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Inlike to all the e' were, der by ho
accuair; not tempat asunder God threads that the
the alert, where there is most to lose and to take care of: the rest depends on a handful of people, unarmed except by the institutions of the country.
Within and without the bills of mortality, I should think that our London population could amount to no less than 1,350,000 souls;' but this mass, be it what it may, is guided as it were by a thread: that seening thread is however a cable, with the anchor of law at the end of it. Our officers of police, few in number, so far from being disguised spies ; so far from insinuating themselves into the privacy of the people, walk about the streets in blue coats and red waistcoats, and show themselves to be what they are; ready, in case an offence is openly committed, or manifestly meditated, to apprehend and bring the offender to justice. How unlike to this was the condition of Paris, before that capital, the source of all the mischief that happened to the kingdom, was subverted! Those were, indeed, threads that held the people ; for they were snapt asunder by hordes reduced to beggary and despair ; not tempted by property generally diffused, but by an accumulation of it in, comparatively, but fe w hands.
If I may be indulged in a familiar comparison, I shall venture to say that our form of government, and ours alone, seems to be a coat made of such elastic materials, as to adjust itself to a body and limbs of any proportion. It was made for a boy, fitted an adult, and now, without any forcible stretching, clothes a large and well-shaped man. From the experience we have had of its wearing, and particularly of late, when it was so roughly treated, we may look on it even as an impenetrable panoply; but, with which if we were so mad as to part, we should at once be naked, and our metropolis, colossal as it is, become as full of dangers as ancient Rome or modern Paris.
Pure monarchies and republics having both their inherent vices, have risen and fallen in succession, and the period of their destruction, if not exactly calculated, must have been in great measure foreseen. We all remember what was said by Jugurtha when he quitted Rome-0 Urbem venalem, et maturè perituram, si emptorem invenerit! To the duration of our frame of polity, without precedent or parallel, no probable epoch can be assigned : it has the fairest prospect of perpetuity from the unremitting attention paid to all its constituent parts. If a stone falls out, or a beam is found to decay, another is immediately fitted and put into its place, to sustain and often to improve the
1 According to the Almanack Royal, 1823, the population of Paris amounted to only 713,990 souls.
venerable fabric. The wish of father Paul has not been realized, for alas! as Armstrong says truly, beautifully and pathetically,
What does not fade? The tower that loog had stood
OF THE LATE
JOHN ELWES, ESQ.
MEMBER IN THREE SUCCESSIVE PARLIAMENTS FOR BERKSHIRE.
. INSCRIBED TO SIR PAUL JODRELL,
By EDWARD TOPHAM, ESQ.
'LATE CAPTAIN IN THE SECOND TROOP. OF HORSE-GUARDS, AND
MAGISTRATE FOR THE COUNTIES OF ESSEX AND YORK,
Every singular character merits some notice from posterity; and I have always said, that if Fate prolonged my life, I would write his.
SIR PAUL JODRELL,
AND NOW RESIDING IN INDIA.
MY LONG-VALUED FRIEND, The Life, which follows this, has already met more than its due share of approbation. But the singularity of the character will alone make it matter of curiosity. In delivering down to others an account so extraordinary, I was anxious to inscribe it with a name that might 'well deserve remembrance. A name of more merit than yours I do not know; and should I here err, I am indeed mistaken in my judgment, for we have known each other during the period of our lives. We were boys together at Eton; students together at Cambridge; and we travelled together through Scotland.
The distance which now divides us, removes from me all imputation of flattery here ; and the usual homage of India will make you think what I am now saying of you, but very cool commendation.
This work, therefore, I inscribe to you as a tribute of long friendship; nor have I more to add, than to say, with submission, that while you are taking care of a Nabob, pray take care of yourself.
EDWARD TOPHAM. Cowslip Hall, Suffolk,
January 20, 1790
DURING the life-time of Mr. Elwes, I said to him more than once, “I would write his life." His answer was there is nothing in it, Sir, worth mentioning." ;
That I have been of a different opinion, my labors will show; and if I have any knowlege of history, or human nature, it will form an epoch in the biography of the eighteenth century, that such characters lived, as those of Sir Hervey, and Mr. Elwes, his nephew. Men voluntarily giving up all the blessings of life to save money they knew not why; embracing poverty and mortification as the best lot of existence; and dying martyrs to that wealth, whose accumulation afforded no enjoyment. :
In giving the Life of Mr. Elwes to the world, such have been the sentiments that have filled my mind. The delineation of characters such as these, I consider as a very moral instruction to mankind, and a lesson more demonstrative of the perfect vanity of unused wealth, than has hitherto been presented to the public ; and such is the answer I give to those, who may have observed, “ you need not have told all these things.”
An observation so trivial as this would have stopped, had it been regarded, every useful and improving narrative that time or history has delivered down to us. On such grounds, even Livy or Plutarch had never written : the delightful Memoirs of Sully, listening to such objections, had never seen the light, and all that aids virtue, or marks vice, by the presentment of recorded