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of religious liberty not the less promptly acceded to the request of the body, that he would himself bring the motion for their relief before the House.
On the 12th of June the Parliament was dissolved,-and Mr. Sheridan again succeeded in being elected for Stafford. The following letters, however, addressed to him by Mrs. Sheridan during the election, will prove that they were not without some apprehensions of a different result. The letters are still more interesting, as showing how warmly alive to each other's feelings the hearts of both husband and wife could remain, after the long lapse of near twenty years, and after trials more fatal to love than even time itself.
" This letter will find you, my dear Dick, I hope, encircled with honours at Stafford. I take it for granted you entered it triumphantly on Sunday, -but I am very impatient to hear the particulars, and of the utter discomfi. ture of S— and his followers. I received your note from Birmingham this morning, and am happy to find that you and my dear cub were well, so far on your journey. You could not be happier than I should be in the proposed alteration for Tom, but we will talk more of this when we meet. I sent you Cartwright yesterday, and to-day I pack you off Perry with the soldiers. I was obliged to give them four guineas for their expenses. I send you, likewise, by Perry, the note from Mrs. Crewe, to enable you to speak of your qualification if you should be called upon. So I think I have executed all your commissions, Sir; and if you want any of these doubtful votes which I mentioned to you, you will have time enough to send for them, for I would not let them go till I hear they can be of any use.
"And, now for my journal, Sir, which I suppose you expect. Saturday, I was at home all day busy for you,-kept Mrs. Reid to dinner.-went to the Opera,-afterwards to Mrs. St. John's, where I lost my money sadly, Sir,--eat strawberries and cream for supper,-sat between Lord Salisbury and Mr. Meynell, (hope you approve of that, Sir,)-overheard Lord Salis. bury advise Miss Boyle by no means to subscribe to Taylor's Opera, as OʻReilly's would certainly have the patent,-confess I did not come home till past two. Sunday, called on Lady Julia, -father and Mr. Reid to din. ner,—in the evening at Lady Hampden’s,—-lost my money again, Sir, and came home by one o'cloek. 'Tis now near one o'clock,—my father is established in my boudoir, and, when I have finished this, I am going with him to hear Abbé Vogler play on the Stafford organ. I have promised to dine with Mrs. Crewe, who is to have a female party only,—no objection to that, I suppose, Sir? Whatever the party do, I shall do of course, -I suppose it will end in Mrs. Hobart's. Mr. James told me on Saturday, and I find it is the report of the day, that Bond Hopkins has gone to Stafford. I am sorry to tell you there is an opposition at York,—Mr. Montague opposes Sir William Milner. Mr. Beckford has given up at Dover, and Lord * * is so provoked at it, that he bas given up too, though they say they were both sure. St. Ives is gone for want of a candidate. Mr. Barham is beat at Stockbridge. Charles Lenox has offered for Surry, and they say Lord Egremont might drive him to the deuce, if he would set any body up against him. You know, I suppose, Mr. Crewe has likewise an opponent. I am sorry to tell you all this bad news, and, to complete it, Mr. Adam is sick in bed. and there is nobody to do any good left in town.
" I am more than ever convinced we must look to other resources for wealth and independence, and consider politics merely as an amusement, -and in that light 'tis best to be in Opposition, which I am afraid we are likely to be for some years again.
“ I see the rumours of war still continue-Stocks continue to fall is that good or bad for the Ministers? The little boys are come home to me to-day. I could not help showing in my answer to Mr. T.'s letter, that I was hurt at his conduct,--so I have got another Aummery letter, and the boys, who (as he is pretty sure) will be the best peace-makers. God bless you, my dear Dick. I am very well, I assure you ; pray don't neglect to write to your ever affectionate
* E. S."
