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deeper concern. The objects of the past and of the present times are no more to be compared to each other in point of importance, than the exhibitions of the theatre, to the business of real life, or the contemplation of a gallery of portraits, to the intercourse of our family and friends. On the ardour with which the people engage in these subjects, and on the assiduity with which they obtain information and disseminate just ideas respecting them, depend, in an eminent degree, the honour, the credit, and the welfare of the country. It is the great result of this aggregate of sentiment that, in a free state, forms the character of a nation. It is by this that the conduct, not only of subordinate ministers, but of the sovereign himself, must be ultimately decided upon, and it is under this sanction, the most honourable sanction that a nation can give, that the family of Brunswick is now seated upon the British Throne. According as this result is correct and enlightened, or inaccurate and debased, the people may be said to be wise or foolish, virtuous or wicked. This is that conscience of a nation, of which indievery vidual forms a part, but which can only be manifested in its general effects. If, in pri




vate life, it be the first duty of every person to obtain just and accurate notions with respect to his moral conduct, it is no less the duty of a nation to erect and establish for itself such a standard, as may enable it to conduct its concerns in a manner consistent, at the same time, with its own honour and interests, and the just rights of other independant states. To assert that no such independant rights exist, is not only to abrogate that immense code of positive and written law, which has been universally assented to by civilized states, and is acted upon in all countries, as an important branch of municipal law, but to libel human nature itself. If not a line of that code had ever been committed to writing, these rights would equally have existed. It is upon these principles alone, which have been so accurately investigated and so well understood, that human society can be maintained; and they who labour to overthrow them, would, if they could succeed in their blind and guilty efforts, only reduce the human race to an absolute despotism on the one hand, or to interminable anarchy and war on the other.

The love of our country, and a perfect de

votion to its interests, are sentiments which every subject ought to feel; but the affections, it is said, are not voluntary, and in order to be loved and esteemed, a country must be virtuous and respectable. There may be hordes of banditti, and combinations of pirates, who may act together from the impulse of a common interest and a common danger; but esteem is a virtuous sentiment, and can only be felt towards that which is itself estimable. Degrade and debase the country, and the very sentiment of patriotism is in danger of being extinguished; not by the fault of the people, but by the misconduct of their rulers.

"No more thy country; but an impious crew "Of men conspiring to uphold their state "By worse than hostile deeds; violating the ends "For which our country is a name so dear."


Let it however be remembered, that ne misconduct in the rulers, or perversity in the people, can release a good subject from the obligations which he owes to the country which has given him birth. Like the attachment of a child to his parents, the bond is indissoluble. But if this be a rule of universal import, with how much greater force

does it apply to this country, where there is more virtue for us to honour, more talent to admire, more freedom to preserve, and more individual happiness to defend, than in any other nation upon earth. In proportion therefore to the dangers with which she is surrounded, and to the errors, or the crimes, in which she is involved, will be the efforts, which every real friend to his country ought to make, to relieve her from her state of degradation, and to restore her to rectitude, to honour, and prosperity. In the performance of this severe but indispensible task, he will frequently have to assume a tone of harshness and reproof, and when imminent destruction seems to await her, will warn her even by threats and denunciations from the dangerous precipice. How liable this conduct is to be mistaken, or misrepresented, as the effect of a perverse and unfriendly disposition, it is easy to perceive; nor are the present times without instances of men of the highest endowments, and best intentions, having fallen a sacrifice to such unfounded imputations. To flatter the préjudices, foment the pride, and encourage or excuse the crimes of a people, is the surest way to obtain their favour; but to weigh their

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conduct, and estimate their character in an impartial scale, to point out their faults, and banish those delusions in which they delight, is always an invidious, and frequently a dangerous task. In all ages, the rage of popular violence has been principally directed against the best friends and benefactors of mankind. Yet, shall it be said that the awful admonitions with which both sacred and profane history abound, and which were intended to warn a people of the calamities which impended over them, if they persisted in an idolatrous, immoral, or erroneous course of conduct, were the result of animosity, resentment, or ill-will? Is the man who points out the consequences of such an obstinate perseverance, to be considered as an enemy to his countrymen? or is not that character more justly applied to those, who treat as romantic and exploded those maxims of justice and honour, which it has been the boast of England to have so long maintained.

The same considerations which tend to shew the reason why an individual may occasionally address his countrymen in the language of animadversion and reproof, may

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