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French republic, had sent his son to Coblentz, with the knowledge and approbation of Government, in order to know the dispositions of the allied Powers. From the apparent want of concert between these potentates, he did not augur highly of the success of their efforts. It was early his opinion that nothing short of a general combination of established governments, co-operating with the royalists of France, could subdue a system, which, if not crushed, he conceived, would be destructive to all existing society. Soon after the retreat of the King of Prussia, and the subsequent successes of the republicans, he wrote the second memorial contained in his posthumous works. He exhorted this country to take the lead in formning a general combination for the repression of French power and of French principles. Before this was published the opening of the Scheldt, and the acts of France to promote her own aggrandisement, and also measures and decrees tending to interfere with the internal government of this country, had produced hostilities.
The internal dangers of the nation had excited a general association in defence of liberty and property against republicans and levellers. The inilitia was embodied, other precautions were taken by the executive, government, and Parliament was assembled. Burke coincided with Ministry in contending that great danger existed to this constitution and country from Jacobinical principles, and designs abroad and at home. The Duke of Portland, Lord Fitzwilliam, Lord Spencer, and other leading men of the old Whig interest; Lord Storinont, Lord Carlisle, Lord Loughborough, and, except Messrs. Adam, Courtenay, and Lord Guildford, the principal men of the North part of the coalition, were impressed with the same alarm; and also the learned, ingenious, and able friend of Burke, Mr. Windham. Mr. Fox and his party ridiculed the idea of internal danger, considered the invasion of France as a combination of despots against freedom, and declared their joy at the compelled retreat of the Prussians and Austrians, Fox censured Ministry for removing from
the Guards officers who had sought and received fraternity from the enemies of kingly government abroad, and were connected with societies inimical to the British constitution at home. Mr. Fox, indeed, seems to have retained his admiration of the French spirit when it was evidently producing effects contrary to what, if he had attended chiefly to them, his patriotism, benevolence, and wisdom, could have approved. With a mind of a force and comprehension which few have equalled, he did not always turn his attention to the whole · circuit of affairs.' Possessing intellectual optics which nothing within the reach of man could elude, bis views were not always equally circumspicient. One object sometimes engaged his mind so much as to prevent the due consideration of others equally important. Adopting a principle, he was sometimes guided by it too implicitly, without subjecting it to the modifications, or bounding it by the limits which were necessary either to just deduction or prudent measures. On certain occasions the powers of his extraor
dinary genius have been exerted rather in the invention of the most apposite means, than in the choice of the wisest ends. The love of liberty, a sentiment so natural to a noble and generous mind, and so congenial to the feelings of an Englishman, so much occupied this great man, that he cherished its excesses, and even its counterfeit; a counterfeit producing the greatest mischiefs, both to its votaries and their neighbours. The question was not, whether foreign despots, attackieg a free country, deserved the support or opposition of a free country, and the good wishes of its citizens? If stated in that abstract form, it must certainly be answered in the negative. But whether a nation of known ambition, increased energy, in the career of external conquest, stimulating internal discord in all countries to which its agents had access, was not to be repressed, because, in the attempt to check, we must have the assistance of arbitrary powers? This was the reasoning of Burke and Windham, in which they, on the whole, coincided with Dundas, Grenville, and Pitt.
The question of expediency of war with France was certainly a subject concerning which men of the greatest talents and best intentions might differ, according to the view they took of it; as, indeed, such men did differ. Those who are thoroughly satisfied of the justice and policy of the war with France, unless uncandid, must admit, that of the able men who opposed it, THEIR CHARACTER and THEIR STAKE in the country was a ground for believing that most of them opposed it from conviction.
Never did parliamentary eloquence shine with more lustre' than during the debates relative to the internal state of the country and the war with France. The subject was, indeed, of much more extensive and com. plicated importance, and of still nearer interest, than that of America itself. Parliament contained a still greater assemblage of genius * than during the discussion with
* The speeches of Messrs. Dundas, Windham, and Burke, on the effects of the new doctrines in this kingdom; those of Lord Grenville and of Mr. Pitton the conduct of France