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ever any word happened to fall from him great and shining parts of government, in warmth, which upon subsequent reflec- though not above his parts to conceive, tion he himself thought too strong, he was were above his timidity to undertake. never easy till he had made more than a By great and lucrative employments, sufficient atonement for it.
during the course of thirty years, and by He had a moft unfortunate, I will call it ftill greater parsimony, he acquired an a molt fatal kind of melancholy in his na- immense fortune, and established his nuture, which often made him both absent merous family in advantageous posts and and filent in company, but never morose profitable alliances. or four. At other times he was a chear Though he had been solicitor and attorful and agreeable companion; but, con- ney-general, he was by no means what is scious that he was not always so, he avoid. called a prerogative lawyer. He loved ed company too much, and was too often the constitution, and maintained the juft alone, giving way to a train of gloomy prerogative of the crown, but without reflections.
stretching it to the oppression of the peoHis conftitution, which was never ro- ple. buft, broke rapidly at the latter end of his He was naturally humane, moderate, life. He had two severe strokes of apo. and decent; and when, by his former em. plexy or palsy, which considerably affected ployments, he was obliged to prosecute his body and his mind.
state-criminals, he discharged that duty in I defire that this may not be looked a very different manner from moft of his upon as a full and finished character, writ predecessors, who were too juftly called for the sake of writing it; but as my lo- the “ blood-hounds of the crown." lemn deposit of the truth to the best of my
He was a chearful and instructive comknowledge. I owed this small deposit of panion, humane in his nature, decent in justice, such as it is, to the memory of the his manners, unstained with any vice (avabeft man I ever knew, and of the dearest rice excepted), a very great magistrate, friend I ever had. Chesterfield. but by no means a great minifter.
Chesterfield. § 125. Character of Lord HARDWICKE.
Lord Hardwicke was, perhaps, the § 126. Character of the Duke of New. greatest magistrate that this country ever
CASTLE. had. He presided in the court of Chan The Duke of Newcastle will be so often cery above twenty years, and in all that mentioned in the history of these times, time none of his decrees were reversed, and with so strong a biass either for or nor the justness of them ever questioned. against him, that I resolved, for the sake Though avarice was his ruling passion, he of truth, to draw his character with my was never in the least suspected of any kind usual impartiality: for as he had been a of corruption: a rare and meritorious in- minister for above forty years together, stance of virtue and self-denial, under the and in the last ten years of that period influence of such a craving, insatiable, and first minister, he had full time to oblige increasing passion.
one half of the nation, and to offend the He had great and clear parts ; under- other. stood, loved, and cultivated the belles let We were cotemporaries, near relations, tres. He was an agreeable, eloquent and familiar acquaintances; sometimes speaker in parliament, but not without well, and sometimes ill together, according some little tincture of the pleader. to the several variations of political affairs,
Men are apt to misake, or at least to which know no relations, friends, or ac. seem to mistake, their own talents, in quaintances. hopes, perhaps, of misleading others to The public opinion put him below his allow them that which they are conscious level: for though he had no superior they do not possess. Thus Lord Hard- parts, or eminent talents, he had a most wicke valued himself more upon being a indefatigable industry, a perseverance, a great minister of state, which he certainly court craft, a servile compliance with the was not, than upon being a great magi will of his sovereign for the time being; Arate, which he certainly was.
which qualities, with only a common share All his notions were clear, but none of of common sense, will carry a man sooner them great. Good order and domestic and more fafely through the dark labydetails were his proper departme.it. The rinths of a court, than the most hining
parts would do, without those meaner ta- four hundred thousand pounds poorer than lents.
'when he first engaged in it. He was good-natured to a degree of Upon the whole, he was a compound weakness, even to tears, upon the lightest of most human weaknesses, but untainted occasions. Exceedingly timorous, both per- with any vice or crime. Chelterfield. fonally and politically, dreading the least innovation, and keeping, with a scrupulous § 127. Character of the Duke of Bed. timidity, in the beaten track of business, as having the safest bortom.
The Duke of Bedford was more conI will mention one instance of this dif- fiderable for his rank and immense forposition, which, I think, will set it in the tune, than for either his parts or his virItrongest light. When I brought the bill tues, into the house of lords, for correcting and
He had rather more than a common amending the calendar, I gave him pre.
share of common sense, but with a head vious notice of my intentions : he was
so wrong-turned, and so invincibly obsti, alarmed at fo bold an undertaking, and nate, that the share of parts which he had conjured me not to stir matters that had was of little use to him, and very troubeen long quiet ; adding, that he did not
blesome to others. love new-fangled things. I did not, how He was passionate, though obstinate ; ever, yield to the cogency of these argu. and, though both, was always governed ments, but brought in the bill, and it paff- by some low dependants ; who had art ed unanimously. From such weaknesses it enough to make him believe that he gonecessarily follows, that he could have no verned them. great ideas, nor elevation of mind.
