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giant. I think you were even the first who attacked the grim phantom. You have an exceeding good understanding, very good humour, and the best heart in the world. The dictates of that temper and that heart, as well as the policy pointed out by that understanding, led you to abhor the old code. You abhorred it, as I did, for its vicious perfection. For I must do it justice: it was a complete system, full of coherence and consistency; well digested and well composed in all its parts. It was a machine of wise and elaborate contrivance, and as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment, and degradation of a people, and the debasement in them of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man. It is a thing humiliating enough, that we are doubtful of the effect of the medicines we compound.
sure of our poisons. My opinion ever was (in which I heartily agreed with those that admired the old code) that it was so constructed that if there was once a breach in any essential part of it, the ruin of the whole, or nearly of the whole, was at some time or other a certainty. For that reason I honour, and shall for ever honour and love you, and those who first caused it to stagger, crack, and gape. Others inay finish; the beginners have the glory; and, take what part you please at this hour (I think you will take the best), your first services will never be forgotten by a grateful country.
284 BURKE'S LETTERS ON IRISH TRADE.
Adieu! Present my best regards to those I know; and as many as I know in our country, I honour. There never was so much ability, or, I believe, virtue in it. They have a task worthy of both. I doubt not they will perform it, for the stability of the Church and State, and for the union and the separation of the people for the union of the honest and peaceable of all sects—for their separation from all that is ill-intentioned and seditious in any of them.
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