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of his political conduct may to a certain extent be measured. Every one may now form a judgment how far he has swerved from his principles, and whether truly or not, he is entitled to the high distinction of being ranked among those few statesmen, who have honestly made the good of their country the object of their best exertions. In the course of our examination of the Observations we shall have occasion to draw the attention of the reader to some of the political principles of Mr. Fox, and he may have an opportunity to judge whether they are deserving of Mr. Rose's animadversions. It may suffice to say here, that Mr. Fox appears uniformly throughout his work to have been a friend to a limited monarchy; to the existing form of government under which he lived, vested in a King, Lords, and Commons.
I could have wished that the defence of Mr. Fox had been undertaken by some person better qualified to do justice to his memory, but having waited thus long without success, I venture to obtrude myself upon the public. For many of the latter years of Mr. Fox's life, he honoured me with a considerable portion of his confidence; ever affable, kind, and obliging, it was impossible to associate with and not love him. The candour, openness, and simplicity of his heart left no room for suspicion or doubt, and
no man ever enjoyed more, the full, the warmest confidenc and affeetion of those, who had the good fortune to be ranked in the number of his friends. The storms of party could not ruffle the gentle current of his benevolence, no political disappointments soured his temper, and he died, as he had lived, an amiable example of a great statesman, beloved, as well as revered by all around him.
With the feelings described in the last paragraph, I certainly perused Mr. Rose's work with a considerable degree of indignation. I found there, quotations not correct, arguments not logical, deductions not justified by the premises, observations not founded, and in short, as I then thought, such unfair advantage taken of the unfinished state of Mr. Fox’s fragınent, as to justify the imputation of an unworthy attempt to detract unjustly from the reputation of its author. Upon further investigation, however, I have been induced to alter my opinion, for discovering that the same want of accuracy, both in fact and argument, and the same culpable carelesốness attend those parts of the work, which have no reference whatever to Mr. Fox, I no longer impute to its author any improper motives. In the ensuing pages, therefore, it will be taken for granted upon every occasion, that he has done his best to be correct, and even candid
and iinpartial; and that whatever errors may be detected have arisen from any other source than a wilful perversion of the heart. Personally I have no acquaintance with Mr. Rose, and profess to know nothing further of his private character or pursuits, than he has been pleased to disclose concerning himself in his Observations. Against him I have no feeling of personal hostility, no wish to depreciate his literary labours. In the following sheets all the objections, in any degree material, which have been made to Mr. Fox's work, will be noticed in their order, and if some of the mistakes pointed out should appear to be very minute, the reader will have the goodness to recollect, that, though trifling in themselves, they are important to prove the systematic carelessness, with which the Observations have been written. If any of Mr. Rose's arguments shall have been misapprehended, or any of his facts incorrectly stated, I shall be happy in an opportunity to acknowledge my errors.
In this preface some observatious have been made upon Mr. Rose's Introduction. The subsequent work will be divided into sections, the four first of which will be made to correspond: with the Chapters of his book. The fifth Section will be appropriated to a more extended view of the great question, in contest between Mr. Fox and Mr. Rose, viz, whether the love of arbitrary power or bigotry in
religion was the ruling passion of James the Second at the beginning of his reign, than could be conveniently entered into in the two preceding Sections, which are appropriated to the examination of Mr. Rose's authorities and arguments. The sixth Section will contain an answer to the last chapter of the Observations.
A few months only have elapsed since I formed the design of answering Mr. Rose's book, but being in the habit of occasionally inserting loose facts, and disjointed arguments in its margin, almost every part of it appeared at last to be explained or answered. These marginal notes have now been reduced into regular form, but this could be done only in the times of vacation, and at irregular intervals. Of course there may be some repetitions, and not only defects in composition, but it is to be feared in statement and argument also, though considerable pains have been taken to guard against them. But whatever errors may be found, it is hoped that there will be none to affect the general reasoning of any part of the Work.
may be proper to mention that the Octavo Edition of Sir John Dalrymple's Memoirs, to which reference is made in the following sheets, is not paged conformably to the Quarto.