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to act a second part, after having acted a speak fufficiently for themselves; they will frit, as he did during the reign of king live as long as letters and tałte shall remain George the Firit. He resolved, therefore, in this country, and be more and more to make one convulsive struggle to revive admired as envy and resentment shall sub. his expiring power, or, if that did not fuc- fide. But I will venture this piece of clafceed, to retire from business. He tried the fical blasphemy, which is, that however he experiment upon the king, with whom he may be supposed to be obliged to Horace, had a personal interest. The experiment Horace is more obliged to him. tailed, as he might easily, and ought to
Chesterfield. have foreseen. He retired to his seat in the country, and, in a few years, died of $ 119. Charafier of Lord BOLINGBROKE. an apoplexy.
It is impossible to find lights and Mades Having thus mentioned the flight defects, strong enough to paint the character of as well as the many valuable parts of his lord Bolingbroke, who was a most morticharacter, I must declare, that I owed the fying instance of the violence of human former to truth, and the latter to gratitude paflions, and of the most improved and exand friendship as well as to truth, fince, alted human reason. His virtues and his for some years before he retired from busi. vices, his reason and his passions, did not ness, we lived in the stricteft intimacy that blend themselves by a gradation of tints, the difference of our age and situations but formed a shining and sudden contrast. could admit, during which time he gave Here the darkest, there the most fplenme many unasked and unequivocal proofs did colours, and both rendered more itrikof his friend fhip.
Chesterfield. ing from their proximity. Impetuofily,
excess, and almost extravagancy, charac§ 118. The Character of Mr. Pope.
terised not only his passions, but even his Pope in conversation was below himself; fenfes. His youth was distinguished by all he was seldom easy and natural, and seem- the tumult and form of pleasures, in which ed afraid that the man ihould degrade the he licentiously triumphed, disdaining all poet, which made him always attempt wit decorum. His fine imagination was often and humour, often unsuccessfully, and too heated and exhausted, with his body, in often unfeasonably. I have been with him celebrating and deifying the prostitute of a week at a time at his house at Twicken- the night; and his convivial joys were ham, where I necessarily saw his mind in pushed to all the extravagancy of frantic jis undress, when he was both an agreeable bacchanals. These passions were never and instructive companion.
interrupted but by a ftronger, ambition. His moral character has been warmly The former impaired both his constitution attacked, and but weakly defended; the and his character; but the latter destroyed natural consequence of his shining turn both his fortune and his reputation. to satire, of which many felt, and all fear. He engaged young, and distinguishe! ed the smart. It must be owned that he himself in buanefs. His penetration was was the most irritable of all the genus irri- almost intuition, and he adorned whatever rabile vatum, offended with trifles, and ne- subject he either spoke or wrote upon, by ver forgetting or forgiving them; but in the most splendid eloquence; not a studied this I really think that the poet was more or laboured eloquence, but by such a flowin fault than the man. He was as great ing happiness of diction, which (from care, an instance as any he quotes, of the con- perhaps, at firlt) was become lo habitual trarieties and inconsistencies of human na. to him, that even his most familiar conture; for, notwithlanding the malignancy versations, if taken down in writing, would of his fatires, and some blameable passages have borne the press, without the leall of his life, he was charitable to his power, correction, either as to method or style. active in doing good offices, and piously He had noble and generous sentiments, attentive to an old bedridden mother, who rather than fixed reflected principles of died but a little cime hefore him. His good nature and friendship; but they were poor, crazy, deformed body was a mere more violent than iaiting, and suddenly Pandora's box, containing all the physical and often varied to their opposite extremes, ills that ever afflicted humanity. This, with regard even to the same persons. perhaps, whetted the edge of his fatire, He received the common attention of ciand may in some degree excuse it. vility as obligations, which he returned I will fay nothing of his works, they with intereft; and resented with pasion
3 D 2
the little inadvertencies of human nature, character, what can we say, but, alas! poor which he repaid with interest too. Even human nature !
Chesterfield. a difference of opinion upon a philosophical subject, would provoke and prove him
§ 120. Character of Mr. PULTENEY. no practical philosopher at least.