His manners and address were exceed. His ruling, or rather his only, passion ingly illiberal; he had neither the talent was, the agitation, the bustle, and the nor the defire of pleafing. hurry of business, to which he had been In speaking in the house, he had an ineaccustomed above forty years; but he was legant Aow of words, but not without some as dilatory in dispatching it, as he was reasoning, matter, and method. eager to engage in it. He was always in
He had no amiable qualities: but he a hurry, never walked, but always run, had no vicious nor criminal ones: he was insomuch that I have sometimes told him, much below shining, but above contempt that by his fleetnefs one should rather take in any character. him for the courier than the author of the
In short, he was a Duke of a respectable letters.
family, and with a very great estate: He was as jealous of his power as an impotent lover of his mistress, without ac
$ 128. Another Character. tivity of mind enough to enjoy or exert it,
The Duke of Bedford is indeed a very but could not bear a share even in the ap
confiderable man. The highest rank, a pearances of it.
splendid fortune, and a name glorious till His levees were his pleasure, and his it was his, were sufficient to have fupporttriumph; he loved to have them crowded, ed him with meaner abilities than he and consequently they were so: there he possessed. The use he made of these anmade people of business wait two or three common advantages might have been hours in the anti-chamber, while he trifled more honourable to himself, but could away that time with some insignificant fa not be more instructive to mankind. The vourites in his closet. When at last he eminence of his station gave him a comcame into his levee-room, he accosted, manding prospect of his duty. The road hugged, embraced, and promised every which led to honour was open to his body, with a seeming cordiality, but at the view. He could not lose it by mistake, and fame time with an illiberal and degrading he had no temptation to depart from it by
design. He was exceedingly disinterested: very An independent, virtuous Duke of Bedprosuse of his own fortune, and abhorring ford, would never prostitute his dignity in all those means, too often used by persons parliament by an indecent violence, either in his station, either to gratify their avarice, in oppressing or defending a minifter: he or to supply their prodigality; for he re- would not at one moment rancorously pertired from business in the year 1762, above fecute, at another bafely cringe to the fa
vourite of his sovereign. Though de- managing, that is, in corrupting, the house ceived perhaps in his youth, he would of commons; and a wonderful dexterity in not, through the course of a long life, have attaching individuals to himself. He proinvariably chosen his friends from among moted, encouraged, and practised their the most profligate of mankind : his own vices; he gratified their avarice, or fuphonour would have forbidden him from plied their profusion. He wisely and puocmixing his private pleasures or conversa- tually performed whatever he promiled, tion with jockeys, gamesters, blafphemers, and most liberally rewarded their attachgladiators, or buffoons. He would then have ment and dependence. By these, and all never felt, much less would he have subunit- other means that can be imagined, he made ted to, the humilitating necefity of engag. himself many personal friends and political ing in the intereit and intrigues of his de- dependants. pendants ; of supplying their vices, or re He was a most disagreeable speaker in lieving their beggary, at the expence of parliament, inelegant in bis language, hehis country. He would not have betrayed fitating and ungraceful in his elocution, fuch ignorance, or such contempt of the but skilful in discerning the temper of the conftitution, as openly to avow in a court house, and in knowing when and how to of justice the purchate and sale of a bo- press, or to yield. sough. If it should be the will of Provi. A constant good-hamour and seeming dence to afflict him with a domcitic mis frankness made him a welcome companion fortune, he would submit to the stroke in social life, and in all domestic relations with feeling, but not without dignity; and he was good-natured. As he advanced in not look for, or find, an immediate confo. life, his ambition became subfervient to his bation for the loss of an only son in con avarice. His early profufion and diffipasultations and empty bargains for a place tion had made him feel the many inconat court, nor in the misery of ballotting at veniencies of want, and, as it often hapthe India-house.
pens, carried him to the contrary and worse The Duke's history began to be im extreme of corruption and rapine. Ren, portant at that auspicious period, at which quocunque modo rem, became his maxim, he was deputed to the court of Versailles. which he observed (I will not lay religiIt was an honourable cflice, and was exe- ously and scrupulously, but) invariably and cuted with the same spirit with which it hamefully. was accepted. His patrons wanted an He had not the least notion of, or reambasador who would submit to make gard for, the public good or the conititaconcessions :-their business required a tion, but despised those cares as the obman who had as little feeling for his own jects of narrow minds, or the pretences dignity, as for the welfare of his country; of interested ones: and he lived, as Brucos and they found him in the first rank of the died, calling virtue only a name. nobility. Junius.
