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1. 10. given to the children of men. Ps. cxv. 16. This is one of the rare instances in which Burke employs the arguments of what he called the ‘metaphysical' school. He evidently had in mind Locke, of Civil Government, Book ïi. ch. v. The phrase is used in the Letter to a Bristol firm, May 2, 1778. Blackstone similarly deduces the rights of property from the dominion over all the earth,' &c., conferred upon mankind at the creation. This is the only true and solid foundation of man's dominion over external things, whatever airy metaphysical notions may have been started by fanciful writers on this subject.' Cp. the expression charter of nature,' p. 196.
1. 25. a more easy task. Because the system of commercial restriction was well established.
P. 190, 1. 5. beggar its subjects into submission. Cp. p. 5, l. 28, and
1. 12. Spoliatis arma supersunt. Juvenal, Sat. viii. 124.
1. 19. your speech would betray you. St. Matt. xxvi. 73.
1. 23. to substitute the Roman Catholic, as a penalty. Why should Burke
1. 25. inquisition and dragooning-alluding to the measures adopted by
Cp., in the
P. 191, 1. 2. more chargeable-i.e. more expensive.
1. 9. any opinion of it-an elliptical expression, still in use-equivalent to 'any favourable opinion of it.' Cp. the expression to have no idea of a thing,' i.e. to disapprove it (found in Pitt's speeches).
1. 14. both these pleasing tasks. A masterly stroke. Cp. p. 155, 1. 1.
1. 18. a measure to which other people have had recourse. See Aristoph. Ran. 27, from which it appears that the slaves who had distinguished themselves at the battle of Arginusae, were presented with their freedom. Plutarch says that Cleomenes armed 2,000 Helots to oppose the Macedonian Leucaspedae, in his war with that people and the Achaeans. According to
Pausanias, the Helots were present at the battle of Marathon. Among the Romans, as Virgil (Aen. ix. 547) tells us, it was highly criminal for slaves to enter the army of their masters, but in the Hannibalian War, after the battle of Cannae, 8,000 of them were armed, and by their valour in subsequent actions, earned their liberty. See Livy, Book xxiv.
1. 21. Slaves as these, &c. Burke, in his Account of the Settlements in America, was the first to point out that on English soil there were slaves enduring 'a slavery more complete, and attended with far worse circumstances, than what any people in their condition suffer in any part of the world, or have suffered in any period of time.' The passage is quoted in Dr. Ogden's Sermon against Oppression.
dull as all men are from slavery. It was shown by Adam Smith that slave labour was so much dearer than free labour that none but the most lucrative trades could bear the loss it involved.
P. 192, 1. 2. Ye gods, annihilate but space and time, &c. This piece of fustian is taken from Martinus Scriblerus, of the Art of Sinking in Poetry, where it is cited without name. It is said to come from one of Dryden's plays. Cp. the humorous paper in the Ann. Reg. 1761, p. 207, in which, alluding to the stage-coaches, machines, flys, and post-chaises,' which were plying about this time in great numbers on the improved turnpike-roads, the author says, “The lover now can almost literally annihilate time and space, and be with his mistress, before she dreams of his arrival.'
1. 27. method of drawing up an indictment, &c. Cp. vol. ii. p. 110. (Quidquid multis peccatur inultum.)
1. 29. Sir Edward Coke—Sir W. Rawleigh. See Howell's State Trials, vol. ii. p. 7. sq. (Pronounce Cooke. · Similarly, ‘Bolingbroke' should be pronounced Bullingbrook. Both names indeed were at one time spelt in this way.)
1. 33. same title that I am-i. e. that of popular election as a representative.
P. 193, 1. 3. my idea of an Empire. Cp. sup. p. 156. With the extension of the Colonies, this “idea’ of Burke's has acquired a new significance.
P. 194, 1. 8. as often decided against the superior, &c. Cp. ante,
pp. 6, 7,
1. 12. rights which, in their exercise, &c. Cp. note to p. 153, 1. 8. P. 195, 1. 4. these juridical ideas. Cp. note, p. 266, ante.