“ MI DEAREST Dick,
Wednesday. “I am full of anxiety and fright about you,–I cannot but think your letters are very alarming. Deuce take the Corporation! is it impossible to make them resign their pretensions, and make peace with the Burgesses ? I have sent Thomas after Mr. Cocker. I suppose you have sent for the out-votes; but, if they are not good, what a terrible expense will that be! --however, they are ready. I sw Mr. Cocker yesterday,—he collected them together last night, and gave them a treat,--so they are in high good humour. I inclose you a letter which B. left here last night,-I could not resist opening it. Every thing seems going wrong, I think. I thought he was not to do any thing in your absence.-It strikes me the bad business he mentions was entirely owing to his own stupidity, and want of a little patience,—is it of much consequence! I don't hear that the report is true of Basilico's arrival ;-a messenger came to the Spanish embassy, which gave rise to this tale, I believe.
“If you were not so worried, I should scold you for the conclusion of your letter to-day. Might not I as well accuse you of coldness, for not filling your letter with professions, at a time when your head must be full of business. I think of nothing all day long, but how to do good, some how or other, for you. I have given you a regular Journal of my time, and all to please you,—so don't, dear Dick, lay so much stress on words. I should use them oftener, perhaps, but I feel as if it would look like de. ceit. You know me well enough, to be sure that I can never do what I'm bid, Sir,-but, pray, don't think I meant to send you a cold letter, for indeed nothing was ever farther from my heart.
“ You will see Mr. Horne Tooke's advertisement to-day in the papers ;
--what do you think of that, to complete the thing? Bishop Dixon has just called from the bustings:-he says, the late Recorder, Adair, proposed Charles with a good speech, and great applause,-Captain Berke. ley, Lord Hood, with a bad speech, not much applauded; and then Horne Tooke came forward, and, in the most impudent speech that ever was heard, proposed himself,--abused both the candidates, and said he should have been ashamed to have sat and heard such ill-deserved praises given him. But he told the crowd that, since so many of these fine virtues and qualifications had never yet done them the least good, they might as well now choose a candidate without them. He said, however, that if they were sincere in their professions of standing alone, he was sure of coming in, for they must all give him their second votes. There was an amazing deal of laughing and noise in the course of his speech. Charles Fox attempted to answer him, and so did Lord Hood,—but they would bear neither, and they are now polling away.
“Do, my dearest love, if you have possibly time, write me a few more particulars, for your letters are very unsatisfactory, and I am full of anxiety. Make Richardson write,—what has he better to do? God bless thee, my dear, dear Dick,-would it were over and all well! I am afraid, at any rate, it will be ruinous work.
“Ever your true and affectionate
“ E. S. “ Near five. I am just come from the hustings ;-the state of the poll when I left it was, Fox, 260; Hood, 75; Horne Tooke, 17! But he still persists in his determination of polling a man an hour for the whole time. I saw Mr. Wilkes go up to vote for Tooke and Hood, amidst the hisses and groans of a multitude.”
“ Friday. « My poor Dick, how you are worried! This is the day,—you will easily guess how anxious I shall be; but you seem pretty sanguine yourself, which is my only comfort, for Richardson's letter is rather croaking. You have never said a word of little Monkton :-has he any chance, or none ? I ask questions without considering that, before you receive this, every thing will be decided-I hope triumphantly for you. What a sad set of venal rascals your favourites the Blacks must be, to turn so suddenly from their professions and promises! I am half sorry you have any thing more to do with them, and more than ever regret you did not stand for Westminster with Charles, instead of Lord John ;-in that case you would have come in now, and we should not have been persecuted by this Horne Tocke. However, it is the dullest contested election that ever was seen-70 cena vassing, no houses open, no cockades. But I heard that a report prev.i'ls now, that Horne Tooke polling so few the two or three first days is an art ful trick to put the others off their guard, and that he means to pour in his votes on the last days, when it will be too late for them to repair their in glect. But I don't think it possible, either, for such a fellow to beat Char :: in Westminster.