Chejlerfield. § 129. Charailer of Mr. Henry Fox, af. $ 130. Character of Mr. Pitt. terwards Lord Holland.
Mr. Pitt owed his rise to the most conMr. Henry Fox was a younger brother fiderable posts and power in this kingdom of the lowest extraction. His father, Sir singly to his own abilities; in him they Stephen Fox, made a considerable fortune, supplied the want of birth and fortune, foinehow or other, and left him a fair which latter in others too often supply the younger brother's portion, which he foon want of the former. He was a younger spent in the common vices of youth, gam- brother of a very new family, and his foring included: this obliged him to travel tune only an annuity of one hundred pounds for some time.
a year. When he returned, though by educa The army was his original destination, tion a Jacobite, he attached himself to and a cornetcy of horse his first and only Sir Robert Walpole, and was one of his commillion in it. Thus, unafifted by faableft elves. He had no fixed principles vour or fortune, he had no powerful proeither of religion or morality, and was tector to introduce him into business, and too unwary in ridiculing and exposing (if I may use that expression) to do the them.
honours of his parts; but their own strength, He had very great abilities and indefa was fully suilicient. tigable industry in business; great skill in His constitution refused him the usual
pleasures, and his genius forbad him the secretary of Itate : in this difficult and deiale dissipations of youth; for so early as licate situation, which one would have at the age of fixtein, he was the martyr thought must have reduced either the paof an hereditary gout. He therefore em- triot or the minifter to a decisive option, ployed the leisure which that tedious and he managed with such ability, that while painfuldistemper either procured or allow- he served the king more effectually in his ed him, in acquiring a great fund of pre- most unwarrantable electoral views, than mature and useful knowledge. Thus, by any former minister, however willing, had the unaccountable relation of causes and dared to do, be still preserved all his credit effects, what seemed the greatest misfor- and popularity with the public; whom he tune of his life was, perhaps, the principal assured and convinced, that the protection cause of its splendor.
and defence of Hanover, with an army of His private life was stained by no vices, seventy-five thousand men in Britith pay, nor sollied by any meanness. All his fen. was the only posible method of securing timents were liberal and elevated. His rule our posseflions or acquisitions in North ing passion was an unbounded ambition, America. So much easier is it to deceive which, when supported by great abilities, than to undeceive mankind. and crowned by great success, make what
His own disinterestedness, and even conthe world calls a great man.” He was tempt of money, smoothed his way to powhaughty, imperious, impatient of contra- er, and prevented or filenced a great share diction, and overbearing ; qualities which of that envy which commonly attends it. too often accompany, but always clog, Most men think that they have an equal great ones.
natural right to riches, and equal abilities He had manners and address; but one to make the proper use of them; but not might discern through them too great a very many of them have the impudence to consciousness of his own superior talents. think themselves qualified for power. He was a most agreeable and lively com Upon the whole, he will make a great panion in social life; and had such a ver- and shining figure in the annals of this latility of wit, that he could adapt it to all country, notwithstanding the blot which sorts of conversation. He had also a most his acceptance of three ihousand pounds happy turn to poetry, but he seldom in- per annum pension for three lives, on his dulged, and seldom avowed it.
voluntary resignation of the seals in the He came young into parliament, and first year of the present king, must make in upon that great theatre foon equalled the his character, especially as to the difinteoldest and the ablest actors. His eloquence rested part of it. However, it must be was of every kind, and he excelled in the acknowledged, that he had those qualities argumentative as well as in the declama- which none but a great man can have, with tory way; but his invectives were terri- a mixture of thole failings which are the ble, and uttered with such energy of dic. common lot of wretched and imperfect tion, and stern dignity of action and coun- human nature.
