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the Reflections. But his political insight enabled him to penetrate beneath all the gay glitter of Parisian life to the realities underlying it. He was under no illusion, and when he returned to England he inveighed against the speculative tendencies of rationalistic thought in his speech on the Relief of Protestant Dissenters. He had seen men of letters, in France, wield the pen without any sense of moral responsibility, and he foresaw, as few foresaw, the result. It is to this French experience, I think, can be traced the following words :

Without any considerable pretensions to literature in myself, I have aspired to the love of letters. I have lived for a great many years in habitudes with those who professed them. I can form a tolerable estimate of what is likely to happen from a character chiefly dependent for fame and fortune on knowledge and talent. . . . Naturally, men so formed and finished are the first gifts of Providence to the world. But when they have once thrown off the fear of God, which was in all ages too often the case, and the fear of man, which is now the case, and when in that state they come to understand one another, and to act in corps, a more dreadful calamity cannot arise out of hell to scourge mankind.

Such men often become the darlings of the society they are about to undermine, because they obscure the immediate and ultimate issues of their striving by the adoption of subtle tactics.

They are ready to declare that they do not think two thousand years too long a period for the good they pursue. Their humanity is at their horizon—and, like the horizon, it always flies before them.

I have said he was under no illusion after his visit to France, but he was certainly depressed. From this depression he was, however, relieved by the elections of 1774. He became involved in them, and had the great honour conferred on him of being asked by certain of the citizens of Bristol to contest one of their seats. His candidature was successful, and his speech at the declaration of the poll was equal to the occasion. The usual jars and ungracious incidents of elections had happened—the attempt to spoil votes, the appeal to popular prejudices, and the irritations that arise from the new-born familiarity that demands support where previous connexions do not exist to justify it. Mr. Cruger, the other successful candidate, promised to obey implicitly the mandates of the electors. Burke rose to a higher plane, and maintained his right to exercise his independent judgment, even though that judgment found no approval with his constituents.


representative,' he said, 'owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment, and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.' Burke knew very well that the popular franchise has a practical, because necessary, use, but he wished to have it strongly inferred that the voice of the people is not the absolute measure in all cases of right and wrong. Men of Burke's calibre must make a stand for this principle, lest, as he himself finely expressed it, the people be left 'a most contemptible prey to the servile ambition of popular sycophants. A false Liberalism often accentuates this attitude as a conservative restriction on liberty, but its real function is to prevent the uncontrolled application in a pernicious form of a principle, which, if unchecked, would encourage insincerity in politics and in the literature of popular appeal the dominant note of eroticism.

During his connexion with Bristol he had to adopt another attitude, equally courageous to that which he adopted on the hustings, but this time in connexion with the affairs of America, and pointed at those who made a malady of reconciliation. The Speech on American Taxation, the Speech on Conciliation with America, the Address to the King, and the Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol, are thus all of a piece, and relate intimately to the relations which should exist between the component parts of a great empire. What characterizes all these speeches and writings is the unflinching manliness with which they tell the truth in hostile circumstances, and accordingly the high intellectual plane on which they are conceived. To curb the excesses of national pride is as difficult as it is at times a dangerous task, because men whose presumptuous ignorance and insolent passion engender a spurious and delirious patriotism (if that precious word may be used in such a setting) regard the moderation that will alone guide the national destinies to honourable and safe ends as in itself approximating to a kind of treason. . It is not,' wrote Burke, 'what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.' The main outline of his attitude finds ready expression. He regarded the Colonies as free, the war as a civil war, the object 'an attempt made to dispose of the property of a whole people without their consent.' Above all, he feared the reaction of the struggle on the free institutions at home. "To leave any real freedom to Parliament, freedom must be left to

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the Colonies. A military government is the only substitute for civil liberty. That the establishment of such a power in America will utterly ruin our finances is the smallest part of our concern. It will become an apt, powerful, and certain engine for the destruction of our freedom here.' The lack of will to settle by constitutional means the grievances in the first instance, the call for unconditional obedience when there was recourse to arms, and the use of the mercenary sword, brought about the complete alienation that shattered his cherished plan of keeping a way open for conciliation. In supporting this conciliatory policy he was in opposition to the false popular trend, but he was not in opposition through personal pique, and against those who differed from him he had no ill-thoughts for broadmindedness is as much a compound of charity as it is the outcome of the highest intellectual gifts. Indeed the high attitude he sustained towards affairs is evident from the just, the manly passages, that close the Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol :-

