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they met as strangers whom public business | do not prove it to be true. For an English col had brought together, and behaved to each lector or judge would have found it easy to in other with cold and distant civility. Burke duce any native who could write, to sign a had in his vortex whirled away Windham. panegyric on the most odious ruler that ever Fox had been followed by Sheridan and Grey. was in India. It was said that at Benares, the Orly twenty-nine peers voted. Of these very place at which the acts set forth in the only six found Hastings guilty, on the charges first article of impeachment had been com relating to Cheyte Sing and to the Begums. mitted, the natives had erected a temple to On other charges the majority in his favour Hastings; and this story excited a strong sen was still greater. On some he was unani-sation in England. Burke's observations on mously absolved. He was then called to the the apotheosis were admirable. He saw no bar, informed from the woolsack that the Lords reason for astonishment, he said, in the incihad acquitted him, and solemnly discharged. dent which had been represented as so strikHe bowed respectfully, and retired. ing. He knew something of the mythology of the Brahmins. He knew that, as they wor shipped some gods from love, so they worshipped others from fear. He knew that they erected shrines, not only to the benignant deities of light and plenty, but also to the fiends who preside over smallpox and murder. Nor did he at all dispute the claim of Mr. Hastings to be admitted into such a Pantheon. This reply has always struck us as one of the finest that ever was made in Parliament. It is a grave and forcible argument, decorated by the most brilliant wit and fancy.
We have said that the decision had been fully expected. It was also generally approved. At the commencement of the trial there had been a strong and indeed unreasonable feeling against Hastings. At the close of the trial, there was a feeling equally strong and equally unreasonable in his favour. One cause of the change was, no doubt, what is commonly called the fickleness of the multitude, but what seems to us to be merely the general law of human nature. Both in individuals and in masses violent excitement is always followed by remission, and often by reaction. We are all inclined to depreciate whatever we have overpraised; and, on the other hand, to show undue indulgence where we have shown undue rigour. It was thus in the case of Hastings. The length of his trial, moreover, made him an object of compassion. It was thought, and not without reason, that, even if he was guilty, he was still an ill-used man, and that an impeachment of eight years was more than a sufficient punishment. It was also felt that, though in the ordinary course of criminal law, a defendant is not allowed to set off his good actions against his crimes, a great political cause should be tried on different principles; and that a man who had governed a great country during thirteen years might have done some very reprehensible things, and yet might be on the whole deserving of rewards and honours rather than of fine and imprisonment. The Press, an instrument neglected by the prosecutors, was used by Hastings and his friends with great effect. Every ship, too, that arrived from Madras or Bengal brought a cuddy full of his admirers. Every gentleman from India spoke of the late Governor-General as having deserved better, and having been treated worse, than any man living. The effect of this testimony, unanimously given by all persons who knew the East, was naturally very great. Retired members of the Indian services, civil and military, were settled in all corners of the kingdom. Each of them was, of course, in his own little circle regarded as an oracle on an Indian question; and they were, with scarcely one exception, the zealous advocates of Hastings. It is to be added, that the numerous addresses to the late GovernorGeneral, which his friends in Bengal obtained from the natives and transmitted to Engiand, made a considerable impression. To these addresses we attach little or no importance. That Hastings was beloved by the people whom he governed is true; but the eulogies s^ pundits, zemindars, Mohammedan doctors,
Hastings was, however, safe. But, in every thing except character, he would have been far better off, if, when first impeached, he had at once pleaded guilty, and paid a fine of fifty thousand pounds. He was a ruined man. The legal expenses of his defence had been enormous. The expenses which did not appear in his attorney's bill were perhaps larger still. Great sums had been paid to Major Scott. Great sums had been laid out in bribing newspapers, rewarding pamphleteers, and circulating tracts. Burke, so early as 1790, declared in the House of Commons that twenty thousand pounds had been employed in corrupting the press. It is certain that no controversial weapon, from the gravest 'reasoning to the coarsest ribaldry, was left unemployed. Logan, in prose, defended the accused governor with great ability. For the lovers of verse, the speeches of the managers were burlesqued in Simpkin's letters. It is, we are afraid, indisputable that Hastings stooped so low as to court the aid of that malignant and filthy baboon, John Williams, who called himself Anthony Pasquin. It was necessary to subsidize such allies largely. The private hoards of Mrs. Hastings had disappeared. It is said that the banker to whom they had been intrusted had failed. Still, if Hastings had practised strict economy, he would, after all his losses, have had a moderate competence; but in the management of his private affairs he was impru dent. The dearest wish of his heart had always been to regain Daylesford. At length, in the very year in which his trial commenced, the wish was accomplished; and the domain, alienated more than seventy years before, returned to the descendant of its old lords. But the manor-house was a ruin; and the grounds round it had, during many years, been utterly neglected. Hastings proceeded to build, to plant, to form a sheet of water, to excavate a grotto; and, before he was dismissed from the bar of the House of Lords, he had expended more than 40,000l. in adorning his sea..
