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their politics; or from any sequel or connection in their ideas, what part they were going to take in any debate. It is astonishing how much this uncertainty, especially at critical times, called the attention of all parties on such men. All eyes were fixed on them, all ears open to hear them; each party gaped, and looked alternately for their vote, almost to the end of their speeches. While the house hung in this uncertainty, now the hear-hims rose from this side-now they rebellowed from the other; and that party to whom they fell at length from their tremulous and dancing balance, always received them in a tempest of applause. The fortune of such men was a temptation too great to be resisted by one, to whom, a single whiff of incense withheld gave much greater pain, than he received delight, in the clouds of it, which daily rose about him from the prodigal superstition of innumerable admirers. He was a candidate for contradictory honours; and his great aim was to make those agree in admiration of him who never agreed in any thing else.


He was an honourable man and a sound whig. He was not, as the jacobites and discontented whigs of his time have represented him, and as ill-informed people still represent him, a prodigal and corrupt minister. They charged him in their libels and seditious conversations as having first reduced corruption to a system. Such was their cant. But he was far from governing by corruption. He governed by party attachments. The charge of systematic corruption is less applicable to him, perhaps, than to any

minister who ever served the crown for so great a length of time. He gained over very few from the opposition. Without being a genius of the first class, he was an intelligent, prudent, and safe minister. He loved peace; and he helped to communicate the same disposition to nations at least as warlike and restless as that in which he had the chief direction of affairs. Though he served a master who was fond of martial fame, he kept all the establishments very low. The land tax continued at two shillings in the pound for the greater part of his administration. The other impositions were moderate. The profound repose, the equal liberty, the firm protection of just laws during the long period of his power, were the principal causes of that prosperity which afterwards took such rapid strides towards perfection; and which furnished to this nation ability to acquire the military glory which it has since obtained, as well as to bear the burthens, the cause and consequence of that warlike reputation. With many virtues, public and private, he had his faults; but his faults were superficial. A careless, coarse, and over familiar style of discourse, without sufficient regard to persons or occasions, and an almost total want of political decorum, were the errors by which he was most hurt in the public opinion; and those through which his enemies obtained the greatest advantage over him. But justice must be done. The prudence, steadiness, and vigilance of that man, joined to the greatest possible lenity in his character and his politics, preserved the crown to this royal family; and with it, their laws and liberties to this country.


When I was very young, a general fashion told me I was to admire some of the writings against that minister; a little more maturity taught me as much to despise them. I observed one fault in his general proceeding. He never manfully put forward the entire strength of his cause. He temporised; he managed; and adopting very nearly the sentiments of his adversaries, he opposed their inferences. This, for a political commander, is the choice of a weak post. His adversaries had the better of the argument, as he handled it, not as the reason and justice of his cause enabled him to manage it.




THAT the reader may be enabled, without trouble, to turn
to the various parts of Mr. BURKE's works, from which
these volumes are selected, the Editor has thought proper
to give an Index of Reference. As the passages in these
volumes are not numbered, the Editor has in the Index
given the initial words of each. The edition referred to
is that of 1803, in eight 8vo. volumes.


MINISTERS OF STATE.-" Ministers turning their backs,
&c." Thoughts on French Affairs. Vol. vii........
"It is undoubtedly the business, &c." Letters on a
Regicide Peace. Let. iii. Vol. viii..............
"It is no excuse at all, &c." Letters on a Regicide
Peace. Let. i. Vol. viii..........





"A minister of this country, &c." Observations on
the Conduct of the Minority. Vol. vii................... 285
"A man is generally, &c." Observations on a late
State of the Nation. Vol. ii....

CHOICE OF MINISTERS." The popular election, &c."
Thoughts on the Cause of the present Discontents.
Vol. ii....



"It is a serious affair, &c." Observations on a late
State of the Nation. Vol. ii...
"All men who under whatever, &c."
on a late State of the Nation. Vol. ii....




MINISTERIAL MAJORITIES.—" I shall be compelled, &c."
Thoughts on the Cause of the present Discontents.
Vol. ii..........

Thoughts on the Cause of

"I repeat it again, &c."

Vol. ii.....


Vol. vii..............






the present Discontents.
MINORITY." This minority is numerous enough, &c."
Letters on a Regicide Peace. Let. i. Vol. viii......... 142
MONOPOLY." Without question the monopoly, &c."
Thoughts and Details on Scarcity. Vol. vii...
46 A greater and more ruinous, &c." Thoughts and
Details on Scarcity. Vol. vii....
"The balance between consumption, &c." Thoughts
and Details on Scarcity.
NATION." Mere locality does not constitute, &c."
Letter on a Regicide Peace. Let. i. Vol. viii......... 191
NATIONAL BANKRUPTCY.-"So soon as a nation com-
pels, &c." Thoughts on French Affairs. Vol. vii...... 47
NATIONAL DESPONDENCY." Other great states having,
&c." Letters on a Regicide Peace. Let. i. Vol. viii. 84
so fatal to a nation, &c." Remarks on the Policy of
the Allies. Vol. vii.....

"Among precautions against, &c." Remarks on the
Policy of the Allies. Vol. vii....
"There are critical moments, &c." Speech on Con-
ciliation with America. Vol. iii.......

NATIONAL REPRESENTATION." Nothing is a due and
adequate, &c." Reflections on the Revolution in





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