and so quickly, that there was no time left to excite any opposition to it out of doors. In the West India business, reasoning on what had lately passed in the Parliament of Ireland, and on the mode, in which it was opened here, I thought I saw much matter of perplexity. But I have now better reason than ever to be pleased with my

silence. If I had spoken; one of the most honest and able men* in the Irish Parliament would probably have thought my observation an endeavour to sow dissention, which he was resolved to prevent; and one of the most ingenious and one of the most amiable men, that t ever graced yours or any House of Parliament, might have looked on it as a chimera. In the silence I observed, I was strongly countenanced (to say no more of it) by every gentleman of Ireland, that I had the honour of conversing with in London. The only word, for that reason, which I spoke, was to restrain a worthy County Member who had received some communication from a great trading place in the county

he represents, which, if it had been opened to the House, would have led to a perplexing discussion of one of the most troublesome matters, that could arise in this business. I got up to put a stop

* Mr. Grattan. t Mr. Hussey Burgh. Mr. Stanley, Meraber for Lancasbire.

to

to it; and I believe, if you knew what the topick was, you would commend my discretion.

That it should be a matter of publick discretion in me to be silent on the affairs of Ireland, is what, on all accounts, I bitterly lament. I stated to the House what I felt; and I felt, as strongly as human sensibility can feel, the extinction of my parliamentary capacity, where I wished to use it most. When I came into this Parliament, just fourteen years ago,-into this Parliament, then, in vulgar opinion at least, the presiding Council of the greatest Empire existing (and perhaps, all things considered, that ever did exist,) obscure and a stranger as I was, I considered myself as raised to the highest dignity, to which a creature of our species could aspire. In that opinion, one of the chief pleasures in my situation, what was first and uppermost in my thoughts, was the hope, without injury to this country, to be somewhat useful to the place of my birth and education, which, in many respects internal and external, I thought ill and impolitically governed. But when I found that the House, surrendering itself to the guidance of an authority, not grown out of an experienced wisdom and integrity, but out of the accidents of Court favour, had become the sport of the passions of men at once rash and pusillanimous; —that it had even got into the habit of refusing · everything to reason, and surrendering every 24

thing

tid thing to force, all my power of obliging either

my country or individuals was gone; all the lustre of my imaginary rank was tarnished ; and I felt degraded even by my elevation. I said this, or something to this effect. If it gives offence to Ireland, I am sorry for it; it was the reason I

gave

for

my silence; and it was, as far as it went, the true

W one.

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With you, this silence of mine and of others was represented as factious, and as a discountenance to the measure of your relief. Do you think us children? If it had been our wish to embroil matters, and, for the sake of distressing Ministry, to commit the two kingdoms in a dispute, we had nothing to do but (without at all condemning the propositions) to have gone

into the commercial detail of the objects of them. It could not have been refused to us: and you, who know the nature of business so well, must know, that this would have caused such delays, and given rise during that delay to such discussions, as all the wisdom of your favourite Minister could never have settled. But indeed

your men. We tremble at the idea of a disunion of these two nations. The only thing, in which we differ

you, is this,--that we do not think your attaching yourselvs to the Court, and quarrelling with the independent part of this people, is the way to promote the union of two free Countries, or of holding them together by the most natural and salutary

you mistake

with

ties.

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You will be frightened when you see this long la Letter. I smile, when I consider the length of it

, auf myself. I never, that I remember, wrote any of the same extent. But it shews me, that the reproaches of the country, that I once belonged to, and in which I still have a dearness of instinct more ever than I can justify to reason, make a greater im- pich pression on me, than I had imagined. But parting frati words are admitted to be a little tedious, because mm they are not likely to be renewed. If it will not be making yourself as troublesome to others, as I am to you, I shall be obliged to you, if you will shew this, at their greatest leisure, to the Speaker, to your excellent kinsman, to Mr. Grattan, Mr. Yelverton, and Mr. Daly;--all these I have the honour of being personally known to, except Mr. Yelverton, to whom I am only known by my obligations to him. If you live in

any habits with my old friend the Provost, I shall be glad that he too sees this my humble apology.

Adieu! once more accept my best thanks for the
interest you take in me. Believe, that it is received
by an heart not yet so old, as to have lost its sus-
ceptibility. All here give you the best old fashioned
wishes of the season, and believe me, with the
greatest truth and regard,

My dear Sir,
Beaconsfield, Your most faithful
New Year's Day, and obliged humble Servant,
1780.

EDMUND BURKE.

I am frightened at the trouble I give you and our friends; but I recollect, that you are mostly lawyers, and habituated to read long tiresome papers --and, where your friendship is concerned, without a fee; I am sure too, that you will not act the lawyer in scrutinizing too minutely every expression, which my haste may make me use.

I forgot to mention

my
friend O'Hara and others, but you

will communicate it as you please.

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