Mr. Pulteney was formed by nature for Notwithstanding the dilipation of his social and convivial pleasures. Resentyouth, and the tumultuous agitation of his ment made him engage in business. He middle age, he had an infinite fund of had thought himself slighted by Sir Robert various and almost universal knowledge, Walpole, to whom he publicly avowed not which, from the clearelt and quickest con. only revenge, but utter destruction. He ception, and the happiest memory that had lively and shining parts, a surprising ever man was blessed with, he always car- quickness of wit, and a happy turn to the ried about him. It was his pocket-money, most amusing and entertaining kinds of and he never had occafion to draw upon a poetry, as epigrams, ballads, odes, &c.; book for any sum. He excelled more par in all which he had an uncommon facility. ticularly in history, as his historical works His compositions in that way were fomeplainly prove. The relative, political, and times fatirical, often licentious, but always commercial interests of every country in full of wit. Europe, particularly of his own, were bet He had a quick and clear conception of ter known to him than perhaps to any man business; could equally detect and practise in it; but how steadily he pursued the latter fophistry. He could itate and explain the in his public conduct, his enemies of all par- most intricate matters, even in figures, with ties and denominations tell with pleature. the utmost perspicuity. His parts were
During his long exile in France, he ap- rather above business; and the warmth of plied himself to itudy with his characteris- his imagination, joined to the impetuosity tical ardour; and there he formed, and and reftlesiness of his temper, made him chiefly executed, the plan of his great phi- incapable of conducting it long together losophical work. The common bounds of with prudence and steadiness. human knowledge were too narrow for his He was a most complete orator and dewarin and aspiring imagination ; he must bater in the house of commons; eloquent, go extra flammantia meenia mundi, and ex- entertaining, persuasive, ftrong, and paplore the unknown and unknowable regions thetic, as occasion required; for he had of metaphysics, which open an unbound- arguments, wit, and tears, at his command. ed field for the excursions of an ardent His breast was the seat of all those passions imagination; where endless conjectures fup- which degrade our nature and disturb our ply the defects of unattainable knowledge, reason. There they raged in perpetual and too often usurp both its name and its conflict; but avarice, the meanest of them influence.
all, generally triumphed, ruled absolutely, He had a very handsome person, with a and in many instances, which I forbear to moit engaging address in his air and man mention, most scandalously. ners; he had all the dignity and good His sudden passion was outrageous,
but breeding which a man of quality should or supported by great personal courage. Nocan have, and which so few, in this coun- thing exceeded his ambition, but his avatry at least, really have.
rice; they often accompany, and are freHe profefied himself a deist, believing quently and reciprocally the causes and the in a general Providence, but doubting of, effects of each other; but the latter is al. though by no means rejecting, (as is com ways a clog upon the former. He affected moniy supposed) the immortality of the good-nature and compassion; and perhaps foul, and a future state.
his heart might feel the misfortunes and He died of a cruel and socking dif- distresses of his fellow-creatures, but his temper, a cancer in his face, which he en. hand was seldom or never stretched out to dured with firmness. A week before he relieve them. Though he was an able died, I took my lait leave of him with actor of truth and sincerity, he could occagrief; and he returned me his last farewel fionally lay them afide, to serve the purwith tenderness, and said, “ God, who poses of his ambition or avarice. “ placed me here, will do what he pleases He was once in the greatest point of view “ with me hereafter; and he knows best that ever I saw any subject in. When “ what to do. May he bless you!" the opposition, of which he was the leader
Upon the whole of this extraordinary in the house of commons, prevailed at last
against Sir Robert Walpole, he became mean to do impartial justice to his charac-
Sense of chearful, social; inelegant in his manners,
loose in his morals. He had a coarse, tier on a sudden, after having acted the strong wit, which he was too free of for patriot so long, and with so much applause; a man in his ftation, as it is always inconand his pride made him declare, that he filtent with dignity. He was very able as a would accept of no place ; vainly imagin. minifter, but without a certain elevation of ing, that he could, by such a simulated and mind necessary for great good or great mis. temporary self-denial, preserve his popu- chief. Profufe and appetent, his ambition larity with the public, and his power at
was subservient to his desire of making a court, He was mistaken in both. The great fortune. He had more of the Making hated him almost as much for what zarin than of the Richelieu. He would he might have done, as for what he had do mean things for profit, and never done ; and a motley ministry was formed, thought of doing great ones for glory. which by no mean's desired his company.
