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subject much more strongly than Fox had done. He thought them quite inconsistent with the general principles and conduct of so constant and powerful a friend of liberty ; and one who so highly valued the British government and revolution. Indignation and abhorrence of the revolution in France he thought not consonant with the admiration of that of England. Detesting the cruelties that had been committed, he imputed them to the natural resentment of a populace for long suffered and long felt oppression. He praised the National Assembly as the dispensers of good to their own country and other nations. The National Assembly (he said) had exerted a firmness and perseverance, hitherto unexampled, that had secured the liberty of France, and vindicated the cause of mankind. What action of their's authorised the appellation of a bloody, ferocious, and tyrannical democracy?". Burke perceiving Sheridan's view of affairs in France to be totally different from his, disapproving particularly of the opinion, that there was a resemblance between the principles of the
revolutions in France and in England, and thinking his friend's construction of his observations uncandid, declared, that Mr. Sheridan and he were from that moment separated for ever in politics. • Mr. Sheridan (he said) has sacrificed my frindship in exchange for the applause of clubs and associaLions: I assure him he will find the acquisition too insignificant to be worth the price at which it is purchased.'
With a mind, from such a range of knowledge, and such powers of investigation and induction, so principled, as he possessed, Burke had, from the beginning, betaken himself to consider the series of the French proceedings; and to procure from every quarter such information as could enable hiin to understand the several parts, and comprehend the whole. The accurate Editor of his Posthumous Works informs us, that he desired all persons of his acquaintance, who were going to Paris (and curiosity attracted many) to bring him whatever they could collect, of the greatest circulation, both on the one side and the other. It was with this view that he corresponded with Thomas Paine, as I have already mentioned. He had not only many correspondents among the English and Americans residing in France, but also among the natives, to whom, as well as to other foreigners, he had always done the honours of this country, as far as his means would permit him, with liberal hospitality. Among others, he received letters, endeavouring to trick out the events of the revolution in the most gaudy colouring, from Mr. Christie, and Baron Cloots, afterwards better known by the name of Anacharsis. It was in answer to a letter of this kind, from a French gentleman, that he wrote his celebrated Reflexions.'
The sentiments and opinions declared in the House of Commons by Messrs. Fox and Sheridan induced Burke · to enlarge his Reflexions from the first sketch, and more closely to contemplate its probable influence on British minds. Dr. Price's Sermon, preached some months before, and then pub
lished, appeared to him to contain principles very different from those which had established and preserved our constitution ; and to praise certain parts of the French proceedings on grounds which, if admitted in this country, he thought would tend to overturn the existing polity. He now, therefore, viewed the French system not only as likely to affect those immediately within the sphere of its operation, but as likely to be held up by its votaries and admirers as a model for this country. Farther additions were successively made, as the French proceedings and plans more completely unfolded their principles and spirit. The work was published in October 1790.
A subject more momentous than that which now occupied this extraordinary miqd cannot well be conceived,-whether a total political change in the situation of twentyfive millions of men was likely to produce happiness or misery to themselves, and to other nations? Such an enquiry was made by a man who grasped every important subject of his thoughts in all its relations, com. prehended the detail of acts, the existing situations, the display of characters, the established measures of judgment and principles of action, intellectual processes and moral rules. These were the GRAND PRENISES from which he undertook to deduce his conclusion, that the French revolution was, and would be, an enormous evil to mankind. The ingenious and profound author of the Vindicia Gallice, who seems to have made the operations of intellect a peculiar study, speaking of experience,observes that there is an experience of case, and an experience of principle. Both these combined to form the ground-work of Burke's reasoning. He considered the particular proceedings of the Frenchi revolutionists : from comparing the variety of particulars, he endeavoured to ascertain their general character ; and also to investigate the causes both of the proceedings and the character. In this process of things, history, or the ExPERIENCE OF FACT, was the guide which he