I hope there are none of you corrupted with the doctrine taught by wicked men for the worst purposes, and received by the malignant credulity of envy and ignorance, which is, that the men who act upon the public stage are all alike ; all equally corrupt; all influenced by no other views than the sordid lure of salary and pension. The thing I know by experience to be false. Never expecting to find perfection in men, and not looking for Divine attributes in created beings, in my commerce with my contemporaries I have found much human virtue. I have seen not a little public spirit; a real subordination of interest to duty and a decent and regulated sensibility to honest fame and reputation. The age unquestionably produces profligates and insidious hypocrites. What then ? Am I not to avail myself of whatever good is to be found in the world, because of the mixture of evil that will always be in it! The smallness of the quantity only heightens the value. They who raise suspicions on the good on account of the behaviour of ill men, are of the party of the latter.

But my credulity and want of discernment cannot, as I conceive, amount to a fair presumption against any man's integrity. A conscientious person would rather doubt his own judgment than condemn his species. He would say, I have observed without attention, or judged upon erroneous maxims; I trusted to profession when I ought to have attended to conduct. Such a man will grow wise, not malignant, by his acquaintance with the world. But he that accuses all mankind of corruption, ought to remember that he is sure to convict only one. In truth, I should much rather admit those whom at any time I have disrelished the most, to be patterns of perfection, than seek a consolation to my own unworthiness in a general communion of depravity with all about me.

The passage, apart from illustrating Burke's didactic

style, gives evidence to the sense of justness that probably informed his ideas when he came to deal with Economical Reform. To him the question of mere economy must have been of less importance than the purification of Parliamentary life, for the whole Constitution was in danger of becoming atrophied by the accretions of sinecures and useless offices which formed at its very heart. But his scheme of reform could not, in the nature of things, be carried to its logical conclusion, and he became involved in the welter of politics consequent on the defeat at Yorktown and the fall of North. But the fact that he was only given the subordinate post of Paymaster in the Rockingham Whig administration, and that, with both Fox and Ashburton, he refused to serve under Shelburne, causing thereby the split in the Whigs that led to the formation of the unnatural coalition, and ultimately to the restoration, in the person of the younger Pitt, of a King's minister to power, are comparatively insignificant, in comparison with the impeachment he undertook, in which certain principles, involving a high moral attitude in the government of native races, were first enunciated.


{To be concluded.]





On the 19th inst. his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin received letters from the Sacred Congregation of Rites, containing (1) the Decree (23 July, 1919) introducing the Cause of the two Irish Capuchins who, it is claimed, died for the Faith ; (2) the Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites (13 August, 1919) joining the Capuchin Cause to the general Cause of the 258 Irish Servants of God, introduced on 12 February, 1915; (3) the Articles put forward by the Capuchin Postulator-General to be established by witnesses ; (4) the sealed Interrogatoria of the Promotor Fidei (the Devil's Advocate) on which every witness will be examined and which must be kept secret during the Process.

These documents mark the formal beginning of the Apostolic Process of these two Servants of God, and any further steps taken in their Cause must be taken by delegation of the Holy See, or with its consent.

As already stated in the I. E. RECORD (July, 1918, Fifth Series, vol. xii. p. 73) the Informative Process of these two Servants of God was begun before his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin on 28 May, 1917. The first Session for taking evidence was held on 4 June, and the whole Process, already translated into Latin in Dublin, was in the hands of the Sacred Congregation on 6 November, 1917.

Now, two years after the opening of the Informative Process, the Commission for the opening of the Apostolic Process has been signed, and it must deeply gratisy the Irish Capuchin Fathers and their postulatorGeneral, Father Raphael of Vallefinaria, that, within a period of time which must nearly constitute a record, these two Irish Capuchins have been given their rightful place amongst their fellow-sufferers for the Faith.

As Father Fiacre Tobin died in 1656, his cause will come under Process and Period IV, whilst the cause of Father John Baptist Dowdall, who died in 1710, falls under Process and Period V.

The leading facts of their lives are set forth in the Documents received fro:n Rome (see also Cardinal Moran's Persecutions of Irish Catholics, piges 133-140 and 386-387). Quite recently Father Angelus, O.S.F.C., found at Troyes the Profession Book which records the profession of Father John Baptist Dowdall, and which shows that Father Dowdall was a native of Glaspistol, near Termonfeckin and Clogher Head.

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