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[522] intervened, Burke would not be wiser than the whigs
Chap. LII.} 1774. April.
of the days of King William. It was enough for him if the Aristocracy applauded. He did not believe in the dawn of a new light, in the coming on of a new order, though a new order of things was at the door, and a new light had broken. He would not turn to see, nor bend to learn, if the political system of Somers, and Walpole, and the Pelhams, and their adherents was to pass away; if it were so, he himself was determined not to know it, but ‘rather to be the last of that race of men.’ As Dante is the poet who sums up the civilization of his times, so that the departed spirit of the Middle Age seems still to live in his immortal verse, so Burke portrays in his pages all the lineaments of that Old Whig Aristocracy which in its day had achieved mighty things for liberty and for England. He that will study under its best aspect the enlightened character of England in the first half of the eighteenth century, the wonderful intermixture of privilege and prerogative, of aristocratic power and popular liberty, of a free Press and a secret House of Commons, of an established church and a toleration of all Protestant sects, of a fixed adherence to prescription and liberal tendencies in administration, must give his days and nights to the writings of Edmund Burke. But time never keeps company with the mourners; it flies from the memories of the expiring past, though they may be clad in the brightest colors of imagination; it leaves those who stand still to their despair; and itself hurries on to fresh fields of action and scenes for ever new.

Resuming the debate, Fox said earnestly, ‘If you ’

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