1. 15. for my life=if my life depended on the effort. A vulgarism, now nearly obsolete. So Shakspeare often uses the phrase for
P. 196, 1. 4. Sir, I think you must perceive. It is difficult to select any passage in this oration for special notice in point of style: but no one can fail to be struck with fresh admiration at the method of this paragraph, in which the right of Taxation' is excluded from the discussion. The delicate irony with which the theorists are passed over gives place, by way of a surprising antithesis (ʻright to render your people miserable'—' interest to make them happy '), to the earnest remonstrance with which the passage
concludes. The continuous irony of the first part of the paragraph seems to contribute to rather than detract from the general elevation of treatment.
1. 6. Some gentlemen startle-intransitive. Classical. Cp. Addison's Cato, Act iii. Sc. 2:
'my frighted thoughts run back,
And startle into Madness at the Sound.' Young, Satire on Women:
• How will a miser startle, to be told
Of such a wonder as insolvent gold !' 1.7. it is less than nothing. Isaiah xl. 17. 'In matters of State, a constitutional competence to act, is, in many cases, the smallest part of the Question.' First Letter on a Regicide Peace.
1. 19. deep questions ... great names, high and reverend authorities, &c. * As to the right of taxation, the gentlemen who opposed it produced many learned authorities from Locke, Selden, Harrington, and Puffendorf, shewing that the very foundation and ultimate point in view of all government, is the good of society,' &c. Annual Register, 1766. •These arguments were answered with great force of reason, and knowledge of the constitution, by the other side.' Ibid. The whole of this able summary, which is from the pen of Burke, is also to be read in the Parliamentary History, vol. xvi.
militate against. The proper construction; though Burke also uses the modern ‘militate with.” (Not in Johnson.)
1. 23. the great Serbonian bog, &c. Par. Lost, ii. 592. •He climbed and descended precipices on which vulgar mortals tremble to look: he passed marshes like the Serbonian bog, where armies whole have sunk, &c.' The Idler, No. 49. Cp. 'the Serbonian bog of this base oligarchy,' vol. ii. p. 231. See Herodotus, iii. 5.
P. 197, 1. 6. assertion of my title ... loss of my suit. “It would have been a poor compensation that we had triumphed in a dispute, whilst we lost an Empire. Letter to Sheriffs of Bristol. • What were defeat, when victory must appal ?'
Shelley, Hellas. 1. 10. Unity of spirit-diversity of operations. I Cor. xii. 4 sq.
1. 12. sealed a regular compact. To seal, i.e. to affix one's seal, implies a higher degree of formality than merely to sign.
1. 14. rights of citizens ... posterity to all generations, The allusion is to a question which is fully discussed in vol. ii. p. 23, where Burke takes the contrary view to that which is implied here.
1. 18. two million of men, The old plural. So 'two thousand,' two hundred,'two score,' •two dozen.' •
1. 20. the general character, &c. The doctrine was then novel. Its currency due to the French philosophers.
P. 198, 1. 19. a gentleman of real moderation. Mr. Rice.
P. 199, 1. 18. The pamphlet from which he seems to have borrowed-by Dean Tucker, see note to p. 140, ante.
1. 20. without idolizing them. His (Grenville's) idol, the Act of Navigation,' p. 124.
1. 34. real, radical cause. See note to p. 188, 1. 3.
P. 200, 1. 18. will go further ... fact and reason. For the fact alluded to, see p. 142, and for the reason, p. 115, ante.
P. 201, 1. 19. consult the genius, &c. Chatham was fond of consulting the genius of the English constitution.' Notice the method of the paragraph.
1. 34. roots of our primitive constitution. From which the representation of the Commons naturally sprang. Burke is correct, and in his time such a view implied some originality.
P. 202, 1. 3. gave us at least, &c., i. e. the liberties secured by Magna Charta gave the people at once some weight and consequence in the state, and this weight and consequence were felt in Parliament when the people attained distinct representation.
1. 9. your standard could never be advanced an inch beyond your privileges; i. e, the privileges of the Pale. See Hallam's Const. Hist., ch. xviii.
