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eloquence, which is a prominent characteristic of the Vindiciæ Gallicæ, Mackintosh's improved taste afterwards weaned him. In the Monthly Review of 1796, he reviewed for Griffiths, the then editor of that journal, Mr. Burke's Thoughts on a Regicide Peace,-and certainly a finer political disquisition hardly ever appeared. All its propositions are admirably limited, and logically stated ; and the controversial asperities, which now and then broke forth in the Vindiciæ Gallicæ, having been in a great measure softened by the more subdued state of party feelings at the time he wrote it, as well as by the admiration of that great author, which Mackintosh, in common with every man of taste and letters, must have felt—it was a calm dispassionate animadversion on the excesses to which Burke had pushed his principles, and by no means a marked opposition to the principles themselves.
The constitutional indolence of the writer, for the partiality of friendship has never denied that he was deeply infected with the charms of that seducing syren, did not permit him to pursue the subject beyond two articles ; but they attracted
universal attention, and above all other distinctions, they procured him the acquaintance of Burke himself; who, from his sick-bed, (for his constitution was rapidly sinking) invited him to Beaconsfield.
Mackintosh staid there two days, and often related the very interesting conversations that passed during this memorable visit. In the short intervals from pain which his disease allowed him, Burke was frequently cheerful. But the exuberant flow of his mind, which was a tablet on which every variety of knowledge, every species of learning was inscribed, whether recondite or light, was never for a moment suspended. No cloud, whether of sickness or of sorrow, had darkened either his memory or his imagination. When the discourse turned upon politics, then it was evident how he felt for his country, and the great cause in which she then stood foremost amidst the general wreck of Europe. She was his latest vow; but he was not a little querulous of the puerile policy, as he called it, on which she was then carrying on war with the Jacobin,
and he could not forbear breathing portentous prophecies of its result.
Talking of the anti-moral paradoxes of certain philosophers of the new school, he observed, with indignation—" They deserve no refutation but that of the hangman. Carnifiæ potius quam argumentis egent. Their arguments are, at best, miserable logomachies; base prostitutions of the gifts of reason and discourse, which God gave to man for the purpose of exalting, not of brutalizing his species. The wretches have not the doubtful merit of sincerity; for, if they really believed what they publish, we should know how to work with them, by treating them as lunatics. No, Sir, these opinions are put forth in the shape of books, for the sordid purposes of deriving a paltry gain, from the natural fondness of mankind for pernicious novelties. As to the opinions themselves, they are those of pure,
defecated Atheism. Their object is to corrupt all that is good in man-to eradicate his immortal soul to dethrone God from the universe. They are the brood of that putrid carcase —that mother of all evil, the French revolution. I never think of that plague-spot in the history of mankind without shuddering. It is an evil spirit that is always before me. There is not a mischief by which the moral world can be afflicted, that it has not let loose upon it. It reminds me of the accursed things that crawled in and out of the mouth of the vile hag in Spen. ser's · Cave of Error.'” Here he repeated that sublime, but nauseous stanza. You, Mr. Mackintosh, are in vigorous manhood; your intellect is in its freshest prime—and you are a powerful writer. You shall be the faithful knight of the romance—the brightness of your sword will flash destruction on the filthy progeny."
Even in the midst of those painful and convulsive spasms which were almost perpetually assailing him, the playfulness of his imagination did not desert him. Whilst Mackintosh was conversing with him, Burke was seized with a vehement spasmodic pain, which was relieved by vomiting. The matter which proceeded from his stomach was watery, but tinged with strong streaks of black, There,” said he, probably in allusion to the overcharged and exaggerated descriptions imputed to him by his political opponents. “ There, I have been accused of being too bold a painter. There it is, now; black and white, light and darkness, Rembrandt to the last."
The conversation once turned accidentally upon his son, the late Mr. William Burke, whose premature death was, it is well known, more the proximate than the predisposing cause of the disorder which brought such a course of protracted suffering upon Mr. Burke, and his death, which happened not very long after Mackintosh's visit. It was unmixed grief. It suffered no comfort, no satisfaction to approach him ; even the kind and affectionate cares of Mrs. Burke were unheeded. It was that suppressed sorrowthat broken heart that buries its victims by hundreds--that disease, for which the medicinal art has neither a name nor a category, which never intermits its work, and corrodes unseen .even under the smiles which the forms and conventions of life compel us to assume.
" You, Mr. Mackintosh, knew my departed