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too, was induced to announce a new edition of his “ Letter on the Coronation Oath ;”—and lastly, a writer in the Edinburgh Review has put forth an article, entitled, “ George III. and the Catholic Question,” in which, with the usual accompaniment of sneers and sarcasms, I am thanked for “the very signal service I have done to the great cause of Catholic Emancipation,” by this extraordinary instance of “ indiscreet and unthinking zeal.'
This formidable array of adverse judgments gives me, you will readily believe, very little concern. But as you, and some other of my friends, think it may be useful to expose the weakness of the grounds, on which these gentlemen build their opinion, I shall not decline the task proposed to me.
It can hardly, I hope, be necessary for me to assure you, in the outset, that I feel most strongly the delicate and solemn nature of the duty I incur, in thus venturing to comment on the obligation of my Sovereign's Oath. It is a subject, which, in itself, and under any circumstances, would demand from a religious mind, to be treated with the strictest and most scrupulous sincerity. But, if it were otherwise possible, in the heat of controversy, to forget this duty, the awful event, which has removed for ever from the scene of our contention the ablest and most distinguished of all the individuals engaged in it, could hardly fail to recall us to better thoughts,--to admonish us, in a voice more eloquent even than his own, “ what sha- . “ dows we are, and what shadows we pursue.”
Bear with me, I entreat you, for a very short space, while I do justice to myself, in speaking of the eminent person to whom I have here alluded. I have been accused, in a late number of the Edinburgh Review, of treating him with “scurrility;" a charge, which, without stooping to confute it, I fling back on the head of
my acHad I ever addressed to Mr. Canning any language, which a public man, on a public question, would have a right to complain of hearing,—much more, had I ever used towards him the smallest portion of that coarse and unmanly ribaldry, which this very Review,* as
* In the 74th Number of this Review is an elaborate article of 30 pages, entitled “Mr. Canning and Reform," founded on a collection, made by a country bookseller, of his Speeches at his Elections for Liverpool. To select all the gross and insulting passages, which this article contains, would be to transcribe a very large portion of it; but for one or two specimens I must find room.
It will perhaps be remembered that Mr. Capning, in addressing his late constituents, when about to sail for the government