He is often outrageously unjust in the substance of what he says, and in manner harsh to cynicism, scornful to gruesomeness; but in no battle that he fought was he ever actuated by selfish interests.
His keen intuition of truth, his vigour and yet sobriety of argument, his fertility of illustration and acuteness of sarcasm, made him irresistible to his antagonists; and the evanescent triumphs of scornful controversy have given place to the sedate applause of a long-lived posterity.
He was the very opposite of Richelieu, as wheedling in his ways as the other had been haughty and scornful, as devoid of vanity and rancour as Richelieu had been full of jealous care for his authority; he was gentle where the other had been passionate and irritable, with an intelligence as great and more supple, and a far more grasping nature.
The only interest of the piece for us lies in the proof which it furnishes, that at the opening of his life Burke had the same scornful antipathy to political rationalism which flamed out in such overwhelming passion at its close.
The archbishop answered with words as scornful as their own, and took his way to the minster to attend vespers.