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fore should not be able to call on you, which otherwise he would have certainly done.
I have written a long letter, hardly, I fear, worth the postage. The subject interested me, and I thought it must interest you; if I have been tedious, I expect an excuse in your usual kindness.
I hope to see "Mr. Percival soon, and shall hear him on Sunday. I will write to you afterwards. Every thing in my power shall be done to make Liverpool agreeable to him. If you see Mr. B. A. Heywood soon, be so good as to say that his subject stands for the next night of the society; and that to ensure it the kind of discussion it deserves, I would advise him to put the heads at least on paper, which may first be read over generally, and afterwards paragraph by paragraph. This practice I followed myself last meeting, in reading a paper " On the Uses and Abuses of Eloquence.” In much haste, I am, my dear Sir, Yours most affectionately,
Liverpool, Aug. 30. 1792. MY DEAR SIR,
My feelings respecting France nearly agree with your own: I by no means abandon them, though much shocked and staggered with late events, and not a little so, with the sanguinary executions now taking place in Paris. Yet I hope the Revolution will survive the shock of internal, as well as external, disorders, though there is no chance now of its escaping trials of the most awful and bloody kind.
I am, my dear Sir,
Liverpool, October 5. 1792.
MY DEAR SIR,
Affairs in France wear an extraordinary aspect. I apprehend we shall see a new proof in the issue which impends, that there is a certain enthusiasm of mind, which, whether it turns on religion or political freedom, when once it spreads through a people, nothing can subdue. Against the giant force of long-established superstition (I apply the word to political as well as religious opinions), when called into action, reason opposes a feeble arm. It is then that, in the providence of the moral world, enthusiasm arises to oppose a monster with a monster's force. In the mean time, should the French succeed, it begins to be more apparent that other changes must ensue, in the prospect of which the most active conception may be astonished, and the stoutest heart appalled.
I cannot enlarge, and, indeed, I should tire you.
I am, in haste, my dear Sir,
Liverpool, Dec. 26. 1792. MY DEAR FRIEND, I have to return you thanks for a new and very gratifying service
have done me, in the successful and kind exertions that have procured me admission into the Royal Society. The intelligence reached me on Sunday evening, in a short note from Dr. Simmons, and, next day, in an official communication from the secretary.
I must confess to you I had given the matter in great measure up; not that I doubted the powerful influence used in my favour, had the times been peaceful; but that I apprehended their inefficacy at the present moment, when the triumphant shouts of bigotry and ignorance stun the ear of reason, and threaten to involve liberality of sentiment, and science itself, in odium and disgrace.
I hope, if I live, to justify your partial friendship on the present occasion, - at least, it is my intention to do my best. But who can promise any thing with confidence in times like these, when one's feelings of sympathy and sorrow are so deeply agitated by the convulsions that shake the moral world ? The “spes melioris ævi,” however, survives; and I should not be much surprised to see the present tempest subside, and that soon, into a perfect calm.
Here, party-spirit, though astonishingly increased, is yet under the general par, if I may so express myself. We have no associations authorised by the magistracy; and private life, though disturbed, is not yet embittered. The India business does not drop, but is, I hope, likely to revive.
I feel it very painful to dwell on such subjects.
I am, my dear Friend,
P.S. I have opened my letter to express to you the deep concern I feel in hearing that Dr Barnes, it is feared, will withdraw himself from the College. * I have conversed with
on the subject, and am strengthened in my opinion of the utter ruin to the institution, which, in times like these, such a step would produce. ;
For my own part, as far as I can judge, it is my opinion that the point at issue should be
* The Manchester Academy.