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commons by the association of the Friends of the People. But for Mr. Fox to discredit parliament as it stands, to countenance leagues, covenants, and associations for its further discredit, to render it perfectly odious and contemptible, and at the same time to propose nothing at all in place of what he disgraces, is worse, if possible, than to contend for personal individual representation, and is little less than demanding, in plain terms, to bring on plain anarchy.

44. Mr. Fox and these gentlemen have, for the present, been defeated; but they are neither converted nor disheartened. They have solemnly declared, that they will persevere until they shall have obtained their ends; persisting to assert, that the house of commons not only is not the true representative of the people, but that it does not answer the purpose of such representation; most of them insist that all the debts, the taxes, and the burthens of all kinds on the people, with every other evil and inconvenience, which we have suffered since the Revolution, have been owing solely to a house of commons which does not speak the sense of the people.

45. It is also not to be forgotten, that Mr. Fox, and all who hold with him, on this, as on all other occasions of pretended reform, most bitterly reproach Mr. Pitt with treachery, in declining to support the scandalous charges and indeT 3


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finite projects of this infamous libel from the Friends of the People. By the animosity with which they persecute all those who grow cold in this cause of pretended reform, they hope, that if through levity, inexperience, or ambition, any young person (like Mr. Pitt, for instance) happens to be once embarked in their design, they shall, by a false shame, keep him fast in it for ever. Many they have so hampered.

46. I know it is usual, when the peril and alarm of the hour appears to be a little overblown, to think no more of the matter. But for my part, I look back with horrour on what we have escaped; and am full of anxiety with regard to the dangers, which, in my opinion, are still to be apprehended both at home and abroad. This business has cast deep roots. Whether it is necessarily connected in theory with jacobinism is not worth a dispute. The two things are connected in fact. The partisans of the one are the partisans of the other. I know it is common with those who are favourable to the gentlemen of Mr. Fox's party, and to their leader, though not at all devoted to all their reforming projects, or their Gallican politicks, to argue in palliation of their conduct, that it is not in their power to do all the harm which their actions evidently tend to. It is said, that, as the people will not support them, they may safely be indulged in those eccentrick fancies of reform,


and those theories which lead to nothing. This apology is not very much to the honour of those politicians, whose interests are to be adhered to in defiance of their conduct. I cannot flatter myself that these incessant attacks on the constitution of parliament are safe. It is not in my power to despise the unceasing efforts of a confederacy of about fifty persons of eminence; men, for the far greater part, of very ample fortunes either in possession or in expectancy; men of decided characters and vehement passions, men of very great talents of all kinds; of much boldness, and of the greatest possible spirit of artifice, intrigue, adventure, and enterprise, all operating with unwearied activity and perseverance. These gentlemen are much stronger too without doors than some calculate. They have the more active part of the dissenters with them; and the whole clan of speculators of all denominationsma large and growing species. They have that floating multitude which goes with events, and which suffers the loss or gain of a battle to decide its opinions of right and wrong. As long as by every art this party keeps alive a spirit of disaffection against the very constitution of the kingdom, and attributes, as lately it has been in the habit of doing, all the publick misfortunes to that constitution, it is absolutely impossible but that some moment must arrive, in which they will be enabled to produce a pretended reform and a

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real revolution. If ever the body of this compound constitution of ours is subverted either in favour of unlimited monarchy, or of wild democracy, that ruin will most certainly be the result of this very sort of machinations against the house of commons. It is not from a confidence in the views or intentions of any statesman, that I think he is to be indulged in these perilous amusements.

47. Before it is made the great object of any man's political life to raise another to power, it is right to consider what are the real dispositions of the person to be so elevated. We are not to form our judgment on these dispositions from the rules and principles of a court of justice, but from those of private discretion; not looking for what would serve to criminate another, but what is sufficient to direct ourselves. By a comparison of a series of the discourses and actions of certain men, for a reasonable length of time, it is impossible not to obtain sufficient indication of the general tendency of their views and principles. There is no other rational mode of proceeding. It is true, that in some one or two, perhaps, not well-weighed expressions, or some one or two unconnected and doubtful affairs, we may and ought to judge of the actions or words by our previous good or ill opinion of the man. But this allowance has its bounds. It does not extend to any regular course of systematical action, or of constant and


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repeated discourse. It is against every principle of common sense and of justice to one's self, and to the publick, to judge of a series of speeches and actions from the man, and not of the man from the whole tenour of his language and conduct. I have stated the above matters, not as inferring a criminal charge of evil intention. If I had meant to do so, perhaps they are stated with tolerable exactness.But I had no such view. The intentions of these gentlemen may be very pure. I do not dispute it. But I think they are in some great errour. If these things are done by Mr. Fox and his friends with good intentions, they are not done less dangerously; for it shews these good intentions are not under the direction of safe maxims and principles.

48. Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, and the gentlemen who call themselves the phalanx, have not been so very indulgent to others. They have thought proper to ascribe to those members of the house of commons, who, in exact agreement with the Duke of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam, abhor and oppose the French system, the basest and most unworthy motives for their conduct ;-as if none could oppose

that atheistick, immoral, and impolitick project set up in France, so disgraceful and destructive, as I conceive, to human nature itself, but with some sinister intentions. They treat those members on all occasions with a sort of lordly insolence, thouglı they are persons that (whatever


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