The general feeling both of the Directors and of the proprietors of the East India Company was, that he had great claims on them, that his services to them had been eminent, and that his misfortunes had been the effect of his zeal for their interests. His friends in Leadenhall street, proposed to reimburse him for the costs of his trial, and to settle on him an annuity of five thousand pounds a year. But the consent of the Board of Control was required; and at the head of the Board of Control was Mr. Dundas, who had himself been a party to the impeachment, who had, on that account, been reviled with great bitterness by the partisans of Hastings, and who, therefore, was not in a very complying mood. He refused to consent to what the Directors suggested. The Directors remonstrated. A long controversy followed. Hastings, in the mean time, was reduced to such distress that he could hardly pay his weekly bills. At length a compromise was made. An annuity of four thousand a year was settled on Hastings; and, in order to enable him to meet pressing demands, he was to receive ten years' annuity in advance. The Company was also permitted to lend him fifty thousand pounds, to be repaid by instalments, without interest. This relief, though given in the most absurd manner, was sufficient to enable the retired governor to live in comfort, and even in luxury, if he had been a skilful manager. But he was careless and profuse, and was more than once under the necessity of applying to the Company for assistance, which was liberally given.
Literature divided his attention with his conservatories and his menagerie. He had always loved books, and they were now necessary to him. Though not a poet, in any high sense of the word, he wrote neat and polished lines with great facility, and was fond of exercising this talent. Indeed, if we must speak out, he seems to have been more of a Trissotin than was to be expected from the powers of his mind, and from the great part which he had played in life. We are assured in these Me
He had security and affluence, but not the power and dignity, which, when he landed from India, he had reason to expect. He had then looked forward to a coronet, a red riband,
a seat at the Council-board, an office at White-moirs, that the first thing which he did in the hall. He was then only fifty-two, and might morning was to compose a copy of verses. hope for many years of bodily and mental When the family and guests assembled, the vigour. The case was widely different when poem made its appearance as regularly as the he left the bar of the Lords. He was now too eggs and rolls; and Mr. Gleig requires us to old a man to turn his mind to a new class of believe that, if from any accident Hastings studies and duties. He had no chance of re- came to the breakfast-table without one of his ceiving any mark of royal favour while Mr. charming performances in his hand, the omis Pitt remained in power; and, when Mr. Pitt sion was felt by all as a grievous disappoint retired, Hastings was approaching his seven-ment. Tastes differ widely. For ourselves tieth year. we must say that, however good the breakfasts at Daylesford may have been-and we are as sured that the tea was of the most aromatic flavour, and that neither tongue nor venisonpasty was wanting-we should have thought the reckoning high, if we had been forced to earn our repast by listening every day to a new madrigal or sonnet composed by our host. We are glad, however, that Mr. Gleig has preserved this little feature of character, though we think it by no means a beauty. It is good to be often reminded of the inconsistency of human na ture; and to learn to look without wonder or disgust on the weaknesses which are found in the strongest minds. Dionysius in old times, Frederic in the last century, with capacity and vigour equal to the conduct of the greatest affairs, united all the little vanities and affectations of provincial blue-stockings. These great examples may console the admirers of Hast ings for the affliction of seeing him reduced to the level of the Hayleys and the Sewards.
