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still heightened by a complexion so transparent, and such a happy sensibility of look, as even age could not gaze on with indifference. As Mr. Wilmot knew that I could make a very handsome settlement on my son, he was not averse to the match ; so both families lived together in all that harmony which generally precedes an expected alliance. Being convinced, by experience, that the days of courtship are the most happy of our lives, I was willing enough to lengthen the period ; and the various amusements which the young couple every day shared in each other's company, seemed to increase their passion. We were generally awaked in the morning by music, and on fine days rode a-hunting. The hours between breakfast and dinner the ladies devoted to dress and study : they usually read a page, and then gazed at themselves in the glass, which even philosophers might own often presented the page of greatest beauty. At dinner my wife took the lead ; for, as she always insisted upon carving everything herself, it being her mother's way, she gave us, upon these occasions, the history of every dish. When we had dined, to prevent the ladies leaving us, I generally ordered the table to be removed and sometimes, with the music-master's assistance, the girls would give us a very agreeable concert. Walking out, drinking tea, country dances, and forfeits, shortened the rest of the day, without the assistance of cards, as I hated all manner of gaming, except backgammon, at which my old friend and I sometimes took a twopenny hit. Nor can I here pass over an ominous circumstance that happened the last time we played together. I only wanted to fling a quatre, and yet I threw deuce ace five times running.

Some months were elapsed in this manner, till at last it was thought convenient to fix a day for the nuptials of the young couple, who seemed earnestly to desire it. During the preparations for the wedding, I need not describe the busy importance of my wife, nor the sly looks of my daughters : in fact, my attention was fixed on another object, the completing a tract which I intended shortly to publish in defence of my favourite principle. As I looked upon this as a masterpiece, both for argument and style, I could not, in the pride of my heart, avoid showing it to my old friend, Mr. Wilmot, as I made no doubt of receiving his approbation : but not till too late I discovered that he was most violently attached to the contrary opinion, and with good reason ; for he was at that time actually courting a fourth wife. This, as may be expected, produced a dispute attended with some acrimony,


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was over.

which threatened to interrupt our intended alliance; but, on the day before that appointed for the ceremony, we agreed to discuss the subject at large.

It was managed with proper spirit on both sides. He asserted that I was heterodox ; I retorted the charge : he replied, and I rejoined. In the meantime, while the controversy was hottest, I was called out by one of my relations, who, with a face of concern, advised me to give up the dispute, at least till my son's wedding

“How,” cried I, “relinquish the cause of truth, and let him be a husband, already driven to the very verge of absurdity ! You might as well advise me to give up my fortune as my argument.”—“ Your fortune,” returned my friend, “I am now sorry to inform you, is almost nothing. The merchant in town, in whose hands your money was lodged, has gone off, to avoid a statute of bankruptcy, and is thought not to have left a shilling in the pound. I was unwilling to shock you or the family with the account till after the wedding ; but now it may serve to moderate your warmth in the argument ; for I suppose your own prudence will enforce the necessity of dissembling, at least till your son has the young lady's fortune secure.”—“Well,” returned I, “if what you tell me be true, and if I am to be a beggar, it shall never make me a rascal, or induce me to disavow my principles. I'll go this moment, and inform the company of my circumstances; and as for the argument, I even here retract my former concessions in the old gentleman's favour, nor will I allow him now to be a husband in any sense of the expression.”

It would be endless to describe the different sensations of both families, when I divulged the news of our misfortune : but what others felt was slight to what the lovers appeared to endure. Mr. Wilmot, who seemed before sufficiently inclined to break off the match, was by this blow soon determined: one virtue he had in perfection, which was prudence, too often the only one that is left us at seventy-two.

(From the Same.)


To SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS DEAR SIR - I can have no expectations, in an address of this kind, either to add to your reputation, or to establish my own.

than you.

You can gain nothing from my admiration, as I am ignorant of that art in which you are said to excel ; and I may lose much by the severity of your judgment, as few have a juster taste in poetry

Setting interest, therefore, aside, to which I never paid much attention, I must be indulged at present in following my affections.

The only dedication I ever made was to my brother, because I loved him better than most other men. He is since dead. Permit me to inscribe this Poem to you.

How far you may be pleased with the versification and mere mechanical parts of this attempt, I don't pretend to enquire ; but I know you will object (and indeed several of our best and wisest friends concur in the opinion) that the depopulation it deplores is nowhere to be seen, and the disorders it laments are only to be found in the poet's own imagination. To this I can scarce make any other

answer, than that I sincerely believe what I have written ; that I have taken all possible pains, in my country excursions, for these four or five years past, to be certain of what I allege; and that all my views and enquiries have led me to believe these miseries real, which I here attempt to display. But this is not the place to enter into an enquiry whether the country be depopulating or not: the discussion would take up too much room, and I should prove myself, at best, an indifferent politician, to tire the reader with a long preface, when I want his unfatigued attention to a long poem.

In regretting the depopulation of the country, I inveigh against the increase of our luxuries ; and here also I expect the shout of modern politicians against me. For twenty or thirty years past, it has been the fashion to consider luxury as one of the greatest national advantages; and all the wisdom of antiquity in that particular as erroneous. Still, however, I must remain a professed ancient on that head, and continue to think those luxuries prejudicial to states by which so many vices are introduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone. Indeed, so much has been poured out of late on the other side of the question, that, merely for the sake of novelty and variety, one would sometimes wish to be in the right.—I am, dear sir, your sincere friend and ardent admirer,



[Edmund Burke, the son of an attorney, was born at Dublin in 1729. He received his schooling at Ballitore, in Kildare, and entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1743, the same year as Goldsmith. His academic career was undistinguished, but he was assiduous in the practice of composition and oratory. The present Historical Society of the College, the cradle of all the more famous Irish orators, is the direct descendant of the Historical Club, founded by Burke, whose objects, according to the minutes, largely in Burke's handwriting and still preserved, were “speaking, reading, writing, and arguing in morality, history, criticism, politics, and all the useful branches of philosophy.” It was here rather than in the schools that Burke prepared himself for the wider arena of the future. Many of the minutes of this Society having reference to Burke are of especial interest. This, for example, anticipating the later verdict of the House of Commons,—" April 28, 1747. Mr. Burke, for an essay on the Genoese, was given thanks for the matter, but not for the delivery." In 1748 Burke graduated, and two years later proceeded to keep terms at the Middle Temple, but ultimately abandoned his intention of proceeding to the Bar. For ten years his life in London was chiefly occupied with literary work, and in 1756 appeared the Vindication of Natural Society, an ironical attack upon the social philosophy of Bolingbroke.

It was followed in the same year by the celebrated Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, a book which gave an impetus to the treatment of æsthetics as an independent branch of thought. This was the year of his marriage with Miss Nugent. From 1759 until 1788 Burke contributed largely to the Annual Register, originated by himself, and in 1761 he became private secretary to "single-speech” Hamilton, then Secretary for Ireland, a post which he resigned in two years. Burke was soon fairly launched upon political waters, and in 1765 was appointed secretary to the then Premier, Lord Rockingham; the same year he became M.P. for Wendover. He attached himself strongly to the Whigs in their opposition to the Court party under the leadership of Lord North, the favourite of George III., who was in power from 1770 to 1782. To these twelve years belong the best of Burke's speeches and pamphlets : Thoughts on the present Discontents (1770), American Taxation (1774), Conciliation with America (1775), Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol (1777), Speech to the Bristol Electors (1780). Burke sat as member for Bristol for six years (1774-1780) but lost his seat owing to his attitude towards the American Colonies, and his votes on the remedial measures proposed in the interests of Ireland and of

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