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Burke,
poor, and like a good angler, baited a hook with a bill to
bring into Parliament, that no pensions should be given
above 300 a year, but what should be publicly granted, and
for what, (I may not be quite particular.) To stop that he
took in another person's name 1500 a year for life, and
some time past he disposed of it, or sold his life out. He
has been very still since his declension from the Whigs, and
is not concerned in the slave-trade [question?] as I hear
of." This letter, now in possession of Hall's kinsman, Dr.
Dutton Steele of Philadelphia, contains an item not in
Paine's account, which may have been derived from it. Hall
was an English scientific engineer, and acquainted with
intelligent men in London. Paine was rather eager for a
judicial encounter with Burke, and probably expected to be
sued by him for libel, as he (Burke) had once sued the
"Public Advertiser" for a personal accusation. But Burke
remained quiet under this charge, and Paine, outlawed, and
in France, had no opportunity for summoning witnesses in its
support. The biographers of Burke have silently passed over
the accusation, and this might be fair enough were this
unconfirmed charge made against a public man of stainless
reputation in such matters. But though Burke escaped
parliamentary censure for official corruption (May 16, 1783,
by only 24 majority) he has never been vindicated. It was
admitted that he had restored to office a cashier and an
accountant dismissed for dishonesty by his predecessor.
("Pari. Hist.," xxiii., pp. 801,902.) He escaped censure by
agreeing to suspend them. One was proved guilty, the
other committed suicide. It was subsequently shown that one
of the men had been an agent of the Burkes in raising India
stock. (Dilke's "Papers of a Critic," ii-, p. 333--"Dict.
Nat Biography": art Burke.) Paine, in his letter to the
Attorney-General (IV. of this volume), charged that Burke
had been a "masked pensioner" ten years. The date
corresponds with a secret arrangement made in 1782 with
Burke for a virtual pension to his son, for life, and his
mother. Under date April 34 of that year, Burke, writing to
William Burke at Madras, reports his appointment as
Paymaster: "The office is to be 4000L. certain. Young
Richard [his son] is the deputy with a salary of 500L. The
office to be reformed according to the Bill. There is enough
emoluments. In decency it could not be more. Something
considerable is also to be secured for the life of young
Richard to be a security for him and his mother."("Mem. and
Cor. of Charles James Fox," i., p. 451.) It is thus certain
that the Rockingham Ministry were doing for the Paymaster
all they could "in decency," and that while posing as a
reformer in reducing the expenses of that office, he was
arranging for secret advantages to his family. It is said
that the arrangement failed by his loss of office, but while
so many of Burke's papers are withheld from the public (if
not destroyed), it cannot be certain that something was not
done of the kind charged by Paine. That Burke was not strict
in such matters is further shown by his efforts to secure
for his son the rich sinecure of the Clerkship of the Polls,
in which he failed. Burke was again Paymaster in 1783-4, and
this time remained long enough in office to repeat more
successfully his secret attempts to secure irregular
pensions for his family. On April 7, 1894, Messrs. Sotheby,
Wilkinson, and Hodge sold in London (Lot 404) a letter of
Burke (which I have not seen in print), dated July 16, 1795.
It was written to the Chairman of the Commission on Public
Accounts, who had required him to render his accounts for
the time he was in office as Paymaster-General, 1783-4.
Burke refuses to do so in four angry and quibbling pages,
and declares he will appeal to his country against the
demand if it is pressed. Why should Burke wish to conceal
his accounts? There certainly were suspicions around Burke,
and they may have caused Pitt to renounce his intention,
conveyed to Burke, August 30, 1794, of asking Parliament to
bestow on him a pension. "It is not exactly known," says one
of Burke's editors, "what induced Mr. Pitt to decline
bringing before Parliament a measure which he had himself
proposed without any solicitation whatever on the part of
Burke." (Burke's "Works," English Ed., 1852, ii., p. 252.)
The pensions were given without consultation with
Parliament--1200L. granted him by the King from the Civil
List, and 2500L. by Pitt in West Indian 41/2 per cents.
Burke, on taking his seat beside Pitt in the great Paine
Parliament (December, 1792), had protested that he had not
abandoned his party through expectation of a pension, but
the general belief of those with whom he had formerly acted
was that he had been promised a pension. A couplet of the
time ran:

"A pension makes him change his plan,
And loudly damn the rights of man."