Once, and only once, after his acquittal, he interfered in politics, and that interference was not much to his honour. In 1804, he exerted himself strenuously to prevent Mr. Addington, against whom Fox and Pitt had combined, from resigning the Treasury. It is difficult to believe that a man so able and energetic as Hastings, can_have thought that, when Bonaparte was at Boulogne with a great army, the defence of our island could safely be intrusted to a ministry which did not contain a single person whom flattery could describe as a great statesman. It is also certain that, on the important question which had raised Mr. Adding ton to power, and on which he differed from both Fox and Pitt, Hastings, as might nave been expected, agreed with Fox and Pitt, and was decidedly opposed to Addington. Religious intolerance has never been the vice of the India service, and certainly was not the vice of Hastings, But Mr. Addington had treated him
with marked favour. Fox had been a principa manager of the impeachment. To Pitt it was owing that there had been an impeachment; and Hastings, we fear, was on this occasion guided by personal considerations, rather than by a regard to the public interest.
The last twenty-four years of his life were chiefly passed at Daylesford. He amused himself with embellishing his grounds, riding fine Arab horses, fattening prize-cattle, and trying to rear Indian animals and vegetables in Eng land. He sent for seeds of a very fine custardapple, from the garden of what had once been his own villa, among the green hedgerows of Allipore. He tried also to naturalize in Worcestershire the delicious leechee, almost the only fruit of Bengal, which deserves to be regretted even amidst the plenty of Covent-Gar den. The Mogul emperors, in the time of their greatness, had in vain attempted to introduce into Hindostan the goat of the table-land of Thibet, whose down supplies the looms of Cashmere with the materials of the finest shawls. Hastings tried, with no better fortune, to rear a breed at Daylesford; nor does he seem to have succeeded better with the cattle of Bootan, whose tails are in high esteem as the best fans for brushing away the musquitoes.
When Hastings had passed many years in He lived about four years longer in the en retirement, and had long outlived the common joyment of good spirits, of faculties not image of men, he again became for a short time paired to any painful or degrading extent, and an object of general attention. In 1813 the of health such as is rarely enjoyed by those charter of the East India Company was renew-who attain such an age. At length, on the 228 ed; and much discussion about Indian affairs of August, 1819, in the eighty-sixth year of his took place in Parliament. It was determined to age, he met death with the same tranquil and examine witnesses at the bar of the Commons, decorous fortitude which he had opposed to and Hastings was ordered to attend. He had all the trials of his various and eventful life. appeared at that bar before. It was when he With all his fa ilts-and they were neithe. read his answer to the charges which Burke few nor small-only one cemetery was worthy had laid on the table. Since that time twenty- to contain his remains. In that temple of si seven years had elapsed; public feeling had lence and reconciliation, where the enmities undergone a complete change; the nation had of twenty generations lie buried, in the Great now forgotten his faults, and remembered only Abbey which has for ages afforded a quiet his services. The reappearance, toe of a man resting-place to those whose minds and bodies who had been among the most distinguished have been shattered by the contentions of the of a generation that had passed away, who now Great Hall, the dust of the illustrious accused belonged to history, and who seemed to have should have been mingled with the dust of the risen from the dead, could not but produce a illustrious accusers. This was not to be. Yet solemn and pathetic effect. The Commons the place of interment was not ill chosen. Bereceived him with acclamations, ordered a hind the chancel of the parish-church of chair to be set for him, and when he retired, Daylesford, in earth which already held the rose and uncovered. There were, indeed, a bones of many chiefs of the house of Hastings, few who did not sympathize with the general was laid the coffin of the greatest man who feeling. One or two of the managers of the has ever borne that