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successor as member for the borough of Malton. That gentleman had given proofs of considerable abilities. Those who were most intimate with him give him the praise of a clear, acute, and vigorous understanding; and affirm that, if his health had permitted the close and intense application which he was disposed to bestow, he would have equalled most men of his age.
Even with the interrupted attention which he was able to give, he had acquired the high opinion of men of rank and talents; an opinion which his conduct as agent for the Roman Catholics of Ireland confirmed, He was deeply conversant in the history and constitution both of Ireland and Britain. He is said to have ministered to the genius of his father in collating some of the instances of speeches and opinions by old Whigs, to whom his father appeals from the new.
The father looked on the son thus really able, as a prodigy of genius, and even regarded him as his own superior. With great delight he committed him to the patronage
of Earl Fitzwilliam, who, now nominated Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, appointed him his Secretary. With great delight he introduced him to his own constituents, the friends of his valued friends, the Marquis of Rockingham and Earl Fitzwilliam. Mr. Burke, during that excursion to Yorkshire, was in yery high spirits, and returned to town in the same state. He liad, at that time, a town-house in Duke-street, St. James's. There his son and he arrived on or about July 25th. The next day a party of intimate friends dined with them, and found him exulting in the appointment of his son to situations, which he conceived him so admirably fitted to fill. His guests never saw him more animated, or more delightful company. When, however, they beheld the sallow and emaciated looks of the son, they regretted that the father's joy did not allow him to see the young gentleman's dangerous state of health. Mr. Richard Burke now went to lodge at Cromwellhouse, Brompton, while his father spent his time partly with him and partly in town, or at Beaconsfield. Mr. Burke, the younger, was really in the last stage of a lingering illness, which his father, misled by his own sanguine hopes, had unfortunately not thought alarming. On Saturday, August 2d, a gentleman, who had been one of the guests the preceding Saturday, calling on a friend in Brompton-row, was informed that Mr. Pichard Burke was just breathing his last. Proceeding to his lodgings, to ascertain the truth of the report, he soon saw an old domestic of the family, whose looks announced that all was over. On enquiry, he heard the father was arrived, had thrown himself on the corpse
of his beloved son, and was, in the paroxysms of grief, calling on the stay of his age, the darling of his heart, and the glory of his name. The wisdom and religion of Mr. Burke, in time, so far moderated his grief, as to prevent its ebullitions from appearing; he bore bis sorrows like a man, but felt them like a man. Mr. Richard Burke died at the age of 36, and was buried in Beaconsfield church. His father could never after bear to see the place of his in
terment; and when going from his villa to town, instead of coming through Beaconsfield, he took a cross road behind an eminence which intercepted the signit of the church. His grief was strong and deep, says
the Editor of his Posthumous Works, but it never relaxed the vigour of his mind, whatever subject called upon him to exert it ; nor the interest which he took, to' the last moment, in the public weal.'
On the subject of the Irish Catholics, the opinion of Burke, as often expressed, and particularly in his · Letter to Sir Hercules Langrish,' was, that a gradual and modified relief should be granted to them, so that they might finally be raised to a level with other dissenters.
At the state trials, Burke's name had been very freely mentioned by the first ju
* The reader will please to observe, that as the propriety, extent, and time of alterations in the present system must depend on future regulations and events, it would be useless to discuss the question now.
dicial orator of this courtry and age. Some months after, on the return of Lord Fitzwilliam, when the causes of the recall were the subject of inquiry by the Peers, the Duke of Norfolk threw out some reflections against Mr. Burke, • as having written a book, which, amidst much splendour of eloquence, contained much pernicious doctrine, and had provoked, on the other side, a very mischievous answer.'* This attack drew from Burke a reply, in which he also took no:ice of the animadversions made on his works at the trials. The letter is dated May 26, 1795, and shews that his domestic affliction had not impaired the vigour of his faculties: it was addressed to his highly prized friend Mr. Windham, Burke directs chiefly against his opponents his versatile, sportive, but strong and sarcastic humour. He enters into a most eloquent vindication of his own conduct respecting the French revolution ; protesting that his object was the preservation of that religion, virtue, and
* Preface to Posthumous Works, page 67,