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popular commotion; a lesson which seems peculiarly important at the present time.
Burke seemed to have adopted the sentiments of Horace, at least, with respect to a mob
Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.
He even attended popular elections with apparent reluctance.
As soon as the peace of the metropolis was restored, and the Parliament assembled as usual, Burke was indefatigable in his inquiries respecting the cause and progress of the riots, and in procuring a full recompence for all who had given in an estimate of their loss. There was no deduction made from any account of this kind, so much did the public resent the outrages which had been committed,
Notwithstanding the disgrace which was incurred by the Protestant association, and their President sent to the Tower, their
committee still attended the lobby of the House of Commons, disclaiming all connection with the rioters, and praying, or rather demanding attention to their petition. Burke could not behold those gentlemen without visible marks of indignation, and was heard to say within their hearing, I am astonished those men can bave the audacity still to nose Parliament! The general panic, however, had not yet completely subsided; the Parliament wishing to satisfy the association, brought in a bill by way of compromise, to prevent Roman Catholics from teaching Protestants; a measure which was supposed both conciliatory and innoxious, as very few of that religion were teachers. 'Burke was decidedly against any law which satisfied the mob, or was likely to oppress any
inno cent individual : he discovered that a few persons would be affected by the proposed measure, and these he got to sign a petition, which he himself drew up, and in which he painted the proceedings of the Protestant association in very unfavourable colours. The petition was, however, supported only
by eight members; and the bill having passed the Commons, was carried to the House of Lords. Burke still opposed it with all possible private opposition; he applied separately to many of the Lords, and, with his usual eloquence, represented the measure as impolitic, cruel, and absurd. Lord Thurlow, who had been lately made Chancellor, encouraged him to have the Lords petitioned, as the Commons , were. This being done on the third reading, his Lordship left the woolsack, and, in a speech of great energy and eloquence, reprobated the bill so successfully as to have it rejected without a division.
This was a great triumph for Burke. He told some of his friends, who praised the composition of the petition, that it should be published in all the newspapers in England: it never was, however, published; but a part of it, with some variations, was afterwards introduced into his famous speech to the citizens of Bristol.
The employment of the military, without being called by the civil magistrate, was
certainly not a desirable measure, but at that time absolutely necessary. The lawless, outrages of the mob, originating in a popular association, damped associations for the retrenchment of expence:--so inimical are democratical societies in their tendency and effects. to moderate reform. No man reprobated the outrageous wickedness and madness of the mob more strongly than Burke: no man was at once a more zealous friend of constitutional liberty and a more determined enemy of popular licentiousness, As none possessed more extensive knowledge of ancient and modern history, and politics, or more wisdom to compare and estimate the tendency and effects of different governments, none could better appreciate. the value of the constitution of his country. This session, in which Burke-had borne so conspicuous a part, was closed on the 8th of July; and soon after, this Parliament, of which he had been so active, able, and leading a member, was dissolved.
Burke finding that his support of the trade of Ireland, a support, after many
difficulties, at last successful, had displeased a great part of his constituents, resolved to decline standing for Bristol. Previously to the election he made a very masterly speech, comprehending an account of the proceedings of Parliament, and the principles on which he himself had acted. • I decline,' said he, “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 unhapy 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 nu