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plied; "my separation from Mr. Fox is a principle, and not a passion ; I hold it as a sacred duty to confirm what I have said and written by this sacrafice : and to what purpose would be the re-union of a moment? I can have no delight with him, nor he with me."
The severe remarks of Mr. Fox's friends, in which Burke frequently indulged, were constantly reported to Fox: but such was the attachment of the latter, that nothing could eradicate it. This was so well known to his friends, that at St. Ann's Hill, Burke was never mentioned but with respect. A gentleman having once observed that Burke was a sophist, and would be thought nothing of büt for his dazzling eloquence; Mr. Fox immediately replied, that he entertained a very different opinion of that gentleman ;-"The eloquence of Mr. Burke," says he,“ rather injures his reputation; it is a veil over his wisdom; remove his eloquence, reduce his language, withdraw his images, and you will find that he is more wise than eloquent, you will have your full weight of the metal though you should melt down the chacing."
The first intelligence of the last illness of Burke, conveyed in a letter from Lord Fitzwil. liam, deeply affected Mr. Fox. When he was afterwards informed that it could not fail to terminate fatally, he was agitated as with the expectation of some great calamity. In this state of mind he wrote to Mrs. Burke, expressing his intention of passing through Beacons-field; and
the following day received by an express this
“ Mrs. Burke's compliments to Mr. Fox, and thanks "him for his obliging inquiries.
Mrs. Burke communicated his letter to Mr. Burke, and by his desire, has to inform Mr. Fox that it has cost Mr. Burke the most heartfelt pain to obey the stern voice of his duty, in rending asunder a long friendship, but that he had effected this necessary sacrifice; that his principles remained the same; and that, in whatever of life yet remained to him, he conceives that he must continue to live for others, and not for himself, Mr. Burke is convinced, that the principles he has endeavored to maintain, are necessary to the good and dignity of his country, and that these principles can be enforced only by the general persuasion of his sincerity. For herself Mrs. Burke has again to express her gratitude to Mr. Fox for his inquiries."
Thus terminated for ever the connection be. tween Mr. Burke and Mr. Fox, who wept bitterly when he received the intelligence of the death of that venerable man.
To the honour of Mr. Fox, he has been a strenuous advocate for the abolition of the Slave Trade ever since the first agitation of the question in April 1791. In the discussion of this subject on the 18th of that month, party considerations gave way to those of justice and humanity, and unity in one cause, the two great
leaders in parliament, hostile as they were on almost every other occasion. In an animated speech, in which he described the sufferings of the injured Africans, Mr. Fox likewise took occasion to pronounce an elegant eulogium on the Christian religion, which had the greater weight as coming from a man whose conduct had justly led many to doubt the existence of any fixed religious principles in his mind. He called on gentlemen to make the case of the nea groes their own. “Let them suppose,” said he, “what might happen, that in some improbable turn in human affairs, England should be over. run with a tribe as savage as Englishmen were on the coast of Africa ; and that they carried into slavery a number of the people of England. From what glass of Englishmen, however low and uneducated, could they find men so generally dull and senseless as to hav no feeling to the wretchedness of personal slavery? What arrogance and blasphemy was it then to suppose that Providence had not endowed men with equal feelings in other countries ! Let them look to the words of our Saviour; let them deeply weigh one of the most splendid doctrines of the Christian dispensation-a doctrine, which served perhaps more than any other to illustrate the unparalleled beauty and grandeur of the most ariable of all religions-a doctrine before which slavery was forced to fly ; and to which doctrine he attributed the memorable and glorious fact, that soon after the establishment of Chris. țianity in Europe, human slavery was abolished,
This Doctrine was—high and low, rich and poor, are equal in the sight of God! Here was a doctrine which required only to be duly impressed on the heart of man to extinguish the term of slave ; and, accordingly, what all the ancient systems had failed to do, Christianity accomplished ; and yet, in the ancient system of philosophy, we find a liberality and views of human rights as perfect as in any of the theories of the present day. It would be idle to pay so false à compliment to any of the great names that adorned the present time, as to say that there were men now alive more capable of delivering the truths of an enlightened philosophy and a commanding eloquence, than Demosthenes and Cicero-that there were historians and writers more capable of asserting the rights of men than Tacitus or Thucydides, and yet these were contented to live in states where men were slaves. His opinion to the pure light which this great doctrine of our Saviour diffused over the heart of man, that the abolition of slavery was to be ascribed." Mr. Fox concluded his speech with pledging himself to continue in all situations to exert himself for the accomplishment of the ob. ject, a promise, which, as we shall see here after, he did not neglect to fulfil.
Such was the enthusiasm in favour of the French revolution, in its early stages, that an anniversary dinner was given in celebration of it on the 14th of July. To this dinner the members of the Whig Club, to which Mr. Fox had many years belonged, were invited in 1791, but
of them, and Mr. Fox among the rest, pru. dently declined the invitation. The mischiefs resulting from a siinilar proceeding to Dr. Priestly and his friends at Birmingham on the same day, are too well known to be repeated.
At this juncture occured an event which tended.greatly to diminish the strength of Mr. Fox's party. At a meeting of the Whig Club on the 20th of February, 1793, the members agreed to the following resolution-"That this club think it their duty at this extraordinaryl juncture, to assure the Right Hon. Charles James Fox, that all the arts of misrepresentation which have been so industriously circulated of late for the purpose of calumniating him, have had no other effect upon them than that of confirming, strengthening and increasing their attachment to him."_This resolution was productive of a schism in the club. Forty-five noblemen and gentlemen, among whom were Edmund Burke and his son, conceived that something more than a personal mark of respect was implied, and that it conveyed an approbation of the principles supported by Mr. Fox, which they conceived detrimental to the interest of their country, withdrew their names from the list of its mombers. In consequence of their secession and of that of the Duke of Portland, Earl Fitzwilliam, Earl Spencer, and other leading men of the old Whig interest, the party of Mr. Fox received a blow, from which it was never afterwards able to recover,
Before they decidedly separated from Mr.