ancient and widely extendimpeachment were present. They sat in the ed name. On that very spot probably, foursame seats which they had occupied when they score years before, the little Warren, meanly had been thanked for the services which they clan and scantily fed, had played with the chilhad rendered in Westminster Hall; for, by the dren of ploughmen. Even then his young mind courtesy of the House, a member who has been had revolved plans which might be called rothanked in his place, is considered as having a mantic. Yet, however romantic, it is not likeright always to occupy that place. These gen-ly that they had been so strange as the truth. tlemen were not disposed to admit that they Not only had the poor orphan retrieved the nad employed several of the best years of their fallen fortunes of his line. Not only had he lives in persecuting an innocent man. They repurchased the old lands, and rebuilt the old accordingly kept their seats, and pulled their dwelling. He had preserved and extended an hats over their brows; but the exceptions only empire. He had founded a polity. He had made the prevailing enthusiasm more remark-administered government and war with more able. The Lords received the old man with than the capacity of Richelieu; and had pasimilar tokens of respect. The University of tronised learning with the judicious liberality Oxford conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Cosmo. He had been attacked by the most of Laws; and, in the Sheldonian theatre, the formidable combination of enemies that ever under-graduates welcomed him with tumultu- sought the destruction of a single victim; and ous cheering. over that combination, after a struggle of ten years, he had triumphed. He had at length gone down to his grave in the fulness of agein peace, after so many troubles; in honour, after so much obloquy.
Those who look on his character without fa vour or malevolence, will pronounce that, in the two great elements of all social virtue-in respect for the rights of others, and in sympa thy for the sufferings of others-he was deficient. His principles were somewhat lax. His heart was somewhat hard. But while we cannot with truth describe him either as a righteous or as a merciful ruler, we cannot regard without admiration the amplitude and fertility of his intellect-his rare talents for command, for administration, and for contro. versy-his dauntless courage-his honourable poverty-his fervent zeal for the interests of the state-his noble equanimity, tried by both extremes of fortune, ard never disturbed by either.
These marks of public esteem were soon followed by marks of the favour of the crown. Hastings was sworn of the Privy Council, and was admitted to a long private audience of the Prince Regent, who treated him very graciously. When the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia visited England, Hastings appeared in their train both at Oxford and in the Guildhall of London; and, though surrounded by a crowd of princes and great warriors, was everywhere received by the public with marks of respect and admiration. He was presented by the Prince Regent both to Alexander and to Frederic William; and his Royal Highness went so far as to declare in public, that honours far higher than a seat in the Privy Council were due, and should soon be paid, to the man who had saved the British dominions in Asia. Hastings now confidently expected a peerage; but. from some unexplained cause, he was agan disappointed.
FREDERIC THE GREAT.*
EDINBURGH REVIEW, APRIL, 1842.]
THIS work, which has the high honour of being introduced to the world by the author of "Lochiel" and "Hohenlinden," is not wholly unworthy of so distinguished a chaperon. It professes, indeed, to be no more than a compilation; but it is an exceedingly amusing compilation, and we shall be glad to have more of it. The narrative comes down at present only to the commencement of the Seven Years' War, and therefore does not comprise the most interesting portion of Frederic's reign.
It may not be unacceptable to our readers that we should take this opportunity of presenting them with a slight sketch of the life of the greatest king that has, in modern times, succeeded by right of birth to a throne. It may, we fear, be impossible to compress so long and eventful a story within the limits which we must prescribe to ourselves. Should we be compelled to break off, we shall, when the continuation of this work appears, return to the subject.
