Page images

the majority of the inhabitants of the country in which

you and I were born. If such are the Catholics of Ireland, ill-natured and unjust people, from our own data, may be inclined not to think better of the Protestants of a soil which is supposed to infuse into its sects a kind of venom unknown in other places.

You hated the old system as early as I did. Your first juvenile lance was broken against that giant. I think you were even the first who attacked the grim phantom. You have an exceedingly good understanding, very good humor, and the best heart in the world. The dictates of that temper and that heart, as well as the policy pointed out by that understanding, led you to abhor the old code. You abhorred it, as I did, for its vicious perfection. For I must do it justice: it was a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts. It was a machine of wise and elaborate contrivance, and as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment, and degradation of a people, and the debasement, in them, of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man. It is a thing humiliating enough, that we are doubtful of the effect of the medicines we compound, are sure of our poisons. My opinion ever was, (in which I heartily agree with those that admired the old code,) that it was so constructed, that, if there was once a breach in any essential part of it, the ruin of the whole, or nearly of the whole, was, at some time or other, a certainty. For that reason I honor and shall forever honor and love you, and those who first caused it to stagger, crack, and gape. Others may finish ; the beginners have the glory;




and, take what part you please at this hour, (I think you will take the best,) your first services will never be forgotten by a grateful country. Adieu ! Present my best regards to those I know, - and as many as I know in our country I honor. There never was so much ability, nor, I believe, virtue in it. They have a task worthy of both. I doubt not they will perform it, for the stability of the Church and State, and for the union and the separation of the people : for the union of the honest and peaceable of all sects; for their separation from all that is ill-intentioned and seditious in any of them.

BEACONSFIELD, January 3, 1792.







THE King, my master, from his sincere desire of

keeping up a good correspondence with his Most Christian Majesty and the French nation, has for some time beheld with concern the condition into which that sovereign and nation have fallen.

Notwithstanding the reality and the warmth of those sentiments, his Britannic Majesty has hitherto forborne in any manner to take part in their affairs, in hopes that the common interest of king and subjects would render all parties sensible of the necessity of settling their government and their freedom upon principles of moderation, as the only means of securing permanence to both these blessings, as well as internal and external tranquillity to the kingdom of France, and to all Europe.

His Britannic Majesty finds, to his great regret, that his hopes have not been realized. He finds that confusions and disorders have rather increased than diminished, and that they now threaten to proceed to dangerous extremities.

In this situation of things, the same regard to a neighboring sovereign living in friendship with Great Britain, the same spirit of good-will to the kingdom of France, the same regard to the general tranquillity, which have caused him to view with concern the growth and continuance of the present disorders, have induced the King of Great Britain to interpose

« PreviousContinue »