“I have just had a note from Reid-he is at Canterbury :--the state of the poll there, Thursday night, was as follows:-Gipps, 220, Lord • *, 211; Sir T. Honeywood, 216 ; Mr. Warton, 163. We have got two members for Wendover, and two at Ailsbury. Mr. Barham is beat at Stockbridge. Mr. Tierney says he shall be beat, ing to Bate Dudley's manauvres, and the Dissenters having all forsaken bim, —a set of ungrateful wretches. E. Fawkener has just sent me a state of the poll at Northampton, as it stood yesterday, when they adjourned to dinner :-Lord Compton, 160; Bouve rie, 98; Colonel Manners, 72. They are in hopes Mr. Manners will give up, this is all my news, Sir.
"We had a very pleasant musical party last night at Lord Erskine's, where I supped. I am asked to dine to-day with Lady Palmerston, at Sheen; but I can't go, unless Mrs. Crewe will carry me, as the coach is gone to have its new lining. I have sent to ask ber, for 'tis a fine day, and I should like it very well. God thee bless, my dear Dick. * Yours ever, true and affectionate,
“ E. S. “Duke of Portland has just left me :-he is full of anxiety about you :this is the second time he has called to enquire.”
Having secured his own election, Mr. Sheridan now hastened to lend his aid, where such a lively reinforcement was much wanted, on the hustings at Westminster. The contest here was protracted to the 2d of July; and it required no lit.' tle exercise both of wit and temper to encounter the cool personalities of Tooke, who had not forgotten the severe remarks of Sheridan upon his pamphlet the preceding year, and who, in addition to his strong powers of sarcasm, had all those advantages which, in such a contest, contempt for the courtesies and compromises of party warfare gives. Among other sallies of his splenetic humour it is related, that Mr. Fox having, upon one occasion, retired from the hustings, and left to Sheridan the task of addressing the multitude, Tooke remarked, that such was always the practice of quack-doctors, who, whenever they quit the stage themselves, make it a rule to leave their merry-andrews behind.*
The French Revolution still continued, by its comet-like
• Tooke, it is said, upon coming one Monday morning to the bustings, was thus addressed by a partizan of bis opponent, not of a very reputable character:-"Well, Mr. Tooke, you will have all the blackguards with you to-day.”_"I am delighted to hear it, Sir," (said Tooke, bowing,) "and from such good authority."
course, to dazzle, alarm, and disturb all Europe. Mr. Burke had published his celebrated “ Reflections” in the month of November, 1790 ; and never did any work, with the exception, perhaps, of the Eikon Basilike, produce such a rapid, deep, and general sensation. The Eikon was the book of a King, and this might, in another sense, be called the Book of Kings. Not only in England, but throughout all Europe, -in every part of which monarchy was now trembling for its existence, —this lofty appeal to loyalty was heard and welcomed. Its effect upon the already tottering Whig party was like that of " the Voice,” in the ruins of Rome, “ disparting towers.” The whole fabric of the old Rockingham confederacy shook, to its base. Even some, who afterwards recovered their equilibrium, at first yielded to the eloquence of this extraordinary book,—which, like the æra of chivalry, whose loss it deplores, mixes a grandeur with error, and throws a charm round political superstition, that will long render its pages a sort of region of Royal romance, to which fancy will have recourse for illusions that have lost their last hold on the reason.
The undisguised freedom with which Mr. Fox and Mr. Sheridan expressed every where their opinions of this work and its principles had, of course, no small influence on the temper of the author, and, while it confirmed him in his hatred and jealousy of the one, prepared him for the breach which he meditated with the other. This breach was now, indeed, daily expected, as a natural sequel to the rupture with Mr. Sheridan in the last session ; but, by various accidents and interpositions, the crisis was delayed till the 6th of May, when the recommitment of the Quebec bill,-a question upon which both orators had already taken occasion to unfold their views of the French Revolution,-furnished Burke with an opportunity, of which he impetuously took advantage, to sever the tie between himself and Mr. Fox for ever.
This scene, so singular in a publio assembly, where the natural affections are but seldom called out, and where, though bursts of temper like that of Burke are common, such tears as those shed by Mr. Fox are rare phenomena,--has been so often described in various publications, that it would be su