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the character for ever, that the mode and the principles on which it engages the sympathy, and strikes the imagination, become of the utmost importance to the morals and manners of every society. Your rulers were well aware of this ; and in their system of changing your manners to accommodate them to their politics, they found nothing so convenient as Rousseau. Through him they teach men to love after the fashion of philosophers; that is, they teach to men, to Frenchmen, a love without gallantry; a love without any thing of that fine flower of youthfulness and gentility, which places it, if not among the virtues, among the ornaments of life. Instead of this passion, naturally allied to grace and manners, they infuse into their youth an unfashioned, indelicate, sour, gloomy, ferocious medley of pedantry and lewdness ; of metaphysical speculations, blended with the coarsest sensuality. Such is the general morality of the passions to be found in their famous philosopher, in his famous work of philosophic gallantry, the Nouvelle Eloise.
When the fence from the gallantry of preceptors is broken down, and your families are no longer protected by decent pride, and salutary domestic prejudice, there is but one step to a frightful corruption. The rulers in the National Assembly are in good hopes that the females of the first families in France may become an easy prey to dancing-masters, fiddlers, pattern-drawers, friseurs, and valets de chambre, and other active citizens of that description, who having the entry into your house, and being half domesticated by their situation, may be blended with you by regular and irregular relations. By a law, they have made these people their equals. By adopting the sentiments of Rousseau, they have made them your rivals. In this manner, these great legislators complete their plan of levelling, and establish their rights of men on a sure foundation.
I am certain that the writings of Rousseau lead directly to this kind of shameful evil. I have often wondered how he comes to be so much more admired and followed on the continent than he is here. Perhaps a secret charm in the language may have its share in this extraordinary difference. We certainly perceive, and to a degree we feel, in this writer, a style glowing, animated, enthusiastic ; at the same time that we find it lax, diffuse, and not in the best taste of composition; all the members of the piece being pretty equally laboured and expanded, without any due selection or subordination of
parts. He is generally too much on the stretch, and his manner has little variety. We cannot rest upon any of his works, though they contain observations which occasionally discover a con
siderable insight into human nature. But his docA trines, on the whole, are so inapplicable to real life
and manners, that we never dream of drawing from them any rule for laws or conduct, or for fortify. ing or illustrating any thing by a reference to his opinions. They have with us the fate of older paradoxes,
Cum ventum ad verum est sensus moresque repugnant,
Perhaps bold speculations are more acceptable, because more new to you than to us, who have been long since satiated with them. We continue, as in
the two last ages, to read more generally, than I believe is now done on the continent, the authors of'n sound antiquity. These occupy our minds. They give us another taste and turn; and will not suffer us to be more than transiently amused with paradoxical morality. It is not that I consider this writer as wholly destitute of just notions. Amongst his irregularities, it must be reckoned that he is sometimes moral, and moral in a very sublime strain. But the general spirit and tendency of his works is mischievous ; and the more mischievous for this mixture : For, perfect depravity of sentiment is not reconcileable with eloquence ; and the mind (though corruptible, not complexionally vicious) would reject and throw off with disgust, a lesson of pure and unmixed evil. These, writers make even virtue a pander to vice.
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Mr. Hume told me, that he had from Rousseau himself the secret of his principles of composition. That acute, though eccentric observer, had perceived, that to strike and interest the public, the marvellous must be produced ; that the marvellous of the heathen mythology had long since lost its effect ; that giants, magicians, fairies, and heroes of romance which succeeded, had exhausted the portion of credulity which belonged to their age ; that now nothing was left to a writer but that species of the marvellous, which might still be produced, and with as great an effect as ever, though in another way; that is, the marvellous in life, in manners, in characters, and in extraordinary situations, giving rise to new and unlooked-for strokes in politics and morals.
SIR GEORGE SA VILE.
When an act of great and signal humanity was to be done, and done with all the weight and authority that belonged to it, the world could cast its eyes upon none but him. I hope that few things which have a tendency to bless or to adorn life, have wholly escaped my observation in my passage through it. I have sought the acquaintance of that gentleman, and have seen him in all situations. He is a true genius; with an understanding vigorous, and acute, and refined, and distinguishing even to excess ; and illuminated with a most unbounded, peculiar, and original cast of imagination. With these he possesses many external and instrumental advantages; and he makes use of thein all. His fortune is among the largest; a fortune which wholly unincumbered, as it is, with one single charge for luxury, vanity, or excess, sinks under the benevolence of its dispenser. This private benevolence, expanding itself into patriotism, renders his whole being the estate of the public, in which he has not reserved a peculium for himself of profit, diversion, or relaxation. During the session, the first in, and the last out of the house of commons; he passes from the senate to the camp; and seldom seeing the seat of his ancestors, he is always in the senate to serve his country, or in the field to defend it. But in all well-wrought compositions, some particulars stand out more eminently than the rest; and the things' which will carry his name to posterity, are his two bills; I mean that for a limitation of the claims of the crown upon landed estates; and this for the relief of the Roman catholics. By the former, he has emancipated property; by the latter he has quieted
conscience; and by both, he has taught that grand lesson to government and subject--no longer to regard each other as adverse parties.
SIR SIDNEY SMITH.
FAITHFUL, zealous, and ardent in the service of his king and country; full of spirit ; full of resources ; going out of the beaten road, but going right, because his uncommon enterprize was not conducted by a vulgar judgment ;-in his profession, Sir Sidney Smith might be considered as a distinguished person, if any person could well be distinguished in a service in which scarce a commander can be named without putting you in mind of some action of intrepidity, skill, and vigilance, that has given them a fair title to contend with any men and in any age. But I will say nothing farther of the merits of Sir Sidney Smith: The mortal animosity of the regicide enemy supersedes all other panegyric. Their hatred is a judgment in his favour without appeal.
HONORABLE CHARLES TOWNSHEND.
Even then, Sir, even before this splendid orb (Lord Chatham) was entirely set, and while the western horizon was in a blaze with his descending glory, on the opposite quarter of the heavens arose another luminary, and, for his hour, became lord of the ascendant.
This light too is passed and set for ever. derstand, to be sure, that I speak of Charles Townshend, officially the re-producer of this fatal scheme; whom I cannot even now remember without some degree of sensibility. In truth, Sir, he was the de