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our publick life, we have generally sailed on somewhat different tacks. We have so, undoubtedly, and we should do so still, if I had continued longer to keep the sea. In that difference, you rightly observe, that I have always done justice to your skill and ability as a navigator, and to your good intentions towards the safety of the cargo, and of the ship's company. I cannot say now that we are on different tacks. There would be no propriety in the metaphor. I can sail no longer. My vessel cannot be said to be even in port. She is wholly condemned and broken up. To have an idea of that vessel, you must call to mind what you have often seen on the Kentish road. Those planks of tough and hardy oak, that used for years to brave the buffets of the Bay of Biscay, are now turned, with their warped grain, and empty trunnionholes, into very wretched pales for the enclosure of a wretched farm-yàrd.
The style of your pamphlet, and the eloquence and
power of composition you display in it, are such as do great honour to your talents ; and in conveying any other sentiments would give me very great pleasure. Perhaps I do not very perfectly comprehend your purpose, and the drift of your arguments. If I do not-pray do not attribute my mistake to want of candour, but to want of sągacity. I confess your address to the Publick, together with other accompanying circumstances, has filled
me with a degree of grief and dismay, which I cannot find words to express. If the plan- of politicks there recommended, pray excuse my feeedom, should be adopted by the King's Councils, and by the good people of this kingdom, (as so recommended undoubtedly it will) nothing can be the consequence but utter and irretrievable ruin to the Ministry, to the Crown, to the Succession, to the importance, to the independence, to the very existence of this country. This is my feeble, perhaps, but clear, positive, decided, long and maturelyreflected, and frequently declared, opinion, from which all the events, which have lately come to pass, so far from turning me have tended to confirm beyond the power of alteration, even by your eloquence and authority. I find, my dear Lord, that
you think some persons, who are not satisfied with the securities of a Jacobin peace, to be persons of intemperate minds. I may be, and I fear I
am, with you in that description: but pray, my Lord, recollect, that very few of the causes, which make men intemperate, can operate upon me. Sanguine hopes, vehement desires, inordinate ambition, implacable animosity, party-attachments, or party-interests ;-all these with me have no existence. For myself, or for a family (alas ! I have none) I have nothing to hope or to fear in this world. I am attached by principle, inclination, and gratitude, to the King, and to the present Ministry.
Perhaps you may think that my animosity to Opposition is the cause of my dissent, on seeing the politicks of Mr. Fox, (which, while I was in the world, I combated by every instrument, which God had put into my hands, and in every situation, on which I had taken part) so completely, if I at all understand you, adopted in your Lordship’s book : but it was with pain I broke with that great man for ever in that cause--and I assure you, it is not without pain that I differ with your Lordship on the same principles. But it is of no concern. I am far below the region of those great and tempestuous passions. I feel nothing of the intemperance of mind. It is rather sorrow and dejection
Once more, my best thanks for your very polite attention, and do me the favour to believe me, with the most perfect sentiments of respect and regard,
My dear Lord,
Beaconsfield, Oct. 30th, 1795.
TO THE EARL FITZWILLIAM.
MY DEAR LORD,
way any subject, except those, that concern the abstracted sciences, is not somewhat in the way of dialogue. To this mode, however, there are two objections ; the first, that it happens, as in the puppet-show, one man speaks for all the personages. An unnatural uniformity of tone is in a manner unavoidable. The other, and more serious objection is, that as the author (if not an absolute sceptick) must have some opinion of his own to enforce, he will be continually tempted to enervate the arguments he puts into the mouth of his adversary, or to place them in a point of view most commodious for their refutation. There is, however, a sort of dialogue not quite so liable to these objections, because it approaches more nearly to truth and nature': it is called CONTROVERSY. Here the parties speak for themselves. If the writer, who attacks another’s notions, does not deal fairly with his adversary, the diligent reader has it always in his VOL. IX.
power, by resorting to the work examined, to do justice to the original author and to himself. For this reason you will not blame me, if, in my discussion of the merits of a Regicide Peace, I do not choose to trust to my own statements, but to bring forward along
with them the arguments of the advocates for that measure. If I choose puny adversaries, writers of no estimation or authority, then you
will justly blame me.
I might as well bring in at once a fictitious speaker, and thus fall into all the inconveniences of an imaginary dialogue. This I shall avoid ; and I shall take no notice of any author, who, 'my friends in town do not tell me, is in estimation with those, whose opinions he supports. A piece has been sent to me, called “ Remarks
the apparent Circumstances of the War in the “ fourth week of October 1795," with a French motto, Que faire encore une fois dans une telle nuit ? --Attendre le jour. The very title seemed to me striking and peculiar, and to announce something uncommon. In the time I have lived to, I always seem to walk on enchanted ground. Every thing is new, and, according to the fashionable phrase, revolutionary. In former days authors valued themselves upon the maturity and fulness of their deliberations. Accordingly they predicted (perhaps with more arrogance than reason) an eternal duration to their works. The quite contrary is our present fashion. Writers value themselves