1. 11. Sir John Davies. “Discoverie of the true Causes why Ireland was never entirely subdued until the beginning of his Majestie's happy reign.' 4t0., 1612. Davies was in this year made Speaker of the first Irish House of Commons. He was afterwards Lord Chief Justice of England. He is still remembered as the author of a curious metaphysical poem on the Immortality of the Soul, and as a legal reporter.
1. 32. strength and ornament. The most indulgent critic will complain that this is carrying the argument too far.
1. 33. formally taxed her. Queen Elizabeth attempted to tax the Irish landowners by an Order in Council, which was resisted. On the question of the competency of the Parliament of England to tax Ireland, see the last pages of Hallam's Constitutional History.
P. 303, l. 14. my next example is Wales. Perhaps it is not generally known that Wales was once the Ireland of the English Government.' O'Connell, Speech at Waterford, August 30, 1826. He applies to Ireland, with much ingenuity, all that Burke here says of Wales. O'Connell also quoted this part of the Speech at length in his Speech at the Association, February 2, 1827. The strange heterogeneous monster, something between hostility and government,' he marked as an epitome of Irish history—I love to repeat it.'
1. 20. put into the hands of Lords Marchers. See Scott's • The Betrothed,' and the Appendix to Pennant's Tour in Wales. The conquest of Wales by ordinary military operations having been found impossible, the kings of England granted to these lords “such lands as they could win from the Welshmen.' The first conquests were made in the neighbourhood of the great frontier towns; and the lords were suffered to take upon them such prerogative and authority as were fit for the quiet government of the country. No actual
records of these grants remain, as the writs from the King's Courts did not run into Wales, nor were there any sheriffs to execute such writs. The towns of Wales grew up around the castles of the Lords Marchers. They executed the English laws, for the most part, within their lordships; but where the ancient laws of the land were sufficiently ascertained, they seem to a certain extent to have respected them : there being in many lordships separate Courts for the Welsh and English. The text must not be understood to imply that the governments by Lords Marchers was established by Edward I. On the contrary, after Edward II was made Prince of Wales, no more Lordships Marchers were created, and no Lord Marcher could claim any liberty or prerogative more than they had before, without a grant. These lordships were held of the King in chief, and not of the principality of Wales.
1. 25. secondary. Lat. secundarius, a deputy, alluding to the delegation of the supreme power to him during a state of war.
P. 204, l. 17. fifteen acts of penal regulation. In addition to those specified by Burke, no Welshman might be a burgess, or purchase any land in a town, 2 Henry IV, c. 12 and 20. No Welshman was to have any castle or fortress, save such as was in the time of Edward I, except bishops and temporal lords. P. 205, 1. 15. day-star-arisen in their hearts.
2 Peter i. 19.
The image is forced ; but we forget the discordance in the admirable quotation which follows.
1. 18. simul alba nautis, &c. Hor. Odes, Lib. 1. xii, 27.
P. 206, 1. 26. What did Parliament, &c. Notice the method of the paragraph.
P. 207, 1. 13. Now if the doctrines, &c. Burke's argument would be weightier if he were not obliged to abandon it when confronted with the question ‘How can America be represented in a British Parliament ?'
P. 208, 1. 12. Opposuit natura. Juv. X. 152. Canning borrowed this quotation in his eloquent speech on the Roman Catholic Disability Removal Bill, March 16, 1821.
1. 18. arm not shortened. Isaiah lix. i.
1. 28. Republick of Plato . . . Utopia of More (pronounce Moore).. Oceana of Harrington. Adam Smith and many others class the Utopia and the Oceana together as idle schemes. Nothing, however, can be more contrary than the spirit of the works of Plato and More on the one hand, and of Harrington on the other. More's work is pervaded by Greek ideas, and, like Plato's Republic, was intended to form a bright artificial picture, with the view of exhibiting more clearly by contrast the dark mass of contemporary realities. Beyond this, both works contain much sound sense and many practical suggestions. The Utopia,' even in its English dress, is a fine model of the method of composition. The Oceana' is quite a different thing. It is a complete, pragmatical scheme of what Burke calls ‘paper government,' constructed as if human beings were so many counters, and