The envy of the class which he quitted, and the civil scorn of the class into which he intruded himself, were marked in very significant ways. The elector of Saxony at first The Prussian monarchy, the youngest of the refused to acknowledge the new majesty. great European states, but in population and Louis the Fourteenth looked down on his broin revenue the fifth amongst them, and in art, ther king with an air not unlike that with science, and civilization entitled to the third, if which the count in Molière's play regards not the second place, sprang from an humble Monsieur Jourdain, just fresh from the mumorigin. About the beginning of the fifteenth cen-mery of being made a gentleman. Austria tury, the marquisate of Brandenburg was be- exacted large sacrifice in return for her restowed by the Emperor Sigismund on the noble cognition, and at last gave it ungraciously. family of Hohenzollern. In the sixteenth century that family embraced the Lutheran doctrines. Early in the seventeenth century it obtained from the King of Poland the investiture of the duchy of Prussia. Even after this accession of territory, the chiefs of the house of Hohenzollern hardly ranked with the Electors of Saxony and Bavaria. The soil of Brandenburg was for the most part sterile. Even round Berlin, the capital of the province, and round sia a place among the European powers, altoPotsdam, the favourite residence of the Mar-gether out of proportion to her extent and graves, the country was a desert. In some population, by means of a strong military ortracts, the deep sand could with difficulty be ganization. Strict economy enabled him to forced by assiduous tillage to yield thin crops keep up a peace establishment of sixty thouof rye and oats. In other places, the ancient sand troops. These troops were disciplined forests, from which the conquerors of the Ro- in such a manner, that placed beside them, man empire had descended on the Danube, the household regiments of Versailles and St. remained untouched by the hand of man. James's would have appeared an awkward Where the soil was rich it was generally squad. The master of such a force could not marshy, and its insalubrity repelled the culti- but be regarded by all his neighbours as a forvators whom its fertility attracted. Frederic midable enemy, and a valuable ally. William, called the Great Elector, was the prince to whose policy his successors have agreed to ascribe their greatness. He acquired by the peace of Westphalia several valuable possessions, and among them the rich city and district of Magdeburg; and he left to his son Frederic a principality as considerable as any which was not called a kingdom.
Frederic was succeeded by his son, Frederic William, a prince who must be allowed to have possessed some talents for administra tion, but whose character was disfigured by the most odious vices, and whose eccentricities were such as had never been seen out of a madhouse. He was exact and diligent in the transaction of business, and he was the first who formed the design of obtaining for Prus
But the mind of Frederic William was se ill-regulated, that all his inclinations became passions, and all his passions partook of the character of moral and intellectual disease. His parsimony degenerated into sordid ava rice. His taste for military pomp and order became a mania, like that of a Dutch burgo master for tulips; or that of a member of the Roxburgh club for Caxtons. While the en voys of the court of Berlin were in a state of such squalid poverty as moved the laughter of foreign capitals; while the food placed be
Frederic aspired to the style of royalty. Os
* Frederic the Great and his Times. Edited, with an Introduction, by THOMAS CAMPBELL, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. london 1842.
tentatious and profuse, negligent of his true interests and of his high duties, insatiably eager for frivolous distinctions, he added no thing to the real weight of the state which he governed; perhaps he transmitted his inheri tance to his children impaired rather than augmented in value, but he succeeded in gaining the great object of his life, the title of king. In the year 1700 he assumed this new dignity. He had on that occasion to undergo all the mortifications which fall to the lot of ambitious upstarts. Compared with the other crowned heads of Europe, he made a figure resembling that which a Nabob or a Commissary, who had bought a title, would make in the company of Peers whose ancestors had been attainted for treason against the Plantagenets.