He was both the best parliament-man, The nation looked upon bim as a deserter, and the ablelt manager of parliament, and he shrunk into insignificancy and an
that, I believe, ever lived. An artful, ra. earldom.
ther than an eloquent speaker; he saw, as He made several attempts afterwards to by intuition, the disposition of the house, setrieve the opportunity he had loft, but and pressed or receded accordingly. So in vain ; his situation would not allow it. clear in stating the inoft intricate matters, He was fixed in the house of lords, that especially in the finances, that, whilft he hospital of incurables; and his retreat to was speaking, the most ignorant thought popularity was cut off: for the confidence that they understood what they really did of the public, when once great, and once not. Money, not prerogative, was the chief lott, is never to be regained. He lived engine of his administration; and he emafterwards in retirement, with the wretch- ployed it with a success which in a manner ed comfort of Horace's miser :
disgraced humanity. He was not, it is
true, the inventor of that shameful mePopulus me fibilat, &c.
thod of governing, which had been gainI may, perhaps, be suspected to have ing ground insensibly ever fince Charles given too strong colouring to some features JI.; but, with uncommon skill, and unof this portrait; but I solemnly proteft, bounded profusion, he brought it to that that I have drawn it conscientiously, and perfection, which at this time dishonours to the best of my knowledge, from a very and distresses this country, and which (if long acquaintance with, and observation not checked, and God knows how it can of, the original. Nay, I have rather fof- be now checked) must ruin it. tened than heightened the colouring. Besides this powerful engine of govern
Chefter field. ment, he had a most extraordinary talent
of persuading and working men up to § 121. Character of Sir Robert Wale his purpose. A hearty kind of frankness, POLE.
which sometimes seemed impudence, made I much question whether an impartial people think that he let them into his character of Sir Robert Walpole will or secrets, whilst the impoliteness of his mancan be transmitted to pofterity; for heners seemed to attest his fincerity. When governed this kingdom so long, that the he found any body proof against pecuniary various pallions of mankind mingled, and temptations ; which, alas! was but selin a manner incorporated themselves, with dom, he had recourse to a still worse art; every thing that was said or written con- for he laughed at and ridiculed all notions cerning him. Never was man more fat- of public virtue, and the love of one's tered, nor more abused; and his long country, calling them, “ The chimerical power was probably the chief cause of « school-boy fights of classical learning.” both. I was much acquainted with him, declaring himself, at the same time, “ No both in his public and his private life. I “saint, no Spartan, no reformer.” He
would frequently ask young fellows, at He degraded himself by the vice of their first appearance in the world, while drinking; which, together with a great their honest hearts were yet untainted, stock of Greek and Latin, he brought “ Well, are you to be an old Roman? a away with him from Oxford, and retained
patriot? you will soon come off of that, and practised ever afterwards. By his “ and grow wiser.” And thus he was own industry, he had made himself master more dangerous to the morals than to the of all the modern languages, and had acliberties of his country, to which I am per- quired a great knowledge of the law. His suaded he meant no ill in his heart.
political knowledge of the interest of He was the easy and profuse dupe of princes and of commerce was extenfive, women, and in some instances indecently and his notions were just and great. His so. He was excefively open to fattery, character may be summed up, in nice preeven of the grofieit kind; and from the cifion, quick decision, and unbounded precoarsest bunglers of that vile profession; sumption.
Ibid. which engaged him to pass most of his leisure and jovial hours with people whose
§ 123. Character of Mr. PELHAM. blafted characters reflected
Mr. Pelham had good sense, without He was loved by many, but respected by either shining parts or any degree of litenone; his familiar and illiberal mirth and rature. He had by no means an elevated raillery leaving him no dignity. He was or enterprising genius, but had a more not vindi&tive, but, on the contrary, very manly and steady resolution than his broplacable to those who had injured him the ther the Duke of Newcastle. He had a most. His good-humour, good-nature, gentleman-like frank.ess in his behaviour, and beneficence, in the several relations of and as great point of honour as a minister father, husband, malter, and friend, gained can have, especially a minister at the head him the warmest affections of all within that of the treasury, where numberless sturdy circle,
and un'ariable beggars of condition apply, His name will not be recorded in history who cannot all be gratified, nor all with among the “best men,” or the “ beit mi falety be refused. “ nisters ;' but much less ought it to be
He was a very inelegant speaker in parranked among the worst.
liament, but spoke with a certain candour Chesterfield. and openness that made him be well heard,
and generally believed. § 122. Character of Lord GRANVILLE. He wished well to the public, and ma
Lord Granville had great parts, and a naged the finances with great care and moit uncommon share of learning for a personal purity. He was par negaiiis neque man of quality. He was one of the best supra: had many domestic virtues and no speakers in the house of lords, both in the vices. If his place, and the power that declamatory and the argumentative way. accompanies it, made him some public He had a wonderful quickness and preci- enemies, his behaviour in both secured him fion in seizing the stress of a queition, which from personal and rancorous ones.