Chesterfield. tenance, that he intimidated those who were the most willing and the best able
§ 131. Another Character. to encounter him *; their arms fell out
Mr. Pitt had been originally designed of their hands, and they Ihrunk under for the army, in which he actually bore a the ascendant which his genius gained over commission; but fate reserved hiin for 2 theirs.
more important station. In point of forIn that affembly, where the public good tune he was barely qualified to be elected is so much talked of, and private interest member of parliament, when he obtained fingly pursued, he set out with acting the a seat in the house of commons, where he patriot, and performed that part fo no- foon outlhone all his compatriots. He dirbly, that he was adopted by the public played a surprising extent and precision of as their chief, or rather only unsuspected, political knowledge, and irresistible energy champion.
of argument, and such power of elocution The weight of his popularity, and his as ftruck his hearers with astonishment and universally acknowledged abilities, obtrud- admiration : it fashed like the lightening of ed him upon King George II. to whom he heaven against the ministers and sons of was personally obnoxious. He was made corruption, blatting where it (mote, and
· Hume Campbell, and Lord Chief Juļtice withering the nerves of opposition: but his Mansfield.
more subitantial praile was founded upon
his disinterested integrity, his incorruptible mofthenes, or the splendid conflagration of heart, his unconquerable spirit of inde- Tully; it resembled fonetimes the thun. pendence, and his invariable attachment to der, and sometimes the music of the spheres. The interest and liberty of his country. Like Murray, he did not conduct the un
Smollert. derstanding through the painful subtilty of
argumentation; nor was he, like Town§ 132. Another Character.
thend, for ever on the rack of exertion; The secretary stood alone, Modern de. but rather lightened upon the subject, and generacy had not reached him. Original reached the point by ihe flashings of the and anaccommodating, the features of his mind, which, like those of his eye, were character had the hardihood of antiquity, felt, but could not be followed. His august mind over-awed majesty, and
Upon the whole, there was in this man one of his sovereigns thought royalty fo fomething that could create, subvert, or impaired in his presence, that he conspired reform; an undertanding, a spirit, and an to remove him, in order to be relieved from eloquence, to fummon mankind to fociety, his fuperiority. No state chicanery, no
or to break the bonds of Navery asunder, narrow syitem of vicious politics, no idle and to rule the wilderness of free minds contest for minitterial victories, funk him with unbounded authority; something that to the vulgar level of the great; but over could establish or overwhelm empire, and bearing, persuasive, and impracticable, his strike a blow in the world that should reobject was England, his ambition was fame. found through the universe. Without dividing, he destroyed party;
Anonymous. without corrupting, he made a venal age unanimous. France funk beneath him. § 133. Another Character. With one hand he fmote the house of
Lord Chatham is a great and celebrated Bourbon, and wielded in the other the de. mocracy of England. The light of his country respectable in every other on the
name; a name that keeps the name of this mind was infinite: and his schemes were globe.' It may be truly called, to affect, not England, not the present age
Clarum et venerabile nomen only, but Europe and pofterity. Wonder
Gentibus, et multum noftræ quod proderat urbi. ful were the means by which these schemes were accomplished ; always seasonable, al. The venerable age of this great man, his ways adequate, the suggestions of an un merited rank, his fuperior eloquence, his derstanding animated by ardour, and en- splendid qualities, his eminent services, the lightened by prophecy.
vaft space he fills in the eye of mankind, The ordinary feelings which make life and, more than all the reít, his fall from amiable and indolent were unknown to him. power, which, like death, canonizes and No domestic difficulties, no domestic weak- sanctifies a great character, will not suffer ness reached him; but aloof from the for me to censure any part of his conduct. I did occurrences of life, and unsullied by its am afraid to flatter him; I am sure I am intercourse, he came occasionally into our not disposed to blame him: let those who system, to council and to decide.
have betrayed him by their adulation, insult A character so exalt:d, so strenuous, so him with their malevolence. But what I various, so authoritative, astonished a cor do not presume to censure, I may have leave supt age, and the treasury trembied at the 'to lament. Dame of Pitt through all her clafles of ve For a wise man, he seemed to me at that nality. Corruption imagined, indeed, that time to be governed too much by general The had found defeits in this statesman, and maxims: one or two of these maxims, talked much of the inconsistency of his flowing from an opinion not the most in. glory, and much of the ruin of his victo- dulgent to our unhappy species, and surely ries; but the history of his country, and the a little too general, led him into measures calamities of the enemy, aniwered and re that were greatly mischievous to himself; fated her.
and for that reason, ainong others, perhaps Nor were his political abilities his only fatal to his country; measures, the effects talents : his eloquence was an æra in the of which I am afraid are for ever incurable. fenate, peculiar and spontaneous, familiarly lie made an administration fo checkered exprelling gigantic sentiments and inftine and speckled; he put together a piece of tive wisdom; not like the torrent of De- joinery fo crossly indented and whimsically