Writing in 1819, Cobbett says: "As my Lord Grenville
introduced the name of Burke, suffer me, my Lord, to
introduce the name of the man [Paine] who put this Burke to
shame, who drove him off the public stage to seek shelter in
the Pension List, and who is now named fifty million times
where the name of the pensioned Burke is mentioned once."--
_Editor._




X. ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF FRANCE.


Paris, Sept. 25, [1792.] First Year of the Republic.

Fellow Citizens,

I RECEIVE, with affectionate gratitude, the honour which the late
National Assembly has conferred upon me, by adopting me a Citizen of
France: and the additional honor of being elected by my fellow citizens
a Member of the National Convention.(1) Happily impressed, as I am, by
those testimonies of respect shown towards me as an individual, I feel
my felicity increased by seeing the barrier broken down that divided
patriotism by spots of earth, and limited citizenship to the soil, like
vegetation.

Had those honours been conferred in an hour of national tranquillity,
they would have afforded no other means of shewing my affection, than
to have accepted and enjoyed them; but they come accompanied with
circumstances that give me the honourable opportunity of commencing
my citizenship in the stormy hour of difficulties. I come not to enjoy
repose. Convinced that the cause of France is the cause of all mankind,
and that liberty cannot be purchased by a wish, I gladly share with you
the dangers and honours necessary to success.

1 The National Assembly (August 26, 1792) conferred the
title of "French Citizen" on "Priestley, Payne, Bentham,
Wilberforce, Clarkson, Mackintosh, Campe, Cormelle, Paw,
David Williams, Gorani, Anacharsis Clootz, Pestalozzi,
Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Klopstoc, Kosciusko,
Gilleers."--_Editor._. vol ni--7

I am well aware that the moment of any great change, such as that
accomplished on the 10th of August, is unavoidably the moment of
terror and confusion. The mind, highly agitated by hope, suspicion and
apprehension, continues without rest till the change be accomplished.
But let us now look calmly and confidently forward, and success is
certain. It is no longer the paltry cause of kings, or of this, or of
that individual, that calls France and her armies into action. It is the
great cause of all. It is the establishment of a new aera, that shall
blot despotism from the earth, and fix, on the lasting principles of
peace and citizenship, the great Republic of Man.

It has been my fate to have borne a share in the commencement and
complete establishment of one Revolution, (I mean the Revolution of
America.) The success and events of that Revolution are encouraging to
us. The prosperity and happiness that have since flowed to that country,
have amply rewarded her for all the hardships she endured and for all
the dangers she encountered.

The principles on which that Revolution began, have extended themselves
to Europe; and an over-ruling Providence is regenerating the Old World
by the principles of the New. The distance of America from all the
other parts of the globe, did not admit of her carrying those principles
beyond her own situation. It is to the peculiar honour of France, that
she now raises the standard of liberty for all nations; and in fighting
her own battles, contends for the rights of all mankind.

The same spirit of fortitude that insured success to America; will
insure it to France, for it is impossible to conquer a nation determined
to be free! The military circumstances that now unite themselves to
France, are such as the despots of the earth know nothing of, and can
form no calculation upon. They know not what it is to fight against a
nation; they have only been accustomed to make war upon each other,
and they know, from system and practice, how to calculate the probable
success of despot against despot; and here their knowledge and their
experience end.

But in a contest like the present a new and boundless variety of
circumstances arise, that deranges all such customary calculations. When
a whole nation acts as an army, the despot knows not the extent of the
power against which he contends. New armies arise against him with the
necessity of the moment. It is then that the difficulties of an invading
enemy multiply, as in the former case they diminished; and he finds them
at their height when he expected them to end.

The only war that has any similarity of circumstances with the present,
is the late revolution war in America. On her part, as it now is in
France, it was a war of the whole nation:--there it was that the enemy,
by beginning to conquer, put himself in a condition of being conquered.
His first victories prepared him for defeat.



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