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or to my fortune. It is not alleged, that, to gratify any anger or revenge of my own, or of my party, I have liad a share in wronging or oppressing any description of men, or any one man in any description. No! the charges against me are all of one kind : that I have pushed the principles of general justice and benevolence too far, - further than a cautious policy would warrant, and further than the opinions of many would go along with me. In every accident which may happen through life, in pain, in sorrow, in depression, and distress, I will call to mind this accusation, and be comforted.
Gentlemen, I submit the whole to your judgment. Mr. Mayor, I thank you for the trouble you have taken on this occasion : in your state of liealth it is particularly obliging. If this company should think it advisable for me to withdraw, I shall respectfully - retire; if you think otherwise, I shall go directly to the Council-House and to the 'Change, and without a moment's delay begin my canvass.
BRISTOL, September 6, 1780. At a great and respectable meeting of the friends of EDMUND BURKE, Esq., held at the Guildhall this day, the Right Worshipful the Mayor in the chair:
Resolved, That Mr. Burke, as a representative for this city, has done all possible honor to himself as a senator and a man, and that we do heartily and honestly approve of his conduct, as the result of an enlightened loyalty to his sovereign, a warm and zealous love to his country through its widely extended empire, a jealous and watchful care of the liberties of his fellow-subjects, an enlarged and liberal un
derstanding of our commercial interest, a humane attention to the circumstances of even the lowest ranks of the community, and a truly wise, politic, and tolerant spirit, in supporting the national church, with a reasonable indulgence to all who dissent from it; and we wish to express the most marked abhorrence of the base arts which have been employed, without regard to truth and reason, to misrepresent his eminent services to his country.
Resolved, That this resolution be copied out, and signed by the chairman, and be by him presented to Mr. Burke, as the fullest expression of the respectful and grateful sense we entertain of his merits and services, public and private, to the citizens of Bristol, as a man and a representative.
Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting be given to the Right Worshipful the Mayor, who so ably and worthily presided in this meeting.
Resolved, That it is the earnest request of this meeting to Mr. Burke, that he should again offer himself a candidate to represent this city in Parliament; assuring him of that full and strenuous support which is due to the merits of so excellent a representative.
This business being over, Mr. Burke went to the Exchange, and offered himself as a candidate in the usual man
He was accompanied to the Council-House, and from thence to the Exchange, by a large body of most respectable gentlemen, amongst whom were the following members of the corporation, viz.: Mr. Mayor, Mr. Alderman Smith, Mr. Alderman Deane, Mr. Alderman Gordon, Wil. liam Weare, Samuel Munckley, John Merlott, John Crofts, Levy Ames, John Fisher Weare, Benjamin Loscombe, Philip Protheroe, Samuel Span, Joseph Smith, Richard Bright and John Noble, Esquires.
BRISTOL, Saturday, 9th Sept., 1780. This morning the sheriff and candidates assembled as uzual at the Council-House, and from thence proceeded to Guildhall. Proclamation being made for the electors to appear and give their votes, Mr. BURKE stood forward on the hustings, surrounded by a great number of the corporation and other principal citizens, and addressed himself to the whole assembly as follows.
ENTLEMEN, - I decline the election. It has
ever been my rule through life to observe a proportion between my efforts and my objects. I have never been remarkable for a bold, active, and sanguine pursuit of advantages that are personal to myself.
I have not canvassed the whole of this city in form, but I have taken such a view of it as satisfies my own mind that your choice will not ultimately fall upon me. Your city, Gentlemen, is in a state of miserable distraction, and I am resolved to withdraw whatever share my pretensions may have had in its unhappy divisions. I have not been in haste; I have tried all prudent means; I have waited for the effect of all contingencies. If I were fond of a contest, by the partiality of my numerous friends (whom you know to be among the most weighty and respectable people of the city) I have the means of a sharp