Those no art, no fophistry, could disguise in him. who wished him worst, only wished them. In business he was bold, enterprising, and selves in his place. overbearing. He had been bred up in Upon the whole, he was an honourable high monarchical, that is, tyrannical prin- man, and a well-wishing minifter. ciples of government, which his ardent
Ibid. and imperious tem per made him think were the only rational and practicable $ 124. Chara:7er of RICHARD Earl of He would have been a great first
SCARBOROUGH. minister in France, little inferior, perhaps, In drawing the character of Lord Scarto Richelieu ; in this government, which borough, I will be strictly upon my guard is yet free, he would have been a danger- againit the partiality of that intimate and ous one, little less so, perhaps, than Lord unreserved friendship, in which we lived Strafford. He was neither ill-natured, nor for more than twenty years; to which vindi&tive, and had a great contempt for friendship, as well as to the public notoriety money; his ideas were all above it. in of it, I owe much more than my pride focial life he was an agreeable, good hu- will let my gratitude own. If this may be moured, and instructive companion; a fufpected to have biatled my judgment, it great but entertaining talker.
muit, at the same time, be allowed to have
informed it; for the most secret movements practicable patriot; a sincere lover, and a of his whole soul were, without disguile, zealous allerter of the natural, the civil, communicated to me only. However, I and the religious rights of his country: will rather lower than heighten the colour. but he would not quarrel with the crown, ing; I will mark the shades, and draw a for some flight stretches of the prerogacredible rather than an exact likeness. tive; nor with the people, for some un
He had a very good person, rather above wary ebullitions of liberty ; nor with any the middle fize; a handsome face, and, one for a difference of opinion in fpeculawhen he was cheerful, the most engaging tive points. He considered the coniliile countenance imaginable: when grave, tion in the aggregate, and only watched which he was oftenelt, the most respectable that no one part of it should preponderate one. He had in the highest degree the too much. air, manners, and addrels, of a man of His moral character was so pure, that if quality ; politeness with ease, and dignity one may say of that imperfect creature without pride.
man, what a celebrated historian fays of Bred in camps and courts, it cannot be Scipio, nil non laudandum aut dixit, aut supposed that he was untainted with the fecit
, aut fenfit; I fincerely think (I had fashionable vices of these warın climates; almoit said I know), one might fay it with but (if I may be allowed the expresion) great truth of him, one single instance he dignified them, instead of their degrado excepted, which shall be mentioned. ing him into any mean or indecent action. He joined to the nobleit and strictest He had a good degree of claslical, and a principles of honour and generosity, the great one of modern, knowledge; with a tenderelt sentiments of benevolence and just, and, at the same time, a delicate taste. compaflion; and, as he was naturally
In his common expences he was liberal warm, he could not even hear of an inwithin bounds; but in his charities, and justice or a baseness, without a sudden bounties he had none. I have known them indignation : nor of the misfortunes or put him to some present inconveniencies. miseries of a fellow creature, without
He was a strong, but not an eloquent or melting into softness, and endeavouring to florid speaker in parliament. He spoke relieve them. This part of his character fo unaffectedly the honest di&tates of his was so universally known, that our belt heart, that truth and virtue, which never and most satirical English poet says, want, and seldom wear, ornaments, seemed only to borrow his voice. This gave such
When I confess there is who feels for fame, an astonishing weight to all he iaid, that
And melts to goodneis, need I Scarborough
pame? he more than once carried an unwilling majority after him. Such is the autho He had not the least pride of birth and riry of unsuspected virtue, that it will rank, that common narrow notion of little sometimes name vice into decency at miods, that wretched mistaken succedaleast,
neum of merit; but he was jealous to He was not only offered, but presled to anxiety of his character, as all men are accept, the post of secretary of state; but who deserve a good one. And such was he constantly refused it. I once tried to his diffidence upon that subject, that he persuade him to accept it; but he told never could be persuaded that mankind me, that both the natural warmth and me really thought of him as they did; for lancholy of his temper made him unfit for surely never man had a higher reputation, it; and that moreover he knew very well and never man enjoyed a more universal that, in thofe ministerial employments, the esteem. Even knaves respected him; and course of business made it neceflary to fools thought they loved him. If he had do many hard things, and some unjust any enemies (for 1 protest I never knew ones, which could only be authorited by one), they could be only such as were the jesuitical casuiftry of the direction of weary of always hearing of Aristides the intention: a doctrine which he said he the Just. could not possibly adopt. Whether he He was too subject to sudden gusts of was the first that ever made that objection, paflion, but they never hurried him into I cannot affirm ; but I suspect that he will any illiberal or indecent expreflion or acbe the latt.
tion; so invincibly habitual to him were He was a true constitutional, and yet good-nature and good-manners. But if