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made unintelligible definitions: it was from dexterous art, and a versatility of genius, accommodating itself to diversity of objects and persons, but adapting itself peculiarly to those classes who would believe themselves convinced when they were only persuaded.
It would be foreign to the purpose of this work to enter into the detail of Faine's • Rights of Man. The amount of his theory is this : That no government is just, which is not actually, and has not been historically and originally, founded on what he calls the Rights of Man. He applies this general principle to existing governments, and finding that none of them is reconcileable to his notions of natural equality and the rights of man, except that of America and the new constitution of France, he proposes that all others shall be pulled down; but first, and especially, what we call the Constitution, and he the usurpation, of England. England exhibits a polity by no means conforinable to the ideas of
Thomas Paine, France he considers as approaching nearer to consummate perfection than America. One of the chief evils, contrary to this natural equality and rights of man, was the existence of artificial distinctions ; such as rank, title, and corporate bodies. To level all distinction and rank, was one indispensable ingredient in every system established on these grounds. The inequalities subsisted to a great degree in Britain, as appeared from the King, the House of Peers, the House of Commons, the Universities, and the accumulation of estates through the absurd rule of hereditary succession. In France, great advances had been made in the levelling system, and greater were likely to be made: therefore England was a very
government, and France a very good one, and likely to be still better. The English government, consequently, ought to be pulled down, and to be rebuilt
the French model. Another reason for overturning the government of this country was, that it was a government of controul, and did not allow unrestrained licentiousness to the populace, any more than to other classes ; therefore it was contrary to the rights of man. A third reason for pulling down the English system was, that between seven and eight hundred years ago England bad been conquered. This defect in its origin was an argument paramount to expediency from its present state. Mr. Thomas Paine has not proved from history, that governments, founded on these levelling principles, have been conducive to the purposes of good establishments-the happiness of society: he has not proved, from the constitution of the human mind and experience of human nature, that men act better without CONTROUL than with it; and that there is an equality of capacity for government in all men; an equality necessary to render their government expedient. His theory is founded on an assumption, and is not supported by proof. It is not only not conformable, but is contrary, to experience; therefore it carries in it the grounds of disproof. Though inadmissible as a chain of reasoning, it certainly dis
plays very great and varied and versatile abi. lity. There is a strong sarcastic humour in it, which, to many readers, supplied the deficiency of the reasoning : jokes passed for arguments, ludicrous stories for lucid illustration; lively invective was received for energetic eloquence, bold assertion for unanswerable demonstration.
The societies and clubs, fast increasing in number and divisions, testified the highest approbation of Paine's · Rights of Man ;' and very industriously, through their affiliations, spread cheap editions of it among the common people, in all parts of the kingdom; but especially in populous cities, towns, and villages. When we consider that Paine reprobates the polity of this country, and advises the people to unité. and subvert it, and that the Revolution and Constitutional Socieiies in London, with' affiliated clubs in other parts, praised and DISSEMINATED these doctrines among those who were most likely to swallow them, we can be at no great loss to comprehend the intention of the propagandists.
Wherever tendency is obvious in the habitual conduct of men having the use of their reason, design may be fairly inferred,
Meanwhile, Burke, having received an answer from the gentleman to whom he had written his letter, replied in a second, entitled " A Letter to a Member of the National Assembly
After retouching several subjects that he had brought forward in his REFLEXIONS, he proceeded to examine the French system in its institutions and principles, with their effects on morals and manners. In his former treatise he had chiefly considered public and political consequences ; in the present, he carries his view to private, social, and domestic happiness; and proves that their plans of education and civil regulations sprung from the same source of untried theory, and tended to the same disorder and misery. On the subject of juvenile . tuition, he shews the extent of his knowledge, and the profoundness of his wisdom.