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Burke
Burke
353

nulling the Massachusetts charter. The dissolution of parliament in September caused him some anxiety, for Lord Verncy’s affairs compelled him to have candidates stand for Wendover who could bear the charges of the borough (ib. i. 237). Rockingham, however, found him a scat at Malton. On his way to the election there he was robbed of 10l. by a highwayrnan (ib. 246). While he was at dinner on the day of his election, 11 Oct., a deputation from Bristol arrived at Malton and informed him that he had been nominated for that city. He set off at once, and, arriving at Bristol in the afternoon of the 13th, the sixth day of the poll, drove straight to the mayor’s house, and, after a few minutes’ rest, addressed the electors in the Guildhall (ib. iii. 227). At the close of the poll, 3 Nov., he was elected by a maiority of 251. His colleague, Mr. Cruger, having declared himself willing to obey the instructions of his constituents, Burke explained the constitutional position of a parliamentary representative: ‘He owes you,’ he said, ‘not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion’ (ib. 236). His success afforded him great pleasure, and in a cheerful letter, dated 19 Nov., he describes how on his way home he visited his son Richard, then at Christ Church, Oxford, and ‘drank a glass of wine with him and his young friends (ib. 249). On 6 March 1775 he made an indignant protest against restraining the trade of the American colonies (Parl. Hist. xviii. 389), and on the 22nd brought forward his thirteen resolutions for conciliation 478 ; Works, iii. 241). He spoke for three hours. With the question of the right of taxation he would have nothing to do. ‘It is not,’ he said, ‘what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me ought to do.‘ he resolutions were negatived by 270 to 78. Burke's health seems to have suffered from his unavailing exertions. On 15 May, in presenting a representation from the Assembly of New York, his American constituency, he said that he was too ill to makea long speech, and writing to Rockingham on 4 Aug. he spoke of an illness from which he had just recovered. ‘My head and heart,’ he said, ‘are full of anxious thoughts? Yet in spite of toil and sickness his spirits were elastic. Boswell, in a letter written at this time, thinks that ‘he must he one of the few men that may hope for continual happiness in this life, he has so much knowledge, so much animation, and the consciousness of so much fame' (Letters to Temple, 212). He was the centre of attraction at one or two London salon, and especially at Mrs. Vèsy's gatherings. There, and in other drawing-rooms where he was at ease, he would take a book, if he did not care for the company, and read aloud, sometimes choosing French poetry, which he read as though the words were to sound as in English (Memoirs of Dr. Burney, ii. 267, iii. 170.)

On the occasion of presenting a petition setting forth the in'u arisin to the Wiltshire clothiers from the Ameiican troubles, Burke made another attempt to bring the government to a peace and the rejection of his motion by 210 to 105 was considered a triumph by the minority (Parl. Hist. xviii. 963). In Novemher of the next year (1776) he seconded a motion for the revision of all acts aggrieving the colonies. On the rejection of this motion he, in common with the party to which he belonged, withdrew himself from parliament on a questions relating to America (ib. 1434; Ann. Reg. 1777, 48). This partial secession called forth his ‘Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol,’ which contains a defence of his opposition to the government measures. Although his attention was at this time chiefly directed to our colonial troubles, he joined with Sir W. Meredith in fighting against the brutality of the law and general manners at home. He brought in a bill to hinder wrecking, and in 1779 made an earnest protest against the punishment of the pillory. On his return to full parliamentary attendance, he made a motion, 6 Feb. 1778, against the employment of Indians in the war with America, supporting it with a speech of three hours and a half, which excited much applause that the ministers, who as usual on these occasions had cleared the house of strangers, were congratulated on their prudence, for it was said that had the public heard Burke’s speech their lives would have been in danger (ib 1778; and see above). The government of Lord North, indeed, gave ample cause for the indignation Burke was not slow to express. A few days after this speech on the Indian question Lord Mulgrave, in a debate on the navy estimates, acknowledged that not a shilling had been laid out on the purposes for which the last vote had been made, and treated the apropriation as a mere matter of form. At this open defiance of the principles of the constitution Burke's anger blaze out. Snatching ‘the line gilt book of estimates’ from the table, he flung it at the treasury bench, and, though the volume hit the candle and nearly hit Welbore Ellis, the treasumer of the navy, on the shins, no one seems to have dared to complain of this display of righteous wrath (Parl. Hist. xix. 730). On the motion for the trial of Sir Hugh Palliser for his conduct