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ration of fame and virtue is an harsh divorce.' Li. berty is in danger of being made unpopular to Englishmen. Contending for an imaginary power, we begin to acquire the spirit of domination, and to lose the relish of honest equality. The principles : of our forefathers become suspected to us, because we see them animating the present opposition of our children. The faults which grow out of the luxuriance of freedom, appear much more shocking to us, than the base vices which are generated from the rankness of servitude. Accordingly the least resistance to power appears. more inexcusable in our eyes than the greatest abuses of authority. All dread of a standing inilitary force is looked upon as a superstitious panick. All shame of calling in foreigners and favages in a civil contest' is worn off. We grow indifferent to the consequences inevitable to ourselves from the plan of ruling half the empire by a mercenary sword. We are taught to believe that a desire of domineering over our countrymen is love to our country; that those who hate civil war abet rebellion, and that the amiable and conciliatory,virtues of lenity, moderation, and tenderness to the privileges of those who depend on this kingdom are a sort of treason to the state.

It is impossible that we should remain long in a situation, which breeds such notions and disposi

fions, without some great alteration in the national character. Those ingenuous and feeling minds who are so fortified against all other things, and fo unarmed to whatever approaches in the shape of disgrace, finding these principles, which they considered as sure means of honour, to be grown into disrepute, will retire disheartened and disgust. ed. Those of a more robust make, the bold, able, ambitious men,

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fome of their court to power through the people, and substitute the voice of transient opinion in the place of true glory, will give into the general mode ; and those fuperiour understandings which ought to correct vulgar prejudice, will confirm and aggravate its errours. Many things have been long operating towards a gradual change in our principles. But this American war has done more in a very few

than all the other causes could have effected in a cen. tury. It is therefore not on its own separate account, but because of its attendant circumftances, that I consider its continuance, or its ending in any way but that of an honourable and liberal accommodation, as the greatest evils which can befal us. For that reason I have troubled you with this long letter. For that reason I intreat you again and again, neither to be persuaded, shamed, cr frighted out of the principles that have hitherto led so many of you to abhor the war, its cause, and its consequences. Let us not be amongst the first who renounce the maxims of our forefathers.

years

war,

I have the honour to be,

GENTLEMEN,

Your most obedient,

And faithful humble servant,

EDMUND BURKE.

Beaconsfield, April 3, 1777

P.S. You may communicate this letter in any manner you think proper to my constituents. .

TWO

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TWO LETTERS

FROM

MR. BURKE,

TO

GENTLEMEN IN THE CITY OF BRISTOL,

ON THE

BILLS DEPENDING IN PARLIAMENT

RELATIVE TO THE

TRADE OF IRELAND.

1778.

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