fore the princes an: the princesses of the | brats. If he saw a clergyman staring at the blood-royal of Prussia was too scanty to ap- soldiers, he admonished the reverend gentlepease hunger, and so bad that even hunger man to betake himself to study and prayer, loathed it-no price was thought too extrava- and enforced this pious advice by a sound gant for tall recruits. The ambition of the caning, administered on the spot. But it was king was to form a brigade of giants, and in his own house that he was most unreasonaevery country was ransacked by his agents ble and ferocious. His palace was hell, and for men above the ordinary stature. These he the most execrable of fiends-a cross be researches were not confined to Europe. No tween Moloch and Puck. His son Frederic head that towered above the crowd in the ba- and his daughter Wilhelmina, afterwards Marzaars of Aleppo, of Cairo, or of Surat, could gravine of Bareuth, were in an especial manescape the crimps of Frederic William. One ner objects of his aversion. His own mind Irishman more than seven feet high, who was was uncultivated. He despised literature. He picked up in London by the Prussian ambas- hated infidels, Papists, and metaphysicians, sador, received a bounty of nearly 1300. ster- and did not very well understand in what they ling very much more than the ambassador's differed from each other. The business of salary. This extravagance was the more ab- life, according to him, was to drill and to be surd, because a stout youth of five feet eight, drilled. The recreations suited to a prince, who might have been procured for a few dol- were to sit in a cloud of tobacco-smoke, to sip lars, would in all probability have been a Swedish beer between the puffs of the pipe, to much more valuable soldier. But to Frederic play backgammon for three-halfpence a rubWilliam, this huge Irishman was what a brass ber, to kill wild hogs, and to shoot partridges Otho, or a Vinegar Bible, is to a collector of a by the thousand. The Prince-Royal showed different kind. little inclination either for the serious employ. It is remarkable, that though the main end ments or for the amusements of his father. He of Frederic William's administration was to shirked the duties of the parade-he detested have a military force, though his reign forms the fume of tobacco-he had no taste either for an important epoch in the history of military backgammon or for field-sports. He had rediscipline, and though his dominant passion was ceived from nature an exquisite ear, and perthe love of military display, he was yet one of the formed skilfully on the flute. His earliest inmost pacific of princes. We are afraid that structors had been French refugees, and they had his aversion to war was not the effect of huma- awakened in him a strong passion for French nity, but was merely one of his thousand whims. literature and French society. Frederic WilHis feeling about his troops seems to have re-liam regarded these tastes as effeminate and sembled a miser's feeling about his money. contemptible, and, by abuse and persecution He loved to collect them, to count them, to see made them still stronger. Things became them increase; but he could not find it in his worse when the Prince-Royal attained that heart to break in upon the precious hoard. time of life at which the great revolution in He looked forward to some future time when the human mind and body takes place. He his Patagonian battalions were to drive hostile was guilty of some youthful indiscretions, infantry before them like sheep. But this fu- which no good and wise parent would regard ture time was always receding; and it is pro- with severity. At a later period he was acbable that, if his life had been prolonged thirty cused, truly or falsely, of vices, from which years, his superb army would never have seen History averts her eyes, and which even Sa any harder service than a sham fight in the tire blushes to name-vices such that, to borfields near Berlin. But the great military row the energetic language of Lord-Keeper means which he had collected, were destined Coventry, "the depraved nature of man, which to be employed by a spirit far more daring of itself carrieth man to all other sin, abhorreth and inventive than his own. them." But the offences of his youth were not characterized by any peculiar turpitude. They excited, however, transports of rage in the king, who hated all faults except those to which he was himself inclined; and who con ceived that he made ample atonement to Heaven for his brutality, by holding the softer passions in detestation. The Prince-Royal, too, was not one of those who are content to take their religion on trust. He asked puzzling questions, and brought forward arguments which seemed to savour of something different from pure Lutheranism. The king suspected that his son was inclined to be a heretic cf some sort or other, whether Calvinist or Atheist his maj sty did not very well know. The or dinary malignity of Frederic William was bad enough. He now thought malignity a part of his duty as a Christian man, and all the con science that he had stimulated his hatred. The flute was broken-the French books were sent out of the palace-the prince was kicked, and cudgelled, an pulled by the hair. At din
Frederic, surnamed the Great, son of Frederic William, was born in January, 1712. It may safely be pronounced that he had received from nature a strong and sharp understanding, and a rare firmness of temper and intensity of will. As to the other parts of his character, it is difficult to say whether they are to be ascribed to nature, or to the strange training which he underwent. The history of his boyhood is painfully interesting. Oliver Twist in the parish workhouse, Smike at Dotheboys Hall, were petted children when compared with this wretched heir-apparent of a crown. The nature of Frederic William was hard and bad, and the habit of exercising arbitrary power had made him frightfully savage. His rage constantly vented itself to right and left in curses and blows. When his majesty took a walk, every human being fled before him, as if a tiger had broken loose from a menagerie. If he met a lady in the street, he gave her a kick